Rev. SW Saunders, was someone who used to preach a lot about the importance of a 'Christian Soul' and living 'Christian Way' in most of his Sermons. He strongly believed that a Christian soul and Christian way is far more important than just being a Christian. He was a professor of philosophy at Ewing Christian College Allahabad, principle at Holland Hall Allahabad, Excise Officer for Tea State Dehradun, District Superintendent for Itawa and held several important positions in the mission. He chose to be pastor through calling and kept serving the mission and churches all through his life. He was my grandfather.
Even I feel that Christian soul and Christian way must be prioritized in the life of every Christian and therefore I'm putting forward my take on it.
Matthew 23:25-28 - Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self indulgence. Blind Pharisees first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
The verse talks about the very urge of possessing a Christian soul. It is only about the content of the soul and has nothing to do with our outer shell. Our outer appearance, behavior, language, conduct or interaction is not of any importance to our almighty Jesus Christ, for He knows us inside out and outside in. Our outer shell is usually an exhibition to others. We are what we are when we are alone in our thoughts and He watches our every thought. Possessing a Christian Soul is beyond being just a Christian.
We possess a Christian Soul when we have a sense of kindness, responsibility and righteousness in our soul. Like -
- When we know that we are wrong and we feel the urge to correct ourselves
- When we see a hungry man on the road or on the way and we feel the urge to feed him
- When we see someone in problem and we feel the urge to help them
- When we know that something isn't right and we feel the urge to speak out
- When we see the endless devastation of trees and we feel the urge to protect them, because it is important for us to know that we can live without anything but not tress, pants and forests. These are the key elements of human existence.
- When we see a blind man standing on the edge of the road and we feel the urge to help him cross it
- When we see someone lying and we feel the urge to disagree and speak the truth
- When we see wounded animals and we feel the urge to rescue them
The very presence of these urges within us defines a Christian Soul. These are very small examples but these have a bigger meaning. How could someone be in Christ if he or she is not considerate towards others and feels this urge. Only if one has these urges, they could go beyond and could bring their urges into a real conduct.
Christian Soul is driven by these urges and even the presence of these urges within our soul defines us as a Christian. It is not about an outward help or kindness to earn a position in the society or within the community, that someone is such a godly person. Possessing a Christian Soul is a really very important aspect of being a Christian because this is something that brings us closer to the Almighty.
Matthew 6:31-34 - Therefore do not worry saying - What shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear ? For after all these things are Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Christian way defines both a brave and decent way.
- Inviting enemies for a conversation to settle the misunderstandings and hatefulness, rather than getting involved into an abusive conversation - This is one of the most difficult thing to do as mostly we aren't ready to talk with our enemies and neither do we make an offer of conversation to them. Further, the enemies are usually possessed by evil spirit and so are afraid to come forward and talk over a table as they are uncomfortable with the very thought of a conversation. They try to avoid any scope of conversation for they fear, they will be questioned for their lies that they've been spreading among people for so many years. This fear of facing a truth stops them from initiating any conversation.
- Even while a lie could help you to win your ends, you still choose truth and righteousness
- Standing against evil and demons, just like what Christ did
- Staying stout against problems and difficulties, just like how Jesus stayed stout irrespective of all the mischiefs of the evil spirits to stop Him from saving the sinners
- Forgiving and uniting people, just like what Jesus tried to do all the time while He was alive and and also after His resurrection
- Not confusing oneself and others about cowardice as kindness and forgiveness
- Knowing that Jesus is our only God and no human being could be greater than Him, while people are acclaiming themselves to be healers and wanting others to call them a God, keep your faith in Him alone
- Not misguiding people in the name of religion but bringing them closer to Him and His Kingdom for the religion stands only because of Him and not Him because of the Religion
- Never supporting injustice, greed, corruption and crime by anyone, doesn't matter how rich, influential or resourceful anyone may be
- Resolving problems rather than creating them
These are some of the important requisites of every Christian, to possess a Christian soul and to live Christian way. In the absence of these two, even the existence of Christianity remains groundless as it stands upon the strong foundation of a pure intent and righteousness. While both the Christian soul and Christian way is missing from a person who has been baptized to be a Christian, he still stays far away from the reflection Lord Jesus even after reciting the chapters and verses of the Holy Bible. This is because, unless your intent is pure and righteous how would you be driven towards Him when you do not even accept yourself to be a sinner.
Yes, our lord Jesus Christ is the savior of sinners but to be saved by Him, a sinner must have a feeling of repentance for his or her sins and for that one must be aware about his sin set. Only then, one with a pure intent and righteousness, who is willing to possess a Christian soul and living Christian way could be forgiven and blessed by Him.
The reason why corruption, opportunism and crave for material things among Christians exists is because they are failing to possess a Christian soul and living Christian way, in the absence of which only a Church and Holy Bible could not be of much help to any baptized Christian.