Uniqueness of Christ

One of the questions put forward frequently is ‘How could you invite people of other religions to use your place of worship?’  Do you not think you compromise the confessions of your faith?  Do you not believe in the Uniqueness of Christ?

These questions are to be found often not on the lips of people who are without any faith commitments or of other Faiths but are of the Christian faith.  It is a question posed with utter sincerity and conviction that the name of Christ is unique for the salvation of humanity and it is the duty of a Christian to convert others to that conviction.   This conviction is developed on the basis of a defence made by St Peter before the religious authorities in Jerusalem when they were threatened with imprisonment and possible execution for preaching salvation in the name of Jesus.  St Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”[1]

Peter made this claim at the point of death.  His claim would cost him his life.  For one to make such claim, the conviction must be total and deeply personal.  Peter to make this claim was more unique than the uniqueness my friends claim for Christ.  The reason is simple.  Peter proclaimed the very name as the name for salvation which he denied at the point of death of Christ a few weeks earlier.  There was a change in the life of Peter before and after the death of Jesus.  The evidence for Peter’s conversion is of cosmic proportions.  It is hard to compare it to anything in our day to day life.   The uniqueness the Peter claimed for Jesus was not an objective claim he came to learn, understand and preach but it was a subjective experience which evident in the life of Peter which was most powerful.

Therefore, when someone makes a claim on the uniqueness of Christ without subjective evidence to that in their own lives, then their claim becomes suspect.  This leads one to question.

Consider this.  Should I claim that I am unique, I must do so in isolation or in comparison.  For Christians to make a claim on their uniqueness they may do so in isolation or in relation to others.  Claim to uniqueness made in isolation may appear to be narcissistic i.e. I see my own reflection in a mirror and adore how wonderful and unique I am.  I can see myself in a group photograph and think I am unique in that group.  But these two alternates does not make Christ unique.  Which turns our attention to Christ himself.

Christ is unique for a number of reason.  He was unique in refusing to be unique.  He was unique in his uncertain birth.  He was unique in choosing to identify himself with the sinners and outcasts.  He was unique in standing by what he believed.  He was unique in his humiliating death.  Therefore I may claim to the uniqueness of Christ if my own life demonstrates one or all those unique qualities that Christ demonstrated in his life.  If not, my claim of the uniqueness of Christ would be mere words.  There cannot be more harm done to the cause of Christ than empty words.


[1] Acts 4.12

17 thoughts on “Uniqueness of Christ

  1. rom

    I think it is absolutely appalling that your church opens its doors to praying muslims.I doubt we all will live long enough to see a mosque open its doors to prayings christians.This reverend must be ignorant on islam and its aims in history and the world, or he would not have opened his church to those who want to annihilate christianity, and whose clerics for 1400 years now dream of lifting the green flag of islamic conquest on St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

    Absolutely appalling….rom

  2. Alison

    Well done for being Jesus to our fellow humans. We are all children of God and opening up God’s house to them is absolutely a Godly thing to do.

  3. Graeme

    I read the news story online here in Chicago. Bravo, Father! That was an outstanding act of doing justice and loving kindness. May the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and may the blessings of Allah be with you.

  4. Revd. Jason C. Boyd

    I am a Congregational minister and my congregation has been offering hospitality for two years now. It has been a hard road but I wish to encourage you and let you know that you are not alone. If you would like to hear our story please go to:

    http://ccc2013.wordpress.com/ccc-programme/

    and listen to our story as told by one of our deacons, Peter Gamston. God bless…

  5. Cicely Lloyd

    I was brought up by atheists who dedicated their lives to helping those less fortunate, and I work with asylum seekers of all faiths. What you have done, opening your doors to Muslims gives me faith in the future of humanity. Thank you, Reverend, there is so much conflict, and you have filled my heart with hope and joy today. You have given me the strength to be even more christian, with a small c ;)
    Love from Cicely, ESOL Teacher, Brighton

  6. Miss Music Nerd

    Hello, Reverend Poobalan — I just read about your church on the Huffington Post. I admire you for being loving and welcoming, and it pains me to read the hateful comments directed at you.

    I used to live in Boston. A few years ago, the dean of the Episcopal Cathedral there consented to let a Muslim group hold Friday prayers in the church basement. When the bishop questioned him about it, he replied, “What part of ‘house of prayer for all people’ is unclear?”

    Peace to you,
    Linda

  7. Seamus

    I was really just looking for a place to comment about the recent hubbub over allowing Muslims to pray in your church, and, sadly, I see the throng of trolls beating at your virtual door has caused you to take all of that down.

    It makes me feel joyful to be identified with Christ and such people who would stand in the face of so much hate and pressure to offer their neighbor a place to pray that is warm and keeps them out of the snow. It’s the very essence of our faith to be that kind of witness to God’s goodness. Keep fighting the good fight. Blessings to your community as you live out your faith with respect and love to those around you.

  8. Amany kamal

    I am an Egyptian Muslim who has always admired tolerance and respect between religions.I would love to thank you sir for setting such an example of bringing the two communities closer together.You are an example that all good Christians should be proud of and you are true to your religion.You sir do bring honour to your religion.May God bless you.
    p.s.The Coptic church here in Egypt did the same thing to the Muslim when there were difficulties with a place to pray.

  9. Ken

    Dear Reverend, I congratulate you for your good deed, I think this is one of the most wonderful pieces of news I have heard in a long time, it is gestures like this that helps to bring the Muslim & Christian together to realise how much we have in common. (I am a Christian convert to Islam) It was when I became Muslim & had a greater understanding, I realised how little differences there are, so there should be no reasons at all that Christian & Muslim cannot live in total harmony. Your parishioners should be very proud of you. You are a true Christian.

  10. James near Geneva, Switzerland

    Reverend, bravo to you for your faith and strength to open the doors of your congregation to others in a time of need. You exemplify what Jesus taught.

  11. Claire

    Dear Reverend, I´m so inspired by this! You have done something natural and it seems amazing because people´s hearts are so hard.
    Last year I saw something similar in southern India. Three million Hindu women were in Trivandrum to celebrate pombal and there were not enough places to stay and the mosques opened their grounds and shelters for them to sleep in…

  12. David Buchan

    The sign of peace is a handshake. I want to offer my hand to anyone who is involved in work to build bridges between my fellow human beings.
    Thank you to all who are fighting against intolerance and injustice.
    Peace, Love, Power, Justice.
    These are values for ALL HUMANITY.

  13. Nancy

    I think it is absolutely magnificent that your church opens its doors to praying Muslims.I know we will all will live long enough to see a mosque open its doors to praying Christians as well as more churches opening their doors to the other whomever they might be. This reverend must be knowledgable on Islam and its aims in history and the world, because he has opened his church to provide more space for those who want to worship one God just as Christians and Jews do.
    I am so proud of you, Isaac, and of your congregation. What a gift you are to the wider Church who longs to see the soul of Jesus in action not just in words…

  14. Joe

    Hello, allowing Muslims to worship at the same altar where you commemorate Christ’s sacrifice is contrary to the wishes of the god you claim to serve (Exodus: 20-23; Psalm 81:9; Deuteronomy 5:7) This is not a matter of ‘welcoming’ others as some contributors claim. Indeed just try attempting to worship Jehovah in your own church when the Muslims are praying and observe how welcome that would be. If you desire to offer accommodation, what about your personal spacious lodgings? Finally, as for the Coptics opening their doors to Egyptian Muslims, do proper research and see where it got them! !!!!! Joe

  15. kingjaymz

    “Jesus, when did you come to my door a stranger and I take you in?”

    I guess I forgot this is superceded by his lesser known, unrecorded greatest commandment, “Go forth and be a royal, self-righteous jerk to all who don’t share your worldview, no matter how much suffering they’re enduring for their sincere, heart-felt convictions.” I mean, it’s not like Christians know or remember what it’s like to be an oppressed minority, or that Jesus gave us any meaningful instruction about responding to oppression or suffering. Right?

  16. rom

    Is that gullible reverend still sure he did the right thing after what happened in Boston last week?
    This week two canadian muslim tried to derail the train between New York and Toronto which would have caused dozens of victims. Is that the kind of people he wants to have in his church?

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