Friday, 7 May 2021
In classical Judaism and even more in New Covenant faith, the role models demonstrate great souls or humanity. The best Rabbis are known not only for their study and scholarship, models of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Who are the greatest saints in the Christian world? Among Catholics, I think of St. Francis of Assisi or Mother Theresa. They were people of extraordinary compassion. Compassion did not mean in either case a sloppy indulgence of sin, but for love's sake, was honest about the nature and consequences of sin. Who can forget Mother Theresa speaking up against abortion when she met with President Clinton?
When I think of Protestant saints, I think of great souls who were true biblical humanitarians, people of great exploits. I think especially of Count Von Zinzendorf and the community of love in Hernhutt and the great missionary movement that he brought to birth. I think of George Mueller who had great faith and built several orphanages. He took hardly any material gain for himself. I think of Hudson Taylor who identified in great love for the Chinese people. He revolutionized missions with the concept of indigenous identification with the culture. I think of John Wesley and his great Methodist movement. The recent film, 'Amazing Grace' is another account of a great man, William Wilberforce, who was the key figure in eliminating slavery in the British Empire and in making great strides against child labor. He also promoted compassion for animals.
The great saints of our faith never took the glory for themselves. They would claim that their way of being and life came from identification with the death and resurrection of Yeshua. He is the one who transforms us from self-centered and hypocritical beings, to loving and compassionate beings who lay down our lives for others. When I was a young and confused philosophy student, Chaplain Welsh was a proof of God's existence. How could such a person exist in the world if there was no God? I began to see Yeshua in him.
Of course, Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world is THE Role Model. In Him, great souls find their ultimate ground of meaning and the source of their greatness. The Devil seeks to blind people to these great individuals and especially to blind them to Yeshua. However, it is really quite simple. The way of faith is shown by these role models and by Yeshua Himself who gives us the power to be like Him. Our desire is to reveal Him to those to whom we are primarily called, the lost sheep of the house of Israel, for all are lost until they see Him and know Him who is eternal life.
This excerpt is from my article.