Saturday, July 15, 2017

Unity Special Issue of The CALL




While on one hand we see nation against nation, community against community, family against family, man against man; on the other we see baseless arguments like that of Rajiv Malhotra (in his book ‘Breaking India’) that Christian work feeds and flourishes on the disunity within Indian communities. A lack of proper understanding of the Bible on unity is the reason.

Since there is no provision or possibility of uniting people without any differences and discrimination within any other framework and religious system, he attempts to degrade and dismantle the only Faith that can give equal rights to all people irrespective of their colour, language, geography. And the last book of the Bible shows us a glimpse of what it will be like when Christ returns and in His kingdom, “After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” (Revelation 7:9 NRSV).

The world’s pursuit of unity yields not much results because of its failure in not pursuing the Truth as C.S. Lewis aptly words it, “Seek Unity and you will find neither Unity nor Truth. Seek the light of truth, and you will find Unity and Truth”. The oxymoron phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ makes sense and the meaningful and possible coexistence of unitas and varietas becomes achievable only when there is the pursuit of veritas (Truth). Devoid of Truth, the world’s sophomoric attempt at unity meets only with more disunity.  

In his article ‘To the Unity of the Faith’ the General Secretary compares the church, church leaders and ministers of the first century and present times and shows the dilution of truth in life and in proclamation. This is a clarion call to stand on the truth without compromising the Word.

The article from the Associate General Secretary’s Desk, ‘Clarity in Unity’ presents four foundational principles of Unity to help understand that unity is not uniformity rather a process of maturity.

Unity and Love as abstracts cannot be understood unless we come to the Personhood of the Trinity.  The more we learn and grow in the knowledge of our Triune God, the more we grow in unity. The Get Equipped article ‘Trinity: Understanding the Three in One’ is biblically sound and encourages the reader to grow in unity and to practice godly love that exists within the Trinity.

Unity in essence needs to be experienced within a person (aligning oneself with God’s word), with people and in God’s purpose. The New Gen Thinking article ‘Walls: Build or Break?’ expounds on these and brings unity lessons from walls of historical significance. The ‘Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares’ sculpture in the UN Art Collection and the inscriptions on the Isaiah Wall across the UN building, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4b), is complete, meaningful and possible only when people walk in Truth, in God’s paths and when God shall judge among the nations (Isaiah 2:3,4a).

The Children’s Chronicles story ‘Raju’s Projects’ is a definite treat for children which shows how when small children come together they can make a big difference in someone’s life.

‘Till Death Do Us Part’ is an excellent article for married couples and for those preparing for marriage which points out to the importance of commitment and not compulsion to be the anchor of marriage life.

The Tentmaking article ‘Dichotomy in Calling: Unifying Skills & Spiritual Gifts to Serve’ removes the dichotomy of secular and sacred and helps the reader to understand work as a calling from God and to unify and use one’s skills, abilities, gifts for God’s glory and for His purpose. 

This year, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. “To gather with God's people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer” remarked Martin Luther. This is a stark reminder for the need of unity within the church community. We are called to build the kingdom of God and not our own kingdoms.

We need yet another reformation, that will bring unity with the clarity that we are not called to compete with each other but to complement our graces and gifts; not to fight on fundamental doctrines and yet not compromise on sound doctrines; not to become self and church-obsessed, but to be kingdom-minded.  

Unifying Reading,
Mariyosh Joseph
Chief Editor, The CALL

Click to Read Online – Unity Special_The CALL (Online Reading)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Medical Special Issue of The CALL






The memorial at Einsiedeln, Switzerland applauds Theophrastus Paracelsus, the 15th century physician & philosopher as, “erneuerer der medizin, vater der chemotherapie… eigenwilliger denker und demutiger christ, freund der armen” (the regenerator of medicine, the father of chemotherapy… the self-sufficient thinker and humble christ, friend of the poor). The field of medicine is such that it raises its practitioners to such admiration. This Medical Special issue of The CALL is an attempt to present the true calling and purpose of the medical field.

Exhorting that the call to heal the sick is a call from the Master, ‘Caring is our Calling’ shows how the church and missions have been pioneers in global healthcare and sounds the clarion call to venture into new and needed avenues in healthcare. A resurgence to this end is needed and this is possible only when we commit towards an ‘Overflowing Life’ as the lead article suggests so that there may be healing of nations.

The News & Views article ‘Sin, Sickness & Suffering’ answers the cause and connection of these baffling issues and helps understand trials and God’s silence meaningfully. When our sense of value is often tied to our job or possessions, people who are confined become non-performers and are pushed into feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. The Get Equipped article ‘Giving Hope: Counselling the Sick’ exhorts to encourage such to help them understand their worth in Christ and teaches the Do’s and Don’ts of counselling at such times.

‘I Want to be a Missionary Doctor’ and ‘For His Purpose’ in the MK Memoirs column are inspiring testimonies of two GEMS MKs who surrendered to God’s will and persevered through to realize the passion to become a missionary doctor.

The Red Hot article ‘Changing Face and Challenges of Healthcare’ throws light on the changes and contemporary challenges in healthcare and sounds the alarm that “Healthcare has become more profit driven from being service driven.” The article also presents the needed areas to focus and develop so that healthcare may not just become profit-based and practice-based, but patient-care-centered.

It is this vision of patient care that drives ‘GEMS Medical Ministries’ and the Magnifying Glass column shows how it accomplishes this vision to transform people by meeting their physical, mental and spiritual needs. Medical mission is pivotal to the ministries of GEMS as the founding of GEMS in itself is the fruit of prayers of two medical missionaries Caroline Paint and Sylvia Beadwell who served in Bihar in the late 60s & early 70s. We also remember and salute the contributions of Olive Jarvis & Joy Bath the pioneers of medical ministries at Dehri-On-Sone and Susie Rollet who sacrificed her life on the Rohtas hills while serving the Lord for the medical cause.

Heaven celebrates the sacrifices of such and GEMS medical missionary Arlene gave her life while serving on the Rohtas hills. When medical practitioners, in these tough places are victims themselves it’s an urgent reminder of the priority of medical care for every missionary. Hence ‘Missionaries Health Services’ is an initiative towards meeting possible total medical care assistance to missionaries across India and beyond.

Young medical missionary, General Surgeon Prerit Thomas Jacob who served at Evangelical Hospital in Orissa, who went to be with the Lord this January 2017 wrote & sang, “Help me to choose, what I cannot lose… Help me to fight till the break of daylight… For the sake of the Call”. This is a high call!

Answering this call, during the second world war the Army Medic Desmond in the heat of the battle on the Hackshaw Ridge, though tired and battered himself kept crying, “Please Lord! Help me get one more… help me get one more” and he carried 75 wounded men to safety! He remained characteristically modest, giving all credits to God for this accomplishment.

Renowned and accomplished neurosurgeon, author & politician Ben Carson writes in Gifted Hands, “I became acutely aware of an unusual ability - a divine gift, I believe - of extraordinary eye and hand coordination. It’s my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity.” And he says that knowing God that He sent His Son to die for our sins is very empowering and knowing that He loves me, gives me encouragement and confidence to move forward.

Empowered by His love and encouraged with His presence let us serve humanity; raise up generations to answer this call and bring healing to the nations (Rev 22:2).

Healthy Reading,
Mariyosh Joseph
Chief Editor


Click to read online - MedicalSpecial_The CALL