The Gospel of John Chapter Three makes clear what Christ meant by “being born again”—that is, not physically, but spiritually. I need to make this clear because many folks take this whole “born again” theme as similar to Hinduist “reincarnation” or that Christianity practices a “murder” of sorts in order to be “born again.” After all, those who hate Christianity are going to make whatever excuses they can to claim it supports the notion of “murder” in order to be “born again,” using the fact that Christ Himself was crucified so that He could shed His own blood for the sake of taking on the sins of the world…He died so all believers could be born again, which some claim means Christians support murder! Seriously. I watched a video that actually made that claim, and it was not an atheist who made the video! (I have no idea what this person’s religion is….as for me, I do Christ, not religion, the hand, not the glove, and I let him know that in the comment section!)
But one does know Christ arose from the dead, soooooo…. Was He too “born again”?
Anyway…. John Chapter Three, when Christ is speaking to the Pharisee Nicodemus, tells him that ‘ye must be born again,’ to which Nicodemus answers how he’s supposed to do that since he is already old. Christ tells him it is a spiritual rebirth. It is not a matter of physical rebirth, or Hinduistic reincarnation.
The first of two snippets has the women of four of the six band members at the home of the singer and his wife, Ger, who is also taking care of an infant son, Jason. They are discussing within an atrium that their men are visiting a young man who wants to give them a song about accepting Christ, and will their men convert to Christianity. And how? From Chapter Nine of The Prodigal Band”
“I guess the boys have arrived at Bobby’s place already,” Laurie, slouching on a couch of alpaca wool pillows, heaved a sigh.
Jarris spoke doubt. “And when they come back, they’ll be born-again Christian rockers! Did you hear that song that Bobby wrote for them? ‘He is the Way’ it’s called. ‘He’ being Jesus Christ. Do you believe that? That they’re going to sing about Jesus, and they don’t even believe in Him.”
Mo, who had been a disciple of the demonically-possessed Cole Blessing and saw many lying wonders, believed she had some wisdom to impart. “They won’t come back born-again Christian anything, Jarris. It took me about a year to really become committed to Blessing. And my dad’s a vicar of the Anglican Church. It took him years of divinity school, and even he has some doubts sometimes about his faith. Or he used to. Haven’t spoken to him in a while.” Sighed regret. “But you don’t go visiting a Christian and come back converted, eh?”
The skinny red-head, like her husband the most emotional of the group, sat up and barked back. “Well, fine if they do! What do you have against them becoming Christians? They can do whatever religion they want! Better than that stupid Circle of Unity bullshit!”
Mo dropped her jaw, dumbfounded. “That’s not what I said! Yes, they can become Christians! But what I said was that it doesn’t happen overnight. For one thing, it takes years of Bible study, and I’ve never seen Bry, for one, open up a Bible. Does Keith?”
“Well, then he won’t be converted overnight.”
Laurie broke in. “So it takes reading the Bible to become a Christian?” She mock laughed. “If that’s true, Jack would’ve been a Christian for many years now!”
“You have to read it,” Mo answered, “not get beat over the head with it.”
“And I still can’t believe all you have to do is read the Bible,” Jarris whined. “And, oh yeh, go to church, which I know for a fact Keith hasn’t set foot into since he was a kid. He wouldn’t know what to do in a church if it hit him over the head.”
“Don’t you have to pray or something?” Laurie intoned incredulously. “I mean it can’t just be that easy—read the Bible and go to church and be a good person and give a couple o’ million dollars—”
“Yeh, Mo,” Jarris cut in, “the collection plate?”
Ger, who had been listening intently but had to pay attention to the baby until he fell asleep, which he appeared to be doing, added, “And let’s not forget bake sales and bingos.” Sarcastic snort.
Mo sneered, “Bake sales and bingos, Ger? Like when’s the last time you set foot into a kitchen, let alone a church?”
She placed Jason in his soft, snug baby carrier, got up and rolled her eyes at Mo. “I was joking, okay?” Moved toward the exit toward Morwenna’s office. “Like I think you all are missing the point. You don’t even need to go to church. Morwenna is the holiest person I know and she never goes to church. She says there’s not a church in this area she’d want to go to.”
Jarris said that she heard some famous actress goes to church.
“Well good for her,” Ger snorted. “I’m saying a real Christian like Morwenna doesn’t go to church, but I know she prays a lot and reads the Bible a lot. She’s always trying to get me to read the Bible. I look at it now and then.”
“Look,” Jarris wouldn’t relent, “I have no problem reading the Bible. When my mother was getting beat up by dad she’d always read it to comfort her. But it’s Keith and the guys that need to read it. They’re the ones on that mission of theirs.”
“Well,” Ger answered, heading out the doorway, “I’ll get Morwenna and maybe she can settle this argument.”
The others followed.
“Morwenna,” Ger called about to enter the office. “You there?”
Not seeing the personal assistant, Ger glanced at her desk and noticed the open Bible and the section yellowed-in. She read the highlighted section out loud.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The others entered the office as she read it.
“Oh my God,” Ger wondered. When she saw the others she read it aloud again.
“So like you’re all wrong. This says that all you have to do is believe in Jesus. That’s it.” She looked up at the others.
Mo looked at the Bible. “Yeh, and it’s in red letters. That means Jesus said it.”
“He said that? Then it must be true, because I know one thing about Jesus. He’s the only person who ever lived who never lied.”
Jarris looked at the Bible. “So all of that in red is what He said. So if we read the Bible, that’s mostly what we need to read.” She glanced at the red letters on the opposite page, which began with the story of the Pharisee Nicodemus. Verse 7 read, ‘Ye must be born again.’ She cried out, “Here it is! Born again! ‘Ye must be born again’.”
“But what does that mean?” Laurie wondered. She took the Bible from Ger and read it from the beginning of Chapter Three. “Nicodemus was a Pharisee, some kind of ruler.”
“Yeh,” Jarris broke in, “the hypocrites. That’s what Keith calls Torquay and them.”
“So Nicodemus says to Jesus he knows Jesus is a teacher sent by God, and Jesus says unless you’re born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God. So Nicodemus says,” Laurie looked at the others, “he’s old, so how can he be born again? So Jesus replies that a man has to be born of the water— you know, be baptized—and of the spirit.”
“What spirit?” Ger wanted to know.
“The Holy Ghost,” Mo answered. “You know, Father, Son, Holy Ghost?”
In the second snippet from Chapter Thirteen of The Prodigal Band, after being rescued from a human sacrifice ritual where singer Erik was about to be impaled by the evil Corion, three ‘men’ who were actually angels sent them rescued into a similar void they had visited before, as the ‘men’ explained to the band leader, Jack. As the rest of the band was being rescued, singer Erik’s face shined to ward off the evil. The ‘light of salvation.’
While this conversation mainly between the ‘men’ and Jack took place, Keith and Tom kept on bantering Erik about his ‘shining face’ which the singer had no clue about. There were no mirrors in the dungeon.
“So, like, Keith and Tom keep saying they saw my face glow or something as they were leaving that crap hole. Is that true or what? And why? For light or what?” Because there is no way either one of them would lie to me.
“Yes, your face was glowing bright as the light of salvation.”
“You were too involved with invoking the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit and warding off evil to notice, but yes, it was your shining light beaming the light of God that kept that sword from killing you, and dispensed with the spirit of evil that Corion attempted to fill the room with, to control his minions who could only exist in the darkness. They could not stand the brightness of what filled you. And what filled you was the light of salvation. As if Christ Himself held you in his arms, and stopped the sword.”
Beside himself with humbleness the like of which he had never experienced. Wow! God filled me with the Holy Spirit which I guess responded to Corion and drove him away from me and defeated him. Me? A guy who used to sin like crazy and believed I was like a god? He snorted a humph! Now there is no way I can ever go back to being that sinner, not even if I wanted to, which I don’t. Like I guess that is what being ‘born again’ is, eh?
Yes, the leader called to his mind, that is precisely what it means to be born again!
So that ‘being born again’ is not about ‘murdering’ Christ but about spiritual rebirth, regardless of what non-believers think it means! Click the Bookstore link above for information and book purchases.
The Prodigal Band Trilogy copyright 2019 Deborah Lagarde. The Prodigal Band copyright 2018 Deborah Lagarde. All rights reserved.