I am facing down the barrell of a conundrum. I have at my fingertips the power of ideas and I am being beset by the strength of structure. I have come to grips with a new war waging, the battle between personal spirituality and personal responsibility. If something does not give I will.
I am finding an ironic situation (mindset actually) within the mainstream teachings of Christianity and it is this focus…what’s so great about personal spirituality? The church teaches that God has made a situation where we are responsible for one thing, our personal walk with Him. That’s groovy and all but call me an atheist if this the whole kit n kaboodle. I am being told that my faith is only to serve myself, to make myself a better person, to change my situation in life, to help alleviate my tensions, etc. All I have to do is serve God and basically He will serve me. From this comes the garbage the of church rhetoric about being blessed (singularily mind you) with goods, homes, cars, a great lifestyle, succeeding at everything I do. So? What does that do for anyone but myself?
Oh I get it go and share this good news with others about how good they can have it if they follow Jesus, mind you ‘in words alone’. They can have all the good things I have of they correctly obey God. I really don’t have to do jack squat as long as I TELL YOU about this faith and if you reject it, go to hell. Again the honus is upon myself and how great my words flow out and if I am convincing enough you will believe God (and me)…ironic thing is whether you do or not I am still feeling like ‘all is well, look at my walk with God…it’s so damn good I have to wear shades when I get to those pearly gates’. Is this faith in Christ? Is this faith in myself? What is really going on here with our attitude of ‘self-serving with a purpose’?
If that is my faith, can some good fundamental Christian just shoot me now. I am going to break your every law. I am going to challenge your every basic teaching. I am going to tear down the church structure and replace it with integrity. I am going to be hated by these ‘self-righteous’ saints and for good cause, I don’t dance when they say dance, I don’t pray when they say pray, I don’t put on the show when they say they are doing one. Like I said, shoot me now you fundie Pharisee’s before I do enough damage that it isn’t irreversible.
I ask for a faith that has some personal responsibility and that’s it. But nooooooooo, this is too damn difficult. All I am saying is I read the word (the bible) they teach from and I saw a faith where helping others takes mass priority over making myself ‘feel good’. I see helping the people that need it as a top priority but the church has some loophole where they can say ‘but our good works will appear as if we are earning our way to heaven’…don’t worry about that since you don’t do nothing for nobody so I don’t think people will ever think that. I see Jesus (who the Christians call God) who lives a life of helping people in so many ways I could write 4 more gospels about it, but here a few examples: heals the leper, destroys racism, accepts everyone, has no class system, heals the blind, causes the lame to walk, cures a demoniac, etc. Now if we want to be like Christ, then shouldn’t we actually believe what we are saying?
I am asking one thing: personal responsibility (which is too much to ask the self-righteous) in what you believe and in who you follow. We teach that God is love and the we should love our neighbor (even have a parable describing our neighbor) but we live like that’s a lie. We do nothing to either prove or show God is love to the people that need it, and who needs it, people who are troubled (depressed, sick, in prison, the poor, abused, etc). Why the hell would anyone care about a God of love or a faith built upon love if it doesn’t do jack squat? How does it help me to know this if I can’t recieve it from you? Oh but God will call them to the faith, they are still waiting and guess what…no call. I guess the phone is off the hook.
If you believe a single word you are saying about Jesus then live by it, plain and simple. If you see the people in need and do nothing but ‘pray’ for them, don’t call yourself a Christian, call yourself a pray-er. If you have the opportunity to help people in need but ignore it, don’t call yourself a Christian, call your self ignorant. If someone asks you for tanglible help and you send them away empty-handed, don’t call yourself a Christian, call yourself selfish. If someone comes to you and needs something and you tell them go to church first, don’t call yourself a Christian but call yourself Biased. Get the picture. If we live like Christ we do like Christ, if not then we are not like Christ. Sorry, I can’t make it seem manipulative.
So the moral of the story is simple, live what you believe and teach and don’t think because you share some words with other people that’s living your faith – it’s not. If you want to earn the moniker of a Christian then live like Christ. If you want selfish faith, cool but don’t cut one and tell me you just planted flowers. The faith I read is not one of selfishness, it’s far from that but I am hard pressed to convince any Christian to get out their comfort zone, how sad. It’s fairly easy to get diluted when all you do is drink what you regurgitate.