I have read a lot of blogs over the past year or so and I find myself continiually defending certain Christian positions just because I am a so called ‘Christ-ian’. I get all kinds of labels slapped on me as if I believe all the rhetoric coming out of the church. What rhetoric?
(1) If it’s heads ‘you are one of us’
There is ‘us’ (churchy-folk) and there is them (non-churchy folk). One side is saved while the other is need of salvation. One side has all the answers (the truth) while the other side does not and they are in error. We are told to be seperate from them – lest we be tainted as they are. But the bible seems to point to hypocritical ideals on this subject. Paul mentions ‘do not eat’ with these un-believers while Jesus did? Jesus teaches us to be ‘perfect’ and in that context ‘perfect’ means treating one another equally (no seperation – even God makes the rain fall on both sides of the fence). Jesus teaches the ‘sick need a doctor, not the healthy’. How is there a seperation unless we are the one’s creating it by our interpretation?
(2) In Your Face Compadre
The church is filled with rhetoric of judging others – for basically no sound biblical reason known to us. We are even told not to judge and if we do – do it with mercy as our aforemost thought. I have heard many a Christian denounce someone to hell for being a non-believer – a judgment they have no right to make (and at it’s core – the harshest judgement known to man). But why do we want to judge the un-believer? To make him feel his ‘sin’ and us our ‘righteousness’? To convict him of something he is doing – is this our job? Did we miss part two of the command ‘do not judge – unless you be judged too’? Is God making the point – as you judge – expect to be judged the same way? By who exactly…God or man?
(3) Poltico agendo is alrighto
The mainstream church trusts their gov’t’s more than they trust their own teachings – in some regards. There are wars and rumours of wars – doesn’t mean the church has to pick a side, does it? Where exactly in the bible is taking democracy to the world our mission again? We teach so harshly against abortion it was no surprise that some ‘fundies’ got rifles and shot doctors – is it? Apparently they were following the teachings of Christ…were they? We also have on our agenda the banning of gay marriage which is a hot one right now. All these things we go to the state and vote in leaders that will speak for us. So church and politics go hand in hand it sould seem – it’s almost seamless in some places. But again, where does Jesus ask us to gain political affiliation of a country? Seems a little Constantin-ish to me. But we are perfectly alright with this. Where did Jesus teach this again? Oh yeah – that’s right – when he took control of Israel as the messiah of the people and killed those Roman infidels. He then set up his kingdom of democracy which hasn’t since faded away. Me likey?
(4) Oh, God died and made you king
Smugness – the final frontier. People use the name of Jesus as their credible witness for a variety of things – in the end it’s to prove ‘they are right cause God said so’. People then don’t speak back in case they are speaking against God….which is all too scary a prospect. Until you realize one simple thing – he is reading from the same book as you. Just maybe he made a mistake and made it seem like it’s not a mistake by using the name of God quite gliby. So if he is reading from a ‘book’ then he has to making ‘interpretations’ from that book – since these are not his thoughts or his writings. Do you speak on behalf of God? If so, how do you know your right? Just what if God tells you you’re right and another person he is right – and you’re both wrong – blame God.
(5) Tune in and Drop out
Over spiritualization – where everything has to be a part of some vast spiritual message that we have only (isn’t this a gnostic idea?). Where telling you the obvious has no place. Where being a simple human being is just not good enough. Where everything Jesus ever said has some spiritual twist to it so as to blur what he meant. Where if you’re the good samaritan then you aren’t a Samaritan, but a good holy person – like a priest or something. Where Jesus tells us to love our neighbor but this is impossible without a personal relationship with God (and all the doctrine that goes along with it). Was Jesus really that elusive? Was Jesus teaching some things that were common sense? Does Jesus want me for a sunbeam and not a human being? Are we too spiritual we are losing touch with common people?
These seem to be staples in the mainstream church – and I don’t have clue where they came from or how they got to be in the structure. But can we puhleeze get them out of the church, they are making a mockery of our faith. We could use some – how do you say – humility? Reality? Simplicity? Sincerity? Honesty?