Wake Up Liberal Christians!
June 6, 2009, 3:12PM
Being a Christian around here can, at times, be a pretty humbling experience. For the most part I feel like most of you regulars accept me as being a little different than the majority of Christians you know. I have good relationships with many here who are atheists or agnostics. Religion (or lack thereof) doesn't get in the way of our friendship or political discussions. I appreciate very much those who have taken the time to get to know me, and who accept me for the flawed, but "anxious to learn and improve" person that I am.
I'm not terribly preachy, never in anyone's face about their lack of belief, and have been known to make an off-color joke now and then. When I hear the words, "If only more Christians were like you..." I feel like I'm living a life that Christ would approve of. He doesn't expect me to be perfect. He certainly doesn't want me to feel like I am better than anyone else. And He absolutely doesn't want me to claim to be a follower of His, then turn around and live a greedy, self-centered, hypocritical life that would make anyone think, "Jeez, if that's what Christians are like, forget it."
There are others who suspend any attempt to be "politically correct" and are either outright hostile towards Christians, or are extremely condescending/rude. I find it interesting coming from people who are supposed to be more tolerant than the "righties" they detest. Rarely is this behavior directed at me, personally, but it does happen from time to time. Mostly I don't take it personally. Every once in awhile I get my feelings hurt, but, that's my problem...thickens the skin a little...builds character. Anyway, my point is, hypocrisy abounds on both parts of the equation. I often wonder as I'm evaluating myself, and my thoughts and behavior, do those who lump all Christians together ever think about what THEY are doing and saying? Are they aware that by shoving us all together into the same box, they are engaging in discriminatory behavior?
Not all Christians are the same. There was some discussion here recently (my apologies to whoever's post it was...I didn't bookmark it and can't find it) about liberal Christians. I think many didn't even think there WAS such a thing. The Christian movement has been hijacked by the vocal right-wing extremists to the point that when you say "Christian" many, if not most, think of Hannity and Rush and Sarah and their ilk, and don't even realize that they are only part of the story.
Whose fault is that? I would say it was the fault of liberal Christians. We have not stood up and demanded to be counted. We have not stood up and said "Enough already!" We have allowed our religion to be co-opted by the fringe. We have not held our religious "leader's" feet to the fire by DEMANDING that they practice the teachings of Jesus. We have stood by pretty much silently, thus giving tacit approval to their misrepresenting the truth lying, their hypocrisy in attempting to block universal health care while claiming to be their brother's keepers, their rabid insistence that abortion is murder, yet apparently having no problem with those who murder abortion providers or bomb their facilities, or condone torture or kill thousands of innocents, in addition to our own children, in a war that we did not HAVE to wage...
When did the Ten Commandments become the Ten Suggestions, or worse yet, multiple choice...pick which ones you want to follow?
In a recent comment I said that if I were searching for a religion to follow now, I don't know that Christianity would get a second look from me. The face of Christianity today is one of hate. Of dishonesty. Of greed. Of hypocrisy. Of exclusion. This is NOT the religion that I signed onto. I despise that we have let this happen.
As far as I'm concerned, you know a Christian by his/her actions.
But, there is a divide in the Christian Church concerning the matter of being saved. Some say once saved, always saved, others say you can lose your salvation by the way you live your life. We are never going to know for sure until we meet our maker face to face.
Perhaps those who believe once saved, always saved, think that just because they have asked Jesus into their hearts, they can now do whatever they want...they have their ticket to Heaven, so whatever they do now, they are covered.
But I contend that you can, indeed, lose your salvation through your actions, and these right-wing whackos that go around spreading lies, tearing people down, murdering abortion providers, denying people the most basic of human rights (i.e. health care) and generally behave in a manner that I am SURE makes our Lord cringe had better start doing some serious soul searching. And if they are smart, they'll err in favor of believing they CAN lose their salvation, because it may help them to think twice before acting the way they act. We are told by our Lord that we are to do NOTHING that will cause another to stumble in their faith. If we, as a group, behave in ways that bring disdain on our Lord, are we not causing them to stumble? Do we not have an OBLIGATION to behave in a way that brings glory, not ridicule to our Lord?
I love my Lord with all my heart, and the poor behavior of my fellow Christians is NEVER going to change that. But those of us who believe that the vocal minority of whacko Christians are ruining Christianity, have an obligation to change what is happening. So "WAKE UP LIBERAL CHRISTIANS!" To do any less is to agree with what they are doing. And then we have to be willing to accept responsibility for what they have done.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thank you, stillidealistic at Talking Points Memo