October 9th, 2007 by Sonja

… or how Christians have gotten it wrong lately.

I was tagged by Julie (who was tagged by the eminent Bro. M.) in a new meme, based upon the book, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity… and Why It Matters. For some good thinking on the book and the meme, you should go to Bro.M’s post … he’s very thorough. Much more so than I.

Here is the gist of it … as few as 10 years ago Christianity had a good name. Now, not so much. For the meme we are to list three negatives of the Christian religion that is all too prevalent and then 1 positive of the faith that we wish were more abundant.

Negatives …

Christians are cherry-pickers. They pick and choose which parts of the Bible they’re going to pay attention to on any given day of the week. Ferinstance, they’re all for the right to life. When it’s in the womb. Once you’re out and breathing though, by god, you’d better take care of yourself. Welfare is for slackers and lie-a-beds. You want to kill all the killers too. Nuke the towelheads. The death penalty is our God-given right. There are consequences to sin and you’d better be prepared to pay ’em in this life and in the next.

138 - ASBO Jesus

Christians are always right and Right. Jesus is a Republican. Or he would be if were here today. Your salvation is in question if you vote Democrat. No lie. Christians should be involved in politics as long as those politics are conservative … make that reactionary. And you should always have an answer that is right, as in correct. Be able to answer every question, even those that are never asked. When you’re always right, no one can ever question you. Nice place to be, yeah? No conversation there …

Christians like to live in ivory towers, closeted away from the stains of the world. They listen to “Godly” music. They raise “Godly” children. They have “Godly” chatchkes. They have “Godly” friends. Their children marry “Godly” spouses. Can someone tell me what that means? Everything is carefully controlled and contrived. They have Harvest parties so their children won’t be tainted by Halloween … but it all looks the same, it just has a different name. We’re just fooling ourselves.

Here’s what I think … I think the three things I mentioned above stem from one thing. Fear. And Jesus came to set us free from fear. So here’s what I wish I would see in the Christian faith more abundantly … freedom.

I would love to see Christians living freely. Giving freely. Living with open hands in a closed fisted world. I would love to see those of us follow Jesus living in His freedom … smiling, laughing, dancing, giving, loving, and living openly, honestly. Being who we are without masks. Being Jesus to a frightened world. Imagine that for a moment. What a wonderful world it would be …

I’d love to hear the thoughts of Bill Kinnon, Erin Word, David Fisher, and Kay Paris on this subject.

10 Responses  
  • K.W. Leslie writes:
    October 9th, 20074:03 pmat

    Well, for now you get the thoughts of Kent Leslie.

    Ten years ago was 1997, and American Christianity was seen as a bastion of right-wing nutjobs even then. Same as 1987. Not so much in 1977. The president at the time was a born-again left-winger, and Falwell was just in the beginning stages of organizing the Christian Right.

    The Right has always been fear-based. That’s why it resists change. The political Christians were resisting change too, but not because it was change per se; it was because many of the changes they saw in society were immoral. Different causes, same effect, so they made the assumption that they were on the same side. It was a foolish assumption too. Quite a lot of the Gospel consists of what many might consider Lefty behavior. Loving everyone? Sharing worldly possessions with the poor? Forgiveness of even the worst offenses? Radical equality and brotherhood among the races and genders? Care for and outreach to the world outside our borders? In fact, I can’t really think of anything in the Gospel that the Right would embrace… except that Jesus loves children. (But most of the time you have to replace “children” with “unborn children.”)

    Christians had a better name when we transcended politics. Now we don’t. We got down in the gutter with the rest of the world and came out soiled and miserably entangled. The Christian Left naively thinks it is above politics solely because it’s not the Christian Right. The Christian Right thinks it’s above politics because it’s willing to critique the Republicans or even leave the party… but if it were really above politics some of them would have no qualms about joining the Democrats. Instead they’re talking third party. (Well, that’s one way to leave politics — join a group that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of getting elected.)

    And all the politicking does nothing to further the Gospel; it simply soils the title of Christian and makes everyone assume we don’t want to share the love of Jesus; we just want to tell them how we’re right and they’re wrong. Half my evangelism lately consists of hurdling all the political critiques of the Church (largely by agreeing with them). It makes me tired.

    See what you made me do — I just ranted all over your blog.

  • Sonja writes:
    October 9th, 20074:08 pmat

    LOL … well … ya know what happens when ya wrestle with the pigs?

    You both get muddy and the pigs like it. 😀

  • Sonja writes:
    October 9th, 20074:14 pmat

    I should also say, “Welcome aboard.”

    You’re bang on … and rant away. It’s interesting reading.

  • Julie Clawson writes:
    October 9th, 200711:23 pmat

    Thanks for playing. The cherry-picker thing really gets to me too.

  • Che V. writes:
    October 10th, 200712:12 amat

    I’ve been wrestling with this for a few weeks now…how to leave the right and wrong thinking..and walk in freedom.
    I find that the moment I begin to walk in freedom, there are so many ‘christians’ who want to take it away.
    I feel tired…wrestling with myself to look at things differently, wrestling with other believers cause I’m not acting the way they think is acceptable, and wrestling just to survive this crazy, mixed-up world…
    Sorry, guess your article touched a nerve..or four…

  • kay writes:
    October 10th, 200710:38 pmat

    I missed your taggin of me. I shall blog about this posthaste.

  • Erin writes:
    October 11th, 20071:43 amat

    Dang I missed that you tagged me…I’ll try to get to it tomorrow.

  • Paul writes:
    October 11th, 20071:53 pmat

    Thanks Sonja, we’re a flawed bunch :)

  • Jarred writes:
    October 11th, 20075:27 pmat

    Insightful as always. I hope many people listen to you.

  • Erin writes:
    October 13th, 200712:44 amat

    OK I did it. Thanks for the tag, this was a good one.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa