The Eighth and Final Square

with courage face the thing you fear so the pawn becomes the queen

Oddly enough, I’ve recently found out that stepping back from the sphere of Christianity allows me to have a better grasp on the whole thing: I’m completely objective, I have no bias or leaning or anything else interfering with the way I view the Christian bible. I see things more clearly and in a new light than I did before.

(I suppose here’s where the Christians tell me “If you see it so clearly, then you’ll know it’s right!” or, “But if you’re not a Christian, you won’t be able to understand the bible.” Please, save your breath. The first statement is ridiculous, because just because I’m able to understand some things I didn’t before, it doesn’t mean I “see” it’s true. The second statement is equally ridiculous, because I was a Christian most of my life.)

Christians throw around words like “biblical standards”, “godly”, “modest”, and “purity” all the time. When those words pop into a discussion, things get slippery. What exactly are those “biblical standards” they are referring to? What exactly does “godly”, “pure”, and “modest” mean? Actually, they all mean different things to different people.

Here are a few thoughts on some different Christian beliefs:

  • It’s funny how little real love figures into those “biblical standards” Christians (usually fundamentalists) talk about.
  • Jesus never preached to anyone who wasn’t open to hearing. He never “witnessed” to anyone who didn’t want to hear. When he started talking, multitudes gathered, and if they had a problem, they either voiced it or left. No door-to-door or street-corner megaphones there! More like a gathering in the park.
  • Churches in the New Testament were for the believers to strengthen and edify one another, not to bring unsaved people in to get them saved. How many times do the churches ask you to bring in unsaved people? How about VBS…they always want the kids to bring in their unsaved friends.
  • Likewise, Jesus said to make disciples, not church converts. Making disciples requires a relationship.
  • Jesus never said anything about praying, except when he gave them the “Lord’s Prayer”. There was no prayer to pray to “get saved”. He said things like “go and sin no more”, “sell all your possessions, give to the poor, and follow me”. (Also take a look at the story of Zacchaeus…all ol’ Zach said was he was going to repay everyone he stole from, and Jesus said “salvation has come to this house”.)
  • When it comes to the heart of the matter, the two greatest commandments are love God, and love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Sounds almost like three commandments to me, actually: love God, love yourself, love your neighbor. Sort of blows the whole “J.O.Y.”, “Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself” thing out of the water, because in order to know how to love your neighbor, you have to love yourself!) Unfortunately, a lot of Christians (and especially fundamentalists) think that the most loving thing you can do is tell them how rotten of a sinner they are so they will want to be “saved”. That’s not love according to the Bible though. (Just take a look at Jesus’ life and 1 Corinthians 13.)
  • The Bible says you’ll know Christians by their fruits. Take a look at the “Fruits of the Spirit”…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Nothing about shoving your religion down someone’s throat, condemning them, pointing out their sins, shunning them, etc.
  • The only people Jesus was not at peace with were the people who had a problem with Jesus, not the people Jesus had a problem with. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” — Romans 12:18

Other thoughts I have about Christians…

It seems Christians consider themselves the most entitled beings on the planet.

  • If you mention how you don’t want “religion” shoved down your throat, nobody gets offended but the Christians.
  • Start throwing around “Xmas”, and a lot get offended that you’re “x-ing” Christ out of Christmas.
  • Say “Happy Holidays“, and Christians get offended because you’re taking away the “reason for the season“. (I hate to break it to you guys, but read those links…celebrating with trees, traditions, and gifts in December is not Christ-inspired, nor even originally thought up by Christians. Jesus never said to celebrate his birthday, either. If that’s what you want to celebrate though, then by all means do that. But stop complaining about how people are taking away the “reason for the season”. Pagans were celebrating the Winter Solstice and the birth of the son of the Sun God long before anyone even dreamed of celebrating the birth of the Christian God’s son.)
  • Christians seem to believe that the way they can convert non-Christians is to condemn them using the Christian bible, a la Ray Comfort. Seriously, if someone doesn’t believe the Christian bible to be true, how is it going to work on them to tell them if they’ve lusted after a woman, they’re going to hell just because the Christian bible says so?! (If it does “work”, how do you know it’s not because they felt shamed/pressured into it?)
  • If you talk about a celebrity or a secular blogger, so what. If you talk about a Christian blogger (usually fundamentalist), they’re being “persecuted” and “stalked”, especially if you point out the flaws in their logic. Likewise, if a Christian disagrees with someone, it’s because they’re wrong. If someone disagrees with a Christian, they’re being “persecuted” or “getting flak for telling the truth”.
  • Sometimes it seems a Christian doesn’t like what you say, it’s because you’re wrong but if you don’t like what a Christian has to say, it’s because secretly you’re being convicted by their rightness.
  • I’ve had this happen to me on multiple occasions…I’ll be in a discussion with a Christian over a Christian point of theology, from a Christian point of view (using the Christian bible, just as they are), but when they find out I don’t consider myself a Christian, suddenly everything I’ve said in the conversation is invalid and I just “don’t get it” and won’t understand anyway so there’s no use talking to me anymore.
  • A lot of Christians, if not most, will agree that Jesus said the greatest commandment is “love”, and that technically nothing else matters. But they will still fight to the death over infant vs. older-person baptism, whether or not alcohol is OK, whether or not it’s OK to eat meat, whether one should send their kids to public school, etc.
  • It seems most Christians are all for freedom of religion…if they’re the ones free to practice their religion (they’d gladly shut down all other religions). I know of a couple other religions that wish to eradicate all other religions…oddly enough, most of them have something to do with (or are also based on) the Christian bible.
  • I’ve heard Christians say it’s impossible for them to coexist with other religions because theirs is The Right Way, and their religion tells them to convert everyone. How is this that much different from Islam (other than they are converting, not killing)?
  • Christians believe their bible is true because it says itself is, but won’t accept anyone else’s sacred text as true if it says itself is true.
  • Christian fundamentalists are guilty of this, I’ve also seen first-hand: The Christian bible is to be taken literally, until there’s a study on a particular verse that they don’t really like, in which case the “original texts” are brought out and the words are parsed out. So all the verses referring to children obeying parents, parents spanking children, and homosexuality are taken absolutely literally, while other verses are parsed out to see what they “really” mean in old-time English or the “original texts”.

Please note that these may or may not apply to you or any Christians around you: they are general observations. If they don’t apply to you or any Christians around you, there’s no cause to be offended, except perhaps by your brothers and sisters who do not live in a Christlike manner. If they do apply to you, honestly evaluate yourself, don’t just write me off. “Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.” — Proverbs 18:13

Please note as well that I’m not anti-Christian. Christianity is merely the only religious base I’ve had, and thus my only point of reference. Also, none of these are referring to any of my friends, so you all are safe, and I understand you aren’t like this.

Please also note that these disclaimers have to be put in place simply because too many Christians are too sensitive.

QuicksilverQueen On November - 29 - 2011

15 Responses so far.

  1. Erika Martin says:

    So well said! All of it!

    I’m curious what you identify with now. You say you don’t consider yourself a Christian. What do you consider yourself now?

    • QuicksilverQueen says:

      I consider myself an agnostic-deist…if there’s a god, he doesn’t usually take an active part in human’s lives. (I don’t believe things like god gives children specifically.)

      • Samantha R says:

        My two cents :) Perhaps not “active” always but there has been times in my life where it was unmistakably the hand of God because nothing else made sense…
        And when you have a peace that passes all understanding, you just know it’s the Hand of God :)
        Or at least that is how it is for me. :)

  2. “Christian fundamentalists are guilty of this, I’ve also seen first-hand: The Christian bible is to be taken literally, until there’s a study on a particular verse that they don’t really like, in which case the “original texts” are brought out and the words are parsed out. So all the verses referring to children obeying parents, parents spanking children, and homosexuality are taken absolutely literally, while other verses are parsed out to see what they “really” mean in old-time English or the “original texts”.”

    You mean like, submission (insubordination) of women? Boo-yah!!!

  3. dj pomegranate says:

    “I’ve recently found out that stepping back from the sphere of Christianity allows me to have a better grasp on the whole thing” This is my experience too. I am still a Christian but not a fundie anymore and I feel like my faith is just EASIER now. I find it much more freeing to look at the Bible as a book or a sacred text rather than an Instruction Manual. I have loosened up and am finally happy and comfortable without the “Christian filter”–yes, there are doubts and uncertainties and some days I wonder if God even really exists, etc, etc, but it’s so much nicer to go about life trying to pursue love rather than always looking for ways to be offended/make people believe the way I do. Life is too short and God (by any religion!) is too big for that.

  4. Libby Anne says:

    The sad part is that you had to add the disclaimers. Really though, they only back up your point.

    And you’re right on about how if someone finds out you’re not Christian, suddenly nothing you say is valid. It’s uncanny how quickly someone doubting makes so many Christians so very uncomfortable. Like dude…not everyone believes in your religion. Deal.

  5. Brita says:

    I agree with you. There is a lot of “Christian” culture that has been mixed in with the concept of following Jesus, and much of it is contrary to the Bible or not based on any concept in the Bible. I enjoy reading this website http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/
    which points out all these oddities.

  6. Katy-Anne says:

    Here’s a Christian who agrees with ya but you already knew that. :)

  7. shadowspring says:

    dj pomegranate,

    I’m here with you!

    I have just decided NOT to go anywhere for a while. Honestly, my moments of greatest spiritual clarity have never happened in a church anyway.

    The only thing I have to get around is communion. I *love* communion, but all I really have to do is grab and friend and we’re good. =)

    Happy holidays!

  8. Samantha R says:

    You’re spot on about Christmas! If anyone does any amount of research, they’ll find the origins of Christmas are far from Christ’s birth…

    Also, just wanted to mention that I tend to view my “religion” as a relationship and thus I think it helps me to be more open-minded towards others and their “religions”.

  9. Sydney says:

    Being raised in an rather ‘unorthodox’ Christian way, as opposed to a Fundie way, I don’t like to overcomplicate things as many seem to do (i.e. what you said about changing/’interpreting’ the meaning of a verse/passage to suit one’s beliefs). I didn’t/don’t attend a ‘normal’ church most the time which makes me uber-skeptical of most…there’s a reason I’m not in any of them.
    It seems to be a natural tendency for Christians to want to debate, discuss and argue all the different theological points till the cows come home (homeschoolers too). I’m more of a proponent of focusing on the absolutes and not fretting your little head about the other things, imho. If one is a Christian, I would think they would realize that it’s not up to them to change someone’s mind (goes for anything). God’s big enough to do that Himself methinks. You made a lot of good and valid points, sad though they may be. With the “love” thing, Christians have to admit that it’s the most important if they believe the Bible is true, but that is a FARRRR cry from them actually practicing it with *whomever* they come across. As a Christian, I see that a lot, and it’s muy frustrating!

  10. Sophi Belle says:

    Hello!

    You got some points there.

    I am a Christian. I love Jesus Christ and He is my Saviour. He Saved my soul and he gives me joy and strenght to live in this crazy world.

    However, He also enlightened me not to think that because I am a Christian I am better than others. God told us to be humble! Most Christians tend to forget that.

    Also, at our church, they always preach from the Acts. They always say “As Paul the Apostle did/said/etc.”

    I think Christianity should focus on what Jesus preached HIMSELF. Should focus on Jesus, period. Not Mary, not the apostles, not some saints. Jesus is the essence of Christianity, after all. And He is often left behind.

    Jesus preached love, modesty and gentleenss.

    As a child of God, I must say that to others. I must tell them how much joy Jesus put in my heart and how good it is to have Him in my life.
    That’s how a calling to Jesus should sound, in my opinion. Not really “come and join the Penthecostal church” but “take a Bible and read the words of Jesus. He will not let you down and He will show you that He is out there, if you really mean it and whant to find out”.

    :) <3

  11. Lana Hope says:

    Your last point is the part that gets me. Fundamentalists will use the Bible literally to suppress women to not work outside the home or hold positions or authority, but when it comes to a verse they don’t like, the Bible is not so literal anymore, Lol. Glad I found your blog even if this is an old post.

  12. Pam says:

    Hi Queen,
    Much of what you’ve written about Christians is true and really, it could be applied to people in any religion, who believe their religion is the only right religion. I know people who are like that about politics too. When it comes to Christian religions, as a Chrstian, I don’t think any of them are very important one way or the other. Jesus is important to me and though Jesus attended Temple and taught there, He was in constant conflict with the religious. In fact, the religious leaders had Him put to death because He threatened their religious power. Religion gives abusive people a lot of power over others and they destroy the teachings of the Bible by manipulating them for their purposes of control. Even good-hearted believers get confused by it. For me, there is a bright red line where my faith ends and religion begins but it wasn’t always that way for me. I once had a hard time distinquishing between the two and I think psychological problems I had led me into choosing a rule-driven church. Because of my abusive childhood, I had no personal boundaries and all those rules made me feel safe but God loves me too much to allow me to settle for religion, which I now view as much less valuable than a personal relationship with God. I don’t need church to maintain that relationship but now, I do enjoy attending church and being with other believers, as an out-flowing of that relationship.(in a very different kind of church) I don’t allow any religious persons to control me and I don’t pervert my faith by trying to force, manipulate, or co-erce anyone else into believing just as I believe. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want others to know God. Knowing God is the best thing in my life and I do want that for all other people. I just know I can’t give it to anyone. There is a sacred space between all individuals and God, where no other person should insert themselves. I do feel led to testify about how Jesus fills needs in my life and how knowing Him helps me. Whatever comes of that, is up to God. Anyway…those are just the thoughts that your posts brought up for me. I’ve known a lot of different kinds of Christians in my life and a few fit the description you’ve given here but mostly, I try to take all people for the individuals they are. Every human being is unique and that is what hyper-religious people ignore and because of that, may even end up losing their own identity in the process. To me, that is anti-christ.

    Love,
    Pam

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Welcome! This is my space on the internet to explore myself and my life and find my courage to turn into a queen. My Quilt No content on this blog may be used or reproduced elsewhere without a link back.
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