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.