As some readers of my blog know, I enjoy a good discussion with atheists, quite regularly they drop the “religious people do...” or “religion is the cause of …“.  When I shared this photo recently, I annoyed quite a few atheists, some who called me ignorant for the fact that the image claims Atheism is a religion!

wars

Then one person claimed Adolf Hitler considered himself a Christian, if this quote and image is true

adolf

I received that picture because I asked on twitter

“Has the term “Christian” sunk so low that people really think Hitler was one?! He hated Jews!”

I was then further informed “Christian and “Anti-Semitism” are not exclusive and that many Popes, Augustine and Lutherans are Anti-Semitic?! If you know your history, you will know about the crusades, Christians trying to reclaim “the Holy Lands” and massacring Muslims who were in the way!

In more recent history, Christians have failed to show the love Christ told us to express, “Christianity” has been blamed for killing leelah alcorn (or josh if you were his parents) I discussed with my wife about how she would react to one of our children telling us they were lesbian/gay/Bi or Trans and I got the reply:-

“I would rather have a gay or bisexual child than a dead one!”

And she is right, I don’t know how the parents of the teenage Alcorn really reacted, but if they loved them, supported them as a person, even if they disagreed with how the young person felt in themselves, then surely that is all they could have done and should have done!

The name “Christian” has also been used in a way it shouldn’t have, according to wikipedia it means

“A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheisticreligion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. “Christian” derives from the Koine Greek word Christós (Χριστός), a translation of theBiblical Hebrew term mashiach.[1]

A Christian shouldn’t be:-

  • A Jew Hater (Jesus wasn’t!)
  • A Bully
  • Someone who uses another person for selfish sexual gratification (FSOG)
  • Self-righteous (plank and speck, he without sin)
  • Someone who forces their beliefs on others (living a godly life is much more effective!)
  • Ritualistic in following holy days, named after martyrs, (Jesus observed passover, not days celebrating prophets or saints!)
  • Someone who follows strict rituals without really knowing why they do it
  • Judgemental

Christians should be

  • Loving
  • Accepting of all
  • Willing to get out of their comfort zone and meet people where they are, not expecting them to come into church
  • Forgiving

In some Arabic countries, missionaries going there to help refugees, education and healthcare say “I am a follower of Christ’s teachings” as the termChristianhas the wrong connotations.

Very recently, there has been a lot of violence by “religious” people, Muslim “radicals” killing cartoonists and Christians.  The issue is if Christian Pastors react (as some have) with threatening to burn the Koran etc then the image of Christianity is tarnished even more!  An Australian comedian even Challenged Westboro Baptist Church members to stop picketing funerals and put their money where their mouth is and fly to meet ISIS! Apart from the swearing, that challenge was a right one to set!

If a Christian is someone like

  • Hitler
  • A gay-basher
  • A multi-millionaire tele-evangelist
  • A rich person who refuses to help the poor
  • A misogynist

Then I no longer want to be called one! I am gonna be a “follower of Christ’s life and Teaching“. Jesus didn’t start a cult, he didn’t want followers of laws, as Romans 5 v 20 says “there was sin before the law, but laws just made more sinners!” (you cannot break a rule if it doesn’t exist) God’s grace abounds so freely, even Paul knew that if justice was served, his persecution of the followers of Jesus would mean he would be punished heavily, but God chose to turn this around and use him as an encourager! Jesus gave a new commandment to “love one another as he loved us“, what part of his life allows us to think we can hate, condemn mistreat, or attack other people?

Last night, the following happened

CRASH! (I  go upstairs)

“what was that?”

“he jumped off my bed into the box” (child points at a plastic box with stuff in covered by daughters dressing gown)

“why?!”

“Because no one told me not to!”

“Sorry?! Do you really need to be told not to do that?”

“Yes”

I had to try very hard to not call that a stupid thing to do but I was gobsmacked! I know parents have similar experiences but are we all like this? Doing stupid things and then saying to God “you didn’t say I couldn’t?” I am surprised that God felt the need to say “do not murder“, but the human desire to lie or desire things which are not ours is one that is not so easy to avoid.  As time went by, the Levitical laws were created, some make sense, others we now question in our modern hindsight. But Jesus commandment to love is all that we need, 1 Corinthians 13 says something like this

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love is slowly losing your mind

it doesn’t brag, it isn’t haughty,

it forgives us when we’re naughty

it isn’t selfish or rude,

it will always share food

it isn’t grumpy, doesn’t record sin

wants us regardless, fat or thin.

It rejoices when truth prevails

and like Christ it never fails

Love survives throughout trials of our lives

love believes and looks for the best

even when life’s a mess

If Christ is the groom and we are the bride,

Lets all love and put hate aside!

I am not rich, I am not a really charismatic speaker, but all I can do is try to read my bible, listen to God’s direction and live as close as possible to how Jesus did without claiming to be what I am not!  SO

“Goodbye, religious, ritualistic Christianity! Hello Christ’s way!”

 

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