“Christians have always tended to transform the Christian Revelation into a Christian religion. Christianity is said to be a religion like any other or, conversely, some Christians try to show that it is a better religion than the others. People attempt to take possession of God. Theology claims to explain everything, including the being of God. People tend to transform Christianity into a religion because the Christian faith obviously places people in an extremely uncomfortable position that of freedom guided only by love and all in the context of God’s radical demand that we be holy.” –Jacques Ellul
We Christians really are a faithless bunch. Want to send the average Christian – particularly a Christian like a pastor or church elder – into a nervous sweat? Tell them, “Jesus said the world would know his disciples by how loving they are” without adding any qualifiers at the end. No mention of morality or the need for correction. In fact, if you want to send them into a dead faint, point out that the biblical definition of love doesn’t include correction, purity or virtue.
Or tell them that you’ve decided to take Jesus’ instruction not to judge literally. From here on out you’re just going to take a live and let live approach. A person’s choices are between them and God so you’ll just leave the judging to God. You may want to bring smelling salts. If they’re still standing, you can add in that Jesus said we should be perfect like God who causes the rain to fall and the sun to shine on the good and evil alike. So you think we should help anyone in need without regard to whether they deserve it or not. And no making loans – if you’re going to help someone, you need to do it without expecting repayment. That should finish the job.
You could suggest that instead of fighting to protect our rights, Christians should follow Jesus’ teachings and example and refuse to fight. Let the other side defeat us without resisting it. They’ll either give you a blank, uncomprehending stare or quickly escort you off the premises. On the way out you could add in that God doesn’t really care if you receive or keep what you’ve earned through hard work. Just to make sure you’re never invited back.
Of course, not all Christians are like this. There’s a growing segment of Christians who already have a live and let live attitude. They work hard to be loving, accepting and willing to lose. Not that they have it all together either. Try telling them that no one has a right to inflict the horror of fatherlessness on another human being, so Christians are morally obligated to refrain from sex outside of marriage and to encourage others to do the same. Tell them its a matter of social justice. Be prepared to witness much equivocating. Continue reading