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  #1  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:07 PM
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Default Christianity as I thought it was supposed to be........

This is what I thought Christianity was supposed to be like:

Dear World: Sorry we weren’t there for you. Sincerely, the church.

DEAR WORLD:

It’s understandable if you don’t think that we in the church understand you, “get you,” or even like you. After all, you see our Summit-sized buildings, soaring steeples, SUV filled parking lots scattered around our city while Christians lead the fight to eradicate social services that you need to live. With looming budget cuts for schools essential for your children’s wholeness and health, Texas’ Christians instead deemed as “emergencies” legislative agenda you perhaps thought was ridiculously off-task. I would understand if you didn’t think Christians didn’t like you if you are new to the area and came without papers, or if you were born with an “unnacceptable” sexual orientation; because many don’t like you.

As the world rages in turmoil & violence, struggles over limited resources and massive changes in weather patterns, unemployment and foreclosures, we in the church might appear not to notice. Take for instance what my fellow blogger Ken Chitwood points out in his blog this week: that some Christians have decided the core issue we need to catalyze our resources around and work diligently to pursue is whether or not heaven and hell exist. Important, sure. But perhaps, if we listened to you, we would hear this is not the most helpful use of our time.

For all this and more, ”We’re sorry.” We haven’t been there for you when you needed help in the messiness of life. You needed a ride to the doctor and we were splitting theological hairs. Your son is scared now that daddy is back from Iraq, lashing out in anger and fright at the slightest sound; and we needed to know who was right. Undocumented, you live in an immigrant community riddled with crime but don’t feel safe calling our police; and we’re concerned about how many chances you’ll get to “receive Jesus” after you die before our god sends you to hell. You’re living in hell as a victim of human trafficking held against your will and forced to perform unspeakable duties here in Houston, the nations slavery capital; but we wonder aloud if your hell will continue after you die.

I apologize. Please forgive us. This is not the way we are supposed to be. You see, our leader and namesake, Jesus Christ, would understand you if he were here. He would “get” that you are ostracized and feel bullied. He would know if the choices you’ve made, even if they are illegal or unethical at times, were the best thing you knew to do to put food on your kids table. He would understand how bad it feels to be passed by on the street and not noticed. He would totally understand you if you told him your religious leaders weren’t there for you.

And, he would like you. A lot. He wouldn’t waste your time with the afterlife when you are consumed with making it in this life. He talked a lot about love. Loving ourselves, loving our neighbors, and even loving our enemies. He’s pretty good at that. I’m sorry you don’t always experience us, his followers, in the same way. His vision of the world and we humans in it was that everyone would have enough: enough food, enough stuff, enough community and love. Perhaps if we were better at loving you like he asked, it would make more sense when we invite you to love God. Our most important book says that “God loved the world,” and I deeply hope you know God’s love whether you feel love from Jesus’ followers or not.

If you need anything, let us know.

Sincerely,
A follower of Jesus

Marty Troyer tries to “get” you as pastor of Houston Mennonite Church where he practices loving people as they are. You can follow him on Twitter as ThePeacePastor.

Dear World: Sorry we weren’t there for you. Sincerely, the church. | The Peace Pastor | a Chron.com blog
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:31 PM
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while i understand that poeople are willing -"to call to the concepts" a phase which consists of speaking about something or even acting upon it without the feelings that should go with it.
You are looking for a show of hands carrying out a service that basiclly walks the walk & talks the talk with greatness of it inside them.
i have met many struggling with their faith & considering that which the church supports as a goal to obtain. you are not likely to feel that i am wise,but I truely think that most "Churches" [Synagoges,Mosques,ect.} are doing what you claim you do not see.
Where is the love & understanding?
Right with you! it is inside you that is most important. it seems you have a willingness to share.
Remember a great source of inspiration starts with one idea. Those who find it wise & employ it bring it to life. Those who repond to it as a importance keep it being seen.
Example=Martin Luther King. 1 man & a great concept. While he voiced his opinion & encouraged those around him it was a "Good" idea. In the end it was the people who gave it the importance & put power to his words!
Since I believe 1st & foremost on accountability. Your statement of the church needing to do something is questionable. it is the community & not just 1 faction. It is a understanding that the beliefs they have may not always "shine" & that it would be a better world if it did if we all could see it that way.
I try to respond to the goodness in my heart. You may never see me in your lifetime,but I do not wait for the church to tell me. My covenent with god is well rooted deep down inside.
So, I guess you can say I take my church with me!
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:35 PM
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Huh, the more I see what should be "genuine Christianity", the more it creeps me out.

Sounds like more self-pity from the Christian community to me.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gjallarhorn View Post
Huh, the more I see what should be "genuine Christianity", the more it creeps me out.

Sounds like more self-pity from the Christian community to me.
How did you get self pity out of this?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gjallarhorn View Post
Huh, the more I see what should be "genuine Christianity", the more it creeps me out.

Sounds like more self-pity from the Christian community to me.
The closest thing to genuine Christianity is Messianic Judaism, the original pre-Roman stuff.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2011, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
How did you get self pity out of this?
I read a lot of "I'm sorry"s. Sorry doesn't help these people. Action does.

Claiming it was self-pity might have been a bit strong, but I have bad memories of Christians again getting caught up in their own failures of helping others instead of helping others.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:10 PM
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Well, it read to me as if the writer was apologizing for how all those 'other' Christians are interpreting their scripture, not for what he himself had done or not done. Just my 2c, of course.
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gjallarhorn View Post
I read a lot of "I'm sorry"s. Sorry doesn't help these people. Action does.

Claiming it was self-pity might have been a bit strong, but I have bad memories of Christians again getting caught up in their own failures of helping others instead of helping others.
To me, the fact that we're seeing a Christian calling attention to this is a good sign.

I know from working in the non-profit sector that there are a lot of Christians who spend an incredible amount of their free time and other resources doing nothing but helping people. Thing is they do it quietly, they don't make a big show of it, and they certainly don't make the front page of the newspapers.

Problem with that is that the visible face of Christianity in Western society is that of the televangelists, or the out and out nut jobs like Fred Phelps (not saying those are mutually exclusive groups mind you).

You would never read or hear anyone from either of these groups making the kind of admissions the author of the letter in the OP is making.

To me it sounds like Marty Troyer is telling the rest of the Christian community that it' time to start practicing what they preach. I don't see how that can be a bad thing.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:30 PM
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I like the Mennonites. I think it would be great if all the millions of Christians whose faith goes beyond narcissistic self-interest ("if I am careful to act like these people in public, I will go to heaven!"), and embodies the spirit of Christ (as expressed in his commandment to "love your neighbour") would be a little more "out and proud" about it, to borrow a phrase.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Shermana View Post
The closest thing to genuine Christianity is Messianic Judaism, the original pre-Roman stuff.
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