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Christianity as I thought it was supposed to be........

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Engyo, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    6,386
    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
     
    Songbird and elmarna like this.
  2. elmarna

    elmarna New Member

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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!
     
  3. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    9,781
    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.
     
    elmarna likes this.
  4. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey Staff Member Premium Member

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    How did you get self pity out of this? :shrug:
     
  5. Shermana

    Shermana Heretic

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    10,814
    The closest thing to genuine Christianity is Messianic Judaism, the original pre-Roman stuff.
     
    Kodanshi likes this.
  6. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    9,781
    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.
     
  7. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    6,386
    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.
     
  8. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey Staff Member Premium Member

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    42,940
    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.
     
  9. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    26,030
    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.
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    :biglaugh:
     
  11. elmarna

    elmarna New Member

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    1,414
    Engyo-
    That is what is so interseting. While each 1 of use reads it & interperts it in his own perspectives they are not feeling emotion from the page. We tend to colour it in with our own. So with the beliefs,objectivity, & feelings we have i am never quite sure if the origianal intent gets lost.
    I can see it your way. Once you spoke of it & i re read it I could see where you could look at it that way.
    THANKS
     
  12. Shermana

    Shermana Heretic

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    10,814
    Why do you laugh Sojourner? Because groups like the Ebionites prove it to be true?

    You're laughing in the face of the current scholarly concensus that Jesus was a reactionary Jew. The Lawless movements didn't really get into full swing until Marcion's day.

    The Romans originally didn't even consider Jews and Christians to be any different. Any scholar will tell you that the original Church was a Jewish sect and a Torah obedient sect.
     
  13. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend Staff Member Premium Member

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    At any rate... I don't think the Laugh was called for one way OR the other.

    How about an explanation why it's 'laughable'?
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    :sleep:

    Xy has changed over the course of time, because that's what it was designed to do. I understand the whole "Jesus was a reactionary Jew" thing. I've been to seminary. What you're pushing, though, is a static religion, based upon some kind of ancient orthodoxy and orthopraxis. Jesus showed no such orthopraxis when he healed the man on the Sabbath. He showed no such orthodoxy when he assumed that he could forgive sin. Jesus' very existence shows a departure from such traditional religious paradigms. Xy isn't *supposed* to be a religion -- it's a movement that can (and has) be/been applied to many cultures and religions.

    Therefore, your whole idea that there's some sort of "real" Xian is unfounded.
     
  15. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend Staff Member Premium Member

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    4,522

    Quoted for Truth.



    That is what I've seen in the answers that Jesus give to the Pharisees and Sadducees.
    They talk in very legalistic ways, and Jesus, imo, seems to be tapping them on the shoulder with his answers and saying that would shouldn't forget WHY we Practice as well and not get lost in WHAT/HOW we Practice.

    This is a Meister Eckhart quote that keeps it very concisely said:
    By no means am I suggesting that ritual isn't important, but to me it's about the intention. I'm always surprised when someone at Church apologizes for missing a Wednesday service, as we're a smaller tight group, because they were volunteering to feed people or something along those lines. To which I say, 'HEY! It's be great it we ALL weren't here for that reason!'

    :namaste
    SageTree
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    the Sabbath was made for humanity -- not humanity for the Sabbath...
     
  17. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend Staff Member Premium Member

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    And from that I'm to infer?


    (please try to keep it short and sweet)
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Ritual is about the intention -- not the nuts and bolts.
     
    SageTree likes this.
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Here's the quote:
    What's laughable is the "coincidence" that "genuine Xy" is what he professes to practice. It's also laughable to think that Xy is, in any sense "pre-Roman," since Jesus was born, lived, taught, and died during the Roman occupation.
    Third, it's laughable to assume that there even is a "genuine" Xy in terms of anyof the cultural expressions of it.
     
  20. Shermana

    Shermana Heretic

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    10,814
    So what you're saying is that Christianity isn't supposed to be what it originally was.

    Who had the right doctrine during the early ages?

    You can call my doctrine "Static", I just believe that what's right is right and never changes. Do you believe women should lead church services as opposed to what Paul wrote? If so, what year exactly did this change take place? Was their prophetic inspiration involved?

    Where is a handy list of what rules are still applicable and what rules aren't?

    PS Healing a man on the Sabbath, the message was "You can save people's lives on the Sabbath", not "You can mine coal".

    I assume you've read the verse that says "Pray that your flight does not take place in the Winter or on the Sabbath day". Perhaps Winter because it's hard to navigate, but on the Sabbath day, there are gentile towns all over to have shelter in. PS This fleeing would take place well after his death as well as Paul.

    Anyone can clearly see that Jesus forbade breaking running on the Sabbath, but stated that saving one's animal or healing a man is allowable. Even today, Rabbis allow Surgery on the Sabbath. Otherwise, he would have been rightfully stoned to death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
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