Thursday, March 05, 2009

Warning: May Contain Offensive Material

First off, I will discuss religion and world views with anyone at any time, ( unless I am sleeping ). I don't really care if you have a different opinion, I will not be offended. ( as long as you don't mind being wrong.....ok, bad joke). I most likely won't be swayed in my beliefs and am not trying to sway your beliefs, merely interested in knowing what other people believe and how they got to that belief system.

My beef is with Christianity today. From my perspective, Christianity is a relationship with the one who created me. I constantly hear from preachers, teacher, disciplers about how terrible we are as people, and how we have fallen away from God and His plan, and how we need salvation and sometimes they mention a renewed relationship.

Ok, I agree with those foundational beliefs, ( I can't say that I fully understand all of the nitty gritty details involved there, and am still searching for truth, ...challenge me there if you want to. In fact, challenge me on any of this).

BUT, once we renew that relationship with God, sure we continue to make mistakes, but now I am free, and you don't have to keep telling me what a horrible person I am and that I am filled with sin etc.

Kind of like riding a bike. I have failed a lot. I have crashed, I have gotten dehydrated, heat exhaustion, and more. But no one points to those events and says" Stephen, you are a bike racer, but you are also a dehydrated, heat exhausted, crashing, ER fodder, bike racer". Instead the people who care about me say stuff like", hey, good luck, you can do it, go for it, good job".

How many times have I heard a sermon where the preacher said something like that?: " Good job people, you guys rock, you have so much potential, you can love your neighbor like yourself, stop whining and asking God for strength, direction, etc. He has already given that to you and you know what you need to do, and you can do it, so go do it!!!!" I have never heard such a sermon or teaching.

Back to riding a bike. I am racing endurance now because 3 years ago, someone said to me" You should consider racing, you have the skill, go practice and race".

I was enabled. So, I am saying to my fellow people: " You should love your neighbor, you have what it takes, you know what to do, go do it".

Have a great day!


Chris said...

You must be Lutheran. Or Catholic. Baptist? :-)

Butch Greene said...

Are you getting your sermon down on the corner? I've been a member at 2 Baptist churces here and both were very positive and uplifting. Not sure what church you attend, but if that's what you hear, you should visit another church.

The best thing is the just read the Bible with an open mind. Better yet, grab a book by Max Lucada. No way you get that negativity from his readings. :- )

My name is Stephen said...

Chris, I'm not sure, maybe all three and then some...???

Butch, I'm not singling out one church, but a thought pattern that seems to be prevalent in Christianity

Chris said...

Ha, Stephen, I was just kidding. It's been interesting in the past two decades to see how the Evangelical movement has influenced the more traditional churches -- on the one hand, traditional churches have become more liberal in their incorporation of alternative methods of teaching (play acting, new hymns, open services, etc.), but on the other it seems there's been a conservative backlash in their dogma. We're at a weird crossroads here in the upper Midwest, with all three Lutheran branches represented in a very small geographic area, plus strains of Catholicism I didn't even know existed, plus all the interesting Eastern European Christians, not to mention all the other Protestants ... and that's *not* including the VERY large Jewish and Muslim populations here!

My name is Stephen said...

oh yeah, that is some interesting stuff going on.
I know you were kidding, not at all offended!!

jimbo said...

We share the same soapbox buddy. It's almost a recipe for creating an emotional response:
a dash of shock;
a pinch of awe;
aggressively wisk in a heap of shame...