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A Letter

June 9, 2009 2 comments

Unfortunately, for the first time in my life, that I can remember, I’ve taken an opportunity to educate myself, though not very thoroughly, about the “other side of the issue.”  For far too long, people claiming to be followers of Christ, myself included, have been, for lack of a better term, slinging mud on anyone who is not “in” with Jesus.  I have little experience with debating, but I’m pretty sure that it is foolish to enter a debate without sufficient information from both sides of the issue.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about in a very narrow sense, the idea is such that, anyone outside the Churches of Christ is hell-bound, and in a broader scope, those without any kind of Christian affiliation suffer the same plight.  And those of us who are the religious elite, somewhere along the line, decided that the way of Christ is one in which we are obliged to sling mud at those who deny God completely, while at the same time firing religious, doctrinally charged bombs at anyone who doesn’t do the right things.

There have been two books that I’ve read in the past few weeks that had a massive impact on the very foundations of “how I’ve always done things.”  The first, A New Kind of Christian has affirmed the questions I’ve had for several years in that those of us who are seriously committed to following Christ must do things differently.  The old, established saying, “It’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t fly in my book.  At some point we’ve got to get our heads out of the sand and realize we are the ones standing in the way of people knowing  who the true Christ is.  His love hasn’t been able to break through our dogmas and piety.  Sam Harris’ book, Letter to a Christian Nation was a sobering read in that arena.

The summary:  I’m done slinging mud.  I think it’s a waste of time to drag other people, groups, religions, whatever you’d like to call it, just so I look a little bit better or gain some sort of higher ground.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ.  One of his central teachings is that he came to serve and not be served.  What that means for me; I will not longer bash my religious (any and all religious affiliations) brothers and sisters for the ways in which they’re wrong and I’m right.  I will also no longer bash my non-religious (agnostics, atheists, etc.) brothers and sisters for their denial of a being of whom I have no way of factually proving his existence.

Now, I move to the steps I will take in an effort to be an agent of change here and now.  With every fiber of my being, I desire to stand against injustice.  I will engage in relationship with all who are willing.  My goal is not to proselytize, rather, befriend.  I think a language we all can speak is one of friendship.  We all need good, authentic friends and that translates across all racial, economic, religious and non-religious boundaries.  I vow to be totally different.  I will continue to follow Christ in as best as this mortal body allows and I will not allow my “religious convictions” to be a conductor of human suffering.

This, is a conversation that will continue and I would love to begin to open up those lines as an agent of change, a new way of living, bringing a new and better life for everyone, not in the distant future, but right here, right now.

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