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MY INTERNAL CONFLICT .....


There seems to be a very strange melding of Christianity and the promotion of violence that I don't understand.  It completely misrepresents Christ, the Bible and the God I know.  Not that I KNOW God any more than anyone else, but I do pray and I do believe in his existence and I do believe that he is involved in human history and in our individual lives.  My conflict is this ... how can one profess to call oneself a Christian and approve the use of violence as though God would approve it and then use the Bible to endorse it?  I find it quite arrogant, not to mention hypocritical. 

Case in point:  

I have received this little gem on my Facebook wall more than once. 

and another ...

 
First of all, President Obama is THE PRESIDENT.  As for you and your AK-47 loaded and ready .... please.  And where do you get the idea that no one is going to protect you? 

These types of depictions really bother me.  

1.   WHY should every American know how to use a gun?  Are you afraid that the Taliban are going to storm your condo and make you convert to Allah?
 
2.   How is one supposed to USE the Bible?  I would suggest you read the Gospels where NOWHERE does Christ endorse the use of violence nor the twisting of scripture to ones own agenda.  In fact, he calls out the Pharisees for the very same thing. 
 
3.   Why should this be taught in schools?  I would think that along with reading, writing and arithmetic, teaching kindness, consciousness and doing unto others would be more amenable to producing decent human beings.  Not holding a Bible in one hand and a pistol in the other.

Forgive my sarcasm .... but I posted this on my Facebook page:







And immediately had comments.  One individual asked me if I was for real.  Another said that my post was silly, another gave me two thumbs down, and another went off and informed me that the Democrats would have crucified him too, as would the Republicans, the Libertarians, etc., et al.  And to be perfectly honest, I posted it to get people angry.  But then when I read the comments I felt bad because I did not feel good about inflaming others.  I merely wanted to point out the hypocrisy that exists amongst some Christian people (please note the "some" in the previous sentence).  But all I did was the same thing as others who do not like or agree with what I believe.  I don't like getting posts like the ones I posted above.  Or pictures asking me to repost if I love Jesus.  As if Christ is a fad or a club one wants to belong to.  It demeans who Christ is.  It makes a mockery of Jesus and his life.  Honk if you love Jesus.

Christ's message was one of transformation.  Living as Christ did .... and not living from a dualistic point of view or according to strict and rigid dogmatic rules.  Whatever your religious background, to condemn anyone else's religious beliefs is inherently wrong.  And to tell others their belief system is in error, also wrong.  And to believe that religion and guns go hand-in-hand, again wrong.  We cannot live with an "us" and "them" attitude because it invalidates what Jesus said and did. Christ did not come here to promote any "religion" ... he came to show us how to LIVE. To be forgiving, kind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. There can be no transformation of self if you are too caught up in dogma and literalism. To put more value in the words on the page than actually LIVING the words on the page does not promote personal transformation. 

To place a gun next to the bible as shown above is to me sacrilegious.  To suggest that this ideology should be taught in school is even worse.  And I seriously doubt that Christ would agree with this ideology as well.  It's either one or the other people.  You cannot profess to be a Christian and also be pro-violence.  Especially in the name of God. 

I did not read the "Left Behind" series because right off the bat there was a war mentality where those left behind were arming themselves against coming Armageddon.  The idea that killing in the name of God is justified and something God would endorse is something I do not agree with.  All you have to do is look at history since the beginning of time.  Violence has NEVER solved anything nor converted anyone.


People miss the message.  KINDNESS.  LOVE.  DO UNTO OTHERS.  That's it. 

 
This ideology has also become, for some people, deeply ingrained in American nationalism.  Love of country, love of God.  But it has become quite twisted.  How can the Christian love America but hate the homosexual?  Or the illegal alien?  Instead of looking at the homosexual as an abomination, one should perhaps try to look at the homosexual as the Samaritan.  Another human being, not from your particular tribe, but a human being nonetheless.  Jesus loved the outcast, the throw-aways, those who were different.  Why would he associate with these lowly people?  Why would he love them, forgive them, empower them?  AS AN EXAMPLE TO US.  To show US how to treat others.  Could this be what He meant when he told us to love our enemies?  Those that think differently than you do?  Those who live differently than you do?  Those you judge?  Those you hate?  Jesus said that the way we judge others is how we will be judged.  That right there is enough to scare the crap outta me.    
 
I find it very disturbing that many who profess to be Christian are eager to go to war, eager to send the alien back where he came from, blame the uneducated by judging them as unmotivated and condemning the poor as lazy.  Jesus would do the exact opposite.  He would love and welcome all.  Without condemnation. 
 
Transformation.  Transform YOURSELF. 
I am by no means perfect.  But to hate/judge/condemn anyone different than myself is a sin.  Jesus did not condemn, therefore no one should condemn.  The attitude of being a patriot and a Christian, bible in one hand, AK-47 in the other, disturbs me greatly.  It is NOT how we should live.  It is NOT the attitude we should have. 
 
The peacemakers who came to this earth from Gandhi to Martin Luther King were all assassinated.  Why is that?  Because they made society look at themselves?  Transforming oneself takes courage.  To examine ourselves honestly takes courage.  And to actually change oneself is courageous and honorable. 
 
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
 
Matthew 25:35      
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.


Remember Who died for you.  Remember what He said.  Imitate what He did.  IF you truly do that then perhaps humanity can make progress ... one person at a time.

Comments

  1. Excellent post.
    i keep it simple, if you believe in God, or Allah or Mother Nature or Papa Smurf, whatever it may be, remember that it is love.
    That's all.

    Plus, someone needs to tell that b*tch with the gun that she has the exact same police protection and the exact same military protection as the President, so she needs to take a seat and have a rethink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Above comment is from my friend Bob. Thank you my friend. I deleted first post due to an error and reposted, deleting your comment - so I recopied and posted it and it came up as if it is MY comment (ugh) ... As always, thank you for commenting. Glad you GOT IT.
      XOXO

      Delete
  2. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Just beautiful Debbie! Wonderful read to start my friday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your comments Diane!!! MEANS SO MUCH TO ME that you agree.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not a religious person, in fact, I'm a lapsed Catholic, which in my opinion is the best kind of Catholic to be. However, I agree with you 100%. People hide behind "religion" and skew things to justify their hatred. True Christians are people who accept others, regardless of their background or beliefs, and act lovingly to the best of their ability. No one is perfect. No religion is perfect.
    When you think about how America (and Canada) was formed, people fleeing Europe to avoid religious persecution just show up in a few boats and decide to just take over the land and begin indoctrinating the surviving locals, it's mind boggling. People still have that mentality! Here, let me shove my beliefs down your throat. It's crazy. And it seems like lately, it's a whole lot crazier.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much, Deb. I'm a Canadian, an atheist, and a Jew, and I thought that your post hit it out of the ball park. I have nothing but respect for how you defined the twisted logic and hypocritical ideology (if one can call it ideology) of extreme, fundamental, rigid, non-inclusive mentality. It is so messed up....it is the "God-fearing/loving Christians" who feel that in order to protect and be protected, they require guns, and shun immigrants and homosexuals....that I FEAR more than anyone. When our ancestors came to the United States and Canada, they were ALL from other lands, and were from oppressed countries, and were persecuted, either for religious reasons or political reasons, or both. Now, who are "we" to not allow people into our countries??! Loving one another, respecting one another, giving opportunities to those who are facing difficulties....and equal rights to those who have been socially shamed and not included in our society (those of colour, gays) is something that I hope that I live to see and not have to have a conversation about. THANK YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Eenie Thank you my friend!!! I'm so glad that you appreciated this post. I was hesitant to post it because I was afraid I'd get a ton of nasty comments. But ... I felt I had to post it because IT IS MY BLOG and I believe what I wrote. THANK YOU SO MUCH! XOXOXO

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  7. It is through a relationship with Christ that we are able to understand his message to us . His message originates with conflict between good and evil and that conflict continues to effect each of us today. Some today have trouble understanding that if evil is not fought with vigor, evil will triumph over good. God never promotes violence against the innocent nor are weapons meant for the peaceful. But instead, he calls us to be soldiers for Christ and as such we have been entrusted with a godly responsibility to war against all forms of evil. Including the ignorance of God's word, which of itself, has for centuries led many to go astry. God is a just god and he will never tolerate evil in any form regardless of how some choose to embrace it, in their ignorance of him. For the same loving, merciful and patient God that gave us eternal life throught the violent death of his only Son, also created hell for those who choose to reject him for who he is. The image of a gun next to a Bible may be offensive to some and disturbing to the enemy of good, but for me they are a symbol of weapons we can use to fight the very evil that surrounds us. I'm greatful that those who have the courage to protect me and my family are equipped with guns. For what fool would fight evil enpty handed and expect victory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your comments. However, I reiterate:

      Romans 12:17-21
      Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

      I still disagree with the depiction of a weapon and a bible. It defeats the message of Christ ... "vengeance is mine, I will repay".

      Delete

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