let’s try Christianity

Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name.  Green pastures, still waters, my cup is overflowing.

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“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”  Gilbert K. Chesterton

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“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  Mohandas Gandhi

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What is there to dislike about Christianity? Why would Gandhi publicly say that?  He obviously saw something in the practice of Christians which does not emulate the “Christ”; otherwise, he would like Christians.  Perhaps Gandhi was having a bad Hindu day when he framed that famous quote.

Or perhaps Gandhi saw the truth of a religion which had become arrogant, self-serving and dominionized since the days when the man from Nazareth said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  Undoubtedly, Gandhi was aware of Christian missionary zeal which enslaved indigenous people and slaughtered thousands in the name of God.  He would have read about the Christian Crusades from 1095 through 1258 which decimated Muslim and Jewish populations.  And surely he, an advocate of non-violence, knew about the violent nature of America’s Christian leaders interacting with other world governments.

Gandhi understood our Christian culture better than we do.  Oh, we profess to be seeking the peace of God and goodwill toward men, but our behavior betrays who we are.  We cheated Native Americans out of their lands, stole Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War and then abandoned our territory to poverty, and murdered or otherwise deposed international leaders with whom we disagreed.  We continue to harbor racist attitudes toward members of minority groups, we demean the LGBT+ community, and we trivialize the importance of immigration.  We fear the growth of Islam, the advance of brown and black citizens, the decline of aged, white, Christian America.  We harbor outdated ideals of nationalism and isolation.  That’s why we, Christian Americans, are hated and distrusted.  That is probably why Gandhi liked our Christ but not us.

But it could be different.  Jesus, that man from Nazareth who taught the Way to his disciples, is still teaching today.  Just read the words, follow the examples, understand the parables and learn what it means to be a Christian.  Then follow.  Remember the verse about wolves in sheep’s clothing?  That’s what Christianity has become.  We have become a brood of vipers speaking from both sides of the mouth and miserably missing the message of Jesus, the Christ.

Those of you who disagree with my assessment, please don’t wax eloquent about your concern for my soul.  I would sooner see your concerns directed to the homeless, the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the orphans and widows, the millions displaced by war, the children ravaged by human slavery, the thousands standing on our southern border hoping for a better life.  I would rather hear your prayers for black and brown brothers and sisters, gays and lesbians, transgenders, Muslims, the poor suffering discrimination, battered women and children; yes, pray for them rather than for my salvation.

Today I am a disturbed Jesus follower.  I would be the one standing aside Jesus overturning the tables of the money-changers in the temple.  I would be with him challenging the Pharisees over their obtuse obedience to man-made laws.  Jesus is our Christ.  He is both human and divine teaching us how to conduct lives of humanness and divinity.  He is our example showing us how to love unconditionally.  Jesus never instructed us to worship him – he only told us to follow him.

I am the way, the truth, the life.  John 14:6cropped-candle.png

12 thoughts on “let’s try Christianity

  1. justdrivewillyou February 3, 2019 / 11:14 am

    Absolutely right. From my observations, Christians have lost sight of Christ and His message, and I don’t know what it will take to turn that around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • larrypaulbrown February 3, 2019 / 12:57 pm

      Thanks for the visit. I don’t know either. But, we are not alone. RLC (red letter Christians) is a site I use everyday. They also believe what we believe. Fr. Richard Rohr at cac.org is another daily read that focuses on the message of Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. JAMES F. O'NEIL February 3, 2019 / 2:17 pm

    I’ve been a fan of Sam Keen for some years. I’m overwhelmed by his In the Absence of God. Thanks to Suze for getting me to your message.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Keto For Beginners February 4, 2019 / 10:15 am

    We all need this reminder and as bloggers, have an excellent opportunity to share the message with the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike Ridenour February 5, 2019 / 9:39 am

    While you are painting with a really broad brush here, the loudest and most visible “Christians” tend to be the ones with the most hate and judgment. There are a lot of people that truly strive to abide by the words of Christ. But the gospel is tarnished by the big mouth, arrogant people that get all the airplay.

    I do look at people and wonder how they can call themselves Christians while they seem to disregard what God’s Word tells them to do. But then, I am caught up in being their judge and jury. There will always be a lot wrong with Christianity. We are not Christ, we are people.

    Really, all I can do to change people’s perception of the church is to do my best to live it right in front of them. There is hypocrisy in all religions. It’s a people thing.

    I’m fortunate to worship with people that really do their best to be the church Christ called us to be. There are some that don’t get it. But, overall, they are sincere and humble before God. I’ve been other places where that wasn’t the case.

    You know that I find it very useful to look at my shortcomings and do something about them. That’s part of my ministry in the church, to make people feel safe enough to break down their paradigms of what religion is and get down to serious transformation.

    There are a lot of great people out there serving Christ. Even during the Crusades, there were still a LOT of people that got it. But the leadership wanted to use religion to secure more power. Just as a lot of religious leaders and political figures do today.

    Jesus taught that people would be deceived. That couldn’t be more true. I hope that I can say the right things to get some eyes open and some people can stop following people and possessions and twisted religious beliefs and get hold of the real Jesus.

    Great post my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • larrypaulbrown February 5, 2019 / 10:19 am

      Yes, that’s my point. Christianity according to the message of Christ is not being practiced by many who call themselves Christian (the loud and arrogant). But, I can easily fall into the “us vs them” trap. It’s a place I don’t want to be. Thanks for the thoughts, Mike.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mike Ridenour February 5, 2019 / 10:20 am

        Yep. I think ministry to the “lost” Christians is important just as ministering to all the other needs out there. Great post, Larry!

        Liked by 1 person

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