It’s called, “What Has Happened to America’s Jesus?” Good question.
Go here to read it.
There are sincere Christians in America. Hell, I go to a church full of ’em [not everybody in my church is, but a lot of them are]. They are some of the most loving, kind people you will ever meet, and I thank God every day for the friends I’ve made there.
But I’m not sure I like the political activism I see from the more Conservative Christians. I’m not sure it’s anyone’s job to tell you you’re wrong about stuff but God’s.
If you ask my opinion, I’ll give it. And if I don’t know for sure, I’ll tell you that, too [which is usually the case].
I think I understand the motivation behind their actions, but I’m not sure legislating more rules is the right way to go about it. You can’t possibly force people to believe the way you do. It’s human nature to run the other way when anyone tries to control you. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.
Because what if, [this is pretty big, and I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers] what if the uber-conservatives are wrong?
Jesus said that all the law and prophets could be summed up in two commandments: Love God [with all your heart, soul, mind and strength] and Love your neighbor as yourself.
How do you love God when you can’t see him? Christians have a whole laundry list of things, such as attending church, studying the Bible, and prayer. And those are good things, don’t get me wrong, but I think we focus so much on those things that we forget that Jesus also said “Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.”
I think the best way to show love for God, is by loving your fellow humans, and yourself. It’s okay to take care of your own needs before taking care of others’ needs, because if you only sacrifice yourself without ever re-charging, you burn out and then you’re no good to anyone.
But putting your own wants before your fellow human’s needs is not really loving your neighbor the same as you love yourself, is it? Is it possible that by hating others, we are hating God as well?
This is a weird journey I’ve been on, and I think I may be on the right path here, but as I’ve begun to really seek God again, I’ve asked him to help me to see with his eyes. I can’t explain it, and I certainly can’t prove it, but my heart has changed in ways I wasn’t expecting.
When I see two adults in love and committed to each other, I don’t see their gender, or whether they have a marriage license, I see that they love each other and put their partner’s needs before their own wants.
At the same time, when I see one partner cheating on the other, or being the sole ‘taker’ in any relationship, I see something that cannot possibly be pleasing to God. When I see anyone justifying hatred for or cruelty to another, my heart hurts, because that is so much less than what God wants for us.
When I see one group of people saying definitively that another group is going to hell simply because they worship God differently than the first group does, I think they’ve missed the point.
I’m not positive any more that only Christians will go to heaven [I do believe in heaven and hell, by the way, and I do believe that there is evil in the world, and I call that evil “Satan.”]
I’ve believed for a long time that Christianity has so many denominations not just because people get pissed off at each other and go start a new church. That happens sometimes, but I think we have a bunch of different denominations so people can find a place where they fit in and belong.
What if there are other religions that perform the same function? Not all religions are valid paths to God [I’m thinking of suicide cults, and other cults where the god is a person who created a ‘religion’ to make himself rich, or to victimize others], but what if there really is more than one way to truly find God?
I don’t have the answer. I wish I could say for sure, but I just can’t. I know a lot of Christians are full of arguments as to why there’s no other way, but so are a lot of Muslims and Jews. I think Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses believe something similar about their own religions as well. How can anyone really know for sure?
I’ve chosen the path of Christianity because Jesus changed my life, and then he changed it again, and gave me the ability to love people and see their goodness, regardless of their religion. But I’ve seen others have very similar experiences by following a completely different path. So I just don’t know anymore.