Tag Archives: Christians

Defending God (#22)

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I was having a conversation with someone the other day pertaining to politics and the role of religion in shaping one’s political opinion. I wondered aloud whether our differing theological views could contribute to any strife we might have in future, to which he replied “I don’t think so – I haven’t really seen it (Christianity) manifest in you”. Hearing that was like a slap to my face, after all the worst thing you could hear as a Christian is that you aren’t very Christ-like.

It took me a few minutes to process what he had meant by that, and I realised that to me, the manifestation of Christianity is love and patience and altruism learnt from being unconditionally loved by God. But what he had meant by that statement was that I was open-minded, tolerant of views different to my own and capable of reasonable debate. And it really saddened me to see what he thought Christianity was. Ignoring the sign-touting, hate-spewing extremists that plague every religion (after all, assholes will always exist regardless of what group you belong to), I think that there is a general defensiveness to modern day Christians. I think it is a brilliant thing that there is greater discussion, awareness and acceptance of more left-wing or radical ideas, even if I do not agree with them all. But I can see how this may feel threatening to the church. However, I don’t think being defensive will help anyone better understand Christ.

I don’t think it is our right to be offended when people reject Jesus. I often remind myself that a Muslim or a Hindu may believe in their faith as deeply as I do in mine. So who am I to tell them that they are wrong? I certainly wouldn’t appreciate them telling me what to believe in. I think it is important to bring people to Christ, but I think it is most important to do that through our actions; by quietly loving people, and being forgiving and gracious. I have a long way to go to become the kind of person I would like to be. But frankly, I think God doesn’t need defending to other people, I believe that the bible is the truth – my truth – and that God is perfect, and in His perfection, there is no need to defend or explain His word. We do not need to defend God against people, but we should represent him to people. Defensiveness stems from fear, not faith, and as Christians I think the only defensive front we need to take is to defend ourselves to God: to be able to justify our decisions and actions, and how we treat others and deal with situations in our lifetime. As John 3:17 says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Ungodly Churches

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I haven’t really been posting because it’s the holidays, and more importantly, I’m in Singapore. It’s always busy in Singapore, you squeeze half a year of not seeing basically all your friends into a few short weeks to catch up- needless to say, I’ve been out every night, meeting various people. I like coming home, it makes me feel like I still matter, like I have many friends. It’s different in Perth. Recently, there has been this entire City Harvest Church debacle about $23 million dollars of allegedly misused funds. This is just so saddening. Non-Christians will always believe that tithing is just a disguise used by the church leaders to get richer. And whilst it may be true for some churches (As apparent of mega-churches like CHC), not all of us are like that. Whilst Westboro Baptist Church spread wildfire with their infamous “Fags should go to hell” signs along with all their other extreme ideologies, other (what I feel to be more more true to the religion) churches, obviously see the irony in hating in the name of a God who loves.
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And it embarrasses me, that there are Christians out there, even in my university, as evident by the scrawls on the bathroom wall denoting “If you are a: Liar, Gay, Thief etc, repent now or you will go to hell!!!” and I quote, “Even me writing on the wall is sin, but I had to!” I hate that I am part of a body that has such unintelligent, judgmental, elitist and assuming people. It sickens me to think that they so blindly think that people are just going to come crying at their feet for mercy because they said so on the bathroom wall. Whilst I may not be the perfect example of a Christian (God knows, I am far from), I understand that I’m professing my faith in something intangible: something I cannot physically prove. In essence, I am trying to get people to believe in my imaginary friend they can neither hear, see or feel. And it must seem absurd that I would likely give my life to this strange belief. I understand that condemning isn’t right, and that my belief is just one of the hundreds of other beliefs: None of us can prove that we are right- at least not right this instance.

But then it is only the infamous people that get famous. We love reading about scandalous activity, we love the drama: And the media delivers. What is going to interest the public eye more: The going-ons of a normal sunday service or the churches and Christians that have done some quite terrible things? I feel like the general public is becoming more assuming of Christians solely as “Fag”-hating and money-channeling, and the Muslims as terrorists and the atheists as cold blooded killers. And that’s the thing, because only Westboro and CHC come into light, only Osama Bin Ladin comes into light, and only Jeffery Dahmer comes into light. And because they are the minority that acquire fame (even if for bad reasons), people start labeling entire groups due to a lack of insight and understanding.

I really have no respect for people who can not understand that an individual does not constitute an entire body. Yes there are Christians who write on the walls condemning others, but the atheists who reply that “All you Christians are like that, that is why we hate you” are at a no different level. There are the judgmental Christians, but there are also the assuming Atheists. It makes me not want to be a part of this world.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi. Many of my friends who like Christianity as a practice, but hate the religion because of all the unintelligent and assuming Christians out there. I would like to apologize for my counterparts. I think as Christians, we have no right to claim superiority because we know of this God that others don’t. I think we have no right to condemn other people. I think the only right Christians should claim is the right to be more thankful, and an attitude of love. Because we have someone to give thanks to and a command to love everybody. I hardly think the people who hold up the pickets saying “WE HATE FAGS” and “YOU ARE ALL GOING TO HELL UNTIL YOU REPENT”, I hardly think they really are Christians at all.

`jol