Beyond Belief (Part 2)

Why should a person’s religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs be used as a cover for their bigotry, biasness and/or prejudices?

I’ve asked myself this question awhile ago because I believe one should be sincere in wanting to be honest in their beliefs or convictions, but fair and equal at the same time. So why should it be an either or when it comes to faith? Regardless if you are spiritual or agnostic if you can not rightly apply what YOU believe is true how can you infringe on the beliefs and convictions of someone else? If my beliefs resulted in an either or, then I’m not doing something right or what I believe isn’t right.

Now I can only speak with any measure of authority when it comes to spiritual beliefs in terms of Christianity. I have had the opportunities to engage in conversations and friendships with people who are Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Atheist. I respect them all and believe this question can be applied to things other than religion, but for this first point I’m speaking about religion as I move to other areas of discussion.

Lately we’ve heard an increasingly growing campaign of opposition to many issues that are said to be contrary to Christian values.

The campaign against gay marriage, abortion, liberalism and conservatism often make the headlines and creates coalitions, but those same coalitions are basically non-existent when it comes to addressing the abominations from within the four walls of the church. Very little to nothing is said when it comes to the silent sins that are committed week after week in our sanctified sanctuaries. People scared to address the hypocrisy that’s right in front of them, but are the first one to righteously chastise anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their version of religiosity.

Will a man rob God? Yes, he will rob God and the church too if you let him. We do it everyday and we act with arrogance when questioned about it. Where’s the truth and honest discussion?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I see few people or organizations willing to speak to the deafening silence in the campaign of hypocrisy going on in each of our places of worship regardless if we acknowledge it or not. There are some who do boldly and honestly address the various issues and I commend those individuals and organizations, but there’s still no reason to rejoice because there’s still too much work to do.

This phrase may be limited within a particular segment of the “church world”, but I believe everyone can understand what its meaning. When the doors of the church are open, what will we see? When the minister extends an invitation to all in attendance it is not only meant for non-members or sinners, but to those that proclaim to be Christians too. It’s an invitation to examine yourself, your life and actions. You are the doors of the church. What you do once you leave the church house is an opening to the world to peak inside and see what this Christ thing is all about. Now what will someone see when they peak in?

Lately all we’ve seen is a church divided in its mission and focused on building up itself. Many find it heart warming that Christians, Mormons and Catholics can build a coalition to protest against gay marriage and abortion, but the silence is deafening when it comes to divorce and realistic sex education.

I know some of you are gathering verbal stones up as I speak, but will I use my religious beliefs as a force field against the pending attacks on what I say or as ammunition.

As I watch those who proclaims Jesus is their homeboy, buddy, pal or co-pilot in one breath, then verbally attack others for their not being apart of the same group you’re apart of, I often think of another catchy slogan popular with Christians; What would Jesus Do?

Would he get gangster like he did with the money changers in the temple and busted the heads of those who use his name in vain? Would he be as smooth as he was the night before the betrayal and subtly call you out without actually calling you out? Why not do the right thing and take Christ out of it, because you’re just I-ans and not Christians. You’re into yourself and your own agendas not Christ.

Listen, Christ didn’t come that seek the saved and the Hell with those who are lost, so stop misrepresenting him. I’m far from perfect and will make mistakes again. I understand and acknowledge what I am to do and represent if I am to be a Christian. One of those things is not beat everyone over the head with the Bible. Another is to love and accept people for who they are, not what I want them to be. I would love for my wife to laugh at ALL of my jokes, but Rush Limbaugh would get a brain from The Wizard before that happens. (OK, I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist it. See I have my own biases to work on.)

The church and religion has completed messed up generations of people. Now the church is not the sole proprietor of this business, but definitely a sponsor to messing up certain parts of the world.

Whatever religious or non-religious belief you proclaim start acting like it. If Christ is your savior then start acting like he is. If you’re a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist or you believe in No God fine. I believe that God has given us free-will. Hating on me and others, because we don’t go to your particular religious denomination or believe as you believe is not necessary. Hating on me, because I don’t have a problem embracing someone who may believe something all together different than me as a friend is no different than the Tax Collectors, Murders and all the other characters than hung out with Jesus.

You can not use your religious beliefs as some force field against what you don’t like. The same hypocrisy you may see by a Jeremiah Wright, I see the same in Rick Warren. Both men subscribe to the same God; both are demonized for their positions. Both are misunderstood by their critics and beloved by their supporters. Who’s to say the one you like is right and the other is wrong?

I have and will never allow anyone tell me that I can not love, like or live in harmony with someone because of the emphasis others place on their race, religion, sexuality or even political affiliation. The various attributes of a person does not immune them from bigotry, prejudice or bias directed towards them or coming from them.

What we allow divide us is all too simple. I understand the criticism some may offer towards my utopian solution. It is not the only solution and I’m open to embracing others if proven to be better or more effective.  If you don’t want or like gay marriage, then don’t marry someone of your same gender or whose sexuality is suspect to you? If you dislike abortions, then don’t have one or put yourself in a situation that it becomes an option. If you don’t like a particular ideology, denomination or philosophy, then don’t subscribe to it. You don’t want those you look down upon to impose their beliefs onto you and your life, why do you work to impose yours onto me or them?

There’s no need to segregate yourself because you believe in something that I don’t. I have something to learn from you, just as you have something to learn from me. An open mind has no limitations, so stop limiting yourself.

If you are not sincerely honest with yourself or undetermined or inconclusive in your religious convictions this one may make you feel a little uncomfortable. Don’t get mad at me, because I ask the question, because I’m not questioning you. You should be concerned if a question makes you uncomfortable because it may be an indicator that you should reexamine what you believe to confirm if you are applying it as it was intended.

So why should a person’s religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs be used as a cover for their bigotry, biasness and/or prejudices?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Beyond Belief (Part 2)

  1. SIDE NOTE:
    Please understand that if you are not sincerely honest with yourself or undetermined or inconclusive in your religious convictions this one may make you feel a little uncomfortable.

    It isn’t productive to get mad at me, because I ask the question, because I’m not questioning you. You should be concerned if a question makes you uncomfortable because it may be an indicator that you should reexamine what you believe to confirm if you are applying it as it was intended.

  2. Tim,
    Those criticizing this post are wonderful demonstrations of what you are saying. As I’ve said before, and probably here, being Christian is easy – very easy because the expectations are simple … it’s being human that makes it difficult as human nature and behaviors act in the self-interest that is contrary to Christian ideals.

    Although I don’t know, I’m guessing Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhist would agree.

    By the way, twice I noted that two Christian groups were listed as separate entities. I’m neither Morman or Catholic, but they are members of the Christian family.

    Well done Tim!

    1. You know you’re right. I did segregate two Christian groups. That was unintentional. I was thinking about a related topic and guess I merged that thought into this one. Morman, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal are all different flavors of Christianity. Well I guess that’s an indirect hint of a post to come. 🙂 If I offended any of my Morman or Catholic friends, please forgive me. “Beyond Belief (Part 3)” was a little anxious to get the baton from Part 2 and tripped me up some. But just wait until you read Part 3, we’ll all need our pads on for that scrimmage.

Comments are closed.