Monday, May 6, 2013

Christianity ~ Loving Religion or Dictatorship?

Some religious leaders, politicians, and others want to make Christianity into a dictatorship.  They want to force Christianity on everyone in America (and the world) and make it a one-religion nation.  Thing is, they have completely omitted the teachings of Jesus, which defeats the purpose of it being called Christianity.  When you take out love, peace, compassion, kindness, and caring for your fellow man, everything Jesus taught, all you’re left with is a man-made belief system that is steeped in greed and selfishness.

Some of these same Christians complain saying various other religions are trying to force their beliefs on Americans and want to convert everyone to their religion.  Isn’t that the exact same thing these Christians are trying to do?  Those who want a monopoly on their religion are extremists and they come from all religions.  I want to clarify that not all Christians are extremists; the same that not all people from other religions are extremists.  There are many, many loving and kind-hearted people from all religions who practice the true teachings of their Spiritual leaders, which is unconditional love for all. 

Some of these Christians are also complaining saying that those from other religions are not taking a stand against the extremists from their own religions.  To be honest, I can’t remember when I’ve heard Christian leaders condemn the actions of Christian extremists such as the Westboro Baptist Church, and other religious and political leaders who speak such hateful and very un-Christ-like nonsense. 

An extremist TV news station reports that we are becoming a Godless nation.  I disagree.  One may not be able to call it their personal brand of Christianity, but I see a lot of people standing up for love.  I see a lot of people standing up for peace…for compassion...for kindness.  They’re out there caring for their fellow beings.  They’re working to bring people together, not to separate them. I see God more so in these people than I do in those who are trying to force their religion on everyone else. 

I see Jesus in the person who gives food to the hungry; who helps those who cannot help themselves.  I see Jesus in the person who commits a random act of kindness to strangers.  I see Jesus in those who go out of their way to show compassion to those in need.  I see Jesus in those who really work on loving all mankind regardless of any differences.

Am I seeing Jesus in those who want Christianity as a dictatorship?  Not at all.  What I am seeing are these people propagating hate, bigotry, fear, and ignorance for their own personal agendas, many speaking from the pulpits of their churches, and then encouraging their members to go out and spread even more hatred and violence.  There are TV news programs and radio talk shows, as well as religious stations, which do this very thing.  If people are not speaking words of unconditional love for all, they are not speaking for God; they are not speaking for Jesus, and I’ll add they are not speaking for Christianity.  This is not the Christianity whose foundation is Jesus the Christ!   They are only speaking for their own man-made religion, as well as their own personal agendas.

It’s almost as if we have a modern day Inquisition occurring where various factions of Christianity are trying to destroy everyone who does not believe the way they do.  We see it in many of the laws that some politicians and religious leaders are enacting or are working towards enacting.  These laws oppress, control, and destroy others all in the name of their religion.  They pick and choose Bible verses, most out of context, to back up their beliefs in order to make it sound as if they are speaking for God.  They are not.   There is a very good reason for separation of Church and State.

Some of these Christians also complain that Christianity is under attack.  But what I see are these Christians attacking everyone around them because others do not believe the way they do.  Whenever someone tries forcing beliefs or religious laws on others, people are going to naturally fight back.  What I see are people standing up for religious freedom…the right to believe in their own religion, attend the church of the their choice, and to worship in peace the God of their understanding.

People wonder why so many are turning their backs on God, church, and Christianity.  Jesus was the greatest example of what Christianity was to be even though Jesus did not want a religion made after him.  He said repeatedly that “the Kingdom of heaven is within you.”  He also said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  You will know if someone is following Jesus’ teachings by the love you see them showing others and how they treat their fellow man.  So, let’s be clear.  The Christianity that some are trying to force on everyone is not the Christianity of Jesus. 

Those who are secure in their faith and beliefs have nothing to prove.  They know they don’t have to get into these “my God is bigger than your God” arguments, or fight over who is right and who is wrong.  They know there is only one God regardless of the name or title that we give the creator.  They want to live in peace among all people regardless of any differences.  They practice Jesus’ teachings (or whoever their Spiritual teacher/leader might be).

Am I bashing Christianity and/or Christians?  Far from it.  If you got that impression, please go back and read this essay again.  What I am saying is that we have to get away from the blind leading the blind.  Look within our hearts and souls to seek Truth.  If unconditional love is the foundation of your beliefs, then you know you are following the true religion, regardless of what religion you may be following.  Unconditional love was taught by the spiritual masters of the great religions.  There is a lot of good in Christianity, the same as there is a lot of good in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions.  Let’s not condemn all for the actions of a few.  Let’s work towards putting unconditional love, compassion, peace, and kindness back into our religions so that we can live together in harmony.   Let’s live by example.  As Gandhi stated so eloquently, let’s “be the change you wish to see in the world.”  

Copyright 2013


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Karen, for a message that I pray will be read by all of us who call ourselves, Christians.

I have read what you have had to say and I stand here, unabashed.

You know that I am now in my 80's and my earliest recollection of church was in a Methodist church and that is where I "held" my membership for over a half century.
I still love the church and I agree with you, there are many - in fact, they number into the hundreds of thousands, who faithfully attend church and - as faithfully, go about their daily lives as if Jesus was coming back within the next few minutes.
Our problem - as I see it, almost parallels your thoughts. We have leaders who seem to be afraid to step down from the pulpit and join in the daily activities of those who sit in the pews. More often, the individual churches follow the dictates of an hierarchy that is not in touch with life as it is, today. I could go on and on, but I will not as those who read this may prefer to interprets our thoughts as being anti-Christian.
My constant prayer is that we come to our senses and realize that we are no longer that "city set on a hill where its light is seen by all" while all about us are the masses busy doing what we are called to do.

Joy said...

Anonymous, your words, Karen's words are not anti-Christian. These thoughts are more like the teaching of Jesus... something many who profess to be Christians overlook. AS I see it, the only problem with Christianity... it has not been taught since Jesus' time.

Anonymous said...

How can Christianity or Islam not to be viewed as a "Dictatorship"? Both vehemently will argue that they are correct (and kill each other in the name of their god) Bush implementing the invasion of Irak said "god bless america".
If you don't believe in either of these massive manipulative religions that have been around for 1000's of years you are going to a very bad place after you die?! I do understand the argument that people have a relationship with their god and it has nothing to do with religion... sorry in the end you have to pick a team. If you want "peace" and "happiness" have faith, if you want the truth; keep searching.
I am not trying to convert anybody but look at buddhism; peaceful and non confrontational and no afterlife dogmatic BS

Joy said...

Karen, re-read this article. Your passion shines in the Truth you have written. Will share again, trusting others will comprehend this Truth. My God is a loving God and Jesus the Christ, Gautama the Buddha are but two who exemplify this love.