Sunday, October 15, 2006

EUOLogy: Religion Rant

 

We haven't had a really good rant here on the Bsblog for a while, so I thought I'd share something I've been thinking about lately.  It's not my intent to offend anyone, but I have some things to say about religion--particularly Christianity.  If these are sensitive topics to you, please don't let yourself take my comments TOO seriously.  I know I have a tenancy to ramble at times, and I'm not sure if I'll even get my thoughts down in a coherent manner.  But, here goes.  What the heck.  It's Sunday--what else am I gonna blather about?

I consider myself a Christian.  I am a believer in organized religion, and belong to one myself.  However, I get a little annoyed at something within the culture of religion in our country.  (And, it's probably not one of the things you're thinking about.)

It's this: Many people in many churches seem to have a lot to say on what a Christian should or shouldn't do.  You can find all sorts of rants about what kinds of practices a "Good" Christian should participate in.  These include everything from celebrating April Fools to reading Harry Potter

I find it a little annoying, and even disturbing, the way we throw around the word Christian.  I've studied the Bible.  I can find only a few things that REALLY stand out as being Christian.  (Meaning, they relate directly to things Christ taught.)

What is it to be Christian?  From what I've read, it means to be loving, patient, and non-hypocritical.  If you do something wrong, repent and try to do better. Those things are the soul of it.  Now, there are a lot of other things churches teach.  My own church teaches much more than these things, and that's fine.  However, I'd rather we didn't classify these things as "Christian." 

I'm a Mormon.  Mormons have a prohibition against drinking alcohol.  We think it came from God.  So, is it un-Christian to drink alcohol?  No.  Not in my opinion.  This doesn't relate to the soul of Christ's teachings.  So, while it's hard to be a good Latter-Day Saint if you drink alcohol, I don't think it's hard to be a good Christian if you do.

Churches are very free with their terminology.  Some say it's not Christian to support the UN (which seems silly to me).  Others say it's not Christian to support abortion.  (I happen to agree that abortion is wrong.) Yet, again, I don't think either is a place where it's right to use the word "Christian."

It dilutes the meaning.  I'm perfectly all right with people teaching that abortion--or even supporting the UN--is wrong.  I just suggest leaving Christ's name out of it.  If you want to teach Christianity, teach the REAL stuff.  The hardcore Christian doctrine. 

It's time for us to admit that the term "Christian" refers to far many more people than we might want it to.  Anyone who considers themselves a disciple of Christ is, by definition, a Christian.  As Pemberly says, "It's a mindset, not a checklist."

So, let's stop telling each other what good Christians do, and accept that someone can still be a follower of His--and follow His teachings--without believing like we do.

(Note.  This isn't an argument for "All churches are true".  I happen to believe my own Church is right, and will be happy to discuss why at length.  However, I can't tell someone that because they're not a member of my faith, they aren't a Christian.  They're Christian.  They're just not Mormon.)

Does that make any kind of sense at all?

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