The Honest Faith: UnChristian

When I was little my great-grandfather, who I called Bop, had a car that talked. It wasn’t anything fancy, it would just tell you often, “The door is ajar, The door is ajar.” His favorite joke was to ask us kids, “When is a door not a door?” Since we were kids we didn’t know this one. He would humorously say, “When it is ajar!” He wasn’t a very expressive person. He loved his family, you knew this by the way he treated them. It didn’t take a lot. He always made sure that we kids had good shoes. That is one thing I remember most about him. Though this joke always stood out to me. I think now more than ever. When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. I started to think about this in the terms of the metaphorical door to heaven. When is that door not a door? When it’s ajar. I thought about when it would be open, my thought, maybe completely heretical, but I don’t think it closes. When is a Christian not a Christian? When they try to close that door.

Recently I’ve been seeing more and more divides happening. Maybe it’s because people are finally waking up to the reality that they have already been there. Maybe it’s because people are sick and tired of the same old, same old. Whatever the case may be the divides are there and they are widening. I didn’t start the fire, it was always burning, since the world was turning. More and more people are turned off by the word Christian. It’s not just because of the annoying things Christians have done. I wrote about that before. It’s because we, I’m including myself, have lost sight of the good news. Our ideas became about saving souls and being profitable at that. We got a numbers game mixed up with a loving game. They are two separate things and never should have been combined. When is a Christian not a Christian? When they are concerned with the number of souls they are saving rather than actually “saving” souls.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be concerned about the “state” of someone’s soul. I’m just saying that I’ve seen more and more people aren’t really concerned about that. They are more concerned about being right. This obsession with being right causes them to be blind to truths that are right in front of them. They gloss over all manner of evil and hate in order to get the “I’m the one who is right” badge. The problem being, it’s a scorched earth campaign. They will change things in order to be right. When that happens people get hurt. People die, and all in an attempt to be correct. Jesus noticed this. “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:24-26) When is a Christian not a Christian? When their desire to be right, outweighs their desire to love.

As I was writing my story this week I noticed something in Luke 11 and 12. I noticed that Jesus didn’t have time for those Pharisees and Lawyers who just did religion to make themselves look good. Have you ever noticed that people like to use these passages to point out how people are not “Christian” because they just go to church and don’t actually believe? The odd thing is, Jesus gave specifics. He said you clean the outside of the cup but leave the inside dirty. He said that those who tithe to the church and do all of the religious Riga-ma-roll yet do not care for people were the ones who were not following him. He says woe to those who don’t let people think for themselves, but rather force them to believe what the person teaching believes. He goes on to tell stories about how people who try to close the doors to heaven were not followers of His. When is a Christian not a Christian? When they don’t follow Christ.

Maybe it got too confusing for people. Maybe they thought that you needed to be moral to get into heaven. Maybe the whole afterlife thing was made up to try to scare people into the church. Whatever the case may be, that was never the message. When considering morality what did Jesus do? He ate and drank with “sinners and prostitutes”. When asked what the most important commandments in the entire law were, what did Jesus say? “Love” Simply when it comes down to it WWJD (For those of you who were blessed enough to not live through that craze in the 90’s it stands for What Would Jesus Do?)? Jesus would love. Jesus did love. In fact, that is what the entire story is about! IT’S ABOUT LOVE! Jesus didn’t come to condemn people (John 3:17). Jesus didn’t come for us to follow the rules, but rather for us to understand the rules are there to help us love other people not enslave them by them (Luke 6). Jesus didn’t come that we may be slaves to some higher power, Jesus came that we may have life, and have it to the fullest (Luke 5 and John 10)! When is a Christian not a Christian? When they don’t love.

When did the message get off of Love? When did it become this whole loving someone so that they become a moral person business? NO!!! Jesus even said it a few times not to judge it’s right there in Luke 6 if you don’t believe me. Even with the whole turning the other cheek thing, that’s not about being a pushover. That’s about loving in a way that shows you are a human being too. That you have needs as well. That loving isn’t about changing the other person. It has never been about change. Change is the Divines business, not the churches. Something I learned from my Bop was that you don’t have to be present every day in someone’s life to show them that you love them. You don’t even have to say it. You just have to be there when they need something! It’s that simple. I needed shoes, he’d be there. Turning your cheek means you are willing tobe human to that person and turn the other side so they have to see you as human. That doesn’t mean staying in a relationship that is abusive. If someone is abusing you, get out. That is toxic. Love is not violent. Love is not complex. Love is love. No matter what.

So fellow Christian, ask yourself, “Am I loving people, without agenda?” If the answer is anything but yes, you are doing it wrong. That is decidedly unlike Christ, and therefore unchristian. If you are trying to close the “doors to heaven” and say those people cannot come in, that is unchristian. If you are saying that people who are “Pro-choice, LGBTQ+, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Buddhist, or anything else” are evil, unclean, or whatever that’s not loving. I wrote about that, too. I’m going to make this very simple for you. Hate is hate. Love is love. Love is not sin, no matter what skin it’s in. Love can never be sin. Love is not hate. Hate dressed up as love is not love. Jesus even said ” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) When is a Christian a Christian? When they follow the Christ by loving one another.

I’ve seen a lot of bad theologians try to take Jesus’ and Paul’s words out of context. I’ve seen them use it to hurt people. I’ve seen those words dressed up so that they become hate. That, to me, is unchristian. I cannot say that they are not Christian, because who am I to say such. I just know that when there is bad fruit, the tree is bad. Maybe you have seen this too. Maybe this makes you want to leave the church altogether. Maybe you want to blame God for all of this. That’s okay. I understand. I see it too. I love that Jesus guy though. So despite what people say about Him, or try to turn Him into, I’m still going to follow him. To me, his message was very simple, “Love”. So that is what I do. I love. I love people and it hurts me to see them using the Christian Bible to hurt others. It hurts me to see that being used in an attempt to be right rather than the original purpose which was to heal. It hurts when Christians are not Christians. Maybe one day we’ll get this love thing right. So you are not alone in that hurt. I love you. You are not alone, You matter.

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12 Replies to “The Honest Faith: UnChristian”

  1. If I may be so presumptuous as to challenge some of your statements.
    “When they are concerned with the number of souls they are saving rather than actually “saving” souls.” This doesn’t make sense! The idea is to save as many souls to Jesus as possible. The greatest ambition of a Christian is to win as many souls to Jesus as possible.
    “They are more concerned about being right.” If you are conversant with the concept of Christianity, you should know that there is only ONE way. That one way IS delineated in the Scriptures. Scriptures make it crystal clear that there is only ONE way to be saved. You can love until the cows come home and a Christian will love to the best of his ability, but love is not a get out of jail free card. Sinners can and do love and show concern for others and the Scriptures will tell you that is not, by itself, the free pass.
    “He says woe to those who don’t let people think for themselves, but rather force them to believe what the person teaching believes.”. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Free think to your heart’s content, but you better totally committed to this! Doesn’t this sound even remotely like a door closer?
    “Maybe they thought that you needed to be moral to get into heaven. Maybe the whole afterlife thing was made up to try to scare people into the church.” Are you really serious? Do you believe what you just wrote? I would suggest that you do some serious Scripture reading – you have a big problem!
    “When considering morality what did Jesus do? He ate and drank with “sinners and prostitutes”. You really think Jesus was about enjoying evenings of drinking and coursing with sinners and prostitutes?
    “When asked what the most important commandments in the entire law were, what did Jesus say? “Love”.” No! He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”.

        1. they are in the blog post. You can also read my other posts for that. Jesus said he came that we may have life and have it to the fullest. Read without bringing yourself to it. Read as it would have been read in the first century.

          1. OK, Miguel. I understand.
            A Christian will love because he/she is a Christian, but love, alone, does not make him/her a Christian!
            Maybe I don’t understand your definition of Christian. God Bless.

  2. I feel like I may be able to read more deeply into what you’ve written because I’ve experienced these acts of “Christianity.” I hear what you’re saying because I am not blinded by the rules of the church (lower case c). I was deeply involved in the church and all of its platitudes. After decades of working toward Scriptural perfection (for lack of a better word), I found that I was constantly battling Christians in the church with their rules and their numbers and their piecemeal Scriptural references. I found a great deal of ego in the church, especially by those with very strong beliefs. Those who “knew” the Bible, who tried to live by the letter of it. But they were so set on the rules of the Bible, they forgot to love unconditionally, forgot to love the sinner as they were focused on hating the sin.
    So, your writing resonated with me because I’ve experienced the heartbreak of condemnation and conditional love by other sinners. I hear you when you are referring to the Pharisees of the church. Withdrawing from the church and turning away from today’s Christianity gave me the freedom to focus on loving others.

  3. Excellent post. The second commandment by Jesus was to love your neighbor as yourself, and that is definitely the part missing now. It is not loving to ignore the suffering or needs of others, and to just say, “I will pray for you.” A faith without works is a dead faith, and you know them by their fruits. I see a lot of “turn or burn” Christians now, and the ones so busy judging the mote in someone else’s eye before removing the beam in their own. It’s become a whole “do as I say not as I do” church. Thank you for speaking up.

  4. Miguel,

    Thank you for this post! I feel as though I get what you are saying, but I have a question about a specific statement you make. You wrote “Turning your cheek means you are willing to take another hit if someone needs to hit. That you are loving enough to stand there be that person and still continue to help them. ” I believe I get what you are saying, but I am afraid it may be taken wrongly by someone who is or has been involved in a domestic violence situation. Can you please clarify this statement in light of DV? Thank you

    1. Of course. No, that is not the situation I mean at all. If you are in an abusive situation, get out. You are very correct in that observation. I can see how it could be taken that way. In the context it’s about giving to those in need. Those who abuse are only in need of deep therapy or a punishment that teaches them not to continue. I’ll think on that a bit more before revising the post itself.

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