Some of my close friends make fun of me for using the phrase “am not judging anyone, but..” I have literally used this phrase to death, and in most cases if my thoughts start this way, I just seal my lips and think more of the situation before putting my opinions out there.
I read an article this morning about how christianity is almost a dying art in the modern world we live in. This article attracted me because I do fall under “christian”, and have battled so hard with certain doctrines in certain churches..which led me to staying away from churches for a while until I found something fitting.
I struggle with how christians discriminate “passive aggressively” against people they don’t approve of..you preach that God is the only judge but turn around and judge people openly.Having being raised in a very small conservative Kenyan church, I disagreed with almost everything I saw in other churches I went to, and as I grew older and more knowledgeable on certain things, I realized how certain things I was taught, as I grew up in this small community church, were more cultural than “christian”
Having read the entire bible and analyzed almost every little verse, in half of grade school and most of high school, I became confused and conflicted by interpretations offered to me as I grew up.
Christians today live a life opposite of what their founder lived. They openly discriminate against gays and are anti abortion (without differentiating between a mother’s life in danger or a person knowingly getting rid of a fetus for the sake of it), when Jesus never mentioned demonizing these people. Jesus himself was more of a radical who challenged the christian establishment, and paid more attention to the sick and the poor, and unfortunately today christianity is a large establishment all over the world, focusing on being rich and famous.
People are focusing more on how the outside looks, thus the anti-poor, anti-gays, anti-arbortion, anti-immigrants, anti-intellectuals and anti-science. That is not what their founder was about.
Instead of people sitting and pointing fingers, wouldn’t it be great if we paid less attention to the problematic systems of beliefs and lived a more generous and loving life, with more thinking and understanding, and also showing compassion to those around us? This would be in support of the founder of christianity and move away from the religious bureaucracy.
We also have to pay attention to the fact that religion is ever changing to accommodate the world we live in, because the world is ever changing. Remember when christianity was racist, burned people believed to be witches, discriminated against the poor?..long gone are those days because the world is ever changing and religion changes with it. People get comfortable when things are going good for them, but it is not about you anymore if you decide you’re a christian, it is about those around us too. We ought to raise children teaching them to be compassionate, loving, generous and accommodating of others, not discriminating against certain groups of people, because that does not match with the same scriptures you will turn around to teach them.
I long for the day people who call themselves christians, move away from seeing themselves as a system of beliefs to expressing their faith through love and compassion. Religious services should not be about showing off how virtuous, anointed and holy, one is, while pointing fingers to those that don’t meet these standards, but about tackling the human needs around us. This would be a better world to live in if this happened, just like Jesus did.
Lastly a direct quote from the article, “people have seen ritual as an obsession for the religious community, and they haven’t seen the courage and commitment to shaping a more just and compassionate world”
article: What religion would Jesus belong to?, by Nicholas Kristof on the NY Times