Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crisis of Christianity . . .

I was hunting for something is morning in my archives and found this . . . I liked it so I thought I'd share it again . . . it was originally posted November 13, 2008.

Here's what I have been pondering all day. I read an blog post by a woman talking about losing her religion. She is the mother of a child with special needs and she said she prayed for a sign while her child was going through a very difficult time and may lose her life and she didn't find the sign. She went on to say how her child survived and has since thrived. I commented that even though it happened some time down the road and even after some very difficult months, maybe that was the sign. . .

What I have been thinking about since is how I view my own relationship with God and how we as Americans expect our God to behave. I know for myself I pray for things whether it be healing, clarity or closure and I expect an answer to fall out of the sky. . . right now . . . while I'm waiting, with a tag attached to it. I think it comes from our ready made and drive-thru society. For goodness sake we don't even have to peel carrots or cut and clean celery after bringing them home from the store. We can buy pre-made mashed potatoes and already cooked pot roast, why should I have to wait for God to tend to my needs? God works in his own timing. It may be in years that I can look back and find that everything worked as it should.

Same things with praying for a specific answer. Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn't pray for the answer because maybe I won't like what God has to say. His idea of what's best for me and mine may not always jive in the short term. It's when I look back and see how things worked out that I can understand and appreciate the greater plan.

For me my faith is more about resting assured that God has my well-being in His hands, not about asking for things I want or even need. I have always assumed that my God is omniscient and not only knows what I need, but usually knows better than I do what that might be. Because of that my prayers are not a laundry list of what He can do for me, but rather taking Him along for the ride. I chat. I talk about my struggles, I talk about my stupidity, I talk about His grace, I tell Him how thankful I am. It helps remember that I do have things to be thankful for even in times of turmoil and stress. Talking to Him helps me keep things in perspective and reminds me that I am human.

For me faith is not about FEELING there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God on my side, but KNOWING there is. I equate it with what someone once said to me about marriage. They said, "Feelings fade. You will not always feel like you are totally in love with the other person, you just have to remember that you are and try to remember what you once felt." I think that's why we are called BELIEVERS. We must believe there is a God and believe that he still has as part in our lives today, because we can't always FEEL it.

I think the problem I have with Christians is that they tend to go all rabid. They take everything in scripture to the honking extreme. (LOL . . . honking extreme . . . I think that will be my new favorite phrase) You can have tattoos and be a devoted follower. You can have a glass of wine or even a few shots *gasp* and be a devoted follower, you can enjoy music other than contemporary christian and still love God. What's that bumper sticker . . . Jesus, a bleeding heart, long-haired, peace-loving, anti-establishment liberal with strange ideas, Everything Conservatives Hate. Jesus hung out with the dirty, unwashed masses. He loved-on the ones shunned by the church he ate in their homes, he embraced their families. He cleared out the "den of thieves" in the temple. So many times, we forget what our "mission" is, so many times Christians get caught up in their own little world and forget they are supposed to be community activists and fight social injustice and care about those that are not like themselves.

I think that because of the way christians judge everyone unlike them and turn them into pariahs we are creating a society in which there is a crisis of christianity. So many people are turning away from the church and on christians because so many times it "their way of the highway". Where's the love? What happened to hate the sin, love the sinner? Churches have interpreted the Word of God in so many different directions and yet forgotten some of the most important verses in red.

If churches don't wise up to how their followers are acting more and more people will begin turning their back on God due to his followers and their way of handling their religion. We ALL need to become Christ followers as opposed to church followers. Churches are fallible. Christ is not.

Gandhi "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1


marythemom said...

E-mail forward I received recently:

One Sunday morning, an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn-out old hat and an equally worn, dog-eared Bible.
The church he entered was in a very upscale part of Dallas. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and fine jewelry.
As the cowboy took a seat, no one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. Many were appalled by his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.
As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship in church."
The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.
The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again he was shunned and ignored. The preacher approached the cowboy and said, "I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church."

"I did," replied the old cowboy.

"And what was his reply?" asked the preacher.

"Well, sir, God told me that he didn't have a clue what I should wear. He said he'd never been in this church."

Missy said...

This is a very powerful post! I like!

marythemom said...

I find it works better for me not to pray for things, but to listen. It's almost always after the fact that I see God's hand in what happened. Often times what I wanted just seems to sit out of reach and it feels like God is ignoring me or even treating me a little like Job. Then looking back with hindsight I realize if I'd gone down the path I wanted then something bad would have happened or we would have missed out on a different opportunity that worked better for us.

Mary in TX

Miz Kizzle said...

Gandhi may have been a nice guy and all (aside from the urine-drinking) but his comment about liking YOUR Christ but disliking YOUR Christians irks me.
Christ belongs to everyone, not just the Western world and as Christians, we admit to our shortcomings, which sometimes go by the archery term of sins, and we attempt to strike ever closer to the bull's eye.
I think Gandhi missed the whole point; he was disappointed when he failed to find spiritual perfection in the Christians he met. That would be like an American expecting to find a guru in every Hindu businessman.

Robert Rouse said...

Miz Kizzle, I understand all too well what Gandhi meant. There are far too many people out there who profess to be Christians, yet turn their backs on any part of the Bible that doesn't agree with their politics or way of life. Look at the xenophobes who don't want an Islamic Community Center built over two blocks from Ground Zero. Aren't we supposed to do unto others as we would have them do unto us? By fighting against it, we could - in the long run - be fighting against ourselves. When was the last time you saw a Christian turn the other cheek?

Look how many Christian Churches were pushing for war with Iraq. Did they forget that whole "Blessed are the peacemakers" thing? Did they forget that Christ is the "Prince of Peace".

I am one of those who believe this entire country would be a lot better off if more people did try to act more Christ-like.

Gandhi was coming from being subjugated by the British Christians. As for the Urine thing. You're confusing your Indians. Gandhi did not drink his own urine, however, Nehru did drink the urine of a cow as part of the rights of a Hindu sect.

Robert Rouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jules said...

Miz Kizzle- It's ridiculous that you mentioned Gandhi drinking urine in the current discussion. It was Morarji Desai, not Gandhi who drank his own urine. And even if he did, who cares? The greatness of a man is realized when his life influences and inspires people to change for the better.