21 December 2016

Faithful Christians – Rational Majority

I keep hearing and reading comments in the vein of “Most Christians aren’t Christian.” I disagree with that “most Christians aren’t Christian” claim. Most of these loudmouthed extremists identifying themselves as Christian are the very hypocrites Christ spoke of in Matthew 6 – they are nothing more than a theocratic, very vocal minority of political extremists fighting to preserve their pathetic privilege. I do NOT accept that they are “most Christians.”

I’ve been in churches all my adult life, surrounded by Faithful Christians who are nothing like these so-called evangelical ChristianISH extremists. We, the rational majority, have been too polite to argue with these loud mouths – because those who don’t want to be argued with told us it was impolite to argue with them. These extremists are NOT the majority of Christians and neither are they the majority of Americans. We the People are the overwhelming majority in a country that is SUPPOSED to be majority ruled. Faithful Christians are part of that rational majority. It is time for the rational majority to get rude and loud! We must stop letting the extremes – both left and right – polarize and marginalize the rational majority of Americans. It is time for the rational majority to stop being pushed around by the extremes in our society.

I often ask myself, how did we get here? My perspective: Because televangelists have been preaching “prosperity” instead of Christ’s actual message of spiritual rebirth and salvation. Because televangelists led the so-called fundamentalist evangelical ChristianISH right to worship MAMMON instead of God. Some may ask: “Where is the Faithful Christian opposition?” I would ask in return, “Where are you looking?” Do you really think compassionate and progressive Christians are NOT speaking out? Do you think I am being silent and complicit? Do you think I am unique in speaking out? I promise you, I am not unique.

Faithful Christians ARE opposing the extremists. Those ChristianISH extremists voted for Trump in direct opposition to everything Christ ever taught or did. They are NOT followers of Christ. There is nothing Christ-centered nor Christ-like in the ChristianISH extremists who claim all their bigotry and extremism is in the name of their religion. They wave their religion flag to justify the ugliness of their agenda. They are followers of the pursuit of personal privilege and wealth – of Mammon.

Those who voted for Trump, put devotion and loyalty to Trump and to the GOP ahead of devotion and loyalty to God, ahead of reason, ahead of compassion – ahead of sanity. Christ told us how to behave as His followers. The people who have turned from God to choose Trump have not realized how far they’ve strayed from the Faith they profess, nor that they have become people who voted in direct opposition to everything Jesus ever did or taught. They have set Christ aside to follow Trump – i.e.: “Mammon” [definition (Webster’s) “material wealth or possessions especially as having a debasing influence”].

RVS Matthew 6:1-24
Giving to the Needy
1) "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2) "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3) But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4) so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

5) "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7) "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9) Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11) Give us this day our daily bread; 12) And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13) And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. 14) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15) but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

16) "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17) But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18) that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Treasures in Heaven
19) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, 20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22) "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23) but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24) "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Faithful Christians do not wave a religion flag to justify what we do in the world. 
Faithful Christians are NOT standing up and voting or speaking or working in the name of our religion; nor are we excluding anyone. Faithful Christians stand up for what is right because it is right. We speak for what is needed, because it is necessary and good. And, we try to do good wherever we may, TOGETHER with whomever will do the same – regardless of their beliefs or background – because it’s the right thing to do and because our hearts and our minds are founded in Christ’s life and teachings. For us, living Christ-centered Faith is living with a compassionate and progressive heart to all humankind.

Being Christian doesn’t mean abandoning compassion, tolerance, and rational sanity. Anyone may say they are Christian as it suits them. If you want to know who are the Faithful Christians following the example of Jesus, you have only to look to the Scriptures where Christ Himself told us how we are to be recognized as His followers by the world in RVS John 13:34) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35) By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Please recognize that Faithful Christians are always and have always been standing with you. We strive to live the example called for in RVS Philippians 2:3) Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

 I know, from my own experience, that Faithful Christians are the majority of Christian believers, part of the rational majority of all people everywhere. Progressive and Faithful Christians stand with all the rational majority who stand for what is good.

Scripture is clear and it tells what the extremists are and from where their belief is derived. We can only hope to show the extremists the error of the paths they have chosen and to remain steadfast in love, in hope, in prayer, and in Faith, as we stand TOGETHER against extremism in all it’s forms.