I’ve travelled much in my life – England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and throughout much of the United States.
During those days-of-travel I’ve met and talked with many wonderful people. We talked about life, hope, faith and the “all too often” missing life-ingredient, love. Throughout these many conversations there was often laughter, deep-tears of joy and sadness and discussions of regret – but never once did any of those conversations include remarks or innuendo that “Christians were weak-minded, simple, and a ‘religious pushover.’” I must have been “lucky” to be with people of acceptance – none named “people like them” – a label of separation and division.
Those who shared with me were however oft critical of those who in serving their church-of-choice twist fact and truth to either currently-fit or retrofit pretense to best further their tirade or political affiliation. Exposure to life and people of many faiths (even those of no faith) most certainly speaks to the obvious error in assuming “people think Christian schools, charities, and hospitals are there to be taken advantage of” pure nonsense – a fine example of “assumption” iced-over by the warmth of separation.
Try as one might to twist history, the evidence of evil lies in the arms of humanity not a “Satan.”
Evil disposition dwells in us because we are human and evil actions live through us – if there is a “Satan,” obviously – it is us. But according to a recent oration – “The Devil, Satan himself (is) doing what he has always done, deceiving the people.” What followed clearly demonstrates intolerance – “He (the Devil) does this through false religions, lust, and people’s pride.” For once – just once, can we embrace hope – can we hold faith high for humanity to honor all faiths to include – Christian, Hebrew, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu, and can we please take the obvious political-lean out of religion?
If pastors, men and women of “certified ministry,” would concentrate on being a shepherd for those in their flock would not the flocks’ size increase and not shrink? If these “men and women of God” would first seek to heal and not divide, first seek to find the common bond of hope, first seek to “love the least of their brothers and sisters,” perhaps then what they write would build-up rather than tear-down. I ask you this: When do we insist those who claim to serve us begin to build up the life of those different than us and stop twisting the truth in an effort to tear them down?
An American theologian passes this on to those who have mind to listen, “Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.” - Reinhold Niebuhr.
Hope, faith and love is the essence of life. That which crushes life’s essence is: hate, anger, bigotry, racism, and the ever festering love-of-self.
If there are those who speak poorly of Christians they do so for two reasons – they are bigoted and blinded by their own faith-isolation (sole salvation), or they look at Christianity as Mohandas Gandhi did. He looked first at who Christianity was to emulate, Jesus the Christ, and then at those who acted in his name. His observation was, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Reading rants (political or religious) continues to give cause for generation after generation to doubt the values of hope, faith, and love. Did you hear that? I’m not surprised for it’s the continual sobbing of One as she sighs, “will they ever change?”