Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Christian" killing

I've had it with a radically conservative Christianity that leads supposed Christians to grisly murders based on their whacked-out idea that the Devil has taken over a child, a parent, a spouse, a friend or a stranger.  I just read of an actor who claimed to see the Devil in his mother, and stood shouting scripture while he hacked her to death with a sword.  Yes, I understand there is mental illness involved in many of there, but I also understand, as a progressive minister myself, that when people are brow-beaten by screaming pastors who see the Devil in anything that doesn't fit their limited view of acceptable.  I've had to work through counseling with people who were sure they were damned to hell because of something in their past.

Strangely, these so-called Christians will quote the Ten Commandments, then support war, capital punishment and preemptive strikes to take out "enemies."  So, You will not kill becomes something with all kinds of leeway.  And they will be the first to proclaim their own innocence should their teaching lead to something like the crime I just mentioned.

It is time for Christians to start doing what I've been advocating for years - live by the teaching of Jesus, not the teaching of Paul or the teaching of Moses.  Doing that will stop a lot of the backbiting nastiness of different factions of Christianity.  Doing that will remove many of the controversial issues of our times.  Doing that will put Paul into perspective - a divorced man who never left his Jewish faith, and thus made the teaching of Jesus legalistic, but based in faith-salvation.  In the centuries since, Christians have made Paul the sole theologian of Christian faith.  Now, it is time to get back to the teaching that was the basis of the faith of the disciples.  What Jesus taught is that faith we need to live!

If Jesus is the Prince of Peace, then we need to live our lives that way!  If Jesus said love others as I have loved you, then we need to do that - being willing to give of ourselves, sacrificially to help others, being willing to follow the examples of soldiers who have jumped on grenades to save their fellow soldiers, as a sign of our faith and love.  Jesus said that people would know we were Christians by out love, not by our hate-filled rhetoric, our savage invective against those we consider too different to be acceptable.

Enough is enough!

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