I just finished reading this book called "More than a Carpenter", which is a little book that basically confirms Jesus. I'm not sure if it was related, but as soon as I finished it, I realised there was a lot of things that I plain didn't like that a lot of people attribute to Christianity... I felt like writing a little book of my own about it - I figure a blog post is good enough.
"I'm not religious - I'm relational"
A lot of people say that when explaining their Christianity, I've heard it so often I could puke. They think that because Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, it's not a religion, it's a relationship.
I'm sorry, but a religion is a system of beliefs. If you don't have a religion, you don't have a belief - you don't believe in Jesus. Clearly, if you're Christian, you're religious. Deal with it.
Jesus called us to love, not like
I've also heard often that we can love people without necessarilly liking them... that line of thought is beyond comprehension. Let's check it out here.
That link contains a basic essence of what love is about (I'm not sure if it's comprehensive or not, somehow I doubt it). Try being all of them to someone you don't like. Let's see protect and completely and utterly trust someone that you just plain don't like or get along with. Sorry, not gonna happen.
If Jesus has called us to love Him, which He has, then we obviously have to like Him. Same with our neighbours, we need to love them, because God told us too, which means we have to aspire to like them. Accept their annoyances, and personalities that may clash with yours. Love is not easily angered or self serving, so be selfless and put up with it.
It's important to realise you don't have to like what they do, though - for example, I abhor that I have friends and family that have sex before marriage, it's disgusting, wrong, and I really really don't like that. But I love and like them, which is why I try and correct that, in love.
Yes, I realise the irony that this bit is about what I don't like... heheh
'nuff said =P
Quirky, cute sayings about God
Sometimes I wonder if I'm following the same God as others.
"Jesus is my best friend" - really? What's His favourite food? Does He like to go bowling?. No, I'm sorry, the relationship we have with Jesus is not one of best friend. It's one of servitude on our part. It's a Father/Son (or daughter) thing. I mean, let's be serious, this is God. He created us, this earth, the entire universe - nothing we do cannot be done without His permission in doing it. Please, correct me if I'm wrong here.
"God, you're so cute!" - I have actually heard people say this, or something similar, usually in response to some event attributed to God, like a nice divine appointment. I just think, "Really? God (again, creator of everything), who destroyed entire cities in justful wrath, is cute? God, who came in human form, to guide us all, and ultimately be tortured and killed in order to take our sins, is cute?" I know I'd be insulted. I have no idea whether God is or not - it's just not something I would attribute to His character.
And so on...
Don't get me wrong - I understand the importance of mission, but when I hear that a group of people spend $3000 each to go on mission for a couple of weeks, and they talk about shopping, culture and etc. more than they talk about their spiritual conversations, salvations and personal growth type testimonies, I begin to wonder.
It's especially annoying when these people would be more effective at home, if they were focused on doing the same thing, commited to doing the same thing. A Japan trip recently saw 3 people turn to Christ, which is awesome. However, when I see something amazing like Schoolies (where there can never be enough helpers and support), having a dozen salvations in one night - at less than 10% of the cost, I begin to wonder.
This is an area of my own personal growth as well, but I honestly thing we need to treat our whole lives as mission, not just the weeks we go on mission. Look at the apostles in acts...wow...imagine if we were like that in our own communities.
Not to mention that God has placed us right where we are...what better place to sow?
Now, to be hypocritical, since I quoted salvation numbers in the previous post, I hate that :p. It's not a big thing that happens, but I know it does (and I think I worry about it too much as well). The fact is, David got in big trouble for doing a Census, for counting things, and relying on that strength instead of God's. Numbers don't matter - faith in God does.
It's often emphasised by missionaries that work as a missionary is God's calling for most people - only a few have need for secular work, and we'd all serve God best through missionary type work.
A few things I see wrong with that:
- Who will financially support missionaies in the event that everyone is a missionary?
- What's more effective: established relationships with non christians daily (secular work), or random talking to strangers and hoping that it becomes spiritual
- The 5 parts of a church defined in...ephesians I think? Preacher, Teacher, Evangelist, Apostle, Prophet. Only 1/5 of those is missionary work - apostle. Though I suppose that's open for debate, they could all be considered missionary stuff...
Don't get me wrong here - I think missionaries do an excellent, and necessary job, and it's great that they've found their calling in it. Seriously, keep up the awesome work. But it's not for everyone, and don't try to say it is.
It's Christian - it must be good!
Rap will never be good, even if it is Christian. Nor will pop music. Or country music. I don't like the book 'Wild at heart' very much at all.
Just because it's something Christian, doesn't mean I have to enjoy it. Or be particularly interested in it. It's a big field, I can't like it all.
Also, closely related, is Christian obligations - like "outreach (like, planned 1hr/week type stuff) is something Christians should do" - nooo, it's not, and just because it's Christian, doesn't mean I'm obligated to partake. Think of the repurcusions involved if everyone did everything that Christians can do? We'd be working 6000 hr days.
I'm not sure if this is just me and something I need to work on, other people and something they need to work on, or difference of opinion that's fairly trivial and doesn't matter either way (Faith isn't a big spiritual gift for me), but if I'm hoping that a traffic light will stay green so I don't have to do a hill start, and that traffic light stays green, I don't attribute that to God's divine intervention.
I think this is just a faith thing - but I can't attribute something that was caused by the timing of computers. The would have behaved as they did, regardless of your prayer. I don't doubt that God could make those lights change. I just doubt that they're in His will to change, and would wonder his motives for doing so.
So, that's about it that I can think of now :p I hope you enjoyed the read and it helped in some way. Considering the extensiveness of Christianity, and the relative shortness of this list, be comforted that I love Christianity, and Jesus, very much! Not to mention all you guys and gals ;-)
May God bless you all.