Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Christian catch 22

It seems to me that theists have forgotten their mission as believers in Christ, and are ignoring the rules regarding resistance to their message. Today's Christians just like those of the crusades are trying to win converts to Christ not just through the preaching of the word but by force. As in the dark ages they want to make belief into an obligation not voluntarily, but rather compulsory.

According to Matthew 10:14 after Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach the coming of the kingdom to the "lost sheep of Israel" he then told them: 14. "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town." Jesus, according to the various narratives in the scriptures gave you the option to accept or reject his so called message of slavation/ restoration. The rest of the chapter talks about how the apostles will be persecuted by authorities and gentiles and other religious groups etc.

The funny thing about this is that I have read the bible cover to cover a total of four times and I have never come across any divine mandate or commission for world dominance. Yet it seems that this is what the church has been trying to do ever since it was accepted by the Emperor Constantine and received the backing and military might of the Roman empire. After about 200 plus years of hardship and persecution you would think that the church would have learned through experience a few lessons of compassion. But history has shown us the complete opposite.

Once the church was in full power and recognized as the church of the Roman state, the first things that they did was to exact revenge against the former persecutors. They began a campaign to eliminate all competing religions and compel everyone to accept the Christian faith. Once they were done doing that, then they began turning on other Christian sects which they decided to label heretics because they did not agree with their orthodox views.

If I understand the bible correctly, Christianity was supposed to be a religion based on compassion, love, and peace. Of course Jesus is recorded as saying in Matthew 10:34 :  “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." But in the context in which this passage is set I understand this to mean that there will be strife among ones family, friends, relatives, and even strife within communities because of the new teachings espoused by Christ. Although believers are told to spread the gospel throughout the world they are not told to compel or force people into believing. The choice to accept or reject Christianity is the only free choice I believe that Christianity affords. Beyond that, upon acceptance; you have given up your will to that of the will of God and your newly found beliefs.

But Christians even in today's world are combative. Although it is no longer with sword or in the case of the modern world through the use of modern warfare and military might, they still seem to want to rule the world. In fact I am of the opinion that apologetics as they are used today to so called defend the tenets and beliefs of Christianity is wrong and perverse. Apologetics is good for instructing believers who may be confused about certain aspects of their beliefs. But as a tool to defend the faith it fails miserably. In my opinion in the simplest way possible that I can think of saying this, it's like comparing apples to oranges.

In fact, 1 Timothy 6:20,21 admonishes Timothy (believers): 20. "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21.which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith." Other biblical translations translate "turn away from" as avoid or shun. Theists according to this texts are supposed to be non-confrontational, but as history has shown us this has never been the case.

In 2 Timothy 2:15,16 this same principle is reinforced: 15. "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly." In other words opposing beliefs within and without the church and discussions of such things are to be avoided. But theists through apologetics and the misrepresentatons and misinterpretations of the sciences seek to do just the opposite of what they are commanded.

This is the Christian catch 22, they are supposed to preach the gospel to the world but at the same time be peaceful and non-confrontational about it. Their job as followers of Christ simply put, is to preach the gospel or good news as they like to call it. Like a business man they lay out a proposition before those they want to reach and you have the choice to accept or reject that proposition. Forcing your beliefs upon society through such conniving measures as political manipulations, and trying to force your gods laws onto the rest of us through legislation is simply not very Christ like or Christian.

Christians are doing exactly what they did during the crusades and the inquisition. They are trying to force their beliefs on the world and some of the more extreme groups would love nothing more than a full blown theocratic society. In a previous and more barbaric age they could simply imprison, burn, and torch you at the stake for not confessing faith in their beliefs. But in today's more civilized world those methods have been outlawed so they must resort to other means such as gaining favor with politicians and using that favor to influence laws in our country that favor their beliefs.

Christians don't care about the rights of others they only care about their own beliefs and rights that they seem to assume that they have earned. In this country theists of all denominations and sects are allowed to worship freely. But that is not enough for them, they want us all to worship with them regardless of our race, creed, or religion. The problem is that they are nothing more than a bunch of psychotic sheep without a shepherd. The many Christian sects in the U.S. alone (around 35,000) attest to the many disagreements amongst them.

In conclusion, theists should adopt the policy of live and let live. You may believe that you are not of this world and that is fine, but you are currently in this world and so you must adapt like the rest of us are forced to do. If someone does not accept your message don't go off on a rant about how they are immoral or the children of Satan etc. Try praying for them in your own private time with your imaginary guy in the sky. Stop being so confrontational and leave those of us who don't want to be bothered alone.

Note: All biblical quotations are taken from the New International Version of the bible.


  1. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

    Yet he is called "the Prince of Peace".
    Much as Islam is called "the Religion of Peace" there is a desert of deceit and a grain of truth to both. They both promote peace...but only for their adherents/ fellow believers.
    All others exist at their own risk.

  2. Chat, I really liked this post. I have to say I agree with you 99%. The 1% is more just the fact that I think that "part" of the aggressiveness we're seeing from Christians might also be a response to how the culture is changing and how our rights are slowly being eroded. True Story - One county over from where I live there has been a morning prayer circle held around the flag pole at one of the elementary schools for nearly 12 years, and the time and place was mentioned in the school newsletter or something like that. Anyway, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (in another STATE mind you) received a complaint from a parent, and in turn they sent a letter to the school board. The group then waited on the school board's response to determine if its next step would be into a courtroom. I don't know all the details, but I do know it got so out of hand that the Pastor that normally conducted the prayer circle was banned from school property, even though his grandchild attends the school. It got to the point where he couldn't even pray with his own grandchild around the flagpole without receiving a citation.

    Christians might be a little Cu-coo at times, but there's a huge portion of the secular society that seems like it has no respect for our heritage. It's ridiculous that thing like nativity scenes are being banned from public places. It's juvenile that people would boycott Chik-fil-a because the owner makes a statement in favor of marriage between a man and a woman.

  3. Jhunt..yes I know whatyou mean.
    For sometime it was perfectly acceptable to refuse service to blacks, make them sit in the back of the bus. The nerve of people who dare challenge such a tradition of so many years. I mean..can you imagine? What ever happened to the right to refuse people based on..well..based on whatever floats your boat.

    If course, the fact that this went on even after integration of schools and the civil rights act passed, required people like the ACLU (those damn out of staters) to bring suits against some states for their failure to enforce the law was an intrusion on their part. I mean, how dare they.

    The Supreme Ct has ruled that public school organzized (not individual personal student) prayer is a violation of the constitution, the 1st amendment Establishment Clause. The same is true for a town to "endorse a specific religion" by providing it public space for its religious icons... no matter how long they've been violating the law. It's as true for Xtian iconic religious symbols being prevented on public property as it is for Satanic Church symbols, Muslim symbols, Voo Doo name it. Its fair for everyone and keeps religion separate from gov't.

    The FFRF is based in Wisconsin, but its 17,000 members are in all 50 states.When a secularist's rights have been violated , and the law has been broken, they contact the organbiztion that understands the law and seeks to get the offending pary to abide by the law. This isn't rocket science; nothing underhanded about it; it's widely practiced by national organizations of all types whose home office/central headqtrs are their base of operations. You the mormon church based in Utah spends millions of dollars to over turn California's gay marriage law. And similar actions by out of state religious organzations who came to NH to try and do the same.

    Now, if you're saying that because something has been done for a certain number of years, ispite of it' illegality, it should be allowed to go unreported, and unopposed..well, I'm guessing we'd count you among those who would oppose atheists being allowed to hold public office in your town, since they never were allowed to before, inspite of the US Constitution that forbids a religious test to hold office. Or if someone has an illegal machine gun/ unregistered with the BATF they shouldn't be prosecuted because they've had it for years. Or, If someone has kept a child enslaved for ten years, they get a pass and it should continue. Or..well..pick something/anything you'd understand because it has no self serving religious connotation. It would likely be easier for that way.

    As for boycott.. yeah,I can just see you frequenting an establishment that said they oppose equal rights for Christians, and who contribute to eliminating those rights.'d just ignore that because you love their food. Nah, my guess is you'd be "juvenile " in that circumstance and avoid them like the plague, as would your entire church, and entire denomination. Xtians never see it until it's Their rights, Their belief, Their interests, Their freedoms being threatened or truncated in violation of the law. Hypocrisy is the trademark of the religious. Shortsightedness and denial is their birthright.

  4. PS: Those damn northern freedom riders, who dared come down to the south to fight for southern blacks' civil rights...the nerve of those intruders into southern tradition. Isn't it just like those Yankee upstarts.
    Many of them go what they deserved, right J Hunt?

  5. Dromedary, first of all, I don't appreciate the sarcasm or condescending tone. Nothing in my original comment deserved that kind of response.

    The point I was trying to make is that BOTH sides are intolerant of each other. And instead of having the "live and let live" mentality that Chatpiolot spoke of in his post, they each try to control the actions of the other to an extent BEYOND what the law allows.

    I would NOT boycott a business based on their beliefs. I would, however, think twice before spending money at an establishment that made substantial financial contributions to something I was opposed to (abortion for example). But even then, I wouldn't go overboard on the issue. And that's simply my own personal conviction. I don't think that makes me juvenille. In fact, I think that makes me NOT a hypocrite.

    In regards to the prayer circle, it is one thing to make a case against the school for the endorsement in the newsletter, but it is an entirely different thing to prohibit the pastor from setting foot on the school grounds where his grandson attends school. And if they want to have a private prayer before school hours, I don't see how anyone has any right to prevent that.

    As far as your comment about keeping religion separate from government, why in the heck does our US currency have the words "In God We Trust" printed on it? Why does the pledge of allegiance say we are "One Nation Under God?" And why did Congress print bibles in 1782 "for use of schools?" Riddle me that.



  6. "I would NOT boycott a business based on their beliefs. I would, however, think twice before spending money at an establishment that made substantial financial contributions to something I was opposed to.."
    Thus,you would "boycott" that business. Avoiding transacting business based on a social or political stance is "boycott"...whther organized or ad hoc. Thus,you contradict / reverse yourself in one paragraph.

    I made no judgement on banning the pastor. You did. I toldyou that irrespective of howlong an illegal act was practiced, how "traditioal" it may be, a violation of the law is a vilation. Your previous comment clearly implied you were bothered by this sudden callfor enforsement..yet here, you ignore that detail.

    InGod we Trust was added topaper currency in 1954 in response to the "McCarthy Red Scare" histeria. They figured commies would be offended or wouldn't counterfeit the moneywith that protectionon it..and other relgious fanatic reasoning.
    Congress also responded by adding in Under god to the original pledge around the same time, for the same reason... at the urging of the KoCl, and over theprotestations of Rev. Bellay's family who wrote the pledge in the 1890's.

    While stuid, insipid and meaningless, the prases do not endorse a specific god/s, or rligion, and thus has beenruled to be not in violation of the 1st amendment.

    Aitken's bible, the firstUS printed bible, was printed with hisown money, not with gov't funds., It was never distributed to public schools, although the fanatic wanted to. Here's a linkthat may help giveyou deails, of which you clearly haven't botered to nvestigate.

    As for my tone: if you want respect, or think you deserve it, do some research, reading and thinking before typing. While I realize this is not the preferred method of relgionsts, preferring to accept hearsay and myth as fact, it would serve you well.

    1. I said I would not boycott based on their "BELIEFS" meaning that just because the owners hold a personal viewpoint, that alone is not grounds to boycott the business. In other words, if the owner is pro-choice, woopty doo. I don't care. But if they are funding abortion clinics, then that's another issue.

      The prayer circle was actually NOT the violation. It was the schools endorsement of it in the newsletter that caused the upset (which I agree violates the 1st amendment). My frustration (and the whole point of the example) was that the attempt to enforce one law, resulted in extreme measures that affect the rights of the individuals.

      As for your tone, it would serve you well to treat others with respect, regardless of whether YOU think they deserve it or not.

    2. ps. Thank you for the link. I actually did attempt to find more details online prior to mentioning it my post, but my search results returned several discussion pages and none of them had the full references I was seeking. If I was incorrect in what I stated, I apologize. I appreciate your clarification of the facts, but it would have been just as effective without the condescending remarks.

  7. note: excuse the typos. wife's laptop keys and space bar stick, and there is no spell check on her browser for some reason.

  8. JHunt...
    Condescention is one of the characteristics that make me so lovable.

    1. I'd probably tolerate it more if I knew you on a personal level. I'm actually a very sarcastic person myself, but not with people I just met. No harm done. However, in the future, it would be nice to have a discussion with a little less of that tone. Perhaps I'll have the pleasure of chatting with you again sometime. Take care.