Not at ALL What You Thought

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Don't at ALL Like "Christians"

One day, when I was a teenager, newly-born-again, I visited the home of an older church woman, one of the women who taught me how to pray and study the Bible. It was a Saturday, and it was very warm, I remember, and so I was dressed for the weather. A teenage daughter of the woman I was visiting looked me up and down and said, "You're not saved. If you were saved, you wouldn't be wearin those." She was referring to my shorts, which were very short, and purple with little pink back pockets.

Saved women didn't wear shorts. There was a whole list of things, apparently, that I was going to have to give up if I was to be seen as saved by The Right People. (Long story short: I . . . .didn't.)

"Christians" is what I call The Right People today. (Note punctuation.) I didn't like them then, and I don't like them now. Now, as a Christian, I love some Christians; they're cool. I also love some Jews, some Muslims, some Buddhists, some Atheists, some Agnostics, and other folk who couldn't care less about Christianity. I love them because they have grown on me as people of joy and integrity, and I believe that the Creator loves them all, too; because I'm trying to be like Him, I practice love.

I'm going to have to work hard to love "Christians," though. Although I believe that the Creator loves them, too, and no less than He loves me and mine, I also believe that "Christians" are fakes. Liars. Cheats. Murderers. Rapists. Their behavior angers me, as I believe it dismays and angers the Creator who loves them.

The distinction came home to me today when a Facebook friend, a rabbi, posted this story. In response to the post, I wrote, "Another example of 'Christians' practicing deception for the sake of proselyting. Wonderful."(Note punctuation.) You won't believe this, but, in this world, there are people who call themselves Christians, who believe it's right to lie, cheat, steal, kill and rape in the name of Christianity. (I told you you wouldn't believe it.)As a Christian, lies, liars and lying make me angry, and the junk the purveyors of this Christian Haggadahs are trying to trick devout Jews into buying figures in the category of lies, liars and lying.

A while after my comment on Fb, a Fb friend of the Rabbi, someone who calls herself a Christian (well, at first, she said she was a "Christian", and, right now, I wonder if I should've corrected her), objected to what she characterized as "bashing." At first, she thought, because I criticized the "Christians" involved in lies and lying, that I wasn't a Christian. (I couldn't possibly be.) She pointed out that she didn't "bash" what I believed, and so I shouldn't "bash" what she believed. Later, she told me I should use the term religious instead of "Christian" to describe the people I take issue with. When I tried to explain the distinction I explain here, she urged me to examine the anger in my heart because "anger prevents a person from hearing from God." Then she began to preach and posted a link to something or other. I responded by (among other things) asking her not to proselytize.

When the rabbi stood up for me, pointing out that she must be misunderstanding me, that I had nothing against non-Jews* (but I had plenty against liars who pretended to be Christians), the rabbi's friend replied, "I am say Regina is Jewish, but she says she is Christian and is easily angered . . . . If she is a Christian, . . . she would know that I am not proselyting on the subject but speaking 100% truth. Instead, she is easily angered, a cause of concern since in a Chistians [sic]life that interferes with hearing from God the Father."

Here, there is a lack of reading for comprehension and an arrogant assumption of knowledge about me, a total stranger with whom she has exchanged only (partly-understood) words (and punctuation). Here, there is apparent support for the kind of cheat designed in the Christian Haggadahs sold by Amazon. Here, there is a shameless belief in an unadulterated welcome to anything she has to say about Jesus. Also, here (and most unforgivable), there is ignorance about the proper use of the apostrophe.

I am ashamed of this person, y'all. And I figure my shame is a good thing because this person (and those like her) has no shame, so somebody should have some on her behalf, you know? But I'm content to know that God is real. He blesses people with inner change, even when I'm too angry to pray for them.

. . . .because Sister Girl is right: I am angry. And she is wrong: because a lack of anger about lies, liars and lying is the very thing that will make us deaf to the Father's voice.

*I'm learning a lot about perspective from this teacher.

Dear Jesus, teach us how to be angry and sin not.