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 confused...you 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.

12 Comments:

  • At 7:07 AM , Blogger Christina said...

    Do you think that these "Christians" realize that they turn more people away from Christianity with their clever, clever schemes than they "save"? Do you think they care?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

     
  • At 7:15 AM , Blogger Elayne said...

    Did I miss a step and Rabbi Friend actually had said you were Jewish, or said something that could reasonably or even faintly be construed as implying you were Jewish, or did she just make that up all on her own, bless her heart?

    If anger prevents a person from hearing from God, I wonder what she thinks about all the times Jesus let a little temper show. (And that's just the *documented* times.)

    At the risk of displaying my own prejudices, she sounds like the type of person with a "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" bumper sticker. Because what I've noticed about them is, generally, *their* momentary lapse into anger/gluttony/doubt/murder-rape-and-mayhem was just a temporary thing and they prayed it out and it's all good now, hallelujah. Meanwhile, *YOUR* momentary lapse into anger/gluttony/doubt/"what are you even TALKING about, I don't agree with that at ALL" territory is Indicative Of A Very Serious Spiritual Problem and shows that you are Clearly Not Walking Closely With The Lord right now, because if you were you would see The Error(s) Of Your Ways. Duh.

    I put a "generally" in there in case you have just such a bumper sticker on YOUR car... (c:

    (my word verification is "shellfec." I had one elsewhere just now that was "sucktm." They're getting quite interesting.)

     
  • At 3:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It is funny how we can hear and respond to things from total strangers and be intensely upset! I also think it is funny when we forget how quickly we error in our own lives. There is a standard. There is a moral standard in which if we desire to be in relationship with Christ there will come a time after awhile that we should be able to keep this standard. Some things we should be able to maturely develop in as adults, and especially Christians. For instance, stop cheating on your taxes, don't commit adultry, stop cursing, etc... I affectionately call it 'growing up'. There is also a common sense standard. When people receive Christ in their heart, they won't be perfect the following year (or decade). Why then do we get so frustrated with other's immaturity? If we considered how much grace we need as individuals would we be as intolerable towards others? Partially common sense? Partial arrogance on our own behalf? Can we forgive others for their shortcomings while simultaneously loving them enough to hold them to a standard and be accountable? Can we do it without 'bashing'? Or is it too much to love a stranger as you love yourself?

     
  • At 3:53 PM , Blogger Gine said...

    I believe that Ephesians 4:26 has (at least) two meanings, the second being, "Be careful to express anger over the right things, or you sin."

    Even Jesus got "intensely upset" on occasion. I follow Him.

     
  • At 10:56 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

    I just read the story at the link. Wow. I mean, just...huh. You'd think after a while you'd lose the capacity to be surprised be Things People Do, but that was a twist I'd never thought of. Oy.

     
  • At 5:06 PM , Blogger Gine said...

    Jen: I know. Wow.

     
  • At 7:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So called Christians drive people away. I well recall as a boy I was playing basketball by myself. I had short hair and was talented athletically. A large group of much taller Christian boys from the church got in my way and their leader made me hold a cigarette etc a certain way to prove I wasnt a queer. Then they go on their way and bear false witness that so and so is a queer. This kind of thing actually ruins people's lives. I dont know what happens to the boys who confronted me. I think types lot that end up in the military with super short haircuts and ready to waste "other." I know they are demented individuals along with their families so now I say I am a secular humanists so go screw yourselves.

     
  • At 9:19 AM , Blogger Gine said...

    "So called Christians drive people away."

    Yep. Christina was the first to point this out, but it bears repeating.

     
  • At 10:39 AM , Anonymous Steve Bryant said...

    If you check into the history of the "Christian" school it was historically a place parents sent their children so they would not have to deal with other races and groups in society. It was a shelter for the white supremacy type of thinking. I was told all other religions are going to Hell. There was a great emphasis on the immiment end of the world and how this was to be looked forward to. Science is seen as a great fraud and the books and authors generally held in high esteem in mainstream society are derided as perverted works of the Devil. Anyone who has attended a Christian school knows I am telling the truth. So basically Christians are just waiting for the world to blow up and for everyone else to be thrown into Hell while they ascend to a world of bliss (bliss to them are things like amusement parks, water slides, picnics, etc.) The most evident part of the bargain is that of holding the fear over you which makes your decision not a true one. If you tell me I will be burned if I dont accept the bunny rabbit as King I will do it.

     
  • At 10:44 AM , Blogger Gine said...

    So basically Christians are just waiting for the world to blow up and for everyone else to be thrown into Hell while they ascend to a world of bliss (bliss to them are things like amusement parks, water slides, picnics, etc.)You will not believe this, but these picnics, etc. are referenced in Toni Morrison's new novel, A Mercy, in conjunction with the "Christians" who refuse refuge to the NA woman being abused by her husband.

     
  • At 6:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So much can be written about "Christians" and the different types of them. I have a sister who is the type of "Christian" who puts it on her license plate, tells everyone etc and I know how she treats me. She makes a big point how she makes a lot of money and pointed out how I will have a dismal retirement while she will be set pretty well. Obviously, this is not the behavior of the original Christians who, if history is to be believed, hid in the catacombs and whose lives hung by a thread. In the modern era Christians seem to have adapted pretty much the same criteria as anyone else so now a Christian is someone who has a high paying job (showing that God loves them), is good looking, and lives in the expensive part of town. Thats certainly one variety anyway.

     
  • At 6:19 AM , Blogger Gine said...

    In the modern era Christians seem to have adapted pretty much the same criteria as anyone else so now a Christian is someone who has a high paying job (showing that God loves them), is good looking, and lives in the expensive part of town. Thats certainly one variety anyway.And God, IMO, is pissed. . . .

     

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