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Why We Are so Often Lazy Christians

Updated on August 19, 2017
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.

The Ruins of a Church in Aberdeen, Scotland

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I have an 83-year-old neighbor

I have an 83-year-old neighbor who is a devout Christian. I can't put into words how much I admire how she lives her faith day in and day out. She is at church whenever the doors are open. She teaches Sunday School, is a decision counselor, tithes, takes every Bible study offered, she works in Vacation Bible School, is active in the widow's group, sings in the senior choir, visits the sick, takes food to the bereaved, even travels to foreign countries on mission trips from Central America to China. But when it comes to politics, she is like so many other Christians - lazy.

Nothing else matters

I say this because when someone runs for office, from dog catcher to the president of the United States, too many Christians only want to know one thing. Are they anti-abortion? They dismiss any other evidence of Christ-like behaviour. Matthew 7:16 says you will know them by their fruit. That verse doesn't apply to many voting believers because the only fruit they look for is a position on this one issue.

It doesn't matter if candidates have honored their wedding vows. It doesn't matter if they have been convicted of ethical violations. It doesn't matter if they support our military. It doesn't matter if they have made a fortune taking advantage of any and/or everyone who has crossed their paths. It doesn't matter if they talk in ways that they would have washed their children's mouths out with soap. Doesn't matter. Nothing matters but abortion.

Christianity is not that easy. Jesus asks more from us than that.


Jesus taught so much more

What about what Jesus said about feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and dying, sharing your cloak with someone who doesn't have one, providing for the widow and the orphan, not cheating your neighbor? What about not bearing false witness, not coveting what someone else has, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, not dragging a fellow Christian into court? How much would the need for abortion be reduced if we elected officials who cared about issues like these? My point is this: you can't make a decision as important as putting a person into government to represent you on the basis of only one issue. Well, yes you can. But you are being lazy.

It's not that easy. Too many well-intentioned people are making it that easy though, because it takes a good bit of time and energy to get to know the candidates and learn their stand on the issues. You can't just read their Web site, because candidates often just publish what people want to hear. You need to watch interviews, research their voting history or public comments, read a variety of newspapers and magazines, watch a variety of news broadcasts on a variety of networks, read the books they have published, and on and on to get an in-depth knowledge of what the candidate truly believes in order to make an intelligent choice that will result in what they are most likely to do if you entrust them with an office.

That's a lot of effort to make when it is so much easier to just judge them on one issue.




Are abortions rampant in America?

How big a percentage of women in America get abortions?

Is that number increasing or declining?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when abortion in America was legalized in 1973 the abortion rate was 14 per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. The number of abortions peaked in 1990 with a rate of 24 per 1,000. From that high, the CDC reported the numbers declined through 2002 and then stabilized. In 2012 the abortion rate was 13.2 abortions per 1,000.

"Given the large decreases in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions from 2011 to 2012, in combination with decreases that occurred during 2008–2011, all three measures reached historic lows." -CDC

Realizing that this is a question of fundamental beliefs in many religions, irregardless of statistics as to how many people are actually affected, you still have to question if it should outweigh all other requirements of the Christian life when choosing our politicians. In 40 years how often has the influence of someone in office made any difference? Roe v Wade is still the law of the land. But how an official thinks on taxes, the debt, defense spending, going to war, social security, healthcare, immigration, education - do we take all that into account when judging their Christianity? How Christ-like are they when it comes to making decisions that affect millions of people every single day of their lives?

Can somebody say they are voting their faith then dismiss all the other things Jesus commanded his followers to care about when it comes to their fellow man?: It has recently been asked, "What profits a man if he gains the Supreme Court but loses his own soul?"

I wonder what Jesus would have to say about that?


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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 7 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      It is easy for people to make this the most important issue in their lives because most of them will never have to deal with it personally. My primary reason for being pro-choice is the conviction that I cannot know what goes on in an individual's life, so who am I to limit their options when faced with this situation. It's between them, their doctor, and their God.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 7 months ago from Tennessee

      I lost my first child in 1973. I was only peripherally aware of this discussion going on ( I had other big concerns), but I remember reading the very thoughtful columns in my local paper by a prominent theologian about this issue. Because I was so personally, emotionally affected, I also remember being so angry when the right took over this issue. I still feel emotional about the loss of our child and I'm still angry every time I hear someone like your neighbor make judgements about something she's probably never had to face because Franklin Graham tells her to.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 7 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      1. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks.

      2. If you are worshiping in the only way you can, you are worshiping.

      3. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ - the only requirement I know of for being a Christian.

      Blessings.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 7 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      Ever since I was married to a buddhist hubby, I didn't attend chucrch because my mother in law forbidded.

      So, I set up an altar, prayed at home.

      Am I still considered as a christtian?

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 8 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      GOL: Thank you. I held these feelings in as long as I could. It didn't do enough good to effect the election, but these issues are bigger than any one election. I just hope folks remember some of what's been written here when we reap what we have sown.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 8 months ago from Philippines

      I have been dying to hear someone say the things you just did in this article. I'm sure a lot of Christians won't like hearing the hard truth, but it has to be said. You are 100 percent on target.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      I hate to use a newfangled term, but "sheeple" comes to mind. If they just understood what was really being done to them.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Cochran 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      To quote a passage: "They will reap what they have sowed." The problem is they have no idea what they have sowed or are not interested. I'm not sure which is more frightening.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      I get so fed up with religious folks allowing a couple of narrow issues to define their voting practices.

      Great read!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Cochran 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Cat: Thanks. I've been hearing for years in the pulpit that God's judgement was coming down on America for the choices we've made. I think this might be what He had in mind. I take no pleasure in it. There are too many people I admire that today I'm disappointed in. God help us, indeed. But you know what? He is still God and I'm not. I trust He knows what He is doing.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 9 months ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Kathleen. It is refreshing to read your views. I too have many friends who are devout Christians, and I couldn't believe the vicious and misinformed posts on FB. I've long wondered how evangelicals could ardently support such a candidate even when asked WWJD. I think you are correct, and now we are seeing a greater divide among men than we have in decades. God help us!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Cochran 10 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      And so it ends. All the fine evangelicals out there can be proud of their choice. What a stellar person you have put in office.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Cochran 11 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      MizB: Thanks for taking the challenge of commenting. I was beginning to think I'd scared everybody off. Didn't think I'd be accused of being "too nice" with this one. I've been holding these convictions in for so long, I finally just had to write and let the chips fall where they may. I hoped they might fall on a few who felt convicted themselves. Thanks.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 11 months ago

      Kathleen, I'm in agreement with you except for one thing, I don't call them "lazy." Here I think that you are being too nice. I think they are anything but lazy, and that in most cases their one-sided view is driven by an obsessive compulsive determination to get their point across. This is a very good article. Thanks for writing it.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Cochran 11 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I'm pretty sure you're saying the same thing - too. Thanks for stopping by. I've been holding this in for a while now.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I rarely comment on religious articles, but on this one I'll simply say "faith should never be easy." If you believe in something then you have to commit to it completely. I'm pretty sure you're saying the same thing.