What Would Jesus Do? Are You Living Your Faith?
BY THE NUMBERS
There are approximately two billion Christians currently in the world. Of course, estimating is an inexact game at best, but just for the sake of this article, let’s consider that number to be close, give or take a few million.
What does it mean to be a Christian? Again, for the sake of this article, let’s simplify this definition and simply say that Christians are those who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, a prophet who roamed this Earth a little over 2,000 years ago.
For the sake of simplification, let’s say that a little more than 33% of the human beings walking around today are Christians. One in three!
My question, then, is this: with that many Christians following the teachings of Jesus Christ, how could there be so much hatred, greed, fear and lack of compassion in the world today?
Let’s take a look at a few of those teachings and see if we can find understanding.
SINNERS ARE WELCOME!
For this discussion, it makes no difference whether you believe that Christ was the son of God. The simple fact is that two billion people believe in his teachings.
Are we then to believe that those two billion do not believe in bigotry? Are we then to believe that those two billion people do not believe in prejudice, intolerance, or racism? Are we to believe that all two billion of them have shown no inclination towards judging others?
What I find interesting, and believe me, I have done some reading on the life of Jesus Christ during my theology and religion classes, is that he was quite comfortable with the supposed “scum” of the earth. He rubbed shoulders with the indigent and the sinners. Prostitutes were welcome, as were criminals. Jesus even….get this….was willing to discuss, in a humane and rational fashion, beliefs that were not aligned with his beliefs.
How is it possible, then, that many who swear to be followers of Jesus, cannot find it in their hearts to do the same? How can any rational man or woman hold a cross on high and yet mock, decry, and condemn those of another color or creed?
I need help understanding that!
Are You A Christian?
LET’S TALK ABOUT GREED AND SERVICE TO OTHERS
I wonder what Christ would think of the unequal distribution of wealth in the world today? I’m wondering what he would think of the homeless who litter our streets like some discarded candy wrappers? I wonder if he would turn his back to them, and not see them, as so many of our citizens do today?
Is it possible that there are Christians in our world today who can’t be bothered with the sufferings of others? How can that be possible? How is it possible to go to church each Sunday, listen to the teachings of Christ, proclaim to be a Christian, and then ignore those who have lost their homes and do not have a meal to eat?
I need help understanding how that is possible!
Is it possible to concern oneself only with profit, despite the cost to others, and retain our humanity? Is it possible to jack up prices in an area hit with a natural disaster and still retain our humanity? Is it possible to worship the profit and loss statement, while others suffer, and still retain our humanity?
How much profit is enough? When corporate CEO’s tuck away billions, sitting in their lush offices within sight of tent cities, is it possible to still call themselves Christians?
The Face of Hate
- The Westboro Baptist Church: The Face of Hate
A re-telling of the morning that Hate visited Olympia, Washington. Westboro Baptist Church stages a small protest against gays.
Something to think about
- Philosophy On Life
One man's ramblings about this thing called life. See if you don't find yourself agreeing with a few of them.
SHOW ME THE LOVE
So you must love one another! Heavy words my friends, and they provide very little wiggle room for argument. Love, of course, carries with it the dual responsibility of compassion and empathy. To care as much about your fellow citizens; to feel their pain as if it were your own; these are signs of love.
How could there be the turmoil we see in the world today if all Christians lived according to that command? If 1/3rd of the inhabitants of Earth lived these words, would there be the amount of pain and suffering we see daily?
I need help in understanding how Christians could not love one another!
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Love your enemies! It says nothing about declaring war on your enemies. It says nothing about vengeance, or retribution. It simply says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Jesus seemed to understand that when we hate someone else, we in turn diminish who we are. The mere act of wishing harm to someone is an act of subtraction from our divinity.
Is it possible to be a Christian and hate others? If so, I need help understanding that!
Thoughts About Love
A POINT TO CONSIDER
For a number of years, this writer taught religion in a Catholic school. Every year, at the beginning of the school year, I would ask how many of the students were Catholic. Well of course all hands were raised. Next I asked them what it meant to be Catholic. Most would say that it meant they believed in God and Jesus Christ. I would then say yes, that is true, but what is different about the Catholic religion that sets it apart from other Christian religions, for surely Baptists and Episcopalians believe in God and Jesus Christ.
Rarely did I have a student who knew the difference, that Catholics believe in transubstantiation and that the Pope is the direct descendant of Jesus Christ. They all claimed to be Catholics and yet did not know what it meant to be a Catholic.
I see that today with those who proclaim to be Christians. I do not suffer fools well at all, and I have very little patience with hypocrites.
It makes no difference to me at all if you are a Christian, or a Buddhist, or Jewish or whatever, but it does make a difference to me if you preach your religion but do not live it. Going to church once a week does not make you a Christian; living according to the teachings of Christ makes you a Christian and nothing else.
I wonder what the world would be like if one-third of its citizens loved one another, or if one-third of its citizens lived without hatred or bigotry in their hearts? Would the world be a better place? Would there be peace on Earth?
Unfortunately, we will never know unless Christians start acting like Jesus Christ.
Merry CHRISTmas to all!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)