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What Would Jesus Do? Are You Living Your Faith?

Updated on December 18, 2012

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.

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ | Source

SINNERS ARE WELCOME!

Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.
Jesus Christ

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?

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LET’S TALK ABOUT GREED AND SERVICE TO OTHERS

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.:
Jesus Christ

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!

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?:
Jesus Christ

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?

SHOW ME THE LOVE

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Jesus Christ

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.
Jesus Christ

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)

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    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      No worries.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks artblack; I happen to agree with you; I just didn't understand what you were saying. Sorry about that!

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      I wasn't disagreeing either I was just commenting, or adding to the fact that even if you call it a philosophy, a relationship or whatever, it's still a religion.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the visit, Cindy!

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      Cindy Mulvey 4 years ago

      Check out Deist.info.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you artblack; not sure the point of this comment; I certainly wasn't disagreeing with you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Artblack!

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Billy, if you believe in Jesus, God, Allah, Zeus, or whatever then you are religious or in a religion, even if you are the only one in that religion. You can call it a higher calling but it doesn't change that it's still a religion.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Any belief in any sort of deity, whether you think it's a relationship or whatever (I don't know one religious person who doesn't consider their belief a relationship with their God) is a religion. When you twist someones words like that it's called dishonest.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Artblack, I agree with you completely. Religion is just an institution unless you are living it, and then it becomes a higher calling. Thank you!

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Billy, you don't need a religion or faith to be a good and upstanding person or for a structure on what is good and bad and most of us believe we are fighting the good fight.... personally the only evil I believe in is one where a persons mental illness makes them dangerous to society (ie. Pedophiles, Rapists, Racists, Serial Killers), everyone else is just desperate and looking for a way to survive.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, not surprisingly, I agree with everything you have written.

      Sending you hugs on this Sunday

      love,

      billy

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy

      I am Catholic but believe any religion is the right one if it provides someone faith and a dividing line for living a good upstanding life. Having a belief system helps a person have structure to the good and bad. We all have our days but there are many good folks out there attempting to fight the good fight.

      I do my best and appreciate this reflective and informative article.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      If you have convincing evidence I will believe it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jainismus, and that was the whole point of this hub....the teachings of Jesus....I have no desire to debate with anyone the existence of Jesus. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark, and I will always respect you; it's just that I have better things to do than try to convince those who are set in their faith, or lack thereof.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Artblack!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark! Have a great day buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Artblack for your fervor. I appreciate the visits; perhaps you would enjoy to continue the debate on the forums that HP provides. Happy New Year to you!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Although I do not believe in Creator God, I like many aspects of Christianity, especially its humanitarian thoughts.

      Thank you for sharing this article.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      You are right Bill, this is a "No Win" argument and the only winner will be God. There will always be disbelievers and they will always try to sound intelligent.

      Forgive me for ranting on your hub, but I am not one to give in to falsehood easily.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      The burden of proof is on the believer, there is not evidence that he existed, the only thing written about him is 30 years after his supposed death. I see how you coward out of it by resorting to childish "no you, get lost". If you can't prove it then you can't prove it, no harm in saying you have no evidence and that you believe by faith, just don't expect me to believe he was a real person.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      And I challenge you to prove he was not. Get lost.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Sorry bill to continue this here, lt me know if I am crossing any lines.

      Curiad, To myself, all religions are cults, whether they strive to be good or bad makes no difference, a group that claims ultimate truth without actual evidence is to me a cult. By every conversation I have ever had with Christians on the matter of who is a real Christian I would conclude that there is no such thing as a real Christian... by their own standards... and I am sure I could make that conclusion about yourself if I discussed your faith. I don't begrudge ANYTHING, what I do is discuss the harm ones beliefs may or have caused. I do much research into Christianity only because I was once a believer. (I stopped saying I was once a Christian because that is a debate in itself, I was raised Christian.) I have a hub that challenges the existence of Jesus and do or don't visit depending on whether or not you can prove that Jesus was an actual person, I challenge anyone to prove he was.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Mark! Have a great New Year my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again for the visit, Artblack! Happy New Year to you!

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      A good time of the year to plan to put Jesus first in every part of our lives... Love God above all things love your neighbor as yourself ...put God first

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Sorry you feel that way Art, but I respect your thoughts. I have and do study the bible, I have and do study history and the cultures that existed in Jesus time. And yes, I do believe by faith. That is what was taught then and now. I also am sorry to hear all Christians lumped together as a "Cult" similar to what Bill said, I do not begrudge anyone their beliefs, and I agree that some who call themselves Christians are not, however that does not deter me from my beliefs.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Curiad, if you say so, but you are believing this solely by faith. You want this to be true, however, if you actually did study the Bible like I have, you might say otherwise. I grew up a Christian, I studied the Bible, I studied some science and history and came to the conclusion that I no longer believed the Bible to be true. All my future studies to try to prove there is truth to the Bible only makes me more of a nonbeliever. I have also done enough research into Jesus to conclude that he never existed, he is an amalgamation of other religious characters from other religions and the only writings on Jesus came 30 years after his death by someone who spent most of his life persecuting the people who called themselves Christians (who were totally different than the modern day cult we have today).

      Thanks, Billy, I am with you there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark! I tend to stay away from discussions of theology, simply because it's a no-win situation, and eventually leads to moral outrage if one does not believe the same as others. I appreciate you greatly, and here's wishing and hoping that 2013 is a much better year.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Artblack, yes, I agree. I know some atheists who are great people of sound moral character, and I much prefer their company to some Christians I know. Show me that you respect others and I won't care if you believe an aarvark is a Supreme Being. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Artblack, thanks for your viewpoint and comment. Honestly, and this will turn people off but oh well....I don't care if Jesus was fictional or not....the point being that if you believe and call yourself a follower, then you should act like it.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Matthew 13: 52

      "Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old."

      Jesus was saying that we can not give valuable gifts of truth until we first become the student. If we do not study the scriptures first, how can we share them?

      Yes Jesus was real, not fictional.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      I also don't believe anyone living in this modern age is making even a small attempt at being a true Christian, they are in love with all the symbolically involved with it and only give it lip service... I test this every time I wonder if the people I meet who are Christian will still be nice to me if I tell them what I believe and usually, not always but most of the time, I am either walked away from or shunned completely.... rarely but it happens I am assaulted either verbally and/or (attempted) with physical violence.

    • artblack01 profile image

      artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Great article, I totally agree with everything you have said... short of who Jesus was... what I mean by that is, you are 100% correct on what the Bible says he was. Personally, from what I have found in all my research from the time that I was Christian to the time I became an atheist and finally to now... Jesus is a fictional character, the origin of the character is in question but why he was written is clearly to create a sympathetic guy who was so nice and so moral that anyone could love him and if you dislike him you are an evil person.... then have him crucified and blame certain people for his death and have anyone who follows him get a first class ticket to heaven.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cynthtggt, no doubt about it; such a statement would be unfair. I hope you don't think I was saying that in this hub. I am, however, saying that calling oneself a Christian is a bit silly when actions do not reflect that belief.

      Thank you for the visit and great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Karen, I love that saying and it is so true. Thank you my friend and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, thank you! The teachings of Jesus are so beautiful, and so simple, and yet so many find it hard to live by them. I start with love and my life seems to progress quite nicely.

    • cynthtggt profile image

      cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Great hub about love being the example, but you wrote "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?" There is a layer too beneath what you say that has nothing to do with religion, like this statement. I worked in NY many years and I never met a CEO that was a Christian. Our economics founded on principles was NEVER a merely Christian domain. I think of Christ speaking about the "inward life," the life we take with us in the life to come and the life our fellow man cannot see, and I swear to God (Yes, I swear to God), that although there are those who say "nay" I have not been able to distinguish by economics or "works" of one person to another the level of genuine goodness in any man by concrete measure. There is an unfair judgment of Christians when you write as though they are all rich, etc.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      You make some very good points here Billy. I am reminded of one of my favorite Christian singers, Keith Green, who once said, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hambuger." Nough said!

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Well done! Jesus told us to follow His commands and do what pleases Him. This is all summed up in the 2 commandments: Love God with all my heart soul mind and strength and love my neighbor as I love myself. Jesus' 12 Apostles His hand selected disciples all were a little off...He spent 3 years with them, showing them and teaching them, even then we are told as Christ ascended into heaven some doubted, until the Holy Spirit came upon them to give them power. Jesus even told them to go and wait together for the gift from the father. Then we are told when they received the gift they were unified. Unity as Christians brings the power of God as Christians we need this power to carry out the great commission Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations....to do this we need also recognize that Jesus said people will know Him though the love we have for one and other...You got it right..we are to love all people into the Kingdom of God!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I agree with your observation. Giving money is easy; getting out among the poor is not nearly as easy, but it is much more gratifying and real. Thank you my friend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Interesting hub that points out something that always disturbs me, but that I think we are all guilt of at some point and in some way or another. It's easy to give money at church or say that we go to church every Sunday so that must make us "good" people, but that is not the point. Getting out and doing something, not walking by, shows true belief. I've also found that those who preach the loudest about there good deeds sometimes do the least. Great thought-provoking hub this day after Christmas.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Jackie.....love is always based on truth! Blessings to you my friend and Merry Christmas. May God smile upon your and yours this holiday season.....and beyond.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      The best way for Christians to follow Christ is to read the word of God, for all we need is there, we study to show ourselves approved and above all is love but we must have courage too for God hates a coward and we all should not fear the truth we are taught. Christians sent members they knew were in sin from the church and they would be chastised by God for it was better to lose their lives than their soul. Love is not blind and is always based on truth. God walked among the poor and downtrodden sinners, yes but he warned each and everyone to go and sin no more. It was a warning for their own sake, not just words thrown out there in passing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dan, your words are very true! I have studied most of the major religions, and there are much more similarities than there are differences, and yet......

      I live by a very simple principle....do all things in love. It's is pretty easy for me to tell when I have strayed from that path. I was raised Catholic but I can't accept that that church has become.

      Thank you my friend, and Merry Christmas to you.

    • Dan Barfield profile image

      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      A very salient point billybuc! One of the reasons I started to question my faith was the hypocrytical behaviour of many of those claiming to follow the teachings of Christ. Going to church, in my mind, has little to do with true Christianity. Nowhere in the bible does it mention that to live a good life and be accepted into heaven one has to attend a special building, wear smarter clothes than usual, and recite words that most don't even listen to the meaning of as they're saying them. I am not a Christian, yet I try to lead a Christian life. There is much to be said for many of the teachings of Buddha also though, and Mohammed too. Most religions have aspects of worth because they were all based on the teachings of enlightened people who understood humanity and its position in the world and with relation to itself. The problems, when they arise, are cultural. I have a coherent personal set of beliefs about the universe I live in - but I do not hold to dogma. My beliefs are a dynamic system that is flexible to change and improvement and I think this is important because belief is fallable. It is strange to think how different religeous groups declaim against each other when the words and teachings of their respective holy men are almost identical in so many respects. Greater awareness of other faiths and their teachings is one of the most important goals to set if the ambition of a truly compassionate and tolerant global society is to be achieved. Keep up the fantastic work billybuc - I have nothing but admiration.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Gypsy! We do what we can to bring about change. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. First and foremost Christmas is Jesus birthday. Enjoyed this and as always Bill you make a lot of sense and you inspire. Passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I promise, I'm not leaving HubPages. I may have to cut back a bit, but I love this community. I promise I'll be here in 2013.

      Grateful for the hugs, the blessings, and the kindness that you represent.

      love and blessings today, and always,

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      LOL Bill, I sure did say "Blessings and hubs." And I saw it too, but it only had about either a second or a minute left for me to correct it to hugs, and so I did not make it and it was left as hubs. Being that as it may . . .

      Blessings, hugs and many more hubs in the new year to come from you ~ hint, hint . . . meaning ---- don't go anywhere dear!

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, an interesting question you have posed. I trust you will find the answer with reflection.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, Just swung by again to check on the comments. Most these comments come from what we call laymen, ie not pastors. But now I ponder; Should I spend more time preaching to the choir and priests. Funny how perspectives change.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I think I've mentioned before, that many times I write these hubs as a reminder to me as much as anyone else. I hope no one thinks I'm preaching and consider myself above all of this. I'm a human being with frailties just like everyone else, and I have reflections on my own behavior and guess that others have the same feelings....and so I write.

      Loving the angels my friend; keep them coming.

      hugs and blessings,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! Steal jewelry and then go to church??? That's a classic, and yet how is it any different from going to church and then hating blacks or Hispanics? There are no degrees of hypocrisy; you either are a hypocrite or you are not. I make mistakes, and I stray from the path, but I atone when I do, and then move on trying to do better.

      Sigh! Thank you and sending love your way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lamb, it's alright. I felt bad that you had taken so much time to leave a heartfelt comment; part of the blame goes with the writer for not being clearer. :) Thank you and Merry Christmas....the snow is all gone here. :)

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      Lori Colbo 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Billybuc, I am so sorry for misunderstanding. Thank you for clarifying it. God bless you and Merry Christmas. Didn't get but a dusting here on the KP.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      WWJD....He would wonder how so many got so far off track, perhaps. Certainly as a Christian I hope that He would not be disapponted in me but know that I fall short in so many ways.

      I often think of the verse that goes something like this....You do it unto the least of these my Brethern, you do it unto me....feeding, clothing, being kind...doing for others is the same as doing for Chrsit. So the reverse must be true...ignoring, demeaning, and casting aside must be done to Christ too...

      We all need to wake up and step out of our safe cocoons and take care of business...the business of caring for each other. As usual, you have hit a nerve with me....one that needed to be hit and jarred into action, more action. Sending you Angels, Bill :) ps

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this needs to be printed in all the major newspapers across the world. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school (where I got the best damn education around, setting aside the religion classes!) Yet, most Christians today go to church in order to atone for their sins so they can sin again. They think they are doing right, but they just don't get it!

      Decades ago I had an abusive boyfriend who's mother would go to church (Catholic) every Sunday. She would then go to breakfast and proceed to get drunk when she got home. Then she and my boyfriend's ex-wife would go to Bailey Banks and Biddle (a high end jewelry store in South Florida) and steal jewelry. Yes, you heard me! They would steal jewelry! Then go to church on Sunday and receive communion without going to confession!

      People today call themselves Christians to justify themselves. They don't walk the talk. Do you know who does? The beggar on the street! How many signs have you seen the homeless hold that end in 'God Bless You'?! Yeah, they might be talking the talk just to get a take, but can we assume that?

      “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?: Bill, this says it all. It really does. Without turning my comment into a harangue or a hub in itself, those who read this hub need to let those words sink into the very depths of their souls before they look in the mirror again.

      Touche, my friend. WWJD? He'd commend you for defending His Spirit!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, you had me laughing with the bullshit line. :) I left the Catholic Church for exactly the reasons you listed. There were many true believers there, but they were overshadowed by the evangelical b.s. of the priest, and the constant calling for giving more money. I might be mistaken, but I don't think Jesus every asked his followers for money.

      Thanks for a great share; have a very Merry Christmas!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Hey, friend Bill, I read your hub with great interest and would like to throw in a couple of things I was taught by the church. I grew up in the Baptist Church, but I like to say that I got over it. Anyway, they taught some things that I find to be very prophetic. My childhood church taught that the day would come when evil prevailed in the churches, and that it was a scriptural prophecy. I can’t quote the scripture from that many years ago, although I wish I could. I think that day has arrived and that many people who call themselves Christians are actually the evil infiltration, and that includes preachers, deacons, priests, bishops, et al, and the common man. However, I believe that there are many sincere people who participate in the church despite the negativity, the showmanship, and the bullshit. I believe that these people hold steadfast in their faith. I don’t believe that these people are ready to move into the realm of true spirituality yet, so their collective goodwill is overpowered by the evil ones that my former church spoke of.

      There might not be a word of truth in what I just said, but that is what I was taught, and I still believe it. Another good hub, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shorfarcall; I appreciate the kind words and the comment, and God bless you and yours as well.

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      shofarcall 4 years ago

      Thank you Billybuc,

      I think on these things often as well.

      Jesus was/is the Son of God and there is NO OTHER LIKE HIM and I guess we are only a shadow of Him but thankfully there are those of us who do yearn to be like Him and do associate with and love those on the periphery and do not hate, but we are human and do err, and Praise God that He is merciful and patient with us as we grow in faith and in His Ways. I enjoyed your hub a lot, It is thought to be pondered on over this coming time of Christmas. God Bless you and your family.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debbie! When a good Christian such as yourself understands the message in this hub, and approves, I feel hopeful.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, thank you, and you get it most definitely. You are a living example of Christ's teachings and I respect you greatly.

      On a side note, you wrote hubs instead of hugs at the end....I do that constantly. LOL Thank you my dear and blessings to you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dhannya, that old saying is exactly correct, and I love it. Instead, churches are losing membership. I wonder why?

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! That is exactly the point I was making, and I appreciate you leaving such an eloquent comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rd, thank you for a wonderful reflection about this; greatly appreciated. Blessings to you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lamb, I agree completely, and I understand you were being respectful.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, I'm amazed there was only one person who misunderstood this hub; that's not bad considering that it can be seen as controversial. Thank you my dear! We had our first snow yesterday and it was lovely; now it's almost gone. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lamb, I have great respect for you as well, but of the 84 comments on this hub, you are the only one who misinterpreted what I was saying. There are no blanket statements here. I do not say that all Christians are bigots or are greedy....I say none of that. I simply say wouldn't it be wonderful if all Christians acted according to their faith. Since I have known Skinheads who profess a faith of Jesus and yet hate anyone of color, it is a valid question raised in this hub. Since the Westboro Baptist Church professes hate, it is a valid question raised.

      Thank you for your compassion and your passion; I'll take that any day over complacency. I appreciate you writing, and I'm sorry if you misunderstood what I was saying.

      blessings to you this holiday season

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna, and I can say, from the time I have known you, that you reflect Christ's teachings quite well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Martin, I have no desire to be a leader; I am a prodder at best. :) Thank you Sir!

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      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Bill I am linking this with my HOW hub.. It is so good.. God Bless you my friend

      Debbie

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      As a Christian, I pray that when people look at me and my life they see Jesus. Thankfully, we are saved by grace and not by works, but when He is Lord and Savior over our lives, our hearts become like His, if we are truly His children, then we become the hands and feet of Jesus reaching out to those who no one else cares to even think about or love. Christian organizations provide the most charitable work around the world, going to places no one else cares to travel to feed, provide fresh drinking water and to clothe those needing clothing. If each and every person on this Earth were to live like Jesus, then this world would be a much better place.

      Blessings and hubs to you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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      dhannyya 4 years ago

      wonderful billybuc..i love this hub...a wonderful christmas message...there is a saying "if all christians were christians (in their action), everybody would have become christians"

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, the foundation of all faiths is love and not hatred. Most of us profess one religion or the other. How does hate come in then? It so happens that we do not follow the basic tenets of our faiths and the result is widespread hate, bigotry and terror around us.

      Great job!

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      rdsparrowriter 4 years ago

      "What would Jesus do?" is such a good reminder not only for the season, but for everyday, every moment. "Actions speaks louder than words" and Jesus showed us what He would do by being an example. I once read a book named "What would Jesus do?" which after I read, helped me to improve myself by changing my attitudes. People see the actions but God sees the heart. Thank you Billy for sharing this :) God bless you!

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      Lori Colbo 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Lol Made. It is indeed controversial. But I hope my comments are perceived as respectful. That is how they were meant. I really love Billybuc. He is a great guy. A respectful dialogue is how we learn and grow. I look forward to hearing more from others.

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      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Writing about religion is controversial. I would have many opinions on this subject, but I know I could easily be misunderstood and that's why I avoid it. It's still snowing here. I guess there's "someone else" than me deciding about the weather. Lol! Hugs to you Bill! :)

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      Lori Colbo 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Wow! I have a lot to say.

      1. True Christianity is not only following the teachings of Jesus. That comes as a result of having Him at the helm or our lives (Lord) and having a relationship with Him, and basing this on believe Him to be who He is (Savior). We don't worship or follow Jesus as a prophet. We believe He is the Son of God. John 3:16 of course. When Jesus was at trial they asked Him if He was the Son of God, He said "It is as you say." Matt. 26:63-64.

      2. Jesus was comfortable with the "scum of the earth." That includes everyone (all have sinned Rom. 3:23). Of course that does not mean he approves of their choices and lifestyle. But he reached out to them, and us, loved on them, healed them, taught them, and hung out with them in order that they would see that He was the way the Savior (Luke 2:11, John 3:16, 2 Tim. 1:9-10. ..) They were more aware of their need for Him then the pious Pharisees of the day who believed only the in the commandments outwardly. I have no problem with reaching out and loving the same kind of people He did, because I am one of them. If God would and forgive me upon my repentance and acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior then I must love all others.

      I am concerned my friend, your blanket statements about all Christians being one certain way. Many claim to be believers but are not, just as you said about those Catholic children. Those who believe don't claim to be perfect and without sin. Every person on earth sins, because we are not God. No one can be perfect except God. We see our need for Him, and when we mess up, we confess it, ask for forgiveness, and if we are being totally humble, we will repent (turn the other direction) and not do it again. Sometimes it is a process. We struggle like anyone else to overcome. Transformation does not happen overnight.

      3. You said "How can any rational man or woman hold a cross on high and yet mock, decry, and condemn those of another color or creed?" Here is a very blanket statement. The vast majority of Christians are not racist. I love you Billybuc, but I think that is a very unfair accusation. It sounds as if you are saying that all the Christians in the world are racist. So extremely not true and I feel that if you are going to make statements like that you need to state some very "concrete" evidence. There are probably some Christians somewhere that are but it is a small majority and God is not fooled.

      4. You said "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?" Are you saying that Christians are the ones who are hateful, greedy, fear and lack compassion? Christian's are not responsible for those things all over the world. Just because those things exist doesn't mean that Christians are to blame. I wonder where you got your statistics about how many Christians are in the world. I strongly doubt there are as many as you say. The reason I say that is because as I said before, many say they are, sincerely thinking they know what that means but don't. Many think if they believe that Jesus existed and he was a good teacher and nice guy they are a Christian. Not so. They perhaps just don't have the biblical understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower. Christian's cannot keep bad people from doing bad things in the world. From Adam and Eve, sin came into the world, and until heaven and earth pass away, that will be true. As a follower of Christ, I hope to be a light to others that don't know Him. I pray fervently that all would surrender their lives to Him. But I do mess up, and I hate sin and when I do it. A true believer in Christ hates his sin and seeks Christ's help to overcome it. The hypocrites are those who pretend to be a Christian and when they sin they don't care. They don't hate sin.

      5. You said, "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?" Billy, truly, how can you say no Christians in the world care about others. There are thousand of Christian relief organizations who provide for the less fortunate all over the world. Every church I have ever been to, Christian or otherwise, give generously to all kinds of people in need. I myself serve in a ministry where we make a hot meal, sit down with people in the community and be friends, and that is followed by praying with and for them, and then they go to the tables and take home all the food we have available to fill up their bags. We have another ministry in our church that does something similar. We give away clothing, we paint houses, visit the shut ins, take holiday meal baskets to people who can't afford it, mow lawns, etc. Every church in my community does something for others. Our church has benevolent funds at all times for needy people who need their light bill or dr bill, or whatever paid. No strings. Not only all this, but most churches support missionaries in other lands who help people in these same ways. So unfair to say such a thing Billy, it really hurts.

      6. You quoted "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?:

      Jesus Christ

      Then you said, "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?" Of course not. But that does not mean all those people are professing Christians and the most of them are.

      This passage is not talking about materialism and greed specifically, but includes it. It is about living life self-centeredly with no living faith in Christ. They may get all they want out of life on their own terms, but in the end, without God their soul will not be in heaven eternally.

      7. Rather than go on and on, I am giving you a link about Christians and sin. This person explains it much better than I can and cite Chapter and verse. http://www.lifehouse.org/tracts/avrwhenachristians...

      I have great respect for you Billy, and I know that some Christians have not expemplifed Christ and have even hurt others. God knows their heart and He will make them accountable. Lord willing, at some point they grow enough to realize their wrong thinking and actions and make drastic changes. I am sorry for those who have meant well, or thought they were representing Christ, but were misunderstanding the Bible. And certainly we need to hear what everyone has to say. But we all need to talk to each other and listen, we all must stop throwing stones. We have all failed. Please read the link and let me know what you think.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      As a Christian, my living is a reflection of my belief. If I do not reflect what Christ taught then I am not worth much to him and others. It's a hard road, but simply loving others and not judging them is what it is all about. Great truths spoken, friend.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. A third? Considering what I did, I would be happy with 1/100. But now you are a leader.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby and I agree completely. The cost of religion is ridiculous.....I would tithe to any church if they could promise me that every penny would go the needy and not to decorate their Church.

      I'll stick with a known quantity.....me....and build my faith in the only way I know how....with love.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, like me you are a lot to things, but weak I doubt. :) Any human being with half a brain would question the Bible. Anything written by man is open to scrutiny, and don't even get me started on the Catholic Church.

      Thank you my friend; I had no desire to condemn anyone, but I did have a desire to shake it up just a bit.:)

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! You did great with this hub. You asked a very important question without condeming your fellow man. I try to stay away from religion on Hubpages for obvious reasons. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am not however a follower of my fellow man. Because of the misuse, greed, and purposeful misrepresentation of organized religion that has been practiced over thousands of years, my faith is not in other human beings or in the Bible. The Bible has been edited by man for thousands of years, many of whom use it as a tool to control society. (As I believe every Bible is a tool created by MAN to control society). There are many important chapters of the Bible that have been removed over the years, including the first chapter of Lilleth, and the chapter about Jesus's childhood. It has been tainted since day one under the Catholic Church.

      Because of this and the massive hate being preached in churches, even in my area as I have written about, I don't feel any other man can lead me to the path of God. Perhaps that makes me a weak Christian, but I think I was given a brain for a reason. Great thought provoking hub!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I am so happy to see this, so many people who never miss an oppurnity to go to church, yet they hate homosexuals, hate blacks, hate muslims, hate any religion that is different than theirs.. When i see a million dollar church with expensive stained glass windows, it makes me sad, knowing that the needy needs so much, yet they keep building bigger and more lavish buildings every day. There will be a day of reckoning and many will have to answer. Great hub Bill..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cam, I actually intended to not sound judgmental. With my past, to point fingers would be the ultimate in hypocrisy. Just food for thought for all of us my friend.

      Thank you for those kind words...following our hearts is a pretty good beacon to follow.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sunnie, you said it all so eloquently. Well done my friend, and I agree with you. If I were to return to a church, it would be a small, non-denominational hole in the wall where the only reason for being there is to worship the Lord. Thank you for a wonderful comment.

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      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      billybuc, Said without a hint of judgement. How'd you do that? And it is a word to us all, not just Christians. If I lived consistently according to what is in my heart, the world would be a better place. I think I need to nudge the bar up a little for myself. Thanks for the velvet tongue lashing.

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      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Very wonderful hub Billy. My faith is everything to me but like many I have been disillusioned in the religious aspects which is a lot different than the love of Christ that we carry within our hearts. The reason I do love my Lord so much is that he was a simple man NOT RELIGIOUS and loved all people and did not care who he rubbed elbows with. He drove the money hungry men out of the Temples and look what many have done with the so called churches today..the fancier, the bigger, but have no idea who is sitting next to them nor their needs. Oh my don't get me started....lol It is better we keep our eyes focused on God, as men will let us down every time. The love of God is not something contained within a building but in the hearts of men willing to share his love. Christ is and was the best example in what a true Christian should be like. Thank you for such an eye opening hub.

      God bless,

      Sunnie

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I've put in my time with the Catholic Church. I have met some incredibly good people there, as well as some downright hypocrites. I'm just going to keep doing my spiritual thing and hope for the best.

      Thank you as always!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, that darn conscience doesn't let up on us, does it? LOL And that's a very good thing indeed.

      Thank you my friend and Happy Holidays!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, religion or no religion, the concept of love others is a pretty easy one to tie our wagons to.....and I can respect anyone who tries to do that.

      Thank you my friend, and blessings to you during this holiday season.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, I have no love or forgiveness for those who abuse children or gun down innocent children or people....gives me something to work on I guess. :) I do, however, have love for the homeless and the abused, the mistreated and the down and out. It's as good a place to start as any. :) Thank you!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Oh Bill you picked a hot one! Everything you said is true....people profess to believe but don't live up to it...that includes priests, reverends, pastors, and the like. You can't condemn if you believe in Jesus because He was all about forgiveness and love. You can't say someone's not allowed in your church because it isn't your church, it's a house of God!

      You know I'm Catholic, born and still, I believe in my religion but I don't like some of the people who profess to be leading the Catholic Church...oops, that's un-Christian of me.

      I voted this all the way across, except funny, and pray that someday we will all learn to live in love.

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      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Bill, I am a Hindu but the teachings of Christ seem so familiar. All religions teach the same principle...love thy humans!

      I am trying to live my faith, Bill. At times when I don't; my conscious pricks me to come back to my faith!

      Beautiful hub!!

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Well billybuc, I'm not going to get on my "soap box" about this subject. I have strong feelings about religion. I was brought up to believe in God and his Son and the teachings of the Bible. I still do. If everyone kept the 10 Commandments, wouldn't it be wonderful?

      You wrote another powerful Hub, and one that will bring with it lots of comments, which is good.

      I voted this UP, etc. and will share.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I have known many people who go to church regularly, read the Bible all the time, even study it; and still do not actually practice the simple concept of living as a Christian. And I'm one of them, sorry to say. I try very hard, and yet the emotional human part of me comes popping out. I cannot bring myself to love someone who guns down innocent people, abuses a child or hurts a defenseless animal. Still I keep trying, and will continue to do so as long as I draw breath!

      Very powerful and timely article, my friend. Voted Up and Awesome, and that as yet invisible category 'Thought-Provoking'

      Pearl