In the “In” Crowd, Part 1

angel-of-light1Once again, posting far later than I like, but it was a busy day.

It’s been suggested to me a couple times that I post on the subject of why everybody’s so down on Christians because they believe their way is the only way.

This won’t be long, so consider it a prelude to a longer rant/diabtribe/discussion.

At another blog I frequent, in the comments to a recent post, someone mentioned that 4 billion people on this planet or thereabouts don’t follow Christianity, with the suggestion (or so it seemed) that this was somehow evidence that belief in the Judeo-Christian God and in Jesus was wrong.

As one Christian pointed out quietly, why does the fact that 4 billion people believe something else mean he shouldn’t believe what he believes?

And it’s a valid point, for a number of reasons, but mostly because those 4 billion people don’t all believe in the same thing. Sure, a lot of agnostics and most of  the atheists will argue that’s virtual proof that nobody is right, but that’s a line of discussion I’ll tackle another time. The point is, they all think they are right, too, and they believe in a multitude of things.

But I don’t really hear people complaining that the Jews believe they are right or that the Hindus believe they are right or that the Shinto folks believe they are right or that the pagans believe they are right or anything else.

Occasionally, someone grumbles about the fact that the Muslims think they are right, but usually only when some militant offshoot goes on a murderous jihad or something.

Mostly though, they complain that the Christians think they are right, and they turn this into some kind of indictment that Christians are evil, closed-minded, hateful individuals.

Put in that context, doesn’t seem so fair, does it?

I’m sure someone will now mutter (or decide that they should type in my comments) that “Sure, that might be the case, but how often do those other religions go out and try to convert people?”

Well, first of all, at the core of Jesus’ commands to us as his followers, we are to spread the gospel. Thus, evangelism is part of our religion and thus our faith walk.

But more to the point, really, when was the last time a Christian proselytized to you? Really. Not that often for most of us. Sure, we run into the periodic person handing out leaflets about the ways to avoid Hell or somesuch, but the fact is, the vast majority of Christians hardly evangelize at all. They should be, in some way, even if it’s low-key, but they don’t.

So, I guess my point to those of you who hate Christians thinking that they are right: What’s the effing problem?

More ranting on the topic in a day or two, probably.


15 Responses to “In the “In” Crowd, Part 1”

  1. 1 societyvs
    December 16, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I like Christianity – even as an aChristian – I like what the faith offers and evangelism (to me) is not that offensive (not that I practice this – but I can see its merits).

    The reason Christianity has its problems is because it actually is quite close minded (is that a bad thing – to me – yes). Christianity in general is quite closed to commentary, open discussion, inter faith dialogue, etc. They are ‘right’ in their own minds and that’s quite good enough for the majority. But I think they are wrong on many levels and saying nothing produces nothing – someone has to ‘check’ the insitution (cause they will not do it themselves – and if they do – very slow process).

    But as a faith – I see little problem with Christianity in its practices. People attend church, read a bible, worship, say prayers, meet for bible studies, etc. This community is actually quite good in all actuality – and beneficial for society. It has some ideas that i think are flawed – but those are all debateable – what is not really debateable is the fact people in this faith are quite good people – and I can admire that (from the conservatice to the leftie).

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    December 16, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I would say (not to presume to put words in your mouth) that what you’re railing against is more the “Churchianity” than the “Christianity.” All doctrine is, to a large extent, closed to debate (obviously, there is interpretation, but still, religions tend to have rules). I think the failure to accept and be open minded among many Christians has to do with them worshipping the institution more than the Lord.

  3. December 17, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I dont think the faith is that much of a problem, its more the political force behind it. And lets see…….hmmm……..thats only be a major driving force since Constantine. Not that long of a problem. Geez I wonder why the bulk of the world has a problem with it, its not like they have been force fed it for hundreds of years lol.

  4. December 17, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Oh I forgot, I get someone trying to convert me everyday, I just have to make sure I turn the channel quickly so as not to hear it.

  5. 5 Deacon Blue
    December 17, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I understand your point about the politicization of the religion, Tit for Tat…and certainly there has been much prostelytizing over the centuries. And, sadly, too much of it in the past at the point of a gun or a sword.

    But clearly, the world as a whole has managed to avoid force-feeding…LOL…because only a relatively small portion of it has grown “fat” with Christianity. 😉

    And as for your second comment, now you have a reason to thank God…he gave the world the remote control. And no, don’t try to convince me some human invented it…I’m sure it was a divine mandate because God wanted to improve channel surfing.

  6. 6 Deacon Blue
    December 17, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    BTW, while Tit for Tat and I are tossing jokes around, we’re both getting at some essential truths in the process, so I guess I should get serious for a moment.

    He’s right, of course, that there are a lot of means by which various Christians will reach out, and attempt to “convert” folks (although that’s not really an accurate word most of the time, as no one can truly convert anyone but the person him or herself.)

    You don’t see very many religious programs in the U.S. on TV helmed by Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or anyone else. Again, I would remind folks that Christianity is unique among religions in many ways, and the mission to spread the gospel is part of that. But the vast majority of us, in our day to day, aren’t confronted with any attempts at prostelytizing that are hard to avoid. Hell, even kids in hard-core Christian families with hard-assed uber-fundamentalist parents often find ways to tune out the messages if they want (and when messages are beamed THAT aggressively, who can blame ’em?).

    Despite the multitude of religions here in the United States, Christianity is still a rather big factor, even though most Christians hardly ever practice their faith. So, the environment is more fertile for people to engage in evangelism through the media and through other means.

    In other nations, things might be handled differently but you’ll still see whatever public displays of religion or method of passing religious messages on will cater to the “dominant” religion. And I’m not just talking about countries with oppressive theocracies, either. I wouldn’t expect to see Christian programming much on TV in Israel, for example. I presume it might exist, but it would be in the minority by far. I would expect most public displays of religious activity in Asian nations to be Buddhism, Shinto, Hindu, etc.

    So, all I’m saying is that there ARE wingnuts, to be sure, but for the most part, Christianity isn’t harming anyone and isn’t hindering anyone from doing what they need to do in the U.S., so I don’t get it when people decide they have to lash out at the religion and its faithful as being so “bad” for the practice of their beliefs.

    I know I promised a part 2 to this post, and I will get to it. Just not sure if today is the day.

  7. December 17, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Good post and discussion Deac. I’ve had similar thoughts many times.

    I would note that we live in a country where Christianity is the dominant religion, so that’s probably why it catches most of the flack. I’m sure in other countries where other religions dominate, things are different and Christianity doesn’t have the same rep it has in America.

    Plus, like Tit for Tat said, far too many Christians today are trying to force the tenets of our faith on other people through laws. It’s not right. I wonder why people can see how much that practice would bother them if they lived in a Muslim country.

  8. 8 Deacon Blue
    December 17, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Yeah, I think trying to inject specifically Christian values into the law is a bad idea.

    Truly awful.

    Horrendously misguided.

    Deeply troubling.

    I’m belaboring my point, aren’t I?

  9. December 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    So, all I’m saying is that there ARE wingnuts, to be sure, but for the most part, Christianity isn’t harming anyone and isn’t hindering anyone from doing what they need to do in the U.S., so I don’t get it when people decide they have to lash out at the religion and its faithful as being so “bad” for the practice of their beliefs.(Deacon)

    I think you have forgotten about the religious right in your nation. They actually have been exporting “their” belief system for quite some time now(8 yrs of bush/Cheney. The religious backdrop to their foreign policy has not been missed by many in the Muslim world. One direct consequence of having a strong “christian” element in the governing body of the US is that you enrage the other Wingnuts in the other faiths around the world. You need look no further than 9/11 for proof.

  10. 10 Deacon Blue
    December 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    But again, that is the leaders that are the problem, NOT the religion…and religion is simply a backdrop or an excuse to gain more power. You don’t really think that Bush and Cheney are trying to win souls, do you? 😉

  11. December 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    No, But I do believe the people who support them think that Jesus is on his way back and that certain world elements need to line up for that to occur.

  12. 12 Deacon Blue
    December 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I believe that certain world events must line up for the return of Jesus as well.

    However, it is a minority…a very tiny fraction…who think it is their duty to advance things.

    It’s God’s timetable, not ours, and only the very arrogant folks think in terms of us doing God’s work for him on OUR timetable. God likes humble and patient. He doesn’t much like arrogant and pushy.

  13. December 19, 2008 at 10:27 am

    However, it is a minority…a very tiny fraction…who think it is their duty to advance things(Deacon)

    The challenge in the Nuclear age is when the tiny fraction of Religious Nuts also have access to the stuff that goes BOOM, not bang, but BOOM. Im not just talking Christians, Im referring to all the extremists of the major faiths. Moderates should do well to pay attention when voting.

  14. 14 Deacon Blue
    December 19, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I wish it were ONLY the religious extremists we had to worry about.

    Think Pakistan and India, for example. Their hurts and wounds aren’t even really religious anymore (if they ever were); they hate each other with a passion and that’s been a potential nuclear touchpoint for some time now.

    If religion were the only excuse for “waging hate,” we’d have a rough enough time, but we have ethnic, political, revenge and so many other motivations, and ever-more nations with nuclear weapons or that could soon gain access to them.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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