Monday, July 22, 2013

Loving to disagree

Billy Graham is back with another poor answer to a reader's question. Mrs. CP writes in concerned with the members of her new church bickering...
Pray for parishioners to stop bickering

Q: Aren't Christians supposed to love each other? We joined a church after moving to a new city, and all the people seem to do is bicker (often about the smallest things). I'm a newcomer to the Christian faith, but I'm getting discouraged. - Mrs. C.P.

A: You're right; Christians certainly are supposed to love others, especially their fellow believers. Jesus' words couldn't be clearer: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

When we don't love, however, it's because we haven't allowed Christ to take control of our lives and fill us with His Spirit. I often think in this connection of the Christians in the ancient city of Corinth. Most of them came out of a pagan background, and it was hard for them to understand what it meant to follow Jesus in their daily lives. Paul, in fact, had to rebuke them because they weren't getting along.

But Paul didn't give up on them -- and neither did Christ. Instead of condemning them or turning his back on them, Paul urged them to look at Christ and seek to be more like Him -- and in time, they did. Perhaps God has placed you in this church to be an example to others of Christ's love and mercy.

Pray for those in your church who can't seem to get along -- and pray especially for your pastor. Pray not only that they'll stop bickering, but that they'll commit their lives more fully to Jesus and allow His love to fill their hearts. Almost nothing pleases Satan more than for Christians to squabble among themselves, because it makes unbelievers laugh at the Gospel and assume Christians must be phonies. But it doesn't need to be that way -- and it won't be, when God's people humble themselves and seek to do His will.
As usual, Graham is cherry picking a verse that is in favor of the position he wishes to take. While Graham does quote a verse from Jesus preaching love, is that what he was all about? Or are there contrary verses as well? And is he aware that the love expressed in old tribal traditions are typically only extended to those within the tribe/belief, and not to everyone? First off, the picture of a Jesus that is all about love is a nice one, but it's just not accurate.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

-Matthew 10:34-37
Wow! So Jesus didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. And as if requiring you to love him more than your own family isn't arrogant enough, he wishes to drive a wedge between you are your family. Here's a tip Jesus, as ugly as it is to demand to be loved most, people can still do that and love their family as well. But for some reason, this isn't good enough for him. I don't see how striving to drive apart families shows Jesus as someone who just wants everyone to get along.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

-Mathew 19:29
 Have we a special offer for you!  Give up your possessions and even your own family and win fantastic prizes! Again, how is casting away your family equal to loving all?
Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
-Mark 10:28-30
 Pretty much the same of the above. Give up your family and be rewarded.
And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

-Luke 9:59-62 
 So tell me... If Jesus asks one not to even honor their  dead father, how then can you argue Jesus is claiming everyone should get along with an respect everyone? Then he tells this person not to even let anyone know he is leaving. If respecting and getting along is the goal, isn't telling people who care for you and depend on you that you are leaving the thing to do?
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
-Luke 12:51-53
Just like the earlier verse, Jesus is telling that he shall drive families apart. Where is the loving all in destroying families?
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
-Luke 14:26
 At face value this is a horribly ugly verse. Hate your mother and father? Your wife, children, etc? How can a verse asking for hate be one of love? Now, there have been those that say it has been mistranslated, and should say 'love less' rather than 'hate'. But even then, if that is true, it's still not a verse of love and acceptance. Asking someone to love someone less is in so way supportive of Jesus saying that all should get along.

The selected quotes are reiterated elsewhere in the 'Good Book', and makes me question how it ever earned that name. I also find it funny when Graham brings up Paul accepting pagans in Corinth. Odd since Christianity is largely built upon stolen pagan beliefs and traditions. Furthermore, was Christianity being loving and accepting when St. Patrick and his followers drove the pagans (Druids) out of Ireland by way of murder? Lets be honest, it isn't acceptance that is the interest here, but conversion. Sometimes the strategy is to act nice to try and win a convert (more common today), and other times (like in Ireland) the offer was 'convert or die'.

Furthermore, following the Bible is not an example of loving one at all for many. There are those that hate homosexuals because of the Bible. There are those that cite the Bible when they treat women as second class. Often, belief leads to division with those that believe differently. Different sects of Christianity often cast a wary and judgmental eye at different sects of Christianity. Likewise, many a Christian will form an instant negative judgement on someone who is a Muslim, Sheik, or non-believer.

That is not bringing people together with love, but division fueled by religious beliefs. Sure, all believers don't fall in that camp, but only through such steadfast beliefs is such even possible. Is it really any surprise at all that beliefs that state that only those that believe as you do will be rewarded, while all others are fully deserving of eternal torment, can drive such disdain? If we really want to get along, lets forget what all the holy books say, and what people believe. Only by judging people by their individual worth, will we ever find meaningful camaraderie and acceptance.

-Brain Hulk

Please share, subscribe, comment and follow us on your favorite social networking sites!
facebook | google+ | twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment