I have blogged on the negativity of certain hateful Evangelicals, but there are far more Christians who follow the words and actions of Jesus. I doubt if many of them see Jesus as Jewish looking or as a black person.
Levels of Spiritual Awareness
If I gathered a group of siblings together and asked them individually to describe either their father or mother, there would be different answers. Some might actually hold anger and resentment, while their siblings would have nothing but love and praise that same parent.
I think it’s the same with Christians. Many of the right-wing evangelicals see God as a “God of Anger.” Just step out of line and God is waiting to punish you. This is an image of God that can send his creation to hell fires for eternity. Many Evangelicals love the Old Testament. They find Leviticus (written 3,500 years ago) and judge homosexuals. The irony is that the homosexual reference is part of a list abominations. These hateful Evangelicals continue to eating pork and seafood which is also an abomination.
Jesus without the “White” Face
Why the Gloomy or Hateful Face?
If you think of God this way, you cannot be a happy person. To believe that God damns people for eternity is the opposite of a loving and forgiving God. Evangelicals may think of themselves as rigorous fighters against sin, but they are in fact hateful of their neighbour. The homosexual is fair game, but they are not committed to fighting the sin of adultery (9th Commandment) or the abomination of a woman not being a virgin on her wedding night. Surely, one abomination is the same as another? Both the homosexual and the non-virgin should be stoned publicly according to the Old Testament.
The God of Love and Forgiveness
I once asked an evangelical, if she could send a sinner to hell forever? She replied, “I am NOT God!” She also believed that people who did not acknowledge “Jesus as Savior” would not enter the Kingdom. I asked if this applied to sincere Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. She said it did! How does this woman reconcile her view with John 1, “God is Love.”?
Evangelicals forget that Jesus made a point of making friends with “outcasts.” It is self-righteous people who make others outcasts – now and in the past. Jesus was fully aware of this.
He clearly told the lawyer in the Good Samaritan story that entry into the Kingdom (heaven) was through love of God, love of neighbor and love of self. He tells us that we cannot pick and choose who is our neighbor. We are all equal in the sight of God. While this blog is about Christians, I firmly believe that good people of all religions can enter the Kingdom.
The Jesus that I Follow
I follow Jesus and all the teachers who have loved God and humanity. Jesus did not judge. I like that in a person. It is like the saying, “Walk a mile in my shoes.” The Law of the land gets to judge – murders go to jail. I’m fine with that because it is justice. Yet, when God judges that murderer, he will have more knowledge that the courts of law and a repentant sinner has a good chance of going to heaven.
Jesus was compassionate. There are several examples of Jesus weeping out of compassion for the plight of others. He wept when Lazarus (his friend) died. He wept when he saw a widow bury her only child. I think Evangelicals and others miss these images of Jesus.
Jesus the Healer: He healed blindness, nameless and other physical ailments, but he also healed those who were spiritually blind.
Jesus Forgave. Forgiveness heals the person who did the wounding, and the person who was wounded. Out of forgiveness comes JOY. Jesus forgave his executors and the thief on the cross beside him. Judas hung himself because he could not think of Jesus forgiving him.
Jesus the Friendly Person. Jesus did not walk the countryside yelling at people like so many angry and hateful preachers. Children came and sat on his knee. He was invited to a wedding feast. People asked him to enter their homes. They saw and felt his unconditional love.
Jesus the Friend of Women: The writer of the Gospel of Luke points out how Jesus befriended and sought justice for women. Jesus knew that the Jewish women of his time were often second class citizens. Many were just slaves to their husbands. He stopped men from stoning a prostitute, because he was aware that some men in the crowd probably had used her service. His good friends were Martha and Mary. It is clear that he loved and valued these two women. A woman poured ointment over his feet. She knew that he was a person of unconditional love. People around Jesus recognized her as a prostitute. Jesus recognized her as a child of God.
In conclusion, I embrace all religions as paths to God. I have respect for their teachings, even though I may disagree with certain aspects of their faith. I am disheartened that social customs have high-jacked some religions that do not allow women choices in dress or professions. I finally acknowledge that I firmly believe that I, as a lesbian, will enter the Kingdom.
I do not force my beliefs on others. People of goodness will find their own path to God. And I am not here to judge atheists and agnostics. They have a right to their beliefs.