Christianity of Exclusions

I grew up in a very strong Christian family and went to a Christian high school.  One of the primary reasons I eventually abandoned Christianity was due to the lack of a connection with God.  But another factor was a double standard which I saw many Christians practice.

I tried very hard to be a Christian because at the time many of my friends were Christian and I wanted to fit in.  As a young adult in my early 20’s I attended church faithfully, went to Sunday schools and attended college student bible studies during the weekday.  I also thought very hard to understand Christianity and how to be a good Christian.  I learned to love God and to love my neighbors, and The Golden Rule, and to turn the other cheek.  I was taught to forgive others as well as many other lessons taught by Christ.  I was taught that Christ was the God of goodness and mercy.  He ministered primarily to the poor, sick, outcasts, sinners, criminals, and low life.  He never excluded anyone who wanted to hear his words and who needed his help.  He taught us that even gentiles could be good people in the parable of The Good Samaritan.  He was an all inclusive kind of guy.

So when I would hear Christians speak badly of a person because they were of the wrong color or religion or culture or that the person was divorced or gay or people who were somehow different that I should not associate with, it didn’t feel right.  This was inconsistent with what I was being taught about being a good Christian.  It was due to many of these inconsistencies that made it that much easier to eventually walk away from a religion that taught one thing but did another.

I see the biggest inconsistencies and double standers among fundamental Christians.  They seem to focus upon certain specific scriptures in the bible and discount the bigger picture of how Christ conducted everyday life and the people he mostly associated with.  They forget that Christ was an all inclusive God, who never rejected anyone willing to hear him speak.  They forget that he primarily ministered to the poorest of the poor, the most sinful of the sinful, the sickest of the sick, the filmiest of the filthy, outcast lepers, criminals, prostitutes, etc.  He leased associated with the clergy, the well to do, those who felt they were most holy and least sinful, those who felt they were too good to associate with the poor and outcast.  Christ taught us to love our neighbors.  He did not teach us to love our neighbors on the condition that they be good and righteous people.  He taught about an all inclusive and unconditional love with no strings attached.  That is the bigger and overriding picture I believe that all Christians should be practicing.  Christ even taught us about the Good Samaritan, implying that even good people who are not followers of Christ can be viewed favorably by him.  Christians should follow Jesus’ lead and examples.  Anything in the bible that says otherwise cannot be right.

Sadly there is too much animosity, hate, and exclusion among many current day God fearing fundamentalist Christians where there should be Love of thy neighbor as there is love by God.  One of the problems is that there is a common belief of a vengeful God.  This is very Old Testament.  The only time Jesus showed rage was toward merchants selling goods in the temple.  And that wasn’t even a vengeful rage but more of an annoyance.  He did not damn them to hell.  He was loving, peaceful, kind, gracious, humble and compassionate to everyone.

If he were here today I am convinced that he would be friends with gay and lesbians.  I feel that he would be a person of inclusion.  I am convinced that he would bless a good and loving gay union or marriage more so than a bad and hateful heterosexual union or marriage regardless of what anyone believes the bible says.  If a gay person or couple were to go to his church to worship him I would suspect that he would welcome them with open arms rather than exclude and reject them as sinful because everyone is with sin.  Even if a child molester or an abortionist or serial killer or a terrorist bomber were to seek him out I cannot imagine Christ excluding contact and denying comfort and council to that person so inclusive is he.  Jesus even went out to the desert for 40 days and nights to seek out the devil without animosity.

Fundamentalist Christians fail to see the far bigger picture of what God is all about.  When he created the world it was Good.  It was man that introduced evil into the world.  God was always about Love and compassion.  He is not a vengeful God but a God of Grace who created a universe with Love.  It is man which has colored him black and  made him vengeful.  Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.  The point here is only God has the right to vengeance, not man.  Man should instead Love thine neighbor.  In fact God is the God of love and grace so vengeance is not in his nature.

Christianity should be all about inclusion, not exclusion.  It should be about Love, forgiveness, humility; not hate, vengeance, discrimination, exclusion.

I sound like a Christian but I am not.  That does not mean that I didn’t learn well when I was.  The world would be a much better place if Christians simply followed Christ’s lead of inclusion.  It would have made leaving my former faith far more difficult.

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