I am one of these people who wholeheartedly agrees with the nineteenth century theologian nicknamed the "disturbing Dane", Søren Kierkegaard. Here's a little text about him. I am sure regular readers of my journal will see that this is something I could have easily written myself:
The contemporary evangelical church has taken Christ's radical demand and reduced the call of Christian self-giving to tithing. Instead of surrendering all to Christ and giving all to the poor in His name, the middle-class Christian is required only to set aside 10 percent of his/her income, duly receipted for tax purposes, in order to be a faithful disciple of Jesus ... Kierkegaard expected to be the oject of ... condemnation from the church leaders in his day because he believed that the message of Jesus Christ is always an offense to the comfortably religious members of society.
Kierkegaard ... condemns Christians who spend millions of dollars on buildings to honour One who told us that He does not dwell in temples made with hands. He sees something incongruous about a church in which people sit in cushioned pews, in sanctuaries where sunlight streams through stained-glass windows, listening to velvet-robed clergymen reading from gilded copies of the Bible ... In the face of such an incongruity, Kierkegaard asks why nobody laughs. He would say that it is one thing to love the wretched of the earth so much that one is willing to sacrifice everything for them, but it is quite another thing to expect to earn $25,000 a year describing somebody who sacrificed everything for them.
Christianity is based upon the life and teachings of a man, Jesus Christ, who preached self-giving and ultimately gave everything for humanity. Whether or not you believe them, his teachings and behaviour were noble and virtuous. Over the last two thousand years, they have been taken, misinterpreted, and twisted by people to suit their own campaigns of bias, hate, and discrimination. In what can only be described as absurdity, people professing faith in Jesus Christ have used their belief to justify this stupidity. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of missing the point.
Visit jesus-is-lord.com. I'm sure you will either be disturbed, tremendously amused, or both. This website campaigns against every translation of the Bible apart from the King James Version, condemns Catholics for all kinds of fraudulent reasons, descends into immaturity by labelling television as Hell-i-vision, and the authors essentially lock themselves away from the world to further foster their hate. These people are insane enough to write such nonsense as the following quote [which I will tell you was written by a woman]: Then one night at a little independent Baptist church, the pastor said from the pulpit, "Every argument is the wife's fault." I was like "Whoa brother, that's deep."
These people miss the point. Focus On The Family miss the point with their stupid assessments of entertainment and attempts to create a sheltered, mindless society. Jack Chick and the nutjobs behind his tracts miss the point and spew forth incoherent, hateful, and Scripturally inconsistent drivel. Much of Christendom misses the point.
You church people, there are two thousand verses of Scripture that talk about the poor, but Jesus Christ never once mentions whether someone is gay or straight.
- Bono, during the intro to One, 15 June 2001
Is it getting better or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now you've got someone to blame?
- U2, One
These people look for someone to blame for society's ills rather than attempting to do anything productive and Christlike themselves. They point the finger at liberals, they despise homosexuals, they invent conspiracies in their minds, and they claim to do it in the name of Jesus Christ. To correct society's ills, they don't launch constructive campaigns, they launch destructive campaigns of hate. They totally miss the point. They don't surrender themselves. They don't surrender themselves to the service of others. There's an entire continent in desperate poverty, it's called Africa, and these people are far more concerned about Spongebob and inventing gay agendas to ruin an innocent cartoon. Instead of giving and loving those with AIDS, they say the victims are receiving their due punishment from God for sexual immorality and tribal worship. These nutcases present foolish arguments in attempts to justify their discrimination and apathy. These deluded morons are much more worried about rock bands and Hollywood films than saving lives. And they're vocal enough that they have become the face of Christianity. No wonder I'm embarrassed to admit that I am a Christian.
I find the biggest irony of history to be that teachings of love have been used to justify actions of hate.
So love is hard and love is tough
So love is big, it's bigger than us
But love is not what you're thinking of
- U2, Please
And if you're going to ask me "aren't you a hypocrite? Aren't you hating them? Aren't you not treating them with the love and tolerance of Christ?" then my only response is that I guess I am guilty as charged. I am a hypocrite, just like everyone else. But at least I'm honest enough to admit that. These ignorant twits think they have a mental phone line to God.