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Posts Tagged ‘are religious people judgemental?’

The late, great Andy Rooney (a beloved commentator on TV’s 60 Minutes for more than 30 years) said many profound and witty things during his 92 years on this planet. The quote in this meme, helpfully supplied by an Atheist internet community, is definitely among his most compelling thoughts.

First off, as a Christian, I’m 100 percent with Andy. We have centuries of history, much of it downright horrifying, to absolutely prove his point. More often than not, religious people are simply awful.

Here’s a brief list of what religion does:

  • It makes people judgemental
  • It creates a dangerous ‘us versus them’ mentality
  • It causes people to think that since they’re right, then everyone else is wrong and that leads to intolerance and persecution
  • It sparks vicious tribalism and if you want examples of how bad that is, think of the endless bombings in the Middle East or the 1990s genocidal ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and in Rwanda.

So who else opposes religion? How about Jesus Christ, whom serious Christians believe is God’s divine Son? Some of His harshest words in the Bible were saved for arrogant, judgemental, rule-obsessed religious leaders.

Furthermore, a case can be credibly advanced that part of Jesus’ mission was to get rid of religion altogether. In his book The End of Religion, pastor Bruxey Cavey says “I’m not suggesting that Jesus opposes all forms of organization, but that he opposes dependence on any one organization for our connection with God.”

In fact, Bruxey quotes Jesus from a section of the Bible called “Matthew” (Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest.) to make the point that “Jesus is not pointing toward a different and better religion, but instead he invites us to himself as an alternative to the weary way of religion.”

Now this is an invitation that should be attractive to anyone interested in spirituality (and I assume that’s YOU, since you’re reading this blog). Skip religion and connect with Jesus!

So what happens when you do this? Consider Jesus to be God’s gift to every person on this planet, regardless of what they’ve done or not done, regardless of their social status, gender, or age.

Anyone who accepts that gift invites Jesus into their heart and mind to begin a life-long process of making them the kind of people that God wants them to be. And when this life is over, all the wrong things they’ve done and the right things they’ve failed to do will be irrelevant. All God will see is His Son’s perfection.

Call me crazy, but this sounds like a GREAT deal. Are you interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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religiousWhat if I told you that I’m a serious Christian who thoroughly, enthusiastically AGREES with this graphic?

Posted on an Internet atheism community, the message is probably a shot at followers of Jesus Christ (whom serious Christians believe is the Son of God).

That said, I certainly don’t take any offence. Being “religious” no more makes a person “good” than going into MacDonald’s makes one a Big Mac.

In fact, I’ll go further and write that being “religious” is far more likely to make a person arrogant, petty, self-righteous and overwhelmingly judgmental.

Such characteristics should not be found in a devoted follower of Jesus. Indeed, a section of the Bible called ‘Galatians’ says this:

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.

“We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

Compassion? A conviction that all of God’s creations (no matter how warped or broken they might be) are special? There’s precious little room for that in a person who’s busy being self-righteous and judgmental.

Let me be clear: Christians are a long, long way from anything approaching “perfect”. There are still moments when I find myself spending more time opposing people and positions than supporting their right to free speech.

But that’s okay. Like it or not, all Jesus followers are a work in progress. If we’re serious about this journey with the Son of God, we strive to:

  • Regularly attend church (a hospital for sinners, NOT a museum of saints)
  • Read the Bible (which gives us insights on who God is, why He sent His Son to earth and how we can live our lives like Jesus)
  • Give to charity, because as Jesus tells His followers in a section of the Bible called ‘Luke’, “Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold … The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”
  • Practise humility and humbleness, because Jesus tells His followers (also in ‘Luke’), “For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”
  • Tell others about how following Jesus has changed our lives for the better and can do the same for them. Why? Because He clearly instructs his followers (in a section of the Bible called ‘Mark’) to “go everywhere in the world. Tell the Good News (about God and eternal life in Heaven) to everyone.”

That’s why I’m writing this essay for YOU to read. I want you to experience the same positive life change as me. I want you to know, like I know, that God loves YOU passionately and offers YOU the gift of His Son.

Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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