Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

I've been toying with this post for awhile now, fearing that I will insult a large majority of my friends... but I tend to be insulting anyway, so I just decided to embrace it. But, before you read, know that I am not criticizing a religion or any of my friends who practice it... and in fact, am only targeting a small group of that population who seem to extol its virtues a lot more than they actually live them. Thus endeth my disclaimer (and possibly some friendships).

There is a family that I know that is Christian. You can tell that they are Christians because they manage to include it in virtually every conversation you ever have. If you mention what a nice day it is, it is nice because God made it so. If you mention that you like their new patio set, it is because they prayed on which set to buy. If you mention that it's 2:00pm, then it is 2:00pm on the Lord's day. And that's fine. I respect their devotion and their general attitude of gratitude and happiness. Then, their little boy (who attends a private Christian school, which they also work into every conversation), will basically take a dump on mine, all while they smile and explain how very Christian they are. And that, my friends, is what I don't get.

I don't attend a church right now, and I am not a theologian (I leave that area of expertise to my brother). I am not an expert on God or religion, but I have always believed that at the heart of every religion, is to be a good person. Maybe I am naive, but I have always thought that was the goal. So, when I see these people with "SUPER CHRISTIAN" tattooed on their foreheads, I often wonder why they have to say it so often, rather than show it. I understand that these are children, and that kids will be kids, and am in no way implying that private Christian schools created this monster, but I am surprised that parents will stand there and profess to be so good, and let their child behave so bad. Aren't there key quotes like "Thou shalt love thy neighbor" and "Anyone who says he is walking in the light of Christ but dislikes his fellow man is still in darkness" that should indicate that at the end of the day (and in the beginning and middle), we should all just strive to be good people, and be gooder to the people around us?

I like to live by the mantra "I don't know nuthin' about nuthin'," and that is probably the most true when speaking about religious topics (and parenting). But, I do know that I have always made my kids live by the rule that they will be good to others. At times, that means forcing Tabbi to play with or talk to younger kids, but too bad. Including them when they are around is a must. Period. I think that is because way down deep, under all of my meanness and cynicism, I am really trying to just be a good person and raise my kids to be good, too. I am not professing to be a better Christian than anyone else, but at least I know I have that one criterion down. I may not include it in every conversation, but I will live that part every day. And, whether it be Biblical teachings or that of Bill and Ted... I wish we all could just live by this theory and "be excellent to each other."

1 comment:

Tuffy said...

Wyld Stalyans!

The problem isn't that outwardly religious people do bad things... it's that they feel the pressure to pretend that they don't. There's a culture in a large part of the Christian church that is based on a "we're better than those people outside these doors" philosophy. It would never be said that way, but anyone willing to admit it could be there will be blown away by it.

A friend of mine from my pastoring days posted a church sign on Facebook yesterday that said "Don't wait for a hearse to bring you to church." It struck me how everyone in the church reads that and goes, "oh, that's so clever" and totally loves it. To anyone outside the church it's mocking and insulting. So what is the point of the sign? If it is marketing they're only marketing to themselves.

That's the culture though. It needs to change.