Don’t Stop. We need you now more than ever.
I have seen more of the world than most of you reading this. I am 29 years old. At the end of this current jaunt abroad, I will have lived outside of the United States for 14 of those years. I have planed, trained and automobiled around Asia, Europe and the Middle East. I have met some people who would’ve liked to kill me. I’ve met some people who could have easily been angels in disguise. I’ve eaten weird and delicious things. I’ve gotten sick with odd stomach bugs the States haven’t seen in decades.
I’m a Christian, since age 7. 22 years of ups and downs. Struggles and gains. Tears and pains. Grins and hugs. Periods of darkness and periods of blinding clarity. I’ve made mistakes and I have more ahead. I am not going to blow myself up for God. I’m not going to lynch gay people, girls who have gotten abortions, drug addicts, drunks, lazy people or any other demographic. I’m past that.
I’m tired of religion. It sickens me. Christians have a saying: “Religion sends more people to hell than anything else.”
They herald that sentiment from the pulpit as a way to give congregations the impression they are special and to send them out in the world trying to ‘WIN THE WORLD FOR CHRIST!’
I’ve preached from day one about Muslims needing to police their own. Those nut jobs who blow themselves up in the name of ALLAH! Yet their clerics maintain; they are a peaceful religion, only trying to make the world a better place.
Christians might not be blowing themselves up. But, why don’t we police OUR own? Every time Terry Jones threatens to burn Korans our service men and women and Coalition partners get mortars and rockets raining down on them and people die. People are dying in Afghanistan because Christians are not policing their own. People are dying because Muslims are not policing their own.
I defy both groups of zealots; if your Gods are so big and powerful, why not just chill out?
Christians maintain the Holy Spirit is the catalyst for salvation. I am by no means well versed in Islam, but I would imagine; heaven is granted or obtained – NOT by creating terror and murdering people.
I am aware that Muslims believe in a code of conduct that mandates: charity, compassion, selflessness and other virtuous traits. Christians are taught to treat everyone as you want to be treated, to love their neighbor as they love themselves, to be patient, kind, long-suffering, loving and honorable.
It seems to me; both religions rely on some sort of God intervention to ultimately be granted some sort of salvation. Christians believe that a complete renouncing of sin and past life and by wholly accepting Jesus’ sacrifice as the only way to heaven.
I can’t imagine anywhere in either of those factions there is a clause which states: ‘Do everything you can to sully the name of your God, alienate people with self-righteousness and just be a nuisance to the general population to the point where you are profiled and people avoid you.’
People/souls are not Pokemon. You cannot catch them all. You can be kind to them. You can be Christ-like. You can be peaceful, loving, supportive and caring.
Zealots are annoying. People don’t like them. People avoid them. The only people who like zealots are OTHER zealots.
I’m going to tell you something right now. Are you ready?
YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO SAVE SOULS. YOU CANNOT GRANT PEOPLE ACCESS TO HEAVEN. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. YOU ARE NOT ANY BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE.
I recently visited the church my parents have not decided to leave yet, for whatever reason. The preacher there, who will remain nameless, because he is embarrassing already without his name on the internet, mentioned how many people HE had LED to CHRIST. LEADING people to Christ. I’m sorry, bro; according to textual, Biblical accounts; you are to PREACH the good news, not LEAD people anywhere. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. The cool thing is that HS doesn’t have to lead far because; Biblically – He is also God. The Holy Trinity. BOOM.
He is a sterling example of why religion is turning people off. “Look at ME! Look at all the things I AM DOING FOR GOD.” Hey buddy, how about some humility? Some sincerity? Any realization that in your line of work it is NEVER going to be about you.
I’m saying all of this to say this: ALL religions are mucking up the world and muting the powers of the very deities they are striving to proclaim.
God doesn’t need your help. God needs you to be a nice person. Stop being a dick to people. Take the things written in all of the ‘holy’ books and actually DO THEM.
If we could transcend religion and just treat each other well. Respect people. It is fine to not agree with someone. It is not fine to threaten them or cause them physical harm.
For clarity I’m talking about things people are allowed to do. I don’t think people should be able to have sex with children. I don’t think illicit substances should be legal. I agree with speed limits, gun registration, taxes, drinking/tobacco ages and other words of law.
I’m talking about life choices people make that aren’t illegal.
On the flip side; why are all of you freaking out?
Your respective deities have it under control – I’m going to assume. I believe that my God is in control. You can believe your God is in control. Our Gods might be the same guy. Who knows?
I am going to do my best to rely on my God and the strength He’s blessed me with; operating within the life He’s also blessed me with and if anyone needs anything – you know where to find me.
In the end – when human beings are evicted from this blue, soggy marble, hung in the universe – we’ll see how it all pans out. I very well could be wrong. You very well could be right. May the best faith win, until then; a friendly handshake, a held door, a kind word, a dollar when you’re short, a hug when you’re sad and when we find ourselves on the doorstep of our last departure, may we be found in the glory we’ve dreamed of during our mortal days.
Don’t Stop. We need you now more than ever.