Sunday, 19 March 2017

Unforgiveness...

Every now and then, I have one of those moments which expose the utter bankruptcy of my previous religious experience. Today, a dear friend helped to expose another one.

You see, I have been told whenever I've protested abuse and injustice at the hands of the religious that I'm just "bitter and unforgiving".

And yet, these same people who accuse me, also claim that they have done nothing wrong.

But as my friend challenged, how can forgiveness be needed - or indeed, extended - when there has been no wrong-doing?

What would there be to forgive?

So to all those people who have denied any wrong-doing towards me, and have then accused me of unforgiveness, I say this:

You cannot have your cake, and eat it too.

Either you have wronged me, and you feel justified in your claim of unforgiveness on my part;

or

you have done nothing wrong, and therefore to claim unforgiveness on my part is a nonsense.

But you can't have it both ways.

So if you want to accuse me of being unforgiving - which means there is something you have done that requires my forgiveness - please own it, and let's deal with the crap that lies between us.

I've always advocated that path.

Otherwise your accusations against me are, at best, meaningless.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Love Does Not Look Like Judgement

I've been thinking since I wrote my last post about our use of the phrase "Love the sinner, hate the sin." In that post I was suggesting that going out of your way to point out and denounce whatever you view as sin in the lives of others, under the guise of "love", is not in fact a very loving thing to so.

I've struggled with the notion that people who claim to worship a God whose very essence is love, can be some of the most hurtful, hateful, unloving people around. And that in so many cases, christians are not known for their love, but for their bigotry and fear and condemnation of others.

And I've wrestled with the reality that I've encountered many christians who seem to use the word love to describe behaviour which just isn't loving.

Like the board member at my ex-church who told me I'd been loved, and so I should just shut up and get over it.

I'd been bullied and then dismissed. I'd been told to submit or resign. I'd been removed from leadership. I'd been continually silenced. I'd suffered accusations based on lies. And I'd been treated like a pariah.

Yet here was this guy writing to me, "You. Have. Been. Loved." How could anyone possibly call what I'd been subjected to "love"?

It sure didn't feel like love to me.

But that's just a single example. It so doesn't stop there. Every day, both online and face to face, people are being judged, rejected, cold-shouldered, put down, shunned, bullied, and silenced. And all the while the perpetrators are claiming to love! In the name of their god no less!

And that's where it gets interesting - or at least that's where the light-bulb illuminated for me. Because it occurred to me that despite paying lip-service to the notion that God IS love, many christians obviously have a view of God that is anything but loving.

It seems that the god many worship is a god of anger and vengeance. One who only tolerates us because his own son stood between us and the bloodlust of his father. A god who demands that we work hard, and jump through hoops, and suffer just to avoid the inevitable judgement that is our due.

And if, deep down where people may not even admit it to themselves, God is seen in these terms, it's no wonder they would think that judging and pointing fingers and demanding people live in line with their own morality is what love looks like. That is, after all, what their god looks like.

http://www.lovethispic.com

Monday, 27 February 2017

"Loving The Sinner..."

Love the sinner, but hate the sin.

Despite what some people say, this phrase is not from the bible. 

But it is frequently used by christians an excuse to declare how sinful the 'lifestyle choices' of others are.

"I love you, but you're going to hell." "I'm only telling you how sinful you are because I love you." 

I do not believe that anyone has ever felt loved by that! And I've certainly never seen anyone change their behaviour because they were told how much their sin was hated.

But the bible does tell us that God's kindness leads us to repentance. So maybe we can leave it up to him to deal with other people's sin. Just maybe that's his business, not ours.

All Jesus told us to do was love our neighbour as much as we love ourselves. Not to go around pointing out their sins. Just to love them. 

And last time I looked, we weren't doing that very well! So maybe we can concentrate on practicing what we have been told to do, and let the instructions we've added fall to the wayside.

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