beliefs and behavior

my thoughts on religion.

if this is a touchy subject for you, i suggest taking a look at my previous post instead. for those who are interested in my faith and what i believe, please scroll down...
beliefs and behavior

i'm a christian.

i was raised christian. charismatic, to be exact. it is a fundamentalist and often times, a legalistic denomination. although i'm very grateful for the biblical foundation i was given, i don't identify with it. i also don't practice that particular belief system.

its sad most christians get such a bad reputation.

i believe we were called to be a light in the darkness. if we didn't spread the gospel by making a statement, then we wouldn't be fulfilling our purpose. on the other hand, when we use anti-biblical methods to prove our point, we've become "those christians". the ones who give reason for people to avoid us. the ones who jesus himself, wouldn't be happy with.

google search

the ideology of the doctrine can be hypocritical and i understand why.

  • there's a lot of black and white, and rarely any grey area.
    • this extreme is what i believe causes an imbalance in the religion.
  • judgment and condemnation is often habitual, but rationalized as saving an individual from hell.
    • each person has their struggles. some more than others, of course. if so, they're probably feeling pretty lousy. the perfect way to turn people away from GOD is make them feel worse.
  • the emphasize and obsession of certain sins, while disregarding the others.
    • (i.e., not applying all the things banned in leviticus)
  • cherry picking scriptures. taking certain things literally and others figuratively.
    • (i.e., the "rod" scriptures in proverbs.)
  • "love the sinner, hate the sin" is a great concept. sadly not many people can apply it correctly.
    • I can just as easily say "i hate your (fundamentalist) beliefs, but i love you". i treat that person with indifference, then i'm the one labeled "rude, offensive, discriminating." 
  • members who leave the church (without "valid" reasons), are seen as "back-sliders" on the verge of going off the deep end.
    • while it might be true an individual is no longer seeking christ, that isn't the case in all situations. the reality could be the problem isn't the person who's leaving, rather the people who've stayed. 
      • this isn't far fetched, given the many scandals surrounding religious leaders, those in ministry and members of the congregation. nobody is exempt from making mistakes and i truly believe we should extend our grace in the same matter christ would. even so, the decision to leave is a personal one and the reason could be for good measure.

i've  seen how the extremes of christianity have created dysfunction and division in communities and families. attending church doesn't make you a christian, no more than standing in a garage make you a car. citing scriptures word for word, is impressive but doesn't make you any better. from my experience, fundamentalist christians are often preaching fire and brimstone. the irony is they can sometimes have a "holier than thou" mentality and don't practice what they preach.

"do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - matthew 7:1-2

the word "christian" means "believer of jesus christ and his teachings". as a progressive christian, having a relationship with the divine is more important than being called "religious". it means doing what jesus would do, despite what a t.v evangelist, minister or so-called bible scholar might think--an interpretation which could oppose the true spoken words of jesus.

"as a christian, i'm sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative and harmful actions used in the name of GOD."

for me, it's about making a conscious effort to christ-like.

by no means am i claiming to be the perfect, devout christian (i have way too many flaws. too much i could write for days). however, i have an open mind and heart to learn from the teachings of my savior. i make a daily commitment to be more like him in all i do. it's not easy! jesus was a humble man who loved the outcasts. the ones the world loves to hate. he hung out with the prostitutes, lepers, thieves, tax collectors and gentiles. he was a man of compassion and integrity. he was a revolutionist, because he (even) broke religious laws to share the plan of salvation through his testimony--a message of love and peace.

" i have come that they may have life, and have it to the full " - john 10:10

blessings to you,

Raquel

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