I am constantly amazed that Christians ‘major on the minors’, as one of my favorite spiritual leaders used to say. We get so wrapped around the post about things which are SO MINOR to the message of Christ! Things like whether or not abortion is wrong and whether or not gay marriage should be legal. Personally, I think that the church needs to stay out of the government, and the government out of the church (freedom of religion and whatnot). That kind of thing is a person’s individual decision, and just because you may not agree with it doesn’t mean that the government needs to make it illegal.
But, I digress.
Christians also get wrapped up on all kinds of theological tangents about this, that and the other thing. Everything from the trinity to theories on the end times (pre-, mid- or post-tribulation, anyone?) have mercilessly divided Christians. Hence all our splintered denominations. Think of the Protestant reformation, for instance. A great movement that started with the idea that the intermingling of church and government corrupted the intent of Christ, and the church of the time was getting all kinds of things wrong, such as selling salvation through indulgences and keeping the word of God from the people by refusing to put it into the common language. The Protestant reformation greatly revolutionized Christianity and brought around the idea that Christians could read the Bible and interpret it themselves, instead of having the knowledge of God distilled by the official holy men of the institutionalized church. But then, divisions came, and thus we see the separations between Lutherans, Anabaptists, Zwinglians, the Puritans, and many, MANY others. The splintering came over such small matters as well! All in all, the things we Christians so major on are, in my opinion, not NEARLY as important to God as we make them out to be. The two definite commands that are laid down, the ones that Christians are to follow, are simple: to love God more than anything else, and to love your neighbor as you’d love yourself. IT’S THAT SIMPLE. Through that love, you will lead a life of peace, as you wouldn’t harm, physically or emotionally, someone you loved. You wouldn’t create division and conflict, but instead put differences aside and love others as God loves them: unconditionally. Granted, none of us are perfect, but that is WHY Christ came in the first place!! He came to grant us personal access to God and eternal salvation through his sacrifice! When it comes down to what God wishes for us to do on this earth, it is simply to walk in love toward all we meet and thus spread his love through us. Yet for centuries, we’ve done everything but. People have been killed in the name of Christ for crying out loud! Was that Christ’s wish? NO. His call was for continual mercy on others and a peaceful existence of turning the other cheek. But when the church became power hungry instead of following God, the error and the horror came.
And disclaimer: as you all know, I am far from perfect. I still have a problem with the foolish out there (of which there are many), for instance. But, God is slowly working in me to bring me closer to perfection, step by step, decision by decision. I still let my anger rise and my natural emotions take over, but I will continue to endeavor to treat others with respect and the love that God gives all, no matter if they accept or reject him.
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