Am I a Religious Whacko?

I long for the days where my biggest concern was practicing my faith to the best of my ability. It wasn’t that long ago – late 90’s when I have have long drawn out discussions involving baptism – was full immersion really necessary? Can you truly baptize infants? Or discussing tithing – if your church is pressuring you into giving 10% and you do it grudgingly, does it truly count as tithing? Those sorts of discussion are what I miss as I sharpened my Christian beliefs against other Christian’s beliefs.

Those issues have largely dissipated, at least for the moment. Although Christian forums I follow still discuss issues like that, most recently delving into scripture trying to find God’s Word on homosexual behavior. I remember having discussion with non-Christians who were convinced there was no real difference between the religions, that Christians had killed as many people as all the other religions. I’d do my best to explain how best to understand Christianity –

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus says ALL of God’s law hangs on these two commandments. If you know somebody fooling around on his wife, do you hate him for it? No – the second half says to love your neighbor. Not just sometimes, all the time. Do you tell him that adultery is ok? Of course not – loving God means trying to follow His Word, and God says adultery is wrong.

Christianity may be strict, an unforgiving moral code. I don’t happen to think it’s too strict; when I’m happiest and content, it’s when I finally feel I’m living my life non-hypocritically in accordance with the Bible. But it’s also a Book of Love – one of loving your neighbor, no matter what they do.

Baptism nuances? I’m not currently involved in such in-depth discussion. Beheading your neighbor? Well, those types of discussion I am having. I personally, am against beheading innocent people. Call me a religious quack, but something just seems wrong when people brutally slice off another’s persons head in the name of their god. And I happen to think mowing those types of people down with tanks so they are no longer able to behead people is a good thing.

What do you think? Am I a religious whacko?

4 thoughts on “Am I a Religious Whacko?

  1. I’m not sure I understand your point. How can beheading of an innocent be tied to religion? Those who committed the heinous act may feel they are justified due to their religion, but like other extremists, they take something out of context and use it to justify their actions. Or are you saying that those with other religious beliefs (or those without any religious beliefs) are for beheading?

    Also, if you are supposed to ‘love thy neighbor’, how is mowing them down in tanks following your religious code?

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  2. I didn’t? I thought I was pretty clear that we show mow down those people with tanks. I’m against beheading.

    Oh, the other issues! I see. I’ll save a complete rundown for future blogs, but I’ll give a brief synopsis – actually, I’ll preface this with my ongoing struggle to attempt to see both sides and compromise where possible, but not at the expense of my beliefs.

    Baptism by immersion – all the examples in the bible are by immersion, so I think unless there’s an overriding reason why one shouldn’t, this is how baptism should be. It’s an expression of your committment to God, and God promises to infuse you with the Holy Spirit. I was at a church once that baptised an old wheelchair bound woman by lowering her and the wheelchair into a swimming pool. I don’t know if that was her choice or not, but I would think exceptions could be made for people like her.

    Infant baptism – I’ve wondered what the point of infant baptism would be since the Bible makes clear that one has to give yourself freely to God, then be baptized. Infants can’t do that. I’ve read some Catholic literature that has more informations on their practice, so I’d like to read that and see if there’s anything in it that would change my mind.

    Tithing – if you’re not giving willingly, you’re not giving. You might as well be giving nothing.

    I started to write up my beliefs on homosexuality, but changed my mind. It’s just too long for a comment and deserves its own post. When gay marriage is in the spotlight again, I promise I’ll address it. I’m not shy. 🙂

    And just to make certain I’m clear, I’m still against beheading people as a method of religious conversion. I’m concerned that taking a stand against beheading people might make me a religious whacko.

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  3. I suppose a wee bit of sarcasm doen’t translate as well as I thought – when discussing religion with people, one of their primary criticisms of Christianity is that Christians kill as many people as other religions. That may have been partly true in centuries past, but most modern Christians would concur that the Inquisition was a mistake, and after hundreds of years perhaps we could be forgiven for that. Today’s modern Christians show no signs similar to the barbaric beheading that extremist Muslims currently show.

    In no way am I implying that anybody else would be in favor of this barbarism – Hindus, Buddhists, athiests, pagans, whatever, they’re all unanimous in denouncing this.

    Also, if you are supposed to ‘love thy neighbor’, how is mowing them down in tanks following your religious code?

    Because the murderers are forcing me to make a choice – save the victim, or save the murderer. In order to save innocent people, killing the murderers appears to be necessary. When I hear that Saddam Hussein killed as many as 1.2 million people during his reign, I have no reservations about bombing his forces to stop the slaughter.

    If I thought kind words and a loving hug would convince them to change their mind, that would be my preference. I may be a religious whacko, but I ain’t stupid – the terrorists have made it clear that they are not going to change their ways voluntarily.

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