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 –
“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?