My Thoughts on Christianity Today.

OK, let’s get right into a controversial topic today. Let’s talk about Modern Christianity. Specifically, I want to talk about Christianity in America.

The “Christian Voice” of today seems to be vocalized by a very small percentage of the Christian population. We are stuck in a situation where there is about 10% of the Christian population that has a very loud presence in the world, and their thoughts and ideas overwhelm the thoughts and ideas of others. We have a small group of people who are shouting at the top of their lungs, trying to scare people into listening while the rest of us are trying to use reason and are talking in our “inside voices,” all the while being drowned out.

There seems to be an overwhelming thought that Christians today take radical stances on very controversial subjects. This thought is derived from that one side of the aisle speaking louder than anyone else. This side can quote the Bible for any reason, out of any book, to find verses that prove their point in a definitive matter. Their leaders have literally memorized the Bible in order to be able to pick and choose from it, so that they can lead their flock in a way that they deem fit.

Now, I’m not saying that the Bible can simply be discarded. For those of you who know me well, you know I’m a pretty devout Christian (just more in a spiritual sense, not the literal/strict-Biblical sense), and I do draw a lot from the Bible. It’s a great tool that tells the fantastic story of the world from the beginning all the way up to Jesus and a few years beyond. However, I believe that the Bible is more of a living document, instead of the Definitive Word, much like our Constitution.

Many of the rules that are being used today to make a stand on moral issues are derived from verses in the Old Testament. This is the perfect example of picking and choosing in order to make a point. Allow me to use one of my favorite examples. Many people who sit on the Conservative side of things quote Leviticus 18:22 in order to speak out against homosexuality. Which is fine. Absolutely OK. I honestly see nothing wrong with that as long as you follow the other rules in Leviticus as well as the rules in the other Books of Laws (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) that Moses wrote at the same time, by the commandment of God, in order to give the tribe of Israelites rules to follow.  Keep in mind that these people were being led through the desert with no continuous supplies of  food or water and had just been freed from thousands of years of tyranny and slavery. They had no idea how to act as freed peoples or how to act “civilly.” It’s no wonder that the Books of Laws had some pretty weird stuff in them. They probably needed some strict rules in order to keep those folks in line.

So let’s look at some of those rules, starting with Leviticus 18:22 which states: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (KJV). So there’s that rule in the most widely-used version of the English Bible. Plain and simple. It says you can’t be lie down with another man as you do with a woman, because that’s a bad thing. Now, let us look at some other verses from the Books of Laws.

Exodus 21:7 states that a man may sell his daughter into slavery: And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do (KJV). Now, it doesn’t explicitly say that a man is allowed to sell his daughter into slavery, but rather, it says that if a man chooses to do so, then his daughter won’t be let out like a man-servant. I think that pretty much says it’s an OK thing to do, so long as it is agreed that the father wants to sell the daughter and she won’t be let out like a man servant.

Another few verses from Leviticus. Let’s go with Leviticus 15:19- 24:

19And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. 20And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. 21And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 22And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 23And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even (KJV).

For the modern society. This creates a whole mess of problems. Am I supposed to ask my female colleagues (many of whom could easily fire me on the spot) if they are in their “time of the month?” Would that be appropriate? Could I explain to them that I’m a God-fearing man and I’m simply trying to obey the rules of Yahweh?

Leviticus  25:44 states that we can own slaves: Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids (KJV). Now, I know certain people around me are less educated than myself and maybe not as well-informed on many issues, but I have a hard time defining who among them is truly “heathen.” So, my question is, can I go to a local trailer park and pick out the family that doesn’t send their kids to school and doesn’t bathe as much as I do and simply enslave them? I think that could be defined as “heathen” in today’s age. So… that should be cool, right?

The list goes on and on. There are rules that govern what one can and cannot eat (don’t eat pork products or shell fish, both of which I myself find pretty damn tasty). What people can wear (did you know that if women don’t wear garments made from one cloth they can be burned at the stake?) and how to grow their crops so that God will be pleased.

The point is that you can’t pick and choose from the Old Testament. That’s not fair to anyone. From what I understand, and I’m a pretty bright bulb if I do say so myself, Christianity is based off of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus came around in the New Testament. The Old Testament was a precursor to Jesus and explained how God treated our sins and our actions on Earth PRIOR TO giving us His only Son. When Jesus came into the world, He fulfilled the teachings and laws of the Old Testament. This didn’t make the Old Testament irrelevant, mind you, but rather, gave us new standards and rules to live under.

Jesus gave us two absolute commandments to live from, both of which were said in Leviticus, but the only two that He ever mentioned from the Old Testament and these were in Mark 12 : 30 – 31: 30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these (KJV, Italics are mine).

Sorry for making this such a long post today. But, it’s a topic that I love to talk about/discuss/argue. I know I went on and on, and by the end, I may have gotten off track a little bit. Either way, I really just wish that we could do as Jesus said to do and just start loving more and hating less. I don’t think when Jesus said to love one another, condemning someone because they have a different lifestyle or belief than you falls into that category. Jesus never turned anyone away when they were different. We all know the stories of how He talked to the prostitute at the well and ministered to the lepers when no one else would. He had conversations with tax collectors and thieves and saw the good in all of them. Just don’t be so quick to judge. Romans 12 (I’ll let you look this one up on your own) clearly states that there is a place for everyone, we’re all part of God’s creation and all vital to it. Leave the judgment and wrath up to God, that’s not our place, but rather, His alone.

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