I will admit here that I got a first time comment today that I immediately sent to the trash because I don’t have the energy to deal with it on a serious level right now. It goes like this. “I will ignore the needs of the 99 in order to prevent the 100th one from getting something he doesn’t deserve”. This comment also declared that social justice as he sees it is nothing but communism.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard comments like this. But the truly sad thing is that it frequently comes from someone who declares themselves a fundamentalist Christian. A major premise of that version of Christianity is that we are all nothing but pitiful sinners and don’t deserve anything but Jesus died for us anyway. To turn around and not pass even a miniscule amount of the mercy that they received on to others quite simply makes me sick. But even the sadder part of this is that I’m sure the people who make these types of comments really believe them and just don’t see the correlation between giving and receiving grace. Whose fault is that?
The above words are mine. They were a response I gave a commentor about my post on Social Justice over at RJsCorner.
As mentioned I have gotten this type of reply frequently when I post about giving people second, and yes even sometimes third, chances. I have had a few days to think about that final question and for what it is worth here is my answer. I believe this very flawed logic is the fault of many of our church’s current spiritual leaders. They, like those who Jesus chastised so much in his day, have lost the true meaning of what being a follower of Jesus Christ.
Instead of looking at Jesus’ messages of love and grace they are fixated on guarding their version of God. In Jesus’ day much of the Pharisees attention was on dietary requirement and rules for Jewish living. Today it seems that “below the belt” issues overwhelm almost everything else in some Christian circles. That and defending things found in the Bible that have little or nothing to do with living today but are sacrosanct on justifying their paranoid belief of biblical inerrancy.
To one degree or another almost all Christian sects are guilty of subverting the Message of Jesus. They seem to concentrate more on “tithing” requirements and building more monoliths to God than they are about being our brother’s keepers. They have mortally wounded Christian faith by aligning it with radical right political themes. It seems like we need another “upturning of the money changer’s table” in the twenty-first century church. We need some group to take back the message of Christ to love God and to love each other. We need to get off the feeling that God has special love for that suburban middle class crystal palace with the U.S. flag prominently displayed behind the lavish altar than he does for starving kids in third world countries.
Jesus was a person of second chances. He even told us to forgive our brothers many time more than that. This message seems to be lost in many who call themselves Christians and I believe the fault of that, like in Christ’s day land on the current religious establishment. They seem to be just too afraid that if they make following Jesus too difficult no one will come. They need a serious table upturning….