It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

04 April 2011

Narrow minded, Christian, Free Thinker

10:40 AM Posted by steve flores , 1 comment
The other day I was on Facebook (opening line implies extensive research) and I read a comment from a free thinker.  The comment called a specific religious group, “whackos” and it was said in such a biting tone.  It struck me, because, by association and name, I am included into this “whacko” group.  To me, the comment seemed paradoxical coming from a “free thinker”.  The comment seemed to portray, “I can think freely, yet your free thought is bound, because it’s not how I think.  My thinking is far more superior to yours.  You are a ‘whacko’.”  At least, that’s how it sounded to me.  I found it rather odd that a free thinker would use such a rash generalization.  For all the altruistic endeavors a free thinker supposedly pursues, a comment like that doesn’t seem to place much value on all individuals, even those who disagree.  I don’t want to make a blanket statement of all free thinkers (I encourage you to not post the same), just responding to one specific comment.

But before I get a bunch of “Amens!” from the Christian corner, judgmentalism seems to be an equal opportunity lender.  I guess one of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear and see “Christians” use the same stance as this free thinker’s comment.  It’s a horrible modus operandi, especially from followers of Jesus.  Using rash generalizations for people who may be involved in areas where “we” don’t approve or condone, because they don’t live up to biblical standards, comes off as judgmentalism and piety.  Will there be areas where we will disagree?  Absolutely, but as believers, I believe we can make a point without attacking the person.  How?  First, stop using rash generalizations.  If we use rash generalizations and attack people, then we’re no different.  It’s like saying, “I can believe in Jesus, yet your belief is bound, because it’s not how I believe.  My belief is far more superior to yours.  You are a ‘whacko’.”  I wonder if that’s how we sound to them too.   Because, for all the comments and preaching about Jesus’ love and value on lives, do I convey the same value for all individuals (even the ones I disagree with)?  Do I tear people down with my words?

Don't the negatives of both paragraphs seem narrow-minded?

From what I read in Matthew, I don’t see Jesus attacking people; He attacked hypocrisy and He was pretty adamant in His approach.  Stop reading this for a moment and read Matthew 7:1-5 (I’ll wait).  Then, in the same chapter Jesus says this, verse 12, “So, whatever you wish others would do to you, do also for them…”  Next time we open our mouth to speak we have to think, “Do I want people treating me or talking to me like this?”

What Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7:13-14 is eye-opening.  The Bible Exposition Commentary, for this passage, states, “….the greatest danger is self-deceptionThe scribes and Pharisees had fooled themselves into believing that they were righteous and others were sinful.  It is possible for people to know the right language, believe intellectually the right doctrines, obey the right rules, and still not [follow God].”  As a believer, I feel we need to kill hypocrisy, because it’s killing our chances of building His kingdom…for them and for us. 

Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. (Matthew 7:13-14, The Message)