Friday, March 13, 2015

Being a Follower of Christ

I am so saddened by the disrespect I see and hear toward Christians (I prefer to say Followers of Christ) because of our ideology.  These beliefs have been a part of Christianity since it's beginning.  Although so many prefer not to remember, or would even deny it, our forefathers came to America in order to get away from the government establishing their religion. 

Our government was created with Christian morals and values, which is why you should be able to safely walk our streets without fear of being murdered; you should be able to peacefully live in a neighborhood without fear of someone taking or destroying your property; and so forth and so on ……

Our laws were created following the Ten Commandments of the Christian Bible.  Christianity follows the laws of the United States of America; the teachings of Christ do not go against the law.

Unfortunately, things have changed so dramatically. Our forefathers must have known what might come in the future. 

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
What this means to the people of the United States of America:

The government cannot tell religions what they can or cannot believe. This would be the government establishing a religion.  (Remember, this amendment was made pertaining to the religions that were a part of the establishment of our country - not new religions that are coming into the already established laws of our government. These religions understood and follow the laws that make up our government.)

It means they cannot unilaterally make laws that prohibit people from following a belief that has always been a part of their religious ideology.  The law says the government cannot take away the rights of a religion to exercise their beliefs.  So - the government cannot force a religion to go along with things they do not believe in by creating new laws.  This would be the government establishing a religious belief and prohibiting the free exercise of already held beliefs.   (Again, just for clarification - all religions should obey the well established laws written at the formation of our country that pertain to all citizens.)

Our Amendment to the constitution does not say anything about freedom from religion.  I don't understand where people get this idea - are our government classes in school no longer teaching what our constitution means?  You don't have a right to not have Christians be a part of your society simply because you don't hold the same beliefs and you don't want to hear them.

Regardless of what some would generalize about all Christians, most of us do not shove our beliefs down your throat and expect you to follow them.  You can read or listen to what our Bible says, you can be friends with Christians who will share their beliefs with you out of love or you can choose not to have anything to do with it.  No one is trying to force you to become a Christian.

On the other hand - many of those who do not share the Christian faith are trying to force the Christian community to go along with or do things that require a rejection of their religious beliefs (there it is - our free exercise of); and they are trying to use the government to make laws to do their dirty work (congress shall make no law).

Don't try to force your beliefs onto others.  Don't take Christian beliefs and try to change them into something else.  What we believe has always been a part of Christianity and you don't have to be a part of that - it is your choice.  That's what this Amendment is providing. You can follow whatever religion you want to follow - or none at all - and the government will stay out of it.

I am not going to go into specifics about what is happening in our world that inspired this post but I am absolutely certain there will be those who will immediately take umbrage and will most likely write nasty things in the comments - and they will say they are just exercising their freedom of speech.  Please just note, I have not said anything nasty about anyone.  I have not condemned anyone.  I have not incited anger or hatred about anyone.  I am not saying I am right and everyone else is wrong.  I would just like to be able to follow Christ freely, without being labeled intolerant and hateful; without constantly reading how horrible I am simply because I believe differently than some others believe.  I don't hate you and think you are horrible for your beliefs or lack thereof.  I believe we are all of equal value in this world.

**Truthfully Christianity is very tolerant.  It teaches to be very forgiving.
(Matt. 18:21-22) (Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.)
**to be patient and kind
(Gal. 5:22-23)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.
**and to be honest and wholesome
(Phil. 4:6-8)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
**Jesus taught us to love and to heal and to be examples of kindness and truth in the world.  Jesus was intolerant of hatred when He said "love your enemies"
(Luke 6: 27) “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you"                                                        
Jesus was intolerant of ignorance when He taught the people truth
(Matt. 5).
Jesus was intolerant of prejudice when He gave the parable of the Good Samaritan
(Luke 10:30-37)  Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed,he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
(Ephesians 4:31-32) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I do not judge - that is not my place.  Please stop judging me.  Even so, I will continue to love and care about everyone.  May your lives be happy and very blessed!

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