Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm might be Wrong. You're just not Right.

Everybody has an opinion. Opinions are not necessarily based on fact or fiction. Opinions are based on a person's perspective. Opinions are not always right or wrong, either. And everybody has one. It seems these days people hold to their opinions adamantly. People are agreeing to disagree less and less. If one person hates being judged and then voices their opinions about judgmental people, then they are too being judgmental. It's sort of a paradox to have an opinion these days. Because people feel so strongly about their opinions and are offended so quickly when others don't agree with them, more often than not, I find that people are either afraid to share their opinions or are chastised for doing so. This leaves me wondering at humanity. What of the old song "Let's call the whole thing off"? Sometimes it is OK to disagree. Sometimes it is OK to step back and let other people think independently rather than forcing one's own thoughts on them. Sometimes this is a very hard thing to do. Do I keep my mouth shut? Do I speak up? If I speak up, will I be interpreted as narrow minded and judgmental? I have been those, and I have been misunderstood as those. Should that scare me into being quiet? I don't know. Probably not. I dislike offending others. I dislike people making nasty comments in a futile effort to defend their position when the only thing that is accomplished is hurting everyone's feelings. I also loath ignorance. Yes. Ignorance. The world doesn't revolve around any specific individual. So, why so many people marching around thinking that it does and that they are that individual? And how come, many times, do I find myself doing the very same thing? I guess it is because I am human. As humans, we tend to do that kind of thing a lot. I notice this kind of thing a lot on News paper web pages. After the article, many times there is a place to comment. These threads often become nasty and insulting, and by the time a person is done reading, the topic has drastically strayed from the original content of the initial article. Some of these articles I have recently read have been topics that plague the religious communities. I don't know why I torture myself by reading these articles, but the topics always interest me. One article was about a radical church group that protest military funerals and teach their children to hate. They claim to be Christian, but any of the Christians I know (myself included) have a VERY hard time accepting that as a valid claim to commit hate crimes. Another recently perused article I read flaunted a flag that had an alleged "Face of Jesus" emblazoned on it. They even got a local priest to come investigate. I, myself, am a skeptic. Some of the comments after the article amused me. Some were poignant. Some were downright vicious. Do people really have nothing better to do than go on the Internet trolling web pages? These things are just the tip of a very large iceberg. Let me talk about Christianity for a few moments. For a faith based on love, many times outsiders (or "non-Christians" as we Christians tend to label them) feel judged and hated on, and many times find somewhere else where they can be loved and accepted. Want to know why I think that is? Because there are so many Christians that can't get along with other Christians, that it is hard to even begin to relate to people out in that big wide world of ours. There are so many different sects of Christianity, it makes me a bit sad. While I love that there is a church for every personality, it makes me sad when people view their church as their exclusive little club and everyone that doesn't believe the doctrines taught at that church will go to hell. Since when? I understand that there are different churches. I understand that there are different doctrines taught at each one. But, what I don't understand is, why so many people are caught up in their "denomination" as if its the only church out there. What ever happened to community? What ever happened to believing in one common thing? Why can't Catholics and Charismatics get along? Being Christians means we are all part of the same big family, doesn't it? So why all this dissension? So what if some of us say "tomato" and some of us say "tomahhhhto"? There are lots of reasons I think churches are flawed. First of all, we are people. None of us are perfect and none of us are exactly the same. Therefore so many flawed independently thinking people are touting ideals that they come up with, rather than following Jesus and loving mankind. Case in point? OK, since when does it say in the Bible a person can't have a glass of wine with dinner? I know I made some of my readers shudder right there. Calm down. Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine and kept the party going. Don't believe me? Read your Bible. Perhaps we might have better luck at reaching the world if we can get our own house in order first. Get along. Agree to disagree. If someone is being blatantly wrong, call them on it. (Like stealing or cheating on a loved one.... not something stupid like "your shoes are like those of the whore of Babylon". Please.) Ready for a shocker? Baptists are not perfect. Neither are Assemblies of God, Congregationalists, or Catholics- or really any sect of Christianity. Of course there are reasons a person feels called to be a part of a church family, and don't discount that. But, don't put anyone or any church on a pedestal either. Its a long fall from up there and people get hurt when things fall on their heads. Only thing that should be high enough to look up to is God himself, and he loves everyone and everything on this planet. It even says in Matthew that he loves the little sparrows- so how much more does he love each one of us? And perhaps with that in mind, rather than smacking each other in the face with frivolous ideals, perhaps we should work together at being better at humanity. Like I said- this is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

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