11 Comments

The Questions

Hey Mr. Churchman,

Do you know Jesus?

Won’t matter if Jesus doesn’t know you.

Do you think abortion is wrong?

Won’t matter if you won’t trade places with her.

Do you think that homosexuality is a choice?

Won’t matter when your son comes out of the closet.

Do you believe that owning an automatic weapon is your right?

Won’t matter if your child is the one laying on the classroom floor.

Do you want to help me find the answers to my most difficult questions?

Won’t matter if you think you already know me.

I am America too

and I don’t believe in what you say,

because I see what you do.

And so I ask you one more time,

take your time before you answer.

Mr. Churchman

Do you know Jesus?

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11 comments on “The Questions

  1. I hope I got your tone right, but either way, here it goes.

    “I am the next generation of America
    And I don’t believe in doing as you SAY,
    because I see what you DO.”

    I would fall on the conservative side of all those arguments, but don’t feel the need to attach my faith to them. Jesus supersedes all of our political beliefs. I was talking with my pastor and he echoed the above quote. The Church has given up it’s role of being the hope for the hopeless, strength for the weak, and the voice of the voiceless. We have given that role to the government. Now we sit back and expect a new generation to simply fall in line when we say something is a sin or not a sin. We’ve lost the right to “speak into their life”. We no longer have the authority that loving unconditionally brings. It’s turned into “drawing lines in the sand” and being about us vs them when in actuality it should be is us for them.

  2. All people benefit as children from the authority of their parents. When we are young and inexperienced, it is good to trust in the judgement of what is right, or wrong as our elders who care for us see it. When we grow up we should learn to estimate right and wrong for ourselves, not by blindly trusting this or that authority. If there is a god, that is both benevolent and cares for our free will as well as if there is none, we should trust our judgement and ability to evaluate and recognice right from wrong, good from evil. Nothing is good or bad, just because an authority said so. There are allways the ethics of the matter, that define how we should evaluate it. Does our action/inaction cause harm, or benefit, decides right and wrong, what is honourable and what is dishonourable, not the “Churchman”. Is the society the church or the state?

    Is the church for the benfit of all, or just the true believers? Is the state for the benefit of all, or just the citizens? By necessity the society of the world has to become secular, because never will people agree on whose church, mosque, temple, cult, or sect is the one for all. If the society is secular so are the ethics employed in it. And as we know, they are higher ethics, than employed by any state in history, that only applied any particular morality of any particular religion. Correct?

    • Correct. I believe that society’s march toward secularism is a natural progression and we must insist on the highest standard of ethics, which I believe were modeled by The Lord Jesus Christ. If secular leadership fails to implement His system it will fail just as surely as religious authority has.

  3. Yes, that could very well be the case. But how do we determine wether that is true or not? By evaluating through our own individual and collective sense of justice, empathy, compassion and combining them into actual information we have about the world and logic, that forms the base for natural secular ethics. Perhaps those skills and properties were given to us by a god, perhaps not. Wich god? Your cultural inheritance tells you it is Jesus and by all that I know of you, I would think you are one of those Christians who would come to the same ethics through the teaching of Jesus as I would through my view of natural secular ethics, or any good person might come through their own different faith systems.

    It seems to me, that when ever people want to be selfish, they find justification to their pitiless, cruel, or greedy actions, of inaction from what ever denomination of religion, or ideology they derive their base morals from.

    To me Jesus was allways the humane Palestinian philosopher who told people simply to be compassionate, just as so many before him like Buddha, Laozi and Zarathustra, or so many after him, the likes of Gandhi, Ghamal Gaffar Khan and Martin Luther King. Or even Karl Marx, for that matter. It is human to be humane, no matter wich particular god(s) – if any – have made us such.

    • I think you are being generous when you state that “to be humane is to be human” and miserly in comparing Jesus to these other moral humans. Humans for the most part do not “love their neighbor as themselves” and most of the moral teachers you cite did not die believing that their murderers are worthy of forgiveness. There are “good” humans and these are those that truly treat others the way they want to be treated, and there are selfish humans that use others for their purposes. There are good moral teachers that teach us to obey the goodness in spite of our inherant selfishness, and there is Jesus who shows us how. I don’t expect you to believe in the Lord as I do and I hope that you don’t expect me to believe in the Lord as you do. What we have in common is that we seek the good and as Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is for us”.

  4. Yes, perhaps you are correct. I was being a bit overly generous and there is a lot of evil in humans. However, it is also human to be good and moral and to act ethically, if we possibly can, even though we are dualistic, indeed. Selfishness is not just simply evil, it is sometimes also healthy and in every case natural. To be ethical is mostly easy and comes naturally to us because we are one of the most social species on earth. Sometimes we just face very hard decisions between being good to others and being selfish.

    Most of the moral teachers I cited were not murdered at all, and if they were it was so aprubt, they really had no time to ponder about their murderers fate. I just meant, that Jesus is by no means the only moral teacher. Yet, to me it is every bit as important to understand why something is either ethical or unethical, than it is to choose correctly between those two. Because, if we simply follow the teaching, or should I say the authority, of this, or that moral teacher, we might end up in a situation, where despite our best intentions, we choose poorly, because of our lack of understanding for the results of our action/inaction. Like it is with those Christians who oppose gay rights. Surely those Christians are acting in sincere faith, that their hatred towards the homosexuals is sanctioned by a god.

    Are they simply ignoring their inner conscience, or are they going against the scriptures? I think it is mostly because they were never culturally equipped with an ability to make actual ethical choises, but instead they were just told to have faith in the authorities, like priests, ministers and other demagogues, who are supposedly telling them, or interpreting the alledged word of a god. But instead those leaders are far too often using the respect of a gods authority over these people and their simple fear of the unknown, or different, to usurp and weild even more power through these poor people.

    I do not seek to convert you anymore than you seek to convert me. We do not need to try make the people who are allready choosing to do the right thing any different. No matter what their reasons for that are. We are having a meaningfull discussion in harmony, though from different perspectives.

    I think you and I are on “common ground” because both of us have been taught to be compassionate towards other people. That is what really matters to me.

    Sorry about the longwinding comments. Love your blog.

    • “We do not need to try make the people who are already choosing to do the right thing any different.” Right on bro! I don’t mind the long comments either. Studies have shown that acts of selfless sacrifice are made for your own kind and the willingness to do so drops as familiarity declines. This is natural. Jesus taught us to love even our enemies. A step upwards from what science shows us is natural humanity. This is supernatural. He is divine. I agree with you that Christian religion has more to do with an indoctrination of fear than with the fearless Jesus that they name us after. You are a blessing to me rautakyy. Thank you

  5. Thank you. That was beautyfully put.

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