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This Is An Actual Problem

05 Apr

While I do not like the ideology of the owner of Formerly Fundie and while I do not think he has the post totally correct, he does make a point that I have seen in many people who claim to be Christian.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/please-stop-blaming-your-obnoxious-behavior-on-jesus/

When Jesus died on the cross, I believe he served as the ultimate scapegoat– exposing the evil within us by allowing us to pin it all on him. While being the scapegoat who shines a light on our own darkness was supposed to be a one-time-deal, 2000 years later I believe we’re still pinning a good deal of our bad behavior on Jesus.

This broad generalization distorts the problem he discusses because no one is actually making Jesus the scapegoat. They are using bible verses to comfort themselves as they may think, rightly or wrongly, that the verses actually apply to their given situations.

We’re still abusing Jesus– or as Paul called it, “crucifying him all over again.”

Then when you are complaining about other people misusing scripture for their own benefit one should not misuse scripture for their own benefit. In this case, supporting their badly distorted argument. it is clear from this badly quoted scripture verse that author doe snot understand how to apply scripture an dif he has trouble with other people’s use of the Bible then maybe he should clean up his own act first.

One of the ways I’ve noticed Jesus gets repeatedly crucified in Americanized Christianity is when Christians online make the claim that we “will be hated by the world.” While it’s true that Jesus did warn his disciples they’d be hated (all of them except John were executed), I believe that 99% of the time we quote this verse, we do so in order to blame Jesus for the fact that we’re being obnoxious.

While this is a point we have seen ourselves I do not put the reason down to obnoxious behavior. That is a judgment we cannot always make because some times the behavior is not obnoxious when the person misuse scripture, a category that author falls into. I doubt he would like to be labeled as being obnoxious with his misuse of scripture.

We are going to be hated if we stick to the truth. We will also be hated if we do not do what others want because we do not serve them but God. These are two facts that escape that author yet I doubt his conclusion there. How is claiming a verse to describe the response we get as blaming Jesus for our behavior? That is a link that author fails to prove or explain how it takes place. It is more likely his own subjective generalizing of other peoples’ actions that lead him to this erroneous conclusion.

While any passage of Scripture can be twisted and misused, I am shocked at how frequently we as Christians will falsely play the “world’s gonna hate us” card. And I’m even more shocked that we so often fail to see our own sinful intent when we do so.

The basic logic goes like this:

(a) Everybody hated Jesus,

(b) Jesus said his followers would be hated too,

(c) If everybody hates me I’m doing something right.

Case in point. His over-generalization undoes his argument. Who says we are doing it falsely? What evidence doe she have to support that point? Does he read everybody’s mind and know that they are purposefully following his definition of ‘falsely’ and ‘obnoxious’? It takes a lot of arrogance to say that every Christian is following his ideas or definitions even though those people do not know of his existence or his ideas or definitions.

It plays out in threads across the internet on a daily basis. Person A says something Christian B disagrees with, so Christian B lays into them with judgement, arrogance, unteachability, and an off-putting attitude. When called out on their ignorance or poor communication style, Christian B simply “dusts off their feet” and claims that the online push-back they’re getting is just further proof that disciples of Jesus will be hated.

While I have seen this take place, as well as other bad uses of scripture by people claiming to be Christian, it is not fair to judge them like this as we do not know the spiritual maturity of those who use biblical verses badly nor do we know what kind of instruction that they received; thus to condemn them like that author does is both unfair and anti-biblical.

His assumption that all Christians make the same mistake and that they are doing it his way leads him to the wrong conclusions and says more about his laziness in his investigative process than it does about those people he is complaining about. People do need to be taught how to use the Bible correctly and when the correct time to use different verses arises. Just like I have to teach my  students when and how to use English correctly, Christians need the same instruction. Christians are not endowed with perfect knowledge on how and when to use scripture and to assume that they are, like that author does, is a fatal error on the part of those making the complaints.

The assumption that every believer has the truth contributes to the mis-identification of those who misuse the bible.  Instead of complaining maybe that author should learn and stick with the truth first before stating other people have it wrong. We know he is wrong because he ignores scriptures when it suits him and he allows unrepentant sinners into the church.

The process is repeated over and over because it’s convenient and it works: if you’re convinced everyone is going to hate you, you can treat people like crap and then blame it all on Jesus. You feel good because the darkness within you at least subconsciously wanted to treat people like crap, but you’ve now successfully adopted a religious narrative where the worse you treat people, the closer you get to God.

Wow! He does a lot of unsubstantiated eisegesis here.

I think this entire cycle is based upon the faulty premise that everyone hated Jesus. Not long ago I wrote a book on Jesus and pointed out what Scripture actually claims:

Actually he doesn’t know what scriptures actually claims because he does not know the truth and he does not accept much of the Bible. He changes it a lot to fit what he wants Christianity to be and knows nothing of how it should be.

Jesus was seen as a threat to the political authorities

Where is that stated in the bible? Pilate found him to be innocent so how was he a threat?

Jesus was seen as a threat to the religious conservative gatekeepers

The term ‘gatekeepers’ is wrong here and distorts the actual scenario. Jesus was a threat to them because he showed them to be what they really were-hypocrites far from God. Yet Jesus never sought to overthrow their position in the temple so the word ‘threat’ is off-base as well.

And thus, the political authorities and religious gatekeepers became unlikely bedfellows in order to have Jesus silenced.

This is just dumb.

So yes– follow Jesus and you will be hated.

But you won’t be hated by sex workers, IRS agents, people with multiple failed marriages, alcoholics, or anyone else who knows that life can be messy and that there’s just no room to judge someone else’s story– because these people were the ones who loved Jesus most.

Yes we will when we tell them they need to repent of their sins and live as the Bible says, including excluding unrepentant homosexuals, etc., from the church and keeping women from being pastors.

Suffice it to say that author does not know what he is talking about as he does not understand scripture. And while he is identifying a problem in the church, his method of correcting that bad behavior is off base and wrong. The only way to correct it is to teach the truth and how the truth is to be applied correctly. It takes a lot of work to change people’s behavior and condemning them in a public post is not the way to do it.

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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, faith, family, General Life, leadership, theology

 

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