Religious Sunday: Keep Christ in Christian: The War on Christ!

G.K. Chesterton who tried to keep Christ in Christian pointed out: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

I always kept that quote in mind by thinking the problem with Christianity is that it has never been tried. What exactly does that mean. We have a plethora of folk going around calling themselves Christians. Within that group there seems to be a huge divergence of opinion as how one is supposed to act if one suggests he or she is a Christian. How can that be if they are following the teachings of one man? Would you not expect a close uniformity in behavior of people who profess to belong to a group following those teachings?

I assume the first thing a Christian would want to do is to keep Christ in Christian; in other words to be a Christian you must follow Christ’s teachings. If you say you are a Christian but do not act in a manner commensurate with how a follower of Christ should act are you not undermining the teachings of Christ by giving out a false example of what a Christian is? Are you conducting a war against Christ?

How then should a follower of Christ act? That answer seems easy: to follow the teachings of Christ. But, according to Chesterton they are too difficult for people to follow. If that is the case, why do these people call themselves Christians?

I suppose we have to go back to the beginning and ask what are Christ’s roots and teachings. Where do we find them? Obviously in the Gospels and perhaps other parts of the New Testament. Yet much of them depend on the Old Testament which is defined as: “the first part of the Christian Bible, comprising thirty-nine books and corresponding approximately to the Hebrew Bible. . . . {O]riginally written . . . about 1200 and 100 BC. They comprise the chief texts of the law, history, prophecy, and wisdom literature of the ancient people of Israel.”

Who was Christ? He was a Jew. That almost all folk accept. Whatever he taught had to have a relation to Jewish teaching. Christians are supposed to  believe  Christ is the Messiah forecast in the Old Testament?

Here is what it is suggested to be the main themes that Christ taught:

  • Love God. – – –   Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Forgive others who have wronged you. – – –  Love your enemies.
  • Ask God for forgiveness of your sins.  – – – Jesus is the Messiah and was given the authority to forgive others.
  • Repentance of sins is essential. – – – Don’t be hypocritical.
  • Don’t judge others.  – – – The Kingdom of God is near. It’s not the rich and powerful—but the weak and poor—who will inherit this kingdom.

The real teachings of Christ though are contained in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 are stark and forbidding. They exceed Chesterton’s “difficult” by many times. Does that mean that there are no Christians because no one can follow these teachings?  Or can one be a Christian if he or she tries to follow them even though not successful 100% of the time. Is there a percentage below which one may follow that the person is no longer a Christian.

How can you have people like Joel Osteen and Mother Theresa being members of the same group? How can you have slave owners and slaves calling themselves the same thing? How can you have one group calling the others the anti-Christ. I guess the answer to all this is that the term Christian is meaningless. I guess it is just too late to keep Christ in the word Christian.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Religious Sunday: Keep Christ in Christian: The War on Christ!

  1. Joke time.

    Mrs. Jenny McCarty lives on the third floor of her building in Dublin. She hears a banging and bumping in the downstairs entry. She hears an Irish voice.

    “We are looking for the Widow Jenny McCarthy” he yells.

    She replies, “I’m Jenny McCarthy, but I’m not a widow.”

    He yells back, “Oh, yeah. Wait till you see what we’re dragging up.”

  2. Religions on paper promote universal themes that almost everyone can agree on. Once we (humans) get hold of the the perversions, the fun begins. A song I often here in my head solves the dilemma–“Let the Mystery Be”.

    1. Hutch:

      You mean the Soviet constitution on freedom of speech was not followed in practice?

      Sadly one thing that Christ seemed to overlook was He was preaching to humans who act emotionally more than intellectually. This was shown when on the cross he said:”Forgive them Father they know not what they do.” They actually did know.

      Happy Thanksgiving

  3. May I suggest that perhaps traveling, and staying, on the road to being Christian is the very definition of being Christian?

    Thank you, Matt, for posing such tough questions. With my flawed education, I am constantly drawn to opportunities for deep learning as a counter to the abundant shallow learning the world makes readily available.

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