What is interesting and eye-opening to me is how often you and I have agreed. You have seen the negatives of Christianity as have I. In fact, if you will scan through my many posts, you will find that I say many of the same things that you do. My criticisms come from within my faith while yours come from the outside. One possible reason for this agreement may be that I often look at my faith, my church, my religion from the outside. Perhaps this is because as a young person I was often an outsider and still am today among many evangelical Christians (after all, I’m a Democrat). Or perhaps this is some special (God-given?) ability I have.
Anyway, I am seriously troubled by what I see happening among Christians today – the political pronouncements, the legalism, the rudeness at and intolerance of, those whose behavior or religious or political convictions differ, etc. All of these, I believe, are symptoms of our failure to genuinely follow Jesus. I want you to know that they are more of a concern to me than to you. You can just put them down as evidence of the invalidity of religion. I have to live with them.
However, please don’t take these comments as an indication that I’m crossing over to your side. I sincerely doubt if I will do this. As a matter of fact, the misbehavior I see among Christians actually drives me to a desire to follow Jesus more closely than before.
Nor do I suspect that the things I say will bring you over to my side. I suppose that you are as committed to the rightness of your cause as I am to mine. However, I confess that I do pray for your conversion, not to a philosophy or opinion, but to genuine faith in Christ, because that’s what Jesus told us to do. :^)
A more immediate goal is to simply convince you that the stereotype presented by many “Christian” public figures is not what Christianity is. There are many of us who do not subscribe to this caricature.
But even more than this, I desire to keep up the dialogue and to build a genuine friendship. You have already contributed to my understanding and I hope that I have to yours.
Looking forward to further conversation,Bill