If you’ve followed this blog at all you know I once was a die-hard fundamentalist, creationist, evangelistic, conservative, inerrant “Word of God” girl. When I began to explore and question that stance I learned very quickly that there are those who believe anything less than that and you aren’t a Christian. It’s sad, really.
I was told when I got “saved” that the only thing I had to believe was that Jesus did for my sins. Later I found out that I had to believe that Jesus was not only the Son of God, but that he was God. Then I was told I had to believe the Resurrection, then the Virgin Birth, then the Trinity, then the literal account of Creation. Little by little I was sucked in to the fundamentalist mind-set. Sucked in may not be accurate. I went willingly. Until I was at the point of all the other fundamentalists. Anyone who dared disagree with even one point of the Holy Book wasn’t a good Christian. Would I ever have said that out loud…that if you didn’t believe the same things I believed you might need to check your ticket to the afterlife….nah. That would be rude.
Recently Like a Child posted about the slippery slope in the science vs. Christianity debate. The problem is not the fact that there is a debate. I like a good debate. It’s healthy and you can learn a lot. No, see, the problem is what happens when healthy debate turns into “my God can beat your God” and “I know you are, but what am I?”. Like a Child referenced a recent article in the NYT and a subsequent article at BioLogos.
Using another’s viewpoint about homosexuality, creationism, the immaculate conception, or a myriad of other points as a barometer of their Christianity is kind of anti-Christian. I don’t have to be a fundamentalist to call on the supposed words of Christ. Whether he said them or not they are pretty good words to live by. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13.35)
When the discussion breaks down to the point that you’re questioning another’s faith because their beliefs don’t measure up to your standards you are treading on dangerous ground. I grew weary of the ying-yanging. Not the debating between theists and non-theists, but the discussions that quickly deteriorate into name calling and questioning the faith of those within Christianity. Yes, Paul did say to test the spirits. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.(1 John 4:1) Once. One.time. How many times does the Bible say to “love one another”? I lost count. You don’t have to accept beliefs you oppose. But you do need to accept the people who believe them.
I know that recently I haven’t blogged much. When I have blogged it’s either been about my personal stuff or it’s been pretty snarky. By nature I’m not really even a snarky person. That got old for me pretty quickly. I’d like to have reasonable, calm, respectful discussion about the issues at hand, whatever they might be.
I’m still pretty unsure what I believe about God or whether there even is one. Surely even if there is not a personhood of God 1 John 4:8 is true. Whoever does not love does not have God because God is love. And finally 1 Corinthians 13:1 speaks volumes for how people should be treating one another. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.