[Rushtalk] Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

Stephen Frye stephen.frye at outlook.com
Tue May 29 11:55:00 MDT 2018


I am not condemning anybody.  Not my job.  But I do indeed understand a lot of what many think and believe about Christians.  It is not anecdotal.  Suppose for a second (and it is NOT the case), that one had only access to this discussion group.  How often have we cited passages from the Quran that seem to incite violence and then hold that against those that believe in the Quran, yet, at the same time, how often do we cite passages in Holy Scripture that justify anger, war, hatred, division, etc, while continually overlooking passages that scream for love and forgiveness.  That is seen by many, including me, as hypocritical.  How often do we write “they” need to do this, “they” need to do that, “they”, “they”.  When in reality, I believe “we all”.

Many also see some of the brutal history of Christianity.  The Spanish missionaries refused medical care and even food to native Americans unless they converted.  In many of the mission areas here in Southern California, the missionaries cut off the earlobes of the “non-believers”.  Some of the missionaries who did this were canonized.

I am a frim believer in “I can’t do such-and-such because of my religion.”  But I am 100% against “YOU can’t do such-and-such because of MY religion.”  I won’t tolerate that from Islam, why should anyone tolerate it from me?  That is not anecdotal.

And it is why we are losing so very many of our young people.  We are in an era where knowledge is growing exponentially, and a lot of our young people are asking questions for which we don’t have very good answers, or for which our answers don’t make much sense.  We preach science, science, science against global warming and so many other issues, but then deny science if it conflicts with our religious beliefs.  Many see this as hypocritical.  I do, too.

I don’t believe that God’s plan for us has changed over the centuries.  I do, though, believe that our understanding and our grasp of that plan can indeed change.  None of us truly knows the mind of God.  We can guess at it from the writings in Holy Scripture, but we need to keep those in context, too.  Most of believe that Scripture is the inspired word of God.  But we have no proof of that.  The Bible claims its own authenticity, but no other writing could acceptably do that.  But as a believer in the Holy Inspiration, I also maintain that the writings were not dictated.  Human beings wrote the Scripture down in words that they understood from thoughts that they understood, directed towards people with the same limited understanding of the Universe.  Let’s face it, Genesis simply could not have tried to scientifically explain the Big Bang.  Neither the writer nor the reader would have had the vocabulary or understanding to do so.  So we need to take those ancient writings and try to apply them to the knowledge we have today.  What is my point?  Many of us refuse to do that, and our young people won’t accept these ancient writings in light of what we know today.  Many adults won’t either.  And instead of trying to realistically apply those incredible thoughts to today’s world, we try to hold to the ancient meanings and accountabilities.  And so we alienate many, many people.

We condemn homosexuality because “it says so in the Bible”.  It also says men shouldn’t have long hair.  It also says we shouldn’t work on the Sabbath.  It says a lot of other things, and we weasel around them with explanations, justifications, interpretations, etc., but we pick a few and hold to the literal words, and we try to force everyone else to do the same things.  I get tempted to rebel against that, too.  When was younger and had hair, it was ling.  I both worked and patronized businesses on the sabbath.  I eat shrimp, crab, lobster.  I eat pork.

I don’t consider any of this sinful.  Yet Scripture is pretty clear on it, and I can understand that a lot of people see this as hypocritical.

And my point to all of this, is that in my eyes, and in the eyes of many, I tend to see Christianity and Holy Scripture used as a weapon or means of condemnation of others, rather than taking the passages of love and tolerance a and forgiveness and use them as a means of attraction.  For my own self, that is the message I get from Scripture and the life of Jesus.  I read “here is a plan, and I’d like to have all of you be a part of it.”  We see what we want, and others do indeed judge us by our actions.  That, too, is human nature.  So do we want to be judged by the divisiveness we seem to read in Scripture, or by the message of love and tolerance?  We seem to have chosen the former.

I don’t agree with how so many seem to see Christians, but I do indeed understand it.  And we have brought much of it on ourselves.


From: rushtalk-bounces at csdco.com <rushtalk-bounces at csdco.com> On Behalf Of Dennis Putnam
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 4:45 AM
To: rushtalk at csdco.com
Subject: Re: [Rushtalk] Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

Perhaps you have a slight case of tunnel vision or using too wide a brush. It is very hard for any Christian not be sucked into some of the hatred, especially since a large part of it is directed at white, male Christians. Weak as we are, there comes a point where hatred directed at us becomes too much to bear so human nature is to redirect the resulting anger back. This is one of our many flaws for which Jesus suffered on our behalf. As you said we are not perfect vessels and some have major cracks. But you are being somewhat hypocritical by condemning your fellow Christians because of your own anecdotal observations. As with humans in general there are good and poor members of the Christian faith and the poor ones are those we should be helping, not condemning. Indeed, even those that are only Christians for one hour per week in church, do spend that hour. As the old saw goes, church is not a refuge for saints but a hospital for sinners. We can only try our best to follow Jesus' teachings and some are better than others at doing that. None are perfect.

On 5/28/2018 4:24 PM, Stephen Frye wrote:
Yu know, over the past decade or so, the only thing I have seen Christianity and Holy Scripture used for are weapons.  True Christianity, and the true meaning of the Holy writings live in our hearts, and should always be visible to others.  None among us will ever be perfect vessels or examples, but don’t we need to at least try?  Our country is so full of hatred right now.  Such is both saddening and sickening, and where will it end?  How many of us will rally to answer that questions with “as soon as somebody else does something”?

I volunteer for an organization that gathers and distributes food for the needy.  Great.  But when spending more and more time with them, I believe a lot of them miss the boat, too.  So very much of what we witness in our day-to-day lives is nothing more than lip service to the true meaning of Christianity and Holy Scripture.  Other than  an hour a week in Church, how many of us, in our day-to-day lives, are recognizable as Christians – not by what we say we are, not by pointing fingers of condemnation of others, but by how we behave?  How many of us even begin to live up to “And they’ll know we are Christians …”.

We pat ourselves on the back for going to church every Sunday, and for following Scripture and the teachings of Jesus, while we viciously attack and demonize any who aren’t totally in line with what we believe.  We can’t wait to climb up on our soap boxes so that we can tell everyone else how they should lead their lives, what they should believe, how they should act.

Jesus’ life here on earth, and the message of Holy Scripture was never intended to be the vehicle of hatred and condemnation for which it is so used today.



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