How Christian?

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One of the common criteria listed for somebody to be called a Christian is that they must follow the teachings of Jesus. But just how Christian are the majority? Here’s a few things you have to do in order to really follow Jesus:

Love your enemies

In Matthew 5;44 Jesus says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, which is the complete opposite of God. Just how many Christians actually do that? I can think of plenty of preachers who spread hate, and the Westboro baptist church is essentially built upon it!

Don’t divorce

Jesus didn’t like divorce, and said that anybody who divorces his wife has committed adultery, and anybody who marries a divorced woman has committed adultery too.

Don’t make promises

Regarding oaths, Jesus said the following:

“But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:34-37)

Be a pacifist

Jesus doesn’t like the eye for an eye rule, so he decides to go full pacifist.

” But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:39-42)

Now how many Christians actually follow this rule? Especially the conservative ones?

Commit self-mutilation

Matthew 5 is a treasure trove of lessons from Jesus, including one where he tells you that if you look at a woman lustfully you are to gouge out your eyes, and if your hand causes you to stumble, you must cut it off and throw it away.

Your righteousness must surpass those of the Pharisees 

Jesus says that not one word in the Bible will become obsolete, and you must be more righteous than the Pharisees in order to get into Heaven – the Pharisees are the ones with the 603 OT commandments to follow.

Do everything in secret

Jesus said to pray in secret, give to the needy in secret, and fast in secret. Last time I checked, the more devout the Christian, the more they have to let everybody know how Holy they are.

Do not judge

Besides being technically impossible, I don’t think anybody in the history of humankind has ever followed this rule.

All of these teachings come from Matthew 5, 6 and 7, and are only a fraction of all of the things Jesus said and did. And it turns out very few Christians actually follow the teachings of Jesus.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 thoughts on “How Christian?

  1. The divorce thing is misunderstood. Divorce is not the sin Jesus was after. Remarriage after divorce before the death or remarriage of your spouse was. See John Piper’s paper on divorce and remarriage.

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  2. Since studies on the differences in behaviour between Christians and non Christians (eg Surveys by George Barna) almost invariably show virtually no discernible difference – and if anything crime statistics for the Bible belt states in the US are often higher than the statistics for those outside the Bible belt perhaps the best we can say is that self identification as Christian is virtually useless. Why not leave that to others outside the Church to decide from observations of our behaviour if we deserve the title.

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    • your argument would also make the term Christian virtually useless as a indicator of someone who is “good” e.g. who helps others. Christian just becomes one who worships JC, with no requirement for action.

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