Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Christian Left

I didn't even know this group existed. What a liberation. For years I have struggled to be a person of faith while simulteneously being disgusted by the actions of the most vocal Christians. I have never believed good people go to hell and I have never believed gay people shouldn't get married and I have never believed the government should make laws based on religion.

Honestly, I thought I was alone.

Here is a great quote from their web site:
We are The Christian Left. We’re all around you. We’re among the people. Take a look. We’re part of the Body of Christ. We’re Christians. We’re Liberal. We make no apologies. In fact Jesus' ways are “Liberal.” That’s why He was killed. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the conservatives of their time. This is clear.
...and another:
Unfortunately in this country today, we have a sort of spiritual revival of the Pharisees --people who don’t want to practice love, grace, or compassion, but would rather try to bury people under legalistic demands that they themselves aren’t capable of keeping. Culturally crusading right-wing Christians have substituted the Gospel of Jesus Christ for a Gospel of Morality. They've made it more about following rules than loving God (having a relationship with Christ) and loving their fellow brothers and sisters.  This is unacceptable. It's exactly what Jesus spoke out against. People are stuck in the Gospel of Morality. They are drained by the shame it produces. Far too many are repulsed by this false religious system they can't live up to.  This insanity must stop. When we walk with Jesus, he refines us as he sees fit, by his Spirit. Proponents of the Gospel of Morality don’t get that on some level. Jesus didn’t say “Get refined then follow me.” He said “Follow Me … and get refined, the way only I can refine.” Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:2; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 8:28; Matthew 4:19
...and another: 
“Many on the Christian Right are fond of posing the question WWJD?-- What would Jesus do? I’d like to remind them what Jesus DID do: He cared for the poor. He did not condemn the woman caught in adultery. He prayed alone. He commanded us to love our enemies. He preached peace. He ate, drank, and lived with ‘tax collectors and sinners’ -- the lowlifes and outcasts of his day, while reserving his condemnation for the religious leaders who, from a place of privilege, imposed their legalism and literalism on the people they were responsible for leading.
...and finally, this quote from Billy Graham, which I was staggered by. I can't believe he even said this. What a nice surprise:
"I don't want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it."
— Rev. Billy Graham, Parade, 1981  
I'm not here to preach to anyone. I'm well aware that almost none of my friends think you can both have a brain and be a Christian. It stopped bothering me long ago. But I no longer feel alone. I haven't seen or heard anything that made me feel good about religion in years. What a revelation.

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