Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Blame Christians if you like, but don't blame Jesus

Since embracing libertarianism and the concept of limited government, I have had to live with misconceptions about what those philosophies mean, and I have had to cringe over the bad behavior and silly comments of those who also claim to be libertarians and believers in limited government. The "we need this police-state agency to protect our liberty and our system of limited government" types are the most aggravating.

I had plenty of practice in defending my philosophy's bad reputation caused by the stupid acts of so-called fellow believers who don't really get it. For nearly 24 years, I have been a born-again Christian.

Yep, I know Christianity was used as an excuse to launch the Crusades, and that today it's being used to justify everything from the death penalty to bans on gay marriage to wars. And I suppose it's presumptious of me to declare that such political and military actions are based on a misreading of Jesus. But they are.

The Jesus who has lived in my heart these 24 years (and has no doubt sometimes been appalled at the living conditions in there) is a source of peace beyond understanding, a source of freedom, not wars and manmade limits. He was a man who did not tolerate intolerance, who boiled Jewish law down to love of God and love of people - all people, even the hated Samaritans and women caught in adultery. "Love your enemies." You don't slaughter those you love.

I don't go out of my way to talk about this little corner of my beliefs, and I'm certainly not interested in converting anyone. I suppose that goes against Christian theology - the Great Commission, don't ya know. But all I do is tell folks, if you detect peace or good will in me and you're curious about it, check out Jesus, because he's the major source. The flaws are mine; the good stuff belongs to Jesus.

Same with Christianity. All that bad stuff that's been done in the name of religion? That's what you get when you follow what corrupt leaders say instead of checking the source. The only army out there that actually does what he said is the Salvation Army, the one that's feeding and clothing the poor and needy. The good stuff belongs to Jesus.

I think for many Christians, the ones who recognize the difference Jesus has made in their lives for the good, this is why neutering Christmas and Christianity grates so much. Just as the police-state libertarian doesn't get it, the angry and judgmental Christian is the one who doesn't get it. The truth sets you free; anyone who tells you different hasn't found the truth quite yet.


Blogger Vache Folle said...

Amen. I am full of sorrow for the many "Christians" who apparently have never been really exposed to Jesus.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Wally Conger said...

My wife and I both loved this post. Bravo!

2:42 PM  
Anonymous kyfho said...

I ran across a quote by the Dali Lama yesterday that totally floored me with it's simplicity. That "love your neighbor" thing might be a little hard to swallow for some, so I warmed immediately to "Kindness is my religion." Anyone can be kind, right?

10:07 PM  

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