While I am not afraid to take on religion in my articles - it is on issues of persecution, prejudice and bigotry - and especially ignorance and hypocrisy that I usually write. While I am often critical of some religious groups, and evaluate the value and worth of religious doctrine and analyze the potential accuracy and truth and application of religious scriptures - and the conduct of those who claim to live by them - I do not attack ALL people or ALL Christians - just the hypocrites, the liars and the bigots. Prime recent examples of these are the people in Uganda getting ready to commit genocide in the name of religion, or is that the other way round?
Yesterday I received a note on one of my previous articles, with the following comment:
"You said that apparently in order to be a christian one needs to make a decision to follow Christ.... That is not true. No one comes to Christ UNLESS the Father draws him/her..... So it is not our choice but God's."
Were I not so familiar with religious distortions, this would leave me far more flabbergasted than I am. This comes from a person who claims to be a "born-again" Christian - and who is paradoxically also a homophobe and an anti-gay rights crusader.
Actually that is where this person is mistaken - what they are describing here is a traditional type of pre-Christian religion, like Judaism, where people believe they are chosen by God and thus "righteous" by birthright - whereas in Christianity, people are "saved" by accepting Christ's offer of sacrifice and God's grace. The only thing I can see in this statement as being in any way true, is that God made a choice to institute the New Covenant by sending Christ as a sacrifice and thereby giving all of us a choice also.
How else do people believe they are "saved" or "born again"? That is the choice - and the choice is one true fundamental aspect of Christian faith, one of the prime tenets. Rejecting this shows how dodgy "fundamentalism" is, because it clings to and emphasizes precisely the wrong points.
It is no coincidence that fundie movements worldwide seek a return to Old Testament laws and rituals - because they fundamentally reject Christ as the New Covenant - which replaced all those silly old rituals and customs.
Further, this theory implies that while God created all people, God only loves those God "draws" to salvation - (which should in technical terms include ALL people) which further implies that God does not love all people and does not want all people to be "saved" or to love God - which funnily enough, flies in the face of established Christian doctrine and even the evangelical roots of the somewhat suspect fundamentalist Christian foundations.
To sum up, listed below are the following logical conclusions drawn from this commentary:
- God created all people,
- God chooses people to follow him,
- therefore, God only calls those he chooses to follow him, and
- those who are not called by God cannot choose to follow him,
- God only calls those he loves to follow him,
- therefore God only loves those he calls to follow him, and
- God doesn't love all people
Think about it, it is very logical.
This whole theory can easily be countered and disproved - if not blown clear out of the water - by this statement: "For God so loved the world (ALL people) that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
It's no trick, go look in your bibles, you'll find it in John - even in the bibles distributed and used by the Southern Baptists.
Such a claim that God does not in fact love all people equally - while false - would also seem to support the fundamentalist propaganda favored by many radical groups today, in order to create the illusion of an "ungodly enemy" embodied in a particular group which they make out to be a threat to themselves and to "justify" their own existence as a group. That, I think you will find, is a very old story.
It is a common fundamentalist lie and contradiction that misleads millions. In short, "Christian" fundamentalism is not Christianity perse' - but a dangerous cult growing and hacking away at the underpinnings of Christianity and trying to change the generally accepted image of Christianity and the Christian God as a loving deity.
"God is love". Ironically enough, how many of these wonko fringe groups preaching hatred and intolerance today ever refer to love? Any group which claims that God is not love, or speaks of God without speaking with love, or of love, does not in fact speak of God. Honestly, the way some people describe their idea of God, describes my idea of the Devil.
I find it strange that intelligent people are so easily misled, but then we're only human - and sometimes it is easier to hate than to love. But then, Christ is supposed to have said that although your burden would be light, following him was not going to be easy.