One of the on-going conversations on JoeMyGod (also on blogspot) is about how unlike Christians the bigots are while wildly professing their Truly Religious status. Many of the JMG readers are atheists; some are Christian despite what other xns are up to. I really haven't a clue what I am. I've said before that I don't believe in coincidence, and that means something or Some Thing is putting helping me. I also differentiate between a Christian (one who's trying her/his best to follow Christ's teachings), a christian (one who says s/he's trying), and a xn (one who couldn't care less what the bible says and succeeds in instilling hate and fear in others).
It came around again the other day, after a particularly despicable pronouncement by one of The Truly Religious. Someone asked "exactly what is a 'real' Christian?" It made me think, because there are people I know whom I consider to be Christians. But why? I tend to think best at a keyboard and wrote this:
"Yeah, I'm trying to figure that out, too. I think it's possible to try one's best to live one's life according to what Jesus said, or at least as it was recorded. There are great challenges in those 4 books, and I think 'real' Christians try to live by those challenges. You don't give up thinking, you don't give up your intellect, you don't give up science or art.
"After Luke's recounting of the story of the good Samaritan, the exchange between Jesus reads: "'Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell in the hands of the robbers?' The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'"
"I think that's what 'real' Christians try to do I realize that this is also not only open to debate and can be generally disregarded. I do not profess to be a Christian or a christian or a xn. Still, I do give credit to someone who tries to live by Jesus' teachings and who does not then say, 'Hey! Look at me! I'm just like Jesus!'"
I don't know why I want to defend Christians, except that I think there are those who sincerely believe in what Jesus taught and try to live their lives accordingly, and that doesn't include condemning, hating, and excluding their fellow humans. Actually, I tend to admire someone who sees all of us as children of their god. Their teacher said that the first great commandment was to love their god completely, and that the second great commandment was to love the other people on the planet, too. I don't place myself above Christians (I do find xns as a despicable, hateful lot, however).
Am I thinking about this because there are more days and years behind me than there are before me? I don't know. It could be. It takes way too much time and energy to hate, so maybe I'm trying to hone my love or acceptance skills. Whatever it is, it's an interesting exploration.