Please note – I do not endorse nor did I say the following and I think it is offensive and unacceptable:
This minister stated… Christianity is not a religion, unlike others such as Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc. Christianity is a relationship with Jesus. He further stated that these religions are about doing good works and that they all have a vindictive God who is angry with you if you don’t do good works.
- Who said that other religions don’t encourage a relationships with God or Jesus?
- So, does that mean that his version of Christianity thinks it is fine if you don’t lift a finger to help anyone, or to try to lessen suffering among your fellow humans?
- By disagreeing with him, am I a hypocrite, since I espouse that all approaches are equally good as long as they don’t hurt anyone?
Well, he is causing hatred, or at least a feeling of disrespect and non-acceptance, by insulting people in those other faiths. And he is saying that you just need to have a relationship with God to be a happy person, if you do nothing at all the help anyone or make a difference here on earth that is just fine, you get a free pass, just come to my church and I will assure you you are wonderful as long as you pray and keep in relationship with Jesus.
Well, I agree that his approach is fine, since to not, would make me a hypocrite: I would be pushing my belief on him– aka “All approaches are ok and we should not say there is only one right way.”
I have to allow that those who believe “there is only one right way” are one of the groups that I vow not to judge. I have no right to tell them they should agree with me about not polarizing one group against another by saying there is only one way.
And I do allow it. Except that if what he is doing spreads hate and distrust and an attitude that everyone except those who are like him are bad people, then that is not ok.
So, as long as he just shares this with his own church and does not offend the greater community with the rude assertion that the other faiths are all wrong, it is fine with me…
Since he is helping the people in his one little church to be free from suffering he is doing good in the world, just for his own group…it is better to help a few then to help no one.
However, he posted his polarizing comment on Facebook, which goes outside his own congregation, so that is not ok with me. That is very, very not ok with me. And he happens to be the pastor of my mom’s church. No wonder she and I could never resolve our bad feelings and mend our estranged relationship that spanned my entire life, to the time my mom died. But when she died I affirmed that deep in her heart she was not a party to that bullshit that her pastor spread…she actually loved me just as I was and did not fault me for having a different world view than she had. She was much more big-hearted then that.