I never, ever, ever engage in online debates. It is a waste of my precious time and requires emotional energy that I do not have. That being said, someone for whom I have a lot of respect was recently being trashed on a blog by someone calling himself a Christian and so I felt compelled to gently throw in my two cents on the matter, which happened to be a religious matter. I should have guessed that my character would be the next to come into question.
One of the things thrown at me was, "You must not have done your homework on XYZ religious matter, because if you had you would know blah blah blah."
Here's the thing. Throughout my life I have done plenty of "homework" on spiritual matters. Only I find that the more I pursue God, it seems the questions on the test keep changing. I am wary of any stance which believes they have all the answers and have everything all figured out. I am especially turned off by those who use jargon such as "I say this in love" when what they really are saying is "I use the guise of 'love' as an excuse to judge you."
What if, when we get to the pearly gates, there are no pearly gates? What if there's a single mom, a homeless guy, a convicted felon, an inner city teenager, a prostitute, an abused child, a drug addict, your neighbor... all asking, "What did you do for me?"
What I'm saying is, there has been a lot of emphasis placed on 'heaven' or 'hell' or what happens when we die instead of how we're living now, and the power we have to change the lives of other people. Especially the less fortunate, the down-and-out, the hungry, the hurting and the oppressed. I personally believe the church in America in particular has completely missed the boat and it's beyond agonizing for me. This is why it has become so difficult for me to call myself a Christian... because the voice of mainstream western Christianity today is laced with venom for anyone whom they deem to be outside the club. (No Jesus fish on your car, no admission.)
So maybe I'm back on the prayer list and my salvation has come into question (again). Thank you for praying for me, even if piously, because I'm far from perfect and can certainly use plenty of assistance. In the mean time, I'm going to figure out how I can love Jesus and love people not just in word but in deed. Jesus was the man when it came to genuinely seeing people and meeting their needs. I'd rather follow him and his example than criticize those who walk a different path.