if the sky is heaven

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I don’t know if the sky is heaven but I pray anyways.

-Idina Menzel, “I Stand”

While Jesus means something to me, I want to know why people of inter-faith have been so much kinder to me than 90% of Christians.  Maybe their kindness is more genuine and less saccharine, or maybe I just offend a lot of Christians without meaning to.  Again…without meaning to offend, I humbly ask why so many Christians have to be so damn smug?  Sure it’s not just “them” and I fall into that category too, but I’m still thinking that I like the idea of hoping for universalism in the end.  :)

Here’s a few thoughts that I’m currently stewing on:

  • Isn’t it more life-giving and Jesus-affirming to hope that universalism is true rather than hoping in hell? 
  • Can’t one believe in the person of Jesus Christ and think his personhood could extend to “save all” even without their acknowledgment of him?  If Jesus really is God, isn’t Jesus bigger than the Westernized Christianity we have been brought up with?  I heard this quote recently and I really found it interesting, God has no religion.
  • If God is who some say God is, wouldn’t a loving God extend grace even to those who do not profess faith?  I would, and I’m not very loving, so if God is love, isn’t that possible?  For example, say there is a fire at the school I work at.  I’m going to do my best to get every three year old in my care out of the burning building whether or not they think I’m cool or idolize me.  Even if I know for fact they don’t like me very much.  I’m still going to recognize that they are freaking only 3 years old and extend to them every benefit-of-the-doubt and do everything I can to show them I care.  So doesn’t God realize we are pretty much “spiritual babies” and cut us a break too?
  • If all truth is God’s truth and all love is God’s love is all faith God’s faith and so on?  I think the whole believing in a God part is easy, it’s the believing in the church stuff that’s hard for me.  So if I’m only 6% loving and God is INFINITY loving, wouldn’t God just give a lot of people a break?  I mean organized religion as man has created it has messed a lot of people up, if I know that I’d think God knows that exponentially more? 
  • And again, why have people of multi/interfaith showed me so much more of who Christ is than most people who “believe exclusively in Jesus”?

I should probably crack a Bible open since I have no clue what Christians would say to half these questions, but I’d also like to know what everybody else is saying.  Because hoping for universalism isn’t so bad, right?  For now, God has no religion. :)

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5 responses »

  1. Wow. I honestly could have written this post, verbatim. I think this is the mindset of many but it’s comforting to actually see it in “print”. Thanks for sharing. Love the music, too! :)

  2. Soooo.. I have no idea how I stumbled onto this blog or if I’ll ever find it again, but I just thought I’d share a little of what I think because I like to consider myself a Christian who believes in Jesus’ teachings.

    I personally think it’s really sad how a lot of Christians come off as pushy and smug and close-minded. I think a lot of times they become so excited about their religion and beliefs or believe so strongly in them that it comes off completely wrong. But it’s not always like that.

    I try to spread the message of Jesus through my acts instead of my words. I try not to judge and I accept different kinds of people. If someone has a different religious belief than me- I respect that. I’ve had people try to push religion on me and it’s no fun.. all it does is push you away… So I understand why people hate Christians doing this.. it’s happened to me! It just makes a lot more sense to me to be an example of Christ.. to love, to not judge, to accept people, and to have an open mind about not just my religion, but other people’s as well.

    Judging people is not up to me.. it’s up to God. So I leave that to him and I respect the religious choices non-Christians make, because I want them to do the same for me.

    What I would like to see is people being more open-minded about Christians. We are not all pushy and smug and we are not all going to tell you you’re going to hell. I don’t know who is going to hell and who gets to go to heaven.. like I said, I’m not God and I’m not going to tell you where you’ll spend eternity. So don’t put me in a box. I’m open-minded about other religions.. so please be open-minded about mine. Within any organization there are corrupt members.. therefore, there are bad examples of Christians. But nobody is perfect, everyone makes mistakes.. and I just hope that those of you who think Christians are hypocrites are able to meet and experience the love of a Christian who truly imitates Christ.

    I could tell you my personal opinions about all your points, but I think I’ve written way too much and wanted to say these final words to sum it all up:

    – not all Christians are close-minded and pushy
    – a lot of Christians are truly trying to imitate Christ and love everyone… (I’m trying!)
    – a lot of your questions can be found in the Bible.. take a look if you ever get curious and see what you think, it’s up to you if you decide to believe what it says or if you’d rather not
    – people need to leave the judging of other people to God.. Christians need to stop judging non-Christians, and non-Christians need to stop judging Christians.. it’s up to God.. not us
    – becoming a Christian does not mean you have to be pushy. I simple believe in a loving God who sent his son to save me and forgive my sins.. I try to live my life to glorify God and be what He wants of me. I slip and fall and mess up all the time.. but He’s always there waiting for me to start all over again. This last statement was not me telling you that you have to do the same or suffer the consequences, I’m simply sharing my beliefs without shoving them in your face.
    – Religion is a personal decision and a personal faith.. everyone is different and sees the world differently.. Love all and Jude no one. :)

  3. Why have people of multi/interfaith showed me so much more of who Christ is than most people who “believe exclusively in Jesus?

    What an amazingly wonderful question you have asked!

    In my own humble opinion, the crux of the issue is quite simple. Many people forget the meaning of the word Christian and they have missed the teachings of who he was/is.

    Christian means Christ-like. When He came He did not go to the upscale neighborhoods or hang out with the rich. He came in a lowly place and lived a humble life. He was not here for His own gain, but for ours. I find it comforting that He went to the slums, the ghettos; He spent time with the hurting, the broken. He came to teach us not to condemn us. He came to serve not be served.

    Unfortunately, it has been my experience that many people who have been touched in some miraculous way by Him forget where they came from. Oftentimes we see the “cleaned up” version of people because their scars are gone…the gaping wounds are healed or in the process of being healed.

    While He did teach verbally it is His behavior that shows us His heart. Those who claim to be His and then behave in a manner unbecoming to Him have missed the most vital part of who He is. We are to love, to carry our brothers burdens. We are to forgive. Those who judge and condemn others are walking a very dangerous road.

    I cannot tell you why those of other faiths are more aware of these truths and seem to practice them more efficiently than some Christians. I, too, have seen this around me. We are to be the salt of the earth and make those around us thirst for what we have. No one wants to know more about how to become judgemental and harsh and miserable. He came to bring joy and freedom.

    It is my heartfelt prayer that those who have been hurt or snubbed or judged by a self-proclaimed Christian will have the courage to move past that and seek out who Jesus really is.

    Much love…

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