Monday, July 16, 2018

nary a but


I've been thinking about how a lot of Christians act and think about immigrants and these passages keep coming to my mind.

Matthew 25:35-40 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Daniel Suelo talked about this in a blog post he wrote back in 2012 not even talking about immigration. Just the way people of faith seem to have mostly made up their religion out of any belief that takes attention off of their own failures. 

This is what Suelo said:

Ironically I find that non-religious people, including self-proclaimed atheists, are more accepting and comfortable with Jesus' teachings than self-proclaimed followers of Jesus. I guess it's always been that way, the religious persecute their own prophets and then worship them when they're good and comfortably gone. And Jesus himself states more than once he finds more faith outside his religion-nation than inside it, which is why he hung out with non-religious people. That got him crucified.

Lately I've had several conversations with Evangelicals about Jesus' teachings. Every single one of them has an explanation why Jesus' teachings are not for us, or Jesus didn't really mean what he said, or else they find clever "salvation-by-grace" loopholes, or "dispensationalist" loopholes, to cancel out Jesus' teachings. I've personally witnessed many even call me evil and going to hell if I even suggest keeping his teachings! They put incredible amounts of energy into diverting attention away from Jesus' teachings with distracting doctrines and scripture-quoting rather than simply admit they don't believe in their own Jesus! I was impressed by some sincere Evangelicals a few months ago. They simply admitted they didn't believe, but they wanted to. The first step to believing in Jesus is to admit that you don't. The first step into being able to practice Jesus' teachings is to admit that you can't. Religious AA! This is the paradox of all spirituality.

There is nothing I can say that explains better so I'll stand by what Suelo says.  I want to live in a world where everyone is treated equal and loved for their individuality. It seems so magical in my mind. You can be accepting of people who are not like you and who do not live like you live. The bible says you can. Jesus did it. If you can read that passage at the top of this post and show me where an exception was made that would allow you to leave anyone out, please show it to me. You think you can because the people who teach you in church tell you that you can but they are obviously not following the bible. Just like Suelo said, I can live with accepting others not like me but can you? I'm not a Christian and it is easy for me but given that this comes from teachings you pretend to follow why is it you can make exceptions to fit your own needs? What harm would come to you if you allowed others to be who they authentically are even if it is not what you consider biblical? Would the world be a better place?
paper mag

I saw this posted on Instagram today by a Travis Albanza who is transgender:
Please watch this also:  
What are you afraid of? If the world turned inside out and you became the very thing you are afraid of how would it feel? What would you hope of the people around you? 

Matthew 25:35-40 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Nary a "but" was uttered in those passages. Don't say "but you have to follow the law and the Bible also says that." You might want to find out what the laws are around seeking asylum in this country because the current administration is not following them. Police do not follow the law when they murder unarmed people of color in the street in front of witnesses. When a transgender person is murdered in the street and it's not called a hate crime that is a stretch of how we apply laws. We tend to only call something a hate crime if the perpetrator is not from this country. Plenty of hate crimes go unlabeled as such. There are all forms of not following the law and I'm pretty sure a lot of people are fine with that. Just like your belief in the bible, you seem to pick and choose what you will follow/allow. 

It may seem like I lost track of my point here but my point has always been equality for all. I will never stop writing these posts. I won't if one person reads them or zero people read them. You cannot treat people unequal and no matter what way you want to fool yourself that it is okay, you will always be wrong. 

Galatians 3:28 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 

Mark 12:31

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

James 2:8-9 

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 

John 13:34 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Leviticus 19:33-34

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Acts 10:34 

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 

Colossians 3:9-11 

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 

Philippians 2:1-30 

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ... 

Romans 2:11 

For God shows no partiality.  

James 2:1-4 

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

See you made me, a person who claims to be Buddhist (simply because it is the closest thing to what I believe), have to throw down scripture that you already profess to believe in order to show you that there are no "buts."

Is what Suelo said true about you?

"Ironically I find that non-religious people, including self-proclaimed atheists, are more accepting and comfortable with Jesus' teachings than self-proclaimed followers of Jesus."
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