Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh, The Games People Play Now

Every night and every day now

Never meaning what they say now

Never meaning what they say.

Oh, they while away the hours

In their ivory towers

To be covered up with flowers

In the back of a black limousine

The Games People Play, by Joe South. 

You know I am finding it’s a little tougher being a “listening to God” Christian than I ever thought it would be.  I was saved a long time ago and have said my prayers for years.  Yet, I have not practiced what I espoused. 

It’s funny how you can read the Bible for a lifetime and never realize the persecution that early Christians went through to be believers.  We back down from our beliefs if we are thought to be threatening at all.  We sit silent in our pews. 

This week, I had a “Facebook Friend” post the word Hypochristian and give the definition.  First of all, I found the definition of Hypochristian in the Urban Dictionary.  Click on the link to take you to it’s home page.  Right off you find: Urban Dictionary is the dictionary you wrote.  What this means is that anyone on the internet can make up any word and post it in a dictionary.  This so called friend posted it like it was authoritative, but he gave no resources as to where he found the definition.  I found the definition. 

Now go the this link: Hypochristian.  Here you will find the so called definition.  My so called friend only posted the first of 3 different definitions.  Below is the first definition which I replied back to my friend.

Contraction of the words 'hypocrite' and 'Christian'. Any Christian who claims to follow the teaching of Christ but whose belief structure, values and/or actions directly contradict such a claim. Typically, hypochristians support things such as the Death Penalty, engage in heavily in proselytizing and judgement of others whose beliefs differ from theirs. Additionally, they often oppose things that go against their beliefs such as gay marriage, evolution, and other scientific law amidst wide amounts of ethical, scientific, moral, and logical arguments (even within their own supposed claim of beliefs) that would prove otherwise. Hypochristians are best categorized as individuals so stubbornly and fanatically devoted to their beliefs that they border on sheer stupidity.

I told him that I was not proselytizing or judging anyone.  I went further to say that Christians are sinners too and we have our faults, but that doesn’t make us a hypocrite.  I went on to say that I respect the right of anyone to their beliefs, but I have my beliefs and it’s just wrong to call me a name because I am a Christian.  I was trying my best to be polite but firm and let him know that I love Christ.   

He came back and said that my reply fit the definition.  That was a little to much to get go.  I told him that I would be a hypocrite if I let him post something that was entirely made up and then let it go as authoritarian.  I would also be a hypocrite if I didn’t let him know that his post was just wrong.  I love Christ and it is my duty and obligation to defend Christ.  By being quite, I am simply living in that Ivory Tower in the above song.  I put it back to him rather strongly and quite frankly, it felt good.

I want to recommend a book, The Culture of Disbelief, by Stephan L. Carter.  Here’s a review that I found.

The Culture Of Disbelief has been the subject of an enormous amount of media attention from the first moment it was published. That media attention was only amplified when President Clinton praised the book while telling a group of religious leaders that America is too secular. Hugely successful in hardcover, the Anchor paperback is sure to find a large audience as the ever-increasing, enduring debate about the relationship of church and state in America continues.

In The Culture Of Disbelief, Stephen Carter explains how we can preserve the vital separation of church and state while embracing rather than trivializing the faith of millions of citizens or treating religious believers with disdain. What makes Carter's work so intriguing is that he uses liberal means to arrive at what are often considered conservative ends. Explaining how preserving a special role for religious communities can strengthen our democracy, The Culture Of Disbelief recovers the long tradition of liberal religious witness (for example, the antislavery, antisegregation, and Vietnam-era antiwar movements). Carter argues that the problem with the 1992 Republican convention was not the fact of open religious advocacy, but the political positions being advocated.

On page 107, in the chapter on The Separation of Church and State, he says; “For the most significant aspect of the separation of church and state is not, as some seem to think, the shielding of the secular world from too strong a religious influence; the principal task of the separation of church and state is to secure religious liberty.”

This country was founded on great principles.  The love of God was one of them.  It’s time to stop hiding your beliefs.  It seems like every time I speak out now, some people are offended by my beliefs.  Just speaking about Christ almost makes me a radical right winger in some places.  I’ve got to tell you, I don’t even know what they are really talking about when people say I am part of the “religious right”.  Well, I am right about Christ and that’s enough for me.  Almost.

The teachings of Christ tell us to tell people about him.  I prefer to do it with my actions rather than words.  But….sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted as a Christian.  It may mean ridicule, persecution or you just lose friends.  You know, that’s OK.

Well I have been rambling a bit so to sum it up.  I am going to pray every day for God to give me the strength to stand up for him.  I don’t want to back down and not be counted.  Hope you will join me.

Oh, the games people play…… Here's Joe South singing "The Games People Play".  If it's been a while since you have listened to the words, I encourage you to listen to the whole song.  It's a good one. Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. I believe our goal as Christians is to every day, be a little more Christ-like. He loved mankind as no man has ever loved them before, but he was also the one that kicked over the money changer's tables in the temple. Maybe the secret is to find just the right balance.

    My personal hero was King David, so devoted that he was called "God's friend" and yet at the same time a man of incredible violence and action in defending God's chosen people. I can find no defensible argument in my bible that says we Christians have to lay down and let those opposed to us walk over us.

    Quite the contrary in fact...