Jesus said to love everyone, ie. "love thy neighbour"... pretty simple, right?
it's the second of the *two* commandments that he taught, the first commandment being "love thy god before all others"
The parable of the Good Samaritan describes what is meant by "love thy neighbour", the point of which is that it doesn't matter what you believe, it's what you *do* to help those in need that counts towards getting into heaven when you die.
According to the bible, only those who give up their worldly possessions and give to the needy are going to heaven. In other words, the way I see it, is that either you help those in need, or you don't get to call yourself christian...
Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.--[KJV]
Take special note of how the Book of John isn't represented above, it would seem that a lot of people get the idea that all you need to do is "believe in Jesus" in order to be saved, and I believe that the Book of John is a likely suspect as to why people merely believe that, because what's the most popular bible verse?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. --[KJV]
The most popular bible verse tells people that all they need to do is believe. All you need to do to be christian, and thereby cheat death and live forever, is to believe in Jesus Funky Christ, ie. you don't have to "do" anything.
So why wouldn't people get upset when you challenge their beliefs when their faith tells them that merely saying that they "believe in Jesus" will grant them eternal life?
I'm not saying that people who merely say they are christian are necessarily bad people, I'm saying that they are telling themselves that they are good christian people because they say and believe this arbitrary thing when they are supposed to do kind things for those in need in order to be a good christian.[1a]
So with the parable of the Good Samaritan[1b] in mind, if you *do* give to the needy, what difference does it actually make if you confess to believing in this character called "Jesus" or not; in spite of what John 3:16 would seem to imply?
My understanding of the Good Samaritan parable, is that it does not make a difference, as the Jesus from the bible would seem to not give a shit if you believed in him personally or not.
It would be like believing in Einstein but not knowing anything about relativity, but then expecting that you can then tell other people that you know about relativity, because you believe in Einstein. ie. if you're not being a nice and charitable person, especially to the needy, then you have no right to be talking about how much you believe in Jesus or for that matter even say that you are christian and you certainly do not have the right to talk about how moral you are because of this arbitrary thing if you aren't even following JC's commandment of "loving thy neighbour".
The point here is that this mere notion of believing upon the name "Jesus", would seem to be some arbitrary thing that is detached from what JC supposedly taught, so by saying "belief in Jesus" makes a difference as to whether you are a good, moral person or not, is to commit idolatry.
It's idolatry because "Jesus" is *just* a name... it is a *thing*, at best it is the label we use today for a character in a collection of stories who may or may not have lived two thousand years ago... By not following his teachings you make the notion of "believing in Jesus" into a thing, you make it into an icon that represents *nothing* if you aren't actually doing what he taught.
By merely believing in the name of this Jesus or that he died on the cross for you or whatever it is that you think makes Jesus worthy of being worshiped; without actually being this good-moral person that believing in Jesus supposedly makes you, then according to your own christian rules, you are breaking the first commandment.
You are breaking the first commandment because you are putting this thing called a "belief in Jesus" up above the notion of what believing in Jesus was supposed to teach you. By putting this "thing" called "belief" so prominently forward, you are loving that mere thing *before* you are loving this god of yours by following its commandments. You are making that mere notion out to be more important than what that notion supposedly was all about: Peace, love and goodwill toward all humankind, right?
so if all you do is believe in this name or image of a person, which just happens to be Jesus handsome-blue-eyed-white-fellow Christ, and you do not follow the teachings of the Jesus from the bible, which I assume is the one you refer to when you say that you "believe in Jesus", then you're even more screwed than the non-believers, because you can't just declare that you are christian, you have to *be* christian.
You know? Like in much the same way that you can't just say that you are an astronaut, you have to *be* one as well. If you go around saying that you are an astronaut, but clearly you aren't, then you have to be content with being treated like some nutter who likes to pretend that they are something that they are not.
So is it not offensive that "christian" people go around merely saying that they are "christian"?
Saying that you are christian, is to advertise that you are a good, kind person, it says that you are willing to offer your generosity to the needy, no questions asked. By declaring oneself to be a christian, you are saying that you are willing to offer a meal and a bed to those who need one.
Is that what people are saying by declaring their "christianity"?
I don't think so, because I still see people wandering around, obviously without a home.
And no, "christians" don't get to ask "why don't the non-believers take them in?" - because non-believers do not go around bragging that they are nice charitable people who are commanded by their Messiah to help the needy. Non-believers don't even have a Messiah, remember? And if they *do* brag about being charitable, then that is probably because they are actually being charitable, probably to make a point that non-believers are capable of doing what many christians do not.
Acknowledging or having a "belief in Jesus", at least to some extent, sees the believer put aside the things they should be doing to get their souls to heaven, because every second that is spent merely confessing to a belief in "Jesus", is one less second that is spent not doing the things that supposedly gains entry into heaven. ie. helping someone in need.
Instead of actually doing something that would gain brownie points for eternal heavenly residence, it would seem that many "christians" merely "believe in Jesus" and that it is more important for them to declare this loudly .. and often... than it is to actually help those in need
they go to prayer rallies (bible says to pray in private), they praise Jesus and insist that everyone else should as well (that's rude, did you even ask what someone's beliefs were first?), they want prayer in school (ahem! "the bible says to pray in *private*"), they want the ten commandments up in courts (ahem, Jesus taught *two* commandments, are you jewish or christian?), they want chaplains instead of qualified counsellors in schools (and who do the non-christian kids go to?), they insist that marriage must be between a man and woman because children need a mother and father (ahem .. divorce? single parents? orphans? hello!!), they think abortion is bad in all cases (but you don't see them hanging out the front of abortion clinics offering to adopt the children they don't want aborted, instead you see them holding placards condemning women to hell as sinners and murderers), they want "god did it" taught as legitimate science ... blah blah blah ....
none of this blah blah prattle is about *loving* others, it's about changing the world to the way you want it to be and the only influence your puny existence can hope to grasp in this massive universe is to usurp the voice of *god* so that you feel that your puny voice somehow has merit because you think you speak of things that god allegedly would want.
That is more idolatry, you are a nobody, you don't speak for Jesus/god, not especially while you don't even come close to following its teachings.
"christians" would seem to be using this "divine authority" of merely declaring to be a christian (thus representing Jesus/god) as a means to control other people and make them do things in the way that "christians" want them done because these "christians" aren't grown up enough to accept the fact that other people believe differently to those beliefs of theirs that are from a time when we knew very little about the universe.
"Belief in Jesus" is nothing to do with being a good person, so one should not just merely speak of their praise for Jesus, one should do the things that JC allegedly taught, then you wouldn't need to speak of your praise anyway, as this Jesus of yours would see that you are offering him praise by the fact that you *are* following his teachings.
This is why "christians" should keep their religion to themselves, because unless you are actually being a good person, just declaring that you are a "christian" means nothing, because if you are doing things that a good christian person would do, you wouldn't even need to say that you are "christian" in the first place as we would *see* how Christian (aka Christ-like) you really are and decide for ourselves that the gospel of Jesus might be a good thing, but until then your words of mere belief will speak louder than the actions that you are not taking....
 Luke 10:25-37 (The Good Samaritan)
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded [him], and departed, leaving [him] half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked [on him], and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him],
34 And went to [him], and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave [them] to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. --[KJV]
[1a] Honestly, if the richest 10% of christians (200 million people) gave at least 10% of their earnings ($5000?) a year to some central christian charitable organisation, some serious helping of the needy could be going on. 200million people times $5000 a year is a trillion dollars, that could buy a country! So, I can not believe that there can still be needy people if christians were actually being as charitable as their Messiah has supposedly taught them.
[1b] Ironically, the Samaritans were regarded as outcasts in much the same way that certain christians regard atheists these days.
 the letter "J" didn't even exist until about 500 years ago ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J#History ... before English came along, "Jesus" was the Latin "Iesus", before that the Greek "Ihsous", and before that the Hebrew "Yehoshua"... http://www.jesus8880.com/chapters/gematria/yehoshua.htm