in reply to WHAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY?
indeed - this is a very serious problem as it would seem that vast majority of US christians are defying the teachings of their own Messiah - and defying those teachings with pride
merely declaring yourself christian, doesn't make a person a christian, at all ... but a lot of christians seem to think they are christian simply because they believe in Jesus, and by proxy, believing in Jesus makes them think they are a good person ... now they probably are good people in general, but being a christian, means that you are supposed to do good things to be a good person - so just saying that you are christian is much like saying that you are smart because you like Einstein
so believing in Jesus requires that you actually take actions to help your fellow humans - and not merely give the impression that you are a good person because you believe in some dude called Jesus
in fact, declaring that you are christian is *bragging* that you are christian ... look at Matthew 6:1 ... it says the christian should not do good deeds such that other people will see them do those good deeds or something like that, ie. So if you shouldn't be bragging that you are good person even when you actually *are* doing good deeds, the logical extension of that is that you most certainly should *not* declare that you are a good person when you are *not* doing good deeds at all
the author of Matthew 6 seemed to be concerned that people were doing good things and then bragging about it - however, nearly every American christian I have seen, has *skipped* the whole doing good things and gone straight to bragging that they are good people - it is one thing to brag about being a good person when you are a good person, but to brag that you are a good person, when you are not and/or indifferent to other people's needs .. well ... that's a lie
christians need to be aware that three of the gospels state that you need to give to the needy to get into heaven ... I find no other bible verse that declares what you need to actually do to get into heaven, and just saying you believe, is not doing anything whatsoever - so if your basis for getting into heaven is John 3:16, then you do not understand your bible - because if you are not giving to the needy then you do *not* believe in what Jesus taught, you are in fact lying that you are christian because the way i see it is that any one declaring they are christian is declaring "hey! If you need money, come to me and I will give it to you, no questions asked" - but is anyone actually declaring that if someone walks up to them and asks for them for money that they will actually give that money away simply by stating that they are christian?
I do not regard myself as being christian simply because I will not give away money to every stranger that wanders up to me and asks for it - I am under no obligation to help those people in need (even though i still do at times) - however, people claiming to be christian *ARE* obligated to help the needy, ALL the time - "love thy neighbour" is a commandment, it is not an optional thing that you do for your family and/or friends and/or whenever you feel like - if you see someone in need, then if you are christian, you should be helping them - remember the good Samaritan? in fact, there are so many needy people in the world that christians should not even have *time* to declare they are christian let alone brag about it at length as they should be elsewhere doing as their Messiah commanded
it disgusts me that US christians claim that the USA is a christian nation, because if the USA was truly a christian society, any homeless person should be able stand on the streets of a big city like New York and hold up a sign that says "I am homeless and need money", in a true christian country that person should be a millionaire by lunch time of the first day of begging in the street, but is that what happens?
no, this is not what happens in the richest country in the world - unless, of course, ALL 250 million people claiming to be christians in the USA are living in poverty then they have a reason to not help the needy because they are needy themselves - on the other hand, it would seem to me that at least 90% of christians in the USA are not living in poverty - so why haven't those hundred million or so christians at least gotten rid of poverty in their own country?
here is your proof that there is no such thing as Jesus, because given this clear evidence that people are not willing to actually help those in need and actually follow what their Jesus taught, then it is fair to say that almost every christian claiming to be a christian in the USA, is in fact worshipping a *false* Jesus - a false Jesus that does not care about whether you give to the needy or not; so there's your proof that the Jesus from the bible does not exist, the fact that even one person in this world lives in poverty is all the proof that I need to declare that the Jesus from the bible does not exist, and that all the Jesus references today that people make, are towards the false Jesus that they merely *want* to believe in
anyone worshipping a false Jesus and yet claims to follow the Jesus from the bible is committing idolatry because they are worshipping a Jesus that *they* made up, because the only Jesus Christ that would let a person get away with their blatant pretending to be christian, is the Jesus Christ that is their very own ego .. and christians have the gall to imply that atheists worship themselves?!?!. .. HA!! ... ahem ... no ... it's the other way around
I also find it laughable when some christian is shown just how grossly they are not following the commandments of Jesus and they turn around and try to shift the focus of the conversation elsewhere and point at other groups and say "Oh you don't pick on those people for not being christian!!" -- really -- is that their excuse? Jews don't follow Jesus, Atheists don't follow Jesus, Muslims don't follow Jesus (he was a prophet of theirs, but not a significant one compared to Muhammad), etc etc etc .. only christians follow Jesus so only christians are obligated to follow the commandments of Jesus Christ - any attempt to shift the focus to another group of non-christian people is a declaration that is similar to "yes I admit that I am not a christian but those Jews/Muslims/Atheists aren't christian either, so why are you picking on me for not being christian?!?!?" *facepalm*
It seems very clear to me, that for the most part, christians believe in Jesus because of christmas, easter, giving presents, miracles, bumper stickers, having in god we trust on money, teaching creationism in schools, saying a pledge to god everyday, crosses, churches, chaplains in schools, stained glass windows etc etc etc -- all of these things prop up the beliefs of the christian but none of these things are anything to do with being like Jesus wanted his followers to be like; these things are nothing to do with his actual teachings because they *are* things - a thing is not supposed to help you have your beliefs - if you need a thing to prop up your beliefs then you are sharing your love of god between that thing and your god - and some people even love those things exclusively with no regard for what their god wanted from them at all
this was what i believe the first commandment was trying to prevent - it is not merely about not worshipping Satan or Ba'al or Thor or Krishna, the first commandment was also trying to stop people from making up their own version of Jesus and worshipping that perfect idea of the perfect Jesus that lets you get away with whatever the fuck you want - in other words - US christians *need* to hold onto *things* to make their faith more real, which is the very opposite of what faith is supposed to be about - because when you focus on the things that you merely think your religion is about, you can end up not following what your religion is actually supposed to be about in the first place
this explains why all of these things that aren't really anything to do with christianity are so furiously defended by christians, they defend them because they are the *only* things that make their religion real to them because they are not following the teachings of their Jesus, so to compensate, they make up things to focus on.. this also explains why christians tend to worry about what everyone else believes in, because they think that if they can get everyone to use these things to prop up christianity like they do, then no christians at all will feel bad about not actually following the teachings of Jesus, because no-one else is ...
it's obvious isn't it? Jesus said to love everyone, but that is clearly too hard for people, so they just focus on *things* because things are easy, and more importantly, things can be verified as being *real* ...
"oh I believe in Jesus, look! I've got a Fish Bumper sticker and everything!!!" .....