Deception in the Churches

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Deception in the Churches – 5 August 2006

In the following passage from the New Testament (Matthew 10:34-39), Jesus says:

34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35 "For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

36 and a man's enemies will be the members of his household.

37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

39 "He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

~ New American Standard Bible

This sounds divisive (to put it mildly), doesn’t it? And I can well imagine that it is used by the hard-of-heart, who adhere to a “hijacked” version of Christianity, to ostracize family members, relatives, friends, and neighbors.

I was thinking today of the pain caused by those hard-hearted thousands who find a haven in “Christian” churches that preach a rigid, self-serving version of “Christianity” that rejects any criticism of the widespread and ever-growing horrendous cruelty toward other animals. After all, they must justify their communal pig roasts and other abominations over which they pray for God’s blessings!

Those who are blessed by God with sensitivity toward all of God’s creation not only endure pain from their empathy with the suffering of others, but also the pain of vilification and rejection by their relatives and “church families.”

I was thinking of hard-hearted “Christian” parents who favor their children who show hardness of heart and who scapegoat a child who is blessed by God with sensitivity. They “break” such a sensitive child by selective home schooling or by sending him (or her) to “Christian” schools. Heaven forbid that their children should grow up to feel kindness or compassion toward all of God’s creatures!

Unfortunately, I am personally acquainted with what I am writing about. I remember well another such pastor-hunter who encouraged this type of “Christianity.” It was difficult for me to sit there in a pew and listen to a church member-hunter joyfully relating to the congregation, during the “sharing of joys and concerns” part of the service, how he had a bear hanging from his porch! Wow! What a blessing! Right?!

Is it any wonder that so many compassionate people leave these churches? No doubt, when they start going to these churches, they think they will find Jesus’ teachings of gentleness and compassion for all of God’s creation. Unfortunately, (as I found out) nothing could be further from the truth.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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