How do we overcome our treatment of others?

I am a member of the Facebook page Pagans Tired of Being Misrepresented.  I enjoy seeing the things that they post and learning more about their beliefs and rituals.  This article from a Wiccan was posted on the page the other day and I found it wonderful and extremely sad at the same time.  Why do people of other beliefs have to write these kinds of letters to us?  Sometimes I get so frustrated by the limitations forced upon me by Christians I don’t understand.  I hate feeling like saying I am a Christian limits me from possible relationships.  Jesus was about being in relationships not keeping them from happening.  People should not be afraid to share their faith because they will be shunned.  Faith is to be shared!

Do you ever say that you are a Christian to someone you don’t know and they automatically shutdown?  It happens to me all the time.   I do what I call the Episcopal Dance.  I start with I’m a Christian – take a step back – but not that kind of Christian I am a nice Christian – take a step back – I like to learn from people of all faiths and from those with no faith – take a step back – I am an Episcopalian and we are very open, we ordain homosexuals and drink and have fun and don’t take our faith too seriously, we care more about people than we do about conversion – take a step back – I am not judgmental – and on and on until I am halfway across the country.  I hate it but I don’t ever know what else to do.  I don’t like having to talk about my faith that way but I also don’t like the shutdown and assumptions people get when I say I am a Christian.

I also don’t like the attitude that I am not Christian enough to some people.  Here in the South at least, Episcopalians are in an awkward position.  Most people have never heard of Episcopalians.  So when you explain our faith to them they put you in one of two categories – to non-Christians we are too Christian and to other Christians we aren’t Christian enough.  That adds to the ways we are blocked from relationship by the actions of others.  When will the day come when Christians are known for being like Jesus?  When will we be known for our loving, caring, and understanding hearts?  When will people look at us and say, that is something I would be proud to be a part of?  We are a long way off and the above letter, and the comments below it, make me wonder if it will ever happen.

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4 responses to “How do we overcome our treatment of others?

  1. I just love this post. Thank you for saying just how I feel, sometimes.

    • Does this ever make you feel guilty? I carry a large amount of guilt for how much I judge Christians. I feel like it is by far my worst sin…but my history has shown that I am not inclined to do anything about it. Should I repent for this behavior or am I justified in holding them to a higher standard?

      • Totally guilty of wearing the judgey pants…sometimes I avoid talking to my Christian friends about specific topics that I’m interested in or passionate about because I don’t want to judge or be judged by the way I feel or think. I don’t like that I do that, or that I feel like I have to. I know I need to be challenged, as do others. But what’s the line of good taste that says, ‘Stop here. Don’t be an asshole.’ Or ‘Get out of Dodge, because shots are about to be fired at your backside.’?

        I don’t do a good job of accepting or relating to a lot of Christian arguments and justifications that are related to Pauline theology. Just give me Jesus. And that’s a hard thing to carry into conversations, especially with my more fundamentalist or evangelical friends and family.

      • LaurenCaldwell

        I completely agree… and that is why I dance 🙂

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