Things I want to punch in the face: Some Christians and Some Non-Christians.

It’s no secret that I love me some Jesus. I realize that many of you don’t and, although I wish you did, I’d never try and debate you in to Christianity, so don’t worry. Every now and again, I like to step away from the typical money posts, and write about things I want to punch in the face, this week Christians and Non-Christians are on the chopping block.

Punching Some Christians:

I myself am a Christian, but sometimes I find myself embarrassed to admit it. Not because I want to hide my faith, but because many of my fellow believers make me want to punch a baby kitten. Take for example the way “we” have handled Gay Marriage.  Regardless of whether homosexuality is (or is not) a sin according to the Bible, the church (in my opinion) has failed miserably at handling this issue. Fifty percent of Christian marriages end in divorce. Why isn’t the church spending as much time, energy, and resources on combatting divorce as they are preventing gay marriage? I’m reminded of this verse: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Come on church, let’s worry about ourselves before we try and determine what is best for others.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I get annoyed by some of my Christian friends on Facebook, to the point where I’ve even unfriended some of them. If your only reason for having a FB account is to post political or religious status updates, I probably don’t want to be your friend. Something leads me to believe Jesus wouldn’t spend his time updating his Facebook status, but instead he’d be out meeting people IN REAL LIFE, actively living out his faith. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a verse, or inspirational spiritual update every now and again, but for the love of all that is good, keep it to a minimum.

Punching Some Non-Christians: 

Please note the word “some”. This does not mean I want to punch all non-Christians in the face. The non-Christians I speak of are the people who go out of their way to bash God or bash Christians. I hate to break it to ya, but Jesus is the only standard of Christianity. So if you have an issue with Ted Haggard or Westboro Baptist Church that’s on them, not God. Please don’t assume that because some Christians think “God Hates Fags”, means all Christians feel the same. If you are looking at the church or even individual people to be your example of God, you will be disappointed every time. We are all messed up, some just try harder than others to be less messed up.

I also take issue with people who challenge my intelligence because I believe in God (this is essentially the same issue I have with Democrats and Republicans… Instead of learning to coexist, they just keep saying why the other party is dumb and wrong). Truth is, neither Christians nor Non-Christians have ALL the answers. When are we going to be willing to admit that? 

End Rant

44 thoughts on “Things I want to punch in the face: Some Christians and Some Non-Christians.

  1. I enjoyed this non-money post. 🙂

    I believe that people should reserve judgement until they live perfect lives. A great statistic that 50% of christian marriages end in divorce – I wonder how many gay marriages do?

      • Research in the early 2000s (I think it was American) found that same-sex couples that were living together (essentially common-law) had the same break-up rates as heterosexual common-law couples. And both had a little higher rates than formally married couples.

        In Canada, our Census’s questions on marital status includes same-sex relationship as an option. We legalized same-sex marriage in 2003-2005 depending on the province. So I don’t know if there is American data on gay divorce rates (there probably is), but there will definitely be Canadian data on it as time goes on.

  2. Very intresting post! Hubby and I were raised Catholic, but we’re not “practicing Catholics”, main reason being the church hasn’t changed with the times; gay marriage is a perfect example. I have many gay friends; I absolutely love and adore them, and so very thankful for what they’ve brought to my life. Gay marriages have been legal in Canada since 2005 (if I’m not mistaken), but the Catholic church still shuns it… very sad.

  3. Love this post! I’m an atheist, and I share your view of non Christians sometimes. Basically I feel like if more people just focused on staying out of each others’ way, instead of trying to force our views on each other, we’d all get along a lot better. That goes for pushy Christians and arrogant atheists alike.

    You can worship in your church, I can marry a chick, everybody wins. 🙂

  4. Well done. Just wanted to say that sometimes in premarital counseling I find couples despairing over the 50% statistic, and had to mention that it’s not all as bleak as it looks… 50% of ALL marriages end in divorce, but a much lower percentage of 1st marriages do. The percentage ending in divorce goes significantly up for 2nd (60%), 3rd (73%), fourth, etc., so when you average all of them (the 1st marriage that lasts 60 years and the 8th marriage of someone that lasts 20 minutes), you get the 50%…

    Thanks again for the post – we seem determined to be more defined by our divisiveness now more than ever.

  5. Amen, brother!

    I’m of the opinion that “you do you, I’ll do me”. Why do people think we all need to agree on everything (religion, politics, how to solve a problem)?

    A little kindness, compassion, and open-mindedness would do the world some good. Excellent post!!

  6. I agree precisely with what you wrote – I had all the same thoughts when I was an atheist, and I have them still now that I’m a Christian. The only part of this post I wouldn’t have written myself is the second-to-last sentence. Totally true that Christians don’t have all the answers – but we know the one who does.

  7. I myself believe in a higher power, but not one as defined by organized religion. I was raised by a non practising catholic mother, but with very practising grandmothers etc. I went to catholic school and used to love going to church as a kid. It was only around my teenage years when I started questioning and not finding answers that I distanced myself from the church, when the message was less about Jesus and more about which people were “wrong” and which were “right”.

    I’ve always been a big advocate of believe what you want, live how you want, but don’t try to impose your beliefs and values on me or others, and I do the same. I have a good friend who is a fundamentalist christian, and people always seem amazed that we are friends. The thing is, she (and most of the people around her) believe that as long as you are a good person, who does their best in this world, then it’s all good. And if I remember my New testament, that was something Jesus seemed to keep repeating over and over.

    She respects my beliefs, I respect hers, we are good friends to eachother and through that we are teaching a new generation that what is important is to consider people by their actions and how they treat others. My friend has often said that I am the most christian non-christian she knows lol.

    • Wow, okay. I told myself I wouldn’t get into any back-and-forth on this post, but I have to say… Either you are mistaken about your friend’s beliefs or she is has told you what she wishes to be true instead of what is. The truth is that none of us can live up to God’s standards of what a “good” person is even if we do try our best (which very likely we don’t). Just look at the 10 commandments through Jesus’s interpretation in Matthew 5. I’ve broken every one many times over and there’s hardly a person who can honestly say she has kept even one. The Good News is that Jesus has made a way to God by bearing the punishment we deserve for our sins and giving us his perfectly good record, and that everyone has access to God through Jesus (Romans 3:22-31) but no other route (John 14:6-7). Jesus never says that trying hard will restore your relationship with God – what he does is forgive our sins to accomplish that (Matthew 9/Mark 2). I really respect that you have this friend who believes very differently than you do and that she is friends with you as well. I have many friends who disagree with my religious beliefs also. I encourage you to stay in dialogue with her but to verify that what’s she says (and your memory) is consistent with the Bible.

  8. I was born Jewish, and was raised to profoundly distrust Christians. Though I consider myself an atheist now, I have no issue with Christians who truly follow Christian teachings. But that’s often not the case. You would think from all the Christian condemnations of gay sex and gay marriage that sex was a central issue with Jesus. It is not. Jesus says nothing about gays, and even the attacks on homosexuality in Leviticus are only one among a set of ancient laws no one would think of following literally today.

    Much more important to Jesus’s teachings was his attitude towards wealth and poverty, and despite the rationalizations of some personal finance bloggers, TV financial gurus, and get-rich evangelists, this is incontrovertible: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.” “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”

    Unfortunately for wealth-obsessed Americans, what Jesus actually taught is profoundly at variance with their materialistic aspirations. Sorry if anyone doesn’t like this, but if you don’t, complain to Jesus, not to me.

    But I am not suggesting that all Christian believers turn themselves into St. Francis of Assisi and live their lives in poverty. One does not win the war on poverty by becoming poor one’s self. As Andrew Sullivan (the brilliant gay Catholic political blogger) has written, “Jesus poses an impossible standard and then refuses to condemn an actual tangible human being who fails to reach it. Since we are all completely ridden with sin, we equally have no right to condemn anyone else, even if we are living the most upright lives according to the law. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Judge not, lest ye not be judged. Let him among you who is without fault cast the first stone. Or: “Use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping,” as Hamlet says. So if you just do the best you can and don’t condemn others for being gay, straight, atheist, believer, wealthy, poor, or whatever, that’s being truly Christian, and that’s fine with me.

    • You shared some verses on one side of the coin regarding wealth and poverty, but look at a few other verses.

      “…remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” – Deuteronomy 8:18
      “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
      “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting busy.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11

      There is plenty of healthy debate regarding this subject, and I’m not sure we can solve it here. It makes sense to me that what is in your heart, and what you do with your money is far more important that how much you have or don’t have.

      Totally agree with you comment about judging…we all fall short, and who in the heck are we to cast judgement.

      Love how we can all share our thoughts here, and everyone seems to be taking it in stride! Good dialogue!

      • Only the first of your quotations refers specifically to producing wealth; it is from the Old Testament and does not actually mandate becoming wealthy. But to quote Ninja, “Jesus is the only standard of Christianity.” You will not find in the Bible a single statement by Jesus endorsing the acquisition of personal wealth, and numerous statements to the contrary.

        • Although I think this oversimplifies the issue, I still think Colbert had some good insight when he said… “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

          • Larry – You make a good point, and we can probably agree that making money the sole focus of your life is not what Christianity advocates.

            Ninja – Interesting quote, he makes a great point!

  9. Hear, hear! One of my biggest pet peeves is other people trying to tell someone else how to live their life, especially with something as personal as religion. As far as I’m concerned, you do what you want, as long as it isn’t affecting anyone else. I’m not an atheist, but I’m not religious, either, and it drives me absolutely bananas when atheists go on about how “dumb” people who believe in God are. Like someone’s personal beliefs are even related to intelligence. Can’t we all just recognize that the way we live our lives isn’t necessarily the “right” way, but just the way that’s right for us?

  10. I can’t stand people who think they are intellectually superior because they don’t believe in a higher power. I have a whole heck of a lot of faith in the existence of God, but I don’t have any “proof”. Some atheists act like they have proof that God doesn’t exist and anyone who can’t understand it is just plain stupid.

    I’m fine with agnostics. I can’t stand atheists.

    • So you can’t stand me. If I felt a belief in a higher power, I would believe in one. I have no proof one way or another, but I feel no such faith. That’s not being arrogant or superior, just honest.

      • You said you have no proof either way, so that makes you agnostic (at least in my opinion). And even if you are an atheist, as long as you don’t call me stupid for not “understanding” then I’m fine with you believing whatever you want.

  11. Um, I think I love you! Too many times have I felt insulted because of my beliefs and while most people I know are respectfully agnostic, I do have a few friends who are religion-bashers. As I said to a friend once, “you hate religious people because they ‘force their beliefs on you’ and yet you refuse to allow anyone their freedom of religion”.

    IMHO, atheism has become its own religion and their radicals are as bad as the radical Christians/Muslims.

    • I agree – a fundamentalist is a problem no matter what they believe in , including atheism. Yes Richard Dawkins, I am looking at you.

      (for the record, I am an atheist)

  12. Love this post!

    Be good and do good is my thing. I wasn’t raised in any religion & I dont practice any religion now. I dont know much about God or the ways of the bible BUT what I do know is if/when there is a day when I’m judged by a keeper of people…I will know I did the best I could as a person for myself, my kids, and other people around me. No judging or dislike for anyone different than me. No pressing what I think or dont think is right or wrong. Just enjoying the time I have with the ones I love while helping others try to do the same. Man I sound sappy…but its just the way it is.

    Love your blog 🙂

  13. Here here. I wholeheartedly agree.

    I am a Christian but I don’t believe that forcing my way into people’s opinions works. I believe that being myself and trying my best to reflect God is the best way to live. Like the song says, Shine, make them wonder what you got. That is how I try to live my life. Of course, I am not 100% successful. Good thing I am not measured on my success rate. 🙂

  14. I was just thinking the same thing you mentioned about republicans and democrats. In the past (in many cases), the parties were able to work together because they understood that members of the other party were intelligent people who had thought about their political beliefs. Nowadays, I feel like most politicians simply assume those on the other party are morons (for what it’s worth, I trace this animosity to the rise of political talk radio and 24 hour news television stations).

    Maybe it’s time for another revolution (although, how many revolutions have been started by moderates?). 🙂

  15. Ok. I was born and raised in a Christian Reformed church. I was baptized (infant) and as a teen, professed my faith. My entire extended family is very religious and I married into a Mennonite religious family.

    I’ve never been super comfortable with church and religion. There was always an underlying feeling of doubt. As a pre teen and a teen I had many questions that no one in my church could answer – instead I was told to ‘stop asking questions and just have faith or just believe’. Put on the blinders and just accept what I was told, basically. In the past year or two I’ve come to realize that I don’t really like the fact that my important and reasonable questions about faith and the Bible aren’t able to be answered or, the people whom I ask aren’t willing to even discuss what I am concerned about. So…I wouldn’t consider myself a Christian any longer.

    I believe in the truth. I don’t know what that is (yet) but I hope one day we’ll all be privy to the great mystery of life. I believe there is some sort of ‘higher power’. Right now? Instead of praying to God before I eat, I thank the earth for providing my food. I thank my husband for working hard to provide for us and I thank my son for completing our family.

    My parents and inlaws are of course terribly upset that we aren’t going to church or bringing our son to Sunday School – but I always tell them this: I am NO different than I was before. I am still a moral, loving, caring, thankful human being. I’m just striving to find the truth that makes sense to me.

    My parents have had a rough past 2 years though so I try not to aggravate too much. My brother came out to them as being gay (he’s the baby of the family so that hit them pretty hard) and my sister told them she was an alcoholic (followed by prescription drug abuse that landed her in the hospital and is still a major problem to this day). And yes, they’re all Christians. My other brother is also in the same mindset as I am but is less gentle when talking about religion with my folks. I like to tease my parents by saying “Out of all 4 of us kids, the 2 that remain devout Christians are the only 2 with ‘problems’…brother D and I may not be religious but we’re the most ‘normal’!” Hehe. I keed, I keed. 😉 An FYI – both my sister and my brother told ME FIRST about their confessions (alcoholism and sexual orientation) before anyone else in their life. You know why? They both said it was because I was the least judgmental and the most likely to understand and support them. What does THAT tell ya?

    I agree with you in regards to homosexuality and how it’s been MIShandled by the church. Oy vey. It’s like women in office all over again! Where’s Synod on the issue? 😉

    Hey look I wrote a book. Sorry ’bout that. 😉

  16. I love the opening cartoon. I saw an awesome picture of a church billboard the other day that seems pertinent here: Kind atheists are more appreciated that hateful Christians.

  17. Good words my friend. Nothing bothers me more than Christians who want to talk about how Jesus saves them, but they spend the majority of their life criticizing everyone else’s life. That doesn’t sound like much of a life that people would be attracted to.

  18. Agreed. Stereotypes suck and it sucks to have to remind people that that’s all they are.

    As an aside: when I read this in my Reader, the ad was for the ASPCA…and when I clicked on the post to comment, it was for ING. The ad function was all “kittens…money…kittens…money?”

  19. I think if people doubt your intelligence because of your beliefs it’s because you once posted about being a creationist..? Or that dinosaurs never existed? Something along those lines. It was a year or two ago. I remember it because I read it and was just like… wtf.

    Maybe there’s not proof for God but evolution, there’s plenty, and it really gets under my skin when people let their faith intercept their reason.

    Evolution is such a benign issue too. I get “don’t murder people” but “thou shalt not accept scientific fact”, does that REALLY put your soul at risk of eternal damnation? ACTUALLY? Seems sort of insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    • I think the issue you have (or at least the impression I get) is that science and God are mutually exclusive, whereas I would state the contrary. God created science. There is no denying that humans are getting stronger, faster, and living longer than before.

      I personally think it takes way more faith to believe in the big bang or randomness than it does to believe someone designed things to happen as they did. But hey, to each their own.

      • The opening chapter of Genesis is a by-no-means bad quick summary of the history of the universe from the Big Bang through the dawn of man. But there is no “belief” required for the Big Bang; abundant cosmological evidence exists to support its likelihood.

        As for evolution, it is one of the best-supported theories in all of science, and among the evidence to disprove “intelligent design” is the fact that sometimes plants and animals do not evolve in the most efficiently designed ways. A classic case brought up by Richard Dawkins is the laryngeal nerve in the giraffe. It travels down from the brain, through the animal’s chest, and returns up to only a few inches below the brain. In other words, where an intelligent designer would have made the nerve 3 inches long, it is about 18 feet. But if the result is simply perceived as part of natural selection and evolution from lower animals, there is no difficulty in explaining the faulty “design.”

        And as for “there is no denying that humans are getting stronger, faster, and living longer than before,” I remind you that Methusaleh lived 900 years.

  20. Thank you so much for this post! I subscribe because you are a Christian and a debt ninja. You’re awesome. Blessings to you and Girl Ninja.

  21. I think I’m an atheist, but not by choice. I wish I believed in God, I just….don’t. I wasn’t raised in a religious household, so that probably has something to do with it. I really think that having God and religion in my life would be good for me, and I’ve tried, but so far I haven’t been able to make the spiritual connection.

    It bothers me when people assume that believing in God is somehow less rational than NOT believing in God. Like the atheist rally in DC a few weekends ago was called The Reason Rally (or March for Reason…something like that…I should Google it) as if believing in God is unreasonable.

    Good post!

  22. I was raised in the Catholic Church, and still consider myself Catholic. I don’t practice in terms of going to church as much, but I try to be a good person as possible. I have Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Agnostic, and Atheist friends. Pretty much have had experienced with everyone and honestly it doesn’t matter what you are. If you are a good person, then you are one. If you are a bad person, you are even if you go to church/temple/etc. every day.

  23. Good post and I totally agree. I have been fortunate to find a wonderful church and I have never heard a single sermon bashing gays or even saying homosexuality is a sin. They tend to focus on issues everyone can agree on like helping the poor within our community.

  24. Great post. I agree wholeheartedly. As a Christian I have no problems with gay marriage based simply on the fact that I don’t disagree with Hindu marriages and those aren’t Christian. I don’t disagree with marriages between two non-Christians performed by a Justice of the Peace, and that isn’t a Christian wedding. And I think it is dumb to expect people who don’t believe in Christ to adhere to Christian teachings and laws. (Not moral laws, but Christian ones).

    Those are just my two cents though.

  25. I attend an “open and affirming” church (United Church of Christ) and two of the ministers are gay. So I’m with you on the hatred/condemnation thing. Who would Jesus scorn???

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