A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘persecution’ Category

Persecution of Christians ~

Christians of the evangelical bent have been taught for several generations that persecution is coming, it is a fact in their eyes, they are just waiting for the other shoe to drop for it to be so. I spent much of the first part of my life among them and wondered at this teaching. It didn’t make sense to me. If you treated folks the way Y’shua asked you to, you wouldn’t develop casual, or even many enemies. When you are good to people, they usually respond in kind. So where was this coming from?

Well, the beatitudes passage in the New Testament has at it’s ending a comment about persecution, and there are others that speak of it as well. But, I wonder if Christians are bringing on their own persecution. There is often a paranoia among those who practice Churched Christianity that presumes there will be persecution, so they act in ways that bring it about. The claim that they would like homosexuals to be put to death is one of them. This entire act on the part of such believers ignores the fact that, in that same passage of the Old Testament, those who practice adultery, or are rebelious against their parents are under the same death sentence.Reference Deuteronomy, chapter 22, and Leviticus, chapter 20.

First let me say this: if you want to make Levitical law your way of life, then do so wholly, make any death sentence you hand out to those who practice a way of life you fear also applicable to the way of life often practiced in the Evangelical Church. If you have committed adultery, then you also should be put to death. Second, let me point out that if you say you are a Christian, then you should practice the path proscribed by Y’shua, who advocated forgiveness of all shortcomings. He it was who said that those who are without sin should be the ones to cast the first stone. In other words, if you are not perfect, don’t cast any stones anywhere.

I am well aware that Paul the apostle wrote lengthy diatribes against things even the Master did not address. It is, in fact, for this reason that, though I recognize a strong spirituality in Paul, I refuse to elevate his words to the level of the Master’s teachings.It is Y’shua who taught us not to judge, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” He even taught us to be gentle with prayer. “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Look at this carefully. Read Matthew from beginning to end, it is not a long book. We are taught to treat our neighbor with LOVE!

If we do this, looking to our own spiritual growth and not worrying about where someone else stands before God, then we will be doing what we should. I must admit to wondering if the reason so many of the churched feel the need to mind everyone else’s business is simple jealousy. Everyone looks to be having too much fun. Don’t worry about someone else’s life. Worry about yourself, worry about your own practice!

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The Religious Fervor ~

Note ~ I am not speaking of spirituality here, those who follow the path of Y’shua, or of Buddha, make it a habit to be kind whenever possible, and as the Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, “It is always possible”. This is NOT the group I am addressing. I am speaking to those folks who continually, deliberately, push people’s buttons just to see how far they can go. I was part of the fundamentalist  movement of the Christian Church, and stayed with it for nearly ten years, finally getting out when it became plain that there was no intention of obeying the Master, there was only the intention of filling followers with fear. Fear of what? Fear of persecution, pure and simple.

The problem, at least as I began to see it, is that, when you get in someone’s face continually, telling them that they are going to HELL for not going to your church, or that they are held accountable to God for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers, not just their own, well, eventually people do push back. They may be generally peace loving, and generally mind their own business, but when you intentionally get into their business, they cannot help but want to push you back over the boundary lines you have constantly made a practice of crossing. That’s just human nature. You all need to stop bullying people.

So, here we are, the fundies are waging war on the rights of women to control their bodies, conception being the key issue. There are many women who would choose to have a hysterectomy early on in their lives, or at least a tubal ligation, so that they were in no danger of adding more children to an already overcrowded planet. But most reputable Doctors will not perform such a procedure early if there is no overriding health issue to justify the procedure. Yet, it is becoming more apparent that fundies would like to make it harder and harder to get contraceptives, or abortions ( I prefer contraceptives, leaving abortions for when the mother or growing fetus are in danger anyway, but that’s another story.)

This isn’t the only issue that is on the table. Here is a list of the things that Republicans want to do to wage this war. Yet, those who follow this line of thinking want to scream that they are being persecuted if women fight back. I am not persecuting you. You are doing your darnedest to find ways of putting me in your own particular box. I am not going to go there, I am not going to live in a world governed by those who think they know what “God” says. I believe that God is compassionate to the utmost. I believe that what God wants of us in non-judgmental kindness, one toward another. Yes, I will fight for my right, and my sisters’ rights in this world and any other. If you leave us alone, and quit trying to force feed us your morality, you will find the persecution issue just fades away to nothing.

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