I am proud and happy that you and your wife are determined to be good ‘Christians.” With that said, I worry.
I worry because Christianity is the source of most of the mental health virus of ‘shoulds’ in America today. I should be more loving, I should be more forgiving. I should be more understanding. The right wing fundamentalists have solved this problem by just denying the fundamental challenge of Christ. That is the easy way out – just bomb anyone who disagrees – and do it in the name of Jesus – problem solved. They nationalized their God. The difficulty is in incorporating our own inherently flawed humanity with the ‘shoulds.’
There are a couple of certainties in life: You will get angry. You will be frustrated. You will experience injustice! There will be times when you do not feel like loving that son-of-a-b…..! When those wackos torched the Twin Towers on 911 – Christianity and Patriotism became disoriented and confused.
When the pentateuch was written in 587 BCE it introduced two fundamental shifts in human understanding of theology. The first was that there is but ONE God – the concept of monotheism that most of the world accepts today. The second was the idea that God is a God of PEOPLE – not of nations. There were no longer Gods of Israel, or Egypt, or Rome, or of Greece. There is one God and that God is universal.
The implication that God will protect the believers, that God is actively participating in our life, that God will punish the non-believers – all create conflict in our daily lives. We become conflicted because the facts do not support the theology.
Christianity is a sophisticated faith. It is not simple-minded. There are people who have invested their lives in understanding and making sense of the seeming contradictions of the Christian Faith. I submit that the contradictions are in the disparity between our humanness, our culture, and the challenge of true Faith.
Faith in Christ is truly a slippery slope – one must walk carefully. I think you understand this – but I feel compelled to caution you. I am not saying you should change course – just to tread carefully.
I have to be careful because there is a Christian Cult determined to fight the ‘Humanists.’ Humanism is a specific belief system that does not include me. Whenever someone talks about Christianity and Humanity those bunch of nut cases jump up and down and point fingers and cry out in despair, “Here come the Humanists!” Knock it off. We are trying to have a sane discussion here.