By Their Deeds Shall Ye Know Them…

The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Lambert Lombard (1505/1506–1566) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Lambert Lombard (1505/1506–1566) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I am the product of an extremely conservative home and a Christian school environment. As such, I spent a good part of my childhood attending church services four to five times a week. During my years in the Christian school, we had “chapel” services daily and were required to memorize chapters of different books from the Bible.

This did not prepare me adequately for pursuing a college education, obtaining a job or learning social skills in diverse groups. But it did help me learn to think outside the box (our school work stations were cubicle style classrooms) and to think critically about my world (why CAN’T a girl take auto mechanics if we can drive cars?).

Upon entering adulthood, I studied other world religions during college and “interviewed” those from different denominations of Christianity. While most would oppose the position I have chosen, I believe that if you remove everything that is different about all these views and theologies, what you will have left is actual truth.

So I find it confusing when I hear governmental policies being proposed that support the views of conservatives, supposedly as values taught them by their faith in religion. We are told in scripture that the way we live our lives reflects that which is in our hearts. Do we go to church so we can be seen and see who else is going, drop something in the offering plate and feel absolved enough to live however we wish the rest of the week? Or is going to church a way to bring honor to that which fills our hearts and is shown by the deeds we do throughout the week?

Jesus taught through parables and lessons. He instructed his believers to bring others to understanding by living a life that would want to be emulated – one of peace, sharing, love and compassion. He talked about how giving something to a child was the same as giving it to him. He talked about giving the shirt off your back to someone that needed it. He healed the sick and he threw the moneychangers out of the temple.

Yet as the conservative wing has asserted its power in Washington DC, we hear about people with “family values” having affairs. We see legislation that literally takes food from the mouths of children by cutting SNAP funds. We have watched 51 attempts by the US House to repeal ObamaCare, the very thing that can help heal the sick. We allow banks to foreclose on families, throwing them out in the street. We allow non-profits to raise unlimited funding for campaigns and buy our democracy out from underneath us.

There is nothing in the Bible to indicate the “preferred” denomination in Heaven, but if you were to talk to 15 people from 15 different churches, they would all tell you they had found the correct path. When these type of people proclaim from the halls of Congress that they are doing the right thing, I have to question where their sense of “right” comes from.

My point, directed at those who preach one thing but practice quite another, is this: If this is how you speak for Christ, he would be better off if you were silent. If this is how you live your life while passing judgement on those less fortunate than yourselves, live it away from me. If this is how Christ lives inside you and how you reflect his love and salvation in your life, you can keep it all. That is not the one true God that you worship, and I will pray for your soul to receive understanding of his word and forgiveness for your inhumane treatment of his greatest creation.

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