I have been reading the book Radical by David Platt, a pastor of The Church at Brook Hills. The reason I got it was because his interview on NPR was very interesting. Of course, now that I am reading it, not so interesting.
First off, I was raised Catholic went to Catholic school, Catholic camp the whole nine yards. I left Catholic school my freshmen year and went to public school. That was a gift. My mother taught me that people have to atone for their own sins, that you should thank God for every day you are given and priests are not "hotlines" to God. The priest at my Catholic school said this in Mass one day and I thought she was going to pitch a fit. All that being said, I believe that everyone has the right to practice their faith how they choose. Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, etc. You believe in God? Go with him then.
What I dislike about certain faiths is mostly what this book's message is. If you do not accept Jesus Christ as your Savior you are pretty much damned.
Ummm, how about no?
I have enjoyed reading his views on doing missionary work, preaching the gospel and gathering disciples. Yes it is in the footsteps of Jesus, but thinking that other faiths have it wrong and are all damned? One church was praying for the people in London who go to "Anglican churches." That is touchy for me. Why? Because some faiths have been around longer than others and people should have the right to worship how they believe.
The few friends I have that are "born again", except for this one woman who I fully believe is a true gift from God with her compassion and love, have pretty much tried to justify their thoughts on this by saying "I just want to walk in life with Christ." Great, but do not tread on others while doing so please.
I was on a website of a contemporary Christian church. What that means is the pastors are tattooed, hip, there is live rock music and they love Jesus. What is also means is they disguise their hardcore fundamentalism under the guise of "Walking with Jesus Christ". One of the Biblical Womanhood sessions was about Gluttony. The leader of this session was the wife of one of the pastors. She talked about how she chose food over God and she had to repent for being such a sinner. I nearly fell off my chair. There was no addressing if it was an eating disorder or where her gluttony stemmed from. She just needed "to open her heart to God". What was fascinating listening was how she broke down and really believed she had committed this heinous sin. The church has a touch of Calvinism to it and I am not a fan of that, but hey, to each their own.
Another pastor at the same church discussed his sins and what a lost life he lead until he found Jesus. Now he was saved and wanted to spread the Word. While that may seem harmless, what is not harmless is the sudden fire and brimstone attitude he gave off because he was saved and the rest of us are living in sin.
This is where religion is dangerous. This is where it is not accepting and not loving. I do believe in Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit and I chose to worship in my own way. If you think that damns me fine, but only God can judge and last I checked, these folks are not God.