Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Being a Christian

I don't know about you, but I have been following that Channel 4 series Make Me a Christian and two things spring to mind.
First is that living the Christian life by a series of rules and regulations and actually living by faith are two different things, not least when there is a certain variation of Christian lifestyles. Living by faith is recognising that you are a sinner and letting Christ control your life, living by rules and regulations is actually living a life not much different to those rules and regulations in other faiths and creeds.
The second thing was noticing how detached we are from a life of selflessness. We spend too much time thinking of our own wants and needs and far too little about the needs of others. I wonder how many people in the documentary reflected on that when they allowed their feet to be washed by these group of people in a provincial town centre ;). But does leading a "good" life make you a Christian? Not really!
Well thats my thought for the day anyway :)


Kerron said...

I was thinking the very same thing!

Neil Harding said...

To me, being a Christian seems the opposite of moral. It is nasty and vindictive and completely beset by odd rules.

For example take a group of self professed Jesus followers and the same number of Dawkins' admirers - who is more likely to want longer prison sentences, be homophobic and sexist and have a 'problem' with eetablished science based on evidence?

Paul Burgin said...

I can see where you are coming from Neil, but like I said, there are varying types of Christian culture and belief, as there are with regards to those who are athiestic

Andrew said...

"Living by faith is recognising that you are a sinner"

But that's just awful. Why do you think you're a sinner? I know we disagree on what's real and what's not, but from my perspective this is demeaning yourself for no reason.

People can believe whatever they want, but statements like the above are just upsetting. Believe that someone is looking out for you, sure, but that you're a bad person and need to be saved? It's telling the child who asks 'why does it rain?' that 'it's god crying, because of something you did'. I just find it heartbreaking.

Paul Burgin said...

Maybe its the translation, what would you think if I said failible instead of sinner?

Andrew said...

I suppose that's a bit different. But it still implies that a) perfection is an attainable goal and b) you're incapable of achieving it by yourself.

It just makes me sad to see decent people treating themselves as less than they are.

Paul Burgin said...

Well no one is perfect! :/

Chenoa said...

Paul,I am am American and I believe. This person just doesn't know.Please dont change your wording from "sinner" to fallible.It doesn't pack the same punch.And you know,it should be provocative.The word sinner should make us feel uncomfortable and uneasy.Jesus made sinners feel uncomfortable and uneasy.He was gentle about it,right?

For every one or two people who are offended,there is a handful of people who are not. Don't change for the one guy,stand strong for the lot of us!

dizzykj said...

I haven't been following the series at all (too much work on for much brain activity recently), but I have to disagree with you about a lack of selflessness in the world. I also don't believe that thinking about our own wants and needs is a bad thing.

I try and live my (atheist) life by doing the best that I can. For myself and other people. I think that when I am fulfilled and happy with my work and life, I am better able to help others. An example of this is that if I had not focused so much on my work and what I need from life, I would not have been as successful as I am, and would therefore not be able to take as much time away from paid work now to volunteer politically.

I don't think faith is the issue here - I think we have a responsibility to ourselves and to others to be the best that we can.

Paul Burgin said...

Working hard to further your career, so you can spend time helping others is something I agree with, and you are definetly not a selfish person. That said there does seem to be less concern in helping ones neighbour than say some sixty or seventy years ago (and I am certainly not one who looks at past history through rose tinted glasses)

Anonymous said...

Well said Paul. I didn't watch the programme (and I'm not sure that your link is working correctly) but I completely agree with what you say.

It is difficult for people who don't beleive to understand what makes a Christian and why Christians live and act the way they do (not always the way they should). Society colours people's views such that certain things are considered right whereas in actual fact they are wrong. it is not Christians being intolerant - it is non-Christians (and sometimes Christians) trying to justify the way they want to live. At the end of the day however, being a Christian is beleiving in and having a relationship with God through Jesus and attempting to live the way he wants us to live.

dizzykj said...

I disagree - I just think that it was harder to help people further away sixty years ago, so people helped those who were nearest.

I think that the interweb, public transport, aeroplanes and cars have allowed people to become more selective in who they help.

Also - I think there's been a change in focus, from home to work. Nowadays more people work (and spend far longer at work) than they used to - this means that random acts of kindness are more likely to occur away from home.

Paul Burgin said...

I sort of see your point, but there is that feeling that society is not so fab as it once was