Saturday, August 9, 2008

The "True" Christians

“Christianity teaches people to be kind and peaceful and loving. Anyone who does evil acts certainly isn’t acting in a loving manner, therefore they can’t really be a TRUE Christian no matter what they say.”

How many times in discourse with Christians have you heard this, or something similar? It is the quintessential example of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

I've always found entertaining self appointed Christian declarations of who amongst their fellow Jesus worshippers are or aren't "True Christians". I have seen fundamentalists call Catholics "Satan worshippers" and “Idolaters”; the Pope "The Anti-Christ"; and declare their brethren in less fanatical protestant sects "unsaved". I've witnessed so called loving Christians call Mormons “heathens” at worst , and "cultists" at best [I don’t disagree, after all aren’t all religions cults?].

Certainly, most of the 2,800+/- Christian sects distain and deny the flavor of Christianity the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ practice for their rejection of the non-Biblical concept of Trinity. In fact the level of disgust “mainstream Christians” have for JWs is almost as epic as their distain for Jews.
And how many of us have pointed to the astounding number of documented child molesting, thieving, and manipulative priests, ministers, parsons, pastors, church administrators, church youth leaders, and exposed televangelists, only to have the self-righteous declare them "not True Christians"?

Finally, there is the not so occasional religious homicidal maniac, like the church going anthrax scientist who recently committed suicide, or the child killing mother in the throes of religious fanatic delusion … all dismissed as “not True Christians". How very convenient, and self serving.

Evidently the litmus test to be a "True Christian" isn't as simple as being baptized and believing in Jesus as savior (as the New Testament says). Nope. It seems to necessitate belonging to the same sect, having the same dogma / rituals, and holding the preferred position on social issues like abortion or homosexual marriage. Or if mentally unstable, at least manifest the same instability / share the same psychosis as the judgmental Christians self appointed to determine who is and isn’t a “True Christian”.

And should one Christian’s actions cause embarrassment or place fellow Christians in a bad light…oh, well… that’s the “not True Christian” kiss of death. This in spite of the doctrine that says one is not condemned by bad acts, nor saved by good acts or good deeds, simply by acceptance of Jesus as The Savior.

So what drives this need to disown their own out of hand? Two things:
1. To be a member of one of those “other cults”, or to have alternate positions on social issues, threatens the mainstream Christian flock members’ certainty of the validity of their own sect and positions.

2. Christians who embarrass other faithful by their unsavory / illegal acts even when done at the direction of Jesus, casts all Christians in a bad light and undercuts the credibility of the “true” Christians
(as if Christianity had any credibility to begin with).

Hey, if you tell me you don't believe in god/s I promise I won't question your "True atheism"… even if you are a pervert, anti-choice, send anthrax letters, and /or vote Republican.

No comments: