Why I am an "ism-less Believer".
Why I am an "ism-less Believer".
Am I a Right-Winged Christian or Left-Winged Christian? Well how is this for a confession...I am neither a...right-wing or left wing Christian...That is not the worst of it, I am not even a religious "Christian". Well don't look so shocked, neither was Jesus!...OK, NOW YOU CAN BE SHOCKED!
Jesus has been depicted as the prime unshakeable icon of Christianity since the man-made religion was established. Have you ever pondered the possibility that Jesus wasn't a..."Christian"? Did Paul and other New Testament authors paint Jesus as the icon and founder of Christianity? Did Jesus view Himself the way religion has Christianized Him? I put it to you that Jesus did not coin the word, hear the word, say the word, invent the word, name His followers by the word, teach His followers to be the word...CHRISTIAN...that so dominates the thinking of religious people today. By the way...Jesus was not DENOMINATED either! He was not a part of any ism group, He was "ISM-LESS".
I do not deny that when we think of Christendom we think of Jesus, Christianity is thought to be His creation. However I ask, was the "Christian religion" a forethought of Jesus in the building of His Church? Did Jesus come to start a religion called “Christianity”? I see no evidence in the scripture that points to that conclusion. Christianity is more of a religion to be followed than a transformation into the character of Jesus. Though His followers were called Christian Jesus was never called Christian or referred to Himself as a Christian.
Isn't it strange that Christianity embraces Jesus as its central iconic figure...in that Christians claim to be followers of Jesus without Christianity being validated and confirmed by the Jesus they claim to follow. If the earthly Jesus were alive physically today, would He be pleased with such iconic inference? Does the teachings of Religious Christianity line up with the teachings of Jesus?
From the record of scripture, Jesus was not religious oriented, nor did He belong to any religious denomination. He came as the express image of God His Father to reveal the grace, mercy and love of His Father to the Community of Humanity by living His life in and through the Community of the Redeemed in their daily living, He did not come to start a new religion called Christianity where people are bound to religious creeds, rules, bylaws and constitutions invented by man and practiced in the Sunday-go-meeting service.
If the term Christian means to belong to a particular religious denominational name-tagged segregated group, follow a particular belief system of man-made doctrines, or obey man-made rules as a measuring stick to determine one’s relationship with God in order to be held in good standing with the particular denomination of choice, then I would prefer not use the word because it takes away from being a follower of Christ. I also believe that if Jesus came once again and walked our Sunday morning streets He would bypass all the name-tagged buildings with towering steeples with a cross on the top and His name above the door and go to the down-and-outers, the lonely and forgotten, the sick and hurting, the dejected and rejected by being the Church as we all sanctimoniously stand in the doors of our denominated sanctuaries and say, "surly that is not Jesus...if it was...he would have come to our worship service!
Jesus is the Son of the living God, He is LOVE, and He loves all people. He doesn’t see or favor people based on name-tagged denominations. He loves people period. He sees people who need the love and acceptance of God. The only way people are going to come to true fellowship with God is through Christ…not religious Christianity.
It’s time we stop looking to the organized religious world as the way of becoming acceptable and pleasing to God. We need to look to Christ and allow Him to live His life through us and let Him love all the people that cross our path daily. It is not about getting people come to follow man’s denominated doctrines, religious rules or belief systems. It is about accepting people as they are by showing the love of Christ to them and letting God work in them to accomplish His purpose.
Are denominational-ism believers honestly following Jesus according to the written word? And Jesus said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". "The greatest commandment is love". "Love your enemies and do good to those that despitefully use you". "Love your neighbor as you love yourself".
Being a true believer is not about being a religious follower attending once a week two hour Sunday-event-driven meetings, it is about being a follower of Christ in the Community of Humanity in our daily living!
Does that mean I am not a CHRIST believer...of course not...I certainly am, but I am not a right or left-winged religious isim-Christian.
First let me explain what I mean by religion, followed by what being a Right-Winged and Left-Winged Christian entails.
The dictionary meaning of re-li-gion\ri-´li-jən\ (noun) means essentially a return to bondage, you have been granted a review by the patrol board and you have been granted freedom, but instead you choose to return to prison and remain in bondage, in this case religious-bondage. The word religion is traced to the Latin re meaning “again” and ligare meaning “to bind.” So religion means to bind again. To be bound again means that one was bound before. What was the before that one was bound too...the do's and dont's of the Law and religious rules and regulations, by choosing to go back as a servant of the Law you are returning to bondage of religion.
Simply, religion means...any system that advocates something has to be added to Grace in order to gain or maintain a relationship with God indicating that the cross-work of Christ was not sufficient to meet God's standard for salvation. Thus, man has to have his input to make the finished work of Christ complete...that is complete and utter BLASPHEMY!
All religion is man-originated, man-organized and man-overseen, To be a religious Christian is to be manipulated, controlled and imprisoned to man-made philosophies, creeds and doctrines by pledging allegiance to one of the thousands of denominations under the religious left or ring wing flag. Religion is a robber that robs people of spiritually and is designed to keep them dependent on religious do's and dont's for a relationship with God, when the fact is, religion hinders ones relationship with God.
The religious system, knowingly or unknowingly, robs people's spiritual identity and spiritual freedom by setting people up to convert to one denominated camp or another, it then offers to sell spiritually back to the people for 10% of their gross income. Can we keep our spiritual freedom and spiritual rest in Jesus from being hijacked and held for ransom? Yes, by giving up and rejecting religion. Isn't that dangerous? It is to the religious system, but it is God’s passionate desire for us, so much so, He sent His Son to reconcile ALL people to Himself. We are use to thinking we need religion to keep us on the straight and narrow. Even when people believe their relationship with God starts by grace alone, they believe it is maintained by grace plus religious works. Through the voices of New Testament writers, God pleads with us to firmly place our confidence in His new way, not allowing even a hint of religion to creep in.
"Right wing" religious ideology is concerned about protecting and preserving the entrenched traditions and man-made creeds and doctrines of the established religious system and preserving traditional accepted traditions, while rejecting change.
"Left wing" religious ideology is more into change for the better by challenging the right-wing religious establishments traditions and man-made doctrines. It is a progressional change to bring one's beliefs in line to benefit people for the better. Left-wing thinkers are on the side of the people, in desiring equal spiritual rights for all and the spreading of spiritual wealth among all, though that is much the way I believe...left wingers are still man-led, man-fed, manipulated and led by their denominated man-inspired isms.
Though I do not consider myself a the left-wing or right-wing "ism Christian"...I do consider myself a left-wing ism-less believer rather than a right-wing ism-believer.
Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, Orothodox-ism, Charisma-ism, Pentecostalism and all other ism's carry with it a high religious connotation that includes an unwavering commitment to a set of ridged doctrines and beliefs marked by strict literal-ism as applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, and ideologies, and a strong sense of importance in maintaining a literal interpretation of the Bible, leading to an emphasis on creating purity for accepted man-made doctrines. Rejection of diversity of opinion as applied to these established "fundamental or evangelical doctrines" and their accepted interpretation within the group is considered heretical.
So...I consider myself a left-wing ism-less liberal believer...just what does that mean?
"Glenn, you really consider yourself a left-winger liberal believer"? Yes! I know some people have me already assigned to hell fire because I say I am not a Christian..."nobody gets to spend eternity in the presence of God who is not a Christian," right? Does that mean that all people before Jesus and Jesus Himself, are not in the presence of His Loving Father God? They nor He was a Christian. There were no Christians in the world when Christ came to earth living in His earth-suit.
I am not an "ism Christian" because "ism Christianity Christians" do not believe some central tenets of scripture. The tenet that Jesus said was "The sum of the Law and all the prophets," "He fulfilled the Law" "to Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself" are but a sample! And who is your neighbor as He taught. A stranger, who held to a different belief system, who was beat up and left for dead on the road while religious people passed him by! The scripture is full of instruction that this teaching isn't “just for individuals.” It's a universal teaching that applies to ALL people.
When Jesus walked this earth in His earth-suit He was an "ism-less-liberal-believer, He was hated and killed by conservative believing religionists. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the religionists of His time.
Right and left-winged Christians" are wrong about Jesus, God and His Gospel. I find in scripture, Jesus' ways are “Liberal”...I am siding with Jesus...I am a liberated ism-less left-winged-liberal-believer and for that I make no apologies.
People who believe as I do are not '"New Agers" or "New World Order prepare-ers" as the "ism-left and right-winged-Christians" accuse us of, nor are we waiting for some anti-christ figure to come to set everything right...Jesus, the Christ, already came and set things right, but the rightness that He has set is kept at bay by the right and left-winged "rightness" of ism-Christianity. When Jesus comes back, there will be no doubt who HE is...even the right and left-wing Christians will come to their spiritual senses and accept the truth Of His Grace and Love.
The right and left-winged religious gospel focuses on Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, neglecting the focus of the Gospel of Christ...His earth-walk in His earth-suit! His life living is the greater part of the Gospel, and is mean to be front and center now, not in some great hereafter! Jesus was and is the "Living Word" of God during His earth-walk as well as after His death and resurrection. Not only is what Jesus "said" the Living Word of God, but what Jesus "did" is also the "Living Word" of God...Jesus "Himself" is the living Word of God! Observing His living we see that Jesus made room for those cut off from the rest of society. Jesus put a priority on the forgotten, down-trodden and the down-and-outer people. Jesus called us to carry our cross daily and follow him. That’s what the Gospel is.
As a ”Left winged ism-less believer"...I left the hateful judgmental-ism, condemnational-ism, prejudice, and callous attitudes of ism-Christianity behind; in search of Jesus wonderment in leaving the 99 in the fold, to go find the people who were lost, ignored, excluded, overlooked, abandoned, judged, condemned, downtrodden and the uncared-for...ALL “the least of these.” I left hard-heartedness religion because I want to be more like the Samaritan who stopped to care for people in need. It is not as much about doctrine and dogma to me anymore, it is more about understanding and loving people.
I believe that human social justice...loving and caring for people no mater their ism-Christian heritage that fostered their Christian beliefs. I am more about believers sharing the good news of God's love and grace, giving the "non-believer" hope in this life by improving their condition beyond this life..
When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen to Him in the Garden they took warring action by asking if they should strike with weapons, and then used the sword on the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear: What was Jesus response? “No more of this retributive spirit!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. That is how Jesus treated His enemies. (Luke 22: 49-51)
And the town did not receive him, because he was headed to Jerusalem. And when his disciple James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elisha did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. (Luke 9:53-56)
Jesus was not contaminated with the "Avenger Disease" that the judgmental and condemning left and right ism-Christians of today are.
As an ism-less believer I no longer get fired up about sin, hell and eternal damnation that ism-Christians are so up-tight about. I accept that sinning-sinners and sinning-saints are ALL trapped in the human condition, and we all struggle with it. As an ism-less believer I want to focus on behaviors that Jesus focused on while He was here in is earth-suit...I want no part of the hypocrisy, organized oppression, manipulative practices, exorbitant greed, self-righteousness, judge-mentalism, selfishness, abuse of power, violence of the ism-Christians.
Paul defined the human condition well in: Romans 7: 14-25 “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Too many ism-Christians espouse a deeply ingrained code of written and unwritten conduct and rules that shame, blame and drain drain people of spiritual strength. The ism-less left-winged believer focuses on a gospel to help people unmask the lies that keep them on a works/righteousness treadmill; a message to help people discover the liberation of the gospel, the grace in Jesus Christ, and the rest that comes from what Christ has accomplished on the cross. Grace is a free gift. It cannot be earned.
What are Jesus' commandments:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
I get accused by judgemental wrath and hell-believers of “Cherry-Picking” the bible regarding the goodness of God by rejecting the "dark side" of God. This is a ridiculous sentiment...darkness cannot kill the light, light kills the darkness, Jesus is the light of the work that dispels the darkness.
Left ism-less believers believe that the obvious primary message of Jesus was love...Love for God, and love for our All humanity, loving with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
Whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward in heaven will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (Luke 6:35)
Whoever wishes( to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:43-45)
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. (John 13:14-15)
Love God and love people. Forgive people over and over again, as you have been forgiven by God over and over again. Show mercy, as you have been shown mercy by God. Help the weak, the sick, the depressed, the poor, the jailed, the oppressed, the marginalized, the outcast...for one day you could be weak, sick, depressed, poor, jailed, oppressed, marginalized, outcast. It is also the only reasonable response to God’s overwhelming lover and grace...sharing the same love and grace with people in our sphere of influence.
Ism-less-believers believe that John the Baptist wasn’t joking when he proclaimed the coming of Jesus saying, “and "ALL" flesh shall see the salvation of God.” We firmly believe that all means ALL. The exclusionary gospel of the ism-Christians is foreign to God's good and retribution-less nature. Jesus came to set the captives free and announce the arrival of the peaceable kingdom of God where ALL are welcomed.
The exclusionary tactics and demonization that is so frequently practiced by ism-Christians is not of the Jesus of the bible. John the Baptist said, “every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” The tree of right and left ism-Christianity all too often bare the fruit of anger, hate, judgment and condemnation. It produces some strange fruit. Fruit that depress people because of homophobic bullying. Fruit that condemn people to hell because they do not agree with right or left wing theology. Fruit that divides and segregates children of God. Fruit that aborts the abortionist. Fruit that abandons the abandoned. Trees that bear these fruits, systems that bear these fruits are not being nourished by Jesus the vine.
they are spiritual elite people, don’t want to practice love, grace,
compassion or forgiveness, they would rather try to burden people under
legalistic demands that they themselves aren’t capable of keeping.
Culturally crusading right and left-wing-Christians have substituted the
Gospel of Grace Christ for a Gospel of Morality. They've made it more
about following rules than loving God (having a relationship with
Christ) and loving their fellow brothers and sisters. This is not the
Gospel. It is exactly what Jesus spoke out against. People are stuck in
the Gospel of Morality. They are drained by the shame and blame it
produces. People should be repulsed by this false religious system they
can't live up to. When we walk in the spirit we walk with Jesus, He
refines us to love and be compassionate, by His Spirit.
Ism-Christians don’t get that for some reason.