"Real Christians would not tolerate presidents who make
war on defenseless people based upon lies and innuendo ...
By allying itself with fraudulent ideologues like the 'Christian Right',
the church has itself become the anti-Christ."
By Charles Sullivan
Information Clearing House
Let me state at the outset that the following observations and criticisms do not apply to real Christians, or to all churches. The Riverside Church in New York, for instance, has a long history of radical activism on the side of social justice. Unfortunately, these churches comprise, I believe, a small minority of the whole. I have no desire to offend those of you who have taken courageous stands against injustice and war"those of you who have thrown your bodies onto the levers and controls of the machine and tried to make it stop. You have my utmost respect and my sincere gratitude. It is to the make believe Christians and the vast majority of churches that I address the following comments.
As a child I was forced to regularly attend church and Sunday school. This represents my parent,s early attempts to Christianize me to and make me respectable to the mainstream of society. Even then I resisted being forced to accept something that I did not believe in. I behaved so badly that my Sunday school teacher told my parents not to bring me back. My efforts to get myself exiled from the church paid handsome dividends. Thus ended my brief encounter with Christianity in particular and with organized religion in general. The rest of my family has remained regular church goers. I have gone in another direction. The result is that we share radically different political ideologies. Thus we find ourselves in radically different places.
During the journey from childhood to manhood, I have often contemplated the role of Christianity in the path that America was taking. Let me state clearly that in my humble opinion organized religion has nothing to do with real Christianity"I mean the actual teachings of Christ. Through a spectacular failure of courage and a will to be accepted into the mainstream of corporate America, the example of Jesus Christ has been trivialized and blasphemed by its chief practioneers. The church has allowed itself to become so prostituted that it bears little resemblance to the radical teachings of Christ of Nazareth. It has allowed itself not only to be marginalized by corporate America"it has become an apologist, an enabler, for the corporate state and all it represents.
One would think that any Christian would willingly concede the point that Jesus Christ did not devote any energy to advancing the corrupt agenda of the rich and powerful. Indeed, Christ devoted his life to serving the poor, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised. Christ despised the obscene accumulation and unequal distribution of wealth. This of course put him in opposition to those in power, which eventually led to his crucifixion. It is the very same forces that put Dr. Martin Luther King in formal opposition to more contemporary power brokers, with the result that he was killed by an assassin,s bullet. It takes more than bullets to kill a man. It takes more than nails and bullets to bury truth. In both cases, those in power killed the messenger; but the message continues to resonate loud and clear; and it is more relevant than ever in these most dangerous of times.
Had the church not abdicated its moral responsibility of enacting the philosophy of Christ, the history of America would be very different; and our place in the world would also be changed. If the church believed in and taught the factual doctrines of Christ it would be a very radical institution, a far cry from the bastion of conservatism that we see today. It would actively organize against war. It would fill the streets with passionate people who demonstrate against the evils of war. It would take a strong stand against overt aggression, materialism, obscene wealth, imperialism, corporate crime, colonialism, and the unequal distribution of wealth. It would minister its massive resources to end poverty. It would denounce presidents who espouse Christian values; but who act like the anti-Christ. Rather than prop up false idols like George Bush and the so called Christian Right,, it would denounce them as the blasphemers they are. It would demand truth and accountability. It would require both moral and phys
Real Christians would not tolerate presidents who make war on defenseless people based upon lies and innuendo. Bush and his imperialist polices should be openly and powerfully denounced from every pulpit in every church in the United States, every day. But they are not. In fact, just the opposite occurs. Bush and his minions are cheered on by the apostates, the dogs of war and poverty. Rather than acting as a counter friction to the machine, the church acts like a cheer leader for grotesque acts of atrocity against the world. By allying itself with fraudulent ideologues like the Christian Right,, the church has itself become the anti-Christ. Being Christian, it seems to me, requires asking of oneself in times of crises, What would Christ do?, But this is a question that makes those who call themselves Christians uncomfortable. It is the kind of question that demands everything of them. It is the kind of question that makes it hard to look at oneself in the mirror.
I am not advocating that those who call themselves Christians go forth and get themselves killed. But I do want them to stop aiding and abetting the enemy. What I am advocating is that they examine their professed faith and compare it to the radical actions of Christ. They must force themselves to see the blatant disconnect between what they say and what they do. All of us are hypocrites to various degrees. Certainly, I am painfully aware of my own shortcomings. But it is hard to imagine that America could have become the depraved, violent cancer that it is today had the church done a better job promoting the teachings of its professed spiritual leader. For so many to call themselves Christian, while advocating violence, is laughable. It is certainly absurd. To be a Christian requires enormous self sacrifice in service to the poor. It requires commitment to non violent solutions. And so it necessarily demands fierce opposition to the vast majority of U.S. policies. Like anyone with a sense of social justice, Because of Christianity,s stunning failure to take a strong and controversial stance against war, millions of innocent people have been terrorized by the government of the United States. Poverty flourishes around the globe while the church cozies up to the rich and powerful; and often accumulates obscene wealth, tax free. How would Christ react to this?
The situation has so degenerated that pompous asses posing as Christians like Pat Robertson can openly call for the assassination of popular, democratically elected leaders such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Aristeed in Haiti"men who have acted on behalf of their people with compassion and charity. Their loyalty is to the poor, not to the multi-national corporations who would ravage and pillage the world and divide the profits among themselves. Isn,t it a strange irony that Chavez and Aristeed is more Christ like than most who call themselves Christian? Jerry Falwell is another name that comes readily to mind in this connection. When these fools speak and spew words of hatred and death, they should be immediately and powerfully denounced from every pulpit in the land. They should be held accountable and exposed as the dangerous frauds they are. They should be excommunicated and denounced as heretics. But we do not see this happening. Another absurdity, another mediocrity, is allowed to stand until it becom
Charles Sullivan is a furniture maker, photographer, and free lance writer living in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When churches first had to get ID Numbers so that the members' tithes could be tax deductable, that was the beginning of the end of true Christianity in America.
Employees in the Churchs' offices had to start paying taxes at this time, also.
THE POWER TO TAX IS THE POWER TO DESTROY.
From that point on the "gubmint" could control what was preached from the pulpits with the threat to take their "tax exempt status" away, meaning the congregation could no longer deduct their tithes from their Income Tax Returns and the Churches would have to treat those tithes as income subject to taxation.
ANYTHING that is organized can more easily be taken over. That is just one more reason why guerrilla warfare is so successful.
Unless you go to church to see and be seen, you might start thinking in terms of Guerrilla Christianity. Have like-minded people agree to meet in each others homes to read and study the Bible. It isn't rocket science; a concordance and a KJV of the Bible is all it takes along with people of good will.
What I find is that the Bible has a simple and direct charter for a good religion, and volumes of details regarding our relationship to God and to each other.
The New Covenant is one of personal accountability to each other and to God directly. Jesus spoke about God's love and our response to it, as summarized in the Golden Rule; Jesus also openly declared that he was the Messiah, which is most likely what riled them the most. But yes, when he openly exposed the corruption and taught others to do the same, the power circles began to plot his death.
Remember that Jesus told his disciples to "take up your cross" before he was crucified and before anyone ever knew he would be. And so it is throughout history that to stand against evil and be effective against it means to sacrifice your life, whether alive or dead.
And thanks to you M (I'm from the Left Coast originally).
What breaks my heart is the church which becomes ingrown and merely socially self-perpetuating. It is when more money is spent on state-of-the-art sound systems to attract multi-state coverage while people are addicted to drugs, abusing their children, etc. right down the street.
And another thing: when and where does the Church address the "evil in high places" of our times? The occult shadow of Freemasonry? The abuse and occult ties of the "Black Sheep" within our government? The occultic patina on most, if not all, of the entertainment industry?
That's a good question: when and where does the Church address the "evil in high places" of our times.
It seems that many churches, like so much of the populace, are caught up the the Left vs. Right, Right vs. Left paradigm.
I think that many of the churches are aware of the Secular Humanist takeover of our sociey at large (and some do speak out against it) but they aren't aware of all of the elements at the higher levels that are causing it.
Just got through reading this article. The guy seems to contradicts himself a lot.
Indeed, Christ devoted his life to serving the poor, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised.
Misleading, Christ was open to everyone, rich and poor, educated and uneducated.
The author gives the impression that he is unbiased, but, come on. The guy clearly has suppressed anger against Christianity regardless of how he tries to sugarcoat it. That discredits him. He had some good points, but it is mixed with communist propaganda in my opionion.
Well, Barbara, it seems you've hit the proverbial nail on the head. It has that Fabian patina to it. Jesus did, in fact, champion the cause of the poor and oppressed. He came for the salvation of the whole world, among other things, and Jesus elucidated the particular hindrances of each kind of social or ethnic group. The rich dragged their materialism around with them. The self-righeous thought they were "OK" already, and so forth. I heed your caveat regarding the apparent reductionism in the article.
Think Darbyism, The Scofield Bible, and Oxford press.. and realize that the meaning of "The Bible" changes over time, according to political manipulations... As it has for almost two thousand years.
According to the Neocons, The Bible now says that if your descendants are from Kazaria and claim that they are the blood of Christ.. They have the right to kill the Semites.. (Arab/Palestinian) Gene pool..
A huge swindle.. To swipe a religion of the just for the purpose of evil, The evil of the Kazarians is exposed again.
A Bunch of historically violent people pretending to be Jews... With not a drop of Semite blood in their veins.. Invades the Holy Land.. And thru warfare, attrition, and torture, kills the Semites it claims to represent.