Well, “not enough,” is what I really mean.
So, in the wake of yet another mass killing, I posted a meme on FB which (in summary) said, “The problem… is a Godless society.” It was questioned by some of my (atheist, I think that’s how they would describe themselves) friends, who tried to bring the blame to religion. I replied, “God, not religion.” And then, when they persisted:
Again, God, not religion. A deep, studied, learn-ed relationship with The Creator. A foundation for/of morals and ethics. …the difference between faith and a set of do’s and don’t’s (that oh-by-the-way everyone should follow; it therefore being ok that they are made to follow, or else …removed). Spiritual formation. The WHY we do and live rightly and goodly, not so much the how. Personal, individual, trusting-yet-testing against the delivered-over-generations Word of said Creator, and daily “communication” (for want of a better word) from/with The Creator. The #1 question we all need to ask ourselves: IS there a being, a higher power who created all? If I believe, I live one way; if not, it’s all about me (and others’ lives/lack doesn’t matter).
Let me be clear: I’m talking about where I come from, Western Civ, arguably founded on or with a very healthy dose of Judeo-Christian principles.
[But] “progressivity” has taken spiritual, moral, and ethical development out of the basic education of people for generations now. This part of learning used to have the practical, secular by-product of good citizenship, (even in non-radical theocratic societies (or so conservative people of those faiths seem to claim – I have limited knowledge in this area.)) However, TRUE Christ-likeness is peaceful and supporting of all, exactly as they are.
There’s a “sham” good without New-Testament God, because the “why” question is never answered. And what’s the #1 question children ask? “Why?” Why? Why? “Because it’s good to be nice” isn’t sufficient as an answer.
Let me be further clear: Conservative != Christ-like.
I stress, the “religion” commonly known as Christianity is, in many ways, a farce. It’s a show: church on Sunday, maybe, but without even dusting off The Family Bible (if there even is one in the house), and then complete lack of faith-based living in the rat-race rest of the week. The condition of first world, western civilization, (truly, the have’s of the world) which has been failing to invest in/failing to back spiritual… maturation for its people is partly to blame, in that it’s non-God-of-all-based living has fostered the acceptance of radicalization in those brought up in other faiths (mostly the “have nots” outside of western civ).
Wow, “There are a lot of long words in there, Miss; we’re naught but humble pirates. What is it that you (are trying to say)?”
“Christian” is not something I do; it’s who I am. It starts at an individual level, one-on-one, between God and me. It forms how I deal with, treat, serve, love, accept, give to others – expecting nothing in return, because that’s how God, The Creator, is with and to me. It’s a daily, on-going process; for example, every morning I ‘meet with the big boss’ so-to-speak, deliberately thinking upon my blessings, and thanking Him, and looking at areas for improvement in how I measure up to the standard He has set, Jesus Christ. (And I admit, I have a long way to go to even come close- but that’s another post.) In other words, spiritual growth. Just like exercise for physical health, and training for career improvement (learning by doing is best). (And by-the-way, I was one of those non-Bible-opening “Christians” growing up. I left it at the words of the preacher. Now I know this is not enough.)
Followers of this Christ-likeness gather together in the body of the Church. As an organization, the Church further clarifies/educates, and treats with, serves, loves, accepts, gives to other peoples and organizations. But again, regarding this education – it first has to pass the individual’s test, based on his/her reading and understanding of the divinely-inspired word, (which means, he/she actually has to read it, and know it.) Frankly, I’m not sure I know too many professing Christians who read the Bible at all, certainly not daily or deeply. And non-Christians (ok, non-religious) people seem to have absolutely no way to develop and grow their morals and ethics. (Which explains how things are today.)
The Church’s intended work happens to some extent these days, but not nearly enough. Instead, we people build our bigger barns, improve our little estates, enjoy our entertainments, our bread and circus, and wonder why the rest of the world hates us, and who should do something about it. It’s the same as in our political lives: “Vigilance is the price of freedom.” (And, really, this election cycle should make clear to us all our lack of vigilance.)