Letters for Jan. 13, 2013
We are just trying to share our joy
My, my, but Mr. Mark Selleck does paint with a broad brush in his Jan. 6 letter, “Have some respect for beliefs of others”, doesn’t he?
I’m sure he knows that he is not the first to point out how flawed Christians are — nor is he the first to fall for the revisionist history in which our Founding Fathers were without faith. But careful reading of his own letter finds several contradictions.
We Christians indeed are to follow the charge of the Great Commission (“Go into all nations and make disciples”); but some of us do and some of us don’t. It is true that our history is just as violence-filled as any other history. Don’t forget the great Soviet Union, which was officially atheistic; they had a short but bloody past.
Our historic and present day mistakes are the result of us not following Christ at all times, but of putting our own desires ahead of His. Thus, the need for “reinforcement” of our religious training that Mr. Selleck finds puzzling. When I began school, I learned my numbers and alphabet, but I did not stop there. I continued my schooling, learning something new each time and was refreshed on what I had learned before. My religious education should be no different. Just as I learn about the world and its events every day, I learn each time I read the Bible or attend services.
The quotes from the Founding Fathers that he provided are, of course, hand-picked to provide his point. For each statement, another from the same statesman can be found to prove their belief in God. The first quote he listed from Thomas Jefferson sounds differently if you notice that Jefferson said, “I never submitted the WHOLE system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men….”. The same Jefferson wrote a book on Jesus Christ in which he excluded the parts of the gospels in which he disagreed, i.e.: the virgin birth, miracles, etc. While he may not have been a believer in Christ, he certainly was an admirer. He also stated, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” Like us all, Jefferson picked and chose what he wanted to believe.
Christ made many statements about being THE way, THE truth, THE light, etc. He did not say He was one of many or of a few. I and many other Christians have learned about other religions and truly believe Christ is who He said He was, and is. So we must share Him! Think of it this way. If you had a cure for cancer or AIDS or Alzheimer’s, wouldn’t you share it for free with your neighbor, even if he didn’t believe it would work? And if you were very humane, wouldn’t you share it for free with the world? What Christians share with the world is a cure for an eternity of sadness and suffering. It’s up to the individual to accept or reject.
And while I agree with his last statement about trying to beat anyone down with our (implied) religious superiority will create guaranteed negative response, I hope he and all others will forgive us for trying so hard to share our joy.