Saturday, February 9, 2013

Unequally Yoked - New Meaning

Since creating "Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented", we've had the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life.  Funny thing is, when you actually stop and get to know people, you start to realize that you have more in common than you thought.
To all my Christian friends out there, I'd like you to read the following scripture taken from 2 Corinthians 6:14.  It reads as follows, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?"
That scripture has compelled us to run away or turn away from anyone who makes the claim that they don't believe in God.  Yet, Jesus clearly instructs us to love our neighbor.  If we see someone who needs a shirt, give them your shirt.  He didn't instruct us to first ask what that person believed or didn't believe.  What if an Atheist gave the shirt instead?  Would Jesus rebuke him/her because they didn't accept Him as savior or believe in Him?  Of course not.  Love involves communication, interaction, and involvement - not rejection. 
I propose that being unequally yoked with unbelievers has new meaning in the 21st Century.  Do you believe that Christians and Atheists can have common ground?  Do you believe that everyone has the freedom to worship, or not worship, in this country?  Do you believe that the Lesbian, Homosexual, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender population should be given the same human rights in the pursuit of happiness as you do?  Do you believe in the separation of church and state as a way to protect everyone's religious and non-religious rights?
If you answered NO to any of those questions, then I propose that you are an unbeliever.  A believer is someone who isn't fearful of people who don't hold the same beliefs as you do, or don't believe, because you have confidence in your faith in Jesus ChristYou understand that God is much bigger than the one Christianity defines.
What fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness?  Nothing.  Righteousness loves people enough to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find God in their own way or to allow everyone the freedom not to believe in a God.  Lawlessness takes place when you dictate, indoctrinate, mandate that everyone must believe exactly the way you do.  Lawlessness is fed by fear. 
What communion has light with darkness?  Nothing.  Light allows you to see the whole picture, the whole person, the true view of what is before you.  If you are in fear, it is because you don't see the whole picture - you are in darkness.
That brings me to the word "Secular".  In the Christian community, that word brings with it the connotation of evil, darkness, wickedness.  That's because not many of us Christians take the time to shed light on that word.
~ Sec·u·lar [sek-yuh-ler] - adjective - (1) of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests. (2) not pertaining to or connected with religion.
Does that mean someone who says they are secular (i.e. atheist, humanist, agnostic) have no values, no love, no compassion, no morals?  That's what most Christians think.  How blinded by darkness we are if that is what we think.  That's why CToBM has decided to partner with Be Secular.
"Be Secular" is not against religion.  They are against religion in government, religion being used to control the masses, discriminate against people, and as a shield for abuse.  They welcome anyone who can separate their personal faith/lack of faith from what is best for everyone....a secular government that neither favors nor condemns religion.  A secular government ensures that if a Muslim became President, they would not push that religion on the country.  If an Atheist became President, citizens would not be forced to renounce their faith.  It's that simple.
If you are a believer in ensuring that the United States of America protects the freedom of religion, the freedom to not believe in God, the freedom to be a nation of people with diversity, not dictated by Christianists, then take a moment and visit this link: http://www.besecular.com/CToBM.  If you buy a braclet or shirt, you will be making the above statement and 50% of the proceeds will be directed to CToBM.
** NOTE **  We have instructed Be Secular to direct our proceeds to Practical Christians.
** NOTE 2 ** Here is the link to The Practical Christian Radio Program, aired today, where Rev. Guy Lynch talks to the creators of Be SecularI called into the program too.  *smile*
Article written by CToBM creator, Janet
 
 

3 comments:

  1. I'm a Christian woman in a relationship with a Pagan man. And I appreciate this new understanding of being equally yoked..... Thank you!

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  2. I think it's important not to conflate two very different ideas. I am a Christian ordained minister who totally believes "in ensuring that the United States of America protects the freedom of religion, the freedom to not believe in God, the freedom to be a nation of people with diversity, not dictated by Christianists." I am absolutely "against religion in government, religion being used to control the masses, discriminate against people, and as a shield for abuse." I have atheist friends who more compassionate and loving than many self-proclaimed Christians. However, I do not agree that all of that must cause me to "separate [my] personal faith/lack of faith from what is best for everyone." I must take some political stands, as must every citizen who cares about governance. I must take my positions based on something and not randomly plucked out of a hat. Like most people who think deeply about government, I want my government to do things that I believe are best for everyone. My particular beliefs about caring for the poor, promoting peace, etc. happen to based on my Christian faith. Does that mean I am not allowed to try to get my government to behave compassionately and peacefully, just because of what my political beliefs are based on? Is a secular person allowed a voice in government that I am denied because they don't claim any religious faith as the basis of their political positions? We should try to work with other people whose political and social values we share regardless of the source of those values. Just as I would not try to silence the political voices of atheists because they're not believers, I don't believe anyone promoting a secular society should be able to silence my political voice because I am a person of faith. It would be especially counter-productive to do that when so many people of faith (who are tired of being misrepresented!!) share the very same political goals. Trying to impose your faith is very different from trying to persuade people because your faith leads you to an opinion or action.

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    1. Good article and Well said anon. If we had to remove all the people from government that had a faith and then all the people who didn't so that no one felt imposed upon...there would be no government. But I do believe all your 'do you believe' statements and that Christians and Atheists can have common ground, let's focus on those areas and on building more common ground so people don't feel so imposed upon.

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