spiff you up (a sermon)

Is it that no group should be allowed to force their religious lifestyle rules upon those who are not members of their group?

Some want to force entire societies by passing laws based on their religious beliefs. Are they wanting to force folks instead of appealing to their hearts and minds?

Trying to force others to live under religious beliefs and rules which are not their own is shortsighted because it exposes the the heart of the enforcer. Why do some try to force gay folks to live their lives according to their group’s religious opinions?

Do we just watch? If we really felt like doing something, we might get the phone numbers of all the elected officials in DC and pass them on to 150 thousand folks who have committed to calling ten of these officials a day and tell them to “do away with all laws which don’t reflect scientific truth or common sense, or we will start electing folks who will.” Progressive change is happening and we can give it some added momentum.

The New Testament tells Christians to convert others by words and deeds of love and kindness as well as to treat others as you would like to be treated. 

Why did we allow “under God” to be inserted into our pledge of allegiance? It’s a religious statement because there’s no proof for or against a god or gods.

Magical thinking infects our constitution and our money.

Church and state are different categories of thinking and serve in different areas and situations, and our forefathers knew it. When we mash or mix the two together, they degrade one another.

The New Testament scriptures tell followers of Christ they should be giving their money to the poor and busying themselves by living lives that inspire others to become Christians.

It’s my opinion many present-day Christian leaders suggest by their actions not to worry, we’re saved and with Christ we’ll live forever. We’re doing the right thing. Don’t worry about the scriptures telling us to help the poor. Let them help themselves as we have helped ourselves. It will be good for them. We know how to interpret the scriptures. We’ve studied the scriptures in their original languages. We’re doing the right thing.

Shouldn’t they know even an attempt to force everyone to live by their religious rules builds resentment toward them and their message and their religion? Their actions say they don’t know better or could care less.

Their lust for the ability to force others to live by their religious rules could be called evil.

If Christ were here on earth today, would he still be saying
keep giving your wealth to assist the poor and follow me? Or would he be saying, let the people in charge look after the poor and disheartened because you’ve paid your taxes?

It’s OK to believe something, but it’s not OK to force others to live by your religious beliefs. Why do many religious groups try to force their way of life onto the lives of nonbelievers? Don’t they know better by now?

So, what should the dogmatic religious folks do instead of trying to disrupt the lives of fellow citizens? They should be convincing only their own members not to do such and such or to do such and such, and I’m sure they are doing the best they can with that, already. So, convert folks first, and then tell them what they should do and not do.

So,
lay off the rest of us, thank you.
And if you do…
It will spiff you up. And…

Displaying the “fruits of the Spirit” would spiff you up even more. Happy and concerned followers can’t help spreading their message in an appealing manner.

Of course being concerned is something, but action is everything. In Fayetteville, NC, there’s a center called “in as much” — its name comes from a quote from the New Testament: Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these — my brethren, ye have done unto me. Matthew 25:40.

The folks at in as much are following Christ’s desires…They believe God is already in every person they’ll ever see. In as much feeds and provides shelter for the down and out.

What to think? Do we think every person we see is also connected to us in a special way just because he or she is human? Educated folks have known for quite a while we are all cousins.

When we assist another person, we are just assisting and are not trying to build up treasure in an afterlife. But it may give us a form of richness in this life: receiving over and over the pleasure of being useful and the remembrances are sweet.

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