This weekend I was curious about a certain aspect about writer and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis’s life. When I sought the information on the internet, I stumbled upon a page and was appalled by the article that was written by a Christian pastor. He basically claimed that because Lewis did not come out and bash Catholicism and deem it to not be a Christian religion that he was a heretic, should not be read, questioned whether he should even be considered a Christian, and gave the impression that the “Chronicles of Narnia” are plagued by pagan myths, witchcraft, and sorcery and should not be considered Christian.
This ridiculous hated and self-righteousness is exactly what turns so many non-believers away from Christ and further tarnishes the Christian name. Are there many aspects of Catholicism that I find to be non-Biblical and apostasy? Yes. But there are also beliefs held by certain Protestant denominations that I consider to be wrong as well. Am I right? Maybe. But it is also possible I’m wrong. To conclude that someone is not a Christian just because they are a Catholic, associated with someone who is Catholic, or even doesn’t belong to your personal denomination of Christianity is a very dangerous and self-righteous game.
I have a big problem with Christians on the far right who use the Bible as a weapon and use it to defend every position they hold. Don’t get me wrong. I hold the Bible in the highest esteem. But just because you believe the Bible is inerrant does not mean that your interpretation is. Let’s not forget that it wasn’t too long ago that people were using the Bible to justify slavery and that those who didn’t hold their view were also “deviating from scripture”. There are literally thousands of Christian denominations in the world. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that not all of them are right. So when these individuals start spouting off about how all their beliefs are right and anything else is “non-Biblically based” the chance that they are right is slim to none. It is likely that all of us have certain aspects of our theology that is incorrect. Your ability to have a perfect understanding of God depends on your perfect interpretation of every verse in the Bible. Just as we all fall and sin, none of us can possibly interpret scripture perfectly.
There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone else, respectfully debating someone, or trying to point out their error in love if you suspect it, but to stand upon the roof of a castle built on false pride and declaring everything under the sun except your opinion as wrong is just non-sense and frankly, if anything is non-Biblical, it’s that kind of behavior that frequently fills newspaper stories and the public’s bias towards Christianity.
People, we’ve got enough enemies in the world targeting and persecuting Christians; we don’t need to fight among ourselves. It’s time we set differences aside and agree to disagree on our issues. We need to join together as brothers and sisters in Christ and help each other grow in love. There is so much time spent debating and discussing the Bible, but no action taken. Reading scripture is not the only aspect of Christianity; following Christ is much more difficult than that. What about the poor, the sick, the suffering? What about the homeless, the mentally ill, the starving? Spending your days calling out people and accusing them as not being Christians, is not drawing anyone closer to Christ; it is pushing people away. I believe that we can learn something from each denomination and can coexist without falling to pride and self-righteousness.
The world is tired of dogma. The world is tired of religion with corrupt leaders preaching “my way is better than your way” rhetoric. I am not saying we should fall prey to relativism or deny Christ’s sometimes hard teachings. What I am saying is let’s start spreading that message with love, with joy, with peace and get rid of the constant condemnation. Let’s live in such a way that non-believers know who we are by our shining example of love. Let’s live in a way that really makes the world question their own beliefs and realize that we have a power within us that the rest of the world doesn’t. We are followers of Christ. It’s time we started acting like him.