Earlier today I received a response to my Vatican thrashing from Lisa Salsman, a Facebook friend and wicked-smart woman. I loved it, and asked if she’d mind me sharing her words. Here you go …
While devout Catholics everywhere will stand up to defend their precious Pope and all, I feel as you do. That is not what Christianity or religion of any kind should be about. The whole “Let’s worship God by making elaborate things and spending a lot of money on our own amenities” does not fit who Jesus was at all.
I grew up in the Church of Christ. We were known for being ultra-conservative and most just called us “the church that doesn’t use any instruments”—which we don’t. The thing that many didn’t realize is that the reason that we don’t use instruments or choirs or even fancy titles for our preacher is because it is a way to elevate people over purpose. My dad was a preacher. One of his pet peeves was when people wanted to call him “reverend” or “father” or … something. He would say that he, like any other should, only reveres God and that God refers to himself as “Father,” so my dad would never try to claim the same title of himself as God Almighty. He was merely Jon. He would add, if you wish to compliment me, please call me “Brother.”
Our church buildings were simple. I always found it kind of funny that most of our more prominent members would rent a different church building for weddings, so that they could have some stained glass in the background. The main thing I got out of our church was simplicity: God says “No idols!” Whether we make a man into some type of icon or decorate with “sacred” objects. It’s wrong. Our purpose, according to the Bible, is to Love one another and teach others about Christ. Unfortunately, there are so many who read the Bible but never get the message.
By the way, I appreciate you letting me share this with you.
And as for the suffering people in the world, I ask God about this all the time. Most of the time now, it’s just this request, “Lord, help me to help others. And, if not me, please send them rescue through others who care.” I guess sometimes that’s all I can do. But Christianity is not held by things in buildings, it’s held by people who choose to be their religion, not have their religion.
O.K., done preaching. Hope that didn’t sound like a sermon. I just wanted to share that perspective with you.
Not all of us Christians are so bad.