Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Calvinists, Christian Soldiers and Jesus

Over the weekend I was talking with Amanda.

Once upon a time she used to go to a Calvinist chapel, though now she has no belief in God.

I don’t know her well, but she really does seem to be a lovely, honest, genuine kind of person.

She was saying that although she has left the chapel behind, it had some good points. No super expensive extravagant buildings. An emphasis on the simple and the sincere. A bit like the feeling you get about Jesus if you read the gospels.

Of course … Calvinists have issues of their own to contend with.

Last night for some reason the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers came to mind. And the thought … how could anyone come up with lyrics like that from reading the gospels? I find it impossible to imagine Jesus singing a song expressing those kind of feelings.

It makes me think of some of the passages from A New Kind of Christianity that Dani recommended. The idea of understanding the Bible through Jesus in the gospels rather than interpreting Jesus through the letters in the New Testament.

It’s really hard to imagine Jesus fighting in a war. Any kind of a war.

I think the only people that Jesus really criticised were the leaders of his own religion. He didn’t get angry about the Romans or the Greeks. Or adulterers. Or sinners really. But about Scribes and Pharisees. I think that the thing he really didn’t like was hypocrisy.

It’s hard to read many of the things that Jesus is reputed to have said and disagree.

But the things that the churches say? Well. That's a different kind of story.

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