I bear no ill will toward anyone who holds a religious belief, Christian or otherwise. Yet, a fire does burn in my heart when I see beliefs override compassion and human decency. I hate to see history and mythology given preference over experience. And I find it tragic that the present must be viewed in constant light of the past and future. This view of the world, to constantly filter each moment through a two-thousand-year-old book of stories, rules, and worship – as well as the fears to be faced in an imminent future – creates a form of reverse tunnel vision. The focus of modern Christianity is all too often on what was written in the past and imagined of the future, never allowing one to see what God is truly doing Now, where Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is.
I don’t berate any church for not having a pure heart or for lacking in good intentions. I just think their focus is off. The energy that is being poured into evangelism, spreading the message of Christianity the Religion, could change the world if it were only directed toward the Kingdom of God and spirit of service Christ intended.
I have actually heard of more than one Christian who does not recycle because it is against their religion. The two rationalizations I’ve heard on this unwritten tenet are: 1) there is no need to save the earth, because God’s gonna just destroy it and make a new one anyway, and 2) recycling conjures ideas of environmentalists, which conjure ideas of hippies, which in turn, conjures ideas of promiscuous sex and hedonism, making recycling, by virtue of roundabout association, sinful.
As ludicrous as these ideas may seem, they are actually held. Now, it’s quite possible that the people holding these ideas, with the right hand guiding them, may come to see the folly in them. That is often the only time we ever notice our own folly – when someone points it out. Whether we realize it as folly depends on our pride, our intelligence, and our fears.
If the events of September 11th taught me anything, it was the lengths men will go to in the name of belief. And I know of many Christians who would die for their cause. There was a time I would have. History shows many who have killed for it.
This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. Buy your copy of the eBook on Amazon.com.