Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with my financial planner. She called regarding an invest portfolio she thought I would be interested in because it was “faith based.” She was very confused when I told her that I was familiar with the product and wanted nothing to do with it. I had to explain that not everything that says it is “faith based” or “Christian” conforms to my values. In point of fact, I explained, I have a serious distrust of any for-profit business that relies heavily on religious claims or symbolism to sell itself or service.
To quote Gary Cooper in Sgt. York “that kinda thing ain’t for buyin’ and sellin’.”
This Sunday is Transfiguration Day. A time when the church celebrates Jesus’ glorified appearance before the disciples. It’s the Sunday before Lent for a reason. The long process of Lent and Easter is about transformation. Transformation from who we were into the image of Christ.
It is not enough to put on a t-shirt that says “I love Jesus” to be a Christian. Act like Jesus and people will know.
We want to sanctify so many things with Christian language we forget to look past it to the reality of the situation.
The Crusades were justified and promoted as a religious duty. They killed between 1 and 3 million people. The low end is equal to the entire population of the Kingdom of England at the time.
The Holocaust was sold in both nationalistic and religious language and 4 to 6 million people died.
The Bible was used to justify slavery and racial discrimination and it is still be used today.
Slapping a cross on something doesn’t make it Christian. Baptism is just getting wet without a inner transformation.
We live in a world where if someone says something is Christian my response is simple: “Prove it.”
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”