While browsing Reddit this morning I found THIS POST discussing the hypocrisy of American Christians in the context of abortion. I replied that there is a large difference between Christians and Republicans, but the subject has been on my mind all morning.
What is the difference between Republicans and Christians? The answer to that question is the answer to a much broader question:
What is the difference between people who profess to be Christians and Actual Christians?
The answer is simple: Christ was/is the model of Christianity. The difference between people who profess to be Christians and Actual Christians is their individual and collective divergence from the model.
How do Republicans diverge from Christ?
What kind of a person was/is Christ?
Jesus was the kind of person who would eat meals with prostitutes and tax collectors on a regular basis.
Prostitutes at that time (and arguably now) were one of the lowest form of humanity because their profession was the sale of the use of their bodies.
Tax collectors at the time were hated and despised because their profession was equated with the betrayal of their nation. Imagine a world where WW2 went another way and the US was occupied by Germany. Americans working for a hypothetical German Occupation would be equivalent to the tax collectors of Israel in 0 BC.
Eating with a person is a fairly intimate act. Jesus was the kind of person who was willing to eat with prostitutes and tax collectors. Jesus was also the type of person who these people would seek out for intimate conversation over a meal.
Tax collectors and prostitutes were the lowest of the low in Jewish society in 0 BC. These people were considered "Human Garbage" by anyone of worth.
Jesus was despised by men with status for eating with Human Garbage. (Mt11:19)
I found THIS POST interesting on the subject of Jesus and prostitutes. The conclusion of the post discusses the actions of Christians toward prostitutes but I want to go one level deeper and discuss the essence of Christ and how His attitude toward Human Garbage is a reflection of that essence.
It seems to me that Jesus did not consider these people to be Human Garbage. These were the examples of the lowest possible level of society. The implication seems to be that Jesus did not consider anyone at all to be Human Garbage.
This seems like a powerful and meaningful observation on both the external and internal levels.
The initial response to the fact that Jesus did not look down on the lowest of the low is to observe that: "Christians should not look down on anyone." This conclusion completely misses the point and I consider it worse than useless because humans naturally judge others as part of the natural process of establishing hierarchy. This instinct is part of our animal nature and cannot be overcome with platitudes.
Before we discuss how Christians should treat others, let us consider what God's attitude toward prostitutes means for each of us personally.
Principle: God, through His Avatar (Jesus the Christ), demonstrated that those at the bottom of the Human Hierarchy who the majority consider Human Garbage are not garbage to God. God looks at the most worthless human creatures and sees a person who matters to Him.
This applies to others but they are not reading this, you are. This applies to you. You are not garbage.
I don't know about you, but I am comfortable in my own skin. I like being me and I have a meaningful mission in life that will consume the duration of my life. I am a pretty good person and, on most metrics, I can honestly say I am above average.
However, even though I am objectively doing well, below all that I have this nagging feeling that I am worthless. According to the hierarchy many of us are doing well but what if the human social hierarchy is simply incorrect on the subject of human value? What if that nagging feeling in my gut is the accurate assessment of my worth?
Do you have that voice?
Humans are considered by most to be MORE than animals. Well many animals have social hierarchies built by instinctive responses to various social cues. The human social hierarchy is essentially an animal construct because it was not build out of reason or the consensus of society. Instead, the human social hierarchy was built into the human genome by natural selection.
If humans are MORE than animals, then that human social hierarchy could be dead wrong from the perspective of God and sociology. [If God is all-knowing then He understands sociology (the study of social interaction.)]
That little voice in my gut telling me that I am garbage might be correct. I procrastinate too much. I have addictions like video games that make me lose control of myself. Perhaps most importantly, I love too little. There are things I could be doing to make the lives of other people better and I am not doing those things because I do not love people enough.
I am not worthy. When I strip away the human social hierarchy, I am left with the glaring truth of my own unworthiness. At my core I feel like Human Garbage.
How could God love a person like me?
Here is the transition point.
We are all worthless.
What is a person at their core, with everything else stripped away? If you and I traded bodies and memories and everything else that gives us characteristics, what would remain untraded? What of me would remain me and what of you would remain you if we swapped bodies and memories?
That mote, that perspective, that core identity is the thing that God loves.
The things that move us up the social hierarchy do not increase God's love for us. The things that move us down that hierarchy do not reduce God's love for us. I suspect the human social hierarchy must be abandoned completely before a person can enter the Kingdom of God which is why the Rich are Mostly Barred from Entry into the Kingdom of God. According to Matthew 19:30 [in the Kingdom of God] many who are first will be last, and the last first.
God loves you. He loves the REAL you that you barely even think about. He loves the version of myself that we all bury with addictions like video games or alcohol. He looks at the place in ourselves that terrifies us and He loves that person; the worst version of you and me or perhaps the REAL version.
He loved the corrupt core of me enough to offer me an uncorrupted core. I chose to accept that uncorrupted core and now it lives within me alongside my corrupted core. My corrupted core is the source of my feeling of worthlessness. Every human on the planet has one corrupted core and it cannot please God.
The deeds of the uncorrupted core can please God, but that does not change the fact that we all started with corrupted cores and we were all loved by God in that state.
Nothing at all that you are, that you like, or that you have done can change the fact that God loves you. God looks past nature (thousands of years of biology) and nurture (thousands of years of sociology) and sees the eternal spark capable of joy and sorrow and He longs for that spark to experience joy.
God loves Me. The Creator of the Universe loves me and He loves you too.
Who are you? What are you like? I don't see why that should matter to a Christian.
Jesus was the human manifestation of God according to John 14:9 where He says, "Whoever has seen me has seen my Father." The core of Jesus is identical to the core of God the Father. That core is Love as described in 1 John 4:7-8 which states: let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is Love.
God is Love, Jesus is Love, and according to John 17:20-26, Christians have the core of Jesus the way Jesus has the core of God. According to this passage, the core of every Christian is Love.
Christians love those who are not worthy of love, the Human Garbage, not because they "Should" or for any other reason that can be logically explained to a brain. Christians love because God is Love and they are God the same way Jesus is God, through a shared core essence of Love.
God, Jesus, and the rest of the Humans do not share all characteristics. Each of us has a different perspective. However, the core of the entire organization is Love.
Is someone a Christian? Do they love? A person is a Christian if they God as Jesus loves God and if they love other humans the way God loves humans: With their focus on the Eternal Spark rather than on the set of Characteristics gained from nature (biology) and nurture (sociology).
Racism, sexism, nationalism, and every other "-ism" I can imagine, are all incompatible with Love.
Do you call yourself a Christian? If so, what do you see when you look at a person?
Every Christian on Earth right now has two cores.
One core is essentially an animal and when it looks at a person it sees ONLY all the characteristics that contribute to the human social hierarchy such as health, beauty, and evidence of wealth and status.
The other core looks at a person, sees their Eternal Spark, and loves them. All the other characteristics inspire compassion but have no other impact on their love.
Reading the New Testament, it may seem like Jesus loved the poor and hated the rich. However, I do not think wealth or status impacted the love of Jesus.
Jesus came to help people. Some people cannot be helped because they are blind to their own need. These could be helped and sought to block Jesus from helping others resulting in understandable frustration.
Jesus helped a few rich people and loved everyone.
However, categorically some people fell into the category: "Those who can be helped." Jesus had/has endless compassion for these.
Others fell into the category: "Those who cannot be helped (YET)" and he had/has compassion for these.