Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who's A Christian and Who's Not

There's a little fundamentalist congregation in my neighborhood whose website bids all welcome if they subscribe to a very long list of doctrinal preconditions. There are a lot of fundamentalist and right wing Christians who are subjecting Anders Breivik's long screed to doctrinal acid tests in order to prove that he's not really a Christian, and therefore his violence does not contaminate them.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls themselves a Christian is one. I will let The Chairman of the Board decide for Himself who really is or is not a member. Anders Breivik calls himself a Christian, so he is one. I can't imagine the same Christ that I pray to in any way blessing what he did, but, he's still a member, a brother, a part of the mystical Body of Christ on earth, as far as I'm concerned. He's an evil member, but a member. He's a monster, but he's ours.

A Christian, as far as I'm concerned, is anyone who says they follow Christ whether or not they believe correctly or incorrectly; whether or not they do great good or great evil.

Our responsibility as Christians is not to distance ourselves from him or his evil, but to fight that evil, to resist it, to do all in our power to stop it, to undo the harm it has done, and to bear witness against it.


God Will Be Mocked.

The people who truly mock God are not the people who don't conform to whatever template we make for them. The people who mock God are those who kill and harm, or who advocate harm in any form, to those created in His image. People like Anders Breivik and people who have similar sympathies spit in God's face just as surely as did the soldiers on that first Good Friday.

Fra Angelico, Christ Mocked,


it's margaret said...


I just keep trying to remember that Jesus fed and bathed Judas....

JCF said...

I confess a double standard: here, on a Christian site, I welcome an in-the-family discussion of (as in "How can we prevent????") a Christian terrorist like Brevik.

On non-Christian sites (e.g., Joe.My.God.), I'm more likely to insist that haters (esp. MURDEROUS haters!) be called "Christianists" (the handy neologism that's a counterpart to "Islamist").

Counterlight said...


I must confess to doing the same compartmentalization.

JCF said...

But then there's this, from Breivik:

our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority).

On that "and", I think Our Atheist Friends find three fingers point back at themselves...

Ciss B said...

Well said, Doug. Though I dislike those who use the name but seem to enjoy hurting and killing others I know that in the past fanatical Christians tried to kill the hearts and souls of some (The Native Americans, the Hawaiians, etc.) to "bring Christ," to them. Though painfully wrong, they still felt they believed.