Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Makes a Person a Christian?

 Today a friend wrote to me about faith and religion. He objected to the hypocrisy he perceives on the so called Christian political right.  Here is an excerpt from my response to him:
You mentioned faith. Here are some of my beliefs:

As for God and church and faith - even Jesus had a disciple who betrayed him.

We can expect normal human failings and even betrayal within Christian fellowship.

Hypocrites can be found both in and outside of churches, so if one would avoid churches 'because of hypocrites' one should avoid all of society.

One of my definitions of life is that it is a constant struggle to live with integrity and in accordance with our convictions. It is easy to be blind to our own faults while deploring the faults of others.
A Christian (or anyone else for that matter) is not their words but their actions.

Many people think being Christian is about what we "do not do" - a list of sins we reject.

I think being Christian is about what we "do": we forgive, we love, we do acts of material kindness to the poor, the sick, the prisoners, etc. We do acts of spiritual love such as prayer, encouragement and peace.

The only thing that Jesus acted against in his whole life was those who monetized religion, when he drove the money-changers out of the temple.

When did he give people a list of things they should not do? He said anyone who harmed a child would be better off dead.

When did he give lists of what people should do? He said to heal, to forgive, to share worldly goods, to tell people the good news of the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Elizabeth Tilley - Mayflower Passenger

Elizabeth Tilley, a Mayflower Passenger at age thirteen in 1620, is Goldibear's 10xgreat-grandmother.

Click to see Leo's Mayflower Tree to ancestor Elizabeth Tilley.