July 14, 2008
I believe Bono from U2 expressed pretty much the same sentiment.
Kind of like U2 :)
Who knows, maybe.
I'm simply weary of people saying that they like Jesus but don't like the church or Christians. Been going on for 2000 years. It's an easy out for people to sound religious without commiting themselves to anything.
I understand that sentiment. However, maybe we should be looking at ourselves and ask why people have been saying this about Christians for 2000 years. Not everyone is saying it as a cop out. Maybe there is much more to why people often don't like Christians than we want to admit. Perhaps they simply don't see anything in our witness worth making a commitment to.
Oh, Linda, I'm with you all the way on this one! Mark, while I do agree Christianity as forced ritualization has turned people off, let's face it, you, me, Linda, John Lennon, everyone in the world who has heard the Gospel, is responsible for checking out what it's really about. Lennon once said that Christ was okay to him, but that the disciples as portrayed in the Bible were "thick-headed" and ruined it (i.e., Christianity) for everybody (Lennon Remembers, interview with Jan Wenner). That's a direct assault on the people the Lord Jesus Christ called and sent to mankind. Unfortunately Lennon was influenced heavily by Hugh Schonfield's resurrection-denying book, "Passover Plot," a not too clever but still seductive rewriting of the Gospels. As to Christ in a positive light in the Beatles' music, the chorus from the Ballad of John & Yoko springs immediately to mind...and the Fab Four put all the people they admired on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's album, and Jesus wasn't there, so I don't know about that; I do know that in interview after interview, John used a lot of Biblical phraseology (in one interview after the Beatles broke up, referring to Yoko's correction of something he had said, John mentioned "She doesn't suffer fools gladly - even if she's married to him," and that part about suffering fools was penned originally by the Apostle Paul). I hope that in the final moments of his life, John trusted Christ. I think the Lord gave him an amazing talent, which he did not waste, and I admire the way John, in his lifetime, stood against mindless racism (some of it inflicted on him personally after he married his Japanese wife), senseless wars, and domestic violence (he once said he wished women would tell the world how badly he had treated them, but they were always so kind about his meanness); I respect him for standing up for starving refugees in Biafra and elsewhere, for having the courage to leave his loveless marriage to his first wife and stand firm in his second marriage even though it cost him greatly in both his personal and professional lives. Dare I say it - there is more to admire about John Lennon as a human being, than there is as a musician. And that's saying something, because he was a musical genius. My prayer is that any members of his family who aren't yet Christians, become Christians.
I have always felt that one of the biggest mistakes the church made in the 20th century was to reject Rock 'n Roll. I think the church said to an entire generation, No, if you listen to this music you are not welcome here. And I think we are still feeling the repurcussions of that thinking.
I've alwayse believed that the reaction to Lennons "More popular.." comment was a typical knee-jerk reaction that made christians look ridiculous. Albums, posters, books and whatever burnings, what a great way to show our love and tolerance. Ha, what a better way to show the world how we judge others. It's little wonder that SO many people are rallying behind the likes of Richard Dawkins when they see so many religious fanatics behaviour. All he said was that The Beatles were more 'popular' than Jesus and he was right, more people listened to them than they did to Jesus. They appealed to people right across the spectrum of all ages, colour and attitude. He did not say they were 'better' than Jesus.I read Ben Eltons book "Blind Faith" recently and it initially made me mad that he saw christianity that way. I then saw Stephen Kings movie "The Mist" with that crazy religious lady, and it too made me mad at first and I prayed to God to change my attitude. He answered me by showing me that that is how the world sees christians. That is what we've shown them by our nasty judgmental attitude towards others. Do you want to see what I mean? Go Richard Dawkins website and go to the section called "The Good the Bad and the Ugly" Have a look at the letters in the "Ugly" section and you'll see what I mean. Disgraceful.We (and I include myself) as christians need to change before we can even begin to change the world. A lot of humility and grace will go a long way, not just in word but behaviour. How do we speak and act in front of our workmates, family, friends, when someone cuts us off in traffic? If we speak of being followers of Jesus and do not show it by word or action then the world does not see the differance between us and Jesus, they just laugh at God.
We're 50 years away from the lions.
You have helped to make my point. Thank You. To simply say that Lennon and others have heard the message and what they do with it is now up to them holds a little truth. But it can also be a huge cop out. Instead of looking at our own lives and seeing whether or not we might be presenting a bad example of Jesus we absolve ourselves of all responsibility for the example we present to others. After all, they have heard the gospel they are no longer our responsibility. In other words, maybe they have heard the gospel, but perhaps the message they heard was warped or misunderstood because of the example Christians around them are setting. Our actions speak much louder than our words.
I think there's a big difference between John Lennon's comments about liking Jesus and appreciating his teachings......and Bono as being on record as believing that Jesus is the unique son of God.This doesn't teach me anything new about Lennon. I still think he never trusted and followed Jesus, but I also still totally dig the Beatles' music.
Mark, every man or woman hearing the Gospel can decide, "Yes! I need to be forgiven! I am the one who Jesus came to save! And I will serve Him with my life because He's worthy! Look at what He's done to me!" I do understand that this is not typically what people do, upon hearing God's Word. Most of the time they do exactly as you've written: they cop out just like dear Adam ..."Yes, God, I know You said this...But I'm did THIS. After all, look at Eve's actions..."
Chris, thanks for your comments. I wasn't around when Lennon made the "popular" statement but it does seem like the church could've reacted more... reasonably. I know what you mean about being frustrated by the popular stereotypes about Christians (I actually avoided "The Mist" because I knew the religious character would annoy me). But you're right, it's how the world perceives us, and some of it really is our fault. (I've been reading the book "UnChristian" as well, which does a good job of shooting down a lot of the excuses Christians use to explain why they're perceived so negatively.Also, I checked out the "ugly" section of the comments on Dawkins' site, and... wow. That's some really awful stuff there. How could you *not* view a religion with suspicion when so many of its adherents are telling you that they want to see you burn in hell?
I agree, Christians are not always angels - we have done wretched things. But to ask, "How could you *not* view a religion with suspicion when so many of its adherents are telling you that they want to see you burn in hell?" does not follow for me, Andy. People are responsible for their choices - if I choose to reject Islam, for example, I am responsible to know why I am rejecting it, not just decide it's not for me because of 911 or the other actions of its adherents.
From my perspective, you are either seeking God or not seeking Him.One's poor "church" experience is often just a rationalization or justification for current behavior. A bad meal does not stop one from eating.Their keeping a hand's stretch away from Christ had more to do with the fact that they knew they could not keep the same moral, political, and intellectual beliefs if they accepted Christ for who He said He was - so they made Him just a human teacher so they could be "fascinated" by Him but not to have to be changed by Him.
Why do Bono apologists keep turning up in Christian forums? You are putting words in his mouth. The book Bono On Bono was not a confession of anything -- just a lot of clever spin on borrowed Christian ideas. Also, name anyone in the music industry -- not "Christian" rock journalists but real music industry people -- who has ever denied that rock 'n' roll is the Devil's music. I'm not talking about drums and jungle rhythms, but rather, 40 or 50 years of blatant cultural rebellion against God. Rock 'n' roll -- the hip, arrogant, youthful rebellion that even Baby Boomers still cling to -- is music that celebrates enmity with God and rejects the peace he offers through his Son. Consciously or not, The Beatles exemplified that rebellion in the late 60s, along with many others. The world hates Jesus Christ. And he told his true followers to expect the same.
I agree entirely even the muslims think he was a great prophet but basicallypay little attention to his advice. Sad indeed.
Yes it made me cringe with embarrassment when I read that section, thehatred expressed by some was exactly the fuel that Dawkins and his followersfeed on.
Christiane, we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, we are to be humble and compassionate and leaders, and to be leaders we must be good servants and a good servant does not judge their charge. Yes people are responsible for their own choices but if all they see are bad examples then what choice will they make? They'll go the opposite way. Did you go and read the "Good, The Bad and The Ugly" section at Richard Dawkins website? You'll see exactly why these people don't believe. What about the pedophile priests in the church? What about tthe way Hollywood has presented christians? Always narrow minded, judgmental bigots. Go back and look at the original movie "Inherit The Wind" otherwise known as the Scopes Trial and you'll see how grossly misrepresented the Truth really is. The facts in this movie are so twisted and distorted to make we christians out as a bunch of nutbars.We must never say "Oh well it was their choice" if we never gave them another.
I've been a Beatles fan for a long while and despite what John Lennon said, I can't recall any of their songs that made me think about Jesus. An as for Bono...? I don't know. Call me cynical, but when I see these stunningly rich celebrities, who will never want for anything, swanning about the planet and being photographed with the poor and the starving I ask myself just how much of their millions of dollars do they spend on and how much personal time do they spend with, these people? But this is subject for another time.
TW, you have said it perfectly! Kudos to you, my brother!Chris, I understand what you (and Mark & Andy) have said, and I agree we as Christians have not always set the best example. Even great men, men after God's own heart, have failed reprehensibly. But I'm not following the logic here, because it is plainly evident that Stalin the atheist was a brutal mass murderer interested in destroying human beings. Mao the atheist shredded millions of Chinese and viciously surpressed individuals. Atheist Pol Pot's enslaved laborers were worked to the bone - literally - until their bodies finally fell, broken and lifeless, into the killing fields of Cambodia. Madeline Murray O'Hair, the atheist who did her best to remove prayer from public schools in the U.S., was murdered by another atheist. If what Christians have done is justifcation for his rejection of Christ, can you please explain to me why this man is still an atheist?
The comparison between the examples Christians set and the examples atheists set do no hold up. There is a fundamental difference between the two. As Christians we are claiming that following our beliefs will transform you. We claim they will make you a better person. We make lots and lots of claims about Christianity. So, when someone hears the message of Christianity they may like it. What happens though when they look at those in their life that claim to be Christians and see something totally different than the message they heard?Atheists are not making these claims. That is the difference. If we as Christians are going to run around making all kinds of claims about Christianity we better be willing to live them. If not, we will do harm to our message. We can't just claim that everyone is only using our actions as a cop out because they don't won't to commit to a life that requires personal accountability.Take Gandhi. This man made great personal sacrifices. He definitely wasn't scared of committment. Look at this quote from him. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."He heard a message the he liked in Jesus. He then looked to those who claimed to have been transformed by it and saw the message was little more than words. He saw nothing in those claiming to be Christians which matched up with the message they claimed to follow. In other words, it was Christians that tore down the message for him. But I didn't personally know him. Maybe he just couldn't commit to anything. Maybe he just didn't want to live a moral life. Maybe he just didn't want to have to help others.Funny thing is it seems Gandhi did all these thing much better than the vast majority of Christians. But I guess that quote meant he was just looking for the easy way out.Perhaps atheism is appealing to people because when they try to find God in those of us who claim to have God in our lives they don't see him. If you don't see God where his followers claim he is (in them) perhaps it isn't that far of a jump to assume that there isn't a God.
When it comes to Christ, most people are willingly ignorant. Gandhi essentially said the same thing that Lennon said - if it weren't for the followers of Christ, he'd be a Christian. But what is the real bottom line of this excuse, Mark? People are saying that they are better than other people, that Christ was wrong for loving the unlovable. Those who justify rejecting Christ by such reasoning are being arrogant and proud and pointing fingers is a great way to minimize one's own faults. It is so hard for a man or a women to humble oneself. Anything else is an easier path. Gandhi certainly knew of the testimonies of several committed Christians, but turned a blind eye to them. And the final, acid test of Christianity is not, "How are these Christians behaving?" It's "Am I willing to follow this God-Man who died for His enemies, loved those who spat in His face, trusted God completely? Do I want to live that life? Can I admit I'm His enemy? Can I carry a cross? Am I the sinner He tells to repent? Am I willing to forgive those who have spat on me and treated me despitefully?"Most people realize the implications of these questions (as TW pointed out) and, well, it's just easier to point fingers when all is said and done.
I really agree with Christianne Li. Many here are talking about becoming a Christian as if we were adopting a new philosophy, adhering to a set of beliefs or reforming one's behavior. This neglects the work of the Holy Spirit, His unique work of conviction, His agency in becoming born again. The disciples, after seeing the rich, young ruler turn away, said to Jesus, "Who, then, can be saved?" Jesus said, "with men, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible". People reject Christ, not because His followers have flaws, but because their hearts are hard. They do not want a new Lord, they do not someone's elses will superceding theirs. Even though Ghandi may admire Christ as a moral teacher, he misunderstood who Christ was. Ghandi was unwilling to give his life to Jesus, the Lord of the Universe, and acknowledge Him as the Savior of the world. Ghandi turned a hard heart to the persuasive work of the Holy Spirit.
Actually Rick, he turned a hard heart to the hypocrisy of Jesus followers.
Gavin, you sound like my grandfather and his opinion on Jazz. I'll bet our distant ancestors complained about the new-fangled classical music too. Ha ha, you're a funny guy. I like you.
Christiane, Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler all believed in survival of the fittest. All openly admitted that Darwin was spot on and therefore felt justified in killing off the weak and those they considered inferior. A system called "Eugenics" as prescribed by Darwins nephew, and originally put into action in the USA in the early 1900's was actively promoted by the majority of the church and adopted by those erstwhile gentlemen I've already mentioned.The process of 'humane' eradication of the physically and mentally challenged was even taught at huge seminars organised by the church. This is no differant to the eradication of heretics and disbelievers over the centuries, the damning to hell of those who don't or won't believe by those gentle loving types of believers and justified by us saying " We told you so". We as christians are to set an example and I lay the blame for so many of my brothers and sisters going to hell firmly on the churches shoulders. To fob it off so easily by saying that the Holy Spirit will do his work is to abreggate our responsibility to be used by that very same Holy Spirit to do his work. It is nothing but disobedience and it shows a lack of passion for the lost. We get excited about football, we get excited about our new car, new house, holidays, movies. We cry with our family and friends when they lose a loved one. We have so much passion for so many things but we have no passion for those who will go to hell. Do we cry for them? Do we get righteously angry at Satan for killing them?These people watch and hear us each and every day. We bleat and blurt about how holy we should be and don't come close ourselves yet tell them that they've heard the gospel and if they don't listen then they get what they deserve. Why would they want to be like us? We liars, sinners, hypocrites, drunkards. Fools.I'm sorry to come on so hard, but the church in the western world is in decline. Why? Because we christians offer it nothing, no salt, no flavour, no light. Just empty words. Jesus said we must bear fruit.
I guess I will just give up. I can't bring myself to come back to this thread and keep reading because I am being very sincere when I tell you that this discussion deeply pains me. It is beyond my comprehension to understand how anyone can think that once a person hears the gospel that it is not possible that our actions as Christians could give them reason to doubt what they have heard, and even turn away from it.On top of that to reach that point we have to say that all these people are simply looking for the easy way out. Which is in essence calling them lazy. We have to say they just don't want to live a moral life. In other words, they are bad people. We say they aren't really saying what they mean because they are only using that as an excuse, or another way is to say that is they are all liars.I am in no way saying that sometimes people don't look for the easy way out. I'm not saying that sometimes people simply don't want to be moral. But that does not always apply. It seems to me that we are looking for a way to justify why someone can hear the gospel and reject it. Instead of admitting to ourselves that we could play a role in their rejection we have to convince ourselves that their rejection comes from character flaws on their part. The best example of what I am saying goes back to Gandhi. This man showed many times more commitment, more morality, more humility, more love, and more compassion in his life than the vast majority of Christians.Yet you have to explain away his statement about not liking Christians by calling him arrogant, accusing him of just wanting to point fingers, and again taking the easy way out.Really? Gandhi was just arrogant? He just wanted to point fingers? He was just taking the easy way out?It is little wonder people say they don't like Christians. When someone rejects the message of Christ we have to justify it by calling them lazy, arrogant, and immoral. Somehow I get the feeling they look at us and think the same thing. I guess that doesn't matter though. As long as they have heard the Gospel we can be just as immoral, lazy, and arrogant as we accuse them of being. After all once they have heard the message the only thing that will affect their choice is their character and integrity, or lack thereof.
Chris, rest assured that for those who go to hell, the Judge of all the earth, Who can only do righteously, will have good reason for sending them there. No man can send another to hell - that is God's final judgment. And God will hold human beings accountable for their vile action in rejecting His Son. As to your comment that "We are liars, sinners, hypocrites, drunkards..." well, the Apostle says such WERE some of us. Many will live lives that dishonor God, stand before Him and say "Lord, Lord" but He will say He never knew these people. If I read my Bible correctly in Matthew 13, the Parable of the Sower, 3 out of 4 people who make professions of faith will fall away; they heard the Word, even follow it for a while, but then things get too close for comfort and they fall away. As to the "...fools" part, I am a fool for Christ, no question. But the Bible teaches that a true fool in the deepest sense of the word is one who has said in his heart there's no God. Atheists have rejected the testimony of even the firmament, a structure so magnificent, mind-boggling and massive that it declares the glory of God. Because of their rejection of even nature's proclamation of God, they are without excuse. They (and others) can try all they want to put the blame for their eternal destiny at the feet of the Lord's Church, but it's hogwash. Atheists have ample testimony and choose to reject God anyway.As to the error-filled ways of Christians - I do not deny that many Christians even today are prejudiced, provincial, carnal. Scripture says we will need daily cleansing and abiding, and it is so easy to be proud and walk in a fleshly way. But we are correctable by Scripture (the Bible even teaches that if we are God's children, we will be corrected). Atheism is founded upon the rank "surety" that men are not only better off with out God, but invented God, and can do better than God. You see, Mark is quite mistaken when he writes that atheists do not say that their way will transform people and society, for that is exactly what their philosophy teaches - man is the measure of all things, and when he adds God to his equation, he fouls himself and others. For this warped, idolatrous, self-worshiping mockery of God the Father and His precious and wonderful Son, these wicked men and women will be held accountable.
Sorry, Chris, you are wrong. Amy Carmichael set an astonishing example of Christianity, so did William Carey, and Gandhi conveniently bypassed their testimonies to reject Christ's forgiveness of his sins & love for him.
Chris:What are you ranting about? Why are you ripping into the Church in the western world, laying blame on your brothers and sisters. If you think that the evangelization of the world depends on everyone living up to your perfectionist standard of holiness, then you might as well give up. We will never be holy enough this side of heaven. The funny thing is, most witnessing goes on by excited new believers, imperfect people with crackpot ideas who have not had years to work on fruit-bearing or theology.I have witnessed on street corners, on busses, on rapid transit trains, at fairs, at colleges, to friends, to strangers and I have seen scores of people receive Jesus and have watched them grow, raising Christian families. I've been on Dawkins website, read the God Delusion, the Blind Watchmaker, God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Christopher may cite hundreds of examples of misguided Christians, but he has a solid, loving Christian brother, Peter Hitchens, who has prayed and witnessed to him for years. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Sure we could all be more holy, but never let that stop you from sharing the gospel. My only point was to say we have a responsibility to preach the word, the Holy Spirit has an obligation to convict of sin and bring to regeneration. When I met the Lord in 1970, there were tons of excuses to reject the faith. I was intimately acquainted with the hypocrisy of some in the Church and the nuttiness of some of His followers. Evangelists with bad haircuts etc. I was raised in it. yet when I moved away to Berkeley to write and paint, and was out of that environment for 2 years, I could not resist the whispers of the Holy Spirit and the love of the Bridegroom. No one led me to Christ, I was alone and simply began re-reading the Bible and God spoke to me in some dreams. His word will not return unto Him void.Phillipians 1:15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.So I say, keep witnessing, keep your personal standards of holiness, work towards the unity of believers and rejoice!
This is really interesting to me, because I had heard the famous quote that they said about God, but I never knew that it was not what they meant. Although, I don't know that I would want to look to them as spiritual leaders, it is good to know that they were at least open to christianity
Mark, please don't give up on the rest of us! We need you desperately to keep us humble and to strengthen our faith in Christ! I for one admire your passion and your purity, the way your walk and your talk match. What I am trying to say (with much love, I hope) is that it's always easier to SEE a Christian than to BE a Christian. If Lennon, and Gandhi, and millions of others, have seen Who Christ is and what He calls us to be (i.e., followers of HIM), then it is incumbent upon the person who knows exactly what Jesus is saying to do just that and follow Him! Do Christians set a rotten example at times? Oh, yes! But it is still the responsibility of that person, who knows what Christ is saying, to take his eyes off of himself, and follow Jesus. What kind of hypocrisy is it, when someone says, "Ah, yes, I admire and am fascinated by Christ" but then uses Christians (the bad ones, by the way, while ignoring the good ones) as an excuse for not doing what the "admirer of Christ" fully well knows Christ has told Him to do?And I want you to know, I admire Gandhi's accomplishments deeply. I am a big fan of India anyway - her land, people, music & movies - but I do respect Gandhi : )Rick: What a sweet testimony! Thank you for sharing.
I checked back her to see if the moderators had removed my comments. I asked them too. Now, I'm kinda glad they didn't. I wanted to be able to put one more comment up.First, if I have been too harsh or offensive in any way I apologize. Truly my intent has not been to attack.I grew up in church. A good church as churches go. Later in life I had some things that led me to a deep depression. I reached a point of wanting to end my own life. I looked for God in the Christianity I had learned in church my whole life and didn't find him.What I did find was everything from lots of platitudes to condemnation. The platitudes were little more than motivational speeches that had no effect. Even the condemnation was done in the name of Jesus. I was told that I had heard the gospel and had seen it in action my whole life. For that reason the problem was that I wasn't right with God. I needed to figure out where the sin was in my life. In other words the problem had to be me.I even made mention to more than one pastor and Christian leader that I didn't see God in any of the things people were telling me. Guess what I heard? If I didn't see God that was all on me. They were so self assured that they were showing me such a Godly example. Yet everytime I talked to one of them I felt further from God. As a matter of fact I heard all the same things being said here. I was told it was my laziness, immorality, etc. that had pushed me away from God and that is what had caused my depression. None of it was true. Much later I found out that my depression was due to a medical issue that has been corrected.Eventually the actions of other Christians pushed me away from God. Am I the one that made that choice? Sure, but make no mistake it was when I needed Christ the most and looked for him in the kindness, love and compassion of those claiming to follow him that he was conspicuously absent. It was the lack of a Godly example in the Christians around me that caused me to start to have doubts.I don't deny that people have to make the choice to reject the message or even turn away from it. I can also tell you from first hand experience that our actions as Christians can (and do) push them in that direction. Sometimes our actions can give them enough doubt that the doubts can outweigh the conviction.If I could be pushed away after being a lifelong Christian I can only imagine how much easier it would be for someone who isn't a Christian to see our examples and walk away.So, if I get a little upset about this whole thing maybe that's why. Because I can tell you personally that Christians themselves can many times be the biggest hinderance to the message of Christ. Yes, each individual has to make a choice. Maybe they do harden their heart to the calling of the spirit. Maybe they are encasing their hearts in proverbial concrete. I'm not debating that. I am telling you that we as Christians are often the ones standing there mixing the cement for them simply by our actions and poor examples. That is why I think we have to seriously look at the fact that there are so many people claiming that we as Christians are the reason for their refusal of the message. It is also why I get very worked up when we as Christians refuse to accept that sometimes our actions are the ones preventing the work of the Holy Spirit in others.Looking back at my experience it was the Christians in my life that were the ones taking the easy way out. Just cast all the blame on me. If I didn't see God in their examples it couldn't have been their fault. Just cast the blame on me. Just say it is my wickedness causing my depression. It is just my wickedness that prevented me from seeing how Godly their example and advice were. They made me feel worse.So please understand I am not trying to attack anyone here personally. I am telling you that I have first hand experience with this. I know from my own life that sometimes we as Christians can be the ones grieving the work of the Spirit in others.God Bless and I'm out.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Mark; I know it wasn't easy for you. I hope you revisit this post, because I am wondering - after you were pushed away from Christ, what brought you back to Him?P.S.: It sounds like your friends were like Job's friends during your time of great sorrows.
Laugh all you want, Chris. I don't know what your grandfather knew about jazz, but until about three years ago I was a voracious consumer of rock 'n' roll -- sixties, seventies and eighties. But I was a Christian too, so something had to give. And a merciful God dragged me out of there.
The best way to find out why people reject Christ is to ask them. If forexample someone had for centuries killed everyone who disagreed with them,banged on about the love of Christ, acted as if they were better thaneveryone else, passed judgement on everyone and condemned them to hell andtold them their God will burn them for Eternity but it'll be OK because ifyou follow Him you'll find what a loving God he is but you have to ignorethe fact that they are a hypocrite.If I claim to be a follower of Christ and I look at porn, get drunk, swear,abuse others, condemn others and yet have the gall to stand in front of youand tell you that I follow Jesus then how can I expect you to take anythingI tell you seriously?What you are effectively doing is condemning them to hell because as youhave washed your hands of them. You say they've heard the message of thegospel and choose to ignore it therefore it's their tough luck.Amy and William may well have set a good example but they are 2 out of howmany 'christians'? Millions. What about Jimmy Baker? What about thedifferent denominations amiability top even get their acts together?We christians for centuries have set such a disgusting example. Just howmany in your church are really walking in Christ? How do you know for a factthat what you see sitting in the seats around you is what their families seeat home? How many of the husbands and wives are actually faithful in bodyand mind to each other? How many of those fathers inappropriately touchtheir children? How many look at other women lustfully? How many listen andtell filthy jokes to their workmates and friends? How many of them treattheir children with love and affection, how many spend time reading theBible with their families? I could go on for hours with this. Untilchristians start to act like christians and not just on Sundays or in frontof other christians, we will continue to look like liars and hypocrites.I think we should agree to disagree.
Christiane I agree with you on many points but none of this removes ourresponsibility to behave ourselves. I'm merely saying to you that so manypeople reject God because of so many lousy 'christians' and so many of thesedo not 'fall away' but continue on in their arrogance that they are doingwhat God wants. Look at all the popes and bishops, priests etc alonethroughout history who have self-righteously carried on carnally, evilly.Don't forget the Inquisition. That alone has placed hatred for a supposedloving God into so many hearts. I'll give you an example that I know ofpersonally.A young bloke that works in a company with my wife mentioned that his greatgrandfather was in world war 1. Immediately behind the front line in Francewas a tent of Salvation Army volunteers giving out warm tea when they could(but mostly cold) and biscuits (or cookies if you're American) for free. TheSally's were also at risk of gun and shell fire. 5 kilometres further backwere various other volunteer groups, one of them (catholic if you must know)was giving out the same things, but at a cost. No money, no munchies. Thesame for the Red Cross. This young man and his whole family loved the Sallys because of this simplestory that was handed down. But had no time for the others and didn't wantto know about their God. How many other "Grandfathers' passed similarstories down?Do you see what I mean? I agree with you that they are 'without excuse' but it's extremely difficultto remove our blinkers as they are the result of our life's experiences. Theparadigms we have in our lives can often take a lot of convincing to remove.I used to go to a traditional church as a kid. I used to ask lots ofquestions and was eventually told by a priest to stop asking stupidquestions and just accept or I'd be punished. My wife was beaten black andblue by a nun simply because she wrote left handed. She was dragged across agravel school yard by her hair by a nun. She was told to sit in her chairand not allowed to go to the bathroom when she had her periods, come lunchshe was caned and then told to clean herself up. Her school uniform wascovered in blood. Examples like these have caused a number of people Ipersonally know hate anything to do with the church. Not all non-christiansdon't believe, many do indeed, but others take little or no notice.Many churches and evangelists teach that evolution is compatible with TheBible and as a result thousands have turned away from God while manycontinue to struggle with the issue, trying to get them to gel with the ideaof God the Creator.We failed to stand up united and prevent God getting kicked out of school.We failed to stand up to Hollywood and therefore by our united silence allowyoung girls to think it's ok to have sex the same day they meet someone theylike. We fail to control our leaders excessive foreign affairs that pushfrustrated people to commit murder (eg muslim bombers). America is known asthe Great Satan, how could that be if christians stood up and were counted?How can a country that touts itself as christian be so hated across theworld? Even by many of its allies.Go to France and tell them you're Canadian (if you're American) and thenwatch how they treat the Americans. We saw it so clearly when we were there.As a matter of fact, it was our 14 year old son pointed it out. We'reAustralian by the way.Yes we are responsible for our own decisions, no doubt about it. But Iask....how many would not go to hell if we did our jobs?I've sat in church and listened to a pastor talk about how holy we have tobe etc etc, you know the usual sermons, and yet I've known that this man hadbeen committing adultery. A couple of others in the church knew but we laterfound out that quite a few outside the congregation knew before we did. Whata great example this man was for Christ don't you think?I really have enjoyed discussing this with you but I feel we may neveragree, sadly, but, whatever. Take care, I'd better go do some work.Chris
Here is a chronology of some of John Lennon's comments concerning religion, Christianity and his beliefs.1966 â€“ â€œChristianity will go.. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first â€” rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.â€ â€“ London Evening Standard1966 â€“ â€œI'm not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I wasn't knocking it or putting it down. I was just saying it as a fact and it's true more for England than here. I'm not saying that we're better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it's all this.â€ Chicago Press conference1969 â€“ â€œIâ€™m one of Christâ€™s biggest fans.â€ Montreal CBC interview â€“ Read other quotes from interview here: http://www.prefixmag.com/news/...This contains more quotes from the interview referenced in the article1970 - They keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,And you think your so clever, and classless and free -"Working Class Hero"God is a concept,By which we can measure,Our pain,I donâ€™t believe in Hitler, I donâ€™t believe in Jesusâ€¦I just believe in meYoko and meAnd that's reality. -"God"I told you before, stay away from my doorDon't give me that brother, brother, brother, brotherâ€¦Now that I showed you what I been throughDon't take nobody's word what you can doThere ain't no Jesus gonna come from the skyNow that I found out I know I can cry.. -"I Found Out"1971 - Imagine there's no heaven,It's easy if you try,No hell below us,Above us only skyâ€¦.Nothing to kill or die for,No religion tooâ€¦Imagine all the people living life in peaceâ€¦-"Imagine"1971 â€œAt one time I was so much involved in the religious bullshit that I used to go around calling myself a Christian Communist, but as Janov says, religion is legalised madnessâ€¦ It was therapy that stripped away all that and made me feel my own pain. But for me at any rate it was all part of dissolving the God trip or father-figure trip. Facing up to reality instead of always looking for some kind of heaven.â€ Counterpunch Interview.1980 â€“ â€œI don't believe in yesterday, by the way. You know I don't believe in yesterday. I am only interested in what I am doing now.â€ Playboy interview1980 â€“ â€œI really thought that love would save us all.â€ Philadelphia Inquirer interview 1980 You say you found Jesus ChristHe's the only oneYou say you've found BuddhaSittin' in the sunâ€¦Well there's somethin' missing in this God Almighty stew And it's your mother (your mother, don't forget your mother, lad)You got to serve yourselfAin't nobody gonna do it for youâ€¦-"Serve Yourself"Written in response to Bob Dylanâ€™s Gotta Serve SomebodyExplained by Yoki Ono in 1998 â€œSo then he was kind of upset about that and it was a dialogue,you know. In that sense it's fun, I mean you can hear it wasfun. He wasn't seriously against it.â€ John seemed like a guy who was sincerely dedicated to peace and to loving his family. He seemed to see religion as a source of conflict and a threat to peace. After leaving the Beatles lyrics that refer to God in the last decade of his life seem pretty antagonistic to religion, if not God himself. It's difficult for me to see John as friendly towards Christianity based on what he said after the 1969 interview, but, he wasn't a Beatle then.
I was raised in a family that actively hated Christ and Christians. Madefun of them in person, in print, on television, in their sappy sentimentalmovies, etc. Preachers especially were made fun of and mocked by us, eventhough we never went to church or had contact with them. My siblings and Idid occasionally go to VBS's that were held in the projects where we lived- some of our friends were going, after all, and snacks would be there too(no small draw for kids who would beg other kids for their stewed tomatoesat lunchtime during the school year because it might be the only meal theyhad that day).My mother was a prostitute & alcoholic. She had a half Black baby in thedeep south in the 1960's. You can imagine the molesting that went on withthe men that hung around our multitude of residences. You can imagine thealcoholic rages that were our constant fears. As the only girl in thefamily, I was expected to take care of my 3 brothers, which I gladly did.I was also despised by my mother (who knows why) and recieved lots ofbeatings while my brothers got primo attention & the first & best ofeverything.We were sent to foster homes when I was eleven. I had severe emotionaldisturbances, but then a wonderful thing happened to me: God put me inChristian foster homes. And there I heard the Gospel message and recievedChrist.Now, my half black brother, and my two other brothers, had been put intoseparate foster homes. In Alabama in the 1960's, you didn't mention aboutblacks unless you had to. One day, in one of my foster homes, byhalf-Black brother came to visit me. My foster mother, who had been fairlydistant up until she saw him, flipped out. She called me a whore in somany words, treated me like it too. I was a new Christian. I had beensaved while at her home, and I could not for the life of me understand whyshe was acting so hostile to me. But do you know, I was just a kid, and Iwas so happy about Christ, that I didn't pay much attention to her. Sherather quickly asked the authorities to move me to a different fosterhome.Fast forward - 3 more foster homes later, my half-Black baby brother (5years old by then) had been put up for adoption. It was understood that itwas "best" for all of us.Then my 2 other brothers and I were to go back with my mother and her newhusband, in a whole different state. I did not want to go back. The worsttime in my foster home was still better than the best time I had had withmy family.But we were sent back. My mother & brothers put me down when I tried totalk about Christ, they considered it a throwback to the foster homes, andI was named "Little Miss Christian." I gave up trying to witness to themand began living like the world. By the time I was a teenager, I had ababy out of wedlock and married an extremely abusive man. He was not aChristian. I was no angel - I did things no wife should do. (Not thatthese things justified the beatings by my husband, but I don't want tomake myself out to be Mrs. Perfect, because I surely was not). I stayed ina fantasy world most of the time for sheer survival's sake, and the onlygood thing I knew was my children. Thank God for kids.By the time I was twenty eight, I, like Mark, was suicidal. I dropped 50pounds because I knew that I would live if I ate, so I couldn't eat. ICOULDN'T. I tried, butcould not bring a fork to my mouth.Finally, I realized it - I was going to die. I was flat out going to die,and there was no hope for me. I had botched everything I had put my handto, up, and what was the use in living anyway?I went to a park one dark night and for the first time in 16 years, Ithought back to when I had been saved. I told the Lord I didn't know if Hehad a purpose for my life, but if He did, that here I was. I told Him thatI knew I had goofed everything up miserably. Nothing happened after myprayer, and I went home.But the next day, I felt compelled to pick up a copy of the Old Testamentthat I had kept. I began to read and as I did, everything changed.Everything. God loved me still! That much I could tell. With this hope, Iwas able to go on.I hope this gives some understanding as to why I am certain that the Biblecan cut through the deepest, darkest night. God pulled me out of a hellishbackground and miraculously saved my soul. Then, even after I let Him downcompletely and grieved Him (and the body of Christ) terribly, even after Ibrought myself to a point of despair by my rejection of Him, He was stillfaithful and mighty to save.When nobody else on this earth cared for me, not even myself, God stillloved me.With this love, I can do all things; my only security for it rests onGod's Word. I have no great works that I have done to lead people toChrist, or to keep them Christian. I was a wretched Christian. But I canpoint them to the Holy Bible, which tells of One Who is always faithful,always forgiving, always true, even when we do our very worst. And this Iwill do until the day I go to be with my beloved Lord.Please do not point me to what Christians should be or how they should behave; do not point out to me how good non-Christians are; do not speak to me of loving families, of what marriage ought to be. None of these save a person's soul, and even the best of them are far short of what should be. When every relationship that was supposed to be nourishing to me failed miserably, the Holy Bible showed me God's forgiveness and love. When I failed others, my own self, and God, miserably, the Holy Bible showed me God's forgiveness and love.God forbid that I point other men and women to human beings as justification for rejection (or acceptance) of Christ. I will point them to Christ and His Word, for then they will know a relationship that will never perish, no matter what mankind does or does not do.
Chris, I appreciate your passion that our works glorify our Lord, but no person will ever go to hell and say to God, "You are wrong for sentencing me to this!" Your wife suffered terribly - it took courage for you to share her deep pain with us. Has she become a Christian, and if so, what led her to place her faith in Christ? As to America being "The Great Satan" and Muslim bombers murdering thousands on 911 because Christians frustrate them, I disagree. The U.S. is the "great satan" to some Muslims because their brand of murderous Islam is not the majority religion here, Shari'a law exalting the Koran does not rule the U.S., and women aren't under the thumb of their male family members here. The notion that victims of 911, or the U.S., or Theo Van Gogh, or Anwar Sadat or any of many hundreds of thousands of others, Muslim or not, publicized or not, who have been murdered by Islamic thugs brought "retribution" upon themselves, is a mistaken, dangerous one - one which the perpetrators of these vile murders are only too happy to see people in the free world accept.And...I don't know if I should tell you, but, I have been to France ( je suis grande Francophile) and was treated rudely but once, when a not-so-bon homme wouldn't take "Non!" for an answer, forcing me to run down practically the lenght of the Champs-Elysees to avoid his Pepe Le Pew-like overtures... I finally ditched him by quickly crossing over to the Rue de la Bucherie and hiding in the TRES cramped Shakespeare & Company bookstore : ) Vive la livres!
Apart for some skunk annoying you, did you enjoy Paris? We stayed inMontmartre just below Sacre Coeur. You miss my point it was not frustrationwith christians that it was American foreign policies and I believe thatunless christians have a united voice these type of ill-thought out policieswill continue.Currently here in Oz (I don't know if you heard on the news) there is a lotof fuss over whether photos of naked children are 'artistic' orpornographic. We've also had several cases of pedophiles using the brochuresthat we get in our letterbox advertising various things for us to by inshopping centres. These have children posing in underwear. There hasn't beena squeak from the churches or the people in them to stop this fromhappening. This angers me because in a handful of years I believe thatpedophilia will become accepted, as one professor said "An acceptableexpression of love between an adult and a child". For me this is a disgrace.We compromise and allow fancy words and articulate argument to make sin seema reasonable behaviour under certain circumstances. We see this in theAnglican church accepting practicing homosexuals as priests.Christians do nothing, say nothing and as a result achieve nothing. This siwhat frustrates me. We are weak and ineffective, we have no voice ingovernment policies and allow all sorts of rubbish to be taught at ourinstitutions. We can't even pray in our schools. This wouldn't happen if wespoke out. This wouldn't happen if we had respect. America is a littledifferent than Australia in that you can openly talk a bout your belief inGod and not have it edited out on the news like they do here. Sad.Anyway, I've enjoyed talking to you. I would like to meet you one day and,actually I know I will.Oh yeah. In answer to your question how did Jen come to know God? I'll tellyou later.Chris
Wonder what part of Australia you live in? I had a pen friend from New South Wales, he visited us many years ago & it was too funny because he was thrilled with our southern U.S. accents, while we thought his southern Australian accent was...bonza (is that right?)History brings with it a maturity and perspective on issues that divide people during their lifetimes, and I am convinced the judgment of history will land favorably on President Bushâ€™s side. Like our President Lincoln, Bush has led an almost totally polarized nation during a war (and I am sure Lincolnâ€™s war on behalf of freeing Blacks would have caused other nations to revile him, too); but I am secure too that as the future unfolds, events will show that our presidentâ€™s tough stance against terrorists has been the correct position. You are in good company when you say that Christians shouldn't be complacent politically, that we should stand up and speak out rather than letting those who would codify their evil triumph: U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia (a Catholic) has said exactly the same thing. He said in an interview once that he doesn't think Christians stand up enough for themselves legally.I also agree with you that pedophilia is on the way in the U.S. (it's positively weird how this blog has had so many tangents...) We already have a wicked law here that says that if a child's image is not actually a photograph, but is computer generated and shown in pornographic poses, that it's okay to view, even though everyone knows how realistic computer images have become. But it's protected under "free speech." Sick laws, protecting sick people; meanwhile children are being hurt, because a direct correlation has been shown between viewing pornography and acting out what one has viewed. I loved Paris & its environs. Stayed near the Arc de'Triomphe. Went just about everywhere - metro is done tres bien, quite user-friendly. My favorite part was sitting in the huge cafe of the Louvre museum, in Paris they don't care if you know the people at a table, they will seat you with strangers if thereâ€™s nowhere else to put you. So I found myself by a college-aged Asian fellow. I hesitated, but finally inquired, "Do you speak English?" "Oh, you bet," he replied, "I'm American, too!"I will look forward to hearing how Jen (and you) became believers. And I will look forward to meeting both of you one day, too.
Bonza ha ha. Haven't heard that for years. We live in southern NSW on theborder of Victoria. We are on the edge of a man made lake that was put in tosupply water to the farmers along the Murray River. We have had a 10 yeardrought and things are pretty tough at the moment. But there was a 50 yeardrought in the 1800's, it's all part of the cycle of things (don't tell thisto Al Gore). Our town is called Corowa and has about 3000 people. We work onthe other side of the lake in Victoria, a tourist town called Yarrawonga (anaboriginal word meaning something or other). Jen is the general manager of abuilding company called Hadar (a hebrew word meaning "to bring honour"). Theowner of the company is Pastor Rick Leeworthy. It is mind boggling to seethis company grow in the midst of a recession but not so hard to understandin the light of the fact that the company is run on Gods principals and Hehonours them back. They also have 2 of your countrymen working for themJason from Tennessee and Randy from Texas.It takes half an hour to drive round the lake to work. It is quite beautifulwith all the eagles and Kangaroos, possums and moorhens everywhere. FromAugust and right up until February there are thousands of Cockatoos andCorellas, all types of multi-coloured Rosellas flying through the trees orsitting on the road so we have to be careful when we come round corners. Andthe noise when these birds fly over is almost deafening from the screeching.Years ago I left home and lived with an Italian family, the Cossatos ontheir banana plantation in Murwillumbah on the NSW Queensland border (I musthave an affinity for border towns). This area is full of rainforests, giantbird spiders bigger than your hand and Diamond Rock Pythons. Parrots sobrilliantly coloured, Cassowarys (as large as Ostriches and quite mental.These things will chase you down and kill you if they are in a bad mood. Youcannot out run them so you'd better be good at climbing).I went back home to Sydney because the girl I'd been going out with for 2years in Murwillumbah was cheating on me, so I went home in misery.During my stay at my parents place I read a book about a christianperspective on UFO's. At the end of the book it had an 'altar call'. I wasstill hurting and of course angry that I'd been cheated on so I wrote down alist of all the things I wanted in a woman. Things like 'trustworthy, loyal,honesty, transparency', etc. I was quite detailed. Shortly after that iswhen I joined a band. And that's when I met Jen. She was 19 and studyingmedicine at uni. She was and is, exactly the lady I'd asked for.I'd always believed in God due to a catholic upbringing but never took anyreal notice. Jen and I decided to visit my friend John Cossato and off wewent.During the time I was in Sydney John became a born-again christian and whenwe arrived at his place took us both to his church. It was cool, reallysmall old wooden church, low lighting, lots of young people (about our ageat the time, early 20's). We sat as far up the back and in the corner as youcan get.They had an altar call and to this day I don't remember how I got to thefront, but I do remember looking to my right and seeing Jennifer standingbeside me. We both committed our lives to God then and have never lookedback. Found out later from Jen that while she had been away on holidays withher parents that Jesus had visited her. She saw him as clear as day and shedidn't quite understand what it was all about and then some months laterhere she was beside me and it all made sense.Since then we've had prophecies over her and they've all come true. Thingslike her dining with "Kings and Queens" and then 2 years later she haddinner with Nelson Mandela. Other people like Australian Prime Ministers andso forth. She won the Victorian leg of The Telstra Businesswoman of the yearand was just pipped at the post in the nationals out of 37,000 others. Thisaward is the most prestigious women's award in Oz. She stood up at theawards with all the big screens and TV cameras and gave glory to God. Thatwas one of the most awesome moments ever. It takes incredible courage tothat here in Oz.It's a small world. It's good to run into a countryman in another country.When I lived in Sydney we had some neighbours who went to Europe and theywere strolling down a street in Lichtenstein which is apparently thesmallest country in the world and ran into their neighbours. How cool isthat?Anyway I've probably bored you enough and I haven't even asked you aboutyourself. So now it's your turn.Chris
Didn't bore me at all, I enjoyed reading about NSW's beauty & your life.If you'll scroll down, you'll read my testimony, how Christ found me. Since the Lord showed me His love and forgiveness, I realize every day is a gift, I should have been dead over 20 years ago, but God was merciful & gracious to me, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here and enjoy His blessings (I figured out a long time ago that God made numbers infinite so we can always keep counting His amazing, manifold blessings).I lived in Texas for two years (Houston), have been in Tennessee for many years now. As all my children were born here, I consider it my home. Please give your co-workers from the States a big "Hello" from me, and share a "Go Vols!" with Jason, he'll know what it means. Thank you for sharing your testimonies, Chris.
"God is a concept,by which we measure our pain."I really think that the churches are really struggling to exist when they try to cling to one of the most secular concepts of the 20th century in order to get their message out.
In many ways John acted more the Christian in his day to day life than most ppl who CLAIM to be..no, he certainly wasnt perfect, but his fervent desire to help the underdogs of the world and to fight against institutionalized injustice was no doubt admirable and in-keeping w/ a christian mind-set, at least that's what I think. I'm tired of ppl constantly pointing out things Lennon said way back in 1966--which he himself said were misconstrued--and using this to damn the fellow for all eternity (not very christian-like ..eh ??...where's their "forgiveness" ?) Only GOD is the judge of a man's inner motives. . I think John was a great human being and artist. I think the article above is more fair-minded than most and I commend it's author.Kevin M., major Beatle fan since the 1960's and Catholic.
I'm a very devoted Christian, Jesus Christ being my life and all, but even I can see why Christians can push people away from Christianity. There are a lot of hypocritical Christians, like those who are horrible to gays and lesbians and banish them from the church and whatnot (you can disagree with gays and lesbians like I do without, but do it in a cordial, friendly, loving manner). The main theme of the Bible is God's love for us and He sent Jesus for us to go to Heaven, so when people aren't showing love for their neighbors, it's very hypocritical. Especially all of those Christians who have sex before marriage and cheat on their partners (whether a girlfriend of a month or a husband of twelve years, it's still disgusting and the biggest thing I disrespect) and cussing and drinking and doing drugs and smoking.But while all of those sinning Christians (which is everybody) may turn atheists away from God, I still think that is no excuse for non-believers, because God's Word and Love for us is so much more powerful than His followers, all of which make mistakes.I hope John Lennon believed in God and worshiped Jesus because that is the key to life's happiness. <3333God Bless you all; your sister in Christ,Sarah :D
Its all about the music. Some just like happy songs not depressed church hymns
I agree 100%. Well written. x
I do agree with 90% of what you are saying and it is great some people feel the same way as I do. I find it hard to go to church because of some people's hypocritical and in some ways un-christian attitudes, but saying that, just because I don't go to church does not mean I don't believe in God. I am training to be a doctor and have always been someone to help and show kindness to people, which I think is what is important. I consider myself a good Christian. The pre-marital sex part is something I am a bit hazy about. The bible is very ambiguous when it comes to it as a topic, something to which I have spoken to many christians about. It's very nice to see the responses that this thread has provoked. It proves to me that people still have the ability to understand and I think John Lennon was a very good example of a man. He had his faults, as do we all, but he strived and dedicated his life to making the world a more peaceful place. Thank you for your time in reading this. x
God bless you sister! Thank you for sharing your story and your struggle. It takes a strong person to admit their wrong-doings and I'm glad you came back to the Lord Almighty! Keep your faith because it is strong, and uncontested; but you should already know this. Amen to your testimony. Bless the Lord, our Christ, the King of Kings!
Lennon said: "Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and will be proved right." (Newsweek, March 21, 1966).
A Christian Beatles? Go to cd baby and search The About
Sounds like revisionism to me. John Lennon was an atheist as far as Im concerned and nobody can tell me otherwise
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