Missing the point

I just had a great but unexpected evening of discussion with new friend. He’s a Catholic and was also at boarding school so we have a fair amount in common to discuss.

The first thing we were talking about is the bizarre way in which some people will behave in a working environment. I’ve always found people sucking up or toe the line a bit odd but it seems even stranger that some people intentionally misrepresent themselves at work; somehow hoping that this will be more likely to result in a promotion or recognition. Perhaps this results from society seemingly viewing how high you are on the work ladder and/or having a fancy title as being more important than actually being respected for your ability at your job.

As Christians we are also very good at misrepresentation. Frequently this is the misrepresentation of the core message of Jesus.

Check the following verses from Matthew 22:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

This is Jesus’ message. This is Christianity. This is what every Christian should be focusing on every single minute of every single day and in their every single action. Why, then, do we add to this simple message? I think this is because this message is so easy to recite but so hard to live. It is easier for us as Christians to judge others (and ourselves) according to rules selectively plucked from the Bible, not concerning ourselves that their meaning varies depending on their context or if they a relevant to our lives.

If we as Christians worried about this simple love (of God and other people) would people like Richard Dawkins really be complaining about the damage caused by our religion? Or instead, perhaps, would those who did not share our faith be glad for our contributions to the world.

Love God. Love People. This is what Jesus asks of Christians. How about we stop worrying so much about the other stuff and just get on with that instead?