Stan Thomas-Rose: Authentic Christian values
December 6, 2018
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." – Luke 10:27
It is a sad state of affairs that so many of my fellow Christians appear to have abandoned traditional Christian values in their fierce pursuit of political power.
Jesus spent most of his ministry healing the sick, feeding the poor, casting out demons, and preaching love and forgiveness. Instead of working to embody (however imperfectly we humans can) these values, too many Christian groups today seem to me to be caught up in political snares as they support politics of discrimination, slander, violence, greed and privilege in pursuit of political power instead of love.
Christ preached and practiced kindness, generosity, self-sacrifice, sincerity, humility, gentleness and forgiveness, little of which we see in current politics. Conservative and liberal are political labels, not Christian principles.
Instead of blindly allying ourselves with a political side, I think we should be following Christ by standing up for the weak, the sick, the poor and by loving those who are different from us, especially those we consider enemies. We should be working steadfastly to promote justice for all regardless of their wealth or poverty. We should be working to ensure ordinary people have the kind of decent wages, health care and retirement our rich country could easily afford. I believe we should be responsible for cleaning up our own messes instead of fouling our neighbors' air and water for a little more profit.
The apostle Paul reminded us that "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil," and many of the ills we see in our world still grow from greed and envy. I believe that profiting from others' illnesses, misfortunes or from their work instead of our own is not Christian. It seems to me that we should be humbly seeking for wisdom and understanding instead of shouting down our neighbors, that we should be calling for kindness instead of name-calling, and speaking the truth in love instead of promoting slander, malice and division.
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Didn't Christ teach that we should be seeking to help all people, not just our own?
Our nation has stood for great ideals at times. When we have stood for Christian ideals like equality, freedom and justice our citizens prospered, our honest justice system was admired and our individual freedoms inspired people around the world. When we have succumbed to greed, envy and strife, we have ended up oppressing our own citizens, and have nearly destroyed the world's economy twice.
In this recent election, I voted for these fundamental Christian values and not for a political party. I encourage all who name themselves to be followers of Christ to do the same in future elections.
Imagine how much better our country and the world could be if we truly followed Christ's values.
Stan Thomas-Rose lives in Grass Valley.