Christian Pawns and Worldly Pagans© Merry Christmas

Christian Pawns and Worldly Pagans©

Merry Christmas

By Florida Night Train©

November 22, 2023

There is a big difference between “righteousness” and “self-righteousness”. The mere mention of the words usually makes both the non-believer and the believer quite uneasy. It is a conviction of deep-rooted pride. It exposes selfish hearts, a desperate need for redemption and for significance. Christians of ages past have abused the theologies of salvation and righteousness by judging, condemning, shaming, and even killing anyone who would dare question them. One only needs to read on Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria or the “inquisition”. The inquisition was a powerful office set up within the Catholic Church to root out and punish heresy throughout Europe and the Americas. Beginning in the 12th century and continuing for hundreds of years, the Inquisition is infamous for the severity of its tortures and its persecution of other faiths. Its worst manifestation was in Spain, where the Spanish Inquisition was a dominant force for more than 200 years, resulting in some 32,000 executions. 

The hypocrisy of this conduct, while they themselves were filled with vile motives of controlling masses through guilt, has been well exposed. Today, I would dare say, is no different but more insidious. Contemporary “Christians” for the most part are happy in their comfortable pews, their posh luxurious sanctuaries, and their theologies lecturing the rest of the world about dos and don’ts. Preachers preaching that following Jesus will bring our “self” above all and material/financial prosperity are abounding. They will gear their messages to appeal to selfishness rather than hard truths. They hide behind the veil of virtues, pointing fingers. The vicious infighting, slander, and gossip among believers only further tarnish the message of love they should be seeking to share. They will spare no efforts, including separating loved ones and turning on one another. They sell billions worth of books and merchandise or concert tickets preaching a message of “love”. Except for a few genuine souls I have been blessed to meet, their actions speak differently. That’s why, in part, the world is angry with them, laughs at them, and discredits them. That is why the churches are embarrassingly dwindling in numbers. And that my friends makes satan quite happy. The bastard sits there laughing, playing on everyone’s emotions so long as he can successfully distract us all from Truth and our responsibilities toward Truth.

The rest of the world is not much better. The cults of “self” and “self-love”, “victimization”, “entitlements”, and “rights”; or “do what feels good to you” or “relativism” are dangerous poison to the human soul. Everyone’s MO now it seems is that the world has to revolve around one’s self. Everyone is an expert at identifying narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, etc… so long as they don’t have to look in the mirror. The new age now teaches to worship self, fortune, stones, rocks and trees, and we call ourselves expert spiritual advisors. Purity is mocked. Bold, unsanctimonious conduct is celebrated. The world has conveniently forgotten the values of self-sacrifice, forgiveness, humility, honor, loyalty, integrity, love, and eternal life. Men are vilified and emasculated. Women are taught that corporate life is far superior to giving life and the value of motherhood. Children are confused. Masses put their faith in crooked, fallible political stripes. Rumors of war and hatred between people is growing. Slaughter, rapes and beheading of innocents in the name of money, religion, and power is growing and seems to be justifiable. That is all a result, in part, and a response to the hypocrisy of the fraudulent, sanctimonious religious out there. The world feels justified in those responses because they see through the so-called self-serving religious quite clearly. And that my friends, again, makes satan quite happy. He is content to take us on an emotional rollercoaster, successfully distracting us all from God, Truth, our responsibilities towards Truth/facts/history, ourselves, and each other. So long as there is strife among us causing us to react to emotions, lies, and to forget the freedom that Truth provides. Emotions have become more important than facts and the pursuit of truth. Simultaneously, the secular world is not immune to its own pitfalls.

But then there is Christ, His life, and His recorded teachings. Christ was born by humble means. He lived with humility. He exposed the religious pharisees and their hypocrisy, calling them the vipers that they were. He chastised the self-righteous followers in the temple for their capitalistic ways within the walls of His house. He loved (still does) the sinners in a manner that made His message irresistible to desire change within their own heart. He called bs what it was whether you were a saint, a sinner, a woman, a man, sick, healthy, rich, poor, conservative or liberal. He was very clear about the value of women, wives and how critical it is to honor them. Otherwise, even husbands’ prayers would not be heard. He fearlessly addressed the human heart and it cost Him his life. I thank God for the wolves among sheep in churches because it makes Christ’s teachings even more evidently relevant. I thank God for the world’s response to those wolves because it reinforces the values and the Truths Christ planted so powerfully in His three years of ministry. It brought the world to its knees—that’s why they hate Him. He exposes the fallacies of both camps for the discerning eye to see. Thank you, God!

Christmastime serves as a poignant reminder of the stark contrast between the teachings of Christ and the often-hypocritical actions of those who claim to follow Him, as well as the world’s. As we immerse ourselves in the festive spirit, let’s reflect on the distinction between righteousness and self-righteousness that has plagued both believers and non-believers alike. I dare you to read the gospels and see for yourself the travesty of both camps. Then what? Well, put your faith in Him if you are inclined to see the essence of His purpose. If you find that you don’t quite fit in the religious or the non-religious demographics, chances are you are probably on the right track. If you find you fit well in either camp, beware.

In the midst of this discord, we still and will always find solace in the life and teachings of Christ. He exposed the hypocrisy of religion, emphasizing the importance of genuine love over self-serving actions. His uncompromising stance on the value of individuals no matter their race, gender or sin, challenges us to honor and respect each other. Christ’s message addressed the core of the human heart showing us the way, the Truth, and the Life.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us not be blinded by the shortcomings of the Church or the world and the hatred that can stem from both views. Instead, I challenge us all to let the teachings of Christ guide us toward humility, genuine love, and an unwavering commitment to truth and personal growth. May this season be a reminder that, despite the failings of individuals (including myself) and institutions, the message of Christ endures as a beacon of hope and transformation for all.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  John 3:16-18

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Photos: Tonya Barnes Photography