Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beware the False Prophets

A few days ago,  I read posts written by a woman who talked about praying to God in the same breath as  she discussed writing about deviant sexual practices and sadism in a novel I'm sure she thought Christians would be clamoring to read.

How many of you are familiar with the Biblical story of the Pharisees, of Jesus' criticism of them? He quoted the prophecy of Isaiah: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. 

I'm a Christian. I've been saved. I've been baptized. I fact, I have no excuse to not believe. I've seen and experienced too much to not know that God was and is looking out for me. Surprised? and everybody else. I don't go around proclaiming my "status." I'm not sure I'd be the best spokesperson for divine PR. I'm no heavenly ambassador. Holy terror, maybe. Probably.

I'm always suspicious of anyone who's always telling anyone who will listen that they're Christians--but we don't see it in their behavior. If you have to tell others you belong to God, you're doing something wrong. They should be able to see it. Shouldn't they?

Not only do I not have all the answers, I'm pretty sure I don't even know all of the questions.

I once had a rubber stamp made for my first editor, Damaris Rowland: SHOW, DON'T TELL. Writers, myself included, have all been guilty of that one at one time or another. I'm also guilty of it as a Christian. I don't always walk the walk, so how could I have the right to talk the talk?

I'm a Christian, but I'm a work in progress. Slow progress. If I were being graded on it, I would not have a 4.0 grade average. Not even a 3.0, actually. I've had as much trouble with pride as I did with high school algebra. I never did master algebra, but who actually uses algebra in real life? Pride, on the other hand, can be a huge problem in the real world. 

I stink at cheek-turning. And I'm often judgmental. It took me years to find the right church because, as the old joke goes, I didn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. I'd proclaim the congregations hypocrites and be on my way. I'd justify my position by telling myself that at least I wasn't out there claiming to be doing God's will as they too often were. I finally realized that even though some church members in every church might puff themselves up and wear the designation “Christian” like a lapel pin, we were all taking the same journey.

As for me--I was and am still a screw-up. Thank God we don't get into Heaven based on performance! 


  1. Very well said, Norma.

    I think the hypocrisy that we all too often see is something that's a real problem for people who might otherwise be drawn into faith.

    I'm reminded of the Twain quote: When you get to heaven, leave your dog at the gate. Entrance goes by favour, not merit. If it went by merit, the dog would go in, and you would stay out.

  2. I think if it was based on performance, God would say wow you wrote all this stuff while you could have been off doing something real naughty. Good for you and welcome! In fact, I should have been writing back at the same time you were instead of getting distracted by idiots who caused me heartache and pain. I was searching for all the wrong things and viola-I once was lost and now I'm found! Still a work in progress though and so happy he watches out for me too.

  3. I wasn't exactly writing the kind of stuff God would be pleased with when I started out. And I was doing it for the money back then.

  4. Hypocrisy makes me crazy. I'm the same way with my Christianity as I am with my writing: I stink at promotion, partially because I'm always afraid that I'm nowhere near as good as people think I am. In any case, it's been my experience that the more people trumpet their religion, the less faithful they really are.

  5. I agree with everything everyone has said so far. I'm a Christian, but not a very good one when it comes to going to church. I believe that I don't have to go to church to go to heaven or to be saved. I've been saved at least once in my life by an angel...I can't help but to believe...

    But, if you're going to be a hypocrit about it, then you're not worth my time. Saying one thing, then doing something else...well, that doesn't compute with me.

    Great blog!

  6. I suck at any belief really. I was raised Lutheran but don't go to church and Sweetman's Jewish. I've got a mix of Pagan, Wiccan, Jewish and Christian friends. So quite frankly, I'm a mess but do believe in God. I definitely believe in doing unto others as you would have them do to you and the reap what you sow deal. And, I've seen hypocracy in all religions Pagans, Wiccans, Jews, and Christians. So I'm just Shelly and I hope I get it right most times.

    As for her book, I wouldn't read it....sounds too weird to me.

  7. But we return to heaven with our growth and lessons. I agree with what you said. I've met too many people who have to proclaim themselves Christians. As the bible says 'by their fruits ye shall know them' so if they were true, they wouldn't have to shout it out.
    As for being human with human traits, well one of my fav quotes: we are spiritual beings learning to be human.
    You are a good person, Norma.

  8. I was raised a Catholic and I still retain so much of my upbringing. But I have to say I don't go to church although I still pray.
    I feel that so many of the crazies have taken over religion for their own needs as with all the "born again" here and the religion of hate in the middle east.
    Being a Christan has become a word meaning a crazy nut much like the word conservative. Concerning I am both it seems strange to be lumped with them.
    I try to treating people like I want to be treated and the Karma you send out into the world will come back to you. Good and bad.

    cheers, parsnip

  9. No one is perfect. We are all a work in progress, no? And it's okay to be human, we need to allow ourselves that dignity. So I'm with you all the way on your post, Norma! I try to be a "good person," but if I fall short one day, I have to forgive myself.

  10. Awesome post Norma. No smart-ass comments from me on this one. It's absolutely great and true.

  11. What a good reminder of how our actions should 'show not tell'. thanks. (Following this blog, too!)

  12. After reading this post .. i salute you Norma...!!

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