A doctor in Jamaica has penned a scathing editorial on Christians who claim to follow Jesus Christ but don't act in a compassionate matter or live out the teachings enshrined in the Bible.
In an editorial posted by the Jamaica-Gleaner, Dr. Michael Abrahams, who also claims to be a comedian and poet, argued that many Christians are indeed "loving, kind, caring and forgiving," noting that his close friends included "a Baptist minister, an Anglican priest, and a Catholic monsignor." However, as he grew up to adulthood, he noticed that some people who claimed to be "Christian" did things that deviated from the teachings of Jesus.
"The most 'tiefin' (stealing) helpers were the ones who professed to be Christians," Abrahams wrote, recalling an incident from his childhood. "I remember one who claimed to be a bona fide Seventh-day Adventist, and was caught leaving our house one day with pork, stolen from our fridge, in a 'long bag.'"
Abrahams then recalled another incident where he met a woman who fit the definition of a "Jesus freak." Although she had "a plethora of religious imagery," including a Bible or prayer book in every room of her house, an incident with her daughter changed his opinion.
"One day, her daughter, a 'worldlian,' suggested that she visit a home for mentally challenged children," Abrahams wrote. "She rejected the suggestion, being concerned that the children would drool on her clothes. I think that she may have taken Jesus' call to 'suffer the little children' literally."
The doctor also noticed that some "devout" Christians have even hurt him in his medical career.
"The people who have hurt me the most during my medical career are three very devout Christians: a colleague, a colleague's spouse, and a patient. One of them even preaches," Abrahams wrote. "All engaged in dishonest and, in some cases, unethical behavior that wounded me deeply, and to date they have shown no remorse."
Abrahams admitted that "unkind words" can also come from those describing themselves as atheists or agnostics. However, while Christians should stand up for what they believed in, he thought their approach could use a little finesse.
"Insulting, debasing and denigrating others [are] not necessary while bringing their points across," Abrahams wrote. "Indeed, it is attitudes such as these that induce depression and suicidal ideation in some of the recipients of these attacks, persons who 'fall short' and are harshly criticized and vilified."
According to Abrahams, many Christians also acted with "a sense of entitlement and a level of coldness." He recalled reaction from an event in Jamaica back in 2010 where 70 people were killed.
"I recall speaking to one about the 70-odd civilians slaughtered during the Tivoli incursion in 2010, and she remarked that she had no problem with it at all, even though innocent people were killed, because 'something had to be done about 'those' people,' while another dismissively remarked that 'the Bible said that there has to be a blood sacrifice,'" Abrahams wrote. "Others have also shown little empathy for Palestinians and other non-Christians in the Middle East, referring to Biblical prophecy as justification for any hardship or oppression that they may face."
Abrahams observed that this attitude has even played out among Christians in other denominations.
"A Christian friend of mine who wears jewelry visited a church where adornment with bling is frowned upon," Abrahams wrote. "A member of the congregation asked her if she planned to get saved and give her life to The Lord. My friend replied that she was already a Christian, which earned her a scornful look of disbelief from the holier-than-thou congregant."
The overall point Abrahams tried to make was that Christians should never forget the basic principle commanded by Jesus, which is "to love others."
"Many Christians are so caught up with dogmas, doctrines and rituals that they have forgotten one of the basic principles in Christianity and several other religions: to love others," Abrahams wrote. "Too many are quick to quote scriptures condemning and rebuking 'sinful' people and behavior, but cast aside such gems as 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' 'Love your enemies' and 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.'"
Abrahams concluded his editorial with a conversation he had with his monsignor friend about the fate of sinners in front of God's judgment. Based on his reaction, Abrahams noted that he can deal with that kind of Christianity as lived out by his friend.
"I am probably more flawed than you," the monsignor said to Abrahams. "Who am I to make that call? Right now, I am only concerned with loving and caring for people."