I am a CHINO: which is to say that I am a Christian in name only. I was baptized into the Church of England and I have the piece of paper and the photos to prove it. I don’t believe any of the supernatural stuff that you are supposed to believe in if you are an honest to God practicing CofE Christian. There are other kinds of CHINO; those who profess to believe in the God and Jesus thing but their actions seem to fly in the face of their alleged beliefs.
It never ceases to amaze me how CHINO’s (Christians in name only) can so easily forget the central tenants of of their own professed religion. If Christianity is about anything it is about a generosity of spirit, it is about compassion, it is about altruism and above all it is about treating other people in the way that you yourself would like to be treated.
The Christian ethic is summed up fairly succinctly in Mathew chapters 5, 6 and 7 which together comprise the Sermon on the mount. My lack of belief in a deity, let alone a personal God and even less a son of God, in no way prevents me from admiring the bible as literature. My atheism does not blind me from recognizing a few good ideas in a book simply because I reject that book’s divinity.
My personal morality is largely in accord with a cherry picked version of the Sermon on the Mount: Mathew 5 is about treating others as you would like to be treated, Mathew 6 speaks of sharing and doing good without thought of recognition or reward and Mathew 7 concludes with admonishments against hypocrisy, demagogues and reprises “the do unto others” idea.
All of this is just fine with me, I just wish that a few more CHINO’s would actually read the book they like to flaunt and swear on so much and actually act like real Christians like most of us atheists do. Sadly many Christians seem to have undergone a compassion bypass.
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus as summarized in the Gospel of Mathew in:
- Mathew Chapter 5 Verses 1 to 48 (Click for the full KGV text)
- Mathew Chapter 6 Verses 1 to 34 (Click for the full KGV text)
- Mathew Chapter 7 Verses 1 to 29 (Click for the full KGV text)
Here is my own personal cherry pick:
Mathew 5 is about treating others as you would like to be treated.
5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…
5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mathew 6 is about sharing and doing good for its own sake.
6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Verses 9-13 comprise what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer”.
6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Verses 25-34 are an insurance salesman’s nightmare since they advocate total disregard for the future. These verses make little sense unless you believe that the world is about to end tomorrow.
6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Mathew 7 councils against hypocrisy and demagogues and reprises the do unto other idea.
7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?