Archive for the ‘Acceptance of Others’ Category

By Mike Edwards

The United States is often referred to as a Christian Nation or a nation whose rights come from God. The Declaration of Independence penned in 1776 gives good reason to suggest our founder’s belief in a Creator:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Is God a Christian nationalist?

We don’t all agree on a definition of this term, but those who believe in a God/Creator/Supreme Being aren’t always careful with their words. They are accused of attempting to establish a Christian nation, though they must agree we should respect one’s right to choose any faith or religion that doesn’t violate the rights of others (“unalienable Right to Liberty”). I doubt God is a Christian nationalist or sought to establish a Christian nation because of respect for freedom of belief. Besides, forced love is an oxymoron. Jesus came to influence others to love as they want to be loved, not to overthrow the Roman Empire to make it a God/Jesus/Christian empire.

Who do our rights come from? 

I happen to have faith there is a Creator, but faith is an individual decision. Regardless of one’s belief, we aren’t clueless right from wrong. Such clues don’t come just from a Book. The majority of people born into this world didn’t have a Bible, and people knew right from wrong before the Bible. Rights neither come from a few individuals that happen to be in Government. Perfect rights or laws are those that demonstrate loving others like we want to be love. Even atheists would agree.

How do we determine what perfect, loving laws are?

We don’t all agree what the most loving actions are. It is a bit naïve for any nation to claim our values must be biblically based, as if all agree what the Bible says about abortion, gays, capital punishment, etc.  See here.  The equal rights of women with men in many Nations are denied because of a Book. Regardless of your faith, most rational beings agree on many universal moral values (murder, stealing).  And no – climate control, immigration, taxes, health care, are not universal laws. The problem in the U.S. is debate is frowned up and attempts are made to quash contrary opinions.

How do we create a nation where “all are created equal with unalienable rights?

I believe the Declaration of Independence and Constitution makes the U.S. unique from most other countries. We all have “unalienable rights” and not rights according to Government or Dictators. In our Republic, the Government is limited in taking aways certain rights of the people. Our Democracy allows representation through voting, though the Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguard individual rights such as freedom of speech, thus protection from majority power over the minority. A true debate of differing opinions is out best chance at arriving at the most caring decision for all concerned. Until we all ask ourselves “am I acting toward others like I want to be treated,” we seem destined to fail.

Is The United States A Christian Nation Whose Rights Come From God?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

It seems most of us Christian people are quick to say we are accepting of others. Yet, we often find that we are only accepting of those who believe the same way we do.

If we meet someone from a different faith, different nationality, different political party, we would rather argue with them and defend our way of thought just to prove they are wrong or unworthy of our acceptance.

When looking at the way Jesus lived, we see a life of loving others and accepting those who the religious crowd did not like. He was kind, loving, forgiving and caring to all he came in contact. It seemed his main conflicts came from the religious self-righteous leaders.

Jesus walked with the prostitutes, the demon possessed, the heathen, tax collectors and people who the religious crowd felt they should stay away from. Today we seem to think we have to stay away from those who are different or doing things we disapprove of to prove how righteous we are. We never see Jesus doing such things. He enjoyed spending time with people from all walks of life. He got in trouble with the religious people of his day for living this way, and we find this still happens today when we accept people just the way they are.

Rather than being judgmental and unaccepting, we should be kind, accepting and sharing the love of God to everyone we meet. After all, we are not called to point out the sins of others and say what is and what is not sin. We are called to love God and love one another.

Jesus never said to separate from people. He said to go into all the world and preach the gospel. The gospel is the good news that we are loved and accepted by God. We can do this by living a life of love, acceptance and allowing the love of God to touch people right where they are.

It seems to me rather than fight and argue over doctrine, interpretation and belief we would do better to love, accept and show compassion. This certainly does not mean we have to agree with everyone, but we do not have to be unaccepting nor always defend our way of thinking.

Many of us think we have it all figured out and our way of faith is the only way. We think we have to persuade others to come to our way of thinking or they are doomed to hell. As we grow in the Spirit, we come to see that some of our interpretations and beliefs were wrong, so why should we tell others what is right and wrong and tell them how they should believe? This should be something between the individual and the Spirit within.

I am not sure any of us have it all figured out, in fact I know none of us do. We all have room to question, learn and change. I know my wife and I are doing more questioning than we ever did and we are finding new truths as we walk daily in the Spirit.

When it comes down to it, we should be open to accept others no matter what their way of thinking. People want to be loved and accepted, they want to be happy and get along with others. When we get all religious and defend our point of view it does more harm and drives people apart more than anything.

My wife and I have been asking God for strength to accept and love everyone. No matter what they believe, no matter what their faith or doctrine, no matter their religion, nationality, sexual preference or color, we want to see them as Jesus sees them. This is a type of love we cannot do on our own. It is only possible by the love of God within us. We want to love, accept and care for people. Naturally we will not always agree, but we want to look past those areas and love them in Christ. We feel this is the way that others will come to see the love of God, not through unacceptance, not through condemnation, not by trying to prove we are right and they are wrong, but by accepting them and loving them with a godly love.

Love does not mean seeing eye-to-eye, it does not mean we agree or always like some of the things people do, but it does mean we look past the differences and love them as Christ loves them. We see them as human beings equally deserving of love, respect and acceptance.

Let’s try to look past the labels and see people who have feelings, who want love and friendship, people we can get to know, learn from, share thoughts and ideas and accept as human beings who were created in the image of God.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

We all are judgmental not just Christians. Christians have less of an excuse to be judgmental. After all, we are guided by the principle of loving others as we want to be loved. Jesus certainly didn’t seem judgmental. He hung out with all kinds of people who didn’t necessarily have His same beliefs. Jesus did get His dander up with religious folks because they were misrepresenting God. Christians may be doing God a favor if questioning certain claims made about God, and they stop trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the world.

Would you naturally assume if not for your understanding of a Book that: 

  • God condemns gays though gays no more choose to be gay than straights choose to be straight
  • God prohibits women serving as pastors or priests though my wife and daughters are a lot smarter and better leaders than a whole lot of men
  • God encourages wives being more submissive to husbands which is conducive to abuse
  • God judges based on religion when the religion the majority adhere to depends where born

Even if the entire Bible is inspired by God, interpretations aren’t inspired. It seems the most loving approach would be to claim uncertainty than to be wrong. Be careful judging others according to your understanding of a Book, especially if interpretation go against your moral intuitions. 

Should Christians ever judge?

I am not suggesting we shouldn’t stand up when children or women are abused. If judgment is necessary, shouldn’t we judge one by their character rather than their color, gender, religion, or beliefs in God? It shouldn’t be in our nature to unload on others because their beliefs aren’t ours. It’s hard to know why some believe in a God and not others. Neither is hardly a personality flaw. If God is real, God surely is big enough to make their case with each individual. But it is a universal principle, except for the selfish, that we ought to treat others like we want to be treated.     

Is God really all that judgmental?

If we think God is hard to please and pissed off about sin rather than what sin is doing to us, we may stop going to God when failing. God desires perfection for our own sake but surely celebrates our victories along the way. Our image of God can dictate our actions toward others. If we believe God really created such a place as Hell see here ,we may think we should emulate God in our attempts to judge and punish. If God punishes us forever (Hell) for sins briefly while here on earth, aren’t we teaching others to fear God? Help others to consider what a loving God would really be like!

Why Are Christians So Judgmental?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

We Christians seem to think that we can make everything better by voting the right politicians into office and passing the right laws. We seem to think that we can actually legislate morality. We have our pet doctrines and think with the right people in office or the right laws passed, the world would be a better place.

We think if we can get the democrats out and the republicans in, or the other way around, things will improve. Now that Roe v Wade has been overturned, and if they can get the ten commandments posted in every courthouse, put prayer back in school, or keep ‘In God We Trust’ on our money, things will be better.

The trouble with this way of thinking is, it does not work. We cannot legislate “Christian” values based on what we think is morally right. One, here in the USA we have freedom of religion. This means everyone is free to practice the religion they want to follow, and no one can force their particular religion on others. Second, rules and laws do not change the inner person. Only a life changed by God will make a lasting difference.

There is no political party that is going to make everything OK. It is so aggravating at times to listen to people condemn one political party or the other, when neither party is going to have the answers that makes everything better. If one political party was replaced by another political party, the only thing that would change would be the people who are complaining.

In his book, Jesus v. Evangelicals, Constantine R. Campbell states that “Political engagement is not wrong, but it is not a silver bullet to cultural transformation and renewal. Americans will live Christianly if they think Christianly, and that will happen only if their hearts are transformed by Christ. Laws do not transform hearts. Even less so political parties”.

We get so caught up on what a man or group of people can supposedly do, when actually no human can come up with all the answers needed to solve all our problems. We are to trust God and then do what seems to be the right actions for all people to help change our world.

We should be praying for our leaders, no matter which party they belong too. Although we pray for them and respect their position, we should not be placing our hope in any political party. Political parties are made up of human beings who are imperfect. Truthfully, most often they are only looking out for their political agenda and financial well-being.

Seek first the Kingdom of God. Realize the Spirit of God lives within us and we are actually living in the Kingdom right now. Listen for the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and love others no matter who they are or what they think. We are not going to change people by voting in specific politicians and making new laws. The only way to make a real impact on others and on our world is by loving people, accepting them as they are, and following through with actions that will be good for all people.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

I wrote HERE my personal story with my best friend in our inability to discuss our different spiritual beliefs. We used to be in total agreement until my views begin changing of what God may really be like. We have agreed to disagree, and thankfully still have a great relationship. Part of the challenge may be our long history together. But I am convinced there are ways for friends to discuss their vastly different beliefs, whether they be religious or political in nature, though it does take two to tango.

What quality is essential for open conservations?

Talk to others like you want to be talked to. You must control your emotions. Discuss or fight fairly or forget it! Disagreements are normal in relationships. At least one party must initiate the possibility of an open conversation. Time will tell if others will follow your lead. When discussing if sexual abuse is wrong, most rational people will agree. If you are discussing what God is really like, you may be wrong. Unless you have met God in person! If you are discussing what policies are best for the greater good (immigration, climate, covid mandates), you may be wrong.

What societal conditions make open conversations difficult?

One may not feel confident defending their belief, but there are other reasons why we avoid discussions. If only one opinion is presented in main news sources, those with differing beliefs than the common narrative are often shut down and thought of as conspiracists – not exactly a conversation starter. Also, certainty rather than uncertainty comforts individuals psychologically. One may believe what seems to be the popular narrative because unknowing can create confusion or anxiety. Disagreeing with the popular science narrative can lead to being ostracized. Disagreeing with church folks about God’s character can lead to isolation. When universal agreement doesn’t exist, one must be allowed to form their own opinions since uncertainty exists.

How do we determine truth from uncertainty?

Openminded people accept they may be wrong. We can know we are right when there seems to be almost universal agreement on the topic of concern. Most don’t defend rape, sexual abuse, or stealing from others. But rational people do not agree on matters such as immigration policies, climate policies, marijuana legalization, if God condemns gays, etc. We must be willing to defend our views among one another rather than shut down those we disagree with. Those fortunate enough to live in a democratic society must accept the vote of the majority when comes to law setting. You can still defend your position in hopes of a future vote.

What to do when one refuses to allow your opinions 

We can strive to be the better person in conversation. But we have every right to oppose those who refuse to accept uncertainty and fight fairly, regardless of their motives. This can be done civilly but lack of freedom of speech is important for future generations. Leaders must be held accountable to be open-minded than certain. We can try to engage with those who insist on certainty when it doesn’t exist, but in time one may need to move on. We can stop labeling those who disagree with our biblical interpretations as heretics. We can stop calling those who disagree with our views of science or politics as conspiracists. Imagine how different as a people we would be if religious and political folks were open to discussions for the common goal of pursing the greater good!

How Can We Have Discussions With Those Having Different Beliefs?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

I hope some readers can relate to my experience and journey with a best friend for decades. Many of us are done with religion but not God. We have stopped going to the institutional church for many reasons such as we just can’t agree with the God being preached. But we still love discussing God with others. Those not into God may assume believers have a hidden agenda to change their beliefs. But shouldn’t we be able to at least talk to God-interested friends?

History of friendship can be a problem

I wrote here My Story – Spiritual Journey. My parents were into God and for whatever reason I never rejected such a belief. I continued to attend church until I was about fifty. I became somewhat of a prophetiser in my twenties and thirties. I suppose being taught that unbelievers were going to burn in Hell forever after death didn’t help. Turned out a literal Hell is doubtful according to the Bible. See here.  My passionate and dogmatic ways carried over with my children. When one kid mentioned evolution as a way humans came into existence, I wasn’t exactly the most open-minded Dad. I have apologized, but I am not sure my friend or children believe I have changed when it comes to discussing God.

One challenge is discussions about God can undermine one’s faith

I should share my best friend and I use to have the same beliefs about God. I believe my best friend avoids discussion about God because it may create doubts in their own faith. To question what one has heard in church all their life can lead to uncertainties about God. When challenged if Hell is real though taught all your life Hell is real, it can create anxiety what else taught may be in question. Speaking to a questioner like me isn’t always comforting. One reason I left the church was because I felt my skepticism was divisive for newcomers who came because of what leadership taught. It didn’t help that leadership didn’t exactly invite differing opinions of what God may really be like. 

Another potential reason conversations are difficult

We must examine if we control our emotions when discussing our beliefs. I think I do now. Do you? I mentioned some friends may not enjoy a discussion about God as much as we do, as challenges to one’s belief can cause anxiety. Another challenge is if the culture supports discussing diverse opinions.  Are those with differing beliefs than the common narrative shut down and labelled conspiracists? The Church often labels those with different opinions of God as heretics. When only one political or religious opinion is presented, many are quick to consider their friends conspiracists or heretics – not exactly a conversation help with your best friend or any friend.

Can a friendship continue with important conversation challenges?

I have shared what I think are the main reasons for a stalemate with my best friend. The reader may want to explore their own personal reasons. I consider myself NOW an open-minded person, but legitimate reasons may exist for discussing differing opinions between two friends. Discussing God for some may be the same as discussing politics. The differences are just too far apart. My friend and I have found it is best to agree to disagree, but somehow we still have an a great relationship. It could even be better though. We share other interests. Personally, I still hope someday we can discuss the most important thing in our lives – a relationship with God.

Why Can’t Two God-Believing Friends Discuss God?


 Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Michael Donahoe

I hear this term often these days, so I finally decided to look up the definition and see exactly what it meant.

It seems we hear it mainly as a negative thing, yet when I looked up the term in the dictionary, it does not seem so negative.

While looking online at dictionary.com, I found that woke means: having an active awareness of systemic injustices and prejudices, especially those involving the treatment of ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities; promoting inclusive policies or ideologies that welcome or embrace ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities.

I then went to merriam-webster.com and found a similar definition: aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice.

From there I went to urbandictionary.com and found the following: When this term became popularized, initially the meaning of this term was when an individual becomes more aware of the social injustice. Or basically, any current affairs related like biased, discrimination, or double-standards.

In an article by journalist Dan Rather, he describes woke as originating in African American English to mean an “awareness of racial and social justice. And in another of his articles he describes woke as a way of thinking, an approach to gaining a better understanding, a grappling with “important facts.” To be “woke” is to be aware.

A March For Our Lives founder David Hogg, describes being woke as choosing reality over conspiracy, hope over fear, courage over cowardice and empathy over cruelty for a better future. Woke is about addressing past injustices of our country- not because it’s easy but because it is hard and necessary to create a more perfect union.

So, what I determined was if woke means anything like any of these definitions, then yes, I am woke and proud to be so. I do not see a problem with being aware and concerned for others and the prejudices and injustices they have suffered, or still suffer.

I guess you will have to read back over the definitions and decide for yourself. For me, I will stick with being woke as being aware of systemic injustices and prejudices; actively attentive to important societal facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice. Not only being aware, but doing what I can to promote acceptance and equality for all people, no matter what they look like, where they are from, what they believe or who they love.


Michael Donahoe was added as a writer as his views fit perfectly with those of Done with Religion. He also writes on Substack at https://myopinionblog.substack.com/

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by Jim Gordon

Let’s just say this right off, Jesus was not a Christian. Also, Jesus was not white, nor American, nor a Republican. 

Here in the United States, when we think of Jesus we usually think of Christianity. Actually, Christianity is just another religion that men started based on Jesus. Jesus did not come to start a religion, yet in our modern era, Christianity is thought of as a religion more than it is a lifestyle of following Jesus. 

Jesus does not belong to any particular religion, nationality or political party. He loves and accepts people no matter what they believe, where they live, who they love, who they vote for or what they look like. He came to show the love of God to the human race which includes all people in every part of the world.

If we describe being Christian as a follower of the example of Jesus, then there is nothing wrong with using this word to describe our fellowship with Him. If we use the word Christian to describe belonging to a particular church, following a particular doctrine or set of rules or belonging to a particular political party, then we have totally missed what being a Christ-follower is all about. I would rather not have anything to do with the word Christian used in this sense. 

Jesus is the Son of God, and He loves all people. Jesus came to show us what God may really be like, a God of love and acceptance. A God that loves the entire world. God does not see Muslims, Jews, Christians or any religion. God loves people, all people, every nationality, every political party, every race, every man, woman and everyone who is LGBTQ. God sees people who need and want love and acceptance. The only way people are going to come to true fellowship with God is through Jesus…not Christianity. 

It is time we stop looking to organized religion as our way of becoming acceptable and pleasing to God. We need to look to the example of Jesus and allow the Spirit to live through us to love all those we meet each day. Stop demanding that people come to follow your doctrine, your rules, your beliefs and accept people as they are. Show the love of Christ to them and let the Spirit do the work of God in them as God sees fit. 

We are never going to completely agree with each other on doctrine and religion. Only through Christ and the love He gives will we be able to love and accept others. Let us be known by the true meaning of the word Christian, being someone who is doing the works of Jesus and following the example of Jesus by loving God and loving one another. 

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

In today’s world, it seems everyone has the ‘I’m number one’ attitude. We are all interested in what is best for us, what makes us happy, how to be more comfortable and satisfied in our lives. Seems like we will do anything to get ahead in life, and to get all the comforts and things to make it easier for us.

Yet, as followers of Christ, we should be doing just the opposite. Our thoughts and attitudes should be about how we can show the love of God to others. What can we do to help those in need, and how can we use the money God has blessed us with to help the less fortunate.

Jesus told us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and to love others as yourself. While the things we have been given and blessed with by God are not wrong, we need to keep in mind that they are not the important part of our lives. We are to be thinking of others and their need for love, acceptance and encouragement. We are to be concerned about how we can build someone up and meet a need in their life.

The Bible states ‘do not merely look out for your own interests’ — there is nothing wrong with taking thought of our wants, needs and interests, (unfortunately, very often our own interests are all that concern us) — ‘but also for the interests of others.’ May we daily ask God to help us be concerned for others and be ready to care for them as the Spirit leads.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

Here we are at the end of another year. It can be a time of sadness in some cases, but usually it is a time of excitement and anticipation for a new beginning.

The past happenings of the year are either remembered as sad occurrences or as happy memories. Either way I think they help shape us into the person we are becoming.

Each new year seems to give us a sense of renewed purpose and goals of doing better, whatever that may mean to each of us. For some it is going to the gym, others want to read more or volunteer more. Many want to get closer to God while others want to distance themselves further from religious ways.

We are all different. We all have different ideas on life yet we are so similar in many ways. We all want to be loved and accepted. We all want to be happy and successful in life. We want to have a purpose and fulfill a meaning that is suited for us. My belief is we accept one another the way we are. We are not all going to agree or condone some of the actions of others, but we can still respect and treat each other kindly. We can be friends and still be as different as night and day.

No matter how hard we try, none of us have it all figured out. None of us have it all together and none of us have the right to force others to live, act or believe a certain way just because we think we are right. We are responsible for ourselves, and those of us who are Christians are to let the love of God flow out to all people no matter if they agree with us or not. We are only asked to love God and love one another.

As this is the last post of the year, I wanted to take a minute and thank each of you who take the time to read our articles. There are many different views and thoughts on life among our readers and I know not all agree with what we say…and that is OK. We do not try to force our views on others. We write about how we feel and how we see things at this period of time. Each of us has our own views and opinions and we should be able to share those views and still be accepting of others.

We also want to make sure that no matter who you are, what you believe, no matter what religion, race, sex, gender or nationality, we consider you friends and are glad you take the time to read our articles.

So, until next year, we here at Done with Religion hope each of you have a good holiday season. We are hopeful you will continue to visit our site and find encouragement, acceptance and friendship throughout the new year.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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