Common Sense Christianity

Common sense is one of the most important things a person can have. Common sense is a mediating type of wisdom that allows individuals to judge things and come to reasonable conclusions without flying off into unreasonable extremes. Unfortunately these days it seems common sense isn’t all that common and more and more people find themselves swept into unreasonably extreme positions.

The truth is far simpler than most people think. We have a fallen nature that inclines us towards sinful behaviors. To overcome that it takes an act of will to follow the teachings of Christ, overcome that sin through the power of God and harmonize our nature with Gods as was intended from the beginning. To do that merely requires acting in the way Jesus commanded. Be honest, be charitable, be kind, put God in the center of your life and seek first the things of Heaven and then you will find the peace you seek on Earth. There are a few addendum’s of course, placing God first in our lives necessarily means doing things like submitting ourselves to the Church He left us and it’s declarations on how to live a proper life in Christ, but in general it’s all fairly simple, Christs yoke after all is easy and his burden is light.

Where the danger occurs is when people start extrapolating out Jesus teachings, which were intended to be used on an interpersonal level, to a political level. This happens when people start claiming Jesus would be a socialist, or any other modern political identity. Jesus was a radical, this is true, but his teachings were radical in what they asked of individuals. To show mercy, forgiveness and respond to persecution with prayer rather than violence. To twist his message and claim that Jesus is in favor of any particular policy designed to enact social justice (despite the fact that Jesus was quite clear that the poor will always exist, hoping for an Earthly utopia is misguided in the extreme if they actually understand that Jesus knew that humans would never as a collective shed their inclination toward sin) is foolish and entirely unnecessary and mires people in Earthly concerns rather than what is most important, the state of their own soul.

Christianity is tied closely with common sense. You don’t need to be for open borders, or socialized health care or any other particular political policy to be truly Christian. You do, however, have to care for the people who exist immediately around you, to show charity and kindness to those you live with, to focus on your prayer life and keep your mind focused on the things of importance. If everybody cared for their “little platoons” in the way Christ asked then political issues would be moot.

Loving others means willing their good, sometimes at a personal cost to yourself. However this love must be exercised with the correct amount of wisdom. Not allowing a local homeless person free board with your family in your home is not a lack of “love”, because your love and concern for your family supersedes that of a stranger in an unfortunate position. This is perfectly normal and fine, and note that not taking an extreme action in allowing a strange homeless person free access to your home doesn’t mean you cannot act lovingly toward them in a manner that displays a will for their good without compromising on your love for other people by potentially putting them at risk.

The world is imperfect and each of us need to make do with what we have to do the best we can. The Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Sirach are excellent books of the Bible that provide amazing practical wisdom for us to use each day. To be a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean to act in a reckless and self destructive manner, rationalizing it as “love” when it’s really vanity that drives that behavior. It means acting out each day in a manner consistent with a spirit of humility, obedience and charity that Jesus asked of us and meeting each individual situation we face with those traits and doing what God wants us to do. No more, no less.

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