Parable: an old lady is in the grocery store shopping. she has a walker, so her progress is very slow. she creeps around and gets the things she needs and puts them into her small basket which hangs from her walker. she heads to the checkout and is greeted by a young mother who is ahead of her in the check out line.
"Ohh..." says the young woman. "I see you have a walker. Can I pray for you?"
The old lady agrees and the young woman launches into a prayer that asks Jesus to help the old lady's ailments fade and restore her youth and help her walk again making sure to command the body cells to get their act together "in Jesus' name."
The young woman then turns, pays for her groceries, and goes home. The old woman then struggles to check out, lugs her bags to the bus stop, and heads back home alone.
What good was done in Jesus' name?
Rant: it seems as though we Christians have a choice. we can either be Dogmatic or Doctrinal. either Catholic and embrace sexism, patriarchy, and oral-tradition or Protestant and be narrow-minded, rigid, and literal. both are topped with ego, racism, homophobia, and a colonialist mindset. this seems to be the perception others outside the faith have. i call this the American Pop-Christianity.
these are two options, but simplistic and flawed ones. so what are we to do about it?
KNOW YOUR HISTORY. take what is good, leave the bad. Luther had a good thing going with the emphasis on grace, and Table Talk is just straight funny! But leave the stubbornness and esp. the Tract on the Jews and their Lies. view it, see it, and learn from it.
Being a Christian is not about wishing someone well. It's about love and service to all people at all times. Let's live like it.
i don't care about your view of the afterlife. i don't care about your politics. i don't care about your view of the bible. none of these things matter in this instance. it is simply, if you say you're a Christian, stop being a jerk and start spreading the Good News (and if necessary, use words).