Friday, September 11, 2009
I want to be born again!
The flying spaghetti monster succeeded in finding a meat-ball mate. And, as a celebration, he told a Bolivian priest to hijack a plane. In other religions, we call these people terrorists. In this one, we point out that he is a former drug addict.
It would also receive a lot more media coverage.
What a fascinating dichotomy.
Every now and then I hear about a friend, or a friend of a friend, who has somehow come to the faith. It happened to me twice this past summer. And neither time did I rejoice; honestly, I experienced a serious degree of regret. For a couple reasons:
Firstly, because I am not certain people represent Christianity very well. Mostly because I don't, but also because I know that the Christianity that these people are attracted to is actually based on a sense of security through Biblical story of the Resurrection of Christ.
Secondly, they quickly adopt the ideas and beliefs of Christianity rather than considering what they truly mean. This is perhaps because the wrong people have brought them to the faith; people who claim faith in Christ and what he has "accomplished" through his death, and are generally conservatives with strong beliefs. That are undeniably oppressive. (On a side note, I know several people who would argue that these views wouldn't reflect Christ today. I have issues with this idea, but I probably agree with them).
Thirdly, the version that they get of Christianity is feel good completeness. It isn't the dismay and despair that Christianity can cause in a person's soul. And, almost certainly, it isn't a life of self-administered hardship, where one refuses to live according to the same values of our culture - where the moral concern is global, and real, and pressing. The Christian lifestyle is entirely uninvolved in oppression. In all of its manifestations. And this is challenging, and frustrating, and necessary.
The two people I know who came to the faith this summer had very different "evangelized" experiences. One was told many times about my third concern by a close friend of mine, and still found something appealing, and is trying to adopt the faith and the worldview. When I heard that this was the story of her evangelizing, I felt more comfortable with her adoption of the spirituality.
The second person missed out on all of the lifestyle stuff, and managed to adopt the views of Christianity that I find most volatile. One of his close friends is a lesbian woman - a friend of mine.
He says that this summer he finally began to understand why homosexuality is bad. My guess is that he was told by somebody, who claims to have more experience, and pretends to have everything sorted out in their head.
They aren't close friends anymore. My lesbian friend is broken up over it, the other friend does not quite understand what he has done that has so negatively affected the relationship other than share his recently adopted beliefs.
I have a friend that is going to a Bible School in New Zealand, and he recently sent me a letter that states that he now understands that his friends in Regina desperately need Jesus. My question is, do they?
I read in a friend's facebook today that he feels religion is for those people who are trying to avoid hell, and that spirituality is for those people who have been to Hell and are fighting their way back.