So, I'm going to attempt to write about something serious, which you know I rarely do. Sometimes it just annoys people because they come here for life shattering news about Sharpies and paper towels, and other times I don't want to (write about something serious) because 1.) I think I won't do it justice or 2.) I don't want people to disagree with me about things that are important. After all, we can disagree about Bounty vs. Brawny and I won't get butterflies in my stomach. Sometimes I do touch on touchy things, like homeschooling or natural childbirth, but I try - really, I do! - to not be TOO judgemental and to assure you all (all three of you loyal readers) that I love you no matter your own personal creeds on such matters. And I really do.
Something I don't really ever write about is Christianity. Most of you know where I stand since I do attend church regularly, talk it about occasionally, worked for a Baptist mission (though I use that term loosely now), and my children may or may not have tried to convert you in the past.
I have a lot of friends and family members who don't subscribe to the Christian faith. In fact, they can be downright hostile to it. In my efforts to keep these relationships, I steer clear of anything that might be construed as judgemental. Because that's a hot button trigger right there. "Don't judge me." I hear that all the time. And I don't, and I won't. But that doesn't mean I won't, at least once in a while, put it out there in the hopes that you might stop being defensive and just think about God.
I realize some of you just got so turned off, you've already flipped your computers off. That's okay I guess. I get annoyed with people's view points who I find erroneous or unresearched. So, I get it. But I do try to read your strange emails, call to arms Facebook posts, anti-Christian propaganda, so if you do the same for me, I appreciate it. After all, I want to know and understand what it is you're thinking. Why are you so defensive and judgemental of religion? Did you have a bad experience? Do you hate what you think it stands for? Why do you think we're (religious people) so ignorant and uneducated?
You must have read the bible quite a few times to be so knowledgeable off what it says, right? Oh. You haven't? Maybe you have flipped through it once or twice, but it seems confusing, or more likely, you are going by what someone who you respect has told you. I heard it's really anti-women. I was told it's full of contradictions. It has nothing to do with my life. Wasn't it just written by a bunch of guys; who cares what they have to say? I wouldn't even know where to start. It's not relevant. It's all about killing homosexuals and not having sex till you're married and how you have to be depressed and grumpy and joyless all the time in order to go to heaven. Oh, and don't forget how it's about how you can never have fun again!
Does this sound like you or someone you know? How about this reason for rejecting Christ:
I've led such a horrible life and done such horrible things that if I so much as walked into a church building, God would smite it with lightening.
This one always makes me laugh because it's INCREDIBLY obvious at this point, this person has never cracked the spine of a bible. Look at the heroes of the faith: David was one of God's favorite people, yet he was an adulterous murderer. We're talking super diabolical at times. He was an emotional wreck who enjoyed writing gloomy poetry, struggled with depression, and had a pesky problem with murdering people who irritated him. Moses was a bit of a whiner and was not the most courageous guy you'll meet. Paul was a HUGE critic of Christians, to the point of personally putting them to death when he got the chance. Peter was a big ol' liar. No one in the bible was anywhere near perfect besides Jesus, and no one since has ever been perfect. You have not committed a single new sin. God has seen them all, and He saw yours.
If I'm wrong and all there is to this life is being nice sometimes, recycling, trying not to yell at your kids, balancing your budget, voting, eating organic local food, paying taxes, and occupying Wallstreet, then I guess you can indulgently roll your eyes at me and relish in your rightness. But if YOU'RE wrong, then you have a bigger problem.
What if we didn't come out of some cosmic soup? What if the big bang theory is just that, a theory? Not to mention the theory of evolution. Theories. There used to be a theory that the earth was flat. What if we're not as smart as you think we are? What if we aren't any different than any other generation; full of idiotic ideas and wrong suppositions? What if you're wrong? I mean, I can hardly get my checking account to balance correctly, I certainly am not prideful and arrogant enough to say I know definitively how the earth began. Maybe you've had more education, maybe you can spin words with intelligence and witty remarks until your listeners are blue in the face, maybe you have a PHD, but can you seriously say you have all the answers? In God's words in Job when He really gets his sarcastic on, He says "Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer Me like a man when I question you. Where were you when I established the earth? Tell Me, if you have so much understanding. Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let he who argues with God give an answer." Then Job answers, "I am insignificant. How can I answer You? I place my hand over my mouth. Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."
Is what turns you off of religion the hard parts? You know, those parts in the bible that you'd like to take your black highlighter to? Yeah, the women being meek part...the life begins at conception part...the we're all sinners and fall short of the glory of God part...the don't get a divorce part...the I can't do this on my own part...the bad things happen to good people part. I don't like that last one either. I don't like not knowing my future here on earth, but I do like knowing where my real future is. What happens here doesn't matter. Not so much. Ask a Christian mom who has lost her children. What keeps her going? You can call it ignorance and not dealing with reality, but she's had more reality than you'll ever want to have. She's hit her knees harder than you ever will. Yet, she gets up and lifts her eyes towards heaven because she has learned true faith and real hope.
Or maybe what turns you off is the hypocrites. Yeah, I don't like them either. Sometimes I can be one though. If the Christians you know are high and mighty and holier than thou and look down their noses at you, then those may not BE Christians. But don't jump to the conclusion that because of one or two or even a whole church of "Christians" you know are rotten, that this whole religion thing is worthless. True Christians will cheerfully admit they're more rotten than you.
Christians all over the world are being persecuted for their faith, some to the point of death. Faith is real and active. Not all Christianity is loosey goosey, come as you are, let's all love one another as long as it's easy and as long as you think like I do, go to church on Sundays and beat your wives on Mondays, weak, meek and turn the other cheek, God will drop a new car from the sky if you pray hard enough, Christianity. Some people's faith would make you cry, if you took the time to hear about it. Some people's stories would leave you speechless, if you listened to them.
So, that's all. I hope I don't lose friends. I hope I have the guts to publish this. I hope you read it all and aren't rolling your eyes at the end. I hope you at least consider what you think you know. I hope you come back. I hope you comment if you understand and comment if you don't agree, but at least sorta get what I'm trying to say. At least appreciate and respect a view that you think is weird and judgemental and faintly creepy. At least stop and think and find out for yourself. Don't just pretend you know if you've never really searched it out. It's really the only way to discover what YOU really believe in and be able to stand on it. And if you DO research and search and talk and read and STILL come to conclusion that it's all religious propaganda, then that's alright too.