Posts Tagged ‘christianity

29
Mar
13

Kindly Read Your Bible

There are a great many ignorant people who call themselves Christians and like to spout off about how other people behave and call out folks for supposedly persecuting them and whatever else. As a Christian myself, I’d like to remind y’all to actually read your Bibles front to back at least once, and preferably two or three times, before you open your mouths again (or type out your religious opinions on Twitter or wherever).

One of my twitterfolk just posted today that he blocked someone for stupidly chastising him that Jesus was the only person ever crucified.

Really?

Only person?

Even if the ignoramus in question didn’t know history, and the fact that Romans routinely crucified people to send a really harsh message about what they were capable of doing to dissidents, you should know from reading the damn Bible that two other people (thieves) were being crucified right next to Jesus!

Christians who can’t be bothered to actually read their Bibles or pay attention in church are, in my opinion, not allowed to comment on their own religion, criticize others’ practice of it, judge anyone (and if you read your Bible you’d know you aren’t supposed to judge), correct anyone on spiritual matters, etc.

It’s bad enough to read the Bible and misunderstand it…or take the symbolic parts literally…or not consider context…or anything else that leads to ignorant attitudes. But when you can’t even get the facts straight on something as basic as crucifixion, you simply need to go into a corner and leave the rest of us alone.

Oh, and may you have a blessed Easter season if you recognize it as a spiritual time and/or a holiday celebration.

16
Oct
12

The Oppressed Christian?

In the early days of this blog, I think I may have posted a few times on the prevailing view of supposedly well-educated U.S. citizens (and probably those of most Western nations) toward Christianity. More on that in a moment, though, after I ridicule off-the-deep-end evangelistic former child star Kirk Cameron for his take on his own “crucifixion” for his beliefs.

Cameron is a moron. He left his critical thinking at the door a long time ago (if he ever possessed it), a fact made most obviously when he did a video with another loonball Christian about how the banana is “the atheist’s nightmare” because it somehow proves the existence of God. (Here on YouTube, and also here)

I’m a Christian. While I don’t know the precise nature and scope of God, I do believe in Him and that Jesus was His son (whether literally or spiritually) in whom was vested God’s power and the ability to grant salvation to all humans, among other neat skills like healing and making wine out of water, both of which would come in handy at a lot of parties (oh, Jesus made jokes, people, and I love my savior; don’t go pointing sacrilege fingers at me if you’re Christian).

None of these beliefs of mine, however, interfere with my belief in (and respect for) science. I simply have faith that there is a spiritual realm and a temporal one, and you can’t prove or disprove one with the other.

People like Kirk Cameron, though, make people like me look bad. And believe me, there are many people like me. Some 20 percent of the U.S. populations considers itself “unchurched” now (that doesn’t meant they’re all atheists; some of you evangelical atheists out there need to read about those stats more closely), so it’s clear that the church in all its forms has failed miserably to move with the times (regardless of the specific faith). And move it must, the Christian church being one of the most notable these days, as it always has in the past, adapting and evolving many times, no matter how many Christian leaders try to convince people otherwise.

Cameron thinks he’s being crucified for being called out on his homophobia, a bigotry which is entirely out of step with Christian love and acceptance of people where they are at. (By the way, in fair disclosure, I’ve had some out-of-step opinions about same-gender relations in the past on this blog, but even though I no longer see it as a sin…even when I did, I didn’t see it as worse than any other sins we all commit.) Cameron is, again, a moron. Also a slightly blasphemous moron, since Jesus and a whole lot of other people endured Roman crucifixion, and based on what I’ve read about it, no level of public ridicule compares to that suffering. So, suck it, Kirk Cameron.

Now, that said, I am going to continue to hold to a theory that I’ve espoused before on this blog, and that is that Christianity gets the side-eye a lot from other people, even people who sometimes attend Christian churches. So, if the name “Jesus” comes out of my mouth, I can pretty much anticipate that many people in hearing distance are going to tense up. If I discuss my faith or the value I see in it, I can expect that I will get a lot of ridicule, whether spoken or unspoken.

And I don’t just mean from atheists; this cuts across most lines. Moreover, this kind of attitude is generally reserved for Christians. Sure, plenty of racist, demagogic, jingoistic bastards look askance at Muslims in the United States, but what I’m talking about are the more educated and/or “aware” people, who don’t judge any other religion (Wicca, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.) and often express curiosity about them, but openly show disdain toward Christians, even when said Christians aren’t behaving badly.

Kirk Cameron is wrong that he or Christians in general are persecuted in the United States. Far from it. They still hold great gobs of influence and don’t have to worry about being strung up for their beliefs. But it is true that, much like the notion that white men are the only group you can joke about safely now (somewhat true), Christians are one of the few religious groups you can make open fun of with little chance of blowback (unless you’re in the rural portions of the Bible Belt, perhaps).

I say this not to defend Cameron, who had earned all kinds of reasons to be made fun of because there is little thought or logic behind his statements. I say this to remind everyone that Christians are people, too, and most of them aren’t going to bite.

Or even try to convert you.

So let’s band together in making fun of Kirk Cameron, if nothing else.

07
Nov
11

Book of Addenduma, Chapter 1, Verses 1-15

It frequently comes to pass that a psycho extremist well-meaning and devout Christian will share with people, via street corner, Twitter, Facebook, blog, television program, radio program and/or the seat across from you on the bus or subway train…well, that something or another is terribly sinful in the eyes of God or incredibly pleasing in the sight of God (despite being very mean and hurtful to others).

It may occur to you at these times (or to other people whom you respect) to perhaps challenge said individuals to provide evidence from the Bible to support that such things are actually mentioned by God and/or His various agents through the ages, or that they are in line with Jesus’ teachings, or both.

If you do this, or encourage such actions by others, you are clearly a Christian-hating douche and should burn in the fires of Hell. Or perhaps you are a vile and wicked Muslim, who should first be tortured by government officials for simply existing, and then sent to burn in the eternal fires of Hell in that special corner God set aside for Hitler, abortion providers, followers of Islam and the makers of Teletubbies (especially the “gay” one).

I know it’s confusing to you, but what most Christians fail to note when providing such abusive soul-saving advice and guidance is that the pastors, Christian pundits and general whack-jobs…er, self-styled theologians who can’t even read Greek, Latin or Hebrew…um, fervent evangelists who taught them what was sinful and what was good (that doesn’t appear in the regular Bible and are in line with the new covenant set forth by Jesus) comes from a special book.

I mean, you can’t expect them to teach only from the source material that everyone has access to, can you?

Anyway, this special book was discovered by U.S. theologians around the same time politicians conveniently forgot that the Founding Fathers really weren’t all that religious and church-minded and started adding things like “In God We Trust” to the money and “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1940s and 1950s.

This book, I am happy to reveal to you hellbound heathens, is the book of the prophet Addenduma, who was provided with revelation from God in the year 56 A.D. and was aided by his trusty apprentice prophet Miscellanephat and their alien canine sidekick Randomog.

I will share excerpts from this holy example of God’s WordTM from time to time. For now, just a little bit from Chapter 1, verses 1 through 15:

1: Lo, for the words herein written by Addenduma are true and correct, for he is pleasing in Mine eyes and certainly not drunk on new wine (nor the old in broken bottles) and he hath neither lain with Miscellanephat nor known Randomog in the manner a man should know a woman after proper courtship and transfer of ownership from her father.

2: Indeed, Addenduma may hath lain once or twice with Miscellanephat and Randomog but that is not unpleasing in my sight for he said he was very, very wroth with himself and abased himself before Me and reminded Me that I had overlookethed the liaisons between David and Jonathan.

3: And forsooth, verily and huzzah! (or perhaps Yahoo!), as we are on the topic of congress, or knowing, or getting busy, or doing the horizontal hora, let it be known that a man should not lie down with another man, unless the man being laid with looks convincingly like a woman and his/her clothes were already off by the time the layor discovered a penis hanging from him…or her…or, whatever.

4: There is no particular reason for this. For I the Lord simply find it aesthetically unpleasing, though I have naught to say about woman-on-woman for it is very pretty in the sight of men.

5: About those women. Thou shalt not lie with a woman during her time of issue with blood nor shalt though even think of having sex with her during that time even though it is a necessary and harmless biological function and I often make her pillows of small soft pleasure ‘twixt her thighs rumble with pleasure during this time and ignite her desires. Thou shalt not do this because it is icky in my sight, though you no longer have to make her stay outside your home when Aunt Flow visits.

6: Speaking of sex, and the holy aftereffects thereof when you abstain from contraception, as I have commanded, you may not abort any pregnancy at any stage after conception for any reason. This is because I give souls to every collection of cells that stands a strong chance of going nowhere developmentally speaking and has nothing resembling human neurological function.

7: Oh, I never mentioned anything about not using contraception? My bad. That was supposed to be in Leviticus. Thou shalt not use contraception. I also waste my time putting souls in every sperm and every ovum because I’m inefficient that way.

8: Thou shalt not make note of the fact that most sperms and ova are never used and your body will shed them or consume them. Also, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

9: And no, thou mayest not pleasure thyself with thy hand or any foreign object, for I hate masturbation, even though it is never really mentioned in the Bible at all. Why? Do you want me to turn you into a pillar of salt or kill the first-born of your family? If you need a reason, see verse 7, you heathen.

10: Porn is evil. Even when it involves fully consenting adults in a safe and non-abusive environment and doesn’t degrade women. Unless the producers tithe 10% of the gross revenues post-production to Me.

11: Sex is evil. Even with your spouse. Unless you are trying to have children. I only made sex feel good to trip you up and send more of you to Hell. It’s getting crowded up here in Heaven and I really do not likest most of thou. Or thee. Or y’all. Or whatever.

12: Ignore any anachronisms in the Book of Addenduma. My beloved prophet’s mind sometimes travels to the future to gather the holy guidance he needs to put My will to these parchments, which may not stand up to the scrutiny of carbon dating, for carbon dating is a tool of Satan and his minions the evolutionists.

13: Free-market laissez-faire capitalism practiced within a non-inclusive, non-representative pseudo-democracy must be your way, for it is My way, and it’s My way or the Gehenna highway.

14: Thou shalt not gather in protest of the 1% who hold the majority of the wealth and withhold it from 99% of the population, for I the LORD never told you when the meek would inherit the Earth. But not now. Certainly not yet. Soon, though. Maybe.

15: Thou shalt only vote for the Republican Party in the United States, and suitably similar parties in other nations, for the Democrats are of less pleasing character to Me than the scum on your shoe after stepping on a diseased slug that was having sex with an earthworm on your rain-soaked driveway right in the middle of a puddle of oil and antifreeze.

26
Jul
11

God Is Good. Well, Not *THAT* God…

In the aftermath of the terrible killings in Oslo, Norway, there is a clear take-away message that I’m getting, and I’m so glad that right-wing pundits, conservative nutjobs and Tea Party members, among others, are brave enough to share this insight:

If a Muslim kills folks, it’s clearly terrorism, and also proof that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is obsessed with taking over the world and crushing the United States to dust.

If a Christian kills a bunch of folks, it’s simply a sign he was slightly too aggressive in expressing his understandable bigotry and/or he isn’t practicing his religion properly.

Thanks for clearing that up, folks. I feel so much better now.

24
Jul
11

Advantage Atheists?

As my post a few days ago makes clear, I see parallels often between fundamentalist Christians (or any religion’s fundies, really, I guess) and hardcore atheists.

Let’s face it: Both groups have their aggressive and argumentative evangelists, and are every bit as annoying as their mirror-image dogma-pushers.

Looking more broadly, rank-and-file Christians and rank-and-file atheists (that is, the ones who just aren’t that into converting folks or really fretting about differences in thinking) generally don’t care about their “opposite number.” Really, the average atheist can get along fine with the average Christian and vice-versa.

Yet, I have to admit that the advantage may go to atheists in one respect. Specifically, in that group of people who are serious about their beliefs (religious or non-religious) and like to espouse their opinions but aren’t trying to convert anyone. They’re the people who are just trying to prove to everyone else they’re right and looking for as much validation as they can from like-minded folks and don’t care whether you convert to their side. In fact, many of them would prefer that you didn’t because they want to continue to dislike you.

Because in that subset of Christians and atheists, they are often trying to explain things and defend positions about things like morality, environmental issues and the like. And frankly, the people who take the Bible too seriously are way more annoying and off-the-rails wrong about issues like those than are atheists using science and logic as their foundation.

Not that this realization makes atheism in any way enticing to me. Why would it? I already have made peace between faith and reason in my life. Between spirituality and logic. Between the ethereal and the carnal. But it does make me wish I could do more to shut up the embarrassing folks who keep trying to justify so many wrong attitudes in life with the Bible, citing damn near every part of it except for Jesus’ teachings.

15
Mar
11

What the Hell Is a Christian, Anyway?

Hey, I’m posting something! Yay, me!

Of course, it isn’t any topic I’ve had rattling around my head for weeks, but it’s something. Then again, my other blogs haven’t gotten the full attention they should either.

Anyway, today’s post comes by way of a couple things I saw on Twitter.

One was a person who tweeted a famous quotation by Mahatma Gandhi in which he essentially tells Westerners: I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians.

Another was a tweet with much the same sentiment by another person in my timeline that said something like: There a couple of things that are totally incompatible: Christianity and Christ.

Both observations are totally on the mark.

It’s pretty hard to look at Jesus and say something like, “What a jackass.” Even being followed and doted upon by some, there is nothing in the chronicles of his life that shows him to be arrogant or cruel. He has his harsh moments and times when irritation gets the better of him, but his life was one of uncompromising love and compassion. He promoted social justice, he healed, he taught and did all sorts of other things (many of which we really don’t value in society, quite frankly) that were more important to him than comfort, ego or adulation.

On the other hand, you have his so-called followers, who are often judgmental, narrow-minded, not inclusive and totally against reaching out, lifting up or teaching other people. I mean, there are Christians who try to spin the Gospel into something that supports rampant, greedy, free-market capitalism. How much more twisted out of shape (and away from the message) can a “Christian” be?

The trouble is that most Christians don’t act a bit like Jesus Christ. They don’t even try and they really don’t want to. I include myself in that to some degree. I mean, I like the idea of being more Christ-like, but it’s hard. It’s so much easier to live in the moment or get caught up in the rat race or to snark about people. Still, I’m way more Christ-like than the Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter types.

So there’s that.

I don’t think one has to perfectly emulate Christ (or come close) to be a good Christian. Most people I know who are good people (religious or not) are flawed and screw up a lot. But they try to have their hearts in the right place, which is more than I can say for some of the most vocal so-called Christians who litter the media coverage out there on various issues.

So, I thought that since “Christian” is such a loaded term these days, how about I make some new designations?

Christ-like Folks

Good luck finding one of these. They exist, and some of them might work or live near us, but they are few and far between and often because they do their kindnesses quietly and without desire for thanks, we don’t notice them being Christ-like. But there are some who are hard to ignore because of the scope of their work. I think Mother Theresa was a very Christ-like person. So too was Mahatma Gandhi (actually, for the record, his name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; the “Mahatma” is an honorific), and he wasn’t even Christian. But somehow I don’t think that kept him out of Heaven.

Christ-loving Folks

I see myself and many other Christians whom I respect in this category. We admire and respect Jesus’ teachings, and many of us believe he is the son of God and our savior, and we try to do right. When we don’t, we try to be honest with ourselves that we fucked up. We try to do better, and we hope that one day we can get over ourselves long enough to be Christ-like instead.

Christian Posers

These folks think they are doing good, and they see themselves as either Christ-loving or Christ-like, but they just don’t get it. They try too hard, and they take aggressive and off-putting postures. They lecture and harangue people, or they are so blindly earnest (with no critical thinking to back up their faith) that they don’t probably do much to advance the Gospel. I suspect that many of the people they win to Christ are, sadly, also doomed to be Christian Posers. A lot of evangelical types fall into this camp. They are so busy trying to score points with God and Jesus by “doing the right thing” that they often don’t end up doing the right thing. They are the kind of people who would rather tell people they need Jesus or will go to hell (and honestly, they say this out of love because they believe it and don’t want that to happen) than to actually help people in day-to-day needs and let Jesus show in their actions, which is far more likely to win people to the notion that Christ (and by extension Christianity) have personal value to their lives…as well as being the sort of thing that Jesus actually told people they should do (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, etc.)

Christianoids

Just like in science fiction and fantasy stories, where a humanoid is something that looks human (or at least has a sorta human shape) but isn’t, so too is a Christianoid someone who sounds like a Christian and looks like a Christian (of one of the types above) but really isn’t. These folks go through the motions but don’t even have the misplaced passion of a Christian Poser. They go to church either because they feel they have to or because they see it as a way to be connected and network. I think many Christianoids think they are in a faith walk, but really they’re just doing an empty and soulless routine. They are the true zombies of the Christian world. Whereas Christian Posers are often lulled into unsound religion doctrine because they don’t examine the source or search their own hearts enough, Christianoids follow the drum beat simply because it’s the easiest course for them. Both groups, though, form the infantry and support base for the people below…

Christo-Scum

Every person who sees a natural disaster and proclaims it as God’s judgment for sinful behavior, every person who would kill a physician or care worker to protest abortion, every person who glories in war instead of seeing it as a necessary and rarely-to-be-used evil, every person who thinks they know who’s going to Hell, every person who puffs out their chest and lets the world know just how righteous they are, every person who oppresses a group and calls it God’s will…and so on and so on…these are Christo-Scum. I would call them antichrists but really, those would be the people who actively oppose Christ’s message. Christo-Scum are those who use Christ to justify their evil. They lift up his name but pervert his teachings. Frankly, I think I respect an antichrist more than I would these ass-hats.

07
Dec
10

God May Be Immutable; the World Is Not

While I have begged off further involvement in a debate here a while back about the Catholic Church’s reputation and the Vatican’s legitimacy (see here), my opponent David made an interesting comment about God’s immutability and I’ve been planning to address that subject ever since, as well as contraception (since David and I went pretty heavily back and forth on the rightness or wrongness of birth control), and the ways the two issues tie together in some ways.

This post may be a bit of a ramble. Apologies in advance if so.

God is, reportedly, immutable, unchanging and eternal. I really have no argument with that (though I also have no proof of it). I know a lot of agnostics and atheists do reject the unchanging nature of God, and they often contend such notions with talk about God’s personality shifts in the Bible, but I disregard that line of argument. I disregard it in part because I believe it is less a case of God changing than of God changing the way He approaches people.

And really, how could He not?

Humanity has evolved (genetically, socially, technologically, etc.) in so many ways. God had forged multiple covenants with humans not because He cannot make up His mind but because dealing with us is an ongoing process, and guiding us toward the next steps in our spiritual development (in this life and beyond it) is an ever-shifting process.

Now, Jesus pretty much put a final stamp on the basic theology and the priorities we are supposed to have. Given the period in which he appeared historically speaking, it was probably as good a time as any to make a “final” covenant that would carry humans through until God’s plans were complete in terms of our time here on Earth.

However, I cannot help but notice that Jesus didn’t talk about nearly as many things as the apostles did after he was gone, and Jesus certainly didn’t emphasize the minutiae of the Old Testament laws. I cannot help but notice that Jesus kept it pretty simple and basic. I also cannot help but notice that while Jesus himself followed Jewish law for the most part, he didn’t uplift it as something to be a slave to, and he broke it in cases where it was irresponsible to follow the law simply for the sake of the law.

And here’s where I get to contraception, boys and girls.

First off, let’s toss that Onan shit out the window. Anyone who can read that story and still say it was about masturbation being evil and contraception being evil has totally and completely missed the point that Onan was punished because God told him he needed to get a child on a certain woman after all his brothers had died and Onan failed to do so because he didn’t want to. If God was so mad at masturbation, why kill that guy, after centuries upon centuries of masturbation and coitus interruptis, and no one else? God had a mission for that man, for some reason, and Onan defied God and did so in a highly disrespectful manner. End of story. Don’t anyone argue with me on that point. Don’t even start. Jacking off was NOT the sin in that story.

Now, you can point to various things in the Bible and extrapolate that God wanted men and women to marry and have lots of kids. Great. But let’s take that in context. The world was not overpopulated at the time. Women were often little more than baby-makers, sometimes little more than chattel, and so from a societal standpoint, they weren’t considered useful aside from family-rearing. Also, families needed new blood to keep things going and run the farm (or herd the sheep, or make the boats, or whatever). Fathers needed heirs. Infant mortality was high. Many women died young thanks to birth complications.

So, of course there is going to be a focus on marrying people off and having them breed in those times. Particularly as regards Isreal, because if God set them as his messenger and the venue through which Jesus would come, so He’d be particularly keen on them making plenty of babies and remain viable on the Middle Eastern stage. So, for the Bible to support “be fruitful and multiply” made sense then.

But that is not the world we live in now. Many things in the world today are not covered biblically and attempts to use the Bible to deal with current issues based on anachronistic origins end up ringing untrue for that very reason. End of life decisions, abortion, pornography, electronic interactions and a ton of other things are all things that not only didn’t really factor into daily life (or at all) in Jesus’ time (or before) but also don’t even have any logical parallels with things covered by the Bible.

So, times change. The Bible is meant to be a guide, not a lawbook. It doesn’t change to keep up. God doesn’t check back in with us to give us the Commandments version 25.1 or something. We are expected to try to act as much in concert with the Holy Spirit as possible. But when something like the Vatican makes blanket rules and says they will never change and we’re going to keep doing it because we have been for 2,000 years (or longer) doesn’t make sense.

Is it really sensible to think that God wants married people to have sex only when they plan to make kids? No. Sex is also a relationship-bonding experience. It is, I dare say, a spiritual experience when I give my wife an orgasm, when I get one, or when we both come together (blessed be those nights…and sometimes mornings or afternoons). If God’s goal was only for us to breed, why not leave us with mating seasons and specific sexual cycles? Why have it be something that feels so good and cements a loving relationship so well, and have it only be for baby-making? So, right there, we’re already off track when contraception is condemned because of the notion that every sexual act should be potentially procreative.

Jumping to the next point, does it really make sense in this resource-strapped world, with so many poor and so few rich but so much wealth in the hands of a tiny number of people, that God wants us to breed like bunnies? Is it really wise for us to do so? No. It makes us poor stewards of the planet. China has population control policies, and look how huge THEY are. What if they didn’t have such policies? What if every married couple in the United States in these modern times had families of six to 15 kids or something. When my dad was young, that was tenable. Now, it’s environmentally irresponsible and financially untenable. Did God not give us free will so that we could exercise some common damn sense?

Contraception is not evil, and attempts to make it so are simply a game of maintaining the status quo for the sake of comfort or habit or plain ignorance.

Is is because we change that we were sent the Holy Spirit, and why we have to try to listen to that spirit of God. It is because we change that God approaches us in different ways at different time. And for a long time now, it’s been right and appropriate for God not to overtly reveal himself, because it is through the search for Him and our attempt to forge a relationship with Him (by whatever means, Christian or otherwise) that we show we are honoring those things spiritual.

The Vatican needs to get up off that no-contraception policy, as do many other Christians and non-Christians. People need to stop calling God a victim of capriciousness and multiple-personality disorder simply as a way of disregarding religion.

And we all need to keep up with the times. But that doesn’t mean throwing out Jesus’ teachings. It means keeping them in context.

06
Sep
10

Big “S” vs. Little “S”

So, if the naysayers can leave out answers like “superstition” or “because they’re mindless followers” or “a 2,000 year old fairy tale tells them so,” why do people go to church?

There are a multitude of spiritual and/or religious (the two do not always overlap but of course often do) reasons why people attend Sunday services, of Mass, or Saturday night musical services or whatever else. It can be habit, it can be fear of damnation, it can be validation for their beliefs, a desire to be with like-minded people in a communal setting, or a lot of other things.

For me, it is about lifting my Spirit. Note the big “S.” It will be important later.

There once was a time I went to church to be edified and to learn more about faith and service in God’s name. Not so much anymore. I still get bits of new information here and there, particularly when the reverend knows ancient Greek and/or Hebrew and can actually put the passages into their real meaning and context instead of what they’ve been twisted into via a multitude of translations (and dulled meanings often lead leaders of congregations astray or allow them to lead congregants astray, but I’m getting off track).

Anyway, education isn’t my primary reason for church and hasn’t been for a long time. I’ve moved on to spiritual exploration and contemplation of the divine nature more than worrying about Bible specifics.

And so the reason I go to church, and I know many faithful have the same goal, is to lift up my Spirit.

There are many ways I can lift my spirits, but there are very few ways I can lift up and nourish my Spirit.

My Spirit, that divinely attuned part of me (or any of us, if we choose to nourish and listen to it) needs stimulation. Church services are the best way to do that in a community setting, so that I can connect with people, have group companionship and celebration, and lift my Spirit.

Certainly, other things can lift my Spirit (or my little “S” spirits for that matter): being out in nature, listening to good music, meditation/prayer, or viewing art.

(And I can’t help but note that such things are those that most closely align to unique human characteristics like abstract creativity and/or things that put one closer to the treasures of the Earth.)

These things don’t always move me to the point where they will lift my Spirit. Frankly, going to church doesn’t always do the job either. But it’s the best place to do so among other people in an atmosphere of celebration.

And yes, I know that many churches are more interested in pointing fingers, or finding scapegoats, or preaching the damnation of heathen, or fleecing people to get their money. But many churches are interested in lifting the Spirit, and I go to one of them.

It is, I think, one of the best reasons to go to church, and it would be my hope that fewer of the faithful will deal in legalisms of the Bible, or judgments of others, and find that path that leads toward encouraging people’s nourishment of their Spirit.

12
Aug
10

Deacon’s Wisdom

Strong beliefs in spiritual things are often seen as arrogance. Certainly, they can be. But the true arrogance isn’t in strong faith. The arrogance is when people hold to their faith so tightly that they fail to respect others’ beliefs; fail to ever question and explore their own; and assume they know all the answers.

06
Aug
10

Deacon’s Wisdom

Faith is a source of strength when one’s mind is set right, one’s goals are sound and one has healthy intentions. When such things are not in play, faith often leads to religiosity. And religiosity is a very poor substitute for spirituality.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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