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Me and God

As I begin this post, I must admit that in many ways I’m just playing with words, manipulating them to make my point.  But the thing is, isn’t that what we do?  I mean, words are probably one of the most essential tools we’ve got to express ourselves.  With that short intro, I want to ask a question, or statement, whichever comes out…

(spoiler warning.  I’m probably going to be playing the devil’s advocate this morning.  Or maybe a better label would be that I’m expressing my thoughts and concerns which have, in turn, called into question many, if not all, of those things that I just accepted as “that’s just what we’ve always done it.”)

So, my first thought is as follows.  Growing up in an unfortunately conservative branch of evangelical christianity, one of the most popular phrases I heard went something like this: My relationship with God is something deeply personal.  It’s about me and God and my walk with him. Now, as I ignore all the amens in the crowd, I’ve got a question.  If my relationship with God is so personal, confined within my own heart, however I choose to define my grasping and clinging to it as my own, why go to church?  And yes, I can hear the arguments: we go because we are commanded.  “Do not give up meeting together…”  We are the first century church in the 21st century (hogwash by the way).  The books of Acts is clear that we are to meet on the first day of the week.  It’s in the Bible. Blah, blah…

Continuing on, it seems that I’ve been contradicting myself for who knows how long, which is most likely a product of the religious prison we’ve accepted as status quo.  And either we know and simply refuse to address the issue, or we have chosen ignorance, which is just as destructive in my mind.  My feeling is that often we don’t really take the time to really listen to what it is we are saying.  Otherwise, we might check our words before we just let them fly.  As Derek Webb says, “if you really believe what you say you believe you wouldn’t be so d*** reckless with the words you speak.”

Here’s an example from this past Sunday morning.  I’m working through some of the parables that we have recorded in scripture.  And it just so happens that the story we were studying was not an original Jesus story, which outside of many of the one liners and other aphorisms, is probably much more prevalent than we know.  Anyway, I posed the question, “does the fact that Jesus didn’t tell this story make it any less true or give us any reason to doubt its credibility?”  Surprisingly, the majority answer was that it totally changes both credibility and truth if in fact Jesus wasn’t the original creator.  (Keep in mind that this story is printed in red ink in our Bibles, which gives the illusion that everything in red are Jesus originals.)

Even still, let’s think about the implications of that conversation.  I said, just because Jesus didn’t say it, is it any less true?  And the answer was, Jesus has to say it for it to be true.  This coming after a roughly 8 weeks study about the bible and how it is overwhelmingly a human document.  But if we just accept the norm or refuse to think about what we say, we make ourselves out to look like morons.  I mean, are we really so foolish to paint such broad strokes with our words?  “If Jesus didn’t say it, it’s not true.”  “What about the rest of the bible? ”  “Well, that’s not exactly what I meant… Anyway, God was holding the writers’ hands as they wrote.”

All this to say, we have to think about what we say, especially when it comes to religious stuff.  Because if we’re not willing to really practice what we preach, we’d better stop preaching!  Further, we have to spend some time critically thinking about the things we say.  Because if all this religion stuff is between me and God, then in my book, that’s probably where it should stay until you’re willing to lay your self out there for some criticism.

Anyway, I’d better stop since this post has progressed over the course of several days.  And I’m sure now there’s really not much of a coherent theme running through any of it… If you dare, enjoy.

Categories: Life
  1. March 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Further, we have to spend some time critically thinking about the things we say.

    Amen. There are unfortunately too many ignorant folks out there brandishing Christianity that make us all look stupid.

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