Friday, March 30, 2007

ironed jeans are the key to salvation

8:21 AM Posted by: M., 10 comments

It kind of boggles my mind how so many christians work to live in luxury. Maybe it has to do with where I live--but at least around here, the church parking lots are filled with BMWs, Mercedes, Hummers, and women have dozens of new clothes and expensive purses. My old college pastor used to tell us that he thought all pastors should be rich because they deserved it for their work. My parents' church just also put down either $2 million or $6 million ( i cant remember) on a new state of the art 2 level parking structure... I don't know, it just doesn't make sense to me in light of what the world really looks like...

Christians believe in "eternal paradise" so one would think that their time here on earth could be more freely spent in sacrifice--sacrificing expensive things so that they can give their money to the needy, sacrificing vanity and comfort so they can go to other parts of the world and help the poor/even be missionaries. Essentially living simple lives here and working hard for "God" should be easier if you believe you are guaranteed eternal bliss. I know that A LOT of christians do this, but most of those around me dont.

On the other hand, I have met dozens of international aid workers, war photographers, and other servants who don't believe in eternal life, yet still spend this life doing hard jobs and living very simply. One of my mentors in college was an atheist who spent 8 years living and working for peace in an African warzone (the war is over!).

I guess I am just in awe that people who profess to have eternal perfect lives anyway, would choose to chase perfection here as well. I am continually being shown just how "fair" salvation is.


10 comments:

HeIsSailing said...

Marie, your stories, and the one you recently put on my site just don't relate anything that Jesus taught us. Jesus taught his followers to give up everything they have for the poor - he said it was harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel to go thorugh the eye of a needle. And we are all wealthy compared to the folks in Jesus' day. Jesus did not teach us to be young republicans. Have you ever heard of Albert Schweitzer? I am reading his autobiography - he was a theologian, minister, medical doctor and musician. He thought Jesus was probably a delusional faith healer, but was still convicted enough of Jesus moral stance, that he gave up everything material in his life to set up a Hospital in Ghana Africa. This was about 90 years ago now - I really admire Christians like this who do not tow the party line.

marie said...

Thanks HIS!!

I know my stories dont represent Jesus's teaching, but unfortunately they are true. Last night my mom was talking to her Bible Study friend saying that one woman is "too charismatic" and should not be considered for leadership. That kind of stuff irks me. Also recently my best friend's mom registerred reservations on a woman becoming a leader at bible Study Fellowship (BSF) because she had a Kerry/Edwards sticker on her car...

I have heard of Schweitzer, but havent had the time to read his autobio yet. I want to read more stories of Christians like that--not just to inspire me, but to recommend to others too. With my job I am stuck in this town for at least the next 8 months, so it is easy to get bogged down by the people around me and forget about the other kinds of christians that exist.

Thanks for that--I would love it if you posed a review of that book on your site.

thanks!!

PS> your site is blowing up! And rightly so, you have some really great posts... I really wish that us all who post there could hang out together sometime--unfortunately we all live thousands of miles apart! We could get virtual coffee??

HeIsSailing said...

Thus saith Marie:
"Last night my mom was talking to her Bible Study friend saying that one woman is "too charismatic" and should not be considered for leadership. That kind of stuff irks me. Also recently my best friend's mom registerred reservations on a woman becoming a leader at bible Study Fellowship (BSF) because she had a Kerry/Edwards sticker on her car... "

Wow, that is too bad. Many Fundamentalists don't like the Democrat Party because they are pro-choice on abortion. And while I am not defending that position, that often overrides everything else. I like Bill Richardson myself, but because he is pro-choice, my Christian friends don't like him by default. I have a sneaky hunch that the early churce of Paul's day was very emotional, more like the charismatic churches of today. If they weren't then why did Paul write about them in those terms? They sure weren't like today's local Baptist Church!

Marie continue-eth:
"Thanks for that--I would love it if you posed a review of that book on your site."

Gack! I confess that I learn the most from Books, and I enjoy writing about them. Thanks for the compliments, but writing book reviews is difficult for me. I am not a trained writer, and have never done that kind of reviewing before. I am about 10 books behind on my reviewing!! But the next book I want to get at is one I see on your site: Lost Christianities by Ehrman. Writing reviews is kind of drudgery, but that was a great book so I will get to it sometime soon.

Beth said...

"Wow, that is too bad. Many Fundamentalists don't like the Democrat Party because they are pro-choice on abortion.."

That's an awfully simplistic view. Abortion aside, conservative Christians often believe that the democrats tend to further victimize the poor and minorities by making them dependent on (and subsequently beholden to) their programs. The negative feelings about liberalism is compounded by its overtly hostile attitude toward Christianity.

Becky said...

OUCH! Keep blowing open those doors... The church may not like it but we need people like you

Heather said...

**That's an awfully simplistic view. Abortion aside, conservative Christians often believe that the democrats tend to further victimize the poor and minorities by making them dependent on (and subsequently beholden to) their programs. **

It may be a simplistic view, but when looking at the religious right, the key focus for them seems to be abortion and homosexuality. I think James Dobson and Jerry Falwell and others just sent a letter to a major evangelical network asking the leader to not focus on global warming, and rather on family values, abortion and homosexuality.

Even with my fundamentalist friends -- they've often said that they won't support a candidate if s/he's pro-choice. Even if that candidate agrees with them in every other area.

Ed Lynam said...

It is true that the vast majority of fundamentalists see only one or two issues: abortion and gay marriage. It is absolutely pathetic how woofully stupid they are at politics in the US. They've been a big part of the swing to the Republican right wing. Even moderate Republicans write books about how they are still Republicans. They are being used. From 2000-06, both houses of Congress, the President, 7 of 9 Supreme Court justices, and about 28 governors of states were Republicans. Did abortion go away? Did any significant law get passed that restricted it to any meaningful degree? NO. And what happened was an absolute disgrace, with the wealthy getting tax breaks, the poor getting less aid, the reckless war in the Middle East, and erosion of civil liberties. An American can still get an abortion, but has lost the right of habeas corpus! And the fundamentalists still sing the same Republican tune.

exapologist said...

Wow -- that hit the nail on the head, Ed! Nicely and succinctly put!

Bobo B'nai said...

"And the fundamentalists still sing the same Republican tune."

Not this one, to the great consternation of my "brethren", who look at me as though I would have voted in the Anti-Christ himself had not a Republican won.

I remember shortly after the '04 election, a Norwegian woman on my property, knowing my overtly Christian testimony, spit out that "I guess you're happy, your man won."

I told her that, as far as I know, my candidate did not win and, in fact, placed rather well behind the guy who pushes carts at the local Walmart. She looked at me as though I had grown a third eye saying, "You mean you voted for Kerry?" "No ma'am, I did not. There were four parties with candidates, the Libertarians and Constitutionalists being the other two, the Constitutionalist being the one I voted for." Stunned silence...

My God is a good bit bigger than the one most fundies worship and, last I checked, didn't need a 2 story parking garage or Jumbotron TV to be heard and most certainly doesn't have a party affiliation. Last I heard, He wasn't running for any office, taking polls or looking for my input either.

Heather said...

**My God is a good bit bigger than the one most fundies worship and, last I checked, didn't need a 2 story parking garage or Jumbotron TV to be heard and most certainly doesn't have a party affiliation. Last I heard, He wasn't running for any office, taking polls or looking for my input either. **

Thank you for this. Too often, and I'm guilty of this as well, people seem to want to shove God in a box and then padlock it. Sometimes, it seems that we keep forgetting that we are made in God's image, not God made in our image.