Sunday, March 25, 2007

sorry for rant again

2:44 PM Posted by: M., 6 comments

I have nothing of intellectual merit to add to this right now, but alas still more confusion. Figuring out what I do or don't believe is probably the hardest thing I have ever done or tried to do. I went to church this morning and I dont sing and I didn't take communion and--maybe this is self-absorbed hallucinating--but I can just feel my friends seeing me and wondering why I can't believe. I feel their discomfort in trying to react to my lack of reactions to spiritual situations and it is just weird. I have tried to talk to some of them about this, but it is a chore--we both can't undertand each other's perspective and it just becomes worthless. I really only have one friend who understands this who I can talk to--she has kept her faith and I think that she is the only one (besides God obviously) who could ever help me get back to being a christian--if that is what will happen.

I was kind of angered at church today for a couple reasons. The pastor was speaking about the signs of the end times and he said that the story of Jesus has essentially already been spread into all cultures of the world and that that end times prophecy is almost fully completed. BULL SHIT. I think that is not only untrue, but a dangerous thing to preach to a congregation. For one--even if the story of Jesus has been spread to every culture on the globe (it has not), it is not like everyone in the world has heard a streamlined, unbiased, fully explained truth of Jesus and all those who dont believe have rejected it illogically and by choice. If we purport that EVERYONE who isnt a christian on the earth has heard the full truth and willfully rejected it, then we could potentially see them as enemies and big headed and ignore the million other reasons they arent christian. If I was born in Afghanistan 10 years ago and into a muslim family and society and someone came in talking about Jesus, and I couldn't accept it because I was indoctrinated or scared--or just thought it was prepostrous--why should I be sent to Hell? That is a bad example--but I just think that there are so many reasons that people dont become christians and circumstances surrounding those who cant believe--but we just lump them all together as people who are either too sinful, or too arrogant, or too stupid to believe in God--and then treat them accordingly. i dont know.

Secondly, at church this morning the pastor talked about persecuted christians in the world and he totally said that that is what is happening in Darfur, Sudan which is completely untrue. Darfur is a conflict/genocide that is perpetrated by certain groups of nomadic Muslim Arabs, sponsored by a Muslim oriented government, targeting black Muslims--essentially for political reasons (NOT religion or ethnicity). There is no inherent struggle against christianity in that. There was however, a war in the southern part of the country between muslims and christians which i think is what he is talking about--but Darfur is not part of that. This isnt like a totally big deal, but I just think that pastors who preach to thousands every week should check their facts before they go around speaking on stuff they dont know about.

I went to church last week too and there was a guest speaker from a christian social justice organization (that will remain unnamed) and it was the worst sermon on international justice I have ever heard. They does an array of social justice work--most prominently is their work on saving girls from sexual slavery. So inherently, the topic of the organization is dramatic, important, moving, angering, etc. This man comes up and presents the organization, social justice, and sexual slavery as the most boring, insignificant issue ever. He did the whole thing saying like, " 1.2 billion live on less than a dollar a day, ___millions are sexual slaves, etc. Statistics like that are essentially meaningless when you say them like you are reading them off of a paper (which he was). His demeanor was so disinterested in the subject that I questioned why he became involved in this work in the first place, and why his organization would fly him 3,000 miles away to speak about this. he could have been speaking on the history of patent-leather for all it was worth. It makes me so mad when people get all into social justice and then they try to explain it to others and make it seem like (1) a fad or (2) just another old thing. Genocide is REAL. rape is REAL. torture is REAL. war is REAL. Every day there are millions of gallons of human blood that is absorbed into the ground beneath our feet. Every day, there are millions of children who scream in pain--people who writhe in suffering! People who BEG for their lives and are killed, women who see their children beaten and killed in front of them, children who are forced to KILL other children, women who are gang raped and have spears shoved through them--infants who get their arms cut off with machetes!!! In the Cambodian genocide, soldiers seriously threw babies in the air and caught them on the ends of spears!!!!! This shit is not boring. This shit is not just another issue to add to the pile. This is real life and real death and real suffering and it is a waste of time and energy to come to a gathering of people who WOULD and COULD do something about these problems only if they were inspired and then you come and make a big damn joke about it. Sorry--my anger is really hot in this. I better stop typing. Just we cant let people make these issues seem insignificant.


Becky said...

I believe there is alot of truth in what you said.


HeIsSailing said...

Righteous anger like yours is how social justice is accomplished in this world. I have had speakers give talks about the horrors in this world that gave the congreagation about as much conviction as a cabbage. martin luther king was right - most churches are social clubs. ALL is not hopeless though. There are Christian organizations out there who do real work and real good for the world's needy. They just are not exciting, so they don't get much notice. Great Rant, Marie

HeIsSailing said...

oh, and as far as the end times, it just ain't happening. Jesus' followers were expecting him before they died, because he told them he would return in their generation! If he has not returned by now, he ain't coming. There was a lot of excitement in the 1970s and 80s because it looked like the political environment was matching an interpretation of Daniel - but those days are gone - there is no way that we are going to be ruled by a "Revived Roman Empire" a One World Government. The Jewish Temple will be built on Islamic ground when Hell freezes over - all prerequisites for the end of the age. Ain't gonna happen. Prophecy teachers have been teaching the same old hash about Jesus return since at least the 1940s.

JumpingFromConclusions said...


You are justified in your anger here. It is amazing the spin that can be put on things in a church-- a place that is supposed to be where you find the "Truth".

I think many Christians think very nationalistically. If it isn't happening here, it does not apply to their lives. There are horrible atrocities going on all over the world, but they get ignored many times. And I'm not saying I'm any better than any of them, as I have done next to nothing to help the plight of those foreign people.

Also, I don't know what gives people the idea these days that they know when Jesus is going to return. Jesus himself didn't know! The rapture isn't even accepted as true in many denominations.

I agree with HeIsSailing: "Great Rant, Marie"

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Anonymous said...

Hi there--

I am someone who, after 30 years of being an evangelical Christian, is starting to question things. Came across your blog as part of my online search for others going through something similar.

For now, just a comment on your experience with the IJM speaker(which you mention later on your blog, so I am assuming your lackluster speaker was from there).

I know that organization well; several of my close friends have worked there over the years. My guess is that whoever spoke was either having a bad day, or just has a flat affect or tone. People at IJM are incredibly passionate about the work they do, and I have no doubt they would agree with you that rape is REAL (etc). That said, I'm sorry they left a bad impression with you, and maybe others, that day.