Saturday, May 5, 2007

some +

1:29 AM Posted by: M., 2 comments

I feel bad for being negative here so much. I mean, that is what I am feeling--but I shouldn't just be a bummer all the time. For all the Christians around me that have scarred me, there are a lot that I know who are good and inspiring. Pretty much all of my friends are christians--at least on the West Coast where I currently live. Also, most of my friends come from broken homes--many with abusive parents, and some with heavy pasts in drugs and alcohol...yet they really strive to be good people. One of my closest friends has lived a difficult life. She never knew her dad, lived around with her mom and various boyfriends, didn't have money or comfort, etc...and in all the 8 years I have known her, she has never complained. She is very hospitable and generous, funny and caring, and she loves God... Two other friends of mine are recovering alcoholics, who I am certain couldn't have stopped drinking without Christian faith--for one of my friends, her first day sober (3 1/2 years and counting!) was at church, and they both readily attribute their strength to God.

I am not saying that these people make me think christianity is true, but they definitely show me that some people can apply certain selfless teachings of the Bible, and can find comfort and encouragement in Christianity. Christianity does seem to have helped my friends more than anything else could, and I am grateful for that.

There are also a lot of Christians who really want to live simply and serve the poor. I used to protest with Christian peace and social justice groups when I lived in Washington DC--we would sing hymns as people would get arrested for protesting inaction on Darfur, or harsh treatment for immigrants--one time, a bunch of us protested in freezing temperatures against the cutting of food stamps from the Congressional Budget. It was so moving to sing hymns while people are getting arrested for trying to get food for the poor.

When I see Christians who really try to help others, and really strive to serve the world, it breaks my heart to reject the existence of God. Not that their actions make me think there is a God, but because I want to be able to live like them--living out a strong faith through the sacrifice and dedication of compassion and service. I can do those things without God, but it is just different.

Two of my favorite christians (catholics, rather) are Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day. I recommend 100% their autobiographies-- The Seven Storey Mountain (Merton), and The Long Loneliness (Day).


Pharga said...

I have personaly asked the sam equestions about the validity of the xtian faith.

You mention people you know and how their lives ahve changed. I found that myself. I think mostly their lives and mine also came out of disorder and faith was the orderly system that help things change. I do belive many find order int heir lives in many ways. Faith is just one of them.

To me this is all God's working in our lives. Whether we call it faith or not it is still our loving god making our lives better.

exapologist said...

Good point. All is not dross when it comes to Christianity. I have lots of Christian friends, and my wife is a Christian.

To recommend some other helpful,edifying Christian books:

-anything by Dallas Willard (my fave: The Divine Conspiracy)
-anything by Richard Foster (My fave: his book on simplicity)