And so Easter passes again this year, later than the previous years due to the lunar cycle. Another year with people celebrating Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras with extreme debauchery (no ma’am you’re not a whore because you’ll flash your boobs for some plastic beads) to Lent, which everyone ignores these days, to Good Friday, which happened to be trumped by Earth Day in some circles, to Easter Sunday. On this day, many not-so-serious Christians came to church when normally they’d stay home and do whatever they do no Sundays. Not that I have a problem with that personally, it’s just a little insulting to the Big Guy if you’re suppose to be Christian, but spend little to no time in prayer and worship. His words through the Apostle John, not mine.
The problem the modern Church in the West faces is not one of extreme evangelism, but of extreme apathy. While I am not one to declare my religious beliefs frequently, I don’t deny them when asked. Evangelism is not my strong suit because human interaction is not a strong suit for me. That’s why I’m a blogger not a talker. I do have my own doubts about what I’ve read in the Bible, but at the same time I have witnessed things for myself that I cannot explain. If told non-believers, they’d probably disbelieve me or claim I was insane or chalk it up to mass hysteria. It’s OK with me, I’ve generally stopped caring about what others thought about me for a long time now, which is why I can face all the anonymous assholes on the Internet and ignore them.
After much study, meditation, and the application of my gifts and talents, I have come to a striking conclusion that is probably out of the mainstream of Christianity in the West these days. I believe that when Jesus was born through when he died, he was a mortal man. Like us, he had all the aspects of being a man, despite originally being the Son of God. In essence, he gave up his divine nature. I’ve heard it said that he was both God and man in the same being, but I don’t believe that anymore. Many non-believers will state that he was some kind of demigod, being 50% man and God. I believe the latest hotshot atheist celebrity to do so was Ricky Gervais. I haven’t heard of any Bible thumpers who say that personally, but I don’t doubt their existence. There are a lot of losers who claim the mantle of Christianity out there.
My belief that Jesus was a man during his time on Earth stems from the fact that I think he was trying to serve as an example of what man should have been and what man could still be. This is largely influenced by what C.S. Lewis wrote about in his Space Trilogy books. Anyway, that’s how I see it. Whether that makes me right, wrong, unique, or common, I don’t know.
I guess most people don’t think about these things all too often. Frequently I am disgusted with churches across America more than pleased with them. The people who attend churches these days are largely women because the church has become about obtaining some emotional high, not some moral lesson. I’ve been in worship services where people are touched by the Holy Spirit and I often feel out of place. I question if it was the Spirit or just an emotional response to the intense worship and prayer. I am sure there may have been a few cases like that.
And just about every Church in the English speaking West uses the NIV (that’s New International Version) translation, which has so many contradictions in translations at so many critical passages, it’s not even funny. Yet that is the most common version I see people reading from. The NIV, while not the garbage version that called “The Message”, is still one of the worst versions you could use. But the translation used isn’t even a major problem. It’s the lack of reading of any version.
Most Christians don’t read the Bible, save at Bible studies and at church services. And even then, the readings are parsed and dissected done, having little context. Usually the passages are from the New Testament as well, which waters down the magnitude of the sacrifice that Jesus made. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had arguments with people who have taken verses out of context to serve some moral argument against things they don’t like. It’s frankly disgusting.
Why am I railing against Christians like this? Because we deserve it. We deserve every foolish and irrational criticism that comes our way because of our own spiritual ineptitude in Western civilization. Because, rather than proclaiming our beliefs and trying to remain obedient to God, we instead choose to take the safe route where no one’s feelings are hurt and where we are liked by others. We want to remain comfortable where as we should be fine with suffering in some way for God. And let’s be honest, there is no physical threat to the lives and property of Christians in America right now. Try telling the Christians of Nigeria, who have lost loved ones due to Muslim violence, that they need to keep their faith in the closet. When something is worth dying for, you tend to defend it after all.
As for the non-believers, I hold no grudges against you for your lack of faith. For whatever reason you do not believe, it does not matter to me. But understand that regardless of whether we are wrong or right in our faith, you should realize that our convictions has brought down tyrants and stood up against the vilest of men. Before this spineless generation of Christians arose, we drew the line in the sand against corruption and immorality, creating a better world. This is largely a historical fact that cannot be denied. Even today in many third world hellholes, it is Christians who stand for the weak and the oppressed and these few will largely pass by without any historical record or any level of fame.
I’m not saying that non-believers can’t do these things; they most certainly can. But when you are Christian, you believe, or rather, you know that this life isn’t the only one you have. And so death becomes less scary a prospect and without that fear overpowering your actions, you are free to do bolder things.
But these are not the Christians who I regularly encounter. Instead I am beset by fools and morons who claim to be Christian but only in name. And I wonder how long I can hold in my disgust when I am around them. I wonder if my purpose in life is call people out on their bullshit.
Not a bad life, if you ask me…