Monday, January 30, 2006

157 bones to pick (part 2)

(for part one, see blog 154)

I'm trying to piece together my beliefs and it's not an easy thing so I decided to start with what was easy: complaining. Here's a few more specks of discontent:

3. Conformity
The Bible says that God reveals aspects of himself through his creation (Romans 1:20). As such, if there's one thing that's abundantly clear from the universe he created, it's that he loves variety. Clouds, colors, insects, animals, minerals, emotions, tastes, smells - the world is awash in variety. And if there's one conclusion to be drawn from the diversity we find in nature, it's that God loves variety. But you'd never know it by looking at most Christians in most churches.

And yes, there are exceptions but exceptions do not make the rule. And yes, look closely enough and every believer is an individual, no two snowflakes alike and all that. Granted, every snowflake might be unique, but they're all still SNOWFLAKES. And that's how it is with so many Christians. Yes, ask them specific questions and you'll get specific answers but as a whole, it's still mostly snowflakes.

What I mean to say is, there's a kind of group-think conformity that permeates much of evangelical Christianity ( as well as other Christian groups), and to a degree, that's natural because birds of a feather. . . But just because it's natural doesn't mean it's right or that it's the way things ought to be.

For so many years, being in church felt like being in a kind of creative prison. I was never able to fully express my unbridled thoughts. I remember once I was working for a church and one day at work I was working on a screenplay or something and there was a bit of dialogue where one of the characters swears. And my pastor comes walking by, reads over my shoulder, points to the word, "shit," and says, "well now that's a nice word isn't it?" Well, yes it is a nice word if it's being spoken by a non-christian character who happens to swear.

With criticisms like that, it's no wonder we have such lame art (especially movies, although there are a few exceptions).

Anyway, my point is that so many times as a Christian, I felt like the leaders around me were trying to push me into these tiny boxes. It's like in Bible classes before church where as a kid, the answer to every question the teacher asks is either, "pray" or "read your Bible"

To be continued...

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