I feel so driven to spread the message of Christ. But I don’t know how…
mejaka is on the preferred substitute list--for Project. Weird.
Uncle Enore, a tip back and a cheer. I worried a bit after posting how my post would be taken, because (as you may be aware) a lot of the anti-religionists who get in-the-face of people like me aren’t inclined to be particularly reasonable, either.
And then I came in and discovered that I had been subtly nurturing prejudices of my own, of the very same kind I had been talking about here.
Which just goes to remind us (by which I mean us Christians, as well as us humans in general whose beliefs support personal growth) that no matter what our personal beliefs, none of us are very good at living them all the time.
If you know very little about my church but what you know, then I’m pretty sure you’re aware of what I mean when I say we proselyte. I know sometimes that’s viewed as “force-feeding,” and I know some missionaries’ actions support that view. I also know most missionaries are there to look for people who are personally interested in giving a sincere effort to the process of receiving a spiritual message from God about truth. They do this by knocking on doors and offering an expression of belief and a couple of ideas that may be new to the person to whom they are talking. If a person doesn’t believe in God, or doesn’t believe God does that kind of thing, or doesn’t feel the need for such a witness, that set of missionaries will generally back off and go look for those who are searching for what they have to offer (and there are those who are—they meet them all the time).
The frustration for people who aren’t interested is that these missionaries get transferred all the time, and before long there’s a new set who have no idea that someone’s already been there…I’m pretty sure I would find it annoying myself, since I have to work pretty hard at accepting the repeated approaches of certain other proselyters with grace and kindness and respect for what they are doing!
Well, I am certain you could put me in the "anti-religionist" catagory...
But there are seperate areas of concern to me.
You and I can sanely discuss theology, if you’d like.
My non-belief in a god, and your belief in her are fair and intellectual game, as far as I am concerned. The conversation has great potential.
I have lots of trouble understanding you folks, but find the effort interesting and often entertaining.
And then there are the self-righteous assholes to whom I referred earlier.
These people may as well just paint a target on their foreheads as far as I am concerned.
To me they are objects of scorn, targets, and meddling cretins. It is those religionists that set fire to me, and for whom I have absolutely no respect.
I had forgotten that you people cruise around on bikes looking for infidels to convert. Personally, I don’t want anyone coming to my door…least of all a couple guys in $15 Penny’s white shirts seeking to point out the error of my ways.
However, as long as they are able to politely take a “No thanks, nothing but atheists roam these halls…” I really have no problem.
I do have a problem with door-to-doorers who are agressive and pushy. That is always a mistake with me.
And, by the way, what’s with that weird looking underwear you people use?
Do they come in lace or spandex?
mejaka is on the preferred substitute list--for Project. Weird.
No, and no on the lace and spandex. They’re just a spiritual symbol, like a yarmulke or certain tattoos are for others. A reminder of some promises we’ve made to ourselves and our God.
Infidels? Nope, wrong missionaries. ::g:: Although the bike part and the white shirt is spot on. But we’re not looking for infidels whose erroneous ways we can lay bare. What we’re doing is trying to share something that has been of immense value to us with other people who might benefit from it. I realize you don’t consider it to be of value at all—but only because you and I have been talking here. The fact is, our missionaries meet people all the time (by knocking on doors, even) who have been looking for exactly what they have come to share. There are people out there who want what we are offering but don’t know where to find it until a couple of guys in white JC Penney shirts knock on their door. So we keep it up.
Sorry. We weren’t looking for you personally, really.
I suppose your difficulty understanding me and people like me is similar to mine in understanding people who think the Holocaust was a hoax, Area 59 is for real, and the government (or aliens) has implanted a mind-control device in their cranial cavity. So I kind of think I know how you feel. My reason’s simple, though. I think there’s more to everything than our finite minds can comprehend, so the idea of God doesn’t seem ludicrous to me (esp. not the God I understand). I find life easier to deal with because of my beliefs and my faith. I like what I have become as I have tried to live them. I can’t imagine being happier, more centered, more at peace, or more content without my religion, so I have no interest in leaving it.
If I came to the end of my life and learned that none of it were true, I can’t think of a thing I would feel I missed out on, and I can think of a lot of things that I would feel had been better or easier because I believed it was true.
A lot of what I see in life that I want no part of, my beliefs have to some extent protected me from. And most of what I have in my life that I really value is connected to my beliefs. My husband is the kind of husband he is largely because of what he believes about marriage and family, for example. Now, please don’t take that to mean that I think nobody can be a good husband unless they believe as I do, because I don’t. But this particular man, my husband, bases his choices about how he will behave toward me and his children on his religious beliefs and his upbringing (also influenced by the same religious beliefs). And he makes good choices. So I value his testimony.
Holy crap! A rational religionist.
Oddly enough, you’ve made perfect sense to me.
Nor can I find anything that makes you sound like a lunatic.
In fact, as I was reading this last evening, I was thinking that if I were to find myself sliding into religiondom my rationales would likely be exactly along those lines.
My experience with religion couldn’t have been more different, it seems.
As I indicated in an earlier post, I had questions about the existence of a god and the doctrins and dogma surrounding the church as far back as I can remember.
The stock responses of the Dominican sisters who gave me my primary education to anyone questioning what they were teaching was anger or some form of beating.
Well, though I didn’t think of it then in terms so sophisticated, if I had to be screamed at, ridiculed or beaten simply for not understanding and/or questioning some idea, I must be on to something.
I learned then that if there was a god, he must be an intolerant beast.
I grew up thru the 60’s and there was much discussion of life, religion, priciples, beliefs back then…and nothing I learned changed my opinion in the slightest.
In fact, just the opposite. I listened to what the religionists said, then looked around at the world and saw how beastly religionists en masse behaved, and my opinions about good ole god were cemented.
I’ve seen no reason to change my attitude since then.
What I have seen is the repudiation of the spoken idiology of religion by the actions of religionists.
I’ve seen hateful, ugly behavior toward those with whom religionists disagree.
I’ve seen condemnation and vitriol rivaling anything Satan, were he around somewhere, could think up…in the name of god.
I’ve seen thought crushed; questioning stamped out.
And now the goddamned lunatic muslims who are not content with wallowing in their own silly crap, but absolutely embrace and extol the “virtues” of ignorance and retrograde existence…doing it on the end of several pounds of C-4…this crap just never ends.
Well, why, then, would anyone but a lunatic, or a narrow-minded, confused, insecure and thoughtless baffoon embrace these (apparent) ideals?
Though you are, for me, refreshing and rational, you appear to be in the minority amongst your “bretheren.”
You, and maybe most of your church members (though, given my cynicism that’s hard for me to believe) embrace religion as I think it should be embraced.
It’s your set of beliefs. It works for you, makes you happy and strong…and you are happy to share whatever you think the message is with others, should they be interested.
And, you are happy to engage heathens like me in a rational discourse, without finger pointing and condemnation.
Plus, you guys seem to have made your religion work for, not only you personally, but the vast majority of your congregation and even in the larger community to which you belong.
That is the way religion ought to be.
re: White Shirt Missionaries:
I never thought they were after me specifically.
In fact, they don’t come around here hardly at all.
(Perhaps it has to do with the 666 I have painted on my front door in lamb’s blood…)