Over time, I’m coming to discover that I’ve become less concerned about what it is that others think over the fact that I disagree with them. A more gentle version of this statement would go something along the lines of: “As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that people are unique individuals, with the uniqueness of their individuality being displayed in their different views, opinions, and lifestyles…and that’s okay. You’re ok, and I’m ok. And that’s beautiful.” However, because I’m not a self-perceived-unappreciated fan of My Chemical Romance, I have no problem being a little more up front about the way I feel, even if it takes an entire paragraph to say it. Blame the coffee.
Recently, I read an excellent statement that likened the bad behaviour we often attribute to G-d to that of a poor parent. If G-d, all loving and kind, can quickly turn into a dictatorial, cruel, and punishing version of His being once somebody has died and not received salvation, how can this G-d be good? If a parent were only kind to his/her daughter/son when they were in the bounds of their own house, but a cruel and torturous person as soon as they walked outside the door, one would be inclined to call child services. If one went from ‘eternal’ love to eternal damnation and suffering/pain, just for walking out the door, there is no justification in the world that can make be believe this parent is somehow good, loving, or forgiving. None. Take two, call me in the morning.
That being said, I’m all too familiar with the church culture that uses fear-based tactics to instill the fear of god (caps intentional) into their congregation. Whether it is warning them against the perils of going to Hell for being aroused by a woman – “The solution is simple! Don’t look at women! When a woman walks by, look the other way.” Actual words I heard from a pastor – or against ‘false teachers’ in the ‘end times’ – an assumption that arrogantly proclaims the very words being spewed from the pulpit are infallible and incapable of somehow falling into this category of being ‘false’ – I have a major problem with many of the things I’ve heard in my life, many of which have come from the pulpit. That was a huge run-on sentence.
A common belief I have a very difficult time swallowing is the idea of delayed gratification. Simply put, this is the idea that the more we suffer on this planet, the more we will ‘inherit’ in the kingdom of heaven (caps intentional). The more money we give – especially when we cannot afford it – the more we will reap in the kingdom of heaven. Personally, I believe there is some truth to this idea. However, the way this message is displayed is absolutely miles away from its foundational idea. That’s another blog in and of itself.
There will be more…