Activity Being Avoided: laundry and vacuuming
Music In My Head: Thrasher – Neil Young
Tea Being Drunk: black currant
Book Being Read: Astray – Emma Donoghue
Last Lent, I started deliberately reading Christian texts. I started with the four gospels that are included in the New Testament, and went on from there. Of course, the selection of Christian texts is just a wee bit large, so I limited myself to those that were purportedly written by people who had direct contact with Christ. That, of course, got rid of anything said to be written by Paul (I never liked his stuff, anyway), but left me with a lot to go through.
Though I’m still reading, my conclusion thus far is that the early Church would not have been my cup of tea. While I’m always up for a little mysticism and mythology, the texts have been clearly messed with–intentionally or otherwise–to accommodate agendas and schedules that are beyond my comprehension. I’ll leave the early Church to the early Christians.
As I’m not really getting on well with any of the modern Christian churches at the moment, that would usually lead one to understand that one might not be a Christian. I was, in fact, considering that for a while, but then had that consideration re-routed by the theory that religion cannot be separated from daily life.
That cinched it.
So, here are the reasons why I’m still calling myself a Christian:
Reason #1: I was raised Christian. I was baptised Roman Catholic but was converted to Anglicanism at a very early age; was raised low-Anglican, with a library full of World Religion books and free reign to explore anything that seemed interesting (including Atheism). Everyone needs guidelines to live by, and my educated, middle-class life fits well with the “Love one another as I have loved you” commandment. While I could adopt another religion, Christianity and its culture have been so much a part of my life that I’d need a pretty good reason to get rid of it.
Reason #2: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that there’s a force that my puny human mind will never comprehend, and I’m okay with personifying that force as The Father–and I need regular reminders that being a Control Freak will not have any effect on that force. I believe that everything on Earth has some connection with that force, and I’m okay with personifying that connection as The Son; the rules I follow are the ones that will help me remember that all living things are in the same boat as I am. As for the Holy Spirit, I know for a fact that there are good and evil forces, and I try to root for the good ones.
Reason #3: The term Christian is vague. I can pick and choose–as every Christian religion has done–from Christ’s instructions, and follow them as I see fit.
Reason #4: If the early Church can select gospels to suit the times, then so can I. Here are some of my Christian gospels:
Reason #5: Jesus, as described by all the gospel writers, was determined to shake things up. I like people who try to shake things up.
I was moved to finish writing this post by Sunday morning’s sermon at the Unitarian church: Why I’m Not a Christian. The sermon was well done, but the speaker spent a lot of time pointing out the flaws in the Bible and vilifying the Catholic church. I found myself getting frustrated and irritated: how am I supposed to fix problems from more than 2000 years ago? Though I’m very talented, I can’t do that. Instead, I’ll gather my resources and work with the present, which is a lot clearer to me.