Sunday, 28 December 2014

My Problem with Christians and their Religion

Some people have me down as a doubting Thomas character - always questioning, always in a crisis of faith. But that's not a fair reflection. Yes I do often feel the need to shout at the LORD for being so difficult at times, but I'm sure the feeling is mutual. Boy do I know that His ways are not my ways, but that's good I guess - if I was in charge of the universe I can't imagine things would stay as good as they are for long...God ought to be bigger than my understanding.

But for the life of me do Christians get to me because so many seem to have caught religion and decide to impose their experience and arbitrary expectations on the masses. It's not that these are bad things to do. But they are not required and should not be imposed. It is helpful to share what one finds helpful to aid other's on their journey - but just don't burden others with your brand of spirituality. As long as the person allows Jesus Christ to lead them to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit so be it. Sanctified playfulness guided by the magisterium as they say - the liturgy has been compared to learning through play.

There is a true urgency in faith since the kingdom is at hand, and wise are those who know the shortness of their life. We're going to die, unless our Lord returns before hand. Saying this, I'm not convinced that the faithful are required to keep abreast of every statement that falls from the pope's mouth or the pen of some theologian or popular writer. Contemporary expressions of faith have happened in every culture and time, but my issue is the pressure placed upon people to move with the times and use the latest lingo to communicate the faith. The experience of the Church is vast and it seems imprudent to not learn from her. I just don't buy this sense of modernity - if you need to write books and host conferences to conform leaders to work with your ideas, then I'm not sure I'm on board. Besides which I'm often at a loss to understand what is actually being said - a mix of business language out of context and protestant jargon leaves me baffled. Why does it have to sound engaging? Just say it in plain, but precise, English and leave it at that. Sometimes I've read a book and thought it simply took a long time to say quite a simple point, I don't know if it's pride, greed or stupidity driving this trend.

I can't escape God or the Church as much I I'd like to. Even in deep doubts, I'll confide in Him first which pretty much eliminates the premise that I'm not sure He's there or that He cares. And where could I turn from the truth and be at peace? Plus I don't want to have to learn the inner workings of another life. So here I am. Hinaynee - the hebrew 1st person singular for of 'behold!'; behold can serve in the text to invite the reader to view the text from the character's perspective, to say here I am then means to invite others to experience oneself. I'm not saying this to put down Christianity, I'm saying it as I think it's easy to reduce the majesty of the Faith in a holy desire to reach people today. I don't want to leave people stranded as the boat of popular religion finds its wings. I'll be here plodding along. And hopefully the monastic tradition will remain shielded from these infiltrations of new gospels. Keep courage. Hold the Faith. Seek first the Kingdom of God - be with Jesus in the daily walk. We don't rely on our own strength or talents, since all comes from the Father anyway. God help us.

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