Here I go on my first topic. I’m gonna get all preachy, and snarky. I’m gonna close my eyes and plug my ears to science. I’m going to babble and froth at the mouth. When you ask questions I am gonna shout scripture and end every statement with “Thank Ya Jeeezuss!” Um. No. I will say that a “Thank You, Jesus” is no problem for me. Just using the broad brush of in-tell-ect-chew-alls, dahling, to paint a self portrait.
I, Lizzie Love Ya, am a woman of faith. You cannot separate me from it. Well, not unless I am really mad at my husband. Then it just kind of hides under my shirt telling me to shush my mouth. I believe that the Bible is the 100% inerrant Word Of God. I believe in the prophecies, commandments, and that Jesus Christ was only begotten Son and Savior of this world. I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe life is a grand test. A marathon to be run daily, slow and steady, until I fall at the footsteps of my Heavenly Father and hear those wonderful words. “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
My belief does not give me a superiority complex over people who choose the path of atheism or other religions. I would not be an adequate Christian if it did. There would definitely be a disconnect between God’s command to love one another, and my actions, if that kind of thinking was going on. My belief does not suddenly cut off my desire to learn anything new. I enjoy breaking out into spontaneous beat boxing and would love, one day, to learn to be quite good at it. My faith in God does not dampen my infatuation with science, the universe, or achievements in areas of healthcare and technology. (Also home improvement.) My faith does not dictate what books I read with regard to any of those subjects. Anyone who knows me would let it be readily known that I am well read to the point of being annoying, and that I was once nicknamed “LizIReadABookAboutIt”.
I know that many out there have suffered at the hands (or lips) of someone who said they were a Christian. Let me be the first to apologize for all of us. We are a flawed bunch. We mess up while trying to be well meaning. We ruin things that we have no business touching. We stumble when we are angry and say awful things. We try to mentor people when we still need mentoring. I know from personal dealings with some “Christians” that there are wolves in sheeps clothing. I knew one down right maniacal woman who called herself a Christian. Luckily God put a drive in me to keep seeking and keep asking, so she failed to turn me away from my faith. Thank You, Jesus! 🙂
That said, when I go through a situation with a jerk who happens to be an atheist, buddhist, or Zoroastrian, I don’t walk away shaking my head at their religion. I shake my head at the person. I don’t mutter things like, “Well if that’s how an atheist behaves, I don’t want any part of that garbage.” Nopety-nope. I just chalk it up to them being a pompous, arrogant jerkface who doesn’t want my time or company. Okay…no. big. thang.
I often run up against the argument that belief in God was a system created to oppress people. I don’t know about your religion, but that’s not how my faith works. I don’t feel oppressed or suppressed. In fact, I feel more free than I ever have in my life. Free from guilt, free from my past, free from who I might have been without God in my life. I could have been ugly. I was well on my way to it. I stepped on people, I had a foul mouth, a foul heart, a foul spirit. I didn’t care. Everything hinged on my happiness, my tra-la-la, my lust, my unicorn fairydust sparkles with crystal lite and creamy nougat. AKA: The Deep Pit of Selfishness. Self Preservation was my religion. I do admit, with great sadness, that Christianity has been hijacked and used control lives and gain wealth by certain peoples and “religions” that I shall not name. Jesus had no problem naming them and pointing out who their father was. (Hint, it IS the devil.)
You don’t need to be enrolled in any particular religion to be practicing one. As humans we are programmed to serve. If we do not fill that hole with God, the world fills it with true oppression. It all boils down to that one thing. That thing that consumes our lives. The thing that becomes so ingrained in us that we will put it before the well being of our fellow man, or our children, or ourselves. It can be food, animals, the environment, sports, fitness, or substances.
I do place my faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ahead of my fellow man. By filling my heart with Godly things, I emit His love, thereby helping my fellow man. If I place food ahead of my fellow man, I grow large, I become unhealthy and I burden those I love. If I place animals before my fellow man, I let my brother go cold and hungry. If I place the environment before my fellow man, I tell my sister she is worth less than a tree.
I’m not talking about recycling. I’m not talking about turning a blind eye to jerks tearing up the planet. Nature is not renewable. You can’t rip up a majestic mountain and expect it to grow back. It won’t. It will be different. Forever. What I am talking about is the slavery of fundamentalist environmentalism imposed on people. I will go into that on another post.
My faith in God tells me to love. So I do it. I don’t care what you are doing in the bedroom and who it’s with. I still love you. God loves you too. Until the day comes that all people are without sin, I’m not going to throw stones. Sometimes Christians like to point out that homosexuality is an abomination in the Old Testament. Yeah, so was being a lazy child who disgraced their parents. Both instances called for death. With Christ’s sacrifice the law was fulfilled. His GRACE is sufficient. That’s why I don’t go around with stones in my robe ready to chuck them at adulteresses.
If you are an atheist, God love ya. I mean really. This life is your reward. Do it. Do it big. You believe you get one chance to make a splash? Splash big. Do cannonballs. All I ask is that you extend that view to your neighbor. He or she only gets one chance to impact the universe, too. That outlook makes life crazy precious. Hold tight to it and to other people, for in that view, you are just bits of flotsam carried along in the universal stream. You are neither greater or lesser than your fellow man. Both hillbilly and Harvard professor are both the same happy accidents. Both forgotten mere minutes after death by the Universe’s Clock. Rejoice in the easy path you’ve chosen. No hell awaits you, no choir of angels, no loved ones to meet again. Sounds a heck of a lot easier than my path.
One of the biggest ways that my faith is affirmed is the absolute worldly hatred of it. Seething, passionate hatred. It’s comical. I would defy anyone to imitate the Dalai Lama in this manner: a buck toothed idiot with a thick Southern drawl saying “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Yeah, I sooooo see that happening. The only moron who would make fun of the Dalai Lama would be the one who was a racist boob that poorly mimicked Asians. ( Racism is a religion, too.)
In closing, I would just say, “Hey Jingle Bells, grow up.” Faith does not equal stupidity. Belief in evolution does not an intellectual make. Intellect has nothing to do with faith or the sciences. It has to do with what each human finds stimulating. My reading materials are just different than yours.
And I still love ya.
good stuff, liz. 🙂