Sunday, April 04, 2004

The following is a essay-ish thing that I wrote in my "real" journal and decided to reprint here. I'm open to discussion! If you feel I'm completely wrong, give me some biblical evidence to research. "And after all, it's just a journal..."

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth,
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson~

Christian Culture Annoys Me

Grandma brought over two bits of mail from Focus on the Family and one Citizen magazine. I skimmed through. The Citizen one had most of its articles on the proposed marriage law amendments. I get tired of reading Christians trying to be a political entity. I hate the televangelists. I don't listen to Christian radio. I do listen to Adventures in Odyssey, but the characters there live their faith without preaching it all the time.

It is so strange being a Christian, but outside of the culture. Most of my friends are in one part of it or another. Kevin is on the liberal end, Teri is in Seminary. I get tired of church building projects and the 'country club' phenomenon, and the "us-them" mentality. Grandma equates being conservative and Republican with being Christian. The Purpose Driven Life. The Prayer of Jabez. Left Behind.

We had outspoken Christians at table seven, who rain their waiters ragged for days, but didn't leave a tip any night. Christians! Don't you realize that your very witness is called into question by how you tip the waiter?

Focus on the Family has announced they are taking a several day cruise. Isn't that the "country club phenomenon" again? Frankly, Dr. Dobson has always reminded me of George Dubleya. They may be right, but they sure sound dumb.

Stuff. It's all about the "stuff." You donated to us once, don't you want the book, the t-shirt, the mug, the CD? Come on our retreats, and write your senator, and support our ministry and put us in your prayers, and pray for our leaders, but only those who line up with us philosophically, if not pray for their souls. (Lest you think I'm being too hard on any one particular group, I'm not. I critique the conservative side because I'm closest to it, but they aren't the only offenders) Both sides accuse the other of taking one statement wildly out of context, and to prove it do the same.

We run around like chickens with our heads cut off. As though if we don't lobby, or petition, or shout from the rooftops, or write your congressmen, Christianity will disappear forever, taking God with it.

This puts me in a bind, now. Shouldn't a Christian be an 'active participant in the legal process?' A Christian should. Christianity shouldn't.

"Make it your business to lead a quiet life. To mind your own business and to work with your hands."
I don't see that applied a lot anywhere. The blessed company maybe.

All we need do, whatever we do, is be the best Christian we can, and God will be satisfied.

I don't need to feel that I have to do 'great and wonderful things' for my faith. I needn't feel guilty about not preaching all the time, or desiring to. I can do away with my delusions of grandeur. The conversion of those I come in contact with is not on my shoulders, though I may be of influence. Frankly, I'd be a lot more persuasive if I talked less, and lived more. There is security in contentment.

The greatest mistakes in history came when people tried to 'do something' for God. Hebrews 11 is full of people who were minding their own business until God came in and made his will clear. In fact, the greatest atrocities in the New Testament were committed at the hands of a religious man trying to 'do something great' for his faith -- Saul, later to become the apostle Paul.

For now, all God wants of me is to be the best woman that I can be, with as much faith as I have now. All the rest will fall into place.

If I move to France, or stay here; ride the seas, or fly over them; bear children or sing about them; play a barmaid, or be one. I don't have to be a 'Great Christian Woman;' but only the best one I can be.

I am content with what I have
Naught be it, or much.
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.

~Bunyan, From Pilgrim's Progress~

Oh I wish I could reproduce the conversation that just took place. A woman and her friend were discussing their children's temperaments. "He isn't a manipulative Capricorn, merely a stirring up one," was the only sentence I can remember. I'm not familiar with the zodiac, but it was so amusing! Welcome, again, to California.
Schedule for Holy Week:
(Warning in advance, expect a lot of brink of exhaustion rants...That's right next to the edge of reason, on top of the cliffs of insanity.)

Monday: 11-5, 5-10.
Tuesday: 5-10.
Wednesday: 7-1, 5-10.
Maundy Thursday: 7-3, 5-10.
Good Friday: 7-1.
Saturday: 7-1, 5-10.
Easter Sunday: 10-4, 5-10.

I'm going to be singing hallelujah for two reasons on Sunday. My last day at my morning job. And my last day of housesitting is on Saturday. It's not a big deal to add that...The bed I'm at in their house is so comfortable, and they have the largest bathtub in the world. If I filled it all the way, and sat down, it would be over my head (no short jokes, Jeff.) Tonight I'll go prepared with salts, scrubs, bubbles, and various witches brews. I'm usually a shower girl, but four years in Texas got me acclimated to the pre-nighttime bath routine. I need a Yankee Candle to go along. Oh, sitting in the lap of luxury.

"Sleep is sweet to the laborer."