Posted in community, crowdfunding, faith, life, peace

5/3: Religion or Faith?

Okay, so I’ve brought up my faith and such in past posts, but a little background before I dive into this post that’s been stewing in my head since Sunday.

  • I am an Omniest, which means I look at the core beliefs of most/all world faiths/religions and include those beliefs into my own personal belief system.
  • My foundation faith is Christianity…. as Jesus taught and lived it (now you may get an inkling of where this post is going). I accepted Jesus when I was 15 or so. It’s a complicated story.
  • I grew up in a science-loving household. My father was a civil engineer, mother wanted to be a librarian, brother is a geologist and my sister…. I’m not sure what she’s doing now… we don’t really talk much. But microscopes, telescopes, science books and a profound love of nature and science were dominant growing up.
  • I am also an ordained minister with the Church of Seven Planes

Now you have the basics. As I am now, I don’t lecture anyone about my faith or Christianity, etc. I have Bibles. I’ve read the Bible. I don’t need someone to tell me what the Bible says. I already know… and I take the words at face value. I see the OT as a historical document for the NT as a reason why God sent Jesus… I am Liberal, Pro-Choice, and believe -nay- KNOW that if Jesus were walking the earth today, He would be very similar. I show my faith. Do I slip at times? Fuck, yeah.

As a writer, I follow one (of many) rules: Show, don’t Tell. This refers mostly to the actions in a story. Incorporate your exposition into the action. One example from one of my stories: “Danie pulled her brown hair up into a ponytail as she headed out the door.” Instead of me writing a paragraph of what she looks like… I incorporate her description into the action. This is along the lines of the mentioned rule.

So, back to religion and faith. On Sunday afternoon, I was on the MAX line heading into downtown to run a few errands before heading out to Beaverton for an event. This guy, no older than 22 tops, gets on with his slightly dog-eared Bible (never get a paperback, dude) and once the doors close, he assesses who is wearing headphones (I was, as most were) and picks on the guy sitting across from me. I heard bits and pieces, enough to know he was proselytizing to the poor guy without earbuds on.

After the fact, I kinda wished I didn’t have mine on, because I could’ve ripped the kid a new one for how he was approaching people. I did take my earbuds out and talk to the guy across from me until he got off. He grew up in a church and heard it all many times over. Now, I’ve had people try to preach at me and hand me tracts and such. Those get ripped up faster than you could blink. If you’re going to try preaching at someone, ask them if they believe in Jesus first…. so you aren’t preaching to the proverbial choir.

Better yet, Shut The Fuck Up and show your faith by doing actual Good Works. Help the homeless, volunteer to help the elderly…. but hold back on the preaching. Please.

What would I have said to this kid?

First, I’m old enough to be your mother. I’ve been a Christian since before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye. Secondly, what you’re doing is not Christ-like. Did Jesus go around talking down to people? No. Did He judge the sinners? No. That’s His Daddy’s job, not ours or Jesus’ work. So, what did Jesus do? He defended the sinners, He fed the homeless and hungry. He listened to the people, not the leaders. He hung out with, and unconditionally loved those who should have been, historically, His enemies. He loved. The only ones He was angry at were the money-changers using the Temple. The ones making money off religion. Gee, do we have anyone like that these days? Plenty. The etymology of the word Christian is to be similar to or be like Christ. Who was Christ again? Jesus. The same man who washed the feet of the poor, defended those being attacked for a choice they made. Do you remember what He said to those men? “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And if we are all technically sinners, we -as humans walking this planet- have NO place judging others. Stop preaching and start living as Christ would if He were here today. Set a positive example. Be like Him. 

Now, I didn’t say any of it to him. Some of that I did talk about with the guy across from me. I live my faith. I do my best to not judge others. I have helped friends who follow other faiths or are Atheists understand that most of us aren’t utter assholes who want to shove God down others throats. I listen and learn from others and their faiths. I’ll end this with a sentence that many of us know from our childhood. Variations of it are found in virtually every world religion known to us.

“Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

~Amanda

ps: Yes, I swear a lot. Hey, God gave us the ability to create language… I’m pretty sure He’s grumbling a few swear words under His breath right now, looking at all the shit going down here.

pps: (yes still crowfunding er, I mean #crowdfunding … I prefer ravens anyway)

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Creative Geek Of All Trades. Do you really need me to explain that one?