Thursday, February 15, 2007

How Things Are Supposed To Be

I used to think that Christians thought they had the market cornered on truth. And while that is still a major sticking point for me, I’ve encountered even more Christians who believe they know how things ought to be. Whether it’s a dyed-in-the-wool evangelical who believes colonial America was the utopia we should return to or the modern-day Nostradamus who knows what the future holds and wants to shape it with cookie-cutter precision, Christians want the world to know how things are supposed to be.

For instance, God never intended same-sex unions, planned parenthood, equal rights or stem cell research, so we should ignore the progresses of modern science, women, gay people and minorities. We should continue to step on the backs of the marginalized so that we—and I mean WASP-y middle class Americans—can attain our goals of 2.5 children, 2 cars, two thousand-plus square feet of living space and a dog we can kick when it seems that life is unfair and the world around us is going to hell in a handbasket.

What really irks me about many Christians is that they are often quick to offer the quick-fix formula of prayer, bible reading and quiet time, yet they usually can’t show results to prove its effectiveness. That formula written on a chalkboard would look something like this:


The end result is a better you.

Formulas are nice if you’re an MIT student, but if you’re just a regular Joe struggling to get along in the world, they mean diddly-poo...the latter flung on a chalkboard ain't pretty. Besides, every religion in the world will tell you that some sort of quiet time including meditation or reflective prayer will give you inner peace. The problem results when inner peace doesn’t translate into a better you. If you step out of your “prayer closet” and cuss the first person or inanimate object that does you wrong, then your peace was way too fleeting. If you aren’t charitable, merciful, loving, compassionate and kind, then who cares how many Bible verses you can quote, how many days you can fast and pray or what you have to say about the state of society???

I’d like just a few more Christians to spend more time on introspection. Stay in that prayer closet just an hour longer and take a mirror in there with you! Get things in your own life straight before you tell everyone else how things should be. Jesus did say something about the log in your own eye.

I'm not sure how the world is supposed to be according to God's grand design, but the Bible does give me a pretty good picture of how Jesus was, how he lived and what kind of character he displayed. All I'm saying is that Christians should start to reflect Him and quit worrying about everyone and everything else. I'm just sayin'.

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