tag : bright yellow-green apples: what do we have to give

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Monday, July 05, 2004

what do we have to give

Q: Are you a Christian?

"Atheists say they are Christians. When asked why, they blurt out "I was baptised as a child" (which is common here)"

"It's a stupid word and it doesn't have a meaning. Why do you want to be part of a religous group anyway? Aren't you happy enough with your own indivdual faith? Why do you need to feel part of a group to feel more secure? No two people will have 100% the same beliefs anyway...I have my own belief, faith, and relationship with God. I am together in the head enough to know that it is right for me without conforming to a large scale school of thought. I don't give a monkeys if you call me a Christian or not...I bet God doesn't care either - it's only a word. Have a genuine relationship with Him and be real to yourself and it's all good."

There is a lot in what people say about Christianity in this country, indicated by the two excerts I chose to show up, which seems to zoom in on the individual. As far as I can see, the aparent primacy of individualism misses the point more than a little.

I was baptised as a child. This is currently one of the most subversive things going in the Church, it by-passes the torrid atomisation of things which even we Christians are falling pray too. Why else would there be so many who assume adult immersion superior to a Christening? The progressive fragmentation of communities under the banners of the fascade of choice has contributed to our bleeding of community. The wranglings over all our private faiths pale in comparison with the interrelationships of people that are really causing pain and loss. We need to belong, says the cliche. So why look to the Church for it, if we're falling the same fate with happy galzed eyes?

This is what our faith means, what it can do to breath life into the dessicated parts of our society, according to my own personal humble opinion (spot the irony there!). The way we relate to our context (fellow people, the wider world of nature, the divine reality we share in its many faces) shows beliefs and private doctrine up as a red herring in comparison. That's why I am wary of labels, Christian and non Christian - the way people relate shows the nature of thier faith, given it's mandate, more than our own formulations and whether they tally with the list of dogma givens or our own private goals and room devotions.

Ultinamtely I couldn't care what you call yourself, and this partly derives from my inckling that Jesus Christ was most interested in seeing people relate well than adopt the list and name.

[adapted from a post on www.24-7talkback.com]


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