Another Sunday. The high-deity appointed day of rest that the faithful and faithless both converge on houses of worship of all things hypocritical and judgemental. Harsh, eh? Too harsh maybe? Well, I have a right to my opinion. It says so right there in the Bible, right before Esther takes away the rights of men to form and hold opinions. My Bible ends at that passage. Cliff Notes should stick to 'Wuthering Heights', I think I'm missing parts of the holy tome.
I do have a right to expound on my belief that religions man-made institutions that are highly founded on judgementalism and hypocrisy in order to maintain a weak individual's sense of self-worth and allay those individual's fears of death and failure.
That's some deep shit. Wow, my left eye just went blind after that thought. Boy, oh boy, am I ever going to offend and alienate some people this time around. Better to not get my hopes up, though. Enlightenment is a fickle and elusive bitch.
Why do I have this right, you might ask? Because I once was a great student of the Bible, Christianity and world religions. I was so engrossed with this topic that I was at the cusp of entering the ministry. I was also on the very frayed edge of being an evangelical Christian with grandiose, with absolutely no uncertainty, opinions and surety of the Rapture, Revelation and those poor souls who were at the the bowling alley on Sunday morning being hell-bound while I was tallying my number of crowns I'd receive when I passed through the gates of Heaven (which I now call Cancun). Yes, it's true, I swear. I went to church. I sang in the choir. I mentored youth (collective gasp). I even served as something called a 'Stephen Minister' and served on my church's pastor/parish committee that had such important tasks as seeking out and hiring the best and holiest of men and women to work for his-highestness.
Of course, I was Methodist so the standards weren't as high as, say, Baptists or Mormons, but still, I was engrossed in making heaven my home and the home of my fellow believers. The rest of ya were simply shit outta luck. Sorry. It's just the way it was and still is to many out there. Jesus only handed out so many golden tickets and not everyone gets one. I traded mine in for some wool socks and a prescription for anti-depressants. Not a bad trade if I do say so myself.
First-hand experience with the hypocrisy of so-called pious, saved Christians can been seen every day of the week but is nowhere more evident than on Sunday, both inside and out of the places of misguided worship. By the way, I am singling out Christians because I don't have experience being Jewish, Muslim, Mormon (I don't consider this fucked-up cult to be Christian) or a Scientologist. Although, sometimes I think the Scientologists are a bit closer to the real deal than the others. However, they're still screwy and outta whack. Wait, all of a sudden I relate. I might need to check into this Scientology thing, after I make millions of bucks so I can remain a faithful follower of Xenu, of course.
But yes, if you want to see hypocrisy and judgementalism at their finest/lowest points, visit most any church on Sunday morning, observe the actions and smiles of just a couple of the most obviously 'saved' individuals, just a sampling. Then if you still want entertainment throughout the day, shadow one of those smarmy individuals throughout their daily activities and tally the sins that they will be praying over for forgiveness during that one to two hour time period the following Sunday morning. I say one to two hours but you Baptists, Jehovahs Witnesses and Catholics can substitute six to twelve hours or three to four days, whichever you prefer.
I think the final turning point in my conversion to reality happened on one such divine Sunday morning. I had been gradually opening my eyes to the absurdity of beliefs and practices based upon writings originated by humans and handed down by humans for quite a while but this particular morning was the final nail in my gout-riddled foot (catch the upside-your-head christian reference?).
Wait, let me first clarify that humans, not God, Vishnu, Joe Smith or Xenu wrote, edited, abbreviated and propogated the Bible. Inspiration comes from many things. Experiences, emotions, fears, etc. inspire motivation to do anything imaginable. I'm motivated to write this due to my disdain for the hypocrisy I've personally seen and experienced in my own life, so there. Until I see a Bic fine point pen engraved with the name "YWWH", "God" or "The Biggest Guy" I'm maintaining my stance that God didn't write the Bible and one man's own desire for imposing his individual beliefs on others inspired the sandal-wearing, cave-dwelling dude afraid of cliff-diving pigs to first pick up a sharp stick dipped in lamb's blood and charcoal to first jot down those words.
The moment happened during the once-a-month rite of commitment called 'Communion'. My then-family and I stood in line, patiently waiting for those ahead to be handed a small but tasty morsel of Hawaiian loaf bread before dipping said morsel into a chalice/grail/goblet filled with Welch's grape juice. Welch's, the healthy choice for the life-giving blood of salvation. My son, then maybe eleven or twelve years old, stood nervously waiting his turn to partake of the bread. The kid had no clue what this rite was all about but he was a growing boy and hadn't eaten breakfast. The perturbed folks sitting on either side of us in the pew can attest to his hunger as it was voicing itself in tongues. So here is my son, he is handed a larger than normal hunk of fresh and moist Hawaiian loaf, says 'Thank You' after being told, 'The body of Christ, broken for you,' (he's thanking them like he would the lunch lady behind the school cafeteria counter), and then, it happened, like heavenly lightning from above or diaharrea after a heavy mexican meal. He shuffled to the cup and without hesitation or malice, drops his bread into the cup of community, virus-laden grape blood. Heaven forbid. It's straight to hell for you, boy. At least that is what the ever-smiling holder of the cup conveyed with her look of annoyance and shock.
This lady, this individual charged with the task of doling out Jesus' grape-flavored blood of salvation was and probably still is considered the most spirit-filled individual in this religious dwelling. Arms raised to the heavens as she bellows out chorus after of chorus of 'Amazing Grace' and hymns of forgiveness, this woman most likely had a bedroom in the choir room and refused to pee in the church's ladies room toilet. That's how highly visible and pious she appeared on Sunday's and every other day of the week. Then, her one look of consternation towards my well-intentioned yet starving son, would lead a salvation-seeking and piety-searching follower to suspect that he had just pissed in the baptismal font. To this day my son has no idea what glare he received from this woman bound for the easy chair at the right-hand side of Jesus himself. Knowing him, at this point in his life, he really wouldn't care. For me, it was a life-changing split-second that opened my eyes to the fallacies and hypocrisies of Christianity.
From the judgementalism shown towards those that err and attempt to live a life filled with joy but aren't 'believers' to the conditional forgiveness given to those who err, until they err again, especially if it somehow affects the reputation of the forgiver (Hi, Ex-In-Laws!) to the constant requests for 'donations', 'love offerings' and outright budget requirements, including you smart, orange-vested bucket-wielding bastards at every intersection of Northern Virginia, which screams "God needs a bigger house! Give! Give 'til it hurts!", the images and reality of the lies I'd been force-fed and expected to believe in order to achieve the ultimate reward of High-Fiving Jesus on Judgement day and shedding a lone tear a la the recycling Indian of the 1970's for the lost, poor souls of those who couldn't fit through the eye of that holy needle smacked me right between my bushy eyebrows and made way too much sense.
Of course, mania clears the mind so I have that going for me, but even now I have an ever-growing disdain and sarcastic view of religion and those who profess to have the inside scoop over those who either haven't investigated Christianity enough or those, like me, who have lived it, taught it and been saved from it. I do have my views on things spiritual and I do consider myself a spiritual person. I am also human and therefore can honestly proclaim that, yes, I can be hypocritical, judgemental and materialistic. I'll say it with my words and my mouth, not with a momentary look of pissed-offedness as I through my arms skyward and give thanks that Jesus passed on just a smidgen of his perfection to me, you know, since I didn't drop my bread and all.
Amen, and holy shitteth. Hey, the football game is on... where's my beer?
I'm also hypocritical, judgemental and materialistic. If we're honest, most of us are. We were born to sin, and we do. Being a Christian doesn't suddenly make you Christ-like. that's impossible. I, like you, don't like the "Christians" you describe. But I also know that you are painting with a wide stroke. We're not all like that. Some of us just want to serve others the way Jesus taught us to. That's how I try to live. Sorry if it offends you. Your blog doesn't offend me. I find it intriguing. I find it sad that you lump us all together. It makes me more determined to live a life that is totally contrary to your idea of Christianity. Let me know when I screw up, or when I do something right. Love ya, bro.ReplyDelete
Sista gurl, you may be pleased to know that I purposely wrote 'most churches' early in the post because I do not consider your place to be lumped with the rest. If I were to ever re-visit my prior mindset and have to choose a place to congregate, I'd actually frequent Warehouse, hands-down. Your place is a rare exception.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear it. We'd gladly take you. I just wanted to be sure you know that most of the Warehouse folks openly acknowledge the fact that we are broken and imperfect and a constant work in progress.ReplyDelete