Wednesday, 30 March 2011

On How I Would Like The Way Things Work To Be Different

It is fashionable these days, in Evangelical circles at least, to point out at every opportunity that "I'm a Christian, I don't 'do' religion". It's one of those provocative things that's meant to make the listener say "Oh! You shock me! Please explain all about this as I have been stunned into curiosity.". In practice, of course, most people don't really give a fiddler's fart, as they mostly have other things on their mind than you.

Anyway. My point is that I quite liked it in the Olden Days, when it was all about religion, and rules and so on. You know where you are with the Ten Commandments. I am reasonably confident I have never committed adultery, and, quite frankly, my neighbour can keep his ass. Mine's nicer anyway. I do not have the time or inclination to make graven images, as my craft projects largely revolve around my friends' babies, and they tend not to like statues of Baal.

Religion is something I can manage quite well, thank you very much, and I shall take my gold star and go to the top of the class. But then you go and bring all this grace and love stuff into it, and I fall flat on my face.

The whole "not into religion" thing is all about how being a Christian is about being forgiven and learning about God's grace, and loving other people, and this is Not A Good Thing if, like me, you are profoundly unsociable and spent much of your first 20 years desiring nothing more than to be left alone. This is not a good start in the loving people thing, as sitting in the corner with an Enid Blyton book doesn't help anybody. Trust me, I've tried. On the other hand, I suppose when you're starting from the viewpoint that other people are largely to be endured, you at least skip the part where you can only love the nice ones.

My point is this: that sometimes we have to learn to love people, even when we think they are highest order wazzocks (I am so pleased to get to use that word), and Christians can be a useful source of practice material. Actually, I'm not sure that was my point.

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