Monday Morning Musings [08/09/10]

This past week I was reminded why so many people have no desire to be any part of what we call church. I can’t share fully,because the walls have eyes you know, but I came face to face, for the first time, with an “onfire” real live fundamentalist. I was reminded, quite tersely, of how I “don’t believe the Bible” because I assert that I take the Bible seriously but not always literally. I was reminded that I am not of God because I don’t wholesalely reject a certain group of people as anti-Christian.

It had been a while since I had been confronted by a real live fundy, I had even begun to think that such a way of thinking had gone the way of pork-chop mustaches and blue jean shorts, i.e., that they had moved away, at least from me. I had begun to think that all of them had moved to the creationism museum that exists somewhere in my state. My getting ambushed by a fundy this week reminds me I was wrong.  They are here, they are among us. And while they are indeed fundamentalists, they are anything but fun.

I don’t want to bother reciting the many reasons why such an exclusivistic expression of faith has so many flaws, from a faith or reason perspective; nor do I want to try to understand how such a polarizing expression of faith can have any hint of being “good news.” All I want to say on this is that I would rather quit my job in the church, quit church for that matter, and go pump gas somewhere rather than have to subscribe to such an un-fun faith. It also makes me glad that I have given up trying to figure out who God loves most, except to think that God probably loves all of us more than we can imagine. And glad that I can say “I don’t know why” when awful shit happens, rather than saying it was God’s will that so-and-so died, etc. And glad that I can sit in the room with people hugely different from me, whether by religion or political bent or sexual identity or ethncity, and not have to determine how I am right and they are wrong.

You know, that run-in I had last week with the fundy was indeed awful, and led to more than one night of fitful sleep. But it did make me appreciate once again why I believe how I do. And why I will always choose fun rather than fundy.

By Scott Rollins


4 thoughts on “Monday Morning Musings [08/09/10]

  1. The fundy played the role of an angel for you. Annoying to be sure, but this fundy opened up for you a moment of clarity. You have a deeper appreciation for your faith.

    For me, reading this was one of those “right time and right place” situations. So, you kind of played the role of the angel for me. Fortunately for me, this was anything but annoying.

  2. Usually, it takes very little scriptural backlash to make a fundamentalist stammer. I can’t help but think that reading the Bible in a vacuum would have a profoundly different, better result than reading it under the tutelage of a fundamentalist sect or teacher.

    My point being that you have to ignore the fundamental teachings of Christ to buy into the opinions popularly called fundamentalist. Over and over, Jesus and the prophets corrected and confronted pop scriptural dictates from a faith or reasoned perspective, while also condemning the misuse of scripture. (Matthew 23:14-15)

    Your acceptance of others is more “fundamentally” sound — that is, more Christ-like — than that of the so-called fundamentalists. How do I know? The Bible tells me so! While we’re all in a “reclaiming” mode, let’s reclaim the Bible from those who have tried to hijack our religion.

  3. The thing is, Joel, while I’m not a fundamentalist, I can imagine one using your last sentence when talking about you or me. I suspect the Bible, and Jesus, have space enough for you, me and the fundy without any of us having to resort to the language of spiritual colonialism.

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