Thoughts to Ponder are my musings regarding community, things of the Spirit, and living as a Christ-follower. I don't offer the words of a professional or an expert; just a fellow traveler and explorer. Please don't take my musings more serious than I do. I've discovered a long time ago that I do not hold the keys of knowledge or wisdom. If I did, I misplaced them somewhere...typical.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Kingdom of Self

A few years back I remember listening to an interview with a well known theologian. I must have been impressed because I can't remember who it was! For some reason N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, comes to mind. The discussion centered on the curious fact that so many theologians were actually atheists. He replied that he knew many of them as young men while they were pursuing graduate degrees along with him. In his estimation: they discovered pre-marital sex. They decided they couldn't be involved in their sexual escapades and still follow Jesus--so they dumped Jesus.

Now come the rationalizations: "Christianity doesn't make sense." "Look at all of the hypocrites." "How could God do this, or do that?" "How do you explain evil in the world?"

(A moment of honesty, please? One doesn't have to believe in God to have a hard time explaining evil! Atheists don't have a better answer to evil than anyone else! In fact, if they are consistent with their beliefs all they can do is shrug their shoulders! At least Christians believe evil should be fought and dealt with. And don't forget there are more Christians in the world actually trying to do something to relieve the suffering caused by evil. Where are the great atheist charity organizations?)

I am reminded of G. K. Chesterton's famous remark published in 1910, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." ("What's Wrong With the World", chapter 5).

I want to make something very clear: I am not criticizing the true seeker. And yes, there are many who have been wounded by Christians and Christian leaders. I have met many who have been burned by religion and had no where to go for help. There is no excuse for the abusive and toxic churches who crush the spirits of people. There will be many leaders and many churches who will have to answer for the people they have hurt. But there are also so many selfish people in the world who may have been inoculated to Christianity at an early age but never really bought into the idea of self-sacrifice and denial. They may have dabbled in Christianity--but they never bought into it. We're Americans, after all, and we deserve happiness, fun, and pleasure! I may use suffering in the world as an excuse to deny Christianity, but my agenda is to have complete autonomy and the freedom to enjoy myself without having to answer to anyone or to any higher principle or deity than my own: Me.

Welcome to the Kingdom of Self.


Originally posted on my Facebook page.

1 comment:

Bob and Suzanne said...

Some good thoughts, Darryl.