Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Christian Problem

I've been researching to write a book on Truth after I finish my novel. It's slow research, one can't rush philosophy or theology. So tonight on a restless night I was reading about a person that ran into trouble with his neighbor on his tiny house. I got upset. I got sad. I went through teeth-grinding frustration reading his blog post. Only words yet they got me so upset. I've been noticing this more and more lately and paying attention to them and recording them to see why they make me so upset. Like for example one of the people in my Agile Management Class, writes in such a way that I get upset, angry and furious about it and become rather arrogant with him. I'm not sure why it pisses me off so much the way he writes but I'm beginning to think I strikes me as him "being better than me" and I just want to show him his not better than me. I should say that in his writing he doesn't say he's better than me but that's how it strikes me, presumptuous. And this is the phrase that comes to mind when I read him: "This is the way it is because it is/I say so." Oh I get so mad at that, the presumption that authority dictates truth just really riles me up. I shouldn't let it. But now I see a path that needs to be walked. I digress.

So Jonathan, the guy with the blog post build an illegal tiny house. Illegal because of a (pardon me) moronic ordinance that houses have to be a certain size (almost 1,000sq feet in this case) to be "livable." Yet somehow apartments and dorm rooms are exempt from that. My thoughts on that ordinance should be clear. However, I suspected that this may be the case as it's a common ordinance. Now what bothered me was the entitlement of his neighbor which Jonathan, I think correctly, suspects called the inspectors on him. And here we get to the Christian Problem.

Christianity is a theology unlike Islam or Judaism which are both more like Theo-practices. So in Christianity you can weirdly believe in Jesus and follow Ayn Rand and not see the contradiction in that. Christianity doesn't prescribe actions only beliefs. No need to actually act on those beliefs; just have them.

I understand why Christianity developed this way. From the pagan converts of Europe substituting one faith for another to the eager Greeks dissatisfied with philosophy and the traditional ceremonies that welcomed the Jewish God and made a new religion out of it, Christianity has been very mutable during its existence.

But today this disparity that allows you to act callously and pretend to be a good moral Christian is worrisome. People who think they are doing the right thing with no real experience of morality can do terrible things. Let us not forget that the Nazis were sanctioned by the Church. It's not coincidental. Authority can wave its hypnotic influence over many and blind them to their own immorality while accusing others of evil. Like the experiment where people in lab coats authorized torture and the unknowing participants became willing tormentors with all but the simple consent and approval from an authority figure. This is so far from the spontaneous morality of Jesus, who walked with the prostitutes, the shunned, the sinners with kindness and love. The "prosecuted" Christians of today have confused as John Stuart says getting what they want with being discriminated against. How blind are those that don't want to see...

I for one will look hard into my arrogance, and find why I get so upset when people act like this is the way things are when the reality is that they've created the way things are out of nothing, created them like a rule in a monopoly game, but now pretend they're real and immutable and I a fool for questioning them. Some of that is in my head alone yet I remember JFK's words that problems created by men can be fixed by men and think of the economy, war, and evil and think all those were created by men.

"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
John F. Kennedy, speech at The American University, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963 35th president of US 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963)

Written at 2 a.m. after the fever broke, Feb 25, 2012.

Update [I forgot to add the link to the blog I was reading, so I've added it now and italicized first paragraph.]

1 comment:

  1. I know how you feel (and I'm glad your fever broke, too). We had found a nice English church here in Busan. I'm not especially religious, but it was a good chance to meet some other foreign and mixed couples and have a chance for our son to play with some kids and speak English.

    But I quickly realized that about once a month, the Korean-American pastor was getting on this whole kick about how persecuted Christians were in America. "Imagine, a DJ playing Christmas music on the radio, in SAN FRANCISCO of all places, on Christmas Eve."

    Um, yeah, Pastor Stan, I thought, there are plenty of Christians in SF, and I personally only know ONE non-Christian American who gets upset hearing Christmas music all the time in December. It was bizarre. I've never encountered that before, and assumed it was just part of the proselitizing system used here in Korea.

    Your second point, about Christians who can 'believe' but feel free to act however they want is one of the big things that drove me away from churches in general.