I’m sure we’ve seen or heard a lot of things we simply don’t understand, no matter how hard we try. Here are some of mine, I want to hear yours:
1. New World Order, government conspiracies or all the other theories. Sorry, but I’ve never been able to understand what is meant by ‘government is bad, bad, bad’, ‘the EU is a sign that communism is coming back’, ‘don’t use electricity or anything else that is public because then The Man will be able to spy on you’ or some of the other ‘slippery slope’ arguments I’ve heard. No, I’m not making this up. I understand the fear to a point since no one wants to lose their freedoms or private lives, but some take it a bit far. When I was getting married, I was told over and over again how I shouldn’t register my marriage with the state because then the government would have access to us and do all kinds of stuff to take away our freedoms and generally screw with our lives…what could they really do that would cancel out the benefits of marriage (joint taxes, hospital visitation, power-of-attorney, inheritance, etc)? I appreciate their concern but they need to hang up their foil hats. I got married in the state of North Carolina and it’s on record. No brain-wave hijacking yet. I’ll let you know how it goes.
2. The fascination some Christians have with the Rapture or the End Times. No, I don’t think Obama is the Antichrist. I don’t really want to look forward to the destruction of 2/3 of humanity, despite the gleam in some preachers’ eyes when they talk about it. That part actually makes me sad…I don’t really care about the ‘signs’, and I was under the impression that Jesus didn’t really want us to anticipate it. I could be wrong on that, though. ‘Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again’ is really all I need to know.
3. Why people like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton are even celebrities. They don’t seem to really *do* anything, and yet I still see headlines about them on magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store. Somewhere a family of trees is mourning the senseless loss of their ‘son’ or ‘daughter’, because the paper to print them had to come from somewhere. My condolences.
4. Why some people enjoy being mean just for the sake of being mean. I guess they do that so they can tap into their own misery and spread it around, or maybe pour it out and serve it at parties like a cheap keg. Thanks, but I’ll pass.
5. Why people can do so many awful things to each other in the name of a religion. Truth is, none of us really knows for certain what’s on ‘the other side’. We have beliefs, but still all see through a glass, and darkly. The day is coming for each of us when we will have a clear view, but not yet. Until then, I’d like to live my life doing what Jesus said when He asked us to love our neighbor as ourselves…or ‘try’, I should say, since I will never be as good at this as I should or would like to be.
[eta 11/16/09] Okay, I’m going to cheat and add a sixth item that has been bothering me lately-
6. Why some people are more concerned with being ‘right’ than with being loving and caring toward other people. I don’t give a toss what Scripture or anything else says about…well, a lot of things. Actually, that’s not true; I’m a Christian, so by definition I find a lot of value in Scripture. It’s a way (among others) we learn about Jesus, for one. It’s more the negative twisting of Scripture to make it say what one wants it to (esegesis, sp?) and make God in one’s own image I have a problem with. Sorry, but the Bible isn’t a weapon against people you (generic “you”) happen not to like. That’s what I see some people using it as-a weapon to beat people down rather than lift them up the way it should. I think that’s wrong and is much more likely to push people *away* from Christianity than bring them in, which is supposedly their goal. It is much more important to me to be compassionate toward other people and to treat them as I would like them to treat me. That’s what He said to do, after all. To me, that is a lot more worthy of my attention than what some text said about things that are constantly taken out of context and are referring to something entirely different from what we think it did. I’m no scholar, but I can’t for the life of me find the section where Jesus tells people what movies they should watch or who they should date. I *do* remember where He talks about loving our neighbor as ourselves, not being judgmental, taking the log out of our own eyes before trying to get the speck out of someone else’s, and feeding/visiting/caring for ‘the least of these’…a category I believe most of us will fit into at some point in our lives. Some of us already have.
I welcome any enlightenment you might be able to offer. What are some of your things you just don’t ‘get’?