zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
[personal profile] zeborah
I currently have a cat sprawled all over me, though at least she's stopped trying to poke at the flies landing on my laptop. In any case it makes me notice again that there are scattered hairs on her that are significantly longer than the rest of her fur, and thence to wonder if those are related to the hairs on humans, and thence to wonder how on earth she fits all this fur on her skin because this is one seriously furry cat.

--Ah, she's just leapt off me to fall instantly asleep on her armchair, I suppose I should go do some dishes and make a cake or something.

Oh but first I was meaning to write about something I was thinking about during a hymn at church today. We had two really interminable hymns and, gorgeous as they were, about halfway through the second one I was getting ideas for a story where a character finds themself singing a song and they're trapped until it's over, but the verses keep on going and going and just when it seems like it must end at this verse, suddenly there's another one.

But also I was thinking about the chorus of the second song (I had about six or seven opportunities to think about it after all), which was:
Lift high the cross, the love of God proclaim
Till all the world adore his glorious name. --Shirley Murray
And I am so not an evangelist for so many reasons, one of which is that I'm pretty sure anyone I'm ever likely to meet has probably already heard about God/Christ's name, and if they don't already adore it then me telling them about it yet again is just going to make them even more sick of it.

So I started thinking that what we actually need to do these days might be (to heinously misparse the word) to in-vangelise: to remind other Christians that our religion's meant to be about God's love and that when Jesus talked about hell he never once mentioned abortion or homosexuality or anything like that (when he talked about things like that he mostly said "Keep your sticky beak out and worry about your own conscience"), but rather the sin of not giving practical help to people who need practical help.

And (to parse the word properly) "You're going to hell unless you do what I say" isn't actually good news. It's more like blackmail. So when we let that be the message that gets spread we're kind of failing. If we want to spread good news we've first got to create it, by proclaiming love and living love and spreading love. We need every mention of "God" or "Jesus" or "Christian" to be associated with something good happening, something making people happy. Because when we associate those words with door-knocking and hellfire that's just a really great way to make God's name dreaded; but if we associate them with hugs and puppies then whether or not people actually convert -- it doesn't follow, after all, and honestly I don't think God cares, cf the Good Samaritan -- they'll at least like hearing his name.

--

Boots just looked out the window and noticed that it's 5pm, therefore time for her to be fed.

--

In other random news:
* I ate a peach from my peach tree (the others all went mouldy on the tree, I need to do something about that);
* I ate a blueberry from my blueberry bush (I think the birds got the other one, note the singular, it's a very small bush);
* the neighbour seems to be halfway through chopping down plum trees though he hasn't yet attacked the main one;
* the other neighbour, who pops over every now and then to retrieve errant tennis balls, is going to nail our fence back together temporarily and also talk with his landlord about going halves with me to arrange a more permanent solution;
* filling a green bin with garden waste once a week actually makes a measurable difference to how tidy said garden is;
* otoh doing so during the sunniest part of the day leaves one in danger of sunburn (albeit mild and easily treated with aloe vera gel);
* the company who was going to give me fake double-glazing has now decided that they don't want to be responsible for actually guaranteeing it so have refunded my money, so I guess the next thing on my to-do list is to get a new roof.

Date: 2010-03-08 08:03 am (UTC)
aquaeri: My nose is being washed by my cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] aquaeri
Not that anyone is interested in what atheists think about religions, but I do find Christianity overall (at least the Western version) rather blackmail-y. "He died for your sins" makes me think "well, he shouldn't be so passive-aggressive about trying to help me, if indeed he does want to". But your in-vangelical scheme sounds worthwhile.

Date: 2010-03-09 06:59 am (UTC)
aquaeri: A cake in the shape of a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick (gold brick)
From: [personal profile] aquaeri
This is bordering on triggery for me, as it turns out (it's useful to know, and of the Christians I know, you're one of the few I feel I can safely communicate that vulnerability to, and maintain hope of an interesting conversation).

So, "not rewarding you until he has your consent" gives me major heebie-jeebies, although I agree that having things done to one without one's consent is also heebie-jeebie-full. The whole thing to me is such, such a powergame and powergames are triggery for me. And I cannot make it mesh with "unconditional gift". A real unconditional gift (to me) means including accepting that the person you're offering it to may not want it, think you're misguided, or whatever. And Christianity as I've encountered it has never had enough humility for that. God couldn't be misguided! You should want to consent!

I'm not going there. I don't have the emotional energy to go into it now, but I like the mental space I found myself and I don't think it's compatible with Christianity, at least not anything you could meaningful call Christianity, given I'm pretty sure you'd have to drop God, and particularly JC as (a form of) God, or alternatively, we'd all be God, and then what's so special about him?

Note these discussions have contributed to my awareness of my triggeriness; if I wrote anything that made you think "whatever provoked that?", it's the interaction of posts (and me, of course).

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