Evangelical Christianity Strikes Again
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005, 12:41 AM
There are lots of things in everyday conversation that can set me off. I mean, I describe myself as a “loose cannon.” Those who know me can attest to the fact that once I latch onto something and start stepping onto my soap box, it is best to just let me run out of steam before trying to talk any sense into me. Then there are the things that really matter that set me off and leave me dumb struck. Today I had one of those experiences.
I have a kid at my school that lost his mother a few weeks ago. She had MS, and died of a brain embolism. He was with her the day she passed and is going through the typical stages of grief that one would expect of a 13-year-old boy in his position. He is the middle of 5 kids, and is the oldest boy. He sat in my office today crying because he felt guilty about his mom. When I asked him to explain, he said that he had three times the day she died that he could have told her that he loved her and did not.
As my heart ached for this kid, I explained to him that everyone feels this way when we loose someone close. We always think about that one last thing we “could” have done. Then he opened up about what was really hurting him.
“If I had prayed hard enough, God would have healed her.” As these words left his mouth and hit my ears I felt this growing warmth in my heart, and not the kind of warmth that grows into a warm fuzzy. This was the kind of warm feeling that could only lead to anger and indignation. I asked him why he thought that, and he told me that his Pastor had given a sermon a few months ago about how if we pray for something long and hard enough, God has to grant it to us. I quickly covered my anger, and finished out the session explaining to this pour kid that sometimes thing happen and we don’t know why. That seemed to hold him up a lot better.
When did Evangelical America buy into this lie? It is the most absurd, ridiculous, egotistical thing I have ever heard. The idea that if I want something bad enough, that I can pray for it everyday and God will magically give it to me. Let us, for just a moment, pretend that God actually listens to the selfish and self-centered prayers of people, and think about this for a second. God, the creator, sovereign of all that is, is bound by the will of Man if he prays hard enough. If you have not seen Kevin Smith’s movie “Dogma,” it can enlighten you to the problem with this logic. But let us review for a second. God created man. Man created Dogma as a way to understand God (as if such an endeavor could actually ever reached). And now God is subject to Dogma?
Why can’t people be more aware of what the different churches of today are teaching? Not to single out any particular brand of Christianity, but this kind of lack of logic very prevalent in the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard churches today. I guess that is the result of not requiring your Pastors to have any formal education, only a calling into the ministry, in order to lead a church. Because the logic and knowledge of a working man is all that is needed to lead others in the way of the Lord, and who needs to be caught up on intellectual ideas like hermeneutics and logic. All that is expected of Pastors today is charisma, and the ability to make people feel like they are being feed something deep (like that Dr Phil guy on TV).
When are we going to wake up and realize that the Evangelical church is rapidly spiraling down into a pit of doom? In a Post-Modern society, a time where people are rejecting logic like “because God says so” and turning to more conventional rational like “by what authority does God have claim to a right over my life, we must not allow ourselves to buy into the anti-intellectual spin that is being put on the church. We allow the world around us to view us as the people who only rely on what feels right, and not as people who use the heads our own God gave us. And because of this, I had the opportunity to tell a young man today something that not many people want to think about. Even Jesus, while praying in the garden before his death, asked God to not make him go to the cross. He did this three times. And God chose not to do what Jesus asked. I then told him to tell his Pastor this, and sort it out with his church. Hopefully he won’t be feed any other crap that will make him feel guiltier for things he should not feel guilty about in the first place.