Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

I repent of my general and specific stupidity


family_veggietales.jpg

Today I am going to rebuttal myself. I posted a blog called “Why I am crappy Christian and proud of it” or something a bit ago…

Well, first off, I’m not proud of it. I am ashamed. And I am not so much a crappy Christian as profoundly immature Christian. I said I don’t want to call myself a Christian because I am not ready to drink from the “martyrs cup” yet. And I am not, so that much is true. But a brother pointed out to me that no matter how holy my desire to not call myself a Christian might be, by not calling myself a Christian I removed myself from the day to day dialog of life about God and Reality, and that meant I was held to a lower standard. He said further, that I was right to recognize my failure to be a good Christian but that seeking a lower standard would do nothing to address the root issues of why I couldn’t meet the standard. He’s right. but…

Well, first, I’ve not the right to say “He’s right, but…” He’s just right. Having accepted that he is totally correct, I want to explain why its so hard.

I hate U.S. Christianity Inc.

Its a dirty little cage with tarnished bars. The goal of US Christianity Inc is nothing less than the total destruction of God through a Randian twist of destroying man. The shittier USCI can make man look, the worse it can make God look by association. US Christianity Inc hates anything that inspires anything other than insipid nostalgia for a nonexistent past.

“Christian art” is an affront to both Christianity and Art. A photo can tell the truth about the way something is (though far to few do) but Art can tell the truth about the way something feels. If what Christ saves you from is life of misery, where is the misery in their art? Where is the brokenness. I see the blond haired, blued Jesus with the kids on his lap, I see the pathetic broken man on the cross. Where is the triumphant King? Where is the Holy Vengeance? Where’s the man who pours out wrath? Where is the master of the four horsemen? Well, he doesn’t go well with peoples living room furniture so we wrote him out of the story.

“Christian Music” is pure unadulterated crap. Now, my brother plays in Christian band. He plays metalcore, because he finds a lot of lost people at metalcore concerts. They get up on the stage and talk about being broken and hurt and miserable and addicted and then they sing about Jesus and how with Jesus they don’t need toke up anymore, or hurt themselves anymore. They do an alter call after the show and pray for the people who accepted Christ and try to hook them up with local ministries. They don’t do this at nice clean Christian concerts by the way. They do it opening for garage bands. They did 200 shows this year. Without a label. They work their butts off and spread the Gospel and pay their way. I respect that, and thats not what I am talking about. I am talking about people like Jessica Simpson, who’s parents tried to release her on a Christian label but decided not to because they couldn’t get enough of the boobs they had paid good money for onto the album covers. I am talking about “Our God is an Awesome God” rearranged for choir with the drums edited out.

“Christian Business” is the most perverse. Non-profit agencies clearing millions. Pastors with private jets. Televangelists. “Christian bookstores” which buy the artless kitsch mentioned above from Chinese slave labor and sell it for 1000% markups. Christian Radio stations which use a non-profit loophole about repeater stations to own more of the airwaves than Clear Channel. (Ever wonder why you can hear KLUV in every city in the US?)

US Christianity Inc holds out a pathetic worthless vision of what it means to be human, and thus a pathetic worthless vision of what it means to be the God who made humans. I hate it all. Hate it with a passion, as I should. Its crap. It replaces the living God with idol of kitsch in a temple of consumerism. It is, to be frank, exactly the sort of thing that God punishes people with the “Three C’s” for. (Capture, Captivity, and Cannibalism.)

I hate it. Yet, I must not lie. Despite the fact that Christians have made the name of God a mockery, I cannot “un-mock” God by pretending I am not his child. SO, I repent. I am Christian. I am a lousy, weak, stupid, and angry Christian. But I am a Christian. I will no longer secretly mock my brothers and sisters for their weakness and stupidity. That too is sin. No, from this day forward, I will call them out on their hypocrisy and seek to eliminate the same from my life.

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January 29, 2008 - Posted by | Religion | , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. “The Church is a whore and it is my mother”(-St. Augustine) and for wtf reason, God loves the Church, even enough to call her His bride. And its probably just as much of a miracle that He loves bastard prodigals like me and you.

    Comment by theveritablefabulist | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. Great read. I used to work in a Christian bookstore, and it was amazing how “consumerized” Christianity was portrayed. When the Columbine shootings happened back in 2000, and the whole “Yes I Believe” things started, it was exploited beyond recognition. Yes I Believe- the coffee mug, the cd, the t-shirt- all making money off of the final words of a Christ-follower.

    It’s sad.

    Comment by adam | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. As I read your post I couldn’t help but think of how so much of the problem stems from the church. I heard a young pastor speak in Dallas about the very issues you find so disturbing. He pointed out that we tend to put a guy on stage who was an addict for years then came to Christ and has never had a craving again. Now that’s great, but the rest of the people in the audience are sitting there wondering what’s wrong with them. I guess God must not love me they conclude or else I would have the same testimony. This guy says he puts people on stage who are struggling. People who are raw, but real. In fact he mentioned a time when his best friends 5 year old daughter was dying. He got on stage that week and told his people how his faith didn’t work. He was not happy with God. Yet in the midst of this he held on to his faith. Now that’s reality. Leaders need to take themselves of their pedastals and lead. We are in desperate need of good leaders today. When those leaders step forward people flock to them because they desperately desire something real. We are rapidly becoming a post Christian society and at the same time church attendance is growing, at least in the South. Something is wrong. We are preaching a gospel that applies to the past and promises a grand future, but doesn’t work for today.

    Comment by Josh | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  4. “See Grasshopper, already you become wiser….” But enlightenment doesn’t have to be JUST a handful of parrot droppings.

    All the things you point out are true to a limited extent. Certainly there is the garbage misuse of things for profit. But back up and look critically (without emotion) at all the things said here. When have you ever TRULY seen a picture of Jesus as blonde and blue eyed? Too light for middle eastern maybe but never really as described here. I’m certain that if you were taking worship music to another culture, whether Eskimo, Jamaican, Yemeni, Vietnamese, you’d have no ethical problem with adapting it to what those people found comfortable. What’s wrong with making a praise song into a choir piece (without drums), if that is what makes an American church goer comfortable? Why is it OK for the non-white third worlder, but not for the WASP?

    And darn it… I LIKE Veggie Tales. So there, too.

    The “slave labor in China” stuff doesn’t cut it. It’s easy to throw the label of taking advantage of those poor disadvantaged Chinese workers onto whoever I disagree with; and just pretend that the tools I work on my car with, the tent I sleep in when camping, the camp gear, the knife on my belt, the tackle I fish with, the toys I buy my grandkids are all made in America by Union scale workers. Right.

    Sure there’s glitz and phonyness in a lot of “professional” churchmen, pardon me.. church persons. But in the little “almost housechurch” we attend, Janetta goes in her beat up car and picks up neighborhood children and brings them to chapel and teaches them herself. Elder Raymond has a half acre garden and keeps me in turnips and chinese cabbage and tomatoes and carrots and peaches and does the same for everyone else. Elder James witnesses to the people at the coffee shop and those he meets on the road as a cattle buyer. Their wives prepare missionary gifts and calendars. Jay worked all summer for nothing at a Church camp… not even a stipend. Greg and Gina take in foreign exchange students and expose them to Christianity. Elder Raymond and his wife Arlene take in every stray grandkid, cast off child and broken hearted person and feed and clothe them. Raymond drives 200 miles round trip to pick up a relative on probation for OMVUI and bring him to a real home for the weekend. That’s Christianity. In America. And it’s alive and well, thankyou… no matter what they’re wasting their time and money on at Willow Creek.

    forgot to add…. Rita takes care of a mentally ill woman and tries to mentor her as a Christian. Her husband Ray does volunteer work visiting shut ins in nursing homes and for a Christian second hand store.
    And MY wife organizes 5 Day Clubs for children in town, and teaches swimming lessons to homeschool children and comforts women who’ve just discovered they have cancer through Reach To Recovery. And me? I preach occasionally and spend a good deal of time and effort reaching out to those like me who were NOT automatically released from the cravings. Again… that’s Christianity… in America.

    Please understand that I am not writing these things to be critical of anyone personally, but to suggest that “rage against the machine” is not the answer. Perhaps we should be looking at what John wrote in Revelation 3 to the remnant of the “dead” church at Sardis…. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain… Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast and repent… He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels…. He that hath an ear, let him hear…”

    Comment by River Rat Ranger | February 6, 2008 | Reply


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