Saturday, July 07, 2007

that 10 percent

Essentially I reached the conclusion about four to six weeks ago that Christianity is about 99 percent bullshit -- not just how it is practiced today, by prosperity gospel charlatans and Prayer of Jabez nonsense, but the very thing itself. Our doctrines, our mythology, our concepts of God and sin, our attitudes toward the Bible, and so on, by and large would make an excellent fertilizer if someone could figure out how to bag it.
That one percent, though, not only is impossible to let go of, I find that it won't let go of me.
What's in that 1 percent is Christ, and his resurrection. It's been said with some truth that if God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him. I don't believe anyone could invent Jesus. I've seen some attempts, and they're always pathetic. They make no sense, or they represent perfectly one philosophy, one viewpoint, one nation, or one ideology. The Jesus depicted in the gospels is impossible to pigeonhole on politics, economics, taxes, education, environmental policy, or anything. He is so freaking subversive, so determined to embrace all people yet still managing to offend everyone he shouldn't, that he defies the ability of humanity to imagine.
As for his Resurrection ... well, Occam's Razor suggests that the simpler explanation is probably the true one. And so we ask ourselves, which is more likely: that this group of incessantly bickering and fighting disciples willfully perpetrated a fraud of unprecedented scale on the world, gave their lives in some of the most horrible ways imaginable, and no one brought out a body to confound the fraud ... or that Jesus actually rose from the dead?
My money's on the Resurrection because, quite frankly, it's simpler and less miraculous.
But none of that is entirely germaine to the discussion of church. I know the standard explanations given for the expectation of church attendance, and I'm really not interested in rehashing them. I'm trying to take a step back and ask what it is that I really want from church, if that's a reasonable expectation, and if so, how I can go about realizing those goals in church; and I'm trying to find my way to offering what I have to offer in a way that works with this church and its structure.
Does that make sense?

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