Thursday, February 21, 2008
Let's Not and Say We Did
From We Make the Road by Walking by Myles Horton and Paulo Freire page 29:
(A missonary came in)... who was telling how many souls he saved in africa and i was impressed with that. i thought that was great, saving souls, until he says the ones that i didn't save are going to hell. i said wait a minute. somethings wrong with this kind of thinking. he said if they're told about christ and don't accept him, then they go to hell but if they aren't told, they don't go to hell because they aren't responsible. so i did a little mental arithmetic, at which i was very poor but good enough for this purpose, and figured out how many people he was damning to hell.
The more i thought about that the more incensed i got at this whole procedure, damning these people to hell. The missionary had a discussion period and all these people were asking theological questions. So i asked him an arithmatic question. I asked, "How many people have you sent to hell? According to your analysis, for every person you've saved, you've sent hundreds to hell. Why, wouldn't it have been better if you'd stayed home, there'd be more people in heaven if you had stated home?"
Well, the people were furious.
This book is the coolest! Go out and get it! Anyone who is a teacher, knows a teacher, or has ever been taught by a teacher! great read!
i was once like this missionary. from ages 12-16 i was very zealous and fundie in my doctrine. hard to believe now, but i believe this was out of my fear and ignorance of the world outside my catholic, smalltown context.
over the past few months i've been in a convo with a guy who still holds the fundie doctine. due to my christian leanings of "witnessing" and also thinking of my own faith journey, i thought that this dialogue would show ignorance and fear and maybe get this guy to convert, or at the very least, check out something outside of where he was looking.
the convo lasted until kate read it and found that this wasn't a dialogue at all but a pissing match. it was as if i was talking to a wall. him as well! i'm not blameless here either! it was an air of "screw the facts, my mind is made up!" on either side. i saw him as an ignorant fundie who just didn't know better and he saw me as a know-it-all agnostic who is trying to be a christian. well i'm a christian, i know that. as for a know-it-all, i hope i don't come across that way on here.. i'm just sharing cool stuff i've learned here. i'm still very much struggle'n and learning and always will be!
this convo proved fruitful however. i've learned a lot and here are some lessons i hope to share:
1. never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups reading books by authors designed to get stupid people to buy them and make a profit. Ann Coulter, James Dobson, and Richard Dawkins come to mind.
2. ignorant ppl will stay ignorant no matter how many book recommendations you make.
3. i'm a fundie as well... that's right, i've said it! i'm very much a fundamentalist.. with a twist on the word of course. i believe that you should love God, your neighbor and yourself, period. you fundamentally don't have to be christian to do this. if you are currently doing this in a non-christian capacity, you're covered.
How does this work biblically?
jesus said he was the way the way, the truth, and the life. can't get to the Father without him. if you're jewish and worshipping the Father, and jesus and the father are infact one and the same, you're covered.
if you're on the WAY of loving God, neighbor or self and think God is called Allah/Shiva/or even think God is within or in others, you're covered since THE WAY and jesus are one and the same.
if you're alive and jesus is THE LIFE then you're covered if you're following said love of God, neighbor, self.
when you boil my beliefs down, this is what it is. very simplistic, just like me ;-). my fundamental creed. the rest is just doctrine.