Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I found myself recently in a conversation with a lady at the Barnes and Noble in Tyler about Christianity. I'm not sure how it ended up there, since it began with her, out of the blue, asking me if I'd ever been to Europe. I suppose it wasn't totally "out of the blue," as we were standing in the travel section. Regardless, it landed on Christianity.

She told me she was a Christian, but also a Buddhist and a believer in New Age. She gave her own version of the "all paths lead to God" speech. I told her that ten years ago it would have freaked me out hearing someone say those things, but that I'm much more open these days. I said that I'm still not where she is, because I have problem reconciling her views with what I believe Jesus taught, but that I can understand and respect where she was coming from. Apparently she took my words that I'm "still not where she is" to mean, that someday I WILL be there. She then told me, in the sweetest manner possible, that it's ok, because I'm younger than her and she has actually STUDIED world religions.

Yesterday I received a response to THIS POST, from over a year ago. In an otherwise respectful reply, the gentleman made this comment... "I guess you must`ve listened to the wrong guy or read the wrong book and blindly or should I say ignorantly made a conclusion."

I just love how people have found creative ways of saying "You don't know what the hell you're talking about," while attempting to appear humble and gentle. It's as if their mom is whispering in one ear "Be nice," and their dad in the other "WIN,WIN, WIN."

I believe people become this way when they have lost, or have never cultivated, a sense of genuine curiosity. I am drawn to those who see people as endless supplies of stories and perspectives, not as subjects to sway to their respective camps of thought. This is the weakness of the evangelical youth culture I was reared in. I went to camps to learn how to be a "soul winner." I was taught how to help the lost become found. Never once was I told that the people I run across who believe different from me actually have something to speak into my life.

I'm still not there, but I'm trying...


Katy said...

Once, I posted on my blog about a group called the Rational Response Squad which challenges people to denounce Christ and then post the videos of themselves donig so on YouTube. I watched some of the videos, cried and cried and then wrote about it.

And then the guy who STARTED the so-called Rational Response Squad FOUND my blog and said, "It's OK, you can admit that God doesn't exist" in the nicest mean way he could. Kind of like, "It's OK to admit you are a freaking lunatic because you think a man in the sky can help you." To which I think I replied, "What's it to you what I believe? I'm not hurting you and neither is anyone else who believes in Jesus who you are supposedly trying to reach and set free."

Aaron said...

Wait a minute! Does this mean that open-minded liberals who are tolerant of all views actually believe that they their pluriform view is RIGHT? And this then implies that those who (like you, Craig) don't buy into it are WRONG? How intolerant!

(I am stunned with disbelief. This lady could not have been a true liberal. She must have been some narrow-minded bigot posing as one so as to give liberals everywhere a bad name!)

Craig said...

Aaron, I'm not quite sure how to read your reply. I can't quite tell if your sarcasm is pointed to this lady or to me. Plus, dictionary.com doesn't tell me what "pluriform" means.

Aaron said...

Okay, but now you're forcing me to explain a joke, which is never good for its communicative power.

The sarcasm was directed at the lady (and all "open-minded" liberals) who are "tolerant" of all views--that is, once they have been reduced to liberalism. Liberalism abhors viewpoints that seek to deny other viewpoints as true, but that is exactly what it does, and that's why this lady thought you were "wrong." Your Christian viewpoint is not allowed to stand in its own integrity; it must be subsumed under the liberal metanarrative to be admitted into the utopia of liberal tolerance.