Friday, February 4, 2011

Resurrection

Sometimes, something you love gets so twisted, so distorted, and so bent out of shape that you cannot help but do something about it. Not because you are especially selfless or altruistic or because you know the truth that no one else does, but because you are human.

I had a conversation recently with two good friends about our time in Christian Institutions. Though many of those details must remain a mystery to most of my readers, suffice it to say we've all been hurt, we've all been attacked at the core of our being, repeatedly. The most damning part of it is that this attack was mercilessly carried out by people that genuinely think they are doing right, that they are acting for the benefit of those they have influence over.

There is a belief that is prevalent among Christians that we are somehow different from everyone else, better in some way, though we would probably never say better. The world is this clouded and dark place, and no one unsaved has any wisdom whatsoever, because they don't know God. Some would be more generous and say that their wisdom is accidental and they don't actually understand the core of their knowledge (God), or that they are allowed the knowledge by God, but only to a certain point, only gaining full knowledge when they "get saved."

The problem is, when you are used to having an enemy, you will always have one in some form or another. When you live to fight, you don't stop fighting just because no one else is around, and you probably have a legitimate reason for your need to fight, something that has never seen healing in who you are. I know I do. Sometimes, unfortunately, healing must come from being broken so entirely that you will finally give up your stubborn pride, your sense of superiority, and most of all, your fear that if you don't fight, you will lose.

When you defeat the atheists, you move onto agnostics. When you defeat them, you move onto other religions. When you defeat other religions, you must battle those that claim to be Christians and don't share your beliefs. It's all for Christ that you tear these people apart, you are a warrior for Truth, and you will point it out wherever you go, no matter what the cost, no matter how much you must humiliate and dishonor these people and yourself, they must know they are wrong so they can change.

Constant provocation, constant criticism, constant battling changes a person, no matter how they choose to participate. Even if it was never your intention to get involved in the war, you somehow end up in the middle, and no one involved gets out undamaged.

The result of this is a system wherein the superiors damage the ones they teach intentionally, to create this artificial character, this contrived spirituality and correct theology. Psychologically, you must agree not because it's true, but because of the consequences if you don't. The ultimate trump card here is the brand of heretic, the rejection from the institution, the social and intellectual ostracization of a person.

In other words, I am damaged and have come to the place where my life has been given meaning as a result. I will pass this on to you. We will be damaged, angry, and spiritual together, taking on the role of those that killed Christ, the persecutor, to each other. We will find truth through fear, violence, and fighting.

I am a problem solver. For the longest time, I've tried to fix this thing I love. The truth is, no matter how bitter or angry I've been, I love being a Christian. I'll identify myself as one readily so long as I know people understand what I mean, which is very difficult with the chaos Christianity has descended into screaming behind all of my words.

It's time to stop criticizing, stop being angry, stop allowing the destruction wrought upon us by others to determine how we act, and just be who we know we should be. When I think of Christ, he didn't spend his time trying to control people, trying to correct others' perceptions of him, trying to correct every single person about every single detail, and most of all, I don't see him spending his time damaged and angry because he was so misunderstood. When he was killed unfairly, treated horribly for no good reason, and subjected to the most intense kind of misunderstanding possible, he didn't resurrect and decide to destroy humanity.

And sometimes, when I get misunderstood, when I get cut off in traffic, when someone doesn't allow me to speak or assumes things and disregards me, I feel like he should have. Because I am fickle, I am angry, I am unreliable. It's pretty cool that Christ is not.

My contention is not over the existence of Christ, the validity of Scripture, the 5 points of Orthodoxy, or over any point of theology as we know it. We've screamed about that enough, and you have made up your mind about it. In conversation I will respect every view you have, and I ask the same from you.

My contention is that Christ is the most contrary, subversive, beautifully illogical, upside down, incredible figure I have ever seen. He literally still shines as an example of being the absolute opposite of every religion claiming to follow his name, because the way he lived and continues to exist is destructive to institutionalized religion, dogmatic theology, and to war itself.

Where I have been offered more anger, bitterness, movements, rules, conventions, theological imperatives, threats, and ugliness by the institution I've had to deal with for years, Christ offers honor, respect, love, and a lifestyle that transcends the holy war everyone seems to want to fight.

Instead of fighting fire with fire, we can become tranquility in the middle of war, light in the darkness, literally the opposite of the life that people keep telling us is the way to live.

Theology must be rebuilt again and again, and every time it is systematized, it must be destroyed because the center of the system is destructive to its' very existence. Because Christ didn't decide to unite with humanity to create Christianity, he walked with us to show us humanity as it is truly meant to be. He allowed for his own death not just for a metaphysical regenerative salvation, but because death is no longer the rule. Resurrection is. He disregarded religion because it was never meant to work from the beginning, it was a method that self-destructed under its' own inadequacy like everything else trying to show us what the divine is.

To those broken by religion, hurt by Christianity, embittered and angry and feeling like there is no other place to turn, you are offered the hope of Resurrection. The hope that when everything falls apart, there is always something new, something better, because you are a little closer to the truth, a little more knowledgeable, and you know things that no one else does.

You are someone that no one else can duplicate. You are truly human, in all of your broken glory.

Resurrection is not just a matter of becoming undying, it is becoming truly human, transcending the rules of life as we know them, with death being the ultimate rule.

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