Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Frame It, that last post

Lavanah totally inspired the previous post with her Framework post. I saw the title of her post and thought it would be neat to see the blogosphere run a series of framework posts to provide insight into who they are and why they do magic the way they do it. Then I realized everyone is already doing that in their daily (or less frequent) blogs anyway.

Then my brain leapfrogged a bit, and the Frame It post got written.

And THEN I read her post. Cause that's how I am, sorry.

I've been following Jason's Evangelism posts (here, here, and here) with mild interest, but I haven't been reading the comments. I caught a whiff of drama when he had to make a second post, and a stench of it on the third. Being a Christian Magician, I've had to deal with plenty of the anti-Christian sentiment, and honestly, I'm just not that interested anymore. Many people have deep and painful emotions about Christianity because people either misrepresented or abused the belief system in their youth to get some kind of jollies. Others are just stupid and jump Christianity because they think it's cool and they're working out their issues with their mommies and daddies.

I'm not equipped to heal the damage done by my fellow Christians to you, if you're one of the wounded. I'm not interested in your adolescent games if you're one of the Christian bashers who don't even know what you're bashing.* Chances are pretty good you're only bashing your own beliefs about Christianity based on whatever you've read and experienced anyway. Loser.

But when I read Lavanah's post, I literally wept. Had to wipe the tears away with a napkin before any co-workers wandered into my cube and saw me blubbering. What happened to her and anyone with similar stories really, really sucks. I'm personally sorry, deeply and painfully sorry that any of "my people" ever hurt you that way if you're one of the many who suffered. I can't make those people go away, or take away any pain you felt because of their treatment, but know that at least one Christian is sorry for what was done. It wasn't right. You deserve better.

For the record, the Good News, the Gospel we're supposed to be taking to all the world (based on what JC said to me) is simply this: God can be a friend. Whatever it is you think separates you from him is gone, now and forever, and he loves you and wants to be with you. No matter what you've done, or think you've done, and certainly no matter what anyone told you.

If the Christians spreading the gospel really believed that, if they understood what it means that "GOD WANTS TO BE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE" ... Well, they wouldn't be hurting people, or thinking badly of them if they don't "accept it," they'd value every person and their personal relationship with God as much as God does, however God manifests to them.

But most people out there evangelizing haven't even met God, face to face. They don't know what they're talking about, only what they've been told, or read in a book they've made an idol to worship because it's too hard or (more honestly) frightening to meet the alleged Author. They don't know. They evangelize out of fear, because it's a requirement, or an obligation, not out of Joy of being with God daily, being the Observer and the Observed at the same time with their Source. And then they feel all self righteous or something, not even noticing that they're the reason Jesus wept.

It sucks.

* And honestly, if you're NOT a Christian, you cannot understand it. Even most "Christians" don't understand it. Those who explore the mysteries of Christianity in faith, hope, and earnest desire to know and be known by God might understand part of it, sometimes. But no one agrees with everyone else about what Christianity is "really" all about, when you get into the doctrines, scriptures, schisms, and all that stuff, no one. We Christians, just like everyone else, are all adept at creating our own core beliefs that are unique enough to be different in at least one way from any other Christian when compared point by point. Even if, like me, you think you fully understand it, you don't. We can't even see "it."


  1. Well that explains why the blog post titles were so similar, but the topics, not so much.

    Unfortunately, though, my stories are not that unusual. And when you say "And honestly, if you're NOT a Christian, you cannot understand it" I can honestly reply that the lack of understanding goes both ways on this subject.

  2. Lavanah: I was addressing people who bashed Christianity as a whole in the footnote, but you're right.

    I think your primary issue with the requirement of evangelism is that the way it is usually interpreted by Christians requires the pre-judgment that other people don't have a valid relationship with God if they don't believe what I believe. Is that correct?

    If so, you're right, and I think Jason would agree too, which was sort of why he posted the video in the first place. Christians ARE required to spread the Good News, but we are ALSO required not to judge others.

    The requirement to evangelize is there because some people don't know that God loves them and wants to be friends, and God wants those who have a relationship with him to tell others that they can too. Like a lot of other things in Christianity, it's been perverted and misrepresented by MOST christians, not just one or two, but the majority. It's not supposed to be done in a judgmental way. "Even little Jewish girls..." To phrase it that way reveals so much.

    We don't evangelize to save the world from going to hell, we evangelize to save the world from living without God. I've reached a point where I understand that "living with God" doesn't equate to "accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and voting Republican forever."

  3. RO, amazing post. As a former fundamentalist christian who felt something wrong with the way I was going about things, I understand you completely.

    The message of Christ is compassion, and forgiveness. He has done the work for us, all we have to do is realize this. And what a lot of people don't understand is that the great work does just that, it is an act of transformation through realization. Of transformation through service, compassion and experience.

    As a fellow hermetic magician(still only starting out, I have had a lot of psychological bulshit I had to work out) who also is slowly re-building a proper and balanced relation with Christ I can understand and empathize completely.

    Christ is within all, that is the secret, whether we acknowledge it or not, or see him in a different light, its the function and representation that is always the same.

    Much love and respect brother :)

  4. "We don't evangelize to save the world from going to hell, we evangelize to save the world from living without God. I've reached a point where I understand that "living with God" doesn't equate to "accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and voting Republican forever."

    In my on life, this has been the trouble with my testimony. Through my experiences and the blessings of grace I have been given, I have a message of love and peace to offer. But most places that are an outlet for that testimony are churches, and most churches want to put a slant on the meaning of my own testimony... To be used to spread the message they believe they need to spread, while I don't believe my testimony should be used for that purpose, any more than I believe the Gospels should be used for those purposes.

    I believe in a God who is big, wise, vast, and loving enough to personalize himself for our own Good, and they believe in a God small enough to put all manners of restraints and dampers on what a Loving Relationship with Him can really be like... As if He were like one of us, bound by finite perspectives, and politics, and limitations, and judgments.

    And I simply can't abide by letting the Good Gift that was given so freely to me be used as a tool for inducing fear or coercing people into obligatory faith and empty religious practice when that is so vastly not the message He gave to me.

    So, I feel for you, Lavanah. I also empathize with you, RO, coming from a similar background and sharing in your frustrations.

  5. I'd like to say that, as a Christian myself, Lavanah can take comfort that whatever those people said or did, it is not of God. Man is fallible. It's like the singer, Carmen said, "Keep your eyes on the Creator, man, and not on His creation." Forget the people who act stupid. Put your eyes on God, and allow Him to lead you.

  6. See this is why I try to do like St. Francis di Assizi said, "Preach the Gospel, always. And when necessary, use words."


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