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.
* 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."