I get a lot of emails and Facebook postings about prayer. Most are re-posts and unoriginal, but the message is always the same: God is great, Jesus is our Lord, have you found God? Have you found Jesus? (This later one amuses me as any Christian worth his salt knows: God and Jesus are one and the same…if you found one, you’ve found the other!) They are all evangelical by nature, and I understand; if you believe the indoctrination of Christian crusade camps the world over, your only job is to carry the message forward. And it’s this messaging that prompts me to write today.
I was born, baptized, and raised in a Catholic household. I was even an altar boy for eight years (and no, I was not “touched” by God, although, with the cash settlements going out these days, a little touch and tickle might have paid for my retirement). No, even with my religious background, I am not, by way of full disclosure, a religious person. But neither am I agnostic. I believe in God…I just happen to believe that my relationship with Him is very intimate and personal. I also believe that if God wanted people to return to his flock, he wouldn’t need an army of over-zealous, pious, acne-pocked faced teenagers to do his dirty work. I sort of imagine if he wanted you, he would know how to get your attention real quick, unequivocally, and in a hurry.
As I mentioned, I believe my relationship with Him is personal. And this is where I take issue with evangelicals. Where they spend countless hours during their day “preaching the word”, those are hours that might be better spent actually going out into the world and doing “Christian” acts; I don’t know, like feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, feeding the poor…you know, that kind of thing. Instead, they don’t have much time left at the end of a recruiting day for anything more than a quick re-grouping to compare notes and plan for tomorrow’s orgy of recruitment. And I also find it repugnant to use social media to sound off about how much of a Christian you are and how much I am not.
Additionally, how conveniently they skip over passages within their own bibles that speak to their ultimate rewards in Heaven; why then are they seeking to publish their every holy thought and action here on earth so that others might know how “Christ-like” they are and how much I am not?. Nothing would, in my opinion, be less Christian. Can you see Jesus going around saying, “Hey Peter, did you see how I changed that water into wine? Pretty cool, huh. Bet you can’t do that!”
Mother Teresa once said she almost never had time to stop and pray…she had too much work to do. Her work was, in essence, her prayers. C.S. Lewis, a major Christian apologist, also said, “My relationship with God is an intensely personal one.) Yet there is nothing intensely, or even remotely, personal about 10,000 people filling up Fulton County Stadium and singing hymns all day while just outside, on the streets of Atlanta, thousands of homeless men, women, and children fight just to survive another cold night.
I guess what I’m trying to say is enough already with the emails and postings. Get off your collective cultish asses and actually do something Christ-like. Forget about me and go take care of one of God’s children. Your message is better understood in action.