On Fundamental Christianity


Today has been rather unproductive for me, despite having rigidly stuck to the “writers schedule” I set for myself. Pretty sure I mostly daydreamed about accessories for my shotgun and racked up a list of just under $500 worth of parts that I “need” to make it “combat-ready” (read, “tacti-cool”). I’ll probably never buy any of it because of hard and fast rules for “tactical” equipment that I follow religiously…but that’s another post.

I broke the spell by wandering Barnes and Noble for the last hour. I may have stayed longer, but I found inspiration which I then darted home to share with you. Not sure if any of you have read “The Unlikely Disciple” by Kevin someone-or-other, but it looked interesting, if only for the concept. Pretty sure it’s not something I would sit down a read through, although, his bibliography of helpful books he read contains quite a few gems which I have on my shelf. To be honest, I had been thinking about reading them again just recently.

The premise of this memoir is a kid who was just a regular American. He grew up in a Quaker household, which I was surprised to discover much more nominal than I had stereotyped, and attended Brown University (which he self described as college if you’re from Sodom and Gomorrah). He got a job as a Writers Assistant working with the author of “A Year of Living the Bible” (I think…) during that project. On an OJT field trip, they ended up at Jerry Falwell’s church where he met some students from Jerry Falwell’s liberal arts college. More curious than chaffed by his first run in with evangelicals (which went exactly as the stereotype leads you to assume), during which he thinks, “Jerry Falwell has a liberal arts university? Isn’t that like Courtney Love teaching an etiquette class?”, he eventually goes for a semester at Liberty University and plays along with the culture he finds there.

So at this point, I’m amazed and run home to work my jumbled mind out on paper…or content entry box and keyboard or whatever. I haven’t read any more than what I shared with you and all the Christianese and Evangelicalism is turning me off more than Austin Powers could (Baby). Yet I find myself fascinated at this anthropological experiment and also the accepting mind that could perform it. I might be just as close-minded as pretty much everyone else I hate for that reason and it’s making me uncomfortable. This situation baffles me. I am familiar with that world and would never consider attending ANY religious university. So what is the deal with this kid…?

Which brings us to my actual point, all God needs is a willing heart and he can perform his greatest work. So what’s my problem? What’s the problem with the rest of America? Apparently, our hearts are not as willing as we’d like to believe. The older and more experienced I get, the more resistant my heart comes to change, and therefore, to God. The fundamentalist nature of these colleges and communities irks me, but it seems that I must practice what I preach to others in some way.

There isn’t anything wrong with the fundamentals present at the core of fundamentalism. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize it. In order to become proficient in ANYTHING you must become an expert at the fundamentals. I believe for too long I have been throwing the baby out with the bathwater on the religious front. It might be time to start opening myself up to experience at least as much fundamentalist Christianity as I do secular world vision. With both, I have to be selective in what I think best to incorporate into my life and relationships, so perhaps, being a bit more well rounded would help.

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