Saturday, August 18, 2012

What does it mean - "The Buck Stops Here"?

Hello My Friends;

  I'm sorry to have been so dry in my posting.  Frankly, I just haven't had a lot to say - or, perhaps it would be better to say that I just haven't had a lot I know how to say.  And, to a fair extent, I still don't.  So, if you will forgive me, I'm going to think through some things with you here.

  But first, I am excited to tell you that we had a great day with the rescue dogs today.  I was a small part of it, but am proud to tell you that a very small part of our success today was I overcame my withdrawing behavior and stepped forward to people coming in and really try to sell the concept of adopting a wonderful dog.  I was very proud to find it - at least in part - translate to a wider conversation with the professionals in the organization and adoption applications filled out! 
  For the majority of my life, I've considered myself a Christian.  I was raised in the Lutheran faith, and when my life's troubles came too much I found myself praying to find relief and understanding, to even have someone who I could cry out to and believe they listened and cared
  Why is it that I had a tendency to only pray when I was in trouble?  Such is life.  We seem to think that we can do anything right up to the point when life laughs in our face.  Then, we really really need someone who is more powerful than life to cry to and who will make it all better.  Fortunate people have a Dad who is that all-powerful being when they are little children.  It's sort of like that.
  I don't know what I classify myself as anymore.  Do I believe in God?  The Ultimate being?  Yep.  Do I classify myself as a Christian?    ?

  There is a certain degree of the incredible - not the good kind, either - with the way Christian groups are behaving lately.  It reminds me of the phrase "Those who don't learn their history are doomed to repeat it".  I now hear a lot of Pharisee wanna-be's.  In fact, if one were to sit back and listen, their constant rants are quite ridiculous and hilarious - except that they seem to be influencing some who have far too much power.  How is it that these men and women who claim to be loving, Christ-like people have become so judgemental, self-righteous bigots?  Ironic as it may seem, those who believe in Christ and, by happenstance, are homosexual, are likely closer to the original Christians that these hate mongers who believe gays are the ruin of the world.  Going further, that was also the saying about Christians then.  Go figure, huh?

  The problem I'm having, though, is that now I am having real problems thinking about myself as a Christian.  I find the word shameful. I feel beaten up, degraded, defiled and reviled by these people, and I find the concept of Christ difficult to believe when the concept of Christian has become so shallow, judgemental and hating.  Who do they believe they are?  Who do they think gave them power to judge me? 

  Somewhere deep inside, where little randy still lives, is that small voice that tells me that one day someone very high up, if you get my drift, will tell such "Get away from me.  You never knew me."  That someday, the end - at least for some - will come and they will be face to face with that one who they've been "representing" for so long and be told quite clearly - enough! 


Sammy B said...

Hello Randy
It's all, it seems to me, about 'in-groups' and 'the other'. Humans have been programmed by evolution to look for safety within their own 'tribe', and to look on those not within the tribe with caution, if not fear and suspicion. And in the early days of Homo Sapiens, that was beneficial to the propagation of your own genes, because 'others' would take your 'resources', food, females of breeding age, raw materials, by force if circumstances allowed. As societies evolved, however, such pillage became much less common (although not, of course, extinct - look at the modern propensity for looting when the normal checks and balances of 'society' break down), the lifestyle of most people becoming more peaceful and co-operative the more advanced civilisation became. The evolutionary 'hard-wiring' is still there, though, the tribal mentality still present, the need for security, psychological if not physical, still a powerful driving force. Hence, as I see it, religion, and in particular its judgmental side. If you feel that you not only have an 'omnipotent' father-figure to look after you, but also a 'tribe' of like-minded individuals to support you, it's a short step, mentally, to assuming that you occupy a favoured position, and that anyone outside that group, the 'other', is inferior to yourself. In addition, there's the other evolutionary throwback about keeping hold of 'resources', and a favoured position is a resource in itself, people who feel they have it want to keep it. So, not only look down on the 'other', but actively persecute them, thereby protecting your 'elite' status. At the moment, the hate group of choice seems to be us filthy gays, but look not too far back in history, and black people occupied that position. Or Jews. Or Muslims. Or women. Or, even, those who worship 'your' god in the 'wrong' way, Cathars, Gnostics - Catholics? As Steven Weinberg memorably said 'With or without religion, good people can behave well, and bad people can do evil. But for good people to do evil - that takes religion'.

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

Doug said...

God is out there and he is looking down at the people who call themselves Christians but refuse to follow what Christ taught. They will be the ones that are judged in the end. There are so many people out there that are like this and they are giving themselves a bad reputation. It is too bad that the real Christians are being put in this same group. There are a lot of us out there that actually love one another, and never judging someone. This is the way Jesus wanted it to be.

randy said...

Hi Sammy and Doug;

Thank you so much for your wonderful additions. I was thinking about the star trek episode where Picard is brainwashed: In the end, he tells us, in different words, that given the right incentive, any truth can be a lie, and any lie can be made the truth. Scary thing, huh.


Scottie said...

Hello Randy. For what it is are a christian...because you believe in the ideals of what the bible tries to teach, not that it is a historical literal record of events. You also are Christian because you can see how the needs of that time differ from the needs of our time and the things that would detract from the message of better living, more caring for your fellow being must come before dogma.

The man the bible is to represent rejected the dogma of his time. He put forth an idea of a supreme being who so loved us, so wanted us to succeed, that he sent part of himself to suffer for us. There is nothing wrong with believing that. I admire that. I see it in my own life every time a nurse treats a PT who has very dangerous infectious diseases and does so with the idea of helping that person, if need be putting them self in harms way.
Being christian doesn't mean blindly agreeing to everything you are means having love in your heart and working for the betterment of human kind..that is what the person named Jesus did! He worked for the betterment of humans against a system that worked against them.

Randy we all need people to look up to, even powers not on earth. We all need support sometimes. My director who now is supporting me tooth and nail, is ill, so she values me asking her if she is OK or can I help.

So never doubt the sincerity of your request for strength, understanding, nor doubt the importance of your faith. we all have faith. Some in the holy book of their choice, others in science, and some in the human feelings.

Just know we need all of us to make it work, and the bible is full of examples...I remember a time when Jesus chastised a disciple because he reprimanded a person who had faith, but was not part of the group..he told that disciple, paraphrasing here, to not deny people who had a similar message unless they totally denied him and his message...just because they are not one of us, doesn't mean they don't share our goal, is the way I remember it taught to me as a child.
One last thought. The best laymen preacher I ever heard as a child use to start each of his messages with the exhortation to NOT to believe everything he said, just because he stood at the podium and spoke..but to go and read what he was reading to us and to use our God given brains to see if it made sense to us and to remember to ask the holy spirit to help us understand. He was a powerful speaker who hated to speak, who always wanted us to use our own brains and to really read the book, think on it, and to come to God in our own way.

last note in this long message...people like me need people like you, regardless of faith or belief. Many hugs

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
I question things a bit, but in the core of my being I just can't help but to feel there is Some One Up There. I want to believe that One tobe a loving parent, who will look upon my foolishness, failures and fumbles with a loving smile and a hug.
I don't know if that is the real truth of things, but that's what I need. I guess I could care less if I'm wrong - in the end I don't know that it makes a real difference. Much like you said, I just need that One to look up to.