|From a zine, an extra little tidbit.
||[Aug. 7th, 2009|02:19 pm]
Flawless Jade Book Club
I guess my obsession with zines(both making them and reading them)finally paid off.|
Here is little piece I found in a zine that was written by......*drum roll* Madame Li.
Without further ado.
"When the Roll is Called Up Yonder:
Further Thoughts on the Exclusiveness of Fundamentalist Christians.
by Madame Li Huarui
(from the White Dragon Oracle June 2008 "The Shackles of Faith" issue)
When asked to write an article for this booklet, I was quite perplexed. The author tells me that his booklet is aimed at teens and those in their twenties. I am far removed from those those categories and couldn't help but feel that my advice and thoughts, no matter how well-meant could not be relevant to people some three or four generations removed from me. Since the theme of this months booklet is one that interests me greatly, I felt that I would try my best.
When presented with the theme "Shackles of Faith," I instantly thought of the people that live around me in my adopted community. For the last decade or so, I have lived as a recluse in a small, predominately Baptist community. In many ways I have been made to feel at home, yet in a sense, I have been set to the peripheral. Not for my age, nor for my race, but for my religious beliefs.
I have been to my local chapel many times for holidays and holy days, and I am always welcomed and greeted warmly. Yet, I am still an outsider. I am not of the elect and it is made clear that I am not of the redeemed.
That being said, I do not believe these people to be malicious in letting me know I have erred spiritually. They have been taught all their life, in small ways, that outsiders are unholy and they are holy and that God smiles only on them. They are not the only ones to have such notions. Muslims have this same feeling of being called and glorified more than other humans. Some Buddhists do. Practitioners of any faith or any philosophy, be it spiritual or secular, usually feel their particular way is the best, most enlightened way. As the old saying goes "Every crow thinks its feathers are the blackest." It is human nature to desire to be a part of a special group. So please do not take my words of chastisement as an attack against Christianity. I am merely holding up a mirror in which humans can see the true beauty and the unparalleled ugliness of human nature.
Let me now progress with my thoughts now that I have thoroughly explained my mission.
After making friends with some of the local people, gaining their respect and friendship, I decided it was time to confront them about their exclusiveness when it came to the matter of the sanctity of a soul. I have read the Bible and many books written about it. I have pondered heavy, wordy commentaries on the most vague and cumbersome portions of the Holy Text. So, I did not go into any discussions unarmed. If you are ignorant, you can not battle ignorance.
My argument consisted of these three indisputable Biblical points:
1. Jesus shunned no one. In fact he reached out to those considered lost or unclean. He did not chide them, He did not belabor them, nor did He force them to some alter. His words were words of love and compassion. There are no examples in the Bible in which someone came to Christ, contrite and hungry for love, and was turned away or made to feel as if they were lesser.
Jesus' whole mission was to show that the last will be first, and the first last; the exalted will be made low and the lowly will be raised up. The only ones that were chastised by Him were the rich, the haughty, and those puffed up with the vain trappings of ritual and religion but lacking the essence of God's spirit. Those who had strayed from the perfect love of God.
If we were to shun a child, verbally tear down a homosexual, or in anyway harm a fellow human, we are, if you believe the words of Jesus, doing such to Jesus himself. To exclude someone is to exclude Christ and deny his grace and power.
2. Only God can judge a soul and know the hearts of his children. For a Christian to question the righteousness of another is to attempt to read the intentions of the heart and fathom the depths of the mind of another. This is impossible. Only the Creator can do such a thing. To attempt this is to condemn oneself to such scrutiny in the eyes of God.
Jesus tells a parable of a field of wheat which also contained weeds. The workers wanted to weed out the field, but the owner said that the weeds should be left until harvest and then he would separate the good from the bad.
So, is it the duty of a modern day Christian to do the separating, or is it still a duty belonging to God?
3. In Revelation it says on the day of judgment, when the souls have already been separated, good from bad, that there will be a host before God without number; of every kindred and every nation-- not just Pentecostals or Baptists, Catholics or Jews, Muslims or Methodists, but every nation and all people.
Once I make my case many of them agree that they might have been hasty to exclude.
Some are so flustered by my argument that they quickly change the subject and never bring it up again.
And then there are the troubled few that refuse to hear my words and refuse to believe anything else, what they have believed their whole lives. When people get to the point that they can not change their mind(I speak of spiritual matters here, but it pertains to many facets of life)they have become shackled by their faith. It no longer liberates them, but enslaves them. Not just them, but it enslaves others and builds up a picture of God and Jesus that I feel they do not deserve.
'Tis troubling. Yet, I believe there is hope. I hope you, young man or young lady, read this and challenge yourself to drop whatever fears and misconceptions you have on matters of faith(for or against) and take a long hard look at yourself. Do you live life enslaved or are you free? Do you love yourself or do you love others? Is your life ruled by fear or by compassion? Has your mind been made up for you, or have you made it yourself?
One of my teachers told me years ago, "Your faith in the everlasting should be written in stone, but your doctrine should be written in the sand. Love is eternal and heaven is eternal, but doctrines and dogmas are made by the flawed minds of men; they rise of as flowers in the morning and perish by the setting sun. Place not soul in the walls that crumble and decay.""
I thought that was pretty interesting.
Sorry if this has typos and such. I had to hand type it all.