Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Killing Time.........

Shout-out to Amanda: I know you think that your "distracting-yourself-from-studying" blogs are boring... but you haven't yet experienced my "distracting-myself-from-WORKING" blogs. Wayyy worse... wayyy more boring... after this particular blog I should definitely be wanted by the Better Blogging Bureau. Sigh.

I wish I had pictures to post. Alas, I don't.

Sooo... working. Working right now. Should be doing other stuff... should actually be working. Buuuut I'm not. At the moment. Well, I actually sort of am. I keep stopping this and getting up to do stuff randomly. It's going to take me 3 hours to finish this post.

I just drank coffee. It was.... coffee-ish, and good, as coffee tends to be. Mmmm. I put french vanilla non-dairy creamer in it, which apparently is really bad for you because of hydrogenated fat in it or something. Or saturated fat. I don't really know, actually. I guess my health will have to suffer later on in life because I think I will continue drinking this creamer for a long time.

Last night I went to a young adult's service in Grimsby with Mary Anne and Jordan. We really wanted to try it out because we've all been feeling like we want to plug in with a bunch of other young people who also love Jesus, for community, all that good stuff.
When we got there, it seemed promising. Lots of people around our age. It seemed like it was going to be a good thing. We were excited.
After worship, this guy got up to preach. He tells the congregation that he is going to address "christian mythology". At first I was like, okay, he's going to talk about J.R.R. Tolkien. Or C.S. Lewis.
Right away, he launched into a rant against "free thinkers", the people who "dare to question their faith". In a mocking tone he attacked anyone who looks further into the Bible than what the words say at face value. He called this witchcraft - analyzing scripture. Witchcraft. He said that if you do not take what the Bible says at face value, you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. You are practising witchcraft. He called people who struggle with their faith "freestyle christians", who are only looking deeper into who God is because they are looking for an easier approach to living a christian life. He called people who question everything they've been taught their whole lives "followers", because "thinking out of the box is so 'IN' right now". He told everyone sitting there last night that it is a "sin" to not accept what people "with the preaching anointing" have said to you your whole life.
We were absolutely floored. Is it possible that he was saying to always take everything preached to you as absolute truth, and that daring to question ANYTHING taught in church is a sin? Does he think he is God's appointed official spokesperson?
What I heard in that church last night is possibly one of the most scary things I have heard said in a sermon. Challenging free thinking? Did he even hear what he was saying? He actually said, sarcastically, "I think I'm going to look for God OUT of the box! I think I'm going to take a 'freestyle' approach and think for myself!". This was all to the effect of, "If I think this way, I'm a total idiot!"
It sounded to me like a message preached out of fear than anything else.
If leaders cannot let go of the youth, let go of the congregation, they will feel responsible for everyone's personal faith and personal walk with God. No wonder they are panicking. People are learning to OWN their faith, and this process is not always pretty and not always perfect. Sometimes people need to go through a period of questioning what has been taught to them in order to get to know God for themselves, to get to know for themselves why they believe what they do. If they do not learn to own their faith, their faith will be SOMEONE ELSE'S faith. Is that what God wanted?
Not once did this man mention Love. He did not speak of christianity as a beautiful relationship, based on the grace, mercy, understanding and LOVE of God. He made God sound like a harsh, sarcastic and mocking being who just wants you to fall in line.
I know there is something to be said for reading scripture and being convicted and disciplined and learning to understand why God would construct the outline for living that is in the Bible. However, there is a danger in completely basing your faith on a God of rules who only wants you to blindly follow a man who "speaks for God". That sounds like a cult to me.
Anyway, guess what? I'm not going back to the young adults service! Not only me, but Mary Anne and Jordan were really disappointed. And disturbed. We were really looking forward to connecting with the people there and all that, which unfortunately probably will not happen at this point.
It was particularly sad/scary for the reason that as this man preached, everyone was nodding at what he was saying and verbally agreeing with him.
God, help us.

Anyway, I'm happy that my rant is over. I needed to get that out. I'm fine now and I can move on!

On a more lighthearted note, I would like to address something else.

First of all, you all know what acne is. And bacne, which is a newer term. But what do you call chest acne? Chacne. Annnnd... can you guess what "buttne" is? Ha ha.

Well, I thought it was funny.


Anonymous 6:29 PM  

The non-dairy creamer you're talking about - totally tasty, and edible-oil product. Along the same lines as the canned-aerosol "whipping cream" that they market as whipped topping. And I think it's only bad for you if you take it in excessively ... in your coffee every other day, even daily ... whatev. I'm sure you're causing just as much harm to your health by eating/drinking anything with aspartame. Newest thing the health nuts are against? splenda ...

Annie 6:33 PM  

What are they saying against Splenda?!?!

Mandie 7:06 PM  

But Splenda is the sugar-free sweetner that's made from sugar so it tastes like sugar! It can't be bad for you! There are children in the commercial!

Your church experience made me really sad/angry/shocked/disappointed. Sigh. I don't even know what to say. I think I may have punched the guy in the face if I was there.

Thanks for the shout out - it's such an honour. :o)

Anonymous 1:28 AM  

There's a whole book out that tells about the evils of splenda. I know it's from sugar to taste like sugar, but they just need to find something to knock. Personally, I hate the stuff myself and if I had to choose a non-sugar sweetener, I'd go with stevia.

Annie 10:46 AM  

Stevia is so potent. I can't wrap my mind around how sweet it is. I wish I liked it more, I just can't stand the after-taste... maybe one day I will get used to it... my mom is obsessed with it.

Mary Anne 4:21 PM  

all i have to say is...amen...(about the rant)

Ash 12:12 AM  

About your rant... very well said, Annie!

Claire 10:45 PM  

psh. I'm glad I didn't go now. Frig. That IS disappointing though--I was kind of hoping to 'plug' in as well. Only, I'll admit, I was hesitant to 'plug in' to Grimsby.