i’ve been having this email conversation since december. it’s with a guy whose zine i read and really liked, except then he started talking about how christianity is really super bad. and so i was like, “except not always. and the people that you are annoyed with are perverting christianity, and the media believes them when they say that this is how it Is, and i’m really sad that you believe them because there is so much more positive stuff. and the more people believe that christianity is just the fundamentalist stuff that the people in power are promoting, the more that becomes the truth.”

and then i had my own god crisis that i’m still not sure i’m done with or what to do with. and so he responded but i didn’t for months, and then i finally did, and we’ve been having an okay conversation, with long lags in between.

but anyway, in this last email, he said that the word for what i said i believed was animism.

and that’s not really true at all. i don’t think that each thing has a soul or an identity or anything like that. i just think that everything is an important part of a big holy whole.

and the reason that i’m posting is that… i’m not sure how to say things. i’m not sure how to say to people who think god doesn’t exist, because there is provable outside force, that god isn’t an outside force, that god is what is happening all the time… because a) i get confused about it really easily b) the only argument i have behind me is, “well, that’s how i feel about it” & c) I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS for anything.

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  1. 1.

    a) It’s okay to be confused. Uncomfortable, perhaps, but okay.

    b) Thank you for continuing to affirm that all of Christianity is NOT how certain factions portray it (whether certain Christians themselves or people in the media or progressives who don’t like that form of Christianity).

    c) I still think you would like Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. He has a great section on how a living faith has to have questions. (Quaker queries, anyone??)

    d) Last night at the school’s board meeting I was able to articulate in a small group my sense that the board has been following Quakerism, even if they’re fuzzy about some details and terminology of the process. In their deliberations, they are really striving to find what is good and right and true for the children, the community of faculty, staff and families, the wider neighborhood, and the city. That to me is kingdom work! Whether it’s in the name of God or not.

    – Chris M.

    Comment by Chris M. — May 9, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    How to respond to people about God? Don’t. I mean if they are not receptive…God tills (prepares) the heart of the unbeliever for you to sow seeds of hope. If the heart is not tilled it won’t receive. The message is for “he who has ears to hear” –otherwise “dust off your feet” and move to the next person. Don’t waste your time with unbelievers. I did and only ended up being very frustrated. I am not saying don’t be friends…just be wise, disserning, especially about using up your time…(”redeem the time…”) Most of us want to communicate with others simply because we are lonely or want distraction from the mundane life we live. What (and whom) to fill our lives with? Well, if you believe the bible, it says to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” –meaning what we do is important to creating our eternal souls–and it isn’t always easy–unless of course we completely surrender to “Thy will, not mine, oh Lord.” Easy and difficult depending on our willingness to let “ourselves go.” Takes practice perhaps–and everything gets easier with practice–yes?

    Comment by tara — July 20, 2007 @ 7:12 am

    I meant to say: willingness to let “ourselves” go–as in “if you lose yourself (in God’s service) you will find yourself. Sadly our selfish selves seem to always get in the way. But if the holy spirit guides your life, everything is easier. Try it.

    Comment by tara — July 20, 2007 @ 7:16 am

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