April 17, 2011

holyweek “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. … I don’t know what will go first—Rock and Roll or Christianity. We’re more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.” — John Lennon, Maureen Cleve interview, 1966

I know what you’re thinking: what is this quoting John Lennon to begin a post about Holy Week, the holiest time in the Christian Year? Well, it’s just that, since my “conversion experience” back in 1994 I’ve come to know how to, and better appreciate, I guess, the differences between Jesus’ teachings and the way his teachings have been both promoted and corrupted by “the Church” in all of its manifestations.

Don’t get me wrong: throughout my years I’ve come in contact with some very holy people that I would say live Jesus’ teachings in a way that makes them shine above others. Just being around them makes you a better person, and you can feel the Christ-likeness in them and how they share Christ’s love with others. Unfortunately, few of these people are ordained leaders in the Christian Church. In fact, I would say off the top of my hand I can think of only a handful of priests – and only one of them bishops – that I’ve seen as living out their calling in a way that is anything close to Christ-like. In fact (and this goes for the Episcopal Church, as I’ve met no bishops of any other faith), most of the bishops and priests I’ve come to know, sadly, are either total assholes, egomanical control freaks, or dimwits. And I use these words charitably.

The fact is, if you rely on the actions of any church (small “c” or big “C”), or ordained leader of the Church as a means to your own faith or as a way to judge the teachings of Christianity you really need to seriously reconsider your faith and belief systems entirely. We all fall short of our potential as God’s created, and just because people become ordained doesn’t mean they’re without sin or have the capability to live their lives that way. There’s no “magic pill” the ordained take to innoculate them from temptation or actions that make them, well, human.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that Paul was right when he said we all have to work out our own salvations with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). No book, or Church, or church building can provide the road to salvation; for Christians it is only Jesus Christ. Christianity, to me, is a beautful religion with very simple teachings that can oftentimes be difficult to live out day in and day out. Personally, I became a Roman Catholic because of John 6 and Jesus’ own teachings about His Body and Blood. Were I were to find out Tuesday that somehow it was all made up, it wouldn’t change the way I live my life one bit. But that’s only me, and I’ve long given up the idea of thinking everyone ought to think like I do or practice Christianity like I do. I still believe Christianity is the most sure way to eternal salvation, but I know plenty of other good people who have chosen a different road, and far be it from me to tell them otherwise.

Well, that’s really all I have to say. Let me close with this: for those who feel a spiritual emptiness and longing for something bigger than the rodent treadmill of working, playing, paying bills and accumulating goods and wealth, consider making some time this week for a trip to whatever church or synagogue or quiet place you’ve ever considered just poking your head into but perhaps hesitated and chickened out at the last moment. Find a way this week to create an open space between you and God where you can just let go of the things of this earth for a short period of time.

As a Anglo-Catholic, I’d say you couldn’t do better than Saturday night at the local Roman Catholic or Episcopal (or Lutheran, for that matter) church for the Great Vigil of Easter (if you live anywhere near Boston, the Church of the Advent does it better than anyone, bar none. The important thing is to just do it, as a present to you. Go in with no pre-conceived notions or expectations, just play the role of interested bystander and don’t worry about all the dogma and the rules and what people tell you should or shouldn’t do – I doubt God cares all that much about that stuff anyways.

What I do know is that God is most certainly interested in speaking to you in that dark and quiet (and perhaps neglected?) recess in your soul where He resides alone, and where, no matter who you are or what you are or what you’ve ever done or haven’t done in your life to this point, you are loved far beyond the imagination of human understanding.

A blessed Holy Week to you all.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 00:28 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. and to quote the late great “John Lennon”
    instant karma’s gonna get you…and it did to the Boston Red Sox. They better get themselves
    together, cause pretty soon there gonna be dead.

    Happy Easter to the Great White Shank. Fellow goodboy Ron “Cubby” Myerow turns 47 on Easter Sunday.

    Comment by Ron "Cubby" Myerow — April 17, 2011 @ 7:04 am


  2. And a blessed Passover to you too, Cub. 47? Wow, are you getting old!!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — April 17, 2011 @ 9:37 am


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