I went to a Christian music concert. I used to be into Christian music big-time when I was younger, and it kinda stuck with me. So I went.
I was waiting at the bus stop, reading a book, when an elderly man walked up to me and handed me a pamphlet entitled Jesus is Wonderful. I took it, not because I wanted it but because I feel bad saying no. During my bus ride I was wondering if he went into stores and gave them out. Then I thought maybe he couldn't do that because you can't solicit in stores. "Is that soliciting?" I wondered. "I suppose he is trying to sell Jesus, in a way. I hardly think that advertising is the way to go, but if it makes him feel good, why not?"
Anyway, in the beginning of the concert I was iffy. I had one of those "Why am I here?" moments. I felt very out of place among all those Christians because I don't feel like one as much as I used to.
After that, I got into it and really enjoyed myself. It made me feel a lot better, for some reason. This has been a stressful time for me and that was just... I don't know... good for me.
During intermission, the person I went with (my mother's best friend) asked me, "So, what's the story? Why do you hate the world?" She was asking because of a joke I made while my mother was talking to her on the phone. My mother told her that there are a lot of Christians around at the rehab center where my father is, and I remarked, "Goodness, I'm never going there again." I assured her that I do not hate the world. She kept probing me in order to find out why Christians bother me. She asked, "Is this because of Pastor So-And-So?" Just because Pastor So-And-So was best friends with my father for about seven years, and my father gave his all to that church, and when Pastor So-And-So heard the horrible news, he told my mother that he's too busy with his church activities to come pray with him? Why should that bother me? But seriously, it's not just that. I have seen a plethora of hypocrites in churches, and it has made me very wary of people who claim to be full of Christ's love.
However, I am completely torn right now because the concert reminded me of a life I once led and I missed it a lot. I went to a counselor a month or so ago, and when talking about my faith crisis, she told me that I seem to feel a loss about it, rather than having a "I don't buy this crap anymore!" attitude. That's definitely true.
So I'm screwed up now. Am I a Christian, or am I anti-Christian? Can you be an anti-Christian Christian? (Actually, I think I have always been a bit of that. When I was 16, I left a church after being involved in a scandalous, Gandhi-esque civil disobedience episode on a youth retreat.) Quite confused. I decided to start going to church more and get myself involved in order to be fair, because I know all my bitterness towards it will balance that out. Today I signed up for a weekly book group through the church I sorta frequent (if by frequent you mean once every two or three months). They're reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. I adore Lewis, and that is the type of book I need to read right now (well, re-read). Let's see where this goes.
While she was driving me home from the concert, I bombarded her with questions. This is what it sounded like:
"Do you think the Bible is sexist?"I also asked her about the Christian belief about people of other faiths going to hell, which I won't even get into yet because it's such a huge topic and will definitely come up later. I accept her answers about women - they don't put the question to rest for me, by any means - but they're legitimate and worth thinking about.
"No, not at all. That stuff Paul wrote was contextual. He also said women shouldn't braid their hair *rolls eyes* Back then, that was considered provocative and sexual. A woman teaching a man was considered an insult."
"What about the whole man-is-the-head-of-the-house business?"
"That's so that there's no discord."
"It's not fair. Why should he be the head?"
"I think that the Bible is actually attesting to the strength of women, because it is much harder to submit to someone else, and men aren't able to do that, whereas women are."
You know what's strange? This stuff has actually made me consider the possibility that women really were only created to be wives and mothers. At one time, I wondered if even though we're equal, God really did only create us for that. Then I slapped myself. Inferiority propaganda is strong.