Grumpy ol’ Paul gets it right – and BONUS! Make your voice heard!

Paul wrote this in his letter to the Galatians.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile,

neither slave nor free,

nor is there male and female,

for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

This is why I love Paul. Even though he sometimes seems to have a bad case of Grumpy Old Man Syndrome, he’s all about the love. He wants us all to be one community. One church. One family.

Awwww, I just wanna hug his beard! <3

So. Christians. What’s the deal? Why can’t we get that right? I know that some of us are definitely more “letter of the law” than “spirit of the law”, but do we really think that Paul’s sentiment in Galatians is limited only to divisions based on circumcision, slave-status, or gender?

No. No, he meant it in a bigger way. See, Paul recognized that the chief sign of humanity’s brokenness is our fascination with “the other guy”. Everyone has a group they belong to and identify with, and they love those guys! Conversely, everyone has a group (or several groups) that they just can’t stand. It’s a law of human nature.

For every Rush Limbaugh, there is a Bill Maher.  

For Star Wars convention, there is a Star Trek convention.

For every vegan, there’s Lemmy from Motorhead.

Seriously, he handles all the world’s vegans by himself. True story.

Lately I’ve been reading more and more articles about hateful, idiot pastors who say crazy shit about homosexuals. Besides asshole pastor Sean Harris, I’ve since learned about Pastor Charles Worley, who said that homosexuals should be placed in electrified pens and air-dropped food until they die off. Now, I know that this is a blog, and blog’s by definition happen on the internet, and I get it – Godwin’s law is a thing. But seriously, at the risk of falling into Godwin’s trap, when a pastor says you should pen up human beings until they die off, you are watching someone making the exact same plan for homosexuals that Hitler made. What makes it even worse is that people from his congregation where interviewed on television supporting his putrescent message.

“Hey Eva – check this out! This dude’s keepin’ the dream alive! You know, it’s just nice to be remembered, am I right?”

Lately, I’ve been seething about this stuff. People like Sean Harris, Charles Worley, and others who share their hate-mongering sentiments have become so offensive to me that if I won the lottery, my first investment would be to buy some space on a privately-owned rocket so that I could send them to the moon.

Who would I send to the moon?

Them.

The other guys.

And today it occurred to me – Paul isn’t cool with this. He’s not cool with me – at least, not how I’m feeling right now. In my passion, in my righteous-seeming anger, I am allowing myself to do the devil’s work for him. Paul had it right – Christ came so that there wouldn’t be “others” anymore. I don’t think he meant that in such a way as to make everyone fall into one homogenous blob of humanity – that seems to be contradicted in 1 Corinthians 9:20-23. But in avoiding a society of “others,” Paul is telling us that we are psychologically bred to define ourselves by the groups that include us, and also by the groups that we exclude. The problem with the “other” isn’t that people are different – the problem is that we hate them for that difference. And Paul says that’s gotta go.

So. . . yeah. Gotta get on that. Not sure how I’m going manage it, but it’s on my list. I’ll keep you posted.

On another note, as you may have noticed, WTFaith has been gradually stretching out the waiting time between new articles. Our original (and quite ambitious) goal was to post twice a week. Then we slowed down to once a week. Now we sometimes go a couple of weeks between postings, and for that, we apologize.

I think the issue we’re encountering is that our format has been very light on typical blogging staples like re-posting, book reviews, and short posts about our lives. I think our average article is about 1,200 words long, and we try to only write autobiographical articles when there is a larger story to tell (like this one) about life in God’s kingdom as we see it. We try to make our articles mostly about the “Big Messages” that occur to us as we, two skeptics on the road of faith for no good reason, try to make sense of this journey we’ve started. And sometimes, we just don’t have any “Big Messages” to deliver. At other times, we have messages that we do want to deliver, but they’re so meaty, or weighty, or controversial, or just all-around confusing that we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew – so the article is started, and mulled over, and criticized to death by the author, until we just give up on the goddamn thing.

Hard at work on the next post about homosexuality.

I’m thinking it may be time for us to loosen-up on our blogging format – it may be time to “casual-up” this bitch. Maybe, when I read a good article on someone else’s faith blog, I’ll just repost it with a short comment on it, instead of feeling the need to type-vomit 1,200 words about it.

What do you guys think? If you’ve ever had an opinion about What the Faith, this would be a great time to let us know if we should keep our current format, or if we can afford to ease off of the expectation of writing full-fledged articles every time we put up a new post. Bear in mind that the current format may seek a couple of weeks in between posts, for the above-mentioned reasons. If we change our format, relax it a little bit, then we’ll update more often, but the posts may occasionally be smaller. It doesn’t mean we won’t still write articles about our “Big Messages”, but it just means we’ll have more filler in between those messages as life sends filler our way.

Thoughts? 

About Daniel Mitchell

50% of "What the Faith?!?!", a blog about two skeptics who turned to God for no apparent reason. View all posts by Daniel Mitchell

6 responses to “Grumpy ol’ Paul gets it right – and BONUS! Make your voice heard!

  • Jennwith2ns

    I’m a fan of when people (myself included) can see where we’re being hypocritical and self-correct. Or . . . correct with some divine assistance. Nice post, Dan.

  • Veronica M. Surges (@jurisdoctorette)

    YES! I fall into this trap all the time. It’s SO easy to think that I’m being all loving and tolerant because I support XYZ cause (for me, it’s fighting for the rights and dignity of criminal defendants…not exactly a popular position, so it’s very easy to get self-righteous about it). Then I realize I’m shoving the other guy into a box, calling for his intellectual (and occasionally physical) demise, completely demeaning not only his opinion but his worth and value as a person. Not exactly the unity and “love your enemies” that Jesus talked about. Great reminder.

    FWIW, I like the shorter post idea – not only do I like your blog, but I’d like to see your take on reposted articles and things like that.

    • Daniel Mitchell

      Isn’t it funny that the causes we are drawn to by our compassion make it so hard for us to have compassion for their opponents? And then the whole thing just keeps escalating. Being a Christian is HARD, man.

  • DB Beem

    Thank you for the post and for the honesty and introspection

    Bottom line, blogging should be a pleasant experience for us, otherwise why bother. I don’t need to go out of my way to make myself feel lousy.

    It was said of Seinfeld, that it was a show about nothing. If this is true about Seinfeld, I would say that following Jesus is about the little things. It’s about the little things we say, and do each day as we do our best to follow Jesus. In the same way, as your writing reflects your life with Jesus, it does not need to be about big things.

    I like your end takeaways. Take the blogging at a pace that doesn’t feel rushed or burdensome. I would advise (and this might sound contradictory) that regardless of your mood, that you try to periodically post something. Even if it’s a stream of consciousness thing, even if your reposting and commenting on other people’s work. It just gets you in a habit and rhythm.

    • Daniel Mitchell

      I had a pretty good rhythm going for a while, but I think I just got overwhelmed with the enormity of some of the thoughts I was trying to organize. I’ve also put the kibosh on posts that I felt were too negative – if I don’t have something to say in a broader scope, I’m not going to post just to bitch. But I HAVE been tempted, in the past, to re-post stuff I’ve read on other blogs. So I think I’ll do that on occasion, and that will at least give the blog more content, on a more regular basis.

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