As Christmas Approaches

Look! Words! 

linus

This is Linus. I love Linus. He knows what Christmas is all about.

Y’all know that I struggle with Christians. Technically I struggle with zealots of all types, but this is the time of year that the “Christians” remember the God they try to ignore for most of the year and start trying to cram in “worship and praise” like they’re vacation days that they have to take or lose next year. I hate them. I tried being mildly displeased with them, but I realized last night as my FB feed blew up with evangelical ravings from the modern culturals that I really. Really. Hate. Them.

Christianity, in and of itself, is something of a struggle for me. If you remove people from the equation (and it’s technically not possible, but if you can suspend your disbelief for Batman, you can work with me here), I have a powerful love/hate relationship with the basics tenants, a whole lot of nostalgia from my Grandmother’s version of the faith, and a deep respect for those who at least attempt to get it “right”.

For the record and in fairness, I DO NOT HATE ALL CHRISTIANS.  But a large majority of them are why I started this blog and why I have decided to reread the Bible (cover to cover with Apocrypha) before getting too specific with my rantings again.

However, in the interest of heading things off at the pass and getting out my general rant of the day, let me give you a few of my heretical notions.

  1.  I do not believe that everyone should be a Christian. Period. If you want to get super technical, Jesus came to fix what was broken in Judaism, not start a new religion (read the red words, folks), and I’m not going to say that the Messiah’s chosen religion is wrong. Are you? People really need to stop using their faith as a way to ostracize and assimilate people. Sheep. Grr….I hate sheep. Crooked shepherds are even worse.
  2. I think that the word of Jesus trumps the word of Paul, so stop ignoring the words in red and harping on Thessolonians.
  3. The book of Revelation was written for early Christians. It’s allegorical. A code written about specific people at a specific time. It is not a portent of doom for the future. (For the record, if I’m wrong, I’ll be thrilled. A Red Horse, a Great Sword, Dragons, Harlots, self-righteous hypocrites getting their comeuppance…I’m so on board for that.)
  4. I loathe a “Sunday Christian.” Spare me the speech about how you should go to church every Sunday. For the record, I have nothing against church every Sunday, but you aren’t giving him a day of worship if you sit in church for an hour and then spend the rest of the day watching sports or whatever. You’re giving him an hour (two tops if you go to Sunday School too) and two hours on a Sunday is NOT “remember(ing) the Sabbath by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8 for those following along).
  5. “Christmas Christians” fall into the same category of loathing as those above, only some days (like today) they are worse because I love Christmas, the Christian and the Secular versions (except Santa Claus, I do not like Santa Claus, sorry. Oh, and that Elf on a Shelf junk. Ick.)
  6. On the “Happy Holidays” topic (to paraphrase a lovely post I saw somewhere): I don’t mind being wished Happy Anything by someone who is actually taking the time to wish me well. Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, Yuletide, whatever (just not Wren Day…I don’t  want to be a part of anyone’s Wren Day). The point is that *I* celebrate Christmas, so unless I know that you observe another holiday, I’m going to wish you a Merry Christmas. This is not a covert way of saying “I wish you’d accept the Lord Jesus Christ and come into the fold of his robe” (<-heh). “Happy Christmas” means simply that “I wish you love, joy, peace, warmth, friends, family, and just enough abundance to feel how blessed you are this winter season, this time of darkest nights.” If those are not the sentiments you wish to receive from me, then we probably don’t need to talk anyway.
  7. Now, onto the evangelicals. Let’s get this straight: I do not think that it is acceptable for people of any faith to disparage (especially from a pedestal of ignorance) any belief. Atheists might not make sense to me, but neither do most Christians. Most days, Zen and Tibetan Buddhists make more sense to me than the rest, but you don’t see me plastering “Be a Buddhist!” all over my social networking outlets. That said:
  8. Be kind. Be loving. Be helfpul. Be inclusive. Be questioning. Be skeptical. Be willing to learn. Be grateful. Be compassionate. Be honest. Be faithful. Be intentional. Be aware. Be purposeful.

Cause I gotta tell you, the modern, political, occasional Christians are ruining Christmas for the rest of us. And for a group that seems largely driven by evangelical notions, it is amusing to me how many drive faithful hearts right out of the churches.