Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's late, and I'm just back from the gym, about to go to sleep (or rather, about to lay in bed and play Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for a bit), but I've been pondering at random points during the day (at the encouragement of my wonderful girlfriend) Christianity in today's world and I feel I should solidify my thoughts.

You might be noticing a sort of God/religion trend in my posts, and I hope you don't mind, but I'm not trying to make any of you Christian that don't want to be. In fact, let me tell you that, after talking with my animation "professor" this evening, I apparently have a mindset much closer to Eastern (Buddhist?) thought, as I look often at the environment before the individual. For, well, the environment is what is beautiful to me, and this is apparently what Easterners look at first, whereas Westerners are much more likely to look at the individual (Jesus!).

So while I sip my apple cider and deal with this slowly overbearing mustache getting in the way of drinking fluids, I wonder how the transition came about that has changed what exactly a Christian is, and in fact, what has a Christian meant throughout the ages? Unfortunately, I am no scholar at all, more a naive philosopher, who likes to think that Christianity was the socialist struggle against capitalist/totalitarian oppression. Jesus fought with his words (and miracles of healing) against doing everything for oneself. It was always about doing things for others and ultimately, for God. And God was everyone! That seemed always to be the point he was making. In letting a poor man die, we were letting God die. In praising God, we were praising our own existence. The path, Jesus argued, was to live in harmony, trying to bring everyone up rather than creating crisply defined tiers as are found in capitalist societies then and now. He and his disciples fought to change society.

But what is society now and where does Christianity lie in the spectrum? Christianity now is about maintaining our current values. So what that says is that we have done what Jesus asked, and we want it to stay that way. We have found Jesus's path, and need no more. But what is Christianity really like as seen by myself? (I would argue "as seen by the majority" but I won't pretend to know such statistics.)

Christianity is a force by which many are led to believe that only belief in Christ will save us. Only by strictly following guidelines set forth by one man (and later translators) may we shine in the light of God. No! Jesus was against that! He wanted us to break with the standards of the time and be willing to LOVE EVERYONE. He didn't have contempt for others. And my issue with this whole thing is that Christianity can still be found marketing itself as "underground". Various Christian organizations promote themselves as the new underground. Join in counter-culture, they say. But Christianity is the culture, and the problem is that what Christianity has become is not a way of life, but rather a set of beliefs.

Get it? Christ doesn't matter. As far as I can tell He knew that. He only wanted us to look at him for inspiration. He would have preferred us to follow him like many follow Buddha. A teacher to mentor us. A light burning strong in the night to find solace in. And if we don't see that light, or we don't need that light, then fine. As long as we try to find our way through the rocky tumbling seas.

In the end, we will be embraced one way or another and rejoin the universe.


sean said...

ah but what about christ's death on the cross and his resurrection?

looking at Christ as merely a teacher and THE example of godly living is great and all, and bears a lot of relevance, but the fact remains that He claimed he was was the Son of God, and he then died on the cross for our sins.

that is what christianity is all about, the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. we cannot be perfect, so really unless we accept His gift of salvation then we can do nothing.

or at least that is how i have been seeing it all recently. read a book called Velvet Elvis. its freaking good and it is as close as I have come to reading my own thoughts in a book.

pony-ride said...

oh, and here is my blog. more personal shit/introspection than yours, but at times pretty damn interesting or at least provocative.