Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Sunday, December 12, 2004

On futility

Okay, as some of you know, I withdrew my membership from the Presbyterian Church last month, due to some stances that the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly had taken, regarding Israel. Two of the pastors at my former church have been trying to talk me out of it. Yesterday, I talked, face-to-face, with the Christian Education pastor. She was faced with an impossible task: talking me into coming back to the church.

Now, it was a rather pleasant conversation, since the two of us agree on how assinine PC(USA)'s stances on Israel are. (She's a former Republican state assemblyman) She did try to talk me into coming back by pointing out that the General Assembly speaks TO the churches, not FOR them. But, I then countered with the arguement that the representatives to the General Assembly are chosen by the Presbyterys (the next-lower level of church government), which sends the representatives based on the representatives sent by the churches to the Presbytery. So, the General Assembly is composed of representatives that purportedly represent the views of the local churches. Much like the Senate and House are representatives sent by the states. She agreed, and told me that the conservative Presbyterians have been somewhat remiss in exercising their voices in PC(USA). She also felt, that if there was a schism in PC(USA), that my former church would be one of the churches that split off from PC(USA). I told her that I think she might have a rather more optimistic view of her church than I did. You see, I had actually talked to many of the members, outside of a church setting, and I was appalled at the liberal, ignore-the-parts-of-the-Bible-you-don't-like attitudes of many of the church members. I have heard MANY members openly advocate ordaining openly gay clergy, and endorsing gay marriage. Far too many for my tastes. Also, I know that many of the members are VERY pro-abortion. So, I'm not nearly as optimistic as she is.

Another problem I brought up to her was the fact that any church my mother felt comfortable attending isn't a church I want to attend. You see, publically, my mother is a faithful Christian. In private, though, she is an unabashed atheist. My mother will cheerfully say whatever she thinks the person she is talking to wants to hear, except for me. Me, she tends to let her hair down and say what's really on her mind. She still lies to me, but, she lies more closely to what she is thinking than with other people. So, I actually know what her thoughts on church are. She attends church because, and I quote, "I like the ritual." This from a woman who HATES the RCC with a passion, but, attends church for the very motivation the RCC advocates: ritual. She is also a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and sees no problem with that. So, if my mother feels comfortable attending the church, there is something seriously wrong with the message the church is delivering. Seriously, tragically, and horribly wrong. To give you an idea, my mother was offended when one of our pastors told a joke about prayer in school...because that was a violation of the seperation of church and state. True story. And she feels comfortable in that church.

So, in summation, Pastor Sue left knowing that I wasn't going to come back, without some serious changes at the church. We were polite to each other, and we had a great conversation about theology and world events, but, she's just one person out of many at that church.

I also told her that I am not a person who, upon joining an organisation, immediately tries to change that organisation to what I feel it should be. If an organisation doesn't match my beliefs, at least within a reasonable margin of error, I'm not going to waste my time belonging to that organisation. I have never understood the mentality of joining an organisation that one disagrees with, and then, trying to get that organisation to agree. I know the LLL's have been doing that for years, but, do I really want to copy their tactics? In the end, they destroy the organisation they wanted to control, and therefore, destroy the target of their takeover. Seems self-defeating to me.

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country