Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Evangelism and Russian Tycoons.

I have a friend who calls spending time reading other's conversations and looking at their pictures (like everyone does) "playing Facebook," a phrase I quite enjoy. I also play facebook, but take breaks from vicariously living to judge the hell out of links people post.

Hilarious link #2 mined from Facebook: Russian Tycoon orders workers to find God or get fired.

Well, it would be hilarious if I hadn't gone to church with the user who posted it. She wasn't exact about her feelings on the article, so I'm hoping she was against the sentiment.... but I'm not sure and that's frightening.

My mental conversation goes something like:

"Having been a pretty radical Christian, I can't believe that someone could do this! Did they miss the story of Jesus and the adulteress? Most Christians that I've known are proud of Jesus' revolutionarily loving stance. This guy sounds more like a fan of the fire-and-brimstone God than Christ. "

"Give it up. People who believe and act in the Christian tradition come in all forms, but all the stances that include following the word of the bible are a bit off, seeing as that forces people to condone things done in God's name that are not really acceptable... like forcing your workers to stop 'living in sin.'"

Christianity certainly can do lovely things. For example, the mentality behind good works is quite encouraging. The church I used to belong to gave away free gasoline during the time when gas prices spiked. The message from the pulpit was that it was a blessing of love to the community, not an attempt to draw people to the church. I still believe that was the intent. Also, most of the people I know evangelize because its the best they have to offer. If you truly believe that everyone who hasn't received the love of your god is going to hell, you try and help. It's not prideful most of the time. I've heard evangelism represented as the height of snobbery, but it wasn't. I believed that I was just a tiny cog in the machine of the church, a blood vessel in the body of Christ. As that, my goal was to serve God because he was worthy. Pure and simple, God was worthy of our love and service. If I have been instructed by the bible and the call of love to share with other people Christ's message and love, I do it. It isn't fun or comfortable and it didn't make me feel important. I did feel as though God could see my devotion and made me feel loved for evangelizing. When done humbly, it isn't about the evangelizer, it's about this beautiful being that wants to heal everyone.

And having that outlook makes you a radical and puts you on your way to violating civil rights for the betterment of people. So this Russian tycoon? He's definitely a different variety of devotee than the people I'm used to. But there is the possibility that he started out with a theology that resembles mine and then it intensified over time...

I'm glad to be free of the toxic, swirling reasoning of Christianity. I don't think that many of the devout are stupid or ignorant; they're caught up into a hurricane of theology that's difficult to see your way out of.


  1. Did you notice at the very end of the article that the russian tycoon found religion while he was in jail? That seems to be a very common thing...

  2. Stephen: Indeed. I'm betting that for this one guy at least, faith was his way to have hope in a bad situation. Not all (or even many?) religious people find god because of trouble, but this guy seems to have done just that.