What if?

I feel like the world is trying to live in a paradox.

One where everybody wants to be loved for who they are, but only love certain parts of themselves. One where people are hurt when they are not accepted, but do not accept others. One where we are all striving for something- we may not be sure what it is, but we’ll know when we get there.

There seems to be a lack of satisfaction within my generation. On social media, we make fun of ourselves for how self deprecating we are, posting about our insatiable desire for validation in an attempt to gain some “likes”. The irony of it is not lost on me. Perhaps this resounds throughout history, but the sound of it is just getting louder.

That we would present ourselves to society and expect everyone to accept us does not seem possible. Surely, in a world full of unique individuals, it would stand to reason that you cannot expect 100% of the population to agree on anything, including [but by no means limited to] your fashion statement, sexuality or religious beliefs. Furthermore, this seems like such an impossibility to me because we are bound by a tendency to not even completely accept ourselves. Take, for instance, in dating. One partner would have it that they are loved completely and wholly, mistakes and quirks included. That when they are irritated, it is for a reason and that is understood and absorbed by their significant other. When they indulge in bad habits, it is taken with a pinch of salt as it’s just “who they are”. And yet, there are things about us that, no matter how much we try, we cannot love. Memories that lurk, regrets woven into our personality, a temptation to be what we are tired of fighting. And yet, when we are rejected, even be it by one person in a sea of admirers, we take it to heart, and moan that no one truly understands.

And what about tolerance?

That what I say is the truth and what you have to say is a combination of your upbringing, background and probably some misunderstanding. Deep down, it makes me feel better to think you’re a little bit foolish for thinking in such a way. And of course we can’t discuss or explore our differences on the off chance someone will say something even remotely challenging, because that wouldn’t be… tolerating me. That might hurt. That might take some time and energy to understand. And I would rather not, thank you.

What about this sense that the world is not right? That we may never be able to make it right, what with all the violence and pain and hungry and global warming, for heaven’s sake, on top of all that. And we just don’t know how to fix it, but we know we have to so we’d better buy recycled toilet paper and give a dollar to the Salvo’s man.

I will here suggest something that will seem impossible.

Just as impossible as being accepted.

Just as impossible as everyone being tolerating.

Just as impossible as saving the world.

That there has been an answer all along.

What if there was someone who knew all of your flaws before you’d even really met them, and loved you completely? Loved you enough that, despite knowing everything you are ashamed of and afraid of, they died for you? Someone to fulfil your greatest desire of knowing that all the pieces of you weren’t to be displayed or hidden, but were puzzle pieces that form a beautiful picture.

What if there was an ultimate truth? Some people fight over what it may be, some people argue it doesn’t exist. But what if it did? And it was all mapped out, by someone who knew what they were doing? And it sort of just… felt right? A list of directions, so to speak, that you’d always been trying to follow, to a point, all laid out for you. A list of directions you could point others to. You always knew eggs, sugar and milk went together but now you’ve found a precise recipe.

And, what if there was a point?. A way to fix everything? And someone who was willing to do it, save the world? To make things right and beautiful again?

Maybe there is.

I believe there is.

I believe it’s Christ who loves you, Christianity which directs you, and God who is going to save the world.

And if you disagree with me, that’s fine. Just tolerate my opinions.

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The Christian

038322-de15d780-95f2-11e3-8d43-e004d36a6c9a   I was watching Love Child last night [girls in the 60’s, giving up babies, women becoming doctors, Australia, etc.] and it turns out that one of the girls- named Patty, by the way- has a horrible fiancée. He’s a racist, a sexist, and has almost no empathy for her [she lost his baby, but it was born out of wedlock, so probably “for the best”]. It turns out he’s also a Catholic. Gee, those Catholics.

 

Then there was a little reel on A Current Affairs about how Hillsong is stealing money off people and forcing them to donate. How could they possibly be classified as a charity? Where is all the money going? An inside investigation. Gee, those Hillsong people.imagesCAKSSXQW

From 1095-1291, there were a bunch of religious crusades where some supremacist Christian people went and killed as many people of other religions as they could lay their hands on and took their land in the name of God. Gee, dem Crusaders.

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Crazy Christian people.

nedI have invited quite few non Christian mates to church in my time and I usually get one of three responses. 1)no, if I walked into a church, I’d probably catch fire.
2)No, I disagree with everything and I don’t want to a)make an argument or b)put myself through it. My mind is made up.
3) Yes, and then “that was church?” [are you sure we didn’t walk into the wrong building?] People ask me what they should wear, if anything needs to be covered up, and when I tell them no, some get affronted. One friend pointed out the closest to exposure to church she’d ever had was Ned Flanders on the Simpsons.

It annoys me how much Christians are stereotyped and how much false or negative information is circulated? The whole offering this is dealt with in the “Ten Myths About Christianity” [search bar, top right hand corner, my friend], and the whole Crusader thing happened literally a millennia ago. Let’s balance this out a bit.hh

Did you know every year Hillsong has an offering named “Heart for the House” which last year raised over ten million dollars and donates to yout centres, anti trafficking organisations, CityCare and education in third world countiries?

salWhat about that the Red Cross, public education, soup kitchens, ambulances, the Salvation Army [a.k.a. the Salvo’s] and St. Vincent De Pauls [a.k.a. Vinnie’s] or “op-shops” were all started by Christians?

Did you know that Mother Theresa [may seem obvious, but she makes “the list”], Martin Luther King, and Obama are/were all Christians? Add to the list Bono, Thomas Beckett, T.S. Elliot, Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, Bach [the composer], Florence Nightingale, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Tim Tebow [footballer], Patricia Heaton [from “Everybody Loves Raymond”], and, yours truly.

Crazy Christian people.

So, if you haven’t been to church, go. Check it out for yourself. If you’re just realising that all you know are stereotypes and a rough outline, at least Google it or look around in the Christianity section of this blog. At the very least, look at what you believe [or what you tell people you believe, because “I’m an atheist” is really easily slipped off the tongue] and question it. I’m not saying become a Christian. I’m saying have an internal audit and make sure you’re thinking for yourself. Because, as with most stereotypes, the ideas about Christianity are, in my opinion, often way, way too wrong. But, don’t take my word for it- look it up yourself.