The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

30Sep/090

If Jesus were your boyfriend…

I sometimes enjoy listening to evangelical Christian radio when I drive.  I am not a Christian, but it is familiar to me.  I went to an Episcopalian school from 3rd grade through 12th, my school was on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral, and my house was across the street from that.  My mother was a holiday Christian, and my dad was a devout new age Christian.  I've always had a fascination with religions (and cults), and (to some degree) an admiration of the religious (and the spiritual).   Most of my fascination with listening to Christian radio relates not to its familiarity, but to the fact that I hear their arguments and I can't agree with their conclusions.  And I generally enjoy the process of listening to the other side of an argument, trying to see things from the other person's perspective, trying to isolate the critical link of difference in the chain of reasoning that divides us.  But I digress, I just wanted to explain why I listen, and enjoy, evangelical Christian radio.

On this particular day I was listening to a female preacher talking to what seemed to be an audience of young, perhaps troubled, women.  In the context of the lesson, the preacher was identifying common failings of men, particularly young men.  No doubt most of the women could identify.  The key failing she was identifying was that the men of their past weren't, and the men of their future weren't likely to be, there for them when they most needed them.  And that's why, she argued, these women should put their faith and turn their love towards Jesus, because he would never treat them like those men have and will.

From my perspective, this logic is a bit of beautiful, peculiar bit of nonsense.  Because the reality in the world of external actions is that all of her complaints about these men could be turned around and directed at Jesus instead.  The only thing that differs is that she ascribes to the men a malice or disregard that she naturally doesn't to Jesus, but the non-subjective reality is of an arguably similar nature.  If a girl asks her boyfriend for something reasonable and he fails to do it, that would be read by this preacher as a sign of his poor and unreliable nature.  If a girl asks Jesus for something reasonable and He fails to do it, that's just His ineffable divine plan.  No one is allowed to require anything of Jesus or God.  Many feel Their presence, feel the warm embrace of His love, but no one can expect anything specific of Him; He does as He sees fit, and faith promises that is how it was meant to be.  These ladies' men aren't afforded the same lack of expectation.  If the women were able to apply a similar faith with these men, turning their variance from expectation into a piece of some grand plan of theirs, they would likely find a greater solace and be less critical.  Viewed from this misplaced (but arguable) faith, anything he does can have a positive spin.  A man who leaves a girl when he finds out she's pregnant is merely providing her the opportunity to discover and nurture her inner strength; he would not have put her in that situation if she couldn't handle it.  Similarly, a man that cheats on a woman could merely be teaching her an important lesson about the transitory nature of attachment.  Anything he does can be cast in some defensible light.

And I do understand that the preacher sees a quite fundamental difference, that the big He is to be trusted and worthy of faith, infallible, while the little he is not any of these things, though both may refuse to be judged according to expectations.

(Anyway, I likely haven't done this argument justice, the people who agree with me will likely understand immediately what I was trying to say but didn't quite, and those that disagree will have no great trouble finding faults with my hurried argument.)

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