Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I believe, Pt 2

Miss Mona sez-

It is a beautiful day here at the guardpost!! Sunny and warm.

So, to continue my mental meanderings, I want to talk about how I respond to the Word (Bible) in my own life. As I said before, I love to read. As a Christian I have been taught over and over to read the Bible, to love reading it, to apply it to my life and choices. When I was younger, the only version available was the King James Version, the first time the Bible was put into the language of the ordinary person. The language is beautiful, poetic, incomprehensible. You see, it was written in the language common people spoke hundreds of years ago and the language we use today has changed from theirs. Like reading Shakespeare, it sounds cool but I am not always sure what the heck it means! What's more, the culture and traditions of the people of the Middle East were totally unfamiliar to this country girl from Oregon. So I followed my usual pattern and looked for books to help me understand. I found my first clues in fiction- Taylor Caldwell's Dear and Glorious Physician, a fictional account of the life of Luke. The Robe, a story about the centurion who won the robe of Jesus in a dice game at the foot of the Cross. The Silver Chalice, the story of a sculptor slave who got the job of making a holder for the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper. There are others, too, but I think you get my drift.. Though fiction, they helped me to know about the way people lived when Jesus did, in his part of the world. Their struggles, the politics, the way things were done. It helped make it all more real and made my reading of the Bible more interesting.

The Jesus People movement of the '60's gave birth to a more modern translation or two and it got easier. Movies like Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell  tried to make Him real and applicable to the modern age. Viewed as vile heresy by the more orthodox and mainstream churches, nevertheless they had an impact on an entire generation. And on me.  A lot of other things had an impact on me in that time and I wandered off the beaten path and into the briar patch for awhile. But I still kept searching. Attended various churches, learned to read the Tarot, tried Eckankar and the occult (I was a "good witch" like Glenda but without the outfit), read palms, studied ESP, tried the water in a lot of different wells. None of them satisfied my thirst, though. Each had some facet of truth, sometimes just a tidbit, but there were puzzle pieces I held onto. Drugs, alcohol, sex...A failed marriage and a beautiful baby girl. Traveled as a carnie, hitchhiked across the country, lost my daughter to her father and generally screwed things up. Still searching.

People in my family prayed. And prayed. And prayed! And I survived.

The man I met after I joined the Air Force (in an effort to curb my tendency to stick out my thumb and hit the road when things got tough) became my husband. His own experience as a post- Viet Nam alcoholic and drug user helped him help me to get straight. Raised Mormon, he became a Christian in our second year together. And we began to search together. We realized we did not have a clue what a healthy marriage was because of our past screw-ups and upbringing filled with divorce, adultery, abuse... So I started looking for books with the answers. A gift of a Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Version, helped a lot.

(Pause for a digression- I find it interesting how I started out with a certain idea of what I was writing and end up in a whole other place. Words sometimes have a mind of their own...)

 Anyhoo, I grew in my understanding, started learning how to clean out the debris of my past choices and learned what was taught from the pulpit and from Bible studies I attended. I tried very hard to toe the party line, thinking that all those lovely people who had been at this Christian thing longer than I had knew what they were talking about. Cleaned up my language (I swore like a sailor), learned to wear dresses to church and hold baby showers and clean the church (and my house!). Had babies and taught them to do the same things. And watched as many of the people in the church messed up.

And I kept asking questions and looking for answers.

So many books and teachings and studies. So many opinions and corrections and restrictions. And so many people wearing a good face while they hurt or lied or got lost along the way.

These days there is a great shaking going on. The earth, governments, churches, families- all are being shaken in their very foundations. For my purpose today I am going to stick with the church. Now, since I haven't defined it prior to this, I want to say that when I refer to the church, I do not just mean the building where the local Christians in Moose Pass do our thing. Neither do I mean the Southern Baptists, the denomination we are connected to (and that is a whole other tale to be told at a later date. God has a sense of humor!). And I do not mean just the Protestants. I am referring here to all the people in this country, in the world, for that matter, who are self-confessed Christians.

There is a great change, an upheaval, in the Body of Christ. Christians are asking hard questions about what is and is not our responsibility. What is it that makes us different from all other faiths and why do we think we are the only ones who have it "right". And DO we have it right?? What things that we do are sprung from the minds of humans and have gone on for so long that we believe them to be from the mouth of God?  Many people, young and old, are not satisfied when the answer to "Why?" is "Because that is the way it is done."

I believe that God is big enough to handle our questions. I also believe that a lot of people are going to be surprised at the end result.

Gotta go now, time to give Grandma Lee her shower.

Keep asking questions and I will talk to you again soon.

May the God who is above all other gods bless and keep you in His care until we meet again.
Love you!

No comments:

Post a Comment