Sunday, April 04, 2010
Heretical Thoughts for Easter
Most of us went to church today. We heard a familiar story, one we've been hearing for our entire lives. Of course, there might have been one guy there who was saying, "Who is this Jesus? I've never heard of Jesus." (Evangelicalism taught me that this is always a possibility. Even though every person I've ever met throughout my entire life has heard of Jesus, I'll let the evangelicals believe what they want)
The story of Easter is that a man came back to life. This man was also God. Jesus was a man, and he was God. Get it? Of course you don't. But it doesn't matter. This is Christianity. We believe that the "son of God" died and came back to life, and this was the key to the forgiveness of our sins. Hallelujah, or something.
If you grew up in a Christian home, you accepted Jesus into your heart when you were very young. I was about five years old, and I asked out loud: "Jesus, come into my heart." I decided that I didn't want to go to hell, and that I believed in Jesus. He died, but came back to life on the third day. He was born of this world, but he was God. I believed this. I also believed in Santa Claus. And the Tooth Fairy. And that I could become a dinosaur when I pressed an invisible button on my chest.
But even back then, after about a week I couldn't help but to ask myself, "Why would God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden anyway?" If Christianity today is all about glorifying God and praying his kingdom come, are humans really bound by a spiritual requirement? By that I mean, if an omniscient God made the rules, how can we expect our minds to comprehend them?
For a few hundred years, we've had a canon. We've had "holy scriptures" that were written by and compiled by religious authorities. For some reason, we have deemed the Bible the "word of God." While trying our damnedest to forget about Constantine.
Now, I don't know what holiness is. But I would rather think than decide. I can now see how silly my immature question was. When I was five, I believed that Adam and Eve were real people. I didn't know what symbolism was. I thought the Garden of Eden was an actual place. Christianity is a lot different when you're an adult. It's not really something you believe, it's just something you do.
Some Christians like to say they're not religious, but spiritual. But this is what cowards do. Christianity should be all about works. Any asshole can believe in Jesus on Easter. Who gives a shit if Jesus forgave us of our sins? Should we feel guilty? Come on, Christians. Get real.
Sin is just something humans do. We do bad things. We're assholes, and, God forgives us. That's why he put the tree in the garden, so he could have something to forgive us for.
So when I hear all this bullshit about doing "kingdom work," I do one of those laugh/choke routines. People ask me if I need a drink of water while they pat me on the back. When Christians believe that "harmony" means the Garden of Eden, they're sucking on eggs. If Adam's occupation was a gardener, that means he helped plants grow. If plants were growing, it meant something was dying. Life only works if violence precedes it. Lions need protein, they don't eat hay. Gardens need manure, excrement of a biological creature.
Harmony is not perfection. Perfection is all one note. One, perfect note. Harmony is a combination. And in this universe, the universe that humans live in, harmony requires death. There must be contrast. There must be night and day. Subjective and objective. Good and evil.
People lose their faith due to the problem of evil, but only because they let it be a problem. Evil is not a problem. God created it. We think it's bad, but it's not. He placed the tree in the Garden. Or, if we must go further, God created Satan. Evil is all a part of God's plan. Christians act like evil is something that did not always exist, or that when Christ returns to redeem and "set all things right," that evil will no longer exist. But if evil didn't exist, the universe would no longer exist. There cannot be balance (harmony) without evil. There cannot be ALL good. For any good to exist, there must be some evil. Neither coming first or second, they are mutual.
So on this Easter Sunday, remember the men who decided which four gospels would be a part of the canon. Remember the imaginative beliefs you held as a child. Realize that forgiveness is an attribute that God can't help, and that you can be as bad as possible because it's a part of your nature. Remember when you thought "religion" was a dirty word. And if you have time, maybe try helping others. Know this: heretics would rather think further than remain dogmatic. Remember that the etymology of heresy is haireisthai, "to choose." And we are all heretics, just as Adam was. He chose to eat the fruit from the tree. God doesn't choose, but we can't hold that against Him.