Friday, December 16, 2005

Good Lord

I just read what I wrote last night, and what a bunch of semi-comprehensible tripe. Yuck. I thought I was being profound, but I came off as confused. My pre-posting consultation with a couple of pints of very strong German WinterBock undermined my effort.

It all started when I thought about what Jesus's birthday party would have been like. Where there was water, there would be wine. Lots of it. Would the disciples roast him? What do you get the divine man who has everything? Then, I analyzed what references there were to birthday parties in the Bible. Then, I peed, because I really, really had to.

The point is that I found nothing in Jesus' teachings that called for the commercial orgy that is modern day Christmas. Our current celebration of Christmas seems to benefit businesses and religious institutions.

At the end of the day, I wonder this: should we sweat Jesus as much as we do? Is Christianity about faith or about good works? Or put differently, is faith over-emphasized to the exclusion of focusing on the substance of Jesus' teachings? The celebration of Christmas these days is really a hybrid of faith-based worship and consumerism. That just does not seem right to me. I keep thinking JEsus would be left wondering what the hubub was all about?

"You love me so much, you went to Radio Shack on my birthday and bought your kid a remote control car? No, no, you've got it all wrong..."


Blogger Jenn said...

oh dear, so the fact that I think I get the gist of both posts means...I don't want to know...!

regardless, a few pints sounds like the perfect way to start off pre-posting consultations.

one suggested amendment? Our current celebration of Christmas seems to benefit businesses, including those who sell religious stuff.

In my present, perhaps marginally cynical, state, I can't quite convince myself that the on-slaught of people who attend their once-a-year Christmas mass counts as a benefit to religious institutions...

10:48 PM  
Anonymous tequilita said...

i think celebrating our faith this way is mostly harmless. it is a time to celebrate our savior. most celebrations, even in biblical times included feasts and the like. it's important for christians not to forget the real "reason for the season." as with all things, there must be balance. but people are human and some get caught up in the madness. it's necessary to slow down and question it all. most churches do this around the holidays.

as far as happy holidays vs. merry christmas, bill o'reilly has gotten my folks all rowled up about it. it's annoying. it's a petty distraction. holiday = holy day...what's wrong with that? it covers all faiths. i think some people turn everything into "us vs. them." it's not worth the energy.

4:44 PM  
Blogger four of hearts said...

i dig what youre getting at about the christians rather missing the point. but i suppose it is to be expected from a clan of followers who in the name of their turn the other cheek saviour have proceeded to murder and destroy in their mania to save souls. like an invasive species the proselytization has spread across the globe, often firmly enmeshed in a western style of living, with a one two punch knock out religion and culture.
my parents are a jew married to a protestant, so i wasnt raised religious, and though we celebrate a nominal christmas its about being with the family. and getting stuff.

12:59 AM  
Blogger four of hearts said...

im sorry i think i got a little carried away with the generalities and if you can interpret me without becoming offended, please take that option.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

tequilita: I see your point. Many people talk about JC as a savior, but don't really focus on the message. I think the miraculous stuff in the bible may be a distraction; JC laid out a pretty simple and effective moral code that would make this world immensley better if people stopped sweating the man and focused on the message (which may be his the real key to his divinity)

Fou-of-hearst: welcome. No offense whatsoever. I kind of see your point. The danger of evangelicalism is that often it is employed to empower the instituion (church) rather than the individual. Because of that, the message of "praise Jesus" drowns out the moral core of his teachings. Creating a JC-centric basis for worship helps the church more than it does the individual. I am not downplaying JC at all, but I wonder if he was first and foremost a messenger, and if so wehether we should be putting more focus on the message.

P.S. I have been reading a bunch about the early gospels (Q and Thomas) that makes me wary of some of the stuff in the new testament (which came later).

9:16 AM  
Anonymous tequilita said...

i guess i am pretty traditional in the way i see these things. i don't think there is a message without the man. i believe in a personal relationship with Christ, and i think worship enriches the relationship. i haven't been very good at it lately, but i believe in it just the same.

maybe i'm a simpleton, but i don't think it's intended to be that complex. we love him so we follow him, study him, and worship him.

we don't have to agree. i enjoy reading your thoughts on this stuff.

8:44 PM  

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