Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Talking the talk

I confess, I have a little difficulty understanding people who fill their speech with spiritual jargon.

Sometimes it's because their spiritual talk just makes no sense, like when someone says, "We're out of milk, praise God" or (true example) when a woman talking to children about being on-guard against sexual abuse says, "You should let a parent know if someone tries to touch you there, bless Jesus."

Sometimes religious people feel that a life of faith means being upbeat and cheerful, even if there is nothing to be cheerful or upbeat about. These are the people who find out you have cancer and urge you to overcome it through the power of your faith, or who comfort you after you've been fired from a job by saying, "Remember, 'All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.'" (Thanks, Shirley. I don't think I ever said how much that meant to me.)

Then there are the religious people who can't wait to let you know that you're going to hell because you do something they don't like, whether it's having premarital sex, which could lead to dancing; or reading comic books (Psalm 107:18 warns of comic book artists, saying "They drew near the gates of death"); or most dangerously of all, having your own opinions (Proverbs 26:12). I have no time for these people at all.

More entertaining are the people of faith from one religious tradition or another, whom we all have met. who trot out passages from their holy texts at every possible occasion. These are people who say things like, "The church had a barbecue last night, in accordance with Leviticus 3:16"; or "I met my boyfriend by following the principles God laid out in Proverbs 7:10-21"; or "I'd like an iced coffee. Is it not written, 'Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth'?"

Back at the Church with an Extra E, we had a fellow named Sean who fell into that latter group. Like most people of that bent, Sean was a big teddy bear. He called everyone brother or sister, quoted Scripture with authority whether it was needed or not, and couldn't understand why nobody else in the church used "Holy Ghost" as an adjective. It is a testimony to how wide the grace of God is that we could worship at the same church. We were not cut from the same cloth.

"Hey, Brother Dave, how about a Holy Ghost hug?" he asked me once, warmly.

"Hey Sean, how about a Holy Ghost restraining order?" I asked with a smile.

I don't really get people who lace their speech with spiritual jargon. But I'm fairly certain they have an equally hard time getting me.

Copyright © 2010 by David Learn. Used with permission.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm on a role! Where have you been? I lost 4 siblings within a 24 month period. The last was my brother Aidan from suicide. My other brother Paddy had died after 25 years in a psychiatric hospital. He was in a Hit & Run & received massive brain damage. Aidan gave 25 years of his life to looking after his big brother. He couldn't live with the loss. Aidan & I were well know Christians in Limerick. I was treated like a leper for the next 3 years. I have come through a depression, diagnosed diabetic with diabetic neuropathy & had my right kidney destroyed by a prescribed drug- DIFENE. I am a latter born Job & the religious bastards, to this very day treat me like a leper.

I am living closer to my Heavenly Father for all that shit & I am a better Christian for it, but THEY think I am Back-slidden because I don't need their crap anymore.