24 September 2007

Have Faith in God - but only during the sermon

Queen Aardvark took me to church again yesterday morning. Oh, the pain. The boredom. The sleepiness (after all, how am I supposed to wake up at 10:30 on a Sunday morning?).

The dreary sermon was about disbelief in God and how this sin would drag down you and everyone around you. The preaching was linked to the bible story (recounted in Deuteronomy and Numbers) of how the Israelites, upon leaving Egypt and reaching the borders of the promised land, lacked the faith that God could help them destroy the inhabitants there and claim the land as their own. They second-guessed God so he punished them by making them wander the desert for 40 years. The sermon was the typically horrible and heavy-handed "believe in God and don't ask questions or he'll damn you" horse droppings, but the point remained: part of being a good Christian is that you have to believe that God is there to help and protect you.

Mercifully, the service ended and everyone in the packed hall started to shuffle out. Very, very slowly we shuffled out, as narrow aisles, small doors, assorted bottlenecks (completely off-topic: this is a very cool drawing of a bottle), and a general lack of exits slowed the pace to that of highway 401 heading east out of Toronto during rush hour. There were grumblings of discontent from some guys in front of me. Not thinking about the scenario until after the words were escaping from my lips, I muttered, "If there's a fire in here, we're all dead." Now expecting to be berated by inspired church-goers, to my surprise, grumblings of agreement came from in front of me.

So what happened? Not 5 minutes earlier they had been told (and enthusiastically agreed) that they need to have faith in God's protection always, and here they were affirming that they were doomed. No indignant, "God would never let this place burn down with us trapped in here." In one ear and out the other, eh?

----------------------
Hat tip to BigHeathenMike for the link.

Labels: ,

6 Comments:

At September 24, 2007 7:01 PM, Blogger TheBrummell said...

A regular Sunday morning sermon about atheism? I'm impressed, all those "strident", "new" atheists must be making some impact!

I like the chosen example of the perils of lack of faith in the sermon - question God and he won't help you with genocide. Uplifting all around.

Have these people actually read the bible?

 
At September 25, 2007 8:34 AM, Blogger King Aardvark said...

It doesn't seem to matter if they read it or not, listen to it or not, get it explained in excruciating detail by a pastor or not. The end result is the same - they don't appreciate the content at all. It's like it's in one ear and out the other.

There are some religious folk who actually pay attention to these things and even have a crisis of faith about it. However, the vast majority can read a passage where God commands the death of whole tribes, women and children included, and afterwards will say, "what genocide?"

 
At September 25, 2007 3:28 PM, Blogger Stew said...

I remember giving a kind of "get out of jail free" card to anything the israelites got up to in the bible coz they were god's chosen people.
Don't ask me how it rationalised in my head, I can't remember. It had something to do with the Canaanites, Midianites etc always "deserving it"

 
At September 25, 2007 3:41 PM, Blogger King Aardvark said...

Hrmph. For "God's Chosen People" they sure do seem to suck. Always enslaved, attacked, displaced, sinning, worshipping gold statues even though God physically talked to them, having sex with animals (apparently), etc.

If they were that bad, imagine how bad the Canaanites, Midianites etc would have been. They were probably backstabbing bastards who were constantly at war, slaughtered the babies of their defeated enemies, and practiced ritual self-mutilation and even some human sacrifice. Whoops, that was the Israelites, too.

Man, did God bet on the wrong horse, or what?

 
At September 26, 2007 12:26 PM, Blogger Necator said...

"f they were that bad, imagine how bad the Canaanites, Midianites etc would have been. They were probably backstabbing bastards who were constantly at war, slaughtered the babies of their defeated enemies, and practiced ritual self-mutilation and even some human sacrifice. Whoops, that was the Israelites, too."

I recall reading once that Yahweh was actually a war-god borrowed from the Babylonian pantheon when the Israelites were captive there. It's supposedly to be well-established by biblical scholars that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic creation myth is based on the bBabylonian creaation myth, whihc in turn is an almost verbatim copy of the Sumerian creation myth. So it wouldn't surprisse me me if almighty Yahweh is just another deity that got "raised" to the status of the one true god. Hey, if I were continuously picked on, I think I'd pick a bad-arsed war god too...better than agriculture or something.

 
At September 26, 2007 1:00 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

I find your lack of faith disturbing. Think about it, God's chosen people have kept the faith since the descent from mount Sinai and nothing bad has ever happened to them again!

-I ripped this off of John Stewart's America, the book

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home