The Passion Pit Pandora station is the only thing I can listen to and still get stuff done anymore. Phoenix then the Pixies then Florence and the Machine then Foster The People then Walter Meego? Yes, please.
I think I’m going to get a sewing machine and start making things. My brain is desperate for a creative outlet. And can’t find my capo and I’m always too lazy to challenge myself so I never play my guitar without it these days. And painting just frustrates me because I suck so I need a break.
Christians are seriously SERIOUSLY pissing me off. More than usual. More than ever. Probably because this is Alabama a.k.a. the evangelical playground where they can run rampant with their insane and backwards ideas.
Here’s a little irony. Micah 6:8 is one of the most heavily taught/cited/memorized/overused verses in the whole Bible.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Anytime I see that on the “upcoming sermon” sign outside of a church in the Bible Belt, I feel pretty unsettled. Christians use this verse all the time to justify their “righteous” thoughts/actions/beliefs. But they’re basically guilty of exactly the same things that Micah was trying to bring to people’s attention way back in the day. It’s like one of those paintings within a painting. Mindblowing, right?
Quite honestly, in my opinion, the most important part of that is the “walk humbly with your God” part. It’s just that people seem to focus in on the”justly” part and think that they know what mercy is and just assume that they’re walking humbly. If you have the humbly part, the mercy part and justly part are easy.
These people think they’re acting justly. But they’re going overboard on that part. So much so that they obviously don’t love mercy. They’re like justice vigilantes. And they have outreach church projects that require one hour of their time per week and they think that fills the mercy quota and they don’t have to care about real mercy for the other 165 hours in the week. And they sure as hell aren’t humble because you can’t be super self-righteous and still be humble. But they think they’re humble. It’s like when there’s a sermon or Sunday School lesson or whatever about this verse, people don’t listen because they don’t think it applies to them because they’ve heard it all their lives. They “know” they’re just and merciful and humble already.
The “walk” and “with” part are equally important. It’s a journey of humbleness and you don’t do it on your own. You don’t just become humble one day and that’s it. And you sure as hell don’t just take off and do your own thing once you think you’ve got it.
Without the humbleness part, you’re barely capable of mercy and all the justice you’re a big fan of is generally 95% misguided.
Compassion, pity, and benevolence are all components of mercy (Dictionary.com says so). None of that is possible without humbleness. You can fake it or do it from the mentality of “I’m so awesome that I can be merciful even though these people messed up and/or are unworthy” but that’s not really LOVING mercy.
And without being humble, how do you know what’s just? If you’re not humble, you’re only listening to yourself. And if you’re only listening to yourself, your sense of justice comes from your ideas of what’s right and wrong instead of where it should be coming from.
This is the biggest difference between Christians I know here and Christians that I respect at home. The Christians here learn a lesson, think they’ve learned it forever and that they can do no wrong in that area for the rest of their lives. The Christians that I respect at home are more fluid in their perspective of things and their faith in general. It’s a lot of re-analyzing and backtracking instead of just a straight line to heaven. Which, according to my interpretation, is the more commendable way to live.
Next time I see Micah 6:8 on a church sign, I’m going to go out under the cover of darkness and silly string it.
Why I’m qualified to make these claims despite not currently being a practicing Christian:
– one year of residency in the Bible Belt
– one summer as a camp counselor at a Christian summer camp
– a lifetime of being raised by super Christian parents in a super Christian family
– my sister is a practicing Christian and she agrees with me