Let’s talk about a fun topic… how about religion. That’s always good for inspiring debate.

As many of you know, I was raised in religion, went to a Christian school, my dad was a pastor, etc. I always stayed involved, even if it was just in the music, because that was the one place I always felt like I fit in. I’ve been off recently, resting, getting some perspective, figuring out where I stand on things.

It’s one thing to go to church. It’s quite another thing to actually be spiritual. And I don’t mean that in the “Look how godly I am, holding myself to a higher standard” crap that I hear so often. I mean, living your life with the intention of doing the right thing, even when it’s hard or unpopular.

To me, if you flaunt your spirituality, but then live your life differently, you are no better than the “evil” person. Frankly, you are probably worse, because you can deceive and suck people in with your veneer. I’ve known so many hypocrites, growing up so immersed in religion. I suppose it’s inevitable, considering the sheer volume of “Christians” I have known.

There are so many guys out there, pretending to be good people, going through the motions, keeping up the image, and then going home and abusing their kids, cheating on their wife, breaking the speed limit to get to church on time (ironic, isn’t it), stealing from people, and generally being bad people. Many of them have been church leaders, like pastors, deacons, elders, etc.

It’s no wonder that so many people become disillusioned with religion, with such a poor example being set.

And then there are another group of people, that for the sake of simplicity, I’ll refer to as “Shallow Thinking Church Groupies,” or STCGs. STCGs are the people that for all intents and purposes are decent people, who are highly active in their church. They talk about spirituality constantly, look down on others that don’t do the same, yet if you ask them pretty much ANY real-life question, they will have no idea how to relate the concepts. They have head knowledge of spirituality, and they think it’s the same thing. But if you can’t actually use the information to help you make better decisions, then what use is it? I’ve known literally hundreds of these people. In fact, I admit, I was one of these people when I was in high school.

I thought I was spiritual because I could talk about it. I gave “advice” to my peers, and they looked up to me. I was thought to be quite the pillar, or whatever. The problem was, I was living in a vacuum… pastor’s kid, Christian school, no extracurriculars. I couldn’t actually have used what I knew, or “believed in” for anything useful whatsoever.

Of course, I have serious doubts as to whether someone in their teens really can get a handle on any of this. I think it takes more experience than most teens have, to be able to really understand.

That explains another phenomenon I’ve witnessed. People that were raised without religion or spirituality, then find it as adults, have a far deeper, and broader understanding than people that were steeped in it from the beginning. I’m not saying they don’t have some catching up to do on all the details, but as far as the big picture goes, they get it.

The newest cliche’ in Christian circles is “What Would Jesus Do?” WWJD. Well, I’m pretty sure that Jesus didn’t just sit around in the churches and read about things. In fact, it’s a matter of historical fact that he was out there meeting with people, living his life, accomplishing things. He didn’t even start his ministry until he was far into adulthood. That’s not to say he wasn’t having his due impact before that time, but most of his life, he was experiencing the “human existence.” So, WWJD? I think he’d be able to apply his knowledge to actually living a better life.

  15 comments for “WWJD?

  1. BJD
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: BJD I hope you all find the way, and if you already have, that (in spite of the mistakes we all make), it makes for a fabulous life.

  2. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Kathy Talk the talk or walk the walk? When I was in college (back in the dark ages, when dinasaurs roamed the earth) I had two part time jobs. Job #1: Wednesday night babysitter at the Baptist church – where the nursery was plastered with anti-drinking and anti-smoking posters (evil, EVIL I tell you!) Job #2: Local Beer hall. Same clientele both jobs! Go figure. (For the record, I believe in God, believe that Jesus is the son of God, live my life to be the best example I can be. But I’m human – screw up a lot!)

  3. HRT
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: HRT Now you just KNEW that I had to chime in here eventually. Having a discussion about faith, God & religion w/o HRT is like having pizza without cheese. Lord knows I’m cheesy enough.

  4. Meg
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Meg You know, I can’t say I disagree. Sad really. But then again, we’ve got too much flat land and not enough sky scrapers to hide the toxic waste dumps, all a laywer needs is a deep hole… we’ve got plent of those!

  5. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Speaking of Texas, Do you know why Texas got all the lawyers, and New Jersey got all of the toxic waste dumps?

  6. Meg
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Meg Excuse me for butting in; But, I think it’s more complex than Jesus finding a group of people who hasn’t been exposed to Western Civilazation. I think it’s a matter of people, as a whole, recognizing that something greater, be it the Christian God, or a simple greater power, did create. For a group of people to think that the world just is, and always has been with no beginning and seemingly no end, is close minded and will lead to a slower pace of “evolution” in the sense of social developement thus hendering the greater civilazations of the world in their progress to “update” the people who are unexposed to modern civilazation reather than simply Western. Every culture has a belief system in one area or another that begins with a creater, recogizing that there was a beginning, and even if a people were not accustomed to the ways and beliefs of the cultures in the general region they live in, whether it’s the Amazon, or the Texas Panhandle (ha ha) they must see that to get a tree, you must start with a seed.

  7. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Plop Phizz

  8. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Wendy Looks like I’m not. Need directions?

  9. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Wow Wendy, you took that down a very interesting path… I meant, I didn’t do sports or glee club… but you’re right, I also didn’t do “those” extracurriculars, so sounds like we need to meet up.

  10. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Well, I’m not one to tout the “four laws”, although I’ve heard that sermon roughly 10,000 times. I don’t think it’s something that can be boiled down to four points.

  11. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Wendy Amen! I agree with you Incredipete. I don’t have any respect for anyone who goes to church every Sunday, and for more appearance, every Wednesday, and when you see them on the street they are little better than a thug or a menace if you will. I have always said going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. I used to go to church regularly when I was a kid and I did enjoy it. I don’t go so much now but it does not change what I believe or how passionate I am about it.

  12. Meg
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Meg It’s so comforting to hear your thoughts and see mine reflected in them, even if in the smallest of ways. Now, what about “spritiuality” in the general sense. Does it always have to be based on the principles of Christianity? Or is it more of a “blanket” term for every way of believing, as long as you are aiming in the right direction, with a goal focused on doing the right thing? ~M.

  13. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Plop Phizz

  14. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: warcrygirl I, too, am one that not only wasn’t raised in the church, I was raised by athiests and agnostics. My husband believes in God and Jesus but destests organized religion. And although I’m not living the Christian life I could (no prayers at mealtimes and bedtime) I try to do good things and am raising my children to do good things. And then there’s the different branches of Christianity…so am I going to hell or not?

  15. maf
    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: maf i am one of those who wasn’t raised in church at ALL – but went on my own starting about 11 years ago. i’m not one of those who can quote chapter and verse and i have more questions than answers … but i do love the ‘spirit’ of my faith …

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