Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mars Hill Church and the Acts29 Network

I just got done reading this article on Salon.com.

This was the first I'd ever heard of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, or the Acts29 Network.

At key times during my life I've been blessed to come into contact with Christians and other people of faith who have challenged and inspired me. Interestingly, none of them have been conservative evangelicals or fundamentalists.

I used to have arguments with a Marxist roomate of mine years ago about religion. He was, obviously, a devout atheist and saw no good role for religion, particularly Christianity as it's practiced here in the US. My position was that for a person struggling with despair or addiction, strong religious belief was a good life preserver. Putting it in his terms, if a worker is saved from alcoholism, drug abuse or suicide by faith in Jesus, and is still there when the revolution comes, that's a good thing, right? I thought so anyway.

But...

Seeing people who look like me, have the same kind of tattooes I have, listen to the same music and watch the same movies as I do, embrace the most hardcore fundamentalist Christian theology, complete with subservient women--well that saddens me. I find it sad that people find so little meaning and purpose in their lives that they feel compelled to turn to the most absolutist forms of fundamentalist theology.

Take a look at those links and see what you think.

4 comments:

lulu said...

Ugh. I have such huge problems with most organized religions. I was raised in the church, but I was taught to question everything, and to decide for myself what I believed. It helps that I was raised in the UCC church, which is much more about treating people with respect and dignity than it is about dogma.

I think that for a lot of people, a very fundamentalist church is comforting. A lot of people who listen to our music, have our tattoos and spent their teen-years feeling alienated and alone want to belong to to a group, particularly a group that gives them rules.

I think it is also easy to get sucked into the trappings of a church that features cool music, etc., because you can ignore the undercurrents of sexism, homophobia and piety that infect everyone.

Bubs said...

I think you're exactly right Lulu, about people wanting to belong to a group that gives them rules.

It's interesting you mention UCC. I think they're one of the more liberal denominations. Our pastor of 16 years just left and went to a dual-denomination church in Bloomington, IN--UCC and American Baptist.

I gave him a nice bottle of scotch as a going away present.

lulu said...

yeah, you pretty much can't get more liberal than the UCC. My Dad is a UCC minister, so I spent my childhood at lots and lots of hippy potlucks.

Bubs said...

Well, at least they're not like Unitarians: addressing their prayers "to whom it may concern."