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Tony Grist

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Self Interrogation [Apr. 27th, 2009|09:51 am]
Tony Grist

An evangelical clergyman asked me about my back story yesterday- so I told him.

What- everything?

Not everything. About being a priest (ordination is indelible, right?) and a Wiccan. That was enough to be getting on with.

How did he react?

Gleefully.

He thinks you're a brand plucked from the burning?

Something like that. He sort of rubbed his hands together and talked about God working powerfully. I forget his exact words.

Did you disagree?

I was a little uncomfortable with his way of putting things
 
The God talk?

Yes,

Why exactly?

Discussing God as if he were the man next door seems a little- not irreverent, exactly- a little presumptuous. Besides, it's not my tradition.

And that's important?

Not as important as I once thought it was. All talk about God is nonsense- so one vein of nonsense is probably as good as any other.

Nonsense?

God is beyond human understanding.

So how did you reply? 

I gave him my Mona Lisa smile and told him how puzzled I was by the things that are going on in my life. 

You were evasive.

I was

And what exactly are these things?

It's hard to explain. Let's just say I've been responding to hints.

An inner voice?

Not quite. I don't hear anything. I just- quite suddenly- know I need to act in a certain way. 

And you trust these promptings?

I do.

(Pause)

So you agree with your evangelical clergyman- don't you- really- deep down?

(Pause)

"Well?"

Yes. I suppose I do.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-04-27 12:38 pm (UTC)
I had a conversation on a related topic with my stepson yesterday. We'd just participated in an Episcopalian baptismal service and he found it so much mumbo-jumbo. I suggested to him that various people could assign their own meanings to God -- ranging from "the force of being part of a community" right down to the Gray Bearded Guy With Stone Tablets -- and that the ceremony can have meaning for each. Ditto for sin. And something, for good measure, about the importance of binding rituals of community.

He was okay with that. He had a little trouble wrapping his mind around my next concept: "I'm not a believer but I have faith." That's okay...faith means you don't have to wrap your mind around it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-04-27 03:19 pm (UTC)
I like that distinction between faith and belief. Belief is always belief "in" something. Faith is a little more nebulous. You can say "I have faith" without specifying an object.
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