October 1, 2007
The Atheist Jew Goes To Church
Here is the deal: I am friends with a Fundy couple. They know where I stand. They aren't really sure about where my wife stands though. Either was I. I'll get to that later.
The husband is a real handyman. He did a lot of unpaid work for me on my last car. He is retired, so he didn't seem to mind doing it. He did make a request. He and his wife wanted to bring my wife to church a few times as sort of a payback. My wife agreed, though I'm positive she was just being nice (occasionally she is nice).
She's put off going for a few months, and even I was starting to feel guilty about it. So when they phoned saying that their church (a small Calvary Baptist Church) had a guest who had just came back from spreading the Gospel in the Phillippines, and they really wanted her to go, I told my wife I would accompany her. So last night at 6:30 (I SACRIFICED watching the end of the 4:00 NFL football games), I was present for a good hour and a half of Gospel gobblygook.
There were less than 20 people attending the evening service (or whatever they call it). Apparently, they did a morning service too. Not sure how many showed up to that one. I found the people there to be nice, though I didn't get a chance to talk to them much.
The church minister (or whatever he is called) started things off. He told us that someones brother died in the morning, and that a couple of the church members were to sick to show up. He then did a few hymns, and everyone sang along...well except for me. Even my wife sang. Hey, I was a hypocrite too, both my wife and I donated a tooney each (a Canadian two dollar coin) to the donation plate.
Then the young guest preacher/minister from the US got his shot. He didn't win any points by humbly admitting that he had a grade 7 education (what a shocker!).
He was accompanied by 3 of his kids. They had talent. They could play multiple musical instruments. I especially enjoyed listening to the 10 year old girls piano playing. But mostly, all I could think of is how much brainwashing these kids have had in their short lifetimes.
OK. I have had a very strong feeling that Preacher dude knew he had an atheist Jew in the Pews. Why? He started talking about the Old Testament and Jews and how the NT "proved" that Jesus was the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for (something to do with Jesus being born in a manger and wearing whatever he supposedly was wearing). Was I little paranoid? Nope.
He then said that he was going to talk about "simple things" tonight because the church was really small in members, but THE LORD told him to change the sermon for tonight. It reminded me of the old saying "when you speak to God it is called praying, but when God speaks to you, it is called insanity."
When he started going into details about Cain and Abel, the only thing that crossed my mind is that the people who are buying into this are buying into a gory fairy tale, what is wrong with these people?
He started talking about the colour red, and how it is "proof" that the NT is better than The Farmer's Almanac when it comes to explaining everything around us.
You see, red represents Jesus' blood, and the "fact" that Jesus sacrificed himself for mankind. And he bled a lot. After Jesus, there was no need to sacrifice defenseless animals anymore.
Quick question: If God is perfect, why did he need humans to sacrifice animals to him? Sounds like he has a bit of an inferiority complex and needs assurance. Why would a perfect God need anything? And if he created man in his image, then why aren't we perfect. Like, what happened to my hair, and why can't I dunk a basketball?
Back to the colour red. Did you know that barns are red because God made red paint cheap to use for poor farmers so that they could remind us that Jesus and all the blood that he sacrificed started out in a manger? Or that Stop signs are red because God influenced man to make them red so that when we stop, we have time to reflect on Jesus and all the blood that he lost before he died? And fire hydrants are red, and they are shaped like a cross. See, the bible proves everything.
I was starting to think that this guy must have at least a grade 9 education to figure out all these things.
So he ended off by telling US that we now had no excuse not to believe. He must have repeated that three or four times near the end. And finally, he said, "I KNOW THAT THERE IS A SOUL IN HERE THAT HASN'T BEEN SAVED " I don't think God told him that, I think my friend clued him in. And he was wrong, there were two of us in the crowd.
Afterwards, we were invited to have some food, but we declined. My wife was exhausted from a bout of insomnia and preparing food for a friend's bridal shower earlier in the day. It was for the best, as I might not be able to keep my militant atheism in check much longer.
Back to my wife. She was an atheist long before I was one. But I just found that out. 17 years ago when I got married, I was pretty much agnostic. And prior to that outside of letting out my secret that I was an ethnic Jew, I didn't talk about beliefs, and I didn't care what my "dates" believed in either. If they liked me, I liked them.
I didn't even talk about my beliefs with my fiancee (now wife). Though she assumed (correctly) that we were to be married in a Jewish ceremony. Tradition was important to me at the time, with family and all. But I didn't ask her to convert, and that posed a bit of a problem because we had to find someone qualified to marry us traditionally. We found someone. Not sure if he called himself a rabbi or not, but his claim to fame was that he once married parrots (I kid you not).
I always assumed my wife was agnostic or perhaps a bit of a theist. I knew she grew up as an ethnic Christian. Just recently I asked her if I was an influence on her becoming an atheist (lately she has mentioned that she doesn't believe God exists). She surprised me by telling my she never believed in God. Never Ever.
Even as a little girl she remembers telling her girlfriends that she thought the bible stories were just that: stories. Though she did tell them that the points of many of the stories were important.
Maybe I should talk to her more, maybe I'll find out other things I didn't know about her:)