The New Christianity

Christian used to mean a follower of Christ and his teachings. It doesn’t anymore. At least, not if “Christian mommyblogger”  Jenny Erikson is allowed to define the terms. It seems Christianity is about following “God,” which apparently is a euphemism for “myself.” In her article, How My Husband Found Out I Was Leaving Him, she rails against her church and pastor for engaging in the terribly un-Christian behavior of believing the Bible. Quoting from her article:

My husband defended him [her pastor] as doing his pastoral duty. I looked him straight in the eyeballs and said, “The fact that you are defending this man’s actions yesterday is one of a thousand reasons I cannot stay married to you.”

That was a month and a half ago. I’ve spoken to two other leaders at my church, and they have both defended My Pastor’s actions that day. And they have both asked me time and time again to ‘repent of my sin.’

Did you know that apparently it’s up to men in the church to decide if you have cause for divorce, not God? I keep wanting to ask them if they’re going to tell God on me, but thus far have managed to refrain.

So that’s the story of how my husband found out I was leaving him. Last I heard he’s still going to My (ex) Pastor for council on the matter of his broken marriage.

Because I’m sure that guy has my best interest at heart.

Notice that she’s not getting divorced because her husband engaged in fornication, the justification that Christ stated was acceptable in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. No, she is divorcing him because, among other things, he dares to defend her pastor when she is upset with her pastor for doing what is unquestionably his duty as a pastor. However, she knows that her frivolous divorce is not a sin, despite the clear words of Christ stating that it is a sin, because obviously when Christ said “except for fornication” He really meant “except for fornication, or defending a pastor doing his job, or any other petty offense.” Clearly the leaders at her church are in the wrong for assuming that Christ meant exactly what he said.

Oh, and that thing that her pastor did that she was so mad about? Well, when he heard a rumor that she was about to serve divorce papers on her husband he tried to contact her, or as she put it “began harassing me the next day via phone, email, and text.” When she repeatedly ignored his attempts to contact her, he called her husband (who answered his phone) and gave him a heads up. Of course, this gave her husband a little time to digest the news, cheating her out of the pleasure she intended to get by giving him a surprise emotional shock.

Clearly the pastor was in the wrong here, and not the woman needlessly tearing apart her family and practically bastardizing her two daughters and robbing them of the benefits of a two-parent home.

The tagline on Jenny’s blog reads “God, Family, Politics, Wine (In That Order).” I really have no clue what she means. Obviously, “God” does not mean Christ, whose words she blatantly disregards, nor His Father with whom Christ is one (John 10:30). Clearly “family” doesn’t include her daughters (whom she refers to in the article as Thing 1 and Thing 2), nor the man she married.

I guess this is what Christian means now.

Barbells and Bibles: How to Share What you Know Without Being a Jerk

Today, in the gym, a guy asked me to critique his form. That’s not necessarily a noteworthy occurrence, except for the fact that this guy was a crossfit instructor. For those of you that aren’t familiar with crossfit, for many of its practitioners it’s practically a religion–to them, crossfit is the only way to work out. However, this crossfit instructor wasn’t too proud to ask a guy who was clearly doing a non-crossfit type workout for advice on form for front squats and push presses. We ended up having an interesting conversation between sets, including discussing the merits of doing kettlebell swings to eyeball level or continuing them above eyeball level. Why did this guy, a crossfit instructor, ask me for advice? Probably because I was doing strict form deadlifts, and because I carry a lot of muscle mass at a relatively low body fat percentage.

I’m out of state for some training right now, and the accommodations here are in two-man rooms. This morning during a class break, I was asked “Is it true that the first thing you do as soon as your alarm goes off in the morning is read?” I guess my roommate likes to tell stories on me. After I replied that I indeed do read first thing in the morning, I was asked the reasonable follow-up question of why. I replied that I like to read from my Bible to get me in the right headspace to start my day. One of my fellow classmates actually said, “that’s a cool idea.”

When I go to the gym, I don’t give out unsolicited advice. I see people all the time doing exercises that aren’t really going to do them any good, like leg adductions, but I don’t go up to them them and tell them that what they are doing is worthless. People can be very sensitive about their workout routines, and no one likes a stranger telling them that they don’t know what they are doing. However, when asked I am more than happy to help people. One time a co-worker, having seen me do heavy squats, asked me to help him with squats, which was a weak point for him. By helping him correct his form, I was able to increase the weight he used by over a hundred pounds in a single workout. The reason that he was willing to listen to my advice was because he asked me for help, rather than me offering it unsolicited.

My philosophy on sharing religion is pretty much the same as my philosophy on sharing fitness advice–I don’t do it unsolicited, but I don’t shy away from answering questions or sharing what I know with people who ask me to. Like workout routines, religious beliefs are something that people are sensitive about. Many religious people do not seem to grasp this concept. Either they will alienate a person that they could befriend by telling them how their religion is wrong, or when asked by someone why they do what they do or believe what they believe they shy away from the question. While I won’t go up to the person doing leg adductions and tell them that what they are doing is worthless, if that person comes up to me and asks me why I do squats I’m not going to say “well, I do squats and you do leg adductions, we both work out our legs so really it’s just a matter of personal preference.” Instead I’m going to explain how squats work the whole body, stimulate testoterone production, and stabilize the entire lower body and posterior chain while working the adductors in a stabilizing role more than they would be worked by straight adductions.

In both the gym world and the religious world, people take exception to, and generally disregard the advice of, the person who comes up and tells them that what they are doing is wrong. Don’t be the person who does that. At the same time, it’s pretty low down to hold back your knowledge when someone comes to you and asks you to share it. Don’t be the person who does that either. Both of those kinds of people are jerks.

Don’t be a jerk.