Tuesday, December 9, 2008


First praying over the golden calf in Manhattan and now this? Christians are really confused about their beliefs regarding idol worship. The whole power of prayer thing is getting bizarre as well. Oil streaked foreheads and SUVs on the platform at church. Again I say 'wow' and chuckle to myself.


Aaron said...

It is a bull...but still pretty ironic.

My dad has always been verbally skeptical about organized religion, and I have grown up skeptical even though I tried, on my own, to play the Adventist game. So seeing the bull and the SUV's, seems messed up, but par for the course.

I see churches and bars as similar venues. Perhaps a bar is better equipped to personally serve you...at least it is a little more direct. That said, some people really get a kick out of the corporate gathering within a church setting.

I think the most difficult time I had was divorcing my emotional self from the seduction of church (mainly sermon ideals). After that it was just painful to walk into the WWU church. I felt like I could "feel" evilness swirling throughout. Then I began questioning all the "truths" and "ideals" spouted from the pulpit. My main thing was/is if you are going to claim something than follow it. It seems there are so many empty claims being thrown around in Christian religion. It is people speaking the party line. Whatever they need to hear to feel like they can "prove" they are right.

It is easiest to do that when you can point out that someone else is wrong. Thus the "US vs. Them" mentality I grew up with as an SDA.

I still enjoy the music, and once a year, I might get a sermon that is just "good." True to life...but isn't particularly religious.

I see it similarly to going to a social club.

The one thing I really enjoyed and am still thankful for is the stage that the Brewster SDA church provided to perform music. With you, Tim, and others. For me that stage has been something I really appreciate. It is like a captive audience that will listen to pretty much anything their kids can concoct. And there are thousands of these stages all over the U.S.

So you see how someone might choose to follow a religion just to get their "stardom" needs satisfied. Perhaps Boonstra, Bachelor, and Finley.

Iron Soul said...

Yeah, I don't resent my religious upbringing. I feel like understanding Christianity and knowing the Bible are important cultural skills. The SDAs are also pretty good on church-state separation. But I also think that I'm pretty lucky that the church I grew up in was the Brewster Church. Seems like there was way less hypocrisy and condemnation than there could have been. People like your dad were a big part of that. And they were very supportive of our music. I'm glad for that too.

Iron Soul said...

Oh and one more thing about the Us vs. Them. I don't know how our upbringing compares to other SDA, but I feel the effects of this kind of thinking strongly even now. Not only were there the church people and the town people (and I find it sad that in such a small town I knew very few community people) but there was the white people and the mexicans. Did it ever feel sort of racist to anyone else? (I admit to behaving rather shamefully myself around 7th and 8th grade - in private of course)

Aaron said...

Looking back it was, but I didn't realize it at the time.

What I found a bit weird was that once a Mexican became my acquaintance, they were not a "Mexican" anymore. They were somehow not grouped in my head with the Mexican that would lean up against the outside wall of the grocery store with a gold chain around his neck and oompah music coming out of his Trans Am.

Heidi said...


I'm appreciating you sharing your journey, discoveries and insights. This post really got me, along with the ensuing discussion. I also feel immensely grateful for my upbringing and still think my parents are 'the bomb' and the most genuine christian folks ever - who obviously have found something that works for them and live and breath it will all of their being. I appreciate that they pray for me. I even am thankful for my good ole, although sheltered, WWU education and wouldn't trade any of it. I have however discovered along the way that my search will have a different outcome than my parents. It is a journey. Will always be. Thanks for sharing yours. (On another note, I think of you and Lori often. It is a shame that we live so close and yet so far:)

Iron Soul said...

Heidi! Thanks for your comment. I enjoy getting worked up on the internet, but I have nothing but respect for the people, places, and experiences that brought me to where I am.

Tim said...

Jeff, I agree, it did feel kind of racist. Enough so, anyway, that I felt extremely self-conscious about being half Mexican/Hispanic. Mostly I remember being nervous while listening (and probably telling) racist jokes. It took living in Belize for me to get over my shame/embarrassment about my background. Interestingly, none of the rest of my family seemed to think there was or is much of a problem with racism in Brewster. True, nobody is getting lynched, but there is also a definite white/brown, good/untrustworthy split. Danny and Andy never considered the issue while growing up, and never felt at all conflicted about their own identities. So different from me.

Iron Soul said...

Wow Tim, you know I never even considered you has having a latin background. I guess it is like Aaron says. When you know someone you don't think of them in generalized categories.

Reverted said...

I never did either, Jeff (regarding Tim).