I read some Thomas Oden the other day and he totally read my mail. He was trying to describe a group of Evangelical Christians and I thought his insight was worth sharing. All of this is a very loose paraphrase, so don’t hold Oden responsible for my bull-crap! For the most part I’m joking in my descriptions so don’t get mad at me. I actually identify with one group, which one will be obvious. But I have great love for the other two groups as well. I just like to poke them both with a stick…it’s how I show my love.
GROUP ONE- THE FUNDIES
HERETOFORE AFTER TO BE CALLED HOMOPHOBES
These are the guys who are hooked on substituinary atonement and who make Christianity a quest to get everyone to heaven and stop sinning so much. They are conservative and hold to biblical innerency. And in my opinion are a general pain in the a*%. This is a huge group that includes everything from the southern baptists, to the pentecostals, not excluding the tim lahay freaks, the beth moore-moms, prayer of jabez day-planner buyers, james dobson zombies, and everyone who has a subscription to CCM magazine. And just when you want to hate them, you realize they are the main ones actually doing what the other groups say they want to do.
GROUP TWO – THE LIBERALS
HERETOFORE AFTER TO BE CALLED TREE HUGGERS
OK, a quick digression, I saw this hilarious bumper sticker the other day… it read “Somewhere in Texas there is a village missing an idiot.” Whatever your politics…that’s just plain funny. These are the guys who are convinced that the mission of the church is about setting straight injustice. They have a generally low view of scripture and mess with central doctrines like the resurrection. They have really decided that to be Christian means to try to live life to diminish the suffering of others…when you put it that way, it’s a wonder why we’re not all liberals.
GROUP THREE – THE MIDDLERS
HERETOFORE AFTER TO BE CALLED SPINELESS
this is the one I thought was interesting because it’s totally me. This is the group of us who grew up in fundamental homes and churches. Then we went into the public school system and were taught by liberals. We loved our parents and sunday school teachers and we loved our teachers and professors. Our adult religious experience so far has been an attempt to reconcile the two influences. Oden says we can operate in either system without messing things up and that we hold great affection for the spirituality of our childhood but find a difficult time reconciling it after we stop taking our pastor’s word for it and actually read books. The primary goal is to find communities of faith in which to work out all of the confusion of the past.
That’s when it hit me…spiritually speaking, I’m the bastard child of Billy Graham and Albert Schweitzer (does that make me Catholic?)
Ps. just in case you were wondering the “Left Behind” series has topped 55 million in sales – congrats you’ve officially soaked group 1.