From the Desk of Mr. Zissman

The musings of an over-stimulated mind

May the Fourth Be With You….

with 2 comments

….and also with you. Due to tomorrow (or today, depending on when you are reading this) being May the Fourth or International Star Wars Day, I am re-posting this blog entry I did on my previous blog. Please enjoy.

Christianity’s biggest threat: Christians

If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve seen that there has been a surge of suicides in gay teens. It seems one can hardly turn on the news anymore without hearing a horrible tale of a young life snuffed out of it’s prime due to bullying and just general harassment. It’s a horrible trend and I whole-heartedly approve of the “It Gets Better” campaign to help these teens. It’s so sad that these kids feel they have no other alternative to life than to take it with their own hands. Absolutely soul crushing.

But then I found an article written by a man identifying himself as a Christian. I’m not going to link the article, nor name the author, because I honestly don’t want to give him any more attention, but I’m sure if you poke around on Google you could find it. Anyway, this gentleman goes on to say that the gay teen suicide spike isn’t such a big deal, as opposed to Christians who have killed themselves due to being “harassed by homosexual activists.” He then goes on to list eight cases where Christians were either bullied, harassed or just downright intimidated. I admit, as I read the article, I was starting to wonder if there was another side to this over-all story. But the tail end of the article caught my attention..

“These eight cases are all true except for one thing: The Christians who were bullied by gays and gay activists are all still alive. Not a single one has committed suicide.”

So yes, you read that right. His argument boils down to “Gay people tease and harass Christians to the point of suicide. Except they didn’t, and yet somehow my point still stands.”

Umm…what? Seriously, this confuses me, but it illustrates my point that the greatest threat to Christianity is actually Christians themselves.

If I may take a step back here, I’d also like to clarify that this blog entry isn’t so much a “everyone should be like me” deal but more of a “let’s take this journey together.” As a Christian, I’d grade myself a D-, at best. So please don’t think I’m trying to preach from some ivory altar and guide people to where I am. Now that we’ve established that, let’s get back to the show.

“But Mr. Zissman,” you might say “how can you possibly defend Christianity considering all the horrible things it has done in the past and present?” Well that’s easy, I can’t defend it. I can’t defend Fred Phelps, or abortion clinic bombings, other than to say they do not have Christ’s message in their hearts and minds.

Look at it this way…think of a Christianity as a lightsaber.

In the hands of a Jedi, the lightsaber represents truth, justice and peace. In the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi or Luke Skywalker, it protects the weak and the poor and helps bring light to the galaxy. However, if a lightsaber is wielded by Darth Vader or Darth Maul, it represents misery, hate and pain. The lightsaber itself has not changed: it still hums, it still glows, it still looks wicked awesome. BUT what has changed is how it’s wielded and for what purpose. Christianity works the same way.

When lightsabers were first created in the Star Wars universe, their first intention was for good. However, when the Dark Jedi discovered lightsabers, they found a way to enforce their views through intimidation and fear. In essence, the original intention of the lightsabers had been corrupted. In fact, many people actually feared the Jedi due to the actions of the Sith, simply lumping the two together. Well, I’m here to say that not all Christians are Sith Lords.

I’d also like to think part of this poor public perception boils down to the media. Now again, let me make myself clear: I’m not going to say there is some sort of sinister liberal/progressive plan to overthrow Christianity because I simply don’t believe it. Rather, I blame the media because sensationalism sells. “If it bleeds, it leads” as the saying goes. Imagine you’re a producer of a prime-time news show. Which segment do you think would get the most ratings?

LOCAL CHRISTIAN STUDIES BIBLE, DONATES TO CHARITIES, VOLUNTEERS AT SOUP KITCHEN

or

REV. ARCHIBALD NOTGAY CONDEMNS SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS FOR BEING PART OF ‘INSIDIOUS HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA’

Again, if the producer chose B it wouldn’t be out of trying to smear Christianity, but rather it’s got more pizzaz than Option A. Let’s be real, Option A is rather boring, at least news wise. But Christians aren’t the only ones getting this treatment, as I firmly believe Muslims are as well. Once more, let’s look at possible news headlines.

LOCAL MUSLIM PRAYS, FASTS AND READS KORAN. WORKS 9 TO 5, PAYS BILLS ON TIME, DRIVES A LEXUS.

or

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WARNS OF ANOTHER POSSIBLE-SORTOF-MAYBE-KINDOF-ALMOST-TERRORIST ATTACK. TERROR ALERT HAS BEEN RAISED TO LIGHT BEIGE

See what I mean?

This is a problem, and the only solution (I feel) is to keep on keeping on. You won’t win anyone over by street corner preaching, but instead following Christ’s example of humility, peace and charity. As Rob Bell (one of my favorite theologians) once said: “Why blame the dark for being dark? It’s far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.” This is a good point.

Let’s go back to the Star Wars analogies. There will always be the Force, and there will always be two sides of it: Light and Dark. For every Luke Skywalker, you have a Darth Vader. For every Darth Bane, you have a Yoda. As much as it pains me, I do not see an earthly world where the light is the only source. So instead of complaining about the darkness, instead of blaming others for being in the darkness, why not simply be as bright as you can? Try simple acts of kindness, try listening to someone hurting or who is in pain, teach your kids not to bully or hate and focus on being the best Christian YOU can be, instead of expecting people to join you in lock step conformity to your own personal beliefs.

Christ’s message will never be spread via finger-pointing and name calling, but rather through faith, love and humility. Just like a Youngling trains to become a Padawan and then trains to be a Jedi (more Star Wars metaphors!) let’s train ourselves to be some sort of spiritual Jedi. We’re all in this together.

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Written by MrZissman

05/03/2011 at 10:33 PM

2 Responses

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  1. It’s better to light a candle (or a lightsaber) than to curse the darkness…

    Nice article, not just because of the Star Wars analogies (!) but because it’s true that Christianity needs to concentrate more on what it’s *for* than what it’s *against*. Otherwise the dominant voice becomes, say, Fred Phelps, and then we’re all in trouble…

    matthewhyde

    05/04/2011 at 8:31 AM

  2. Very nice read Mr. Z. Very nice indeed.

    that guy

    07/08/2011 at 12:36 PM


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