Communion

Communion: (n) the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

I get the same sensation when I go to Red Lobster with a friend and he or she insists, with a giggle, as the cheddar bay biscuits arrive, and they gleefully take one from the basket, that, “This is what Red Lobster is all about!”

I nod (knowing that soon I will probably nod off.)

Red Lobster is not about the cheddar bay biscuits. It’s about the seafood.

Just like baseball games are not about the peanuts and the Cracker Jacks. There’s a ball, a bat and a game.

And marriage is not about starting a family. It’s really about how much you enjoy having sex with this one person and hope you can keep it up for the rest of your life while you have a family.

I find myself going to church from time to time–reluctantly.

I don’t like that about me. It seems jaded. In this season of agnosticism it smacks of the predictable.

But you see, in church there’s just too much emphasis on the cheddar bay biscuits, the Cracker Jacks and the family.

Many of them center their whole agenda around communion–a symbolistic representation of the blood and body of Jesus Christ, which he gave for the sins of mankind.

It’s disconcerting to me.

First there’s the thought that I am such a piece of shit that God had to kill His own kid to try to make up for my buffoonery.

Then there’s the notion that a dynamic spirit which walked in the flesh among us for thirty-three years only gained significance in the last few hours that he hung, as an alleged criminal, on a cross.

What an insult to all things loving and eternal.

Yet if you lodge an objection, somehow or another you become apostate–which, if you don’t know what that means, is the religious system’s way of telling you that you don’t belong.

The truth of the matter is, I admire the hell out of Jesus.

Long before he bled, he led me into an understanding of how we might begin to see God’s will done on Earth as it is in heaven.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Anti-intellectual

dictionary with letter A

Anti-intellectual (n): a person who scorns intellectuals and their views and methods.

I ain’t sure, but I just may be one. Darn tootin’.

Can there be anything more annoying than someone who claims to be an intellectual, or on the other hand, some other varmint who insists “they’re just country.”

It all revolves around this nasty-dastardly deed of feeling the need to be right.

I would never call myself an intellectual, but I would never make fun of progress or science just to prove that I’m “one of the people.”

I often wonder, as I view my society, if we have all just gone crazy–and the process was so subtle that no one picked up on the nuance.

After all, the things we now accept as common sense tend to avoid any reasonable commonality and reject the need to be sensible.

I will tell you this–you will never get anywhere with anyone by insisting that you’re an intellectual. The goal of the whole room at that point will be to find the chinks in your armor and insert a spear deep into your self-righteous breast.

Likewise, you don’t gain the appeal of anyone who has an IQ above 75 by insisting that you eschew new discoveries, revelations which contradict the fables and lifestyle choices that you promote as old-fashioned, apple-pie American thinking.

Of the profiles afforded in the human experience–those being rock, cement and sponge–I choose to be a sponge.

I do not want to stand on the rock of mere intellectual pursuit, portraying myself as an agnostic, self-involved pursuer of education.

On the other hand, I don’t want to have a brain that’s cemented with superstition, fear, religion and political nonsense, and pass around another bucket of chicken with my equally stubborn brethren.

I am a sponge.

  • I do not fear science because God made it.
  • I am not afraid of the turmoil of nature because they are in the chemistry of our world to protect us and simultaneously teach us how things work.
  • And I do not deny the existence of God because I’m perfectly unwilling to believe that the whole system of the Universe is run on chance and chaos.

I do not care if I’m in the minority. I happen to know that minorities fare very well in the historical account.

As it turns out, I am not anti-intellectual nor pro-homespun. I want to absorb what’s true because I need to be free.

And rumor has it that truth is the only mechanism that delivers freedom. 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Antediluvian

dictionary with letter A

Antediluvian: (adj) of or belonging to the time before the Biblical flood

I must not be the only one–or if I am the only one, I would have to question why I find myself alone.

I would enjoy being allowed to believe in a God who loves people, challenges us to excellence, and asks us to be tolerant of one another without being tied in with barefoot, emotionally Neanderthal sorts who seem to permeate the sanctuary of spiritual thought with outdated concepts and hurtful expletives.

It is very easy in an agnostic-driven society to become the target of pseudo-intellectual critics who try to trap you into defending Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lion’s den and Noah and the flood.

Recently when I told a friend that I believe that the trinity of God, Nature and Science have no argument with one another and are complementary, he became incensed, insisting that he wanted them separate because the charm of each one lies in its difference from the others.

I was bewildered by that thought. I decided to leave him to his own mental escapade and walk off quietly into the distance.

If there was a great flood, there was also a great season of evolution which preceded it, where dinosaurs walked the face of the earth.

I have no problem with that.

I don’t look at stories from the Good Book as being eyewitness accounts with accompanying photographs. I look at them as tales passed from one generation to another, to encourage the fresh offspring to pursue kindness, goodness, gentleness and hope.

Unfortunately, like in any book, extra narrative is thrown in which does not advance the story.

  • I want to believe in God without having to defend the writings that surround Him.
  • I want to love people because God loves people, without believing that some of them are chosen and others, uncircumcised.
  • I want to live my life with a sense of purpose and emotional grandeur instead of feeling as if I am “one with the walrus.”

I don’t think I’m alone here.

When religion stops putting pressure on mankind to be morally astute, and atheists realize that a life without a Father turns this joint into an orphanage, we will actually begin to make progress … through our humanhood with one another. 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Agnostic

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Agnostic: (n) a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence of nature of God and has neither faith nor disbelief in God.

“Can’t decide.”

I’m sorry. I just have a real problem with people who can’t land on a decision. Sometimes you’ll turn to ’em and ask ’em what they want to eat for dinner.

“I don’t care. Anything’s fine.”

Here’s the problem. On the first occasion you believe them. So you make Sloppy Joe with corn chips and apple slices. Then you notice they pick at the food and seem to have little appetite. If you dig deeper, you discover they were disappointed in the choice you made for them–when they refused to make one for themselves.

Alas, we have found the truth, have we not? Everyone does have an opinion, whether they speak it aloud or hold it within.

Those who decide to build a cave in which to harbor their thoughts only choose to do so in order to grumble at you from their dark place.

Thus the agnostic.

Facts are, if the only thing afforded me was organized religion and the existing spiritual circus which collects offerings and possesses land, I would probably be an agnostic or even an atheist. I would place myself in that no-man’s land because I object to the options provided. In a cowardly way, I would hide behind the inefficiency of the organization and pretend it truly represented God,

But that’s not what I do. I have decided to believe.

  • I do not believe in the God of the Jews. Too much wandering in the wilderness.
  • I do not think the God of the Christians has anything to do with real life.
  • The multiplicity of the Hindi gods only perplex me.
  • The absence of a god in Buddhism is a proclamation of self-righteousness that boggles my mind.
  • And the God of the Muslims at times seems to get up on the wrong side of His heavenly bed.

My God is the reality that I need a God.

I need someone to remind me that my humanity is more ingenious than “monkey.” I need a companion who helps to explain why goodness does come, through effort, while evil always tends to be the lazy choice.

Agnosticism is the fear of deciding. It is sloth–one of the seven deadly sinsfatal because it keeps us the victim instead of pursuing the possible victory.