29.11.09

The Case AGAINST Christ



Why didn't Jesus replace the stone from the tomb when he rose from the dead?

Well, he was born in a barn.

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One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the evil that was going on. He decided to send an angel down to Earth to check it out. So He called one of His best angels and sent the angel to Earth for a while. When she returned she told God, yes it is bad on Earth, 95% is bad and 5% is good.
Well, He thought for a moment and thought maybe He'd better send down a second angel to get another point of view. So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time too. When the angel returned he went to God and told him "Yes, the Earth is in decline. 95% is bad and 5% is good." God said this was not good.

So He decided to send e-mail to the 5% that were good. He wanted to encourage them, give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what that e-mail said?

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Oh, you didn't get one either, huh? Bummer.


So, you fell for it. I don't have anything to say about Jesus. I want, instead, to delve into our unfortunate need for controversy. No matter what the issue is or how much it has nothing to do with us, we still want to be in the middle of it. It's amazing how our culture has been linked to this behaviour.

Let's look, for example, at gossip. Let's leave out the normal day-to-day gossip that is so easy to see...mothers talking about daughters' friends...wives talking about coworkers, husbands talking about bosses...that's easy. Let's make it more general.

John and Kate Plus 8 drew 9.8 million viewers on Memorial Day. People magazine sold 3.6 million copies last year, and that was bad for them! What have we immersed ourselves in?

This talk could get hairy. If we are not allowed to enjoy the latest celebrity gossip, how is that any different than watching a Shakespeare play or going to see a nice musical? These things are ingrained in our society; it can't be all bad.

Well, some of it can be pretty bad.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said that to punch a pillow when one is angry is doing nothing but reinforcing violence. But that is a normal thing in society to do!! We punch pillows instead of people, how peaceful is that? Little do we know that we are teaching ourselves that violence is okay in small doses. Violence is never something to be okay with. It may be necessary to live in certain instances, but it is never okay.

Same goes with gossip. Of course it seems as if the rational thing to do when someone angers you is to go talk about them. It's what society has placed as normal. That doesn't make it right. Don't punch a pillow rather than be mindful. It's not in your best interest.

Attachment. We're attached to this feeling of being correct in every instance. Well, sometimes we are correct, in which case we need to practice humility. Sometimes we are wrong, in which case we need to shut our mouths and learn what needs to be learned from that situation. As a matter of fact, we need to shut our mouths regardless of whether we are right or wrong. We don't learn anything on the pedestal. We only show what we've learned there.

I got this idea from a talk I was having with a good friend on a plane. We were discussing religion, the meaning of life...you know, the easy questions. Myself being Buddhist, and he being an Atheist, the conversation wasn't your normal, Oklahoma based religious discussion. After about an hour long talk, the gentleman sitting next to us spoke up. "Man, this is too deep for me to sleep through," he said. He told us that it was nice that we were reaching out and thinking about these things. We were good people that knew what we were talking about. "Merely speaking from a Christian standpoint," he said, "I think there is a lot in common between what you guys think and what I think."

What happened afterward would have normally sent me on a rampage. The plane landed, we said our goodbyes, and after my friend went to retrieve his bag, the guy shook my hand, pulled me in close, and said, "You know, you should read the book of Mark."

I could have attached myself to my opinions and gotten angry, but instead I thought of how caring this man was being to me. In his belief, he felt as if I were headed down a road to hell, and he was kind enough to offer his advice and what had helped him get where he was.

It's nice to be mindful sometimes.

I think I've rambled off-topic, but I'll try to reel it back in. We need practice being mindful. We need to practice being aware of not only ourselves (as if that isn't hard enough) but also others. Once we can truly be in the moment, we will realize that those around us everyday are our family too. We need to treat them as such.

I was visiting a yoga teacher's myspace page a couple of weeks ago. Under "Favorite TV shows", he wrote something along the lines of, "I'm much too interested in my life to become involved in someone's I'm never going to meet".

What an interesting conclusion! Why tie ourselves into these controversies? Who cares what Brangelina or Miley whatsit's doing this weekend? Nothing along those lines is going to help us. It's merely mindless banter.

Am I saying to boycott these things? No. Just don't become attached to them. Make a new road for this society, one that leads to a higher understanding, rather than a wonderful dinner conversation piece.

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