Monday, March 26, 2012
P4E.236 Drinking the Christian Kool-Aid
First, an explanation of the Kool-Aid reference. Sometimes we make references to cultural events that are lost on readers because we don't share a common understanding. For those who don't recall or are not old enough to remember, in November of 1978, 909 members of a religious cult called Peoples Temple, and led by a man named Jim Jones, committed mass suicide by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide in Jonestown, Guyana. It was the largest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11, 2001. Since that time, the phrase "drinking Kool-Aid" has come to mean blindly following the instructions of or adhering to the beliefs of an authority or institution or leadership, to the point of self-harm.
My son, Ben, has a friend who has served in the military in Afghanistan. The friend's duties included teaching Afghan soldiers various subjects. Ben's friend told him that the task is sometimes hampered by the Muslim belief system of the Afghan soldiers. As an example, the soldiers do not believe in gravity. They believe that the hand of Allah holds them down on the earth and that at any time he could remove his hand and they would fly away into space. Another example is that they do not believe in germs.
Upon hearing these things, I'm sure many of you had the same reaction I had; "How backward. How Medieval. How ignorant." And yet, the Christian community has its own Kool-Aid that it drinks. Let's take the example of evolution. The Christian community has gone to all sorts of gyrations to counter the idea of evolution.To drink this Christian Kool-Aid, one must also believe in a literal 6 days of creation, an extremely short life span of the earth, and dinosaurs co-existing with humans. The Christian community has made belief in evolution tantamount to heresy. It would rather fight over this issue than do the work that Christ charged it with.
How does it make sense that many Christians believe in the virgin birth, but have trouble with transubstantiation? Other examples of drinking the Christian Kool-Aid (at least in America) include:
- Unquestioning support for the U.S. Military
- Alignment with the conservative Republican Party
- Fawning over Rush Limbaugh
- Disdain for anything Obama
I'm not saying that one doesn't have the legal/constitutional right to pursue the above, just please don't sully the name of Christ by associating Christianity with it. We NEED separation of church and state to protect the Church! Stay out of politics. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's!
Lastly, because this blog has its roots in ministering to marriages in crisis, I thought I would share some of the Kool-Aid that the Christian community wants us to drink in regard to marriage.
In his book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, Ken Nair points out four male prejudices (what I'm calling Christian Kool-Aid) that he has identified among men towards women (and therefore their wives):
1. Women are impossible to understand!
2. Women are the real problem!
3. Women are inferior to men.
4. Men are supposed to be the boss.
You might have the same reaction as above, "How backward! How positively Medieval! How ignorant." And, you would be right. But, how many times have I heard a pastor in the pulpit express these very thoughts. Sometimes subtly and sometimes not so subtly. "You know those women. They're from Venus! Can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em!" (wink wink). Even the women in the congregation will laugh! How many times has a husband conveyed these same ideas to me during a conversation about his wife? I can tell you: Lots!
The time has come to take the Christian community to task. To assault the paradigm that it requires of us to remain a part of it. To push the limits. To refuse to drink the Christian Kool-Aid. To challenge some of the Christian community's tenets because they stand in the way of ministering to and loving a needy world.