Thursday, February 23, 2012
I came across this Bible study because Amazon recommended it for me -- not a really good reason, but with the amount of time and money that I spend at Amazon, I have to admit that they are actually getting to know me pretty well! Anyway, I have started this study and I really like it. The DVD portion is okay (beautifully shot but the speaker is SO earnest that it makes me a little uncomfortable.)
But what has really got me hooked is the workbook and the biblically passage it has me reading. I am suck a geek: I love a good workbook and a primary text! It is actually surprising that it took me this long to become interested in Christianity, because it is such a text-based religion. Getting to know Christianity means getting to know the Word. And I love that.
Not to mention that the Word is completely enthralling. The parts I have been reading is so far from the conservative, judgmental, rule-abiding Christianity from which I have run my whole life. I started to thaw my icy barrier to Christianity as I read blogs written by Christian moms who have adopted As I embarked on exploring Christianity, what struck me most poignantly was the commandment of Jesus to serve those who need us the most, particularly the orphan and the widow (some theologians suggest that the modern version of the 'widow' is the single-mom, in terms of their economic and political vulnerability). It has been amazing for me to see how much Christians are doing, actually doing rather than merely preaching about, for orphans worldwide. People like Katie and Linny and Stefanie, to name just a very few. I had heard many atheists say that the Church has done more damage to the world than good. But, I disagree. I think we focus on the bad, and the good is just not as apparent. (I mean, the Crusades were pretty bad, I agree, but if we add up all of the work of Jesus, the saints like Mother Teresa, all of the mission work, and just the daily work of people like my neighbor who takes care of the needy through her church…I think it is overwhelmingly amazing.)
My favorite passage from the Bible for the last year has been from James (I still don't really know what "the book of James" really is; I am that much of a novice). It says:
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James I: 27)
I love this because it says directly that religion is not preaching, is not judging or blaming: it is action. Like Dr. Phil would say, love is a verb. Christianity is a verb.