Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Christian Illogician

Hello. My beliefs seem illogical to you. I understand that. They seem illogical to many people. I'm a fool, you see. Many, even though they've never met me, think so. Even some who do know me think the same. Even some other Christians do. Weird, huh?

Yeah, I don't agree 100% with what some of my fellow Christians believe. I think they're wrong on some things, and they think I'm wrong on some things. We debate from time to time, and on most occasions we can still go out for coffee afterwards. Embarrassing, isn't it? How could I possibly expect you to follow Jesus when we're such messed up people ourselves? It only makes our beliefs seem that much more illogical, doesn't it?

Well, I can't talk long. I have to go have dinner. Hey, you know what? Why don't you come along? I'll buy. What? No, I insist. And that homeless man over there? Let's see if he's hungry as well. I bet he is. What's that? He might be an alcoholic? Well, alcoholics need to eat. Let's ask him. I know, I know, no chance of repayment. I'll probably never even see him again. Pretty illogical. But he needs to eat.

How do you know this isn't just grandstanding, you ask? Well, it's up to you. I can only tell you that I saw two hungry people and decided to buy them some food. From what I've read, Jesus did this sort of stuff a lot, even invited people society thought was worthless to dinner. Or so I read. Illogical, to be sure.

And how do you know this isn't a cheap trick to 'convert' you? Well, in a way it is. I want to convert you from cynicism to hope that Jesus, real or myth, has had a positive effect on people over the centuries and not everyone is using him to gain power. I want to convert you from seeking safety to taking a risk when you see a dirty hungry man picking through a garbage can. I want to convert you from hardness of heart to genuine compassion when you see such a person. I want to convert you from a narrow view of who your neighbor is to the broadest view possible. That all probably sounds illogical as well.

Well, your stomach's full, and that's the best proof I can provide that any of this matters. You can only take my word for it that I did it with any genuineness, but I assure you that I did. Maybe blind trust in others' assurance is illogical as well.

No, my holy book isn't perfect. My arguments are far from perfect. My fellow believers aren't perfect, nor is the institution that I attend on Sunday mornings. My knowledge of my own faith isn't perfect. It's all quite illogical and foolish.

Do and say what you will with your interaction with me today. I have no control over how you process it afterwards. It's pretty illogical for me to expect any one outcome.

Sorry I couldn't have been more help to you. But I'm glad we were able to share table together. No repayment is necessary. That's the point.

Illogical, I know. I can't tell you. I can only show you. Sucks, doesn't it?