Kati gets right down to business. In a nutshell, she wants to know how to convert a Heathen. I don’t mind responding to this because now that I am in my little “seeking” phase I am actually on the search for those with the ability to do so. Ironically, this has become a far more difficult task than I initially anticipated.
Keep in mind, this comes from someone with no religious background whatsoever. I dunno, somehow I managed to completely dodge that bullet. So, I can only answer these questions from my own personal point of view. I would say that perhaps it is a little of both. The comprehension of the message as well as it’s acceptance. These concepts are very difficult to fully embrace when there seem to be so many contradictions. And the many different translations do not help, either. Especially when they are all so densely encoded in “Christianeze”.
Also, and probably most the difficult, it will eventually be necessary to address the fact that this book is not perfect. The notion that this book was forged by the hand of a deity is debatable. Divinely inspired.. perhaps. Divinely written.. unlikely. If God is perfect, and he wrote this book, then this book should be perfect. But the bottom line is that this book was written by men, and men have flaws, and so does this book. To say that parts of this book are “extreme” is an understatement. You’re going to have a very difficult time trying to convince someone of reasonable intelligence that there was actually a talking snake. But who knows, maybe these wild fantasies were meant to be more like moral-teaching fables. That kid Joseph could be like “The Little Engine That Could”. Working his way up through perilous odds, then somehow in the end he still finds it in his heart to forgive his brothers for their treachery. Although, not before playing a pretty cruel joke which in my opinion was the best part.
So, rather than sweep the errors under the rug like most Christians I encounter attempt to do, go ahead address them. You might as well get that part out of the way. Because as with any group that exhibits such strong symptoms of cult-like behaviour, your Heathen is going to have apprehensions about joining your club..
Although there are a host of concerns associated with becoming a Christian, I can pretty much narrow mine down to what I call The Three S’s:
Barriers to Becoming a Christian
The very notion of getting on your knees and worshiping anything is not a very appealing concept to a Heathen. As far as I am concerned, it’s just another form of slavery, which seems to be a recurring theme in the bible and something that even Jesus himself endorses..
|Source: Thinking out loud|
Shame on you, Jesus. Doesn’t sounds very Christlike to me. No gold star for you, buddy.
It has recently come to my attention that God loves everybody except for people that are gay..
I’m not gay, but I am not going out of my way to create problems with any people that are. You can get married to a toaster oven for all I care. The way I see it, stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours. Everyone is happy. I guess God doesn’t see it that way. So much for unconditional love.
Or lack thereof rather, and probably the most critical of the three. I sometimes wonder if the cost of becoming a Christian demands the complete release of one’s faculties..
Now, I don’t know exactly what is going on here. There are always two sides to every story. But it seems to me that someone may have taken the bible a little too literally. However, what serves as it’s Achilles heel also makes it a curiosity. I have met some Christians that truly never seem to have a bad day. It’s like nothing bothers them at all. I have even had Christians themselves tell me that it is like being on some sort of “drug”, and I can often see the correlation. There will be days that I observe Christian behaviour and I can’t help but think to myself..
..and it only serves to fuel my curiosity. However, when faced with the question of how much of my own relative sanity I am willing to compromise in order to experience this eternal bliss that Christians seem to share; I am only able to deliver one response: none.
In closing, while attempting to deliver this biblical message to your Heathen, try to rely more on the logic and reasoning portions of this book (if there are any) rather than superstition. The whole threat of damnation by an ambiguous omnipotent being is likely to have little effect. It is difficult for someone to fear something that quite possibly does not exist. Also, work towards making it an exchange of ideas rather than a target for recruitment as I all too often encounter. I sometimes wonder if Heaven doesn’t award some sort of commission based on a Christian’s conversion rate. Nobody really wants to just be preached at without consideration. And the truth is that none of us really has all of the answers. So, we might as well share what we’ve got. I hope some of this helps. Best of luck in your endeavors, something tells me your going to need it.
If anyone else has questions about the bible or religion in general feel free to Ask A Heathen. I can also be found at my Q&A site ..
You can ask, but I will be upfront and honest right now in saying that the answer will most likely be “I Don’t Know”. The more I try to understand this book, the more it perplexes me. And at the end of the day.. I’m just a Heathen.