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Remark on a Christian chain mail

February 18, 2009

I usually delete every email that comes from my mom with the “FW:” in front of it…because I know that although she probably thinks these emails are hilarious and insightful, I know that it’s either 1) not insightful nor hilarious, 2) something I’ve seen months ago, or 3) something religious.

She seems to enjoy sending me emails laced with religious overtones. I guess it’s because she’s just forwarding what she gets from her (religious) coworkers, and I’m on her forward list. I mean, she knows I don’t read these emails, and I don’t really care for the trite faith-promoting stories and advice that they offer.

But I guess these emails are ok for one thing. They give me material for slow days on blog. So I will now deconstruct a Christian chain mail.

Life is a theatre – invite your audience carefully.

Not everyone is spiritual or emotionally “healthy” enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that are best loved from a distance. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, pointless relationships, friendships, and fellowships! Consider your current relationships.

Pay attention to who lifts and who leans? Who encourages and who discourages? Who is on a path of growth and who is going down fast? When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Who always has drama?

The more you seek God and godly thing, the more you seek quality; the more you seek not just the hand of God but the face of God, the more you seek things honorable; the more you seek growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you are around!  Ask God for wisdom and discernment and use  It.

The email starts off well. Most of them do. These pieces of advice generally aren’t bad…they are just usually obvious — most people should have figured out a long time ago from their personal experiences. I mean, do people really get caught up with voluntarily becoming close friends with terrible people? I would hope that very early on, you would learn who to trust as a real friend and who should be kept far away.

But the second to last and the last paragraph are what makes this the typical Christian chain mail. So, with a solid idea, ALWAYS, they have to attach theistic sounding rhetoric behind it. This one didn’t throw out a specific scripture, but in most of these, the author (whoever he or she is) will take a concept utterly unspecific to religion (like as in this one) and will try to find some Biblical quote that tenuously only kinda-sorta relates to the concept (if you are drunk and walking in the dark).

And here we have it with this, sans the official scripture reference.

Maybe I’m crazy…but it just seemed to me when I was reading that I can discern who has drama and who does not have drama without God or scripture. Amazingly enough, it might be that those who have drama are the ones who claim to be following God (whether or not they actually are is a different matter).

It does not follow that the more you seek God and godly things that you will be seeking quality. It does not follow that Godly things are honorable things, or that honorable things are necessarily godly things (although I’ve heard the argument that by default, anything good must be of god — not going there).

I will say, I try to seek quality. I try to seek honorable things. I try to seek peace of mind and all of that. And I recognize that for some, that’s found in a religion. It might be Christianity; it might be Islam; it might be any religion. But for me, I don’t see the connection. And I recognize many who struggle to seek God, and as they do it, they abandon peace of mind. They cannot have peace of mind because their search for God and their task to please Him and endure to the end wrecks them.

An article without Christian chain mail would not be useful without a tenuously incorrect application of scripture, so I’ll provide it:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

~Romans 1:26

People so shamefully lust for God that they forget what is natural, what brings happiness and peace of mind, and instead take unnatural creations of mankind, unnatural organizations that tell them what should be happiness but is not. But then again, as Mormons would say, the natural man is enemy to God.

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