As an experiment, I recently attended a local Christian church meeting. I had no idea what brand of Christianity they believed in so I would go in with an open mind.
I even made a heading in my notebook, ‘Listen and Learn’.
Perhaps I could pick up a few tips that could help with the development and promotion of Creativity. You never know.
When I arrived at the church building, I introduced myself and was, in turn, introduced to a number of other people, who were keen to ask a lot of questions.
That was fine. I had a few myself.
After a lot of friendly talk I asked what was the preferred bible version. A fellow named John explained that members could choose any version they liked.
This gave me a clue as to what kind of church I had entered.
What I had found was a collection of people that didn’t appear to have a clue what they were all about, apart from a lot of exclamations of ‘Jesus’ and so on.
The church appeared to be dominated by women (which I am aware contradicts the Jewish bible), with several female lead musicians urging those present to sing along to the rather hypnotic songs.
When it came to the sermon we were subjected to some elderly woman who waffled on about… I am not sure what.
I do recall that she made the imbecilic claim that the Israelites of the Old Testament never knew they were a ‘chosen people’.
The lady preacher explained that when she first arrived at this particular church several decades ago, with her Church of England ‘Book of Common Prayer’ in hand, it soon became clear to her that she ‘hadn’t a clue’ about ‘real’ Christianity.
This made me cringe for two reasons.
One, because those attending were at great pains to emphasise to me that the church was non-denominational, which would mean they recognise any version of Christianity as ‘real’.
Secondly, the woman had the ‘Book of Common Prayer’ in her hands, a book that tells you everything you need to know about what the Church of England believes in, how to pray, how to preach, how to teach and in what order. (Take a cursory glance through its table of contents.)
Reciting a verse from the Book of Matthew, the elderly preacher called on believers to ‘bring your children with you’.
The audience approved. I looked around and there were no children present.
Then we had the strange incident when it was revealed to me that, what I thought had been a (KJV style) recitation from the bible by one woman, was instead what these people termed a ‘prophesy’.
With wide eyes, I politely nodded as they explained that they believe the holy ghost enters various members and causes them to blurt out messages from God.
Holding back a chuckle was a bit of a challenge.
The church group did have some positives, however.
The group had an admirable – perhaps even enviable – community spirit.
The people were friendly and polite. Albeit they did cross examine me, which is always a bit of fun.
What irritated me about this congregation is that they fell over themselves to stress that they do not hold ‘hardline’ views.
They did this in order to reassure me that they were not ‘cranks’. (Oh dear.)
The thing is, whether I agree or not, I like people who know what they believe and take a strong stance.
I want believers of a particular ideology to avoid beating around the bush and make it clear what they believe, so there is no misunderstanding, no apologising, no weird talk.
This group of people seemed more eager to learn what a ’terrible time’ I have had that would make me dash out to such a church.
I believe one of the songs had a repetitive line that went something like, ‘You take my sadness away…’
Well, sorry to tell these people, I am not sad.
In fact, even with all the myriad of problems that White people face, such as the aforementioned insane thinking, for the most part, I am upbeat and happy.
The gathering I attended appeared to be more of a safe house for manic depressives to help them escape reality for a while.
The group certainly did not have the ‘soul winning’ zeal of the hardcore Fundamentalist Baptists and others.
This was more of a place where people can feel warm and fuzzy.
That is definitely not something that appeals to me and it certainly will not help us get out of our current predicament.
I could not help but reflect on the contrast between the ‘charismatic’ church gathering I experienced and the amazing religious creed that is Creativity.
The beauty of Creators is that we know what we believe. We do not have to talk in riddles when explaining our beliefs to others.
We are easily understood. There is no apologising and definitely no weird talk.
Who could misunderstood the beautiful simplicity of The Five Fundamental Beliefs?
Creators are not looking to reach the severely depressed who want to live in a fantasy world rather than face reality.
In fact, we have no time even for those people who pretend to support our struggle yet burden us with stories of how miserable they are and their general negative attitude.
On the contrary, Creators are determined, have a positive attitude and strive for a better future for those little ones.
This really is a faith of which we can be truly proud.
~Rev. James Costello