It’s interesting how Facebook friends can stretch all across the globe.
I have a few FB friends living in Asheville, NC, and I’ve got to say, they win the award for interesting FB conversations. I have liked Asheville, even before I knew anybody from there (except knowing of Thomas Wolfe, LHA). I believe T.W. got the whole thing going early last century: A rebel’s heart. Thomas Wolfe was like a foreign seed sown right-out of the same hills where everybody else came from. It’s strange how you can have 99 yellow baby chicks and one turns-out just a little different shade.
I met my Asheville friends through our mutual friend, Sun Frog. Sun Frog has had his own subversive ideas and attitude, all harmless, but interesting none-the-less. Then, quite suddenly, Sun Frog changed his name back to Andy and became a serious Christian. This is what I don’t understand, being one thing, and then becoming another-thing, quite the opposite.
Honestly, I suspect that he’s faking the whole thing. He’s gone under-cover to root out their weaknesses and bring them back to the radical view, to save the Christians, to save the planet, and now, I’m probably blowing his cover. But it’s quite a story and I look forward to his telling of it.
In the meantime, I can tell you one weakness I’ve observed about Christianity. It’s that whole “chosen” thing. Like that I’m a little different, a little blessed, in ways many other people don’t understand, but God understands. It’s a mindset. You see, God followed the Jews in a “chosen” kind of way, then followed the early Christians in a “chosen” way; then God followed the Catholic creed, also directly “chosen,” which splintered into Eastern Orthodox ideas, chosen, Islam, chosen, Protestant, chosen, Church of England, chosen, Pilgrims, chosen, Holy Rollers, chosen, Mormons, chosen (but not elected).
Some of the chosen stayed the same, while others changed. Yet none of them are fully Divine, except Jesus. Jesus, as Divine as Oz, returning one day in full ball-0’flames, quite pissed, gets the final word. Which is comforting, for all of the above folks who line-up. Ninety-nine chicks, all the same exact color. Plus, imparted Divinity, the final improvement. When? After death. Post planet. Not here. Not now! Step right up for the ticket.
Now if I were God, all of this splintering of my people could be quite confusing, keeping track and whatnot. Half of this and half of that. If I were God today, I’d have a hard time choosing who to send to Heaven (based upon their beliefs). I’d think lots of people were pretty smart, forgive the whole lot for whatever their stupidity, and send all of them to Heaven, which would definitely get me into trouble with the ultra-religious folks. (Like spend eternity in the stocks.) (Sore neck!) (Take that!)
I’ve researched it pretty good myself, though. I was a Christian missionary at age 16, again at 17, smuggled Bibles into the former Soviet Union at age 18, attended two Christian colleges, graduated, worked in Contemporary Christian Music during the days of Amy Grant, taught adult Sunday School, and was employed for four years with a major Christian devotional magazine publisher. I know all the fucking same-chick answers like the back of my hand. And I know the whole thing runs pretty deep, which is why I leave it alone. At the core it’s pretty mean (James Dobson, Sarah Palin, priests, etc.), while at the surface, it’s kind and congenial. I liked that, though, the congenial ones. Those special folks bubbling merrily on the surface, of all makes and models and creeds, harvesting the fields, etc.
That’s what I enjoy about my fellow hippy radicals from Asheville. They bubble on the surface. (They’re fermented!) But they don’t suggest that they are particularly chosen. They seem to particularly question their reality. Or at least, they wouldn’t believe that those from Chattanooga, or Greenville, or Hendersonville, are destined for a bloody Hell, as anything less-than chosen.
I love you, Andy Sun Frog. Congratulations on your upcoming inauguration. I admire how you allow yourself to radically change and how the story continues. Sorry if I have blown your cover. It’s all the same thing though, isn’t it? Glorious future! S.
Btw, I’ve written a story about my experiences as an evangelical: “A Curse, My Blessing,” available on www.lulu.com.