Monday, April 13, 2009

Still waiting, Celtic Woman, Easter and Christianity

After the past couple of political rant blogs, I figured I'd go back to a more intimate perspective for this one. Oh, and good news- I noticed that you can open up comments for anonymous posters too, so now you can comment even if you don't have a google account. So, well, that is at least one less excuse not to comment... Anyway, We're still waiting to hear back from the one possibility that I spoke of last week- the interview process is evidently not finalized yet, so, well, here's hoping. There is also another possibility for a face-to-face that has opened up, so I'll try to keep you apprised on that possibility as well. In the meantime, we're doing good with saving money, but we did splurge on a cheap dinner Saturday night. I promised my wife that as payment for doing the data entry temp job, since that is more money that unemployment would bring in, we'd go out to dinner at the end of each week that she worked.

So on to the Celtic Woman concert (which, I might add, was paid for back in December, so it was not a recent splurge). First off, here they are...

For my male readers- Wow, right? But I digress- on to the concert. I had built up such high expectations that I was really concerned that I would come out of the concert a bit let down. Fortunately, that was not the case. The only letdown for me was that we were further away from the stage than I had hoped. I mean, we bought the most expensive tickets, and we were on the ground level, very close to center, but we were rather far back on the ground level. Hmm....
At any rate, the show was fantastic, and to my surprise, about 2/3 of the songs were from the A New Journey DVD. This was a good thing, because that meant that we already knew a lot of the songs. They even performed my favorite, At the Ceili. Of their new songs, my favorite was Isle of Hope, which is also the name of the tour. Overall, a great experience, and a nice escape from the pressures of everyday life.

Since yesterday was Easter, I figured I'd throw mention that as well. Jenny and I went to church with some of my family. We're the oft-lamented Christmas-and-Easter Christians, so that's not something we do very often. Our personal spiritualities just don't center around church-going, and we both very much question the message of many modern Christian churches that you have the choice of either accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior or spending an eternity burning in the eternal torment of Hell. That just doesn't jive with "God is Love". I mean, if "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" to save us, then why would this loving God condemn millions of people to eternal damnation for, quite simply, missing the boat? I mean, if I happened to grew up Muslim, and never got around to question my beliefs, that could be me burning in Hell for eternity, right? Yeah, that just doesn't make much sense to me. Not to say that I don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the Ressurection and all that; I mean, a loving God certainly would send his Son to die for the world, to create an easy path to salvation. But if Heaven is a very exclusive club, consisting only of members whose core belief is that they are the chosen ones and the vast majority of the world just didn't make the cut, that just doesn't sound much like Heaven to me. We do want our kids to attend a Christian church of some sort, but probably one that is less exclusive than the Baptist (me) and Catholic (Jenny) churches that we grew up in.

Anyway, on to other parts of the day. Jenny and I visited my Grandma right after church. She has spinal stenosis, which I gather is not much fun (as an understatement). It's essentially constant severe pain in the back. Which makes my constant not-so-severe pain in the back probably seem like a walk in the park. My Grandma will be having surgery tomorrow to hopefully significantly lessen the pain, so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

After that, we went to another Grandma's house (my step-dad's father's second wife, to be specific), for lunch and depressing conversation. Well, the depressing conversation wasn't a given by any means, but that's certainly what the visit entailed. Between my Grandma's back, my Aunt's slew of health problems, cousins' health problems, and altogether general malaise of the world, conversation wasn't particularly bright or peppy. Less I sound like a grouch, I did enjoy the visit. I just wished that there were more positive things to talk about.

Well, this has already turned into quite a long post, so I'll bid you adieu. Just remember, you can now COMMENT anonymously!



  1. celtic women sing so beautifully. You are so lucky to have been able to see them. Granted they are very pretty it would have been worth it for me to be far back because I would still be able to hear them.

  2. I've been trying to post comments for awhile but it would never let me. I can't remember any of the things I wanted to say but at least now I can!

  3. I wonder who I am....

  4. When I read "missed the boat" the first thing I thought of was, I'm on a boat, on a mf boat! :)

  5. I'm glad you got to hear Celtic Woman.

  6. You can love someone without loving all that they choose to do, and all actions have consequences, good or bad (or bad). God demonstrated his love by providing a bridge, but he also loved us enough to allow us the choice to accept it rather than forcing the matter. He is also quite capable of revealing himself to those who seek him - so at least I feel that if someone without knowledge prayed for guidance, that they would be granted that opportunity just as those of us who have heard but have not sought.

    As for Jesus, I don't think I could continue to believe in the Bible if he was only right part of the time. He blatantly called himself the way, the truth and the life - the only way to God. He also claimed to be perfect and the son of God. I find I must either accept both or accept neither, for if he were perfect, how could he misrepresent himself? And if he wasn't who he said, why bother with the rest of his teachings? Just a vantage yielded from my own personal journey and questions over the years.

    And Celtic Woman sounds very interesting. I didn't realize that was a group name when you first mentioned it!

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your comments!

    Thank you, Heather, for your well thought out response to the religious aspects of my post- it is much appreciated!

    Here is a response to Heather: You are quite right in saying that to believe that Jesus is not the only way to God is to question the absolute truth of the Bible as it now stands, and I'll admit that I do not stand on solid ground here, and I don't really know what to believe.
    Just as you mentioned, I have prayed for guidance in my journey for truth, but the simple fact is that as a pray for guidance, I find myself pushed further toward the 'Jesus is not the only way to God' stance, whether it be conversations with other people, books that I read, or just a general shift through introspection.

    For better or worse, I believe that your beliefs should be tested, questioned, and debated. If you just accept what you're taught as a kid to be the truth (ex. the world is flat, men are superior to women, whites are superior to blacks), then I think the foundations of your beliefs are very shaky indeed. If your beliefs cannot stand up to critical questioning and deliberation, then it might be time for a re-evaluation.

    To me, the existence of God stands up to critical reasoning in two ways: first, and most importantly, I can feel His presence in the world and in my life. Second, I think the idea of a supreme being creating the universe is less absurd than anything else I have heard thus far (particles happened to exist in nothingness, they bumped into each other, and from there, we have our amazing universe? The stars, planets, oceans, rainbows, human emotions such as love and joy all purely chance? Meh.)

    That God is a loving God also stands up to reason. I mean, we're still here, despite all of the trouble we've caused, right? Miracles (answered prayers) do still occur, right? As such, the idea that God would send his Son to provide an easy path to salvation also stands up to reason.

    After that, things start to get shaky for me. Based on a quick Google search, it appears that Christians make up approximately 1/3 of the world's population. This means that, according to the "Jesus is the only way" Christian doctrine, assuming that every one who CLAIMS to be Christian really is, 2/3 of the world's current population is on their way to Hell. 2/3 of us. I like "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son...", but the part where a 2/3 majority of the population will spend an eternity suffering in Hell because they believed the wrong thing, well, that doesn't jive with "For God so loved the world" to me.

    Arguments either way (or any new ways) not just accepted, but greatly appreciated! I'd love to see more conversation on this topic.