It’s been a while since I last updated this blog; a couple of weeks, in fact. Not much has really changed thus far; I’m still attending St.Mary’s each Sunday (unless ill health prevents me – and I’d have to be pretty much bedridden, at that!), and each Wednesday is LifeShapes round at the Bakers’.
I must admit I’m not overly impressed with LifeShapes; it seems overly dogmatic, simplistic and – I’m afraid – just too American. It’s the sort of thing I would have expected to come out of a Californian megachurch, to be honest. I’m persevering though, even though each time I try to read A Passionate Life (the book by Mike Breen that accompanies the LifeShapes course), I have to overcome the urge to hurl it across the room in disgust.
I’ll say this for our Wednesday group though – we don’t let the weakness of the material get in the way of a good debate, and David is pretty skilled at approaching the subject matter obliquely. Last week’s session, it seemed we were setting aside LifeShapes for the evening and instead getting to know one another – and it was only after he’d asked me about how I find the time to fit in my hobbies around housekeeping and looking after my daughter that I realised what he was doing! He was still tackling LifeShapes with us, but in a way that helped the group members get to know each other and also give the material relevance to us.
There’s been no further word yet about my baptism, but then again Simon has been very busy, and sadly his mother passed away last Sunday. However I found the application form for baptism on the church website, so I downloaded it, printed it out, filled it in and posted it off to Simon’s secretary with a covering letter so at least that part of the paperwork has been taken care of.
This evening, I came across a story that had been posted on the LiveJournal Christianity community; it was an urban legend. It concerns an essay entitled The Room, written by Joshua Harris for his magazine New Attitude in 1995 and reprinted in his 1997 book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. A teenager named Brian Moore plagiarised the essay and passed it off as his own at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting and to his parents, shortly before he died in a car accident in 1997. The essay was read out at Moore’s funeral and the tear-jerking story was published widely over the internet as an inspiring story, until the truth came out – to the utter mortification, shame and embarassment of his family.
I pointed out on the LJ Christianity post that it was a reposting of an urban legend, and the poster tried to brush it off: “I just thought it was a random guy first off. Secondly, I think it’s more the concept than necessarily the fact that it was him. I just don’t think God cares IMO. I think that He does care that the message was passed along that He cares so much that He’s willing to sign His name to every one of our sins.” She said she felt “attacked” because I and another community member had pointed out it was an urban legend, and that the “good gesture and message of this story has quickly lost its touch” due to our comments.
But since when was it ever appropriate for the truth to take second place behind “feel-good factor”? How can it possibly be right to perpetuate a lie and continue to fool others into believing it? How can it possibly be Christian to do so?