Originally I was going to write about how to be a good Christian but then what do I know of that? I’ve spent years of my life developing my expertise in the opposite area so that’s what I’m going to write the guide on.
Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you: The Idiot’s Guide to being a Rubbish Christian
Let’s start with the basics and you don’t get any more basic than reading your Bible. Initially I was going to recommend you didn’t read it all but then if you don’t even do that what’s the difference between you and the heathen?
No, to avoid feelings of guilt it is best to do some Bible reading. But this chore can easily be circumvented. First, read the Bible at irregular times, you’ll be more likely to forget this way but you can still feel better about having planned to read the Bible. Second thing is to read the Bible in a place or at a time when distractions abound. This makes the reading go very quickly and generally stops you from having concentrate on what you read.
Another fantastic piece of advice I’ve found that works is to read the Bible as quickly as you possibly can. Whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not try and apply Bible passages to your own life and circumstances. Read it like you would read a trashy novel – in one ear and out the other.
Oh, and if you come to a bit you don’t understand I won’t recommend seeking advice. It’s probably not meant to be understood or you’re not intelligent to understand. Definitely don’t pray before you read the Bible, it could lead to all sorts of trouble.
You’ll hear of some people who memorise scripture. They’re abnormal freaks. You’ve got far too much to do and too little time on your hand to invest any energy into doing that.
Why the prospect of global warming worries me as much as nuclear Armageddon, an asteroid strike or the Large Hadron Collider. That is: not at all.
Forty years ago it was a very real danger that nuclear Armageddon was just a button press away. Twenty years ago and we were all going to die in an ice age. Over the last decade we’re all doing to die because of global warming. In the last year it was the turn of the LHC to become the next doom of mankind where it was going to create a black hole that would wipe the earth out of existence.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the Western World is obsessed with the apocalypse – the end of everything.
And the thing is some of the dangers are or were real and present: the prospect of a nuclear war between Russia and the USA was a reasonable possibility. Indeed, with the news coming out of Korea and Iran then it looks like nuclear war may be back on the agenda. An asteroid strike would require slightly more bad luck but it is a possibility rather than impossibility. Fortunately global warming is as about as scientific as the earth being flat.
‘You can be a good Christian without theology’ is a statement I’ve heard many a time in some form or other. Generally implied within the statement is that theology is not necessary to live a solid Christian life. Further implied within the statement is a disapproval of people who do view theology as being very important.
That would be me.
It is also a commonly held view that there is no need to be pedantic about theology, that even attempting to correct another person’s theology is wrong (naturally, there are good ways to do this and bad ways, I am, sadly, an expert at the latter rather than the former) and that a serious study of doctrine (principles of Christianity) can even hinder Christian living!
The root cause of these ideas is twofold. First is the seeming divide between theology and ‘real practical theology’. There is some element of truth, having a sound grasp of theology does not always lead to a more fruitful and holy life. I know from my own personal experience how hard it is to put theology into practise and move from a purely intellectual understanding to a deeper spiritual one. It is also true that it is easy to become proud of one’s own theology and look down on others for their ‘inferior’ kind. Like I said earlier corrected wrong theology is good but it can be done in a bad way.
The second reason is to do with the influence of contemporary Western culture which is all to do with subjectivity and ‘if it feels right it is right’ type thinking. Truth statements are viewed with suspicion and everyone is allowed their own truth as we all hold hands and dance around mushrooms.