I find that I have hidden behind Christian faith. It "protected me" from feeling that the world was a dark and forboding place. But, more so, it was a way of coping with my own anxiety and insecurity. It helped me find meaning, where there had been no meaning. It helped me to feel special, a sense of belonging, and met a need for "family" that would share life with me. It was, in effect, a denial of true reality and an attempt at "creating a new one" (a "new family", a "new me", a "new future", etc.).
Christians hide behind the various group identifiers that help them to form their own "bulwark of faith" against facing what is otherwise, horrendously difficult and challenging. People are self seeking. This should be an accepted fact of life in encountering others. Then, one is free to encounter another with their own agenda and then honestly evaluate, negotiate and compromise. This is forthrightness, as it doesn't try to dissolve self-interest, or sacrifice, but seeks to further goals directly and with honesty. This is the stage of social contract in moral development.
Christians love to define their life in altruistic ways. And most of the time, they seem to love to see sacrifice as "proof of" "love for God and neighbor". Problems of identifying sacrifice occur when there are various differences as to what defines the "correct" sacrifice. Judging another's "sacrifice" as insignificant is offensive and insulting, which alienates and complicates the relationship and the negotiating process.
These sacrifices are used to further "holiness" and "discipline" and 'create and define' Christian character. But, what is the difference in Christian sacrifice and altruism and a "secular" person doing the same? Christians can feel smug and "better than" others, which underwrites their own insecurities, rather than face them squarely and realistically.
I would much rather be "on the same page", knowing that a contract was a useful tool to protect both parties interest, rather than, some "spiritualized" service that undermines justice. Christians use and abuse terms, and situations because of their view of reality. Reality is defined in "other worldly ways" that are defined by "god". "God" justifies in their minds "abuse of power", as they feel morally superior. These "other worldly ways" are imposed upon all of life and others, which hinders one's ability to communicate in 'real terms" and truely know another in "real ways".
So, what do I wish for Christians? I wish that all of them would evaluate their life honestly, without any need to 'spiritualize", "or protect themselves". Life can be hard, indeed, but if one continues to "live in a bubble of unreality", then life cannot be embraced and fully lived. Christians need to be "real human beings" and stop seeking to be anything else.
Third Sunday of Advent
8 hours ago