Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cleaning Out the Old

We have been cleaning our house, sort of a "spring cleaning" done "late" and long needed. The twelve years of accumulation brought back many memories, fond and "not so fond".

My husband was going through our cabinets in his study and found a large box of cassette tapes. Since cassettes aren't in vogue anymore, we decided to get rid of them. But, we did save the ones that would be good for our grandchildren, such as "books on tape".

What we found were many tapes from a "church" that underwrote a "bible school" on "spritual warfare", and various aspects of one's consecration and "walk with God". I cringed to think that this was where I used to be. I really believed this stuff. And it brought back memories of how I behaved because of my staunch belief, as The Truth.

The founder of this particular "organization" used to be a missionary and so his focus was just that. His understanding was a very sectarian view of faith. There is "the world" and there is "the flesh and the devil" and never the twain shall meet. Those that attended there (and I had quite a few from my family) were indoctrinated by this type of "faith tradition".

The "dichotomy" between the "real world" and the transcendental world is very limiting, as it defines everything according to scripture. As scripture was never intended to be handled in this way, it breeds all kinds of presumptuous attitudes and actions. People become dogmatic, opinionated and hard to get along with in the "real world" unless you agree with them. Agreement means that you are on "the Lord's side", if not, then you are considered "the enemy".

My husband and I talked about whether to give these tapes to a local charity, but I didn't want to promote that type of "faith". I think it is not just limiting one's "worldview", but also limiting to the person who believes it. And I certainly don't want to be a part of limiting others to a confined understanding of a particular tradition.

It was good to throw these tapes in the garbage, as they represented my past, which though was a part of my history, does not have to confine my frames of reference in the present. I do believe that we learn and grow, as we are open and this is the primary reason why I resist fundamentalistic thinking. Fundamentalism is afraid of reason. Ane yet, fundamentalists use reason to determine their "absolute" fundamentals! How odd.

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