The Church of the Golden Teapot

What is it about God that frightens non-Christian people?

WAIT….Before I go any further, I’m going to predict that my brothers and sisters in Christ are going to smile and appreciate this post. My non-Christian friends are going to think I’ve completely been brainwashed and have gone over the edge. Whatever—to both groups. I write to think, and not to spark opinion of others. (But go ahead and comment. That’s the most amusing part of blogging, ya know.)

“Why did [God] let Hitler kill all the Jews? He sounds like a big co*k to me.”

“He lets ONLY those who believe in him be saved? What happens to the other people in the world? Sounds like an a**hole.”

These are two of many such comments that came from the lips of one of my close friends. Another referred to my belief in my Savior as no different than someone worshiping a small golden teapot that revolves around Mars. You can’t see this teapot. You just have to have faith that it’s there, and that it will “fix” that which is broken or needed. The Church of the Golden Teapot quickly became the new name of said religion.

Now, some people might get upset at such comments, possibly even a few in the bar area of the restaurant in which we were sitting as evident by one of GROBs subdivision neighbors (or some similar relationship) commenting on the acoustic level of his rant. As for me, I respect his agnostic opinion. He has every right to question anything he wishes, but I’m certainly not going to tackle the Hitler question—or anything similar. Why won’t I? It’s simple; I have no idea.

Lets get one thing straight; I’m not one to spout scripture or give reason to seemingly unanswerable questions. I did, however, offer to explain how God works in my life and how my faith has helped my family and me get back on track. I could have given the It’s-God’s-will answer, but that would have been akin to me kicking him squa in da nuts, mmmkay.

And there is another thing. I consider GROB a great friend. He stuck beside me through some hard times in my life, and I pray for him during the hard times in his. He is also one of the funniest MFers I’ve ever known. Our differing beliefs will never deter me from our friendship.

Circling back to the question at hand, GROB is one to investigate and/or challenge everything; it’s in the nature of both our souls. But he chooses to judge the Christian belief versus investigating it. As he once told me, his attitude regarding Christianity is based on a childhood question he asked of his pastor. At age 10, he asked what becomes of non-Christians when they die. The pastor’s response made him turn away from the church and shun any further teaching of the Word of God.

Why is he (or others) afraid to go to church, listen, learn, and then form an opinion using adult rational? I want to know what it is that frightens non-believers out of the slightest consideration of attending anything with the word church as even a small descriptor of event XXXXX?

Just because you attend church doesn’t make you a Christian. It’s not that simple. The people from my church pressure no one to change/invent their faith, ever. The leaders of my church are educators of Christianity. They are Christians, too. It’s kinda like FOX; they teach and let you decide. There is no pressure from the congregation to “change your evil ways”. They are good people who love, and teach, and support. If you choose not to listen, fine. If you choose to argue a point, fine. There will be no judgment. And you’re still welcome to come to our services, meetings, family events, groups, trips, BBQs, or whatever. There is no “C” tattooed on anyone. No one questions why YOU are here. They’re just glad you could come, and then they will invite you back. I simply don’t understand from where all the fear comes.

The photo above is something that I made the day after GROB and I had our discussion. I did it to illustrate just how wrong I believe GROB’s opinion to be…And before you comment on how hypocritical I am because you believe that I am judging someone, try to remember that there is a difference between respecting an opinion and believing that it’s misguided.

~Click the photo to make it bigger. It’s certainly worth it.~

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

5 Replies to “The Church of the Golden Teapot”

  1. Tim, I discovered your blog last night after getting the update on your contact info.

    I may come from a slightly different perspective but I grew up in a Southern Baptist culture and in college was exposed to something that was radically different to me, no it wasn’t a cult. If fact it was more the norm 200 years ago but is to coin a religious phrase, experiencing a “revival” and that is the “reformed” way of thinking and lot of those ideas are coming back into the non-traditional contemporary churches even though my denomination is historically “traditional” in it’s worship style.

    The previous church I was in before we moved on to help with the new mission church in Travelers Rest had and still has a great pastor who has strong opinions about things like observing the sabbath, counseling, etc. and at times I found myself disagreeing with him but he was kind and listened and understood why I felt the way I did.

    I’ve come to learn in recent years more and more that God’s ways are not our ways. I know that sounds cliche but they are something we just can’t reason out in the limited dimensions we currently exist in.

    The book “flatland” kind of give one a tiny glimpse of how finite we are in our perspective of who God is. It’s easy to think of God as just a “super-human” and sadly a lot of the ways people worship or formed by the inaccurate view.

    I believe it’s God who does the changing but he has called us to share with others who he is and to love others in his name.

    As a reformed and sometimes called “calvinist” presbyterian people think we don’t witness or try to “convert” anyone. That’s not true. I do believe we are called to witness and share the gospel but I don’t believe anyone can be saved or truly converted by the clever words of man but on by the working of the Holy Spirit in the heart. The blog linked from my name is one way I am sharing what God has done in my life from the beginning to the present day. I’m glad you have this blog Tim. It’s very insightful and helps me connect with you better.

  2. I don’t believe it’s fear of God that makes me not go to church, I simply do not believe there is a God.

    To me it is the fear of there not being one that forces religious people such as yourself to go to church. Faith and God are crutches to make your life bearable, to assuage guilt and alleviate the fear of being alone you seem to have.

  3. That Grob guy is pretty smart. Who names their kid Grob, anyway? Is that short for Grobert?

    The story I heard was that Grob met god. God was at a poker table at the MGM wearing a brown shirt. No matter what card god needed on the river, it came. Grob got stacked and tilted. That story about his pastor was a cover he made up because he was embarrassed getting stacked at a 2-4 table.

    Chalk me up in th column of not believing there is an invisible man in the sky. I personally think the religion is a cop out. Its easier to “believe” in the almighty than it is to try and comprehend our universe.

    I also think that many religious organizations do a great deal of good and that many people use their faith as a justification.

    On the other hand too many people have been killed in the name of religion. Religion and beliefs are too often used as a method of holding power over a group of people.

    There are good and bad believers, agnostics and non-theists. It has more to do with your parents than hokey religions and ancient weapons.

  4. Whims, An old Jewish man once had me place a dollar bill on a table . He then asked me what it said on the back of the bill. I replied “In god we trust” he then slammed his hand on the table took my dollar bill and shouted “thats right and everyone else pays Cash!”

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