Sunday, May 24, 2009

Televised Solemnities

Heard during the BBQ, spoken by one very religious man in his late sixties to another of the same:

"For the longest time I couldn't figure out how everyone in the whole world at the same time would be able to see Jesus coming back in the clouds. And then one day I was watching Oprah, and it suddenly came to me - it's going to be on T.V.!"




I have a befuddled, goofy grin on my face at the moment thinking about this older gentleman's perspective (no derision intended). Oprah and Jesus and T.V. in the same train of thought and apparently connected in earnest. A mother lode for televangelists and the “Left Behind” crowd!

Dostoevsky famously said, “If anyone proved to me that Christ was outside the truth and it really was so that the truth was outside Christ, then I would prefer to remain with Christ, than with the truth." This sentiment came out of an intense experience where he was sentenced to death for some political slight against the Czar and underwent a mock or hoax execution (unknown to him!) and after was sent to a Siberian prison with hard labor as the alternative.

Is the Christ “experience” of the Oprah world and Dostoevsky the same?? I personally have something of an inverse corollary to Dostoevsky’s. If the Jesus of the “Left Behind” ilk were proven true, I’d rather live outside that truth and remain “lost” in the Christ in whom I believe, fingers crossed, will eventually make all things right. I suspect that the Christ “experience” of Fyodor is one that I’d find credible and worthy.

Madcap said...

I've read that story about Dostoevsky, and it's hard to imagine what that would do to the inside of a person's head.

Honestly, I think I'd rather be outside of the "Left Behind" reality almost irregardless of the alternative!

But you know, the most peculiar part of that interchange was that the speaking gentleman is/was a professional person with a degree or two and carried on a career in a "thinking" field. It's like he managed somehow to split his life into a complete dichotomy between the reality he lives day to day, and the "reality" of his spirituality.

But then, who am I to talk? If ever I find myself in a position to really see things as they are, I'll probably be astonished at my own mental bifurcations too.


I can't "take" that crowd--the "Left-Behinders." Of course, maybe he isn't part of that crowd. Believing in the return of Christ isn't necessarily the same. I'm certainly not passing judgment on him. I'm sure I, too, hold any number of seemingly mutually exclusive notions.