Funny story about this story in the video…
A little backstory, first. (Lots of story today). I was raised by a Shinto-Buddhist and an agnostic from Kansas (which I swear is a sect of non-Christian Christian that deserves a name). So I was technically not raised Christian, but my two loving parents wanted me to get a good education in a strong moral arena. Not knowing a thing about Christian schools, they assumed that would be a good place to get smarts and morality…so I spent my childhood in a First Christian School where I learned that the world would end in a matter of days and “what do you want to be when you grow up” had only two answers: “taken up in the rapture” or “staying behind to save others”. I loved Jesus in that childhood and tried to convert my parents. I dragged Mom to church after church, hoping it’d spark her interest. I told Bible stories to my dad who was entertained by his 10 year old evangelist, but not convinced. In those formative years, my parents were very patient with me. Mom even accepted Christ…much like one accepts another stamp in their stamp collection. And at around 13, a number of tragic, eye-opening and eye-closing events led me to atheism. At around 20, I became Christian Atheist. Which means…well…we’ll get into that.
So now to the story to go with the story in the video:
In college, a fellow student was trying to convert me (not knowing my extensive and bizarre history with christianity). And as we sat on my dorm bed, she told me the story of the man and the train and his son in the path of the train and the sacrifice he made. i wept. i cried so hard she felt guilty and to calm me down, she pleaded, “it’s just a story. it’s not real.” Then she told me about God and His son and dumb humans screwing up and His sacrifice. She paused to watch my tears return and I gave only a blank stare. Because, not only had I heard that story before (over and over and over), THAT story was different. THAT story was about GOD. And GOD -how it is defined, the limits of its power, the choice it has in those limitations, etc.- is up for debate. All the components that made me cry in the “fictional story” was not at all present in the “real story.” God decided to put His Son in the path of an oncoming train. God chose to make that the rules. And we decided to define all this as “father” and “son” and “sacrifice.”
Years later i found that my view of christianity was crystalized that very moment.
The story of Jesus is a powerful tale. No matter how “God” and “Son” and “Father” and “sacrifice” are defined, this story rings to the heart of a seeking soul. It is believed by many to be true. It is believed by many to be a work of fiction. What is amazing is that, if you let that go. Let the importance of “reality” go. This story separate from the religion, will make one weep. A man dedicated his life to motivating people into an uprising, a spiritual, political, mental uprising. And he was executed for it. When that is done..almost a century later….men write about him. A legend is written by different men. And those writings survive thousands of years later. Not only survives. That writing makes millions of people turn their lives around -for better or worse.
What if the reality of the story wasn’t important to Christianity? What if “accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour” was elective? You could take the teachings of Christ (just the words Jesus said to his disciples and the story of his life, death and rebirth) and learn from it. Take what you liked and left the rest in the book. What if you only used the power of this story for good? Wouldn’t that make Christianity even better than Christianity currently is?