Monday, August 24, 2009

-1C 13:11-

When I was a child, I'd sit in a sweaty church in itchy lace and pour through Revelations. I'd ignore the hour sermon and soak up as much imagery about Whores from Babylon, Lamb-Dragons and Snake Tongued Prophets as my child mind could absorb. At that age, it's the action that excites you. Same reason you'd rather watch Lethal Weapon and Rambo instead of The Seventh Seal.

However, the older I got, the more I was distracted by Corinthians and Mark, especially when I finally began to understand the extremisms some of my family took their Faith and began to defuse my own conflicts.

But even knowing that the degrees and strides some of those around me were taking were excessive, I never really understood just how far it went until I was much older, and it took a benign comment from a friend to nail it to the head for me.

Said friend was from the Eastern Bloc and grew up with religion being a major subtraction from her education, least to say the ferver of Holiness and Signs Following. She was positively fascinated by tent revivals and she couldn't quite understand the aggressive negativity I held for these elements of my upbringing that held over most of my late adolecence and very early twenties.

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To her snake handling, speaking in tongues, submerged baptisms and faith healings were something novel and amazing and probably nothing truly real in her mind. They definitely were never the little quakes of terror they had been for me as a child. They were quaint cultural quirks.

And the funny thing is, that now, for some reason, I find myself defending it all. I just don't understand it. Maybe I just need to have it taken seriously. I guess I didn't like that she was going for the flare and theatrics of Pentecostalism. Just like I did as a little kid only paying attention to Revelations.

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