Now that I’m not in “full-time” professional ministry I’ve had the great opportunity to work directly with many people who are not Christians, don’t like Christians and sometimes hate us. I have asked some of them to share there story and there real view of Christians (please check out my previous post to understand my thinking.). Today’s post comes from a co-worker of mine named Evan. Furthermore, I am asking you to suspend judgment on Evan’s (or any other contributors) opinions until the end of the document, listen closely to what they stay and the intent of their words as they have used their valuable time to write for you. Thank you so much and I pray that you enjoy thins as much as I have so far.
I was surprised and flattered when you wanted to hear my opinions. Thanks 🙂
My name is Evan Michael Nelson. I was born in Houston, Texas December 31, 1989. I have lived in or around Kansas City since I was three. I have two brothers and three sisters of which I am the second oldest. My parents raised us in a Traditional Catholic home until their divorce in 2004. Despite the conservative upbringing I like to think of myself as an open-minded individual, especially since I am openly gay which honestly takes a very open mind once you get down nitty gritty of what we do. In my spare time I like to draw cartoons in my sketchbook or watch Quentin Tarantino movies (DeathProof is my favorite). My career aspiration is to work in medicine and has been since I was young. Currently I attend Johnson County Community College because at KU I partied my freshman year away. I work at the New Theater Restaurant which is where I met Jon (and you are very funny and I quite enjoy you). I am in a relationship of a little over a year with Samuel (and despite my nagging him to shave his back) we are still very happy and drama free. Knock on wood.
To me, religion is very important and Christianity just so happens to be my religion. Even though I have all the mounting evidence, logic, and reasons to happily put faith behind me I have decided that I want to remain Catholic and even raise my children in the same manner. Christianity, despite all its apparent flaws, is essentially good and faith is part of the human condition, which is why you never meet an atheist at the hospital and I can vouch for that. I have found in my experiences that people who have some sort of faith at all tend to be happier with their lives. But on the flip side of the coin I have observed those who are “too” faithful to have a small locus of control which I can not respect in anyway. I see Christianity as a great “rough draft” of a moral person and in my opinion that’s all one should really need. I for one do not follow certain doctrines of my faith (obviously) but I still feel as though I have a place in Heaven. In my opinion God made us to live the life he made for us and being self sufficient and living to the fullest is a good use of your soul. Certain Christians allow their faith to cloud their judgment. They become so wrapped up in their scriptures that it hinders their potential. People too obsessed with God allow themselves to fail and attribute it to be a part of his “plan”. Perhaps it’s the archaic view of Catholicism grained into me but I feel like God is simply a judge who is going to evaluate my time on Earth, he isn’t my dad and he isn’t my guiding light. I do not mean to sound overly critical but these are my beliefs (different strokes for different strokes I reckon) and I am one who likes to put the majority of my faith in myself that way I can survive this real world with minimal time wasted. Christianity as a religion (and especially certain Protestant divisions) is much too cushy, it’s all love love love and pray pray pray. I’m not into “Buddy Jesus” and those sort of perceptions. I feel that they weaken a person’s attachment to real life where God isn’t going to part the Red Sea and hand you your next meal or rent check. God does not talk to anyone (expect for maybe the Pope) and he doesn’t have an advice column so people looking for answers to their life problems ought to put down the Bible and go out and fix them. For some people faith may be helpful and they feel that it gives them strength, but it’s only a crutch. True strength comes from inside oneself and making religion one’s central thesis is hollow. I respect those people who can find strength in religion, but I do not envy them. I would much rather depend on myself and that’s what I think God really wants. Also I take comfort in the idea of an afterlife. The thought that all I’ll do when I die is rot is much too nihilistic for me to embrace.
“You have never met a mere mortal: You have either known an immortal horror or an eternal splendor”
~ C.S. Lewis “The Weight of Glory”