Monday, February 25, 2008

Finding Faith

For me faith is a personal thing.

Reason enough that you'll rarely find me during mass or services these days - apart from my personal deadly sin of sloth that stops me from going on lethargic weekends. But not for me congregating with the praying masses. I know there are those who seek comfort and shelter in the religious God-fearing community - but truthfully I find overly familiar ( and overly pious ) crowds simply terrifying. Theologically of course, we might be brothers - but hell, I honestly don't wanna get that close to all of ya.

So stay your distance, Holy Joes. I like my conversations with God to be alone.

God, is that you?

Every once so often when I feel that I need a personal phone call instead of just the everyday ongoing mindless chat, I steal into the nearest church in search of an empty pew right at the back. Brings back the times I used to spend alone in the school chapel just babbling mindlessly about my confusing adolescence - and the fact that I secretly wanted to make out with my humpy ISO.

A fact that we actually made reality the last few months of school right there in the chapel. Well technically above the chapel where the malfunctioning church organ was situated.

So you can see why I needed my scandalous conversations to be kept private. I doubt His parishioners would appreciate our homosexual merrymaking.

Trust me, most of the sanctimonious Pharisees wouldn't understand.

After all I've always been kinda irreverent about God and religion. Not only did I have an occasionally patchy Catholic foundation ( what with skipping catechism ), I also had lashings of Buddhism and paganism all meshed up into it. So you can imagine how skewed my religious view can be.

For one thing I've always thought that the Big Fella up there has a heaven ( ooh! can't very well say hell, can I? ) of a humour! How else would He make humans just as fallible as we are? No doubt God's having a jolly good laugh over our frequent mind-boggling fuck-ups.

I'm no canonized saint myself - so I do find myself breaking a few commandments here and there as well. Taking his name in vain for one. Seriously. Sometimes you just can't help it.

Paul : That's one fine piece of man ass. God, I'm sure you must have spent a little more time on that - and hot damn, it was sure worth it.

Paul : God, if I were really good for the entire next month, would you make sure that cold-hearted bitch roasts in hell for an extra week?

Paul : God, deliver me from this hellhole! Help me find a rich gorgeous boyfriend who'll deliver me from this demeaning work!

Of course the Big Fella up there doesn't respond to my inane, mindless requests ( no matter how omnipotent He might be, I bet He already has dozens of far more important stuff to cater to such as plagues and wars ). So no burning bushes or blinding flashes on the road to Damascus for me.

By now, I'm sure my sheer irreverence would drive the pious kneebenders to raising flaming pitchforks in protest. Of course I'm glad to note there are others who are able to share my sacrilegious view of God. Just take a look at the Lamb by Christopher Moore. Not only is the recent edition imitation leather bound and gilt-edged to resemble a Bible, it's meant to be a filler for the years that Jesus Christ practically disappears from the canonical gospels.

Wait a minute, where is Biff?

The Gospel of Biff, Christ's childhood friend to be exact. :)

For those who didn't have such all-important Biblical facts drummed into their heads with endless readings in school, you'd be surprised to know that the New Testament reports the birth of Jesus ( the angel, the star, the three wise men ) and then fast-forwards three decades later till the time he returns as a full-fledged adult. No mention of the years in between - apart from a brief mention of his teaching in the temple in Luke 3:23.

So what happened in those lost years between the manger and the Mount? Did Jesus get sent away to boarding school? Did he go on a tour of Rome? Did he fall in love with a Gentile? Well Christopher Moore attempts to rectify this serious lack with this hilarious tongue-in-cheek novel called Lamb which tells the growing years of Jesus with his best friend Biff. What I love is that the book humanizes Jesus - without neglecting the crucial aspect of the divine - making him a wonderfully sweet, earnest teenager eager to fulfil his role in bringing good news to the world.

No doubt the fervent Bible-thumping zealots ( who already screech in fear of the Da Vinci Code ) would find this satire absolute blasphemy! Which would be such a pity since reading this surprisingly touching book only made me far more appreciative of the life and teachings of Jesus. It ain't that easy being the Saviour after all :)


Lewis said...

"Homosexual Merrymaking"? It's rampant in the church! They just don't know it. Or they do and call it something else. Believe me, I've been there and done that and know plenty inside still doing it! Can you imagine a faith so fragile that it's actually scared of the DaVinci Code? I think Jesus would have been in the front row with a bowl of popcorn.

savante said...

Same here. I've always imagined Jesus to be far more open-minded than they would think.

chase / chubz said...

i think Jesus went to india to learn the ways of mysticism and improved his talent in convincing people. that's my opinion. heheh

matrianklw said...

Interesting post on faith and religion, really. And it made me realize that the bible really didn't touch much on the "teenage years" of Jesus. Intriguing.

I think I'm getting the book!

__S.B__ said...

you dont really see many post on this topic well done mr!!!

__S.B__ said...

i like reading your blogs!!
are you in vicoria??? just a question email me

Janvier said...

We wonders if Atheistic Anonymous will comment in full caps here.

Jay Antonio said...

I always wandered what happened to the years in between. No one has the answer & coming of a strong Catholic Background, they would just comfortably tell me that it's not our business to know what happened in between. A lot of my questions have been brushed aside in this same manner with regards to my Catholic Faith.

Yes, I believe that Jesus has been time & time again very narrowly interpreted & the followers are more often than not instilled with fear of God & not knowing who Jesus of saviour is.

I was very touched last week when i attended sunset mass after a very long time, the Gospel was from John 4:5-42. Here Jesus had a very respectful conversation with a woman who had married five times, obviously to five different men. However ended up single after the fifth marriage didn't work out. I was shocked to to know that Jesus didn't mentioned a word of anger, disappointment or discrimination to her! But called her an honest woman because she told him that at the present she has no husband.

Just Look at the Jesus we have, sadly he's always made to be feared. The Doctrines & Dogmas just stuffs us with unwanted rules & fear. I would call it, unchrist like.

And yes, i believe that i can call upon my Saviour from my bedroom, He is every where. You don't just find God at Mass, that's another strange dogma. First they teach us that God is in our hearts, then they say we have to visit him in Church! Hahahahaha!

Anyway, God Bless You Paul, Keep Cool. I know how hectic a Doctor's life can be, are you in the Government Sector? Government or Private it's hectic. Too many Doctors in my family, i know what it is like furthermore having been with Mum in a year of Battling Cancer, i watched the doctors, God! It's not glamourous as what people think! It's a Dog's Life!

glog said...

I do agree that the church can be a place of solace and yeah, sometimes, its where bitches are breeded (if my grammar doesn't fail me)

I get so sick of them telling me about purity while they have so many others who don't wanna step out and tell the church about their skeletons in their closet.

I came out to them and in return I don't get support but rather some very biased remarks...

Hate them sometimes... They get so worked up for not coming to church (I have lessons on sunday) and they are like judging me... Hell, only God judges...

Bunch of sinners... They need repentance!

nakedwriter said...

I recall religion being written about a while back. How many times do you want to do Jesus, Paul?

Jay Antonio said...

The Church you mentioned with that broken down pipe organ, sounds like SFX Malacca!

somewhere joe said...

Jesus came to announce the end of religion. The true church is an invisible body. Not everything is as it seems.

nemesis-on-fire said...


go buy a book called UNchristian. fascinating concept. kinda like how gandhi put it, something about believing in christianity, but finding christians off-putting. can't remember the exact quote, a bit too lazy to google it :D maybe the good doctor can remind me :)

but u get my drift, yeah?

i find i like church best when there's no one around and i can talk to God alone.

Reyville of Simply Manila said...

Wait, I have to read this myself.