Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am the Daria of Christians.

After posting this last week, I felt conflicted. Well, maybe more than just conflicted. I think it's safe to say I felt scared.

My number of hits for the piece were actually better than most of my stuff lately, so people were checking it out. But... aside from April and Don, no one made any comments. On the FAR Facebook page, it didn't get a single "Like". Sure, a number of my posts don't get feedback. That's why in that little "About Me" bar to the right, I "HINT, HINT, HINT" that comments are welcome. I felt this was different, though. It wasn't so much disinterest (especially with the higher amount of views) as sheer dislike.

Had I offended my fellow Christians? Had I inadvertently stepped on some highly polished Sunday shoes?

Don wrote, "One thing I can say about your blog and apparently you as a person - if whatever topic clearly goes against your Christian core, you don't bite your tongue for nothing and no one. Lol." The emphasis is all mine. And yes, he's right. Very much so. I am opinionated. Sarcastic. Talk a lot (poor, poor K).

The only time I'm biting my tongue is when I'm flapping my mouth so much I accidentally do so.

I sat mulling over me. Why can't I be like other Christians? I just don't fit in. Yeah, sure, I might not be fluent in Christianese, but I can totally hold my own in conversation. I have listened to my fair share of Casting Crowns and Third Day, have watched more than a couple of Nooma videos, and read my fair share of Francis Chan and Don Miller. Yet, I still don't fit in.

I try, yes, but wind up seeming like Andrea in the first couple seasons of "Beverly Hills, 90210" classic. Poor nerdy tag-along, hopping buses from my grandma's teeny out of district apartment to shadow behind Branden and Brenda at West Beverly.

So while the rest of the girls showed off in bikinis, Andrea wore shorts and a off the shoulder ruffle top. And glasses. Yeah, she "belonged". (Source)

So I asked a couple of people for feed back? Am I a bad Christian? 

I know I'm a fail at the neo-Reformed, Mark Driscoll-type Christian. The main reason being that I'm not Reformed, "neo" or old school.

My appreciation for a few Nooma videos aside, I don't fit the Rob Bell-esque Christian, either. I wholly accept the mystery of God, life and eternity. However, when I ask questions, I am at least trying to get answers.

I tried on the Prophetic Christian, but it wasn't a good look for me. It was just so voluminous, so free-form. I realized, like my post breast-feeding boobs, I need solid support and structure.

I never worked as a Pentecostal Christian. I can't shout, wail, get slain or even twirl a hanky with pizzazz. 

I glanced at the Prosperity Christian, saw that it required more sowing than all the farmers in the heartland, along with the overuse of words such as "favor", "birthright", and "claim" that I didn't even bother.

The Fundamentalist Christian, ever literal, was so ever wrong for me. 

Oh how I wanted to be a Hipster Christian! I have a pair of appropriately thick framed glasses. A nose ring and tattoos! I love cafes! Studied postmodern critique! I even read Scripture almost exclusively off my iPad. But I quickly remembered why I'd never belong. I'm not hip.

 She rocked doc martins and thick frame glasses. But nope, she wasn't hip, either. (Source)

After much self-absorption, uh er, reflection, I called K and explained my predicament. He agreed that I'm sarcastic (sometimes to a fault) and talk a lot. He added, "So you're not any of those 'types'. So you don't 'fit in' with a lot of Christians. The important thing is for you to fit with CHRIST. You follow Him."

My K, just as quiet as I am blabby, so full of wisdom.

I'll keep striving to be like Christ, and always be thankful the Body has enough space for the neo-Reformed, Rob Bell-esque, prophetic, Pentecostal, prosperous, Fundies and the Hipsters.

And me.


Don said...

Wow. I was so into this post it took me to reach the ending before I remembered that I was reading a blog and not a book. Which, simply stated, means your post can easily double as a killer first chapter.

For me, this all but sums up why it's a difficult task for me to remain engaged in forms of Christian Literature, yet find myself compelled to click onto your blog and co-sign understandings and applaud your breakdown of misunderstandings. All the while admire your powerful points and sense of humor.

Going back to your sentiments in a previous post: I recall Darla not being as hip as her era. But if you take a good look at how times have changed (since Darla's inception) she does fit the bill quite nicely. Lol. She sports a ultra-conservative look that has been adopted within society.

Also, I've never watched 90210 why in the world is Andrea wearing a shirt at the beach while others are dressed in beach gear?

April Joy said...

My first thought is that i LOVE the fact you dont behave like everyone else haha. I look at my most refreshing companions in life, and these women are stallions, verbal and strong minded haha. I love that about you because I am a quiet type and find people like you boldly refreshing.

Second thought is that I dont feel sorry that you dont fit in lol and Ill tell you why. You are one of the few who have actually felt and wrestled with and been able to articulate a huge flaw in our modern interpretation of Christianity. We have developed a thinking that Christianity belongs within denominations (styles...etc) In the end we all see different perspectives of God, through our different stories, thus we SHOULD all be beautifully unique in our expressions...and not striving to become a type of Christian. If we all dont learn God's heart and begin to perceive the power of our unique abilities and styles of living out the understanding of His love...we will remain a dull and ineffective religion.

I love you tons girly. Dont compare your beauty and style and views....because you will see and engage people in ways no one else can...no matter how thick their glasses ;)

Alisha De Freitas said...

Wow, you really flatter me.

I'd love to know more about your struggle with engagement with Christian Lit. Why is that? What's off-putting about it specifically? What would you like to read more of? Besides my witticisms, of course. ;-)

You know what? I never stopped to think how Daria was out of place... for her time. But really, she has quite the following, even now, over a decade after she took her closing bow. Very good point!

And yeah, those 90210 writers and costume designers totally wanted to stress, "ANDREA IS DIFFERENT. SHE IS THE NERD!". Goodness, they totally could've put her in a one piece, though, lol.

Alisha De Freitas said...

Hey April :-)

Thank you! Know what? Last Friday, coming back from Z's doctor, we rode past Mood Lounge on Morris. I thought back to 2006, when we met at Van Gogh's and then after a looong convo, we headed across the street to Mood for Bailey's. You were talking about your future husband. The strong Lion. You were totally single at the time, too. You and your Dad... so gifted that way...

Anyway, I thought about HOW BRAVE YOU ARE! You are bold and strong and a warrior. So reading your comment, I'm thinking, "Huh? That'S not me, she's talking ABOUT HERSELF!"

And you're so right about knowing God's heart. It's in Him that I find who Alisha is really meant to be.

I love you, too. More than you'll ever know. And I'm so proud of you of you!!!

Don said...

You mean, besides the fact that I cannot seem to get past the denominational differences and theological arguments? Lol.

At some point in their respective lives, most have undergone a spiritual awakening and found themselves closer to God in the process. Afterward, the desire to remain in such light becomes greater than beforehand, so we'll ease on down to church (and/or purchase books, songs) to gain more knowledge, prayer, understanding, discussion, testimony, etc.

And, somehow, probably due to feeling as if "my religion" doesn't cater to a thinking person or the overall fake devotion being felt in the air... I'm left feeling as if I didn't experience the come-to-Jesus moment in which I'm certain I had.

You've never gotten off-track from personal spiritual gain while attending church? I know it sounds strange, IDK, maybe it's just me.

On another note, I believe you're the only person who actually took the time and explained your opinion concerning Jehovah Witnesses. Which, in turn, allowed me to listen and decide whether those opinions are fair, unfair, somewhere in between. Everyone else - including my mother - shared drastic responses that left me feeling wounded. Lol. So yes I can dig the detail reviews of your blog.

Up4Dsn said...

This is another great post. I really respect your honesty and fearlessness when it comes to speaking your mind and sharing your true feelings. Don't change that for anyone, keep at it!

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