Subverting Subversiveness: Weird Christians in the NYTimes

May 15, 2020
Posted in Blog
May 15, 2020 Editor
Please click on audio of post. NOTE: only main text read; no links, text markings, images, videos, footnotes, etc. read aloud.

May 12, 2020 by Stephen G. Adubato

WN: The Real Deal has always been weirdly countercultural. Both the highlighted article below and the New York Times article mentioned are delightful–and very well written. The trendy “progressive” does not cut it or satisfy.

excerpts:

Surprisingly enough, the New York Times published a piece about “weird” Christians. And I’ve never felt so “seen” by the Times (as you can tell by the plethora of hyperlinks in this post, the article closely reflects the mission of my blog)! I’ve become so accustomed to the pigeonholing of Christianity into the standard left-right binary…so to see a mainstream outlet recognizing a brand of Christianity that transcends this confining binary is a sign that postmodernity is indeed cracking!

I was taught that humans can “save” themselves; the desire for meaning and happiness is something that we can achieve by our own power. This worldview was founded on three main tenets. Be yourself and follow your heart…don’t repress your feelings and aspirations. Be kind to others–don’t harm them, and don’t contribute to the oppression of underprivileged people. And be successful so that you can live a comfortable lifestyle. If you find yourself unable to adhere to these tenets, then just visit a psychologist, and perhaps pop a couple of pills.

I soon started to see through all of this as I approached the end of high school. I kept trying to “be myself,” but the more I did that, I kept stumbling upon this insatiable need for something beyond myself. And no human relationship seemed to satiate that need either. I kept trying to be a good person, but no matter how hard I willed myself to be selfless, I couldn’t stop myself from being possessive, petty, and self-seeking in relationships. The ideal of success started to suffocate me. It became more than just a means to obtaining enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle. Success began to define me. I remember gazing at the honor roll list at my high school everyday between classes, just to reassure myself that I had worth…in the back of my mind fearing the dreadful possibility of not making it onto the honor roll next semester.

As I entered my freshman year of college, I started to see through the vapidness of the worldview that was handed down to me. Good will alone was not powerful enough to make me good. “Being myself” and expressing my feelings never seemed to be satisfying enough. And no amount of As on my report card could quell the fear that maybe my life had no value after all. I decided that if there was any real meaning in life, then it would have to come from outside of me…outside of any human effort in general. I needed a breakthrough, an epiphany from beyond.

Please click on: Subverting

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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Thanks, 

Wayne Northey

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