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Tag: religion

4. It is written

When I was in kindergarten, the teacher had us write stories. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing. It was a revelation. A mind-blowing, life-changing moment. Until then, it had never occurred to me that stories had to be written down before they could be read. Once that occurred to me, I was convinced that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a person who wrote down the stories. I wanted to be a writer. Before that, where did I think stories came from? I really have no idea. I probably thought…

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3. The big one

Kids (and kids in church) like to tell stories with weird superstitions and urban legends and dark rumors and wacky conspiracy theories. I remember being highly skeptical of this stuff. It seemed to me that kids were kind of gullible. I didn’t want to be gullible. So if some kid tried to tell me a "true" story that I had already encountered in a book of urban legends or ghost stories, I would call him on it. So I learned this, at a young age: being gullible is easier and more likely to result in social popularity. Calling people on…

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2. Going to hell

When I was a kid, church seemed pretty much like school. Adults made me go. People told me stories and showed me pictures. Sometimes they asked questions about the stories they told me, and if they asked questions it was important to tell them the right answer. Church was different from school, I knew this, but I couldn’t have explained why. I might have even given what sounded like the right answer, "church is where you learn about God and Jesus and stuff," but it’s not because I understood what I was saying, it’s because I knew that was the…

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1. Skipping church

One of the things I never do anymore is skip church. That used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. I couldn’t do it on my own — it had to be because my parents had decided we were going to skip church. We would skip church as a whole family. It was one of those things that really brought us together. Sometimes we would skip church because we were doing something special, like camping or Disneyland. Sometimes we would skip church for reasons that were never really explained at the time. In…

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This calls for wisdom

The significance of the number 666 comes from Revelation 13:18: This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666. Most scholars believe that this number is a cryptogram for Nero Caesar. This hasn’t stopped many people being accused of being “the beast” — various popes, Martin Luther, Napoleon, Saddam Hussein, Prince Charles, and Ronald Reagan. (Nancy Reagan tried to put us off the trail by changing the address of their home in Bel-Air from 666 to 668.) But, like the number 13, because it…

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Strange new definition of the word “correct”

According to The Christian Century, The Da Vinci Code and the Left Behind series share more than wild marketplace success in spite of dull cardboard characters, poor-to-barely-adequate prose, and a general preposterousness. Both also “trade on a fundamentally gnostic premise: that most of the church has been duped and that the real Christian belief is a secret that will now be divulged to the privileged reader.” Which is interesting, and I hadn’t thought of it before, even though I have read The Da Vinci Code and attempted to read Left Behind, unsuccessfully, so I decided to just let slacktivist read…

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