Sunday, January 3, 2016

Point Me to the Buffet

There is an interesting story in the bible that I found pretty descriptive of where my life has come. In the book of Acts (see chapter 10), Peter is tanning on the roof of the house of a guy named Simon, when he gets hit by heat stroke and starts to hallucinate.

Okay, Peter is staying with a guy named Simon who is a tanner, when he goes up on the roof of the house to pray. He gets really hungry and falls into a trance. Happy?

Anywho, he sees a vision of a sheet being let down from the sky, with all kinds of different animals on it. A voice tells him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." Apparently, some of the animals were of the types that the Mosaic law forbid him to eat, because he replied, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." (And apparently, Peter believed the voice to be of God, and he had no problem telling God no.) The voice replied, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." And, since Peter is stubborn, the vision was repeated two more times.

Later in the chapter, Peter goes to the house of a guy named Cornelius who was a "devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms (money to the poor) generously to the people, and prayed to God always." During this visit Peter comes to an understanding of the vision. Cornelius was not a Jew, and up to that point, Peter believed that the good news of Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins was ONLY for Jews. What Peter finally understood was God meant that he was not to call ANYONE common or unclean. That what Jesus did was for all mankind, and not for Peter's particular brand of religion.

My wife and I went out to dinner this weekend and I ordered the Lobster Garlic Noodles (I'm a sucker for seafood), which contained shrimp, crab, lobster, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, and parmesan cheese. As I was reveling in the taste sensation before me, I was struck by a thought: There are religions who would frown (a really, serious frown) at the idea of eating such items. Others forbid pork (which we always have on New Year's Day), and others would freak out over eating anything but fish on Fridays (at least during Lent - oops! Did I give that one away?!?)

You see, my wife and I are "foodies". We even shape vacations on what is available to eat. We absolutely love eating. You want to spend quality time with us? Guarantee food will have something to do with it!

Now, let me connect the story at the beginning with the thought I had over dinner.

For starters, I have formally departed ways with the church I had belonged to for many years. I am officially "church" homeless. And the clincher? I have no "want" to look for another.

I have found myself with a distaste for anything "religious" (which comes from an old word meaning "to strangle"). Oh, I'm still a Christian. The good news that Peter was sharing with Cornelius is still truth. I just believe that one does not have to hold to the manmade tenants of any particular religion in order to hold to that truth. And there lies the reason I have no "want" to look for another church.

In the bible it says that no scripture is for anyone's personal interpretation. But, what is happening within the different religions that cause such separation (and for the sake of simplification, I'm referring to different Christian religious "sects"), is exactly that: personal interpretations of the bible. And for me, I find that the bible was never meant to be taken to be an equal in the Godhead, based on the very writings it contains. Of course, that's just MY personal interpretation. If only I was a licensed or ordained minister (or televangelist). THEN my interpretations would be right! (sarcasm font)

What this means is that I find in every church things I agree with and things I disagree with. Of course, some would say the idea is to find one where what I agree with outweighs what I don't agree with. I can tell you, at this point in my journey, I'm not looking to settle. Nor, do I think I will find a church that believes 100% with me. And you want to know what? I'm okay with that.

I will still be loving God. I will still be worshipping God. And if you are looking for me, I'll be at the buffet.

© Emittravel 2016


  1. Notes of interest: you capitalize Acts, Peter and Simon, but refuse to capitalize "Bible" (& yes, I read your explanation.) Also, you're looking to settle for neither a majority, nor for 100%. Finally, you mention (I think, incorrectly - but it's a matter of contexts) someone (else) being "stubborn."

  2. Great comments, Mike. Okay: You understand why I don't capitalize "bible" (to be critical, should it be "Holy Bible"?; I capitalize "Acts" because it is the title of a specific book, and "Peter" and "Simon" because they are proper names; I'd settle for your acknowledgement of my neither a majority nor for 100% (wink); and finally, yes, I got the "stubborn" inference. And to answer, "I resemble that remark!" (also, "wink")

  3. Glad that you took my comments in the spirit in which they were written! "Bible" is also the proper title of a specific book, similar to "Book Of Mormon" and "Koran" (which I think are collections of poorly-written and laborious-to-read lies - but which nonetheless deserve capitalization.) We should do lunch again (I'll remember to keep it less than 90 minutes this time.)

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