My high priest and I sometimes, although not often, converse about the prayer within, around and regarding Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour. I hesitate to write this post, but I know I must, as I am entitled to my opinion, and generally I consider my own opinion of the open minded one. If angered, upset, or otherwise taken aside by my post, feel free to comment or drop me an email. If you enjoy it, comment as well! The following will simply be a collection of comments regarding a few select interreligious experiences I have had with Christians extremely set in the, “My way is the only way” type of mindset.
“Lord Jesus, I pray you take these sinners into your hands and bless them, make them see your way, O Lord, that they may be saved and not perish in the fiery pits of hell…in the Lord’s name, Amen.”
I don’t have the magic priest-talk down – quite yet – but I think I did a pretty damn good impression of the few encounters I’ve had with Christians who have asked if they could pray for me.
I suppose I shouldn’t have started exploring so young. The first time I purposely encountered a fundamentalist preacher was when I was fifteen or sixteen, curious about their path, which claimed to be open minded. Mind you, I am referring to a church which is not part of any larger commune of churches – it is a small town church, in its own little world. I explained to the man that I doing research on churches and was wondering if I could ask some questions.
I told myself I wasn’t looking for a fight – not really – but I had been under the tutelage of my high priest for about a year and was just itching for a chance to stand up for what I believed in. Eventually, the questions came my way as I was sitting in the man’s house.
“Are you a Christian? Why not come a few more Sundays? There’s a great teen program…”
And eventually, as I stood to leave, he asked if he could pray for me. I assented of course, and the prayer above is about what I got.
Now. If I ask to pray for someone, my prayer’s going to be something along the lines of,
“Please (insert gods names here), bless (insert persons name here) and give them the strength, courage, and faith to continue along their path.”
“Please (insert gods names here), help (insert persons name here) to see the error of their ways and convert to Wicca so that they don’t…”
Oh, wait. We don’t have a “The gods are going to spank you if you’re naughty!” line.
Onto the Mormons. God, I love Mormons. They are the most respectful, shy, and tolerant people you will ever meet. The missionaries are people just like myself in terms of age, who are required to walk around, knocking on doors, spreading their faith. My guess is, they’re so excited you’ll talk to them, they don’t even mind if you don’t plan on converting!
I started talking to them when I was sixteen as well. They showed up at my door one day, and I was busy, but I offered to meet again with them later, where I worked – the local library.
I went through a few sets of Mormons this way – they kept my phone number, calling occasionally. But, there was one set of Mormons I especially remember – I feel bad that I can’t remember their names. If you don’t know the basic Mormon missionary set up, they usually travel in pairs in towns, stay for a month or two, and then move elsewhere.
I met this pair in the library after work. They immediately wanted to talk to me about their faith, and how I should convert. After a brief biblical conversation, in which I proved myself relatively worthy of speaking to, I said something that most likely blew their minds:
“I’ll come to your church. But, only if you come to mine.”
And so… a few minutes later, on a hot summer day, I had convinced two Mormon missionaries to trek out to the woods across two corn fields with me, all dressed up in their white shirts, dress shoes and black pants.
And when we had gone down the deer trail, onto the main trek, down a hill covered in dead leaves to the valley I practiced in, adjacent to a small, bubbling creek, surrounded completely by nature, I invited them to sit with me on the stumps that served as chairs.
“This is god.” I said. “This is where I worship – with the sky as my temple, and the ground as my floor, and God all around me.”
The need for argument, for convincing me to confess my sins and turn to the right path was gone, and left only wonder, and tolerance in place. The only thing further spoken of my faith by those missionaries that day was,
“As long as you believe in something – I think we all find God in different ways.”
Take that for tolerance, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Final Note
Well, you’ve heard two anecdotes relating Christians and myself. Now, I have one last thing – something my high priest and I joke of occasionally…
I beg you, Jesus – let the rapture begin! Take your Saved away and give us back our earth…
Til next time!