Thursday, July 14, 2005

Have You Been Saved Yet?

This week has been a bit of a funny one as the timetable has been messed around because of various activities at the school.

Every day this week one period is completely wiped out and another is curtailed. Because we are catching up with the weekly exams it’s causing a little bit of friction in some teaching groups.

The cause? It’s a Spiritual Revival Week. For the kids it’s a case of going to a show with a few hallelujahs thrown in, singing a few simple songs with actions the kids love like putting one hand in the air, two hands, turn around and so on and so on, then getting a moral story at the end. It’s all fairly inoffensive I suppose.

For the teachers we unfortunately have to attend a lunchtime meeting just for us. When I say just for us, I mean just for us foreign teachers. Yup, we have been separated from the rest of the herd. Quite why I am not sure, might be to do with the approach used. For the Thais, it seems like a quite couple of hymns being sung, a little sermon and a couple of prayers. For us, at least today we had a good old fashioned fire and brimstone born again evangelist preacher. I will give you 3 guesses where he is from, yup got it in one. He is a good ole boy from Tennessee! I don’t think he lowered his voice to less than a fervent roar.

I am not quite sure what exact sect he represents but he came out with some very strange ideas and concepts. Apparently GOD knows everything. Well DUH! But seriously, he said that we are born innocent until we know sin. That point is different for everyone. Once we know sin we are condemned to hell unless we accept GOD into our hearts and put our trust in him. If we die before knowing what sin is, we are allowed to go to heaven. Which as far as I am aware goes against the concept of original sin that the Catholics hold dear. Anything and everything we do in life doesn’t matter, good or bad, baptism doesn’t matter, christening doesn’t matter just as long as we accept GOD before we die. Again that sort of goes against, well just about all Christian teachings I know about because they all basically go the same way, follow the 10 commandments and be a nice person.

One of the worst things that we can apparently do when judgement comes is to have what he describes as idle talk. This is quite a bad sin as sins go. He kept on going on about how when Jesus is talking to him when he dies Jesus is saying, Ii told you to spread the word of God but instead you talked to that woman in the supermarket about a movie you saw, why did you do that? So, now you know. If someone suddenly comes up to you in a supermarket and starts to ask you have you found your saviour yet that’s the reason. They don’t want to sin and not spread the word.

This guy also said he had a “normal” job before but was empty and had tried a whole load of other things but there was still a hole inside him, he had tried all sorts of things including the occult - he probably read Harry Potter – before he was saved and heard Jesus calling him to be a missionary in Thailand.

He also gave out a little gem of personal information that he has 8 kids. Bloody hell, that’s all we need. More born again Christian fundamentalists. He said that at the age of 6 his oldest son had made – I can’t remember the exact word but it was something like an acceptance of GOD. But at the age of 16 he realised that he knew sin and that the previous acceptance was an empty and worthless one. Sorry, but what sort of household is it that has kids at age 6 making acceptances of GOD and puts the fear of GOD into them? He was also prattling on about how he punishes his children by spanking them and how he felt sorry about judging them and so on.

It was originally scheduled that we would have to go four times in the week but it has been cut to twice. Just to make sure we go, we have to sign an attendance sheet to prove we were there.

All I can say is thank god. Oooooops J I have to say that sometimes I have gone to church or other religious meetings because I have been with family or friends who do believe. As you can tell, I don’t. I suppose the best way of describing my view is Agnostic - from Greek agnĊstos, (“unknowable”), strictly speaking, the doctrine that humans cannot know of the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of their experience. The term has come to be equated in popular parlance with scepticism about religious questions in general and in particular with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought. There you go!

This guy, whoever he is, is the sort of evangelist that would never make me more interested in wanting to know more about Christianity. He turns me off it. Sometimes, when I have gone to the religious meetings, some of the speakers have got me wondering hmm, I wonder. Not because they were any less enthusiastic or fervent but they channelled that into – at least for me – a more productive message and more realistic one that says yes there are questions, yes it can be difficult but….. This guy today was be saved or go to hell – literally. Nah, not for me. Or for others. There were maybe about 25 teachers there and 5 people walked out after having had enough. I don’t blame them. It was, I suppose, morbid curiosity that I stayed, like watching a fire, a car crash or laughing at a sick joke. You know you shouldn’t but you do anyway.

I have been told that it’s a different person each day. In one way I hope it’s a new guy and in another masochistic way I hope it’s the same guy.


dong said...

I have been saved and I suggest you should to.

LDMA said...

Would trolling the bloke have got you fired do you reckon Bluffer?
Sounds a complete knob to me...I can't believe you actually put up with it...I hope you all sniggered at him the whole way thru!

Anonymous said...

Your use of a black or very dark background with white or light coloured text makes you blog almost impossible to read. I gave up after the second paragraph due to eye strain.