Friday, October 30, 2009

ritual, tradition, and hell

Growing up my family had few traditions. But one of the few was celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. We would read the Christmas Story, open presents, and all sleep under the tree. It was magical.

A good friend of mine, however, did not have these traditions for Christmas. In fact their family tradition at Christmas, was to pretend it didn't exist. They were fearful that the roots of the Christmas celebration hearkened back to pagan origin. They of course had proof. The evergreen tree was part of this ritual, the time of year Christmas is celebrated corresponds with winter solstice celebrations...and of course the family was absolutely correct. These are the origins for many of the things associated with Christmas. So does this suddenly make Christmas less Christian and more 'evil'?

I have often noticed that my local Church carries around dual baggage. On one hand they are quite fearful of the idea of accidentally celebrating and revelling in something that may actually hold less than savoury beginnings. Halloween, for instance, is definitely out! There is a fear that if you celebrate something that has "satanic" origins than, you are in fact worshipping the devil himself.

On the other hand, it is impossible to accidentally worship God. They tell me that even if i do all the rituals, like go to church weekly, say prayers, and read my Bible, I'm not *really* worshipping unless i give my heart to Him.

So dual beliefs continue. If i ritually keep a holiday, i could in fact be unconsciously giving myself to evil, yet if i ritually keep religion, i'm still in danger of hell.

I suppose there is no satisfying others.


Litigious Mind said...

You just blew my mind. What an awesome point. In the law, we refer to mental state as "mens rea." Essentially what you've pointed out is that different levels of mens rea apply to worship depending on who you're worshipping. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

kris said...

my point exactly!

jenne said...

haha - brilliant!