Wait…, What?

Okay, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t get.  I don’t understand why Miley Cyrus is so popular.  It baffles me that intelligent, educated people think Sarah Palin should even be considered for higher office.  Anything to do with why women do what they do puzzles me no end.  But, that’s not what I’m wondering about right now.  No, I’m trying to figure out some Christian doctrinal ideas.  Like:

  • Predestination.   If you’re not familiar with this concept, it means that God has full and intimate foreknowledge of everything.  Not only that, He dreamed all this up before he ever started on Creation.  Does that mean God decreed that I’d be  lazy and put off writing this to the last minute?  Was predestined that I’d even ask that question?
  • Why can’t Baptists get along?  For a long time, I’ve said that the Baptist faith is the quintessential southern religion.  Nobody can get along with anybody else for very long and, when differences come up, they handle it by going off on their own (seceding) and starting a new church (shades of the CSA).  I do love the names they come up with, though.  Things like Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists, Duck River and Kindred Baptists and The National Baptist Evangelical Life and Soul Saving Assembly of the United States of America.
  • Pope Benedict.  If the current Pope is from Germany and since he is the shepherd of the catholic people…does that make him a German Shepherd?  Okay, I don’t really wonder about this.  What I wonder about is why it’s okay for priests to diddle altar boys but birth control is a mortal sin.
  • Dispensationalism.  This is the style of interpretation responsible for the Left Behind series.  Basically, it sees a series of chronologically successive “dispensations” or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants (explanation courtesy Wikipedia).  The problem is that requires some pretty extreme mental gymnastics to work.  I’ve had two classes and read several books and I still can’t explain the theory behind the Tribulation.  Maybe if I dipped into St. John the Divine stash.  You know, the stuff he was smoking before he had that dream? 
  • The whole “Christian Soldier” thing.  Military themes are becoming more and more prevalent in what passes for Christianity these days.  There’s “spiritual warfare”, talk of “God and guns” and preachers walking around armed.  And, there’s this bumper sticker:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall any AK-47’s in the Bible.

To be honest, about the only thing I do understand theologically is that I don’t understand much.  It seems like every question I ask doesn’t yield an answer, it only brings up more questions.  And, they’re even more nagging than the original questions.  But, I keep asking because, while my questions aren’t answered to my satisfaction, the stuff I learn while looking for that answer is usually better than what I wanted to know in the first place.