Monday, April 21, 2008

N.C.L.'s and the guilt for the rest of us.

I paged through H Girl's new Brio mag for a second tonight and came across a couple of reply letters to a short article they published a couple of months back. It was about Christian Girls that don't fit the 'Nice Christian Girl' mold. It struck me again that I'm not a 'Nice Christian Lady' and every time I decide I will be, I make myself pretty unhappy.

Don't get me wrong here. I am a Christ-Follower, and a very earnest one. I just can't seem to march along with those lovely ladies that people in Christendom so admire; I'd much rather see Ray Van Der Laan on video than Beth Moore, I'm much happier studying C.S.Lewis than Max Lucado. I'd sign up in a minute for a serious session studying something like a real book of the Bible, but just roll my eyes when the next 'study' in our Bible School class turns out to be the latest Zondervan pop-Christian offering. I just don't have any interest in Prayer Journaling, especially in a notebook pre-printed with uplifting messages on every page. Urgh.

Last time I blogged I signed up to be included in a couple of blogrolls. Most of them having to do with the stage of life I'm in- Motherhood, and the type of person I am - A Christian. I found very, very few blogs there worth reading. If I could get past the scrolly, blinkey, cutesy, crap at the top of the page - I was repelled by the saccherine content extoling cheerfulness and loveyness. They never spoke to the place I am.

I'm more often in the trenches with Murray, Miller, and Strobel. Unbelievably some of those N.C.L.'s even have a talent for making the Bible sound trite! A few times in my life I've decided that if that is what Christian Womanhood is all about, I'd better get on the band-wagon. Those were the most unproductive times in my whole spiritual experience.

Next week, I'm being forced into the perception of N.C.L. - hood again. TeenPact - which at its heart is a very good Citizenship and Leadership experience for homeschooled teens, has a STOOPID dress code that the teens and PARENTS attending MUST follow. For Ladies that includes; skirts or dressed- mid-calf or lower, loose tops with moderately high necklines and sleeves 1/2 way to the elbows. I don't even own clothing like this: I usually wear dress pants to Church, knit tops, nice jackets, Tshirts and Blue Jeans. The three dresses/skirts I would consider wearing anyplace else have higher hems, or profiles that are too slim. Because of this, I usually avoid staying at the classes, or even talking with the other parents. I do have to dig to the back of my closet for an outfit to wear for the first day's parent orientation, and for the last day's graduation. I feel like a hypocrite the whole time - which I'm not, and look like a doofus.



kate said...

Like you, I'm worn out from trying to make more of the B.S. approach (whoops) to which we are exposed weekly/weakly. I try to re-focus on what it is inside me that is discontent and working on that then living as the improved me. I'm not going to fix what 95% of the people don't think is broken. I'm going to accept that I'm probably not as far along in my Christian life as I think and God knows it so keeps me in my place. www.pawstolove.blogspot

vxbush said...

Oh, girl. We need to talk.

Every week at church (and I attend a really big one) there are dozens of events posted, covering the next six months, all for "single moms" or "moms day out" or...well, insert your special interest Mom group here. And each one of these events is made for women who read fluffy devotionals, have Beth Moore Bible studies falling out of their pink Bibles, etc. etc.

What am I supposed to do, having spent a year to learn Greek so I could have a chance at reading the NT in the native Greek? I have no interest in such fluff, such Christianity Lite. It's an unfair designation, I know; these are real Christian women who are finding God where they are.

But where I find God is in the pages of Lewis, Tozer, Spurgeon, and most of the writers of the late-18th and early-19th centuries. I am currently reading an expository Greek study on Hebrews from, again, the early 19-th century.

Perhaps we should set up a reading group? Let's go back and read Augustine! John Chrysostom! Thomas Aquinas! Let us find the great Christian classics of our forefathers and plumb again the great depths of these giants of the faith!

Ah, but there again, Hebrews has some wisdom in it: "You should be teachers... ." Maybe our problem is that we should be teaching, rather than sitting in the pews.

M.E. Again said...

Ya Know, Vicki, I've tried that a couple of times. I find it very frustrating - first the dead looks, then the attendance drops. Most people just do not want to think in the extra time they squish into their busy schedules for 'Church'. They want to socialize, they want to chat, they want a warm-fuzzy to go home with.

I suppose I can understand that. It's the way of our culture. We have not been trained to remain life-long learners/seekers of knowledge.