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Saturday, July 23, 2016

God and Jane Fonda

There's probably only one woman that my conservative-minded friends hate more than Hillary Clinton: JANE FONDA. And, as most of my Armstrong Church of God friends are on the conservative side, I was a little surprised when one of them sent me a link to Jane's website (although I realized a long time ago that the individual who sent it to me had transcended those kinds of labels and exhibited a compassionate open-mindedness that was too often lacking in others within that culture). At any rate, I was delighted by what I read and felt it was worth sharing with others.

In her article "About My Faith" (http://www.janefonda.com/about-my-faith/), Fonda tells the story of her journey from atheist to Christian. Of course, just as one would expect who knows anything about Jane Fonda, the story does not follow a straight line - there are many twists and turns; but it does have the aura of an honest account from beginning to end. Jane seems to have grasped some spiritual truths that many Christians have missed.

In the article, she wrote about how she "had begun to feel I was being lead. I felt a presence, a reverence humming within me. It was and is difficult to articulate." Hmmm, that sounds an awful lot like someone who is being called by God, doesn't it? She continued: "Over the months, I went to Bible study every week, had it interpreted for me by biblical literalists, did my homework faithfully but, as time went on, I felt myself losing the very thing that had called me from within: Spirit. The literalness with which I was expected to read and interpret the Bible seemed to simplify and flatten out what I wanted to experience as metaphor. Christianity was beginning to feel shrunken, freeze-dried...As I diligently slogged away in my weekly bible class, doing the homework and studying the charts, I began to notice that the dance was gone. Try to render it literal, concrete, and it dies. I had started my journey with a powerful sense of the divine presence, but the linear approach seemed too rigid to contain this and I began to get scared: What had I gotten myself into?"

For those who are familiar with this blog, that language should feel familiar. Try to forget for just a moment who wrote the words that I just quoted. I have been saying for several years now that Christianity is NOT an intellectual experience. True Christianity is not found in a set of doctrines or teachings. Like God, it cannot be fully or adequately explained by ANY book or pamphlet. Paul wrote in many places that Christianity cannot be explained or understood using man's words and wisdom - that it is OUTSIDE of that realm. Christianity must be experienced on an emotional level - in the gut. I'm not saying that you have to experience Christianity in the same way (or using the same words) that Fonda did, but I am saying that you can't be a TRUE Christian by comprehending and/or adopting a set of beliefs as your own. Choose your own words, but you must be "begotten again" or "reborn."

Fonda wrote: "From time to time, there have been the awakened ones, conduits of perception, who, by fully embodying Spirit, have shown us the way—Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, Allah, and others. Their messages have invariably been bare-bone-simple, remarkably similar and often embedded in metaphor, stories, and poems—all forms of art. Why? Because the non-linear, non-cerebral forms that are Art speak on a different frequency, they by-pass thinking, penetrate our defenses and jolt us open to consciousness." YES! You go girl!

Try to forget the literalist and fundamentalist baloney. Abandon the apologetics. You're never going to get there on that road. Leave the Armstrong path! Herbert and Garner Ted were wrong. It turns out that the HEART and SENTIMENTALITY are what it's all about! You've got to FEEL it on the inside. Wipe that smug, self-righteous smirk off of your face and let God and Christ into your heart.


2 comments:

  1. Jane Fonda's story is interesting. She comes into Christianity with the attitude of redefining and reforming an entire religion. Come to think of it, what's wrong with that? --Dixon

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