My dad recently wrote a blog entry (sadly, there’s no real permalink – it’s the 9/6/09 one) where he starts off by saying that recently he seriously considered resigning as pastor. I’m sure that phrase kind of shocked a lot of people. But me, I totally understood it, because, and it pains me to say this, but I’m exactly like him.
It pains me because I don’t necessarily agree with everything he believes and has done. But when it comes down to it, the way we think is totally alike. Even though, in my youthful arrogance, I think that my thought process is better than his.
In particular, I do what he describes in that entry all the time. I take a premise to its full, logical conclusion, and sometimes those conclusions can be extreme and shocking. I know this because I sometimes tell Jieun what they are (if it comes up in a discussion or disagreement) and she’s totally shocked. But that’s how I operate. My life is all about logical consequences. It’s completely accurate to say that my faith in Christianity is, for me, a logical consequence. So it’s always necessary for me to explore a logical consequence to the full, no matter how extreme the personal implications are. And I’m pretty sure that, if it became a necessity, I’d follow it out.
Like, I’ve long said that if I weren’t a Christian, I’d probably have killed myself. That probably sounds extreme. But to me, it’s just a logical consequence. Purpose is vitally important to me. I’ve explored other belief systems (and non-belief systems outside of Christianity), and none of them are both logically compelling and provide a compelling purpose for existence. Like, I find atheistic materialism logically consistent, but purposefully meaningless. I find secular humanism purposeful but not logically compelling. So yeah, in the absence of Christianity, I’m not sure why I’d keep on living.
The thing is, these logical implications are extreme but, in a sense, irrelevant, because I always end up – like my dad – rejecting the premises they’re based on. Like, I’m not going to kill myself. I am a Christian. So outwardly, it seems like nothing’s happened at all. But inwardly, I frequently explore extreme logical consequences, and when people like Jieun get a glimpse, it’s shocking. So yeah, I understood my dad’s entry perfectly. I do the same thing all the time.
Anyway, my dad recently wrote a book on the House Church, this thing he’s into. And honestly? I jive with it a lot. Maybe not completely – there’s some old-school Korean mentality there that I don’t think translates well to my generation in the U.S. But in terms of the main points, those being the problems with the traditional church, and how church should be, I completely resonate with it. Which just shows again that, like it or not, I think a lot like my dad. His thought processes brought him to those conclusions, and since I think so similarly, I resonate with it as well.
So yeah, if you want to know how I think church should be, in terms of priorities, mission, and how it should be structured practically to accomplish that, read his book.