Sunday, November 21, 2004

Melting My Faith

Nothing says “Christmas cheer” quite like stuffed snowmen. Though not usually considered to be religious in nature, we still have a large number to choose from. My favorite is the one with “Jesus Warms My Heart” tattooed on its bell. Apparently, this qualifies as religious content and thus guarantees a spot in a Christian bookstore.

“Jesus Warms My Heart.” Stop to think about that from the perspective of a snowman. If Jesus truly warms your heart, then any decision of faith turns into a matter of life or death. The warming of a snowman’s heart brings about his inevitable melting. Accepting Jesus will kill him. This is worse than Frosty the Snowman having to go into the greenhouse.

So, if he accepts eternal salvation, he looses his life. If he rejects eternal salvation, he keeps his life but spends eternity rotting in hell. Talk about an existential dilemma. Screw the martyrs in China, this is the ultimate youth group sermon illustration about the “hard life of following Christ.”

In a moment of honesty, would any of us actually say we would accept Christ if it required melting? I probably wouldn’t, but I hate getting my socks wet.

It’s a humbling experience to realize a snowman has greater faith than you do. Damn you, Cuddly Plush Snowman!

25 comments:

hERMETIC said...

I've been mulling the possibility of living as a truely alternative community. The short version is this: Life is Shit. Life, as we experience, is accomplishment-driven. You must perform, you must live-up to certain standards, certain qualifications, you must do this, you must not do that, etc. This accomplishment-driven-ness is stressful. Life, simply put, sucks the life out of a person. So I say, life is SHIT.

I think if we are to live as an alternative community, which is entirely possible and surely the call of God, then we need not worry about the snowman. The snowman has no need to accomplish anything. He is not expected to accomplish anything. He is not stressed out. Who we need to worry about are the bastard children that built the snowman in the first place - trying to make it the largest on the block, or the roundest, or the coolest (no pun intended), or the funniest. These accomplishment driven kids are not modeling the alternative community. Of course, they are only kids, and it IS their parents who encouraged them to get out of the house, so as to accomplish their desire for an afternoon of peace and quiet!

I know this is an EXTREME view of life as opposed to alternative community, but we're all still going to hell...

hERMETIC said...

I've been mulling the possibility of living as a truely alternative community. The short version is this: Life is Shit. Life, as we experience, is accomplishment-driven. You must perform, you must live-up to certain standards, certain qualifications, you must do this, you must not do that, etc. This accomplishment-driven-ness is stressful. Life, simply put, sucks the life out of a person. So I say, life is SHIT.

I think if we are to live as an alternative community, which is entirely possible and surely the call of God, then we need not worry about the snowman. The snowman has no need to accomplish anything. He is not expected to accomplish anything. He is not stressed out. Who we need to worry about are the bastard children that built the snowman in the first place - trying to make it the largest on the block, or the roundest, or the coolest (no pun intended), or the funniest. These accomplishment driven kids are not modeling the alternative community. Of course, they are only kids, and it IS their parents who encouraged them to get out of the house, so as to accomplish their desire for an afternoon of peace and quiet!

I know this is an EXTREME view of life as opposed to alternative community, but we're all still going to hell...

Anthony said...

but doesnt xianity require a total anhillation of self ?

bobbie said...

oh ben, ya made me laugh out loud! damn you snowman! love that line!

Halden said...

This is the kind of post that keeps me coming back to this Blog. The beautiful struggle of a christian snowman, priceless.

dh said...

I'm not sure a god that eats away at me from the inside out is really a god I want to believe in anyways.

Anonymous said...

"For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it." (Mark 8:35)

Bonhoeffer took a step further, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him to die."

The snowman must melt. But picture the path of the water. Unless he's plastic. Then it's a big damn mess.

ConradGempf said...

Well, you know, as Jesus said: "Many are cold, but few are frozen."

Ben said...

a brother of joseph-

Dude, the pot’s making you hysterical. Chill out and eat some Doritos. Everything’s going to be ok.

Roger Vere Youth Worker said...

"It’s a humbling experience to realize a snowman has greater faith than you do. Damn you, Cuddly Plush Snowman! "

One of the best blog lines I've ever heard!

In fact I often do find that God makes me melt inside.Especially when I have become very hard-hearted or determined about something and the fixed on the insistence that God should do it MY way. When my resolve finally gives in then I melt.

Fabtastic to find a blog that mixes humour and depth... even if it does look exactly like mine - FREAKY!

Ben said...

Sarah-

The difference between your blog and mine is that I have an American blog. This means more sex and violence; random wars will be started in the name of God; the usual stuff.

Anonymous said...

But if accepting Jesus literally caused you to melt, then it wouldn't be faith anymore - you'd have physical proof.

Ben said...

Would we really have proof? Perhaps the snowman took up smoking and melted himself from the resulting heat of the cigarette. Besides, he still has to have faith that the next life is better than the one he melts away.

The worst part is that I'm philosophizing about the eternal fate of a stuffed snowman.

Marla said...

I'm interested in your perspective on this:

http://www.worldmag.com/subscriber/displayarticle.cfm?id=9913

Ben said...

Proverbial Wife -

Like the chains mentioned in the story you linked, my store recently expanded our Sunday hours to noon-5pm. So, once a month I will be leaving church earlier in order to get to work on time. I've actually begun working on a letter of protest to be sent to the corporate office, and I'll probably be posting about it in more depth in the near future.

Here's my short take on the whole thing:

Language like "ministry" is very loaded. I think it's all a PR move. That "ministry" is built on the back of employees making less than a liveable wage and working non-traditional hours. Some would argue that is the nature of retail. That's fine. My problem is that these stores try to minister to their customers, but they do not minister to their own employees. (For disturbing parallels, see how Christians treat their pastors). I would have more respect for a CEO who told me it was all about money. At least he's honest.

More later.

hannah faith said...

As an ex-christian publishing employee AND an ex-chain bookstore employee, I just have to say....keep it up! Thanks for keeping a record of all the funky and weird paraphernalia that the Christian subculture produces.
Peace,
Hannah

Rouver said...

I think I'd only buy one if it stated "Jesus makes my heart burst into an uncontrollable conflagration, not unlike the wildfires of California that destroy homes and lay waste to thousands of acres of forest land." Do you think that would sell well? I'd buy at least 5.

Kelly said...

ha HA!! I can't believe that after almost two years of working in a christian retail store, I am only just finding you. I completely understand every ounce of wit you provide and only wish I had an outlet such as this. Perhaps then I would still have that warm fuzzy feeling I used to get when I was just a blissfully ignorant customer who felt I was doing my christian civic duties by shopping at christian bookstore. Knowing what goes on behind the scenes really seems to spoil that atmosphere. From coworker gossip and backstabbing to getting accused of not being a true christian because I didn't know what a Shofar was... Funny thing is, my bookstore wasn't a chain, but a locally owned store that brutally drove the corporate competition out of business. FCS home office called my boss to let her know this little bit of info. The annoyingly wierd thing is that now that I've moved on, I really miss it...
P.S. ---- Here's a blog topic for you. Isn't it amazing how many different types of Bibles there are? And God forbid you read the wrong one. No pun intended.

Rouver said...

Shofar? Hmm...not familiar with that one. Do you know about a Butfir?

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