Born again, again

I got into a gentle argument with a born-again sister the other day. She was foolish enough to claim exalted status by virtue of having been baptized at the tender age of twelve, which meant nothing to me. My own sacred conversion happened when I was ten, dunked in the chlorinated baptismal pool behind the pulpit at the Second First Baptist Church in Newport News, Virginia. Under the watchful eye of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, my being born again was witnessed by a huge congregation of foot-stomping, hallelujah-singing racists, not a single black person in sight. Didn't matter though. Our church had its own distinct version of the Bible and there was no room in it for Darkies.

Over the years, our congregation shrunk and grew, with factions splitting off depending on what different groups thought about race, homosexuality, women's rights and probably Donald Trump. But according to my understanding of the Word, there was nothing anyone could say or do to strip me of my membership in the Club. Once a Christian, always a Christian. All you need to do is believe that Jesus died for your sins and you're home free. Christian Doctrine says you can be a total asshole and you'll still go to heaven if you believe. No one can take that away from you. I swear to God.

So when evangelicals start telling me that they have an inside track with Jesus on going to heaven, I pretty much have to call bullshit. When they tell me that their reading of the Bible is THE CORRECT reading of the Bible, I say baloney. And when they tell me that they're interpretation of doctrine means this or that passage about teh gayz, teh trans, or anybody else is the truth, I say get outta here. My reading of the Bible is every bit as defensible as theirs. My "being born again" is absolutely as valid as theirs.

So with all due respect, if you want to flaunt your holy credentials, go do it to someone who gives a shit. I'll take my cues directly from Jesus himself, when I care to listen, and I don't need any small-minded middle-men butting in along the way.

Tags: