impromptu bible study?

last weekend, i was over at my friend jerry’s house. he was havin’ a BBQ for memorial day*. he has a pretty big place, which was good, cause that day was rainy and drizzl-y. it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the gorgeous day we ended up having the very next day. drat.

at one point, i walked into the livingroom to come upon a big group of people watching four people play spades. that’s always an interesting phenomenon. people bored and having nothing better to do than watch other people play cards. you know you’re bored, then. but, sometimes it’s okay to do that and shoot the shit and trash talk with people. it was funny, cause i brought two decks of cards and a cribbage board for just that occasion. i hate it when there’s a bunch of people and only one deck of cards. and there’s like some big competition to see who will actually get to be the people who get to play.

anyway, later on i walked back into the room again and the game was finishing up and i sat down and started talking with some people about music and movies. it was funny. we were talking about wes anderson movies (rushmore, royal tenenbaums, etc.) and laughing and people were quoting things. we talked about music and this and that. it was a good time.

i don’t remember how it happened, but all of a sudden i found myself in the middle of a discussion about the scriptures and jesus. it was so strange. people in AA who are “doing the deal” are very spiritual, and there are some people who are into jesus, but the people i hang around with are generally not wont to get into any specific religion, or if they believe in something specific (e.g., christianity), they don’t really talk about it in certain terms.

for example, i had a friend, bob, who i knew from the moment i came into AA until the time that he killed himself (he had a mental illness and went off his meds and relapsed). when i went to his memorial, it was in a christian church and the pastor talked about how much bob loved jesus and how bob would want us to know that jesus this and jesus that. and i thought … i don’t know. if bob wanted me to know that bad, maybe he would have told me himself? it’s like that in AA. we have images and concepts of god that are personal to us. and if it involves something that has to do with allah or buddah or christ, that’s just fine, but often times, it’s still very personal.

i say that all to say, that i don’t often end up talking about my thoughts and views and personal struggles and insights on christianity with people in the program too often, even though i know lots of people also return to the faiths of their upbringing, or come to find a new perspective on an old idea.

so, i’m sitting there with some people that i know — mostly people i know moderately well, some not at all. and what was interesting was, even though i would have said that i didn’t think any of us were practicing christians, it was really interesting to see how much we all knew about the bible. how many things we easily quoted from the new testament and talked about … paul’s letters to the churches, the gospels, the parables, our thoughts on literal translation, our thoughts on original sin, etc. it was really pretty cool. it made me want to find people in the program who wanted to talk more about these things. who weren’t necessarily dyed-in-the-wool christians, or necessarily even went to church, but were at least open to talking about christianity as they saw it. that’s my interest in the subject. cause i don’t even know what i think, and it would be nice to talk about it with people who had a knowledge of things, but held an open mind.

*i almost wrote st. patrick’s day! i find it interesting the sheer numbers of people, incredibly intelligent people, who absolutely CANNOT keep memorial day (beginning of summer, veterans) and labor day (end of summer, workers) straight. it fascinates me.


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