Thursday, April 5, 2012

Introverts and God

I was just listening to Tapestry on CBC on my way home.  It's an episode about introverts and the religious tradition, and now.  If you want to, you can listent to it here.  It's about 25 minutes in when they get to what I'm talking about.

What they talked about was the fairly modern evangelical tradition and its emphasis on the salesmanship of spreading the gospel.  It's tough for introverts, they say, who are evangelicals, because it's hard to go out and sell Christ to someone, and to close the deal, and to share your testimony.  And there's a great emphasis on all of that, and introverts most likely aren't as successful as extroverts.

And Mary pointed out that it's odd, because really, all the great religious figures, and not just christian ones, were often solitary.  And there's a great religious tradition of religious figures being quiet and alone.  Jesus went into the desert.  Buddha went into the woods.  Moses went into the desert.  Joe Smith went into a cave.  L. Ron Hubbard went into his office.

Well, Mary, I just want to say that I don't think it's odd at all.  And the explanation is very simple.

Those religious figures used/needed solitude to uncover truth, to find the answers, to speak to god (or whatever), and to provide lessons to bring back to others.  Evangelicals think they have the answers.  They don't need 'em.  They don't need thinkers.  They need salesmen.  And there's the disconnect.

Maybe it's one of the reasons I find evangelicals so distasteful.  There's no contemplation anymore.

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