Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Donuts And Theology

It's amazing how much college takes you out of your "bubble." I'm meeting people with very different ideologies and backgrounds from mine (and from each other.) I suppose, coming from a small town, it's something I'm not very used to. Still, it's a lot of fun, and provides a great opportunity to witness.

Case in point: Last night about fifteen of us decided that we'd make a midnight run to Krispie Kreme to get some fresh donuts, so we piled into cars and made our way to the shop. After socializing in the parking lot (and going through about three boxes of donuts,) one group decided to head to some frat party, while the rest of us went back to the dorm. The car I ended up in contained some very interesting people, and on the way back to campus we decided to discuss theology. There was a hardcore agnostic guy (if such a thing exists,) a Catholic-turned-agnostic guy, a Southern Baptist girl (who had earlier admitted to occasionally enjoying marijuana,) and my little Methodist gay-struggling self. I won't go through the details of the conversation here, but I will say that Hardcore Agnostic Guy was very dismissive (and a little rude) about organized religion. Baptist Girl and myself had to (respectfully, I hope) tell him to quit referring to it as "a bunch of B.S." (And he didn't use those initials, either.)

Also on the way back, the subject of homosexuality came up. Seeing that my silence in this subject would do more harm than good, I let them in on my situation. Everyone seemed accepting, even Baptist Girl. In fact, she didn't think it was a sin, citing, "If you love someone, I mean really love them, then how can that be bad?" I didn't argue with her too much, but I did say that I was a bit more literal when it came to the Bible and I didn't want to ignore those verses. Anyway, I think it was a good thing that I said it. Otherwise I would've been seen as a close-minded, "holier-than-thou" type, which I'm not.

When we got back to the dorm, the theological conversation continued in our floor's common room. We just threw in another Methodist, a Presbyterian and two Catholics who had been sitting there when we came in. Now I didn't reveal my orientation to all of them, but I do hope I added to the conversation, which at times got serious, at times got confusing and at times got downright silly.

Still, despite the occasional expletives and the pretty non-Christian opinions of some of the participants, I can't help but feel that God was there through that whole conversation. The beautiful thing was that everyone had an opinion about spirituality. No one was apathetic about it (and teens can be apathetic about a lot of things, like current events and politics.) I didn't "witness" in the traditional sense. I mean, I said what I believed, but I tried not to be condemning of other people's beliefs. In my experience, fire and brimstone preaching, like its namesake, most often brings destruction.

This conversation is probably to be the first of many. I have an excellent group of people on my hall. We like to play beach volleyball, watch 80's teen movies, jam to 90's rock and, as stated, head to Krispie Kreme Donuts at 12:00am. Theological differences won't change that, and they shouldn't. In fact, I think adults could learn a lesson from all of us, but I'm not sure what that lesson is yet. Does anybody know?

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