Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beliefs, Wishes, Delusions

I had written a few months ago about Kessid Church and how it seemed a bit deceptive of them to have what was in effect a fundamentalist church that was "fed" new members by a health club.  Well, the chickens have come home to roost for Kessid Church- follow this link and watch the (flash - not iPhone/iPad friendly) video on the page from about the 15:00 mark.

I hadn't seen the comment left on my blog post until now:

As a Christian I can Assure you that even Jesus Christ was against organzied "religion". Christianity is about loving God, loving others and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world. Mumon you seem to be very leary of any group that doesn't fit into your fundamentalist "box" [sic]. How is promoting Gods genuine love corrupting Vancouver and the greater Clark County area? If anything Christianity is bringing back moralistic ideals to an already declining society. I welcome you with open arms brother, you don't have to like me or my beliefs but know that regardless how angry you are right now, God still loves you! :)  
Now I wasn't in the least bit "angry" of course when I wrote that post, or the e-mail to that church.  But I think it's likely that this is what was in the minds of the folks at Kessid Church when they started their venture: They thought they  were "promoting God's genuine love" and "bringing back moralistic ideals to an already declining society."  (I am always intrigued by how conservatives are inevitably using adjectives with "-ic" on the end of the word when there's a perfectly good alternative, nearly identical, that's shorter and means exactly the same thing.  Can somebody tell me why they do that?  But I digress.)

They likely thought they  were "promoting God's genuine love" and "bringing back moralistic ideals to an already declining society."   The hubris behind such a statement is breathtaking to me. They were promoting "God's" "genuine" "love."  Anyone who believed differently from them was not.  And they had morality on their side.  They had a guy who could suspend not only disbelief, but the laws of physics, economics, biology, and mathematics for His People.  We other skeptical schmucks were "stuck" with reality.

"Nobody could have predicted" then, that such hubris might lead some folks to think that such a belief might lead them to make rash choices, such as that the cash flow from a health club could pay the freight on a budding megachurch.  And this in a place - where two other outfits had failed before, one in an economic boom time.  And this in a time when the region's economy was in free-fall, in the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. I do hope the place taking over the club, though succeeds.  Not that I'll join them, but I do hope the area comes back; Vancouver WA is still in a real-estate depression, relative to boom times.  But the complete insanity of what these guys did; it's breathtaking.   We've had some economic successes locally recently, but these have generally been places that have folks behind them who know what they're doing because they've done it before.  The Kessid guys were evidently utter, rank newbies, by comparison.

It is clear from watching the video to which I've linked that these guys were young,  enthusiastic, and utterly without the sort of business-sense needed to build a resilient operation.   That is why I sent them an e-mail, empathizing with their loss, reminding them of Buddha's parable of the mustard seed,  and hoping they would understand that in one's endeavors, skill is often more important than belief.

I hope  they will come to realize that it was the hubris and greed of taking their beliefs for reality, and becoming to attached to those beliefs, and the "wants" behind those beliefs that is related to their debacle.  It would make them ultimately healthier, happier, and  better able to really be  part of our community, which includes people of all types.

And to provide a bit of contrast on the topic, here's some folks trying to live on one dollar a day. While they too seem young, idealistic, and perhaps slightly naive, I think their feet are more on the ground and they are more connected to reality, at least as we are aware, than the Kessid crowd.

Update: Evidently they did keep the "center" separate from the church.  Except - and if you read the article and comment tellng me, "See! They used a manager!"  please  remember the folowing:  they made a blunder so colossal words fall short: by calling the thing "Kessid Center."   Consciously or unconsciously,  this  harebrained branding scheme  a) conflated the center with the church and b) conflated the center with a weird, foreign-sounding word  (even though it's Hebrew for something good, I'm told).  The latter effect of course would drive away nativists, and the first one would drive away Progressives.

But then, it seems like a good idea to keep church and workouts separate.

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