I saw an add in a newsletter the other day for a "Gravity Ministry." The all-text ad includes the words "Come Closer to Our Lord Jesus Christ Through the Sport of Skydiving."
What the Fuck?
I've never understood the idea of an activity ministry and I've seen many. Basketball ministries, rafting ministries, music ministries, martial arts ministries, motorcycle ministries, English as a second language ministries. It's unending. A church near my apartment has a knitting ministry.
I long wondered, does playing basketball, rafting, playing guitar, learning Kung Fu, riding a motorcycle or knitting somehow enhance one's understanding of faith? Is there some religious epiphany to be had from doing mundane activities?
Then I realized that I had it entirely backwards. These people aren't coming to Jesus through these activities. They're making these activities more personally relevant by adding religion to them. I liken them to John Stewart's character from the movie Half Baked, the one who insists on trying everything he ever does while stoned.
I can hear the internal dialog now. "Have you ever been rafting?"
"Yeah, it's a lot of fun."
"Have you ever been rafting on JESUS?"
Further proof of Marx's assertion about the nature of religion.