COLUMN: Changes in the way I think
I was glued to the TV the day after Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey. I couldn't believe the speculation from others. I've got my opinion, and can't understand why so many folk do not believe what he said. I've said this before, when you point your fingers at someone else, three come back at you.
What he did, said and denied, according to him was awful. Yet, if we believe in Christianity, then have we forgotten what Christianity stands for? Or is it so far off track that we talk out of both sides of our mouth? There is a verse in the Bible that says something like: "There is no unforgivable sin except unbelief." As I type this, I hear the TV still talking about what Armstrong said. Armstrong is the one that has to carry this burden the rest of his life, however, in saying that, if he believes that God will forgive him, then he will have peace.
One of the reasons I do not attend church anymore is because I don't believe as I used to. I consider myself a progressive Christian. What does that mean? For me it means I have my own way of believing in God and, for me, that has given me much peace in my life. I no longer believe I am a sinner and unclean.
I don't want to get into what I believe, but the church, to me, has strayed off the path Jesus set for us. It has become caught up in being the biggest facility, the biggest membership, the biggest this or that. I have been to England three times and saw many cathedrals built to the honor and glory of God, supposedly. Now, these churches are struggling to keep their structures in good repair. The first year I went to England there was no charge to go into them - a freewill offering was expected. Now, there is a charge at most of them. The Salisbury Cathedral has scaffolding on one side every time I've been there. The congregations are very small.
If we think we do no wrong, we need to adjust our thinking. There have been many people in the news recently that have done far worse things than Armstrong. Taking drugs to enhance performance, whether in sports or for sexual libido, is questionable to me.
Our whole society is geared to think that we have to remain young, which isn't God's plan for us. Most of us want to look and act like we did when we were in our prime, but that isn't the way life goes. I've often thought, what if God gave us our "smarts" in our youth, and then as we got older we lost our knowledge? I know that is not how it is, so therefore, I accept that when I look in the mirror, I no longer see that good-looking woman I saw 20 years ago. Who I do see is an aunt that suffered from mental illness. That is what happens as we age. Not only do our looks change, but our way of thinking changes, also.
What makes a reporter or newscaster think they know what Armstrong is thinking? His words were what he was thinking. I don't think he was trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, but then I'm naive in many ways. He sounded sincere to me, and Anderson Cooper's interview with the CEO of the foundation, Livestrong was saying almost what I thought. So maybe I'm not so far off-base as I think. I heard Oprah's comments about how she thought the interview was favorable. His body language didn't set off any signals to me. I'm not pointing any fingers at him, or anyone else, because I know three are going to come back at me.