Religion has turned into a funny thing.
Well, for me anyways.
After reading the first part of A Contract with God by Will Eisner, I couldn’t help but see a parallel between your average Christian churchgoer and Frimme Hersh.
Being raised in your typical Christian home has all the stereotypical experiences that people general associate with it, such as attending church every Sunday whether you wanted to or not. Unlike Hersh, I was always taught from day one that I was born a sinner and nothing I did could make me more or less worthy for Jesus Christ to become my savior. So I found it almost comical when Frimme Hersh curses God for not keeping to their supposed contract that Hersh himself constructed.
Now I don’t know much about Hasidic Judaism, but in my church this idea of formulating your own contract with God and disregarding what the Bible teaches, where you make the terms is completely ludicrous. Though I must say I can definitely sympathize with the loss of Hersh’s daughter.
There were many times, when I still considered myself a Christian, that I felt a similar frustration, but on a global scale. For me, it was difficult to swallow all the poverty and genocide in the world I gradually began to become aware of as I started college. Just like Hersh, I felt at times that whatever agreement I had made when I proclaimed myself as a believer of this loving and caring God was violated.
I have also found that nowadays with issues such as gay marriage and abortion continuing to be topics of controversy within the church, people have begun to make their own contracts with God to assimilate with our society’s recent turn away from the church within government. The main two ways I have seen this happen personally is by people either picking out particular verses from the Bible they deem to be more important or by choosing to interpret some verses word for word in one context, but using another verse as a vague guideline in another. In essence, they are the ones deciding which rules and terms that they would like to have in their contract with God, not the other way around.
I guess in conclusion I will say that I’m still not quite sure how Christianity as a religion will be able to function as it has in the past if the basis for which it stands upon is continually being morphed to fit the current generation’s ideals. I will be curious to see what Christianity in the United States looks like when I am my parents’ age and start to possibly have children of my own.