Saturday, March 29, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
exfoliations is dead
at 11:30 PM
Lunitari's laughter danced through Raistlin, exhilarating, disturbing. "You do not understand. And if you could foresee what will be asked of you in the future, you would run from this place and never come back. Still, we have watched you and we have been impressed with you. We grant your request on one condition. Remember always that you have seen us and spoken to us. Never deny your faith in us, or we will deny you."
at 11:14 AM
Monday, March 10, 2008
"A party? Yes, girl. It will be a party such as the world of Krynn has not seen since before the Cataclysm! Be ready, Tika Waylan. Be ready!"
something jumped out at me in galatians one day. not the radical freedom. that's something else... (that jumped out at me a different time.) for our discussion here, this has to do with gal. 2:11-14. what's important about this story for us is not whether paul was right or peter was wrong. what is important to me here is that post-resurrection, post-pentecost, post-conversion of saul, we see THAT ONE OF THE APOSTLES WAS WRONG ABOUT SOMETHING. of course, since paul is the one telling us of the event, he paints himself as the hero. and as i said, it matters little to me for this discussion, which one was wrong or right. but it is, to me, a very big deal to know that through it all, the apostles were not perfect.
which makes me wonder if there was anything else they were not perfect about? is it possible that some of the things they had to say came out of their own experience and limited understanding and were not god desperately trying to communicate a message of law for all people for all time? when jesus said that holy spirit would guide us into all truth, could this perhaps have been a bigger process than even the apostles knew?
because as i read their letters, i get the sense that they are simply sharing out of their own wealth of experience from god. but as they write, you can certainly tell that their own experiences and personalities color what is being shared. for example, paul is one who LOVES to use extreme language. he frequently uses words like, "all" or "never." and i'm sure he was using them to drive home a point much like many of us do when we use similar language, even though it may not be the whole truth. "i'm starving" and "i LOVE this television show" being two examples off the top of my head.
yet, because we have been given and taught the assumption that the apostles were "orthodox perfection" and that their letters are "god speaking to us" we do not take his extreme language into account. we form our theologies and doctrines off of something so grandiose and inflexible, that many times being in institutions founded on precisely this type of thinking, you find yourself cold, empty, and devoid of the real power of a life lived experiencing god first-hand.
as i believe these men did.
one of my big problems, and one the leadership didn't know what to do with, is not that i haven't studied, but rather the opposite. i HAVE studied. too much. i've heard the theories. i've read the books. i've debated the doctrines. i've fought for being right and trying to put to shame all who oppose for the sake of "god's glory" never seeing the irony. until one day...
god simply cracked open my world and began to show me the truth about what it means for me to be a follower of his. and it is a much more wide-open freedom based thing than i could have ever imagined. at least, that has been my experience. to learn, to grow, to mess up, these things are all a part of it. and as i began to see this through my own experience, i began to see it also through the eyes of men and women thousands of years ago who had similar experiences. i began to see through the cracks to the people just doing the best they knew with what knowledge they had. did they receive revelation? to be sure. but did they receive a new law? hmmm.... i am much less convinced of that notion any longer.
i believe WE ARE ALL priests and now have equal access to god. and instead of hearing over and over again what a pastor believes, or what some other men hundreds and thousands of years ago believed, i want to know what I believe. i want to know what god wants from me now, today, in this specific moment in history. and while i can read these accounts and relating experiences, and in many cases find them to be the only ones who can relate to god reaching into their lives and asking such wild and unpredictable and unpopular things from them, i don't think those things in and of themselves are what god wants from us today.
for example, i have heard ezk. 3:17-21 used by many as the reason they feel the need to get in people's faces about their "eternal destiny." they assume that if they don't use their best tricks (guilt, manipulation, fear mongering...) to try to get that person "saved" then god will "send them to hell" as well as the other person. i maintain this is a faulty understanding of grace, first and foremost, but also the bible and what it actually is. strange that people feel so convicted over this word from god to ezekiel, but they don't get too twisted up or feel obligated to "lay on their sides and cook their food over cow dung." why is one directive for everyone for all time, and the other for ezekiel specifically? really, there is no reason. it is arbitrary.
but once we can get ahold of the fact that nothing in the bible, in the original context, is a "message for me", then and only then do i feel that the spirit can really break through in your life. the bible can be used to show you things and teach you things as the spirit directs, but it is not, in my mind, a list of imperatives for each individual to try to clone themselves after.
this leads to me needing to know what god wants from me specifically, and needing to understand the difference between "abiding by the law" and "abiding by the spirit."
damn it. i'm going to need another post to finish this up. this is enough for now. at least we got down 4 more lines...
at 1:58 PM
Sunday, March 02, 2008
"Listen to me, Raistlin. The magic will not solve your problems. It will only add to them. The magic will not make people like you. It will increase their distrust. The magic will not ease your pain. It will twist and burn inside you until sometimes you think that even death would be preferable."
what i have found, in my own experience, is that when a person encounters the living god, she asks for some pretty crazy things that can be hard to understand. or even believe that it is indeed her speaking. for example -
acts 10:9-15 tells us the story of peter and an encounter he had with god through a vision that completely negated previous instructions of the written, "scriptural", variety. (lev. 11:3-8)
likewise we also read the story of samson in the book of judges. many of us already know the story of samson and delilah. but it is not often pointed out that we are told in judges 14:4 that, "...it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines..." completely negating his own decree in deut. 7:3
he asked ezekiel to lay on his side for 430 days and "lay siege" to a model of jerusalem. as well as cook his food during this time over human shit. ezekiel said that was a little much for him, so god said it was ok to use cow shit instead.
he asked hosea to marry a prostitue who would be completely faithless to him and rip his heart out and embarass him over and over and over and over.
point being, god asks ridiculous things of his most intimate followers. mostly, i believe, because they are actually listening and willing to respond with obedience. none of these things were done because any of these men "read about them in scripture." so how did they know? what did god's servants do before there was a bible?
nate has spoken on this subject at length elsewhere. so i won't overlap too much.
because what i'm really talking about here, if we can all recall, is how my views of the bible have changed and why i don't believe in doctrines anymore. in my opinion and experience, the bible is not to be believed because it is god dictating our behaviors to us or laying down some sort of an inflexible law by which we must live in order to be saved. and i don't think the bible is to be believed because it has wonderful logical arguments for showing others how wrong they or their belief systems are. i know this is the majority evangelical view, and one i used to hold, but no longer.
i believe the bible because it is a continuious story of lives changed. people who had radical encounters with a "divine other being" and the resulting events surrounding such encounters. period. end of story. which leaves much more room for learning how to "hear" god through the studying of the encounters of others. which is a much different thing from thinking that if we "imitate" these people, and their specific actions based on specific requests god made of them, that we will too somehow have an experience of god.
i believe the pharisees used to use this same type of approach. and jesus said to them, based on this approach, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life..." note that what jesus is saying here, in plain language, is that the scriptures ARE NOT WHAT GIVES US LIFE. in fact he follows up this statement directly by saying, "...it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." "coming to jesus" gives us life. because jesus gives us access to the great "divine other being". it is not reading a book and thinking that obeying this book is what we need to do in order to please the "divine other being". that approach, in my opinion, is a lie served up by men for whom that lie benefits them. i.e. putting them in places of authority that they love, leaving people under their care dependant on their interpretations of the bible. and leaving the sheep devoid of the knowledge that they can hear directly from god themselves. not needing a human mediator.
(for extra fun, the very next statement that jesus makes in this passage is, "I do not receive glory from men." how does THAT fit in with what goes on in most evangelical churches every week?)
well, we're about 7 more lines down in my notes, and again, this is enough for now. looks like we will need one more post to complete this thought. but let's see where this conversation goes first...
at 2:36 PM