Wednesday, June 25, 2008

abode denoument. enter:the religion of rote

"We have survived by hiding from them, by running from them. But they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them."

to me it looks like this. bible verse + bible verse + bible verse = doctrine. i understand that this is an oversimplification and that there was much debate that went into many of the doctrines that now exist. but that was in the past. NOW we have these formulas. and we are told the formulas are true and that they work. the case is closed, it was decided by godly men, and we need to continue the tradition.

as has been stated by me before in other places in other ways, my problem with these "mathmatical-take-it-on-faith-doctrines" is that there is no room for personal faith. there is no ability to exercise choice. which makes our faith life little more than a puppet. which makes me wonder just what i am needed for if it has already been figured out for me and i simply need to believe it all. living within this type of tradition, i often wondered why we bother giving people bibles at all or encourage people to read them. why not simply hand out a book of doctrines? because when one is subjected to them long enough, you don't even read the bible when you read the bible. all you see are the doctrines that passage has been used to create. the bible doesn't even speak for itself anymore. it has nothing new or fresh to say to us because anything it has to say has been figured out, right?

did you know that there has hardly ever been a time of unanimity within the church? as far back as Acts15:37-39 there have been disagreements within the church. sharp disagreements. the doctrines and traditions we have had handed down to us are simply the majority view, not the unanimous view. HUGE difference. if you study church history you find that many issues of debate were only settled by a council of leadership calling the issue settled, and banishing or killing the dissenters and burning their writings and findings. just because augustine lived a long time ago does not mean he was right about everything he had to say. yeah. i said it. augustine is nothing, god is everything. whatever he said and did in his life is good for him back then. some of it may even be good for now, but that doesn't mean that it can't be opened up and reexamined. its okay to dissect the things he said and decide for yourself whether or not you agree. he's dead. it's not going to bruise his ego. the same goes for the myriad of men who are authors, architects, and pawns in this tradition.

time would fail me if i fleshed out all the examples of "heresy" that have come down the line and were resultantly stamped out by those who "know best." i just don't like a world like that. i prefer to hear all sides and make my own choice, rather than having some appointed human deciding what is appropriate for me or not. how would they know what's appropriate for me or not? how would they know what god wants from me or the things god wants me to do or the places god wants me to go? hasn't the veil been torn in two? can i not hear directly from the god myself?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

abode cuatropointone

“What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?”
“No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.”

disclaimer: lots of rambling to follow...

something has happened to living by faith. to living by the spirit. it has been replaced with living by a code of conduct and beliefs. i understand why this code has come into place. people in places of seeming responsibility were looking for ways to keep people from sinking below a certain line as pertains their conduct. it is certainly useful for that, and i believe that can be a good thing. but there comes a time, it seems, in the lives of some, when the doctrines and belief structures are no longer holding them up, but rather holding them down & in. which, i do not believe is the intention, but it has happened and does happen nonetheless.

yet, i don't think that discarding all classical knowledge or structures is necessarily the answer. i think i needed that kind of structure to grow inside until the time was right. but there seems to be a certain type of stagnation that comes from our classical forms of church structure where the church leadership are the ones who "hear from god" and pass it on to you, the sheep. true growth towards self-controlseems elusive. learning how to "hear the spirit" on a moment to moment basis is not generally an emphasis, and if it is, it can be a little on the side of "this seems more crazy than genuine." more of a show for the sake of the show rather than a way to heal the world. and in either tradition, the layperson is left knowing that their faith is truly not their own and that they need to run their beliefs through the filter of doctrine for whatever their tradition is in order to be deemed acceptable.

which is fine, i guess. i'm not trying to say good, bad, right, or wrong... what i'm trying to say is that it does not end up being the faith that i see the earliest people involving themselves in. jews OR christians. the lives of the apostles seemed to be rooted in the "now." and they didn't run around talking to people outside their faith tradition saying things like "the bible says..." in order to convince them. they had real-life real-time examples of the life lived by the spirit and the accompanying power. which, now that i think about it, is truly my problem with traditional structures and forms of church and religious education. they are devoid of power. they are rooted in the past, about things god has done a long time ago. things that you need to believe in faith and somehow, magically, this faith will radically transform you into the kind of person that leadership says god wants you to be.

once again, that's all well and good for what it is. some people might really need that. but it didn't work for me. i can't tell you the numerous hours i spent worrying, wondering what was wrong with me. allowing "job's comforters" and some real-life "jON's comforters" to shred my inner being and confidence because the proclaimed boundaries and proscribed behaviors didn't produce the promised holiness and perfection and devout and disciplined life that they said they would.

and in the end, it simply turns out that what works for someone else does not necessarily work for everyone.

can i give you a scripture to proclaim this in true evangelical fashion? not one singular one, no. not even a doctrinal structure. i can simply point towards examples of the kind of life of which i'm speaking. the life where nothing else matters in light of the cross and we are free to follow the god anywhere she would ask us to go at any time without worrying whether or not a misstep will cause us to lose our "salvation". more often than not, this is simply a sick and twisted means of control. because at the end of the day, scripture doesn't say that we must obey it or even believe it in order to be saved. it simply says that we believe in jesus. and even then, that's not the only way that it says we may live...not according to jesus anyway.

and that is what i desire. life. it seems so strange that there are so many of us who at one time were the ones at the forefront of our respective "bodies" begging god for more of himself, asking god continually, sometimes for years, to lead us deeper, to give us more of himself, and to use us more, found ourselves in situations where we were at odds with the human leadership that was "in charge" or "our" church. painfully, violently, and suddenly we were outside and left nursing our wounds and wondering, "what just happened?" all over the globe, this scenario has played itself out in a myriad of different ways. yet, at the heart, it was always the same. for some reason, we needed to get out.

i believe god wanted us to get out. to get us to a place where we could hear and obey him and him alone. because no disrespect to human leadership in churches and the task set before them, but often times their teachings can cause one to disobey god because we have been told that god is "always this" and "never that." that god "doesn't ask people to do things like that." and on and on.

how often i feel like peter meditating on the roof and being given a vision. a vision and a command which horrifies my religious self. but the command comes all the same, and the rebuke at my religious horror comes with it as well. "don't call anything impure which god has made clean." it flies in the face of everything i have ever been taught. it flies in the face of everything i have been trying so hard to suppress and "deny myself" for so long. to find, at the end of it all that god is asking me to now go against all of those good and "godly" teachings... it leaves one a little punch-drunk.

what am i saying here? i'm not really sure. just talking out loud i guess. not really trying to convince anyone of anything. perhaps just trying to spark dialogue or find direction for what i really want to say. i don't know.

but i do know that something is vitally missing in what is called the "christian life." how different things would be if we were living with spiritual confidence and power. to be able to heal or feed a villiage or say "this is what the spirit says" and not be full of shit.

how does one find that? and how does one communicate that it has been found so that it can be recognized by those who say it can not and should not happen? and is this anything that can be reproduced by following steps? or is it up to the master to call whomever he will, as he will, when he will?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saturday, June 07, 2008

abode quatro

"Afraid?" Horkin interrupted the torment. "We'll see who's afraid, by Luni."
"When you are in my presence," said Raistlin coldly, "you will refer to the goddess Lunitari with the respect she is due-"
"Listen to me, Red," Horkin said, jabbing his finger in Raistlin's thin chest. "Ican refer to the goddess any damn way I feel like. If I call her Luni it's because I have the right to call her Luni. Many's the night we've sat drinking together beneath the stars, passing the bottle, she and I. I wear her sybol over my heart. And I wear her emblem around my neck. Luni, the darling, gave me this with her own fair hands. I have seen her, I have talked to her." The elder mage glared up at Raistlin, into him, through him.
"I may not wear her symbol, but I wear her color, which, as you have astutely noted, is red. And she has spoken to me, as well."
Horkin looked closely at Raistlin, and perhaps the elder mage was thinking almost the very same thoughts as the younger.
"Lunitari herself has spoken to you? This you swear?"
"Yes," said Raistlin calmly. "By the red moon, I swear."

the startling thing is not so much coming across one who is filled with knowledge about the god, but rather coming across another one to whom the god has spoken.

post coming soon...

Monday, June 02, 2008

do not remove under penalty of law

so, i've got 3 tags to take care of first off. i thought about participating in barry's church manifeso, but nate said what i was going to. namely, i don't think church should have rules, other than the 2 universals. love god, and treat others how you want to be treated. enough said.

umm, let's see. i received a subversive blogger award and i was supposed to write a post about it and then link back to the original. not sure how i'm supposed to maintain subversive and anarchistic credibility by organizing and conforming in such a way...;-) since the hour on that is so late, i don't think i shall post and link back. instead i'll just say thank you for thinking of me. subverting the dominant paradigm is nothing new or special, just one more way of being like jesus...

6 word meme

(for any who missed, the point of this is to write a six word title to my memoir...)

so here we go.

it's fucking painful to obey god

and last but not least...10 random things that make me happy (not turning me into our beloved friend at a fundamental shift, i'm assuming, but rather making me feel warm and fuzzy inside....)

1. - being a smart ass! :-)
2. - listening to really agressive metal like slipknot, marilyn manson, or slayer while delivering
3. - blogging with people who behave themselves
4. - getting together with friends to play games
5. - a crock pot full of nacho cheese
6. - getting to go to Hooters with my wife
7. - playing video games during naptime
8. - sharing a moment with my wife in which we completely understand one another
9. - hearing my children laugh
10. - helping a young person have an "aha!" moment

so there you have it. now that my loose ends are tied up, we will return shortly to our regularly scheduled heresy...