Sunday, April 19, 2009

I pushed the Jesus button, nothing happened

I was reading Russell Millers post for today (4-19-09) Why I'm so hard on Christians, all I can say is wow, but I relate to what he says. I too tried to attend churches many times, and failed. It made me think of my own story, and it's conclusion.

I didn’t finish seventh grade because there was to be a parade that the school band was to play in, and seeing that it was on a Saturday, I couldn’t go. The band instructor was kind enough to announce in class that a few Seventh day Adventists were allowed to come, he pointed out me and my brother and said, “well I guess if your church wont let you come, far be it from me to fight God.” This of course resulted in getting ambushed after school over the next week or so with the finale being my brother attacking one of the animals that was trying to kick me in the kidneys.

My brother was that way, pent up rage burst out, but the guy was too big and threw him to the ground and had a thumb in each eye apparently trying to poke them out. I snapped at that point and kicked him in the ribs, and in the flurry, that guy disappeared and this 9th grader was all over me, my shirt was soaked in blood, and tears were streaming down my face, some girl was laughing and handed me a tissue, then we were at it again, all in slow mo, until In the process of falling backwards, a lucky kick under the chin knocked him out, and I landed on him with both knees. One of his buddies began wailing on me screaming, “you don’t hit them when their down.” Fortunately an adult showed up at that point.

I got kicked out of school the next year when I was 13, for “behavior problems” that in actual fact was me trying to mask my descent into nervous break down. Hostility could keep me from disintegrating, and yeh, I got into some running battles with some freaks that my pride wouldn’t let me back down to. These were some jocks that literally got rid of the English teacher by coordinated foot stomping on queue from the ringleader who was a jock, and therefore an untouchable, who was not disciplined period. I, however, was expelled for returning a punch to the face of one who had attacked me in the classroom, and as the final straw, disrespect to the librarian, who had said something rude, and judgmental to me. I liked the English teacher because she had read one of my compositions to the class, and praised it as excellent, a rare taste of approval. The juvenile mafia didn’t like this, which was a root of the developing conflict.

After I was expelled I never went back to school. My nerves were fried. I just wondered around, and prayed for help. No help was forthcoming. I survived, my mother became afraid of me and never again laid a hand on me, even though I was programmed to where if she had told me to kill some one, I might very well have done it, since in my mind, she was part of the chain of command from God on down. She had me do some sick things that violated scripture, but in my mind, a command over rides principle.

I survived, educated myself as best I could. My bible studies began to cause me to see contradictions in what I had been taught, particularly starting with church authority. The local minister was a tyrant, who was both demeaning and a taskmaster who assigned fasting and set hours of knee time with regular written reports to be turned in. Every church member became his spy, and I frequently had to park my old van many blocks from the people’s place who let me sleep in their garage to prevent the minister from finding out.

After I left WCG around 1990, I was cut off from every one I knew, since WCGers were the only people in my world; even though to them, I was a pariah, actually called me to my face, “the church outcast.” I had no way of getting a job, and no where to go. I had met the black sheep brother of a social misfit bachelor church member. He took pity on me and invited me to come over to his place in the country and stay in an old trailer parked there. This guy was a rude crude outlaw; a wonderfully kind man who grew marijuana, cussed like a sailor, said every thing that was on his mind with unabashed bluntness, and seemed to support a host of people, gave dope to cancer patients, and even kept his mother happily stoned while she was dying with what his mother only knew as “sleepy time tea.” This mans kindness far exceeded any kindness ever shown to me by one bearing the name of Jesus. I wanted to do something for him in return, so I began watering his babies, and essentially was doing this for four years while I rethought everything.

To make a long story short, I watched preachers on TV, and heard the message that Jesus will come and do all these wonderful things which never materialized regardless of my diligence. After this four year period, which was full of sometimes terrifying events impertinent to the point, after a little police intervention, I again found myself with nowhere to go, and alone, and wondering where was God. And why did my life have to be like this. It’s hard for some one with a chronic anxiety disorder to function in any normal capacity.

I had done enormous amounts of reading, and had followed many paths, but the only solid thing I could find was the prophecies that were accurate, so I returned to excepting scripture as true, but the disconnection between what the preachers said and reality was beyond being rationalized; so I dumped any further expectations from Christians, and looked to see if their message was some how a misrepresentation. I’m going to tell about my answer, which I’ll not represent as ‘the‘ answer, but an answer none the less. I read Jacobs words as anomalous to the candy coated come-ons I was being fed.

Gen 47:9 “And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been,”

If God left Jacob in his troubles, how can Christian preachers tell every one that all you need to do is follow some little formula and be freed of the world’s sorrows? Jesus said in parables that bad things would happen, and he wasn’t going to stop them.

Jesus is speaking of himself in this parable, and of the fact that he was going to leave here, but while he is gone… Mat 24:48 “But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,’ Mat 24:49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. Mat 24:50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. Mat 24:51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Here again Jesus portrays the scenario of his going away during which things happen according to the will of men… Luk 19:12 "There was once a man of high rank who was going to a country far away to be made king, after which he planned to come back home.” In between verses men invest talents without interference. Luk 19:15 “He was made king, however, and returned home.”

Here Jesus tells his disciples that they may well be poor, hungry, hated, excluded and insulted, and with reason to shed tears, It all sounds quite familiar to me.
Luk 6:20 Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Luk 6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Luk 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
Luk 6:23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
Luk 6:24 But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.

Here, as I see it, Jesus is speaking of himself : Mar 12:1 “He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.”

Now while Jesus is away, In between Jesus going and coming, I will insert something written about Israel, but that illustrates Gods attitude, and also speaks to the fact that evil will be allowed during this time where God essentially steps aside while the evil men do reaches it’s full measure… Eze 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?
Eze 34:19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
Eze 34:20 'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Eze 34:21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away,
Eze 34:22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.

Mar 12:7 But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
Mar 12:8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
Mar 12:9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.

There is more, but I’ll leave it here for now. Bob Marley when asked about how he handled poverty said that it all depends on your expectations, when I quit expecting what the preachers were saying, I quit feeling like some thing was extraordinarily bad about me, and that I was being personally rejected. I see enormous deception going on with a motive to gain a following, and offering money from churches at large; but out of all of them, I expect there are some individuals who are genuine; but as for me, I have no desire for organized religion, and I can see why Jesus hung out with the prostitutes and the tax collectors.



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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.

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29 comments:

Purple Hymnal said...

More Bible Jigsaw nonsense. The "old testament" has nothing to do with the "new testament", and it was only the Roman and Protestant churches who insisted they did. Read Early Christian Writings, Early Jewish Writings, and Jews for Judaism, and you'll see why the "bible jigsaw" theory is one Armstrongist theology that everyone needs to dispense with, IMO.

If you are a literalist fundamentalist Christian, stick with the New Testament. Claiming the Old Testament "proves" the New Testament, is just dead flat wrong, and anti-Semitic to boot.

Don't even get me started on the anti-Semitism inherent in the New Testament to begin with. History, you will recall, is written by the victors; and in the 3rd century CE, the victors were the syncretists of the Nicene Council, who wanted to literalize the christological figure, and combined it with the trinity of Osiris/Isis/Horus.

The Hellenized Jews, on the other hand, combined their christological figure with the trinity from the Kabbalah, the Most High God/Sophia (wisdom goddess)/salvific myths (Christos/Gnosis).

These conclusions are reached by not restricting oneself to bibliomancy and inerrancy, and reading all the "sacred" texts that have come down to us, from the ancient world. I also recommend the Mandaean texts; the Mandaeans saw the baptizer figure from the myths as salvific, and the christological figure as the demiurge.

What's my point with all this, you ask? I firmly believe the passage from the Gospel of Philip that states "men create gods".

The trick, you see, is learning as much as you can about every permutation of the men-created gods, so you know one when you see it, and then you can use discretion, when creating your own god.

xHWA said...

I am moved by this, Luc. Thank you.

"Refined like gold" isn't an easy process. A refiner's fire is hot! It melts you. A fuller's soap is very alkaline, and the wool drenched and beaten during cleaning. If we want easy, we've chosen poorly.
For what little it's worth, I commend you for not giving up. You are to be commended! ..but not by me. I just thought it would help some if I did.

I'll hand it to you and Russell both, you share your stories with us. I know it's not a simple thing to do. Takes courage.

Luc said...

Interesting PH how you concentrate all your angst at the one reference I used from the Old testament. Jesus must have been convinced by HWA to stand on the foundation of the Old Testament. But you are welcome to your opinion.

I thought like you once, but the mathematical probability in prophecy defied me. And I don't classify myself by anybodies organized predigested categorizations.

I am independent. In fact I have no Christian friends. And I've read plenty of human attempts to make God a human creation, they unravel in the ravages of the universal predisposition of all matter to degenerate.

Look around you, what is happening with Israel and Iran is in your face, and it is fulfilling Ez38-39; but it must be HWA's invention that Christ said all things written must be fulfilled.

I hold no grudge against atheists. But there are a few I know who have gone to enormous troubles to vent their hate, all the while dissing Christians for doing it to them. which I have never done. This is just as hypocritical, which proves that people who believe anything, think everyone else is stupid for not seeing things like they do.

I've seen the basis for atheist views, I understand why they come to their conclusions. They are welcome to their conclusions, and I wont look down on them for it. I don't expect the same courtesy to be extended.

xHWA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byker Bob said...

Wow! There aren't a heck of a lot of people who understand the making of a rebel, and the rebel lifestyle and mentality. I'll probably have more to post later when more time is available, but for now, I'm just kind of blown away by the experiences which you shared!

BB

Luc said...

I'm intrigued Byker Bob. We all like to hear personal accounts,lessons and conclusions gleaned from the struggles of real experience.

Luc said...

Hey xHWA.I frequently think of the Japanese sword folded to where it contains 32,768 layers. If the mettle could cry out in grief and pain, what would it say?

Purple Hymnal said...

Appreciate the response, Luc, and if you will permit me I will ask you the same question I asked Questeruk over on ISA, to wit:

What do you have to lose, if your understanding of prophecy isn't true?

I ask this respectfully, and I wonder if you could clarify just what your position on prophecy actually is? Do you cling to an Armstrongist notion, i.e., a literal returned Kingdom in your lifetime, or is your perspective different from that?

(As for Iran, et al, I remember the news media being full of Iran-Contra when I was younger. History repeats, and those who don't know or don't remember their history, are doomed to repeat it.)

xHWA said...

Wow PH, your question sounded genuinely respectful. WHY can't we get more of THIS PH?

What amount do I have to pay to get this PH all the time, and the disrespectful, F this, "got my buddy's back" PH none of the time?

xHWA said...

"I've seen the basis for atheist views, I understand why they come to their conclusions. They are welcome to their conclusions, and I wont look down on them for it. I don't expect the same courtesy to be extended."

Luc, you have hit directly into the heart of the entire problem as I see it. Absolutely right on, brother.

Luc said...

PH, in answer to "what do I have to lose?" Absolutely nothing. It matters not to me one bit if any one sees anything the way I do. To promote dialogue is the singular goal, but sometimes I tire of debating is he? or is he not? So to debate things with people of common interest and essential similar value system is less taxing.

I wouldn't say all literal prophetic views are of Herbie. I find he plagiarized most of his stuff, so giving him credit is an injustice. I would refer you to Joel Rosenberg and Hall Lindsay as examples of literalists.

My own views on prophecy I'll be posting soon enough. That's sure to stir up a hornets nest as my literal view see's certain enemies; but again, what one believes changes nothing. We're just along for the ride, so whoever is right, really doesn't matter; I only have a desire for freedom for all, meaning: no man being followed period, and that includes Ayatollahs. Frequenting such sites as: "Women Against Sharia Law" tells the story of religion and religious hierarchies going to their extreme conclusion; so I put Islam in the same category as RonWeinlandism and Armstrongism.

People who subjugate people, in the real sense as I have experienced it, are my only enemy. No person with any degree of divergent opinion could qualify. You, as an example, could not achieve enemy status by this criteria. That doesn't mean you couldn't piss me off, but I remember where I've been, and I still remember the local elder at the Feast in Penticton throwing me out of the peach bowl, falsely accusing me of trying to steal money, after just recovering from a major depression barely enough to show up in the first place; the memory of humiliation still stings, and my blood boils. This is only one of many examples I could have chosen. How can I blame any one else for anger, and wanting to destroy the perceived culprit.

Russell Miller said...

""I've seen the basis for atheist views, I understand why they come to their conclusions. They are welcome to their conclusions, and I wont look down on them for it. I don't expect the same courtesy to be extended."

Luc, you have hit directly into the heart of the entire problem as I see it. Absolutely right on, brother."

Luc won't, but others will and do. That is a part of the problem, for sure, but not the heart of it. Something had to make some atheists that way.

Byker Bob said...

Luc, I've shared a bunch of this stuff on other forums, and it kind of ran its course. I know you weren't around to participate in that part of my metamorphosis, but I'm trying to forget the old Bob. These days, I'm ashamed and embarrassed because of much of the stuff I had done years ago.

Basically, I've always been a fairly nice and personable guy until someone exceeded the bounds of good taste and pushed the wrong buttons. Unfortunately, my retaliation to such occurrences was sometimes disproportionate to the original offenses. Much of the time, I relied on intimidation to get what I wanted or needed.

These days, I'm really trying to apply Jesus' teachings regarding turning the other cheek. Attempts to share where I had come from in the past is sometimes appreciated by fellow Christians who know the changing power of Jesus Christ in their lives, but it's been my experience that sharing past bad behavior often makes non-believers mock. I'm trying to do all I can to keep from retarding the process that Jesus is putting them through to reconcile them to Him.

BB

Luc said...

BB I wouldn't suggest telling on yourself, but, as you know,some times personal experience has profound implications illuminating what may otherwise be dry proverbial rhetoric.

Purple Hymnal said...

"and the disrespectful, F this, "got my buddy's back" PH none of the time?"So, let's see, you're willing to "forgive" Bill for not adhering to the Golden Rule, but because I'm an atheist, I'm not off the hook for it??

What's wrong with this picture, xHWA?

Purple Hymnal said...

"People who subjugate people, in the real sense as I have experienced it, are my only enemy. No person with any degree of divergent opinion could qualify. You, as an example, could not achieve enemy status by this criteria."Thanks, Luc, that's good to hear. You're one of maybe three Christians who have taken that tack, despite my being an atheist. Good for you!

xHWA said...

Russell, you can't possibly know the frustration in my heart about how I want to find a way to relate to you. Even if I never do, I would overflow with joy if only you could find peace for the pain our (un)common history has dealt you. My problem is that I am terrible at expressing myself, so what I say comes out wrong A LOT. I don't know what to say to you or how to say it.

What Luc said was that he understands you and does not look down on you, but two things: 1) he will not stop being who he is to placate anyone, and 2) he has learned from experience that his attempts to reach out are rarely returned in kind. I have learned from experience that you are harsh first, and dismissive second. How many roadblocks can a person set up, and then wonder why no one gets through?

That is what I see as the heart of the problem. Everyone sees themselves as being the tolerant one, and others as being the unreasonable ones. You do it. I do it. All I have ever asked of anyone is that they meet me half way, without any of the diatribe, and just talk. Not accuse! Talk. PH does that. Luc does that. Seeker does that. You don't know how badly I want you to do that too. But I can't say I see it. Luc is trying to meet you half way here. And I haven't high enough praise for him in that.

My hand is out to you, Russell. You may not want it. That's fine. And you may not need my help, but I need your help. It takes two to shake hands. I need your help to get to that point because I just am a recovering Armstrongite who excels at condemnation, but has little experience at reaching out. If you want my hand, it's here. Luc's and Seeker's too. Put away the diatribe and meet us half way on this.

xHWA said...

BB,

God bless you in your efforts! Your heart is in the right place.... you see that you are flawed, that you have needs to grow, that you have messed up in the past but that's the past, and you're trying to go right from here on. Wonderful!!!! You are an example to be followed!

I know that you are not at the end of your journey, but in the middle somewhere. You're not perfect, but you're trying. You are on the right road. I hope that your way is just bumpy enough to keep you from getting puffed up, but just smooth enough to make life the joy it should be.

Please come back often and share more with us.

Devnal said...

Thanks Luc, loved the story. I really enjoy these short auto-biographical-esque's!

Russell Miller said...

xHWA: I don't get it. I thought we were talking.

I may be a little harsh but have I at any point done anything to imply that I'm not willing to have a conversation? I even come here and comment, something that really feels to some degree like taking my life in my hands, but here I am. What do you want from me?

Luc said...

PH, in answer to the question about what Iran has to do with fulfilment of prophecy, I generally agree with Joel Rosenberg on this issue. His view can be found in his book.

Epicenter is Joel's first nonfiction book, focusing on the rapidly rising Iranian nuclear threat, why Russia is selling arms and nuclear technology to Iran, why Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes it is the end of the world, and why Ahmadinejad is saying that the way to hasten the coming of the Islamic Messiah is to annihilate the United States and Israel. Using exclusive interviews with U.S., Israeli, Arab, and Russian leaders and previously classified documents from the White House, CIA, and State Department, Joel examines 10 future headlines that could come out of Russia and the Middle East, and does so in the light of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian eschatology (end-times theology).

xHWA said...

R:

You talk, yes. And I talk. When were we talking together, though? As in, opposed to talking AT or ABOUT or some other thing.
I have been talked at by a lot of people... I think anyway, because it was so effective I don't remember them. So, talking together is better, no?

If any two people are to have a dialog, I think the first step is to try and remove obstacles to communication.

In that regard, I have no problem with your beliefs. My faith is mine and no one else's. I can't give it to you even if I wanted to. I don't feel obligated to change your beliefs. The obstacle I see is your behavior, not your beliefs. I would like you to stop being harsh. It is a huge barrier to our communication.

Now, what is one barrier I can remove for you?

Russell Miller said...

xHWA:

OK, that's what you want, but I don't think I can give it to you. I'm going to post why on my blog, not because I want to chew you out, but because I think it deserves a blog post and there's not enough room in the comments here.

Purple Hymnal said...

Hey, Seeker, I'm sorry to hear about your headache. That sucks (the weather change usually hits me the same way as well), and I hope you're feeling better.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Not feeling better yet, but thanks. It's appreciated.

xHWA said...

Thanks, Russell. I appreciate the attempt. Many thanks.

xHWA said...

"OK, that's what you want, but I don't think I can give it to you"

Just so's ya know.. I think that post was perfectly fine. No harshing the mellow. It was civil. You don't feel like you had to fundamentally alter who you are to make that post, I hope?
Well done, far as I'm concerned.

Maybe you can give that!

Russell Miller said...

The post was civil. But I don't want to feel like I *have* to be. I'm not going to allow someone to hold that over me.

xHWA said...

*sigh*
Russell, I don't know how you feel about blogging, but I am beginning to think that it's not worth the trouble.
I don't mean that about you, but I think you're bright enough to know what I DO mean it about.