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Pardon my plagiarism/forgive my apologetics. - 05-15-09
INFLUENCES (bad and good) They call him Hercule and The Superficial...Because you're ugly! and NIN and my pick tures May 2006
 
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Mar. 2nd, 2006 06:51 pm
Pardon my plagiarism/forgive my apologetics.

A great deal of people, or so I've heard, have been thinking it strange that my wife has converted to Christianity; I am the most shocked by it. After all, I myself have been down that road before. I know of certain people who would be quick to remind me of that. As for myself, I too am a Christian (again). The main difference is that before I did it to adapt to a new environment and I think my conversion was a great deal imaginary. Currently, I have been led there over the course of time. But, this post is not about me, though I'll use myself as reference. If you want to know my whole story, I'll gladly tell it. But this is about my wife, whom, by marriage, I am supposed to uphold her good name. And by the way, a marriage is a covenant, not a contract to be honored by mere flesh. It is sacred, and I intend to honor that.

I imagine that a great many of you are thinking to yourself "Oh, here we go, another one of THOSE types. Give me the old Steph versus (*a great movie*) the new one."
Surely some of you, and myself would have at one time, think that she is stepping out of a life of experience and fun and into a boring, 2000 year old doctrine full of ancient men in their togas and beards and no room for free thought. Well, what the age of a particular set of statements (if they seem good and true to a person upon recieving them) has to do with anything, I don't know. Whether they wore togas and robes or not has little to do with a person, as so many a people today will point out if they ever have been ridiculed for the way they look (see: 1995-1999 in my life). But what I'm vague on is this whole idea that Christianity is a thing of no free thought. Or why it is considered bad. Or even why so many a people will not ridicule a religion whose deities are ones with elephant heads, multiple arms, and so forth, but will jump the gun to make fun of and tear down a Christian. It's funny what we do to try and prove the Bible and Christ wrong. And then there is the one main thing we do in its defence...Of course, we've all said, "Christ was a great moral teacher," We then go on to say, "but I don't believe in the rest of it. I have a problem with Christians in general." I've said these very words before. Here is another true life story. Supposing I were to sit in a church, and I were listening to the preacher tell a modern truth and use the Bible as reference. Suppose he were to say that if we were to treat others as we would be treated..., and went on to give some examples of this in his own life. And it all turned out to be true and nice and no testament to falsehood. Now, imagine in the row in front of you there was a man or woman whom you knew to be a drinker. Or a drug addict. Or a bit loose. And this person was applauding everything the preacher said with the rest of us, and not too much louder so as not to draw attention to his/herself. Now why would seeing this person make you doubt what the preacher was saying? Why would it make you disbelieve in the teaching? I've been in this situation before and have thrown away a lesson just because of the people who were listening. Thinking to myself, "So, this is the type of crowd they have here." Forgetting that it rains on the just, as well as the unjust.
So much for judging a belief based on those who keep it poorly.
And isn't badness is only spoiled goodness?
But this is not my point, though I go on to make another one.
What can you ever really know of other people's souls — of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole of creation you do know: and it is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands. If there is a God, you are, in a sense, alone with Him. You cannot put Him off with speculation about your neighbors or memories of what you have read in books. That's why we Christians are told not to judge. And if we do we must ask, if not beg, forgiveness.
My real point is this.
The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. Some hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or, if they think there is not, at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. Or maybe they do it because it feels right or good. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

I have to put here something that I had written on Steph's LJ because I need it to appear word for word so as not to cause any confusion. And the reason I put this here is to explain what Christians are forced to face when coming to terms with the religion itself:

"I think it is funny to assume that Christ was a mere "great moral teacher" and then still not believe he is the son of God.
I shall clarify. Suppose I were to come up to you and tell you things that would make your life easier and better if you followed them. I would tell you to be kind against all odds, love even your enemies, and to forgive anyone who asks it of you because, otherwise, you'd be carrying a burden. You'd probably think that was well and good, and you might tell others that I made sense, and you might just follow the teachings that I set forth. But then what if I called myself, not only the son of God, but God himself. And that in a time I would die and be ressurected for the forgiveness of all the sins of the world? You'd probably think, and rightly so, that I was the most insane person you'd ever met, and then you'd think that all of the advice that I'd given was false and nothing more than the rambligs of someone who is mentally unstable. After all, the teachings of Christ go against almost everything that we want to do by nature. But here is my point: Everyone who came in contact with Christ either loved him or hated him. There was no "mild" approval, none of this "great moral teacher" stuff. How could you think that he was a great moral teacher if there was no evidence of him doing anything so common and normal at that time? There were tons of preachers and teachers and poets at that time. And here comes this guy, who claims the impossible, and a group of people (the Jews) who worshipped one God, are forced to believe him. I wonder why that was? Could it have been the miracles? Could it have been his mannerisms? I think, and this is highly unpopular, that it was because he was telling the truth and backed it up 100%. I am forced to believe in Christ because I can find no reason, whatsoever, not to."

I also add this: If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
And: Either Jesus claimed to be divine, or He did not. We know he did.
Either Jesus was right about those claims, or He was wrong.
"What proof was there he was right?" you may ask. To which I answer, what proof was there he was wrong?

This is all to clear up speculations that Steph and I are "blindly" going into something we know nothing about. We know plenty. Ignorance has not given the Christian community a good name, and why would we want a bad name? We have to try and set a good example.

With this all in mind, I ask all of you to please be kind. Show respect, because that is what Stephanie is trying to do with all of you. She is saying goodbye to her old self, not to anyone else in particular. I am the same way. I can only imagine the thoughts running through my friends heads. But, when I first became a Christian, as I've said, it was to fit into another crowd. That meant saying goodbye to the old one. This time I'm doing it because I believe it's right. And that means that I have to be honest, and not join a "clique" of Christians. I still love you all. We both do.

As for "free thought," I believe the old line goes, "lose yourself to find yourself." Only those who have laid down to die their lives, thoughts, and the rest of it, will find it. And a real self, at that.

Thank you for reading.

-Paul.

4CommentReplyShare

lulu_burden
lulu_burden
Mar. 3rd, 2006 06:59 am (UTC)

I love you. Thank you for being right there with me, baby.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...

I don't even know what to say...I am truely blessed to have you as my husband. I know that much is true.

I love you Paulie Wog, and as long as I got you by my side you're all I need.


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(Anonymous)
Mar. 9th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
socks

paul you talk alot... and sometimes its all fuzzy or jumbled like charlie browns teacher... but i still think your cute as a peanut butter sandwich sitting out in the rain ^^ anyways about the whole christian thing, as you may know im not a christian but i dont think steph should be judged wrongly by me or anyone because of that. i talked to her alot when i was up there asking her stuff and junk and stuff and then some more junk, and she is still steph.. it does throw people for a loop though when they have known you one way forever and then you up and change.. you know as well as i do people dont like change.. like david for example when i knew him in highschool he was all "fuck god" and then when i saw him around junior year he was all "i love god and puppies and junk" it was weird and i didnt know how to take it but as you see i dont care because david is a great person, regaurdless of whether our beliefs are the same or different i love the man, and i love steph... and i love diet coke, but above all i love socks! and thats whats important!
love you!
Ali


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catalyst_born
catalyst_born
catalyst_born
Mar. 10th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)

There is something in all of this that just doesn't seem to make sense to me. Perhaps if I try and read it when I haven't been up all night I will have a better perspective, but I don't know, I think there will still be a little needling something in me that wants to ask you some questions. However, don't for a second think that I don't respect you and your choices, they just aren't for me. So long as you are as willing to respect and accept other people's choices as (certain) other people are to accept yours, you're good with me. I see a lot of "christians" being terribly unaccepting and judgemental of other people's beliefs and attempting to spread their word as if it is the only one and the be all end all, those are the kind of religious people that I have a problem with.

I still wish you lived closer so I could pick your brain. Especially when you go and do things like this.


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vincentburden
vincentburden
vincentburden
Mar. 11th, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)

Hey, goober!
You are free to ask away with anything you wish!
The short of my conversion is this. I gave up spiritually. I just threw my hands up and said, to no one in particular, "..I'm done, you show me."
And in the coming weeks I was faced with alot of questions I had about Christ. And strangely enough, clear answers were given. I had to face a couple of real issues regarding Him. Either he was telling the truth or he wasn't. I said, "I'll have the most logical answer please." And I found it was not the easiest to accept. I started believing He is who He says he is.
Or to paint it more clearly:
When faced with this issue one day, I just kind of did a brain shut-off. I got in my car to go somewhere. When I got in, I didn't believe that Christ is the son of God. By the time I had gotten to where I was going, I did.
That's all I can say about it. I just cleared my head and found that I had started believing.
But as for the judgementalism and tolerance. I have to forgive. That's a rule. But I also have to be kind, tolerant, and I can't judge. Those are the other rules. If I condemn you or any other person for their beliefs, or lack of them, then I really condemn myself because (a) I used to think differently and (b) what kind of Christian is going to set a good example if all they do is say, "We hate you...with the love of Christ!!!" You know? I can't be that way. Christ talked and ministered to people who weren't followers and people who didn't even believe in the same God as the Jews. Well, if that is my example then I have to follow it.
If you want to know anything else (cause I gotta get some food!) then ask away. I like you alot, Jess. You are one of the most fun people (persons?) to talk to. I've never had a dull moment with you.
And I hope you'll keep one chatting with me.

-Bill S. Preston, esq.


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