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Archive for October, 2007

I didn’t believe in Purgatory until this week. Let me paraphrase the conversation. Use your imagination to increase the intensity of vocal and emotional inflection at each line break:

“I need to let you know that I love you, and I’m not mad, but what you said last weekend hurt me.”
“Why didn’t you tell me then?”
“I didn’t want to upset you.”
“I don’t want to be with someone who is afraid to talk to me.”
“You’re right, my bad. I will do better. But I’m saying it now, you hurt me.”
“So you’re upset at me telling you how I feel?”
“…”
“If you’re afraid to talk to me, then don’t say anything at all.”
“You’re proving my point.”
“I don’t wanna talk about this now.”
“First you’re mad for me not talking, now you’re mad that I am.”
“I don’t want to talk about it now. I have to go.”
“Can we talk about it Thursday night then?”
“I’d rather talk in person.”
“Are you coming over then?”
“No.”
“I can come out to you. Can we meet after you get off work?”
“No.”

And that would be that, but she will call again later today and apologize, and I will accept it and gravel myself.

So what did I do? I had flowers delivered to her work this afternoon. She thanked me in a text msg.

At least it makes for interesting reading. I have enough material for several good throw-away novels.

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I am currently going through a bit of a personal renaissance. Well, to be fair, it’s not exactly a recent phenomenon for me. It first started several years ago prior during a brief stint of unemployment, but then a new job and a bitter divorce pushed that aside for a while. As anyone who has gone through a less-than-friendly separation, especially when kids are involved, can tell you, it can take some time for the waves from the storm to die down and for you to get your head screwed back on straight. But I’m back…

In any case, aside from my online gaming addiction (no, not gambling), I have this intense hunger to learn and read and do more now. And, as life permits, I am doing just that. Of course the Word and God’s Spirit quickening me is how I define myself and that directs my focus. But at the same time, my intellectual curiosities lead me to explore a million different paths, a million different ideas, a million different worlds.

That is definitely not to say that I am in the least bit swayed in my faith because of it. Just because I read the Enuma Elish does not mean that I am going to suddenly begin worshipping Ea. Furthermore, I am not afraid of or discouraged by the fact that some scholars find parallels between the Babylonian creation story and the Creation story found in Genesis. Is it possible that both accounts share a common root? Does that suggestion, as some fellow fundamentalists fret over, cast a shadow of doubt over the Inspired nature of the Genesis Creation account? What if (and I know that this is a crazy thought) the Genesis account is true? (I’m not getting into the whole literal six days versus day-age; that’s for another day.) Is it possible that tales of God’s Creation of man had indeed been passed down verbally throughout the generations, and that Mount Sinai was the start of God setting the record straight? Yeah, I could go on for a while on that thought…

So why is it that people are so afraid to expand their minds? I recently purchased an English translation of the Bhagavad Gita. So someone might not have a problem with my reading the Enuma Elish, because everyone knows now that Ea and Tiamat and Apsu are not real. But there are plenty who believe that Brahma and Vishnu and Shiva are real, so by reading that I might be deceived, or so the reasoning goes, and so I’ve been cautioned.

What’s more – and forgive me for it, friends – I also enjoy reading fiction, including science fiction and ::gasp:: fantasy. After my current batch of contraband, I intend on reading some of the classic fictional works (Christian and secular) and philosophy. I’ve also got some modern historical works on the early church in the bullpen. Can someone please tell me where indulging in things that expand our understanding, our ability to reason, and fire our God given imagination are forbidden in Scripture?

As followers and disciples of Christ, we have His Spirit that bears witness that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As believers, we believe that He is the Word made flesh, the absolute Truth, the Beginning and the End. Likewise, we are called to be in the world, but not of it. We are called to study to show ourselves approved. We are called to be all things to all men so that by all means we might save some. Can we really accomplish that if we stick our heads in the sand and censor everything that does not align itself with our dogma? Do we really believe in Christ and His Scriptures, or do we only believe because it’s all we’ve been taught, or even because we refuse to consider the world around us? Have we caught only the slightest glimpse of His Glory, and then said “it is enough” and blinded ourselves from that point forward? If someone would come up to your average church-going Southern Baptist and challenge them about Babylonian and Egyptian influences in Judaism, or about supposed pagan origins for the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, Resurrection, and Trinity, how would they answer?

The Truth has nothing to hide.

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