Sunday, December 30, 2012

Random Rambles As 2012 Closes

2012 has been a bizarre year. For me personally, a very up and down twelve months with a lot of blind corners and curveballs, with a sprinkling of pleasant surprises mixed in. Here's a few all-over-the-place rambles as we near the end of an all-over-the-place year...


If I asked you to describe your TV to me, I'd put the chances at slim and none you'd quote from the owner's manuel. You'd tell me its dimensions, what you like or dislike about its color, picture quality, et cetera. With that in mind, if I asked you to describe your God to me, could you do it without almost immediately quoting the bible - which is actually another man's interpretation of God from at least 2000 years ago? If this is true of you, you have more of a "relationship" with your TV than you do with God. Your "relationship", where religion is concerned, is with the bible, from which you quote the experiences and impressions of others with God, and not your own...likely because you have little that's convincing to draw from.


If you preach the "gospel" of identifying sin, and have a "no compromise" attitude about it, you're really nothing like Jesus at all, and in fact more like the people he preached at (note that I said "at" rather than "to"). Religiousness isn't righteousness.


When people call President Obama a Muslim, what they really mean is a "N*****".


If you homeschool for religious reasons (ANY religious reason), you're part of the problem with the whole deal. 


If you "do courtship"...stop being stupid. Please. Stop. You're being stupid.


We get much of our entertainment from watching non-intellectual people doing extremely non-intellectual things on reality shows, and then we get offended when people rightfully identify the American public at large as perhaps the most ignorant and under/ill-informed populace of any western society.


Never get your news from a source which promotes itself as "balanced". Life isn't balanced, which means the events in life (which comprise the news) aren't balanced. Any outlet offering you balanced news isn't offering you any news. News is no more balanced than truth is always found in the middle.


If gun violence is a "people problem" rather than a gun problem, why is meth illegal?


If you think whatever you buy at the gun and ammo store or gun show allows you to defend yourself against the federal government - you're just an ignorant dumbass. I'm not in favor of guns being taken away from law-abiding citizens, but I'm not so ignorant that I believe taking on the federal government with my rifles and such will end with me anything other than dead.


What does it say about our society that we grieve the brutal murder of 20 children by flocking to gun and ammo stores, in record numbers, to buy the exact same weapon used to murder them? It tells me that we see the federal government as a bigger threat to our culture (even without legitimate evidence) than we do the murder of 20 children (which we know actually happened). Nice job, extremism!


More often than not, the same people who believe the bible is the inerrant, infallible, perfect and inspired Word of God are the people making the most noise when Constitutional amendments are so much as brought up for discussion - as if the US Constitution is also inerrant, infallible, perfect, and inspired by God. How easily some will worship words on a piece of paper.


I catch a lot of flak from my Facebook status updates. Yes, many are controversial and inflammatory - as they're intended to be. Many people don't realize that I'm channeling my inner Andy Kaufman, knowing that you usually don't get an honest response on controversial issues until you get an emotional one. Someone asked on FB the other day, "How do you discuss cultural issues?" My response was, "By attacking sacred cows." Think about it. The foundations of our culture are its sacred cows. Go after those and people get emotional - and usually get honest in the process. Otherwise, everything is empty platitude.



Hope you guys have a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013.

11 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Lewis. I will mail you the finest tin foil cap I can find. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just love your writing style... and I'm hoping for more posts, more often in the future. Don't give up on it - and I'm sorry to hear about the difficult things of 2012. Hoping you have a great 2013.

    I really like your thoughts on our descriptions of our TVs vs. our descriptions of God. SOOOO true, and got me thinking... almost immediately, I would have answered with verses that pop to mind, but when I really think about it now, my answer would be ready to go if it comes up... "God has taught me much this year - He has freed me from bondage yet again, and the freedom I've been given has raised my spirits, given me purpose, and shown me that He truly is exactly the opposite of what I've always been taught." I don't feel guilty for anything anymore.

    Of course, I think if I did something truly wrong, I would feel guilty... but I mean, the things that AREN'T wrong, I no longer feel guilty for doing them, enjoying them, or for NOT doing them. I was yelled at quite harshly this last week for missing a couple weekends of church in the last two months - I was ill, incredibly stressed, and honestly knew I would hate going if I was only going because I'd feel guilty for NOT going.

    Make sense? It does to me, and I stood up for myself, explained myself calmly, and witnessed that person lose it and me stay in complete control of my emotions - until of course, I was told I was an awful, reclusive, self-obsessed, exclusive member of the family.

    Then, I lost it. But I stood up for myself and didn't attend my old, abusive church's Christmas Eve service, because I had already spent 12 hours at my church's Christmas program (which I participated in). Life is too good sometimes to be religiously addicted. And sometimes, we have to take the bad with the good, but I feel good about what I did and said and how I handled myself - and I don't feel guilty at all about it. That's because I'm saved by my Lord, He has set me free, and I don't live under the bondage of human interpretation of church anymore. That's not to say I don't attend... I do. I just don't attend when I know I'd feel guilty not attending. So, it evens out to about 3x/month, maybe 2x/month (for a couple years). My family absolutely HATES that, but I have learned so much through it - and besides, after writing all that - I realize I have much more to learn. Most of it was about church.

    Who around us actually talks about God in casual conversation and not about the pastor or the people they saw, or about the message? I'm not at that place yet, but if Jesus comes up in conversations, I can say honestly, "It's not about church, it's not about the Bible - it's about what Jesus has done in my life and what I know He will continue to do. He saved me when He died on the cross and was raised from the dead. He preached freedom from religious bondage. He rebuked the pharisees for being hypocrites and iron fists. He was gentle and helped those in need, who were often overlooked by others around. In my own life, I have begun to learn what freedom from religious bondage looks and feels like - and it's wonderful. I see pharisees and hypocrites all around me now... strangely mostly in the church... hard-working "non" Christians in the world who I was taught to be suspicious of (who I'm now around more often) are honest and forthcoming and friendly (NOT men with scary teeth).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved reading this, thanks for posting.

      Delete
  3. I'm seeing the world in a different light - just not being terrified to speak to a stranger anymore. I want to love others, not from a place of authority or pride, but as Christ loves them... with gentleness and helpfulness and courtesy. I WANT to be a great daughter of the King, because He is loving, kind, has a gentle rebuke and He has given His all for me - that I may be free from bondage and forgiven of my sins.

    Saying I love Him was difficult for me in 2012. I can see that changing as little by little He reveals more of His qualities to me, and hopefully through me. My pastor asked us to call him (the pastor) a sinner today. Being told to do that is huge for me. We were NEVER allowed to even think that of our pastors at my old church. Since I can call my pastor that, it gives me freedom to call myself that and NOT feel condemned, but encouraged... Christ has saved me. I am saved. I am free. Believe & Repent... that's all there is to it.

    I'm sure there are a gazillion things I don't understand and never will get. When you grow up a certain way, for 24 years, life just looks different from the other side. It's all squiggly, out of focus, murky,... but I'll pop the surface - probably when I die. But that's okay. I know because I know - and I know because I'm not alone figuring this out. God has been with me every step of the way - looking back, I can see that as a majorly wonderful thing about 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As always, right on the mark! Wish you would blog more often, but I guess less is more in your case :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great comments Lewis and surprise I find myself agreeing with every one of them, how things change!! I especially agree with the one on homeschooling which is a MAJOR change from the way I used to believe. I am now in my last year of homeschooling. Eleven years affiliated with this awful and destructive movement. I can't believe I am even using these words to describe it but I am, and I mean it! My youngest is now in a secular public virtual charter school learning "ungodly," read NORMAL, school subjects like science and we are all still working on turning our backs on the quasi-political right-wing cult that is Christian homeschooling in America! Thanks for speaking the truth no matter the cost, I know how hard that can be!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yay, Taunya!

    I just came back from visiting family, and my little sister (the one who is a vice president of a large city's electric utility, with an MBA, corner office, personal secretary and company car!)and my older sister (retired USArmy career soldier!) have replaced us. The madness that was brewed in the home school movement has now boiled over into more mainstream evangelical sources.

    My sister with the MBA works because her husband has decided she will continue working. He makes ALL the decisions, unilaterally. My educated, financially capable (but now her husband gets all her money) sister has checked her ability to think independently under the crazy notion that nothing pleases God more than wives submitting to their husbands as if the man were Christ himself. Insanity.

    She had an excellent public school education, but her children will continue to go to Christian school so that "the people teaching will all be people who love the Lord". All be people drinking the Kool-Aid, she should say.

    And my retired sister- my military officer sister!- lamented that the Supreme Court is taking away our freedom of religion by not allowing Hobby Lobby to demand their employee health insurance exclude birth control pills. This woman knows birth control pills have other uses- she had endometriosis she started birth control pills in her teens to control the disease. She still later had to have a total hysterectomy when she was in her thirties.

    Insane! Here I am, just escaped, and these women are jumping into the crazy and pulling the covers over their head. What an upside down world we live in.

    So, congrats again. Long live freedom.

    SS

    ReplyDelete
  7. Shadowspring that is exactly what we are seeing in our area. The lunacy has seeped into mainstream evangelical Christianity so much so that I will no longer describe myself as an evangelical Christian. To me that term is synonymous with "right-wing cult." I am amazed at how many "extras" are added to the list in order to consider oneself a "true evangelical" these days. Everything from females checking their brains at the door to homeschooling, having the right to own assault weapons that will blow out the brains of at least twenty people in less than two minutes, hating anyone whose skin is darker than a pale pink, and believing the poor are the reason the U.S is in decline.

    Honestly it's crazy and it is really taking off among conservative Christians. What used to be popular among a small segment of the most wacko homeschoolers is now commonplace in your typical conservative Christian church. My family is glad to turn our backs on it all in a desperate attempt to save our faith! These people are no more Christian than the Muslims they love to hate!

    ReplyDelete
  8. maybe not a muslim or christian prob a decolonizer

    ReplyDelete
  9. "What does it say about our society that we grieve the brutal murder of 20 children by flocking to gun and ammo stores, in record numbers, to buy the exact same weapon used to murder them?"

    It says we want protection. Which type of school do you think is more likely to be attacked? One with a sign that says "Gun Free Zone" or one with a sign that says, "Staff is armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force." And btw, if we see murder of children as gruesome and awful, I find it hard to believe how so many bleeding-heart anti-gun folks voted for a guy fixated on killing babies-including if they survived their horrendous abortion (yes, I know you didn't vote him, just saying this is nothing a Christian can wink at).

    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete