Let us focus.
I listen to music. And when I do, I dance around lifting weights. I, also, daydream. That's the important part. My music-listening weight-lifting daydreams can be (almost always are) amazingly repetitive. I go back in time to the days of my youth and become wildly rich and successful by playing Rock Music. Specifically, I tend to imagine myself as a teenager, singing the song I am listening to. Needless to say, since I have amazingly good taste and the songs I listen to are almost always pop (in one sense of the word or another), it's not hard to imagine that the populace of the past agrees with me (in that, this really is a good song) and I become a Rock Legend. Of course, I'd probably have to learn how to play the guitar, keyboard, or something to make this all a reality if I went back in time; but the fact that I am musically retarded (perhaps, illiterate would be kinder) is completely beside the point, as the lack of a time-machine seems to be the real deal-breaker for this particular fantasy.
Of course, if there is a point to any of this (which there is), it's that I am not engaging those songs, my daydreams, or this or any other future essay I might write in this section (call them Religious Rants, if you will) from the basis of reality. These essays do not begin or end in reality. I, really, do not care that much about reality. So, feel free to claim they are UnTrue and fail to describe God's Will. I do not care... nor do I think, very much, does God.
Anyhow, there I am, some sort of Rock G-g-gosh! I was almost going to commit some sort of Mortal Sin, which really is no way to begin a religious tract. So, let's just say I was dreaming about being a Rock Legend and call it a day.
Thus (and to recap), on this particular day (as I think I may have mentioned), I was daydreaming about playing that trio of Christian Rock Songs. And so, I crafted (in my imagination) a suitable Christian Rock Outfit for myself: combat boots (I find it easiest to describe outfits from the ground up, so next comes the), ripped black jeans (currently, they are all the rage, so no need to search for the inspiration), a thick black leather belt (much like the one I currently favour), and a white (missionary style) buttoned down dress shirt, open at the collar (I waiver on how many buttons should be left undone) revealing a silver cross... of the type a Christian Rocker from the Early Eighties or a grown man (seriously, act your age) from the End of Times (call it the modern age) might imagine a younger version of himself wearing.
Actually, I might just find myself a nice silver cross one of these days, so I have the costume ready for the next time I feel like role-playing, because (as you will soon see, it is often/always the case with me that) things get more and more twisted.
The short version (of the daydream) includes the Rock Legend (we are going to have to find a stage name for this guy, I do believe) doing interviews with various television celebrities. Personally, I prefer being a guest (in the coveted Friday night slot) on The Late Show with Johnny Carson and/or making an appearance (Friday afternoon, I presume would be best) on The Oprah Winfrey Show for my make-believe television interviews. And clearly, being a Christian Rock Legend, the subject of Christianity might arise in any such interview. As such, please let me assure you (that should you be a booking agent for either of the above mentioned shows), I have been practising what I would say if asked about Christianity for a good long week now. It's not nearly long enough, of course. But it's a start.
For those who do not like twisted and convoluted ways of saying things (this might not be the best website for you, but still), another way of saying all (and I do pretty much mean all) of the preceding is that I started thinking about Christianity, recently. And since that is the dominant religion of my culture, I have (thought about My Lord & Saviour) before. And I am sure I will do so again. Thus (and this is me thinking out loud, here, for theatrical effect), maybe a few pages on my website devoted to the philosophy might be in order.
On the other hand, that last is really jumping the gun a bit, because if nothing else, the character still needs a name. Oddly (well, it is a bit odd to me), when coming to terms with a name (it's a process of give and take, suggestion and rejection, until something sticks and it just feels right), I jumped genres completely (from daytime talk-show guest) and started to think more along the lines of what would be a good name for an ultra-religious comic book character. But then, that's not entirely accurate, either. You see, I was thinking of a name and the first name I came up with was The Minister. And just as soon as I came up with that name, I realized that it was so obvious that it had to be the name of some comic book character somewhere, already. I mean, it has to be. How could it not be? And I'll even posit that this character (The Minister) is some sort of Skeletal Undead Zombie Preacher Guy, who carries around a pair of six-shooters, a shotgun, or a Winchester... or more than likely, all three. And he likes to solve his problems (of which I am sure he has many) by quoting random scripture (the accuracy of which would be totally secondary to the story; and I'm guessing, equally unimportant to reader and writer alike) and shooting Evil Doers Dead!
"Go back to the Gates of Hell..."Ah, but he packs a pair of six-shooters, so we are missing a few lines of dialogue, yet:
"From whence you spawned!"
"For The Lord..."
"And the heathen, weak!
<Ka-Blamo!>There we go. I think we have the splash page (by which I mean a full -- or double -- page action shot, you non-fanboy un-geek, you) for the best selling comic book of the same name:
"Thus sayeth The Lord."
The End of Times
So (since it was so obvious there must already be a character called The Minister out there), The Minister quickly became The Minister of The Lord to avoid any copyright hassles. And thus, the true name for the aforementioned comic book would be:
The End of Times
inks and lettering
But even that seems like something I might see at a comic book shop (i.e. it didn't seem rarefied enough), so I added a few additional words (for the sake of adding a few additional words, without adding any real meaning), finally settling upon: The Minister of The Lord God in Jesus Christ Who Preaches Sporadically And Erratically.
Of course, to really say the name right (all proper like) one needs to imagine some sort of Half-Dead Skeletal Preacher Man from the Old West introducing himself (all slow and Southern like) with a drawl courtesy of some loose flesh (so, maybe, all zombie like would be a more accurate description), made all the slower on account of our hero (anti-hero, or just straight-out no-account bad guy) having a total lack of concern with the passage of time: this last being due to the fact that he is the one who holds the upper hand (and/or heavy artillery) during the following introductory speech.
"They call me The Minister... of The Lord... God... in Jesus... Christ... Who Preaches... Sporadically... And Erratically."Please note the difference between a single shot of the old six-shooter (<Ka-Blamo!>) and the sound of two guns going off at once: <Ka-Blam-Blam!>.
"And you're going straight back to the Hell from whence you came."
It's a subtle but important distinction.
Thus (a mere twenty-four shots later; and if that seems random, let me count it up for you: two exchanges, with two guns, holding six bullets each), we have a name!
We, also, have a costume: black jeans, a white button-down dress shirt opened at the collar, and a silver cross... along with a worn double-wide black belt and combat boots, which are of secondary importance and not completely required when putting together a Minister of The Lord costume... the six-shooter gun being optional... and not allowed at most of your major conventions, anyway.
Oh, also, while I'm at it, you can tell the difference between the comic book version and talk show interview version of the character based on the number of six-shooters The Minister wears. Anything less than two and (it is clear) our comic book hero is in some Parallel Universe where he is some sort of Pansy Christian Rocker.
"Oh, you want music?"And I hope (to High Heaven, may all bless his name), we all realize that by including such ridiculous examples in my opening monologue I'm indicating that I will not be taking myself too seriously in the essays to come.
"A song which leaves two shots left for you, Demon Scum!"
I don't take much too seriously.
I, certainly, do not take Christianity very seriously, as I am not a believer.
I do not believe in God.
And I do not believe in Jesus Christ.
But in all truth, the jury is sort of out on God. So, let's take a closer look at that. I talk to God. Sometimes, I pray. But I don't have any faith in the construct. See, someone else (perhaps, you) may come up with some perfectly valid Proof of the Existence of God that if I were them (or you), I might buy. But I am not them (or you), so I do not buy it. And even if the same sort of Revelatory Experience were to happen to me (personal visitation by Angels or what have you), I do not believe that I would become a believer based on the experience alone. Of course, all I'm really saying is that I have never had a conversion experience... which is sort of exactly what someone (anyone) might expect from someone who is not a believer. I'm sure there will be plenty of other entries on this topic, so I don't need to belabour the point. I'd be happy if God existed. But he hasn't bothered to pick up the phone and call me. And I don't have his number. So, I'm fumbling in the dark, here.
It (whatever it is) is not really as simple as all that. God is part of me. He's... or She's... or It's a part of my being. But I think that part of my being would still be there (more or less unchanged) whether or not He, She, or It existed or not.
So, I don't deny The Universe. And if you want to say God is synonymous with The Universe. Fine. But it's just semantics to me. And if you want to call this, that, or the other thing God (say the subconscious or some sort of Collective Cultural Conspiracy, by which I mean our collective notion of morality, fair play, ethics, and so on God), then I probably (just probably) won't bother to deny that either. But if you're going to claim God is some sort of self-conscious omnipotent entity that cares about me... well, that could be true, but it's probably not. But, heck! let's face it. It just doesn't make any difference, which version of reality is true, as I'm simply not going to live my life differently (and certainly have not lived it differently to date: I mean, could I even if I wanted to) based on the Truth of the matter, as I'm simply not a believer. See, a person would have to believe in the Truth for the Truth to matter enough to a person for that person to change their life (style) based on some (aforementioned) Truth.
It's just logical sparring, of course, as there is no Truth.
Anyhow, that's what I believe: that there is no Truth, no God, no Savior, no nothing by way of Worldly Guidance on how to live one's life.
One is all alone.
Still, I pray.
And I'll hedge my bets... by putting larceny and murder on the back-burner for as long as possible.
But the truth is that I'm not living my life as if I believed in God... and it doesn't look to me like most of my compatriots are, either.
So, that's God.
Jesus, on the other hand, just doesn't F'ing exist. I mean, fine. Some guy, who was called Jesus, lived 2,000 years ago. I can hang with that. It's no biggie. I mean, I think I had a gardener at one time, who was named Jesus. So, assuming it's a familial name, and son is named for father, I'm sure he can trace his lineage back. Obviously, I'm being a bit flippant, here. After all, my gardener was Hispanic (as all the best imaginary gardeners are), while Carpenter Dude was a Jew Boy (good stock, that), so... well, I guess there could have been some intermarriage down the line, so... um, that's a bad example.
The point is (was and forever shall be) that a guy who lived 2,000 years ago (or even an imaginary gardener, introduced for comedic effect, mere moments ago) doesn't have any mystical magical powers that I don't have. So, like, either Jesus didn't exist, he was a schizophrenic, or every other human being could (and can) do whatever he could do. And either the stories about him are vastly overstated... or you, me, and everyone else on this planet (including gardener boy) has... um, let us just say, a bunch of untapped potential.
'I'm the Son of God.'I'm not here to argue with you. And trust me, you are not going to change my mind. Oh, God could... if He existed... and He wanted to weigh in on the subject. He could most certainly change my mind. But so far, He hasn't bothered to reach out.
'So what? Everybody is, dude.'
And the shorthand version of all this (not that these essays are about the short hand version) is that I am a non-believer.
I do not believe.
So, if you are a believer, and you are offended by my heresy. First, let me apologize. There is a reason this page is called an Apologetic. And second, realize that I've had countless conversations with folks like you (or at least, true believers) and none of them could convert me, so you're not likely to convert me, either. But then, you see, I give you a gift in that. I'm going to try and tell you where I am coming from. So if you really want to meet me halfway, you stand half a chance of getting there. And so, before you try (to convert me, him, or that other guy), you can take a deep breath and realize that without the Grace of God (and His hand upon my heart, soul, or whatever), it just ain't gonna happen.
I mean, if God exists and He can't (or won't be bothered) to convert me, what chance do you have?
So, once again, non-believer, here.
But then, I am Christian in some sense... and a very devout Christian, at that. No, I don't believe in Christ. I think the stories are hooey and The Bible is so much hokum. But you will note the capitalization throughout (this section of my website, at least, not so much in the others). And I like going to church. I really do. I like being in churches. I just think that most of what Mr Preacher Man has to say (or Mrs Preacher Woman, as there do seem to be quite a few of those these days) is so much nonsense... basically, every story that focuses on The Miracles or Christ is just make-believe, a bit of story-time.
It's actually a weird sort of experience for me to attend a church service. In that, I do not believe the Christian Mythology from beginning to end.
But I like the idea of The Good. And if you believe God is synonymous with The Good (or you'll grant me that He is for argument's sake equivalent to The Good), then I think we'll get along fine, all hunky-dory like.
Of course, I don't know what The Good is any more than the next person.
And I think that will be the tie in to the last idea I want to touch upon in this opening segment, an idea I've already touched upon briefly.
I don't believe in God.
I don't believe in Jesus.
And I don't believe in Truth, The Truth.
Seriously, humans have such a hard time conversing with one another, even if we all held the same Truth, we'd still never agree on what that Truth was. But even more than that, I do not believe Truth exists. I do not believe that it is real.
I'm saying, for all practical purposes, the world is an illusion, reality is a lie.
You don't have to agree with me. You can have a truth... or your truth. It's just that I think if you could see The Truth and I could see The Truth, we would not be seeing the same thing... nor would we have a particularly easy time in communicating to each other what we saw.
So, like (in these essays), My Truth is part of what I bring to the table... even if I am humble enough to know that My Truth is not The Truth... and that My Truth varies so much from moment to moment calling it a truth or even My Truth is a wild exaggeration.
I'm not really Preaching here.
I'm floundering here.
But I think that's the human condition. And what differentiates me (or The Minister of The Lord, if you prefer) from your normal Preacher Man is that I know I am drowning.
Taken a bit further, it means I don't think I have a solution. And more than that, I don't think there is a Solution... a Way... or any of that nonsense.
We are all the blind leading the blind.
It's not exactly wise to learn how to swim from a drowning man.
But then, what I just said (I am an ignorant Mo-Fo) is a lot more poetic (and a lot more accepting of God's Creation, if you'll allow me to be a hypocrite for a second and invoke His name), as if there is no Truth and if there is no Solution (or Word or Way or Message or Gospel or What Have You), then that means there is no Problem.
The World is as intended.
God's Creation is a wonderful beautiful thing to behold.
The World IS.
And The World is Perfect, for it reflects God's Will.
Eh, that's probably not clear.
Hence, the essay's to come.
Suffice to say, Reality is. And it's what God Created (even if I don't believe that nonsense, not fully). And this is my interpretation of that Reality through the lens of Christianity (True Christianity), as I see it, keeping in mind that I am a non-believer. So, what do I know about Christianity, let alone, True Christianity?
So, yeah. I'm likely a Heretic.
And it's OK if you think I am a Heretic.
Because The Lord knows, he's been calling me a Heretic for about as long as I can remember.
So, maybe, just maybe, spouting a bit of that Good Old Fashioned Heresy was why the Good Lord created me in the first place.
And maybe, yeah, just maybe, the reason the Good Lord directed your eyes to this page was for... well, that really is for you to decide, isn't it?
Whatever the case, have a Good Day!
And for the moment, I do believe, I have said enough.