I just want to write first that I hate the whole idea of blogs.
The whole pretentious I’m-nobody-but-I’ve-got-to-tell-you-about-my-boring-life-to-make-myself-appear-important shtick is flat-out lame.
I mean, just because we now have some medium that essentially allows any schmuck to publish his own international newspaper doesn’t make the news or editorials of any run-of-the-mill schmuck either interesting or edifying.
So that’s why my brother (in Christ) and I are only going to talk about the Good News and how the global power elite is trying to subvert it by killing half of us and enslaving the rest. It’s already started, if you haven’t noticed.
But I’m not really an authority on any of that stuff. My brother, though, is. Not that he’s in any position to directly see the writing on the wall, but he has to be the most amazing news magnet I’ve ever seen. So that’s the purpose of this blog. You won’t have to read about my kidney stones or the girl whom I’ve been chasing for three solid years and on whom my brother thinks I should have given up at least two and half years ago. You may, however, get a lot of commentary on theological reality, history, current events, and the possible state of affairs to come.
(Nevertheless, of schmucks, I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15 So if I ever let fly with petty stuff like how irritating I find gum-snappers, or how I find many girls who wear hoop or dangly earrings alluring but completely wrong for me, don’t comment that I didn’t warn you. Studs say ‘I’m gentle and deep.’ Anything that flaps around shouts brash yet boring. Don’t get me started on perms, dye, pointy shoes, massive pointless necklaces, or plastic purses.)
My brother is humble. When I told him I wanted to make a blog to which we would both contribute, he whined that he wouldn’t know what to write. I told him that, basically, he’d just have to tear apart anything dumb that I write (which will incite him, continuously, as I always have a score of holes in my argumentation). I guess the unique thing about our relationship as brothers in Jesus Christ (in addition to our not being your average white-bread-munching hymn-singing hypocritical Charlie do-gooders) is that we have a tendency to seem to disagree about everything under the sun, until we talk ourselves into complete agreement. There are a few things here and there on which we still have to agree to disagree, and those things will become clear as this blog progresses. But it is my firm belief, though we are just two more brothers among millions of Christians on this planet, that our ministry is strengthened when we bounce our thoughts off each other. So I’ll be X from here on in and my brother will be Y, and we’ll put either X or Y at the top of each entry so you know who’s who. Though, it should be obvious if our discourse is as complementary as I claim.
I’ll give you a little background information about how we became friends and Christians. We’re not clergy. My brother fixes and builds computers and I teach English in Asia. We grew up in the same home-town, and we had friends in common since we were born; yet we didn’t start to hang out until, for an English class assignment, we filmed a crude version of Romeo and Juliet at my house with some other friends our freshmen year of high-school. Then, right after high school, in our first year of college, we entered the ‘doors of perception’, together with our other friends. While our friends were goofing around we had a deep and level-headed talk. I didn’t come to any theological conclusions at that time, but I was left with a profound impression about my brother’s intellectual understanding of his faith. Initially, in high school, when I talked to him briefly about the Christian faith he’d received, I wrote it off as a life-preserver. (I stress the word ‘received’ because that’s what all true Christians understand about their belief that Jesus is God. That belief is given to us, like any other blessing.) He seemed like a man who just had a few problems at home and needed something to keep his head above water. Plus, at that time, after growing up in a conservative Jewish home, I had, after my Bar Mitzvah, concluded that the Jews were just a bunch of ignorant nomads, bereft of modern science, who pinned a bunch of extraordinary (but altogether natural) occurrences on divine miracles. However, the realm beyond the ‘doors of perception’, coupled with my brother’s insights, left me wondering if the world is (and was) as plainly natural as I had dismissed it. I vowed to myself to try to travel deeper and deeper into that realm until I found something that decisively proved or disproved my brother’s faith. I didn’t have to wait long for a revelation. Or, rather, at that juncture, what I thought was a revelation. I’ll stop the story here and let my brother continue for a bit.
Though, I don’t want to end with any apparent encouragement for anyone to enter these ‘doors of perception’. My faith exists despite (or is extraneous to) the realm to which they lead. That realm is not where God resides. Rather, he only attends to those who realize that they are completely helpless:
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Alternatively, becoming a psychonaut is a good way to end up, permanently perhaps, completely off your rocker, in an institution, shut away from functioning society. Not that there may not be some institutionalized people who are more keenly focused on the truth than any of us ‘sane’. Yet they certainly aren’t sharing those insights with the world at large. If you want to understand God’s ways, talk to people of all sorts of opinions, read books of many faiths, and pray. Eventually, with God’s blessing, you’ll be able to see the Bible as the only truly Holy book, and any creed that doesn’t revere Jesus as both Messiah and God as false. As I’ll mention later, some of the most astute people I’ve ever met never grasped the knobs of Huxley’s ‘doors’, only the knob of the door behind which stands the living god himself. Don’t take my word for it. Take His.
Revelation 3:19-21 New International Version (NIV) 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.