I have very little to say. But I am doing well on this idea of listening to other music. I've been downloading some, though some of it's proven quite hard to find. Particularly Kiwi artists. I'm looking forward to getting some CDs for Christmas.
'Middle-class religion is uncomfortable with Kierkegaard's method for truth. The middle class likes things under control. Its people are rational and want a religion that makes life easier and happier. They buy religious books that reduce Christianity to a reasonable plan for successful living. They seek out churches that promise a healthy, optimistic Christianity. Kierkegaard seems diametrically opposed to all of this. His religion is a call to suffering. His truth is discovered through despair. His form of Christianity is out of sync with the culture. Middle-class religion explains what a person is supposed to think, but it fails to make people into Christians. It invites a person to accept reasoned-out, propositional statements about God but leaves him/her unconverted. It deludes people into believing that they are Christians if they give intellectual assent to theological statements. Kierkegaard contends that one can believe that there was a man named Jesus who lived two thousand years ago, was crucified dead and buried, rose again on the third day, and is coming again in glory - and still not be a Christian. He would ask the would-be Christian if he/she knows Jesus personally, if he/she has, through despair, come to a point in which there was a total surrender to a transforming encounter with the Jesus who is ressurrected and therefore waiting to be encountered here and now. A major thrust of Kierkegaard's writings is an affirmation of the good news that Jesus is alive and is therefore the individual's contemporary.'
'Coming to know Jesus is no easy process like walking down the aisle of a church during "invitation." Knowing Jesus does not come about by uttering a little prayer requesting Him to come into the heart. Kierkegaard would have only scorn for those evangelists who would reduce the ultimate Christian experience to something less than the crucifixion of one's selfhood. To take the suffering and despair out of the salvation experience is to strip it of its power and validity.'
'According to Kierkegaard, mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity.'
'It is hard to imagine the anger and sarcasm that Kierkegaard would vent on the churches of modern America. He would despise the middle-class morality which we propagate as Christian ethics, and ridicule our lack of passionate commitment to becoming what Jesus is.'
'The contemporary evangelical church has taken Christ's radical demand and reduced the call of Christian self-giving to tithing. Instead of surrendering all to Christ and giving all to the poor in His name, the middle-class Christian is required only to set aside 10 percent of his/her income, duly receipted for tax purposes, in order to be a faithful disciple of Jesus ... Kierkegaard expected to be the oject of ... condemnation from the church leaders in his day because he believed that the message of Jesus Christ is always an offense to the comfortably religious members of society.
The Disturbing Dane, as Kierkegaard has been called by several modern theologians, condemns Christians who spend millions of dollars on buildings to honour One who told us that He does not dwell in temples made with hands. He sees something incongruous about a church in which people sit in cushioned pews, in sanctuaries where sunlight streams through stained-glass windows, listening to velvet-robed clergymen reading from gilded copies of the Bible ... In the face of such an incongruity, Kierkegaard asks why nobody laughs. He would say that it is one thing to love the wretched of the earth so much that one is willing to sacrifice everything for them, but it is quite another thing to expect to earn $25,000 a year describing somebody who sacrificed everything for them.
'It is no surprise that Kierkegaard is considered dangerus by many. He is called an extremist, an antirational, and even an ethical relativist. He stripped bare the pretension of the middle-class clergy. He exposed the smugness of the properly religious. He humiliated Christendom by contrasting its ethics and morality with the requisites of Scripture. He ridiculed the Jesus of the bourgeoisie by contrasting him with the Jesus of history.'
Uh ... why won't AIM work? I get offline to let Robby use the phone, hop back on about 30 minutes later, and it won't work. I try everything to get it to run, and the daft thing just does NOTHING. Grr.
Ah, there we go. Good computer.
--- 2:36 ---
Am I the only person who finds the following sickeningly arrogant? I smell the foul stench of holier-than-thou Christianity ...
At church tonight we had a prayer service and my youth pastor showed a video on something I wanted to share with you all. It's called the 30-Second Kneel-Down and teens all over the country are taking 30 seconds at the beginning of their school day to kneel down in front of their locker and say a prayer for their peers and teachers to come to know Christ and for God to sweep America again. I know that it is a challenge, but I know that if we go all out for God and don't care what others think, He will bless us. Wouldn't it be amazing if we all started doing this? God can use us in ways we never imagined. Pray about it, and tell me what you all think.
--- 3:44 ---
So I was just about to get offline when I checked my friends page and found something, so I frantically signed back onto AIM, but I was too fucking late. TOO. FUCKING. LATE.
--- 9:07 ---
I still feel sick. Terrible. And ... and ... I fucking saw her online earlier, but I didn't say a fucking word and I fucking should've ... and oh good one Andre.
On a more positive note, earlier today I completed an article. It's a proper article format of my 'Some thoughts' post of earlier this week.
An Attempted Proof Of Christianity
By Andre Axver
Some theories 'click' with some people but don't with others. This is the fact of the matter, and what makes sense to me may not make any sense whatsoever to you. This means that I cannot guarantee the following proof will prove anything to you or others. It works in my mind, but may not in yours. Hence, I do not claim to have "the answers" or to be able to prove Christianity beyond a shadow of a doubt FOR YOU, but I can do it in MY mind, and mine alone. With that said, allow me to continue with the proof without any further ado.
I personally do not understand the universe, and from this lack of understanding stems my faith. However, my lack of understanding is not merely that, but actually from a series of thoughts. We'll begin at a simple point: everything is contained in the universe. There is not even space outside it. There is a complete absence of matter of any kind. All that can possibly exist is contained within the universe, and entirely nothing is beyond it because ALL is in it. Indeed, there isn't even nothing beyond it because there is not one thing beyond it whatsoever - it is all there can possibly be. One scientific theory is that the universe is constantly expanding outwards. But this theory leads to a difficulty - if the universe is continually expanding, what is it expanding into? Something cannot occupy a new space unless there was already a space there to begin with. If there is no space that can be occupied, then the something cannot occupy it, and by this reasoning, there is nothing for the universe to expand into.
However, if we are going to allow that the universe is somehow expanding, then we must also look into the past, for, if it is expanding as we head forward into the future, then it must be contracting as we head backward into the past. It continues to get smaller and smaller over the reversing of the years until it reaches its starting point, its origin, where it is merely a blip of matter, the only blip in existence. When we expand this back out, the universe grows, the planets form, and life evolves. This is where a barrier is hit. Personally, I cannot accept evolution. Not because of any emotional attachment to creation - I was once an evolutionist - and not because I believe such a belief is non-Christian - a Christian who believes in evolution is just as saved as a creationist - but because, through my personal observations, I cannot accept a simple evolution with no God involved. How can planets, particularly large ones such as Jupiter - form? More importantly to my way of thinking, how can a human form? How is it that from a blip of a starting point that somehow randomly came into existence, the complexity of the human eye and the animation of the human brain formed? How can human life possibly come from sludge, how can we all be descendents of prehistoric microbes, how could've I been born? Stand next to a mound of mud. There's NO similarity between yourself and the mud. It's inanimate, you're animate. It's not got organs like you do, and doesn't even have the capacity to acquire them. It doesn't have anything that could remotely form into such a complex thing as the human eye or ear. So how is it that the eye or ear formed? This practical observing has lead me to believe that evolution is not and cannot be fact.
By now, a point has been reached whereby it is irrelevant whether the universe is expanding or not. If it's expanding, then it was once a simple nothing and it could not have expanded to this stage of such complex life because evolution simply does not work and defies logic. But if it's not expanding, where did it come from, how did it start off in this state? Whether it's currently expanding or not, something HAD to have brought it into existence. There is a necessity for a god. Either the universe was fully made or made in some way - i.e. creation - or evolution was guided by this god - theistic evolution. In the former, God created and then set everything into action, remarkably akin to The Sims. On this computer game, you build a house, place inside it all necessities and other objects to fulfill desires and wants, and then let loose your simulated people and allow all natural processes to happen while you retain a measure of control that, although absolute, gives your people freedom, and over time you can make and/or plan required changes. This can be applied in a similar fashion to creation, whereby God creates and sets everything into action, retaining absolute power over His creation while giving humanity freedom, and He guides history according to his plan. In the latter, there is a similar form of God-guidance. He creates the original blip of evolution and then sets all evolutionary processes into action, guiding them and allowing growth, intervening to allow the impossible - such as an inanimate object becoming animate - to happen. It's not random evolution, because this has been shown to be simply impossible, a ludicrous scenario that defies basic laws: it is instead a controlled, guided process. I personally favour creation over evolution, but both are the plausible scenarios that remain for how life came about and both require a supreme being. Seeing that the two scenarios for how life came about have this requirement, then it can be seen that a supreme being, a god, is in existence.
No bickering is required over whether theistic evolution or creation is correct because it's entirely irrelevant. The necessity of a god has been demonstrated, so how can one be sure one is believing in the one true diety and not a false creation causing one to miss the truth? Basically, because only one can be true - relativism can be instantly discounted because, through a simple comparison, most major religions are incompatible with each other, picking and choosing is effectively making up your own religion, and God would not reveal Himself in fragments in various religions, but in only ONE. I believe that in Christianity, one can see God, and I shall bring evidence for this later. In comparison, in Islam, I see the desires of Muhammad. In Buddhism, I see the thoughts of a man who'd turned against the world and never even claimed to be divine - indeed, the entire Buddhistic religion collapses on that point because Buddha denied that he was divine. He was a philosopher, a thinker, but he was neither divine or a prophet. What he devised was philosophic musing rather than a system of faith or a new religion. And if Buddhism is to be accepted as a religion, then it is one without a single god, just like many other eastern religions. Any faith system that believes the following can be instantly written off as being factual;
1. A faith system that does not believe there is a god.
This does not just include atheism, but also faith systems that state humanity can reach a stage of enlightenment and perfection. Why is this discarded? Because it has been shown above that the world HAD to be brought into existence by a god, so there HAS to be one.
2. A faith system that believes all is god and god is all.
This is a very New Age-y and Eastern belief. Quite frankly, I know I'm not God and neither are you. I'm imperfect and hardly on the level of being God. And if all is God, that means vile, evil people such as Hitlet constitute a portion of God, which simply does not make sense. Neither is nature God. We cannot be "connected" with the land on a spiritual, Godly level because it is merely an inanimate object over which God controls and which God made, not actually God itself. To elaborate on this point, a quote from G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy;
"If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden. For the obstinate reminder continued to recur: only the supernatural has taken a sane view of Nature. The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism, and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a step-mother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity. Nature was a solemn mother to the worshippers of Isis and Cybele. Nature was a solemn mother to Wordsworth or to Emerson. But Nature is not solemn to Francis of Assisi or to George Herbert. To St. Francis, Nature is a sister, and even a younger sister: a little, dancing sister, to be laughed at as well as loved."
A final point to be made is that by simple logic, nature cannot be God because God brought nature into existence. I have shown before that God had to CREATE the universe. If God created the universe, He can't actually BE the universe.
3. A faith system that believes there are multiple gods.
God is the ultimate perfect being. There cannot be two or more, because they negate each other out. How can you have one being that's perfect and another that's perfect as well? At some point, there will be a disagreement and/or one will have superiority over the other, but this is impossible because perfection cannot disagree with itself and something cannot be higher than itself because it IS itself. Or if, somehow, they are in continual agreement, then they are effectively one. If they are of one mind, if they are both the sheer definition of perfection (which God is), then there is just one, not two or more, for they are of the same nature.
With faith systems denying that there is a god, believing all is god and god is all, or believing in multiple gods discounted, there are few remaining religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As stated above, Islam is comprised of the desires of Muhammad. Influenced by the monotheistic ideas of Christianity and his own human desires (and most likely communication with fallen angels), he created the religion of Islam. I have written more in depth articles on this issue, but Islam is simply unacceptable as the religion giving God's true desires. If God is real, then is it reasonable to state that His desires would be different to ours for the desires of a perfect being would not be the same as sinful beings whose imperfection restricts them from being able to attain any element of perfection. And yet Allah, his desires are hardly those of a perfect being - Muhammad's male desires can be seen clearly in him. The one true God certainly would not permit the rampant violence, hate, lust, and all-round sin that Allah does. In the Islamic heaven, those who die for Islam - suicide bombers and the like, and this is only for males, there is no equivalent 'reward' for females - receive seventy-two virgins (the figure is open to debate) to do whatever they please with. Yes, Islam actually claims that the one true God permits those who have made it to Heaven to commit unrestricted, rampant fornication in a place meant to be of morals, purity, and perfection. This notion destroys Islam, for the one true God would not permit such a thing.
This leaves Judaism and Christianity by themselves. Christianity is effectively an extension of Judaism, and it is hard to accept the Judaism we have today after reading the Messianic prophecy of the Old Testament and the gospels and other writings about Jesus in the New Testament. It is hard to believe that the Jews of Jesus' time missed Him, but miss Him they did. This leads me to conclude that Christianity has the facts, that it is the epitome and zenith of Judaism, and that while what we know as Judaism today has some of the facts, it is not complete. This leaves Christianity as the one remaining religion, the one true religion.
I'm going to completely redesign my website. Indeed, to save time, I'll just get a new one. I love free Geocities websites, even if they're a pain in the backside to work with.