Axver (axver) wrote,

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I make long entries. Some unexpectedly go in religious directions.

The Unforgettable Fire
You are THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE! You're sometimes
overlooked, but you have qualities that
everyone else should envy. Everyone may not
know you, but those who do will never forget

Which U2 Album Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Promenade/4th Of July/Bad = atmospheric perfection.

I think I need to stop going to Interference. Twice in two days, I've thought "I hate U2," and not because of anything U2 have done, but because of STUPID things people have said on there. BULLET THE BLUE SKY IS NOT FUCKING SEXY!

Thursday is such a bludge day sometimes, though I have discovered that it is entirely necessary for the school to have an Internet filter. It's not working at the moment, so I quite enjoyed wasting a study lesson and Modern History on LJ and Interference. It was lucky that my connection to the school's network died in my second study period, otherwise I would have kept wasting time.

German is not the language for me. I'm dying to study Latin next year.

SOR is the best class ever. Absolutely none can top it. Today, I walked in before Johnno arrived, sat down ... and then everyone else came in, pushed all the desks and chairs to the side of the room, and sat on the floor. I decided to join in on the fun and resisted the conformity by staying at my desk ... which wasn't to last long. I think it was Stuart and Ash who had the bright idea to move me. One second, I was staring directly at the board with everyone sitting on the floor behind me, next I was hanging onto a chair as my desk vanished from in front of me, and then I found myself stumbling to keep my feet, with my chair and desk well and truly gone.

So I sat at Johnno's desk.

When Johnno walked in, he found everyone besides me and Robert sitting in the centre of the class in a circle - Robert was sitting at a desk in the circle, while I was at Johnno's desk, engrossed in a Time magazine - and then Johnno decided to join the circle. It turned into a wonderful lesson where Johnno talked about topics such as Soren Kierkegaard. I'm yet to decide who's more intelligent or wiser - Johnno or Kierkegaard. Every time Johnno goes on one of his talks, I find myself in awe of some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth, but Kierkegaard ... I can relate to him so well, especially his disdain for the church. "It is easier to get a non-Christian to accept Christianity than it is to get a Christian to accept Christianity." "Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." Isn't that true? I love Kierkegaard because he is prepared to tackle reality and declare that Christianity requires suffering. Denying yourself involves a hefty bit of suffering. I see people who get up on chapel and proclaim how great it is to be a Christian, and I've heard of preachers telling people that if they become a Christian, all their troubles are over ... and I have to wonder, do they even know what religion they're talking about? Have they read the Bible? The road of life is narrow ... there will be trials and tribulations in the world ... turning the other cheek hurts.

I wish Johnno would talk on chapel, I truly do. His message won't be popular. A lot of people won't listen to what he says and either ridicule him or label him as boring. I don't give a shit. He's someone who I can deeply respect and who I'm prepared to listen to. He knows what he's talking about and he isn't just going to harp on about how great things are. Newsflash: things are NOT great. If you think Christianity is some tool for you to use so that you can stand in front of people, smile, pat yourself on the back, tell everyone God loves them, and then trivialise Jesus' sacrifice, then you have something else coming to you.

Success isn't winning. It isn't about getting into Heaven or accruing wealth or being holy. Success is realising that victory is inconsequential. Victory, as we perceive it, is one person raising themselves above another through competition and receiving all the glory. Christianity stands against that. You cannot tell me Jesus' death was a victory. If you want to be really correct, it's probably the most embarrassing defeat in history. People, Jesus lost. He hung on a cross and bled until he died. He didn't succeed - he was a hopeless, lifeless failure. But victory proved to be inconsequential. From defeat and death came an abundance of life.

People seem to miss this point quite often. They don't want to feel like they believe in someone who totally and utterly lost. Some - including myself in the past - have labelled Jesus' resurrection as the greatest victory of all time, but a victory implies there is a loser. A victory implies someone is raised up as a champion, to the detriment of someone else. Just watch some sport and you'll see what I mean! But who lost when Jesus was resurrected? Were there any losers at all? I would say no.

A somewhat related point is that I regularly hear "God loves you," or even more precisely, "I know you hear this a lot, but God really does love you." The translation is "I don't want to sound like a dumbarse, so I'm going to use a self-protecting preface for an over-used statement that has been renderred somewhat meaningless through over-usage." There's only so many times you can abuse God's love before people simply become immune to the message. There's only so many times you can present a flaky religion before people see the harsh wind come along and blow the positive house of cards to the ground. I don't think many people really understand God's love, and even fewer would say they feel it. I definitely do not claim to be one of the latter, and I'm not arrogant enough to claim to be one of the former. Whatever the case, I often see people creating lists of priorities - God first, family second, others third, self last. Nice concept, but who lives it? Don't lie to me - I know most, if not all of you don't. Such a list of priorities misses the point anyway. Throwing people together on a list and ranking them is not only demeaning, it takes away from each of them as well.

So get rid of the list. It's the 'God only' theory - God is the one and only priority. The logical extension of this is that you will do exactly what God commands, and give others much more than you would have given them if you had thrown them onto a list. You can give unconditionally because you have received unconditionally. Johnno gave an example where you work for a millionaire, and he will offer you a handsome wage if you simply feed a dog. The dog may try to bite you, it may viciously leap at you, it may try to rip your arm off each time you give it a bowl of food, but you keep going back unconditionally and feed the dog, not because of anything to do with the dog, but because of what the millionaire offers you. Had you simply been feeding the dog of your own accord, you would have expected something in return, and when all you got was abuse and attack, you would have given up in disgust. The conditions with the millionaire allow you to treat the dog unconditionally; the conditions with God allow you to treat others unconditionally.

Agree, disagree?

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