Preacher, Preacher

This poem is just too perfect. ^_^

Sounds of the Son

Preacher, preacher
You will never reach her
No matter how you talk
Your words will never teach her

Speaker, speaker
Your voice will never please her
No matter how you try
Your speech will never ease her

Pastor, pastor
You don’t know what she is after
Ever do you tell her
But never do you ask her

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13 thoughts on “Preacher, Preacher

  1. Rana: Just an observation:
    We’ve been commenting back and for now a pretty long time. I’ve often made comments to the effect that a person cannot stay neutral forever, but with knowledge, truth with its implications, and so on, will begin to move in one direction or another, with the “fence” position becoming increasingly uncomfortable and impossible to maintain. I can see this evolution in your posts – moving from “all-inclusive and tolerant” to openly aggressive and hostile to all that is Christian. I’ve always said this is a war, though people get uptight with me when I do. At the end of the day you will find Bible-based Christianity on one side, and everything else on the other. One may not agree with the various religions, philosophies, atheism, and the like, but in the face of Christianity, will instinctively all huddle together. Christianity is the ultimate flash-point. In the end, there will be two religions left on the table: True Christianity, and the all-inclusive religion of Antichrist – which will accept all that is not Christianity. In the very end, I believe, there will be only one left standing. An arrogant statement on my part? Time will tell. Intolerant? Yes. True? I believe, yes also.

    • First, disagreement with how some Christians practice their beliefs and aggression toward the religion itself are two different things. The fact that you see criticism against how Christianity is practiced as an attack against the religion as a whole is not my fault. I have said many times that the teachings of Christ are good teachings to live by on general principle, and I have nothing against those who consider themselves Christian under whatever denomination they choose.

      The only reason you believe that it is Christianity versus everyone else is because you are Christian. Muslims feel the same way, as do Jews. It’s always your belief against the world, because you can’t see the other side. In a discussion on Christianity, everyone will rally to either Christianity or everything but. In a discussion on Islam, the same thing happens. Atheists and Christians can agree that, “Oh, well you know, Christianity/atheism is bad, but it’s not as bad as those radical Muslims!”

      Your idea that the only things left on the table will be Christianity and ‘the all-inclusive religion of the Antichrist” is beyond arrogant in my opinion. You can think that if you want, but from my point of view you sound worse in that statement than the prayer group member from yesterday morning telling me that the Tao Te Ching is a book of the Devil. Again, believing you are right does not make you right, and the idea you would categorize all other people besides Christians as on the Antichrist’s side… well, I’ve gone into the idea of love thy neighbor and judge not enough times for you to know where I’m going with this.

    • Let me also note that this poem was not written for me in particular. It was written by a poet who I recently began to follow for no other purpose than for his poetic style, and this happened to be a piece he posted today. Additionally, this poem makes no reference whatesoever to Christianity directly. A preacher or speaker can refer to any person who is talking about their religion in a way to sell it as the right way to go. The piece suggests that the girl of the poem has her own stance and will not be swayed by preaching of any sort. It also suggests that those who are trying to sway her make no attempt to understand her own stance, and simply assume that because she does not have the same views as they do, that she must be wrong. Note the last line to support this. Yes, I relate to the girl being referred to in this poem. Does that mean that I am attacking the views of Christianity? No.

  2. Rana, as P.S., and perhaps exclamation point to my comment, Consider that although you hold to believing in a god of some kind, though Ashely and Shelldigger disagree with you, they will not call you an idiot, fool, nutcase, believer in fairy tales as they do me. Why? Because your ill-defined, laze-faire god is no threat to them whatsoever, and though they disagree with you (and I don’t know, perhaps they have said some of those things to you – I just don’t recall it), when push comes to shove, they will bind together with you against the Christian God because they fundamentally have much more in common with you, than me, just as an attack from Mars would bind together all the peoples of the earth together in one purpose against that threat. This, I believe is what is beginning to happen here. So think of me as a unifier, if you will, bringing the seemingly incompatible philosophies of yours with that of Ashley, and Shelldigger.

    • You could not be more off the mark. Ashley (and I’m sure Shelldigger as well, although I don’t believe he has made a huge point to voice it) have no respect for my beliefs. However, they do have respect that I acknowledge that they are just that, beliefs, with no repeatable, concrete-to-them evidence to support it. I acknowledge and respect their dismissal of beliefs, and make no attempt to convince them I am right. I may explain my views, but I do not ask them to consider those views for themselves. You do, at least from their perspective. Because of this, they respond to me in due respect that I offer to them, and respond to you harshly, viewing your attempts to dissuade them from the lifestyle that makes them happy as inconsiderate and rude.

      • Rana,
        Take a look at your recent posts: “Preacher preacher” and the one about Tao Te Ching and something you’ll never find in the Bible.” Where’ your focus here, Rana? You get upset when people use Scripture, yet you initiate attacks against it. In regard to your saying that the others don’t react to you because you claim no repeatable concreteness, just underscores that so long as we are all saying, “Everything is fine”, and essentially, that there are no absolutes, you all get along. There is a scripture that says, “How can two walk together unless they are agreed?”. (Amos 3:3) In other words, so long as we are just philosophizing, we can talk and talk, and APPEAR to almost be in agreement. But when it comes to decisions and actions based on those philosophies, that is where one person cannot walk east, and the other west, while still holding hands. I believe that in time to come God will move all men to decision points, with critical interests on the line, and this will manifest where they are truly at, and their true spiritual alliances. Look already at the polarization just on the political front – to the point that Congress can get almost nothing done. Why? The two ideologies that drive the major parties are inherently incompatible. At some point we will begin to perish in our indecision. (Our foreign enemies will begin making them for us!), the stalemate will become untenable, and we will not be able to maintain even a decorum of unity. Once we start dealing with shared interests, the tolerance Kumbaya stops, and we discover that we are not fundamentally dealing with a discussion of interesting ideas, but a war of ideas. I know what I’m saying sounds radical to you. The definition of radical, however means, “pertaining to a root”. Root issues. I also am very aware that there is no way that you will receive what I am saying at this time. But as world events continue forward, what I’m saying may begin to make sense to you.

        • Again, I do not get upset when people use Scripture. There are some who use it in proper context with their own thoughts, as you do, which I appreciate. There are those who make no attempt to think for themselves; they use Scripture as their only words, relying on it verbatim without understanding them at all or any of the possible implications they could have.

          I have also stated that my tolerance is in what others believe, their right to believe it, and my acceptance that they believe something differently than I do. Taoism goes farther than that, accepting the necessity for conflict and dealing with it as it comes, making no attempt to stop it while not encouraging it. This is something I do not agree with; I believe action against those who cause a deviation from peace through their own actions is appropriate.

          I would also like to make the point of your responses to my past few posts. The preacher poem I reblogged had no direct reference to Christianity whatsoever, yet you took it as a direct attack and rebellion against all things Christian. My post regarding the two prayer groups, comparing the different styles of Christian practice and how drastically different they can be, you made no comment, no interest at all in the appreciation I had for those Christians who stood up for my right to believe as I see fit and who graciously invited me into respectful and polite conversation regarding both my religious interests and their own. To my post regarding Taoism, you again take it as a rebellion against Christianity, immediately assuming my intent through the post as a want to promote tolerance, and explaining to me how terrible tolerance is. In no way do you discuss the actual post. You make no reference to Taoism, to the fact that Western culture religions are not tolerant of any other religious view but their own, or to my change of heart in not trying to preach my beliefs, but only to share them. All you saw was a post that didn’t agree with your spin on Christianity. I’m intrigued to know if you’ve ever even read the Tao Te Ching before. It’s possible you have, but the fact you make no attempt to actually discuss it makes me suspect otherwise, which is a real shame.

          What you say does make sense to me, I just don’t believe you are right. I understand that beliefs in word are different when they become action. It is not a hard concept to understand, and it’s not bound by your religious perspective. It is a fact of human nature. The issue is not changing human nature or justifying it; it is accepting human nature and the consequences that come with it. I have accepted it and am working out how to live that acceptance in my daily life. Why this is such a sticking point with you, that I am attempting to avoid and prevent conflict, is beyond me, and it is becoming tiring having to repeat myself to your multitude of deviations from the the real point.

          It seems to me from all the discussions we’ve had that there is some comfort in complication for you. The more complex god is, the more rules and regulations and restrictions there are in your belief, the safer you are in it. Simplicity is not enough, and you feel there is no way that god could be so simple. Sudokus are, in their nature very simple puzzles, very easy to solve if you look at them right. You can compound them to make bigger, more complex puzzles, but in the end they are just numbers in order. There people who just can’t get their head around them, though, people who make them far more complicated than they need to be. There are many aspects of life which people do this to, make them so much harder to understand and comprehend then they really are. Is it so terrifying for you that god may be the same way? That our existence is not so convoluted and complicated?

          • Rana,

            In regard to “tolerance”, I partly agree with you and partly disagree. I believe we absolutely must tolerate others views, as in the right for them to maintain any views they wish. Where we perhaps differ is that my goal in presenting views is to hash them out in the arena of ideas with the desire of truth winning out. Now I understand that this is an ongoing process. Think of this, however. Ashley, you, and I have three very different ideas in relation to God. They are so different, that they cannot mix, and they cannot all be true. The only possibility is that one of us is right, and the other two wrong, or that all of us are wrong. No two of us can be right. Now consider what is riding on these beliefs. We’re not talking about some way-out, distant thing like whether outer space is infinite. We are talking about a subject nearer than we’d like to think, and that we are all certainly to face – death and what is next. Though we do not know when we will face it, it is safe to say that at age 54, I will face it within 50 years, and probably less, you within eighty years, and Ashley, I’m guessing, is closer to my age. So the topic is relevant, imminent, critical, and I’d go as far as to say, paramount. With that in mind, I do not see how I can love others, and walk from the conversation, saying, “Gee, we all disagree. That was certainly a stimulating conversation!” We’re not playing Trivial Pursuit here. Now add to it that I am very definitely persuaded that my beliefs are based not primarily on a battle of the minds, where I think mine wins, but on the very real and clear revelation of God in my life. You asked me if I ever read (and I have to go back to your post to see how to even spell it, so I copied and pasted it) the Tao Te Ching. There is a time when I was around your age and seeking intensely, when I would have read things like that. I read Kahil Gibran, Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintenance, even Carlos Castenada (And on the second book of his, I put it down, sensing something evil in it even back then) I even had a list of books someone had given me that ranged anywhere from eastern religion to the occult. But when my search took me to a real and living relationship with God, I stopped searching – at least in that sense. If I’m looking for Paris, find a map that leads me there, I will not keep reading maps that tell me how to get to Paris. Rather, I change to learning more about specific sites within Paris. Comprenez-vous ? And once I’ve seen Paris, dined in its restaurants, learned the language, visited the Arc de triomphe, and read all the inscriptions on the statues, I’d just end up staring and blinking at someone who was telling me either that there is no such thing as Paris or that I did not have a right map to get there. The Apostle John said,
            “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” Paul warned, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” (Heb 6:4-6 NIV) The point Paul is making is that this God is real, and once a person has experienced Him to this degree – walked with Him, talked with Him, interracted with Him, seen His power in their life, handled the heavenly things, that to then deny this would be such a condition of the heart as to make repentance impossible, whereas those who have not, who are merely fumbling their way along through and endless number of seemingly contradictor philospies as I once was– their confusion can be understood. Moving on, though, given that I believe I’ve experienced – not just any God, but Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and the certainty of the Word of God, and therefore the certainty of both heaven and hell, you might understand my lack of ” let’s all agree to disagree” mentality. If you had hard knowledge that a bomb was about to go off in one room, while in another they were handing out millions of dollars for free, might you be a little zealous in your persuasion ? I can understand that this kind of certainty seems rude, arrogant, and hardly fair. I can even understand the idea that many people make claims to all sorts of things, and why do I think mine is any better. Before a very powerful conversion experience over 30 years ago, I probably would have thought the same thing. And make no mistake, I was converted. I went through a radical, nearly instantaneous change – though the preparation of the ground for this change was many years in the making.
            Next, as far as simplicity or complication, my fundamental faith is very simple. The outworkings of it are as complex as they need to be. When my wife went through brain surgery, her job was very simple – to rest and trust, cooperate, and recover. Mine was a little more involved – administrating the shuttling of our six young children in and out, dealing with work and the home front and visitors, and so on. The brain surgeon, also a Christian, exercised the same faith, but in combination of a high degree of specific learning and skills. God is as simple as childlike faith, and as complex as our DNA. We often speak as Christians as being as broad as the Word is broad, and as narrow as it is narrow. There are many possible creative designs for a bridge across New York Harbor. But they all must fall within the parameters of physics and reality. You can’t just say, “Oh, we’ll just get some boards, and set up some support thingies” and have something you expect to hold. Actually God’s parameters are quite simple, but our resistance to them makes them hard.
            Regarding accepting human nature and trying to work with it, and why that is such a sticking point with me, is because our fallen nature is a very poor evaluator of our fallen nature. The whole idea of being “born again” addresses the idea that the problem of the human condition is not only what we think, but the way we think, with our concept of life, self, God, and all that is being thoroughly corrupt. It’s like rescuing somebody from one sinking boat only to pull them into another just like it. But when we are born again, our spirit is renewed with God, and from there, there is a foundation for God to go to work on ” “renewing the mind” (which is a process – hence all the imperfection you see in Christians), and the renewing of the body comes after death. The old man can’t fix the old man. I went back and read your reply twice, and tried to cover your major questions and objections

            In regard your post about the two prayer groups comparing different styles of Christian practice, I’m sorry to say that I never saw those posts at all. I get wrapped up in other writing projects and tend to have seasons of engaging online, followed by seasons of doing very little of it. I’ll see if I can find those posts on your site and will respond if I feel I have something to contribute.

          • Rana,
            I read your coffee shop post, and at first was just pretty blank. I realized I did skim over it before, but just didn’t have much to comment on it. If you would ask my predominant, gut reaction to it, it would be a general thought that when it comes to Christianity, you seem to be majoring on the fringes, and ignoring the heart of it – with the fringes being justification to ignore, ridicule, and distance yourself from the heart. I can think of lots of Christians groups and individuals that I would be embarrassed to be around, in that though they have entered into a relationship with Christ, also seem to major in minors. I register Republican, but I can think of lots of Republicans whom I agree with in ideology, but abhor in their methods – the kind that spew talking points, and by doing so, discredit their message. In the major city in our area, they have a really neat event called “First Fridays”, where on the first Friday evening of each month they open the downtown for art displays, bands playing in the streets, etc. There are a few Christian groups there, that when you walk by them, they shove a tract in your hand and want to talk to you about the Gospel. I received the tract, and deposited it the nearest trash can. I turned to my wife and said, “That creeps me out, and I’m a Christian!” Oddly enough, it does reach some people. I find that when God prepares a heart, even the dumbest, most bumbling methods get through. When my younger brother’s long-time business was failing, I used to take time from my own business and visit him during the day. He was dealing with mounting debt, and struggling just to get through each day. In years past I had talked to him about God, but met up with a lot of resistance. Now, suddenly, he’s asking me questions about God every time I see him, and I’m hardly even picking up on the cues. I just wanted to be with in in this overwhelming time for him. This was coming from his heart, though the seeds I had sown many years before were there, and awaiting the proper time and conditions to sprout. Also interesting to note: When a person’s heart is not ready, no amount of tact, no amount of kindness, logic, or even outright miracles will get through. The Pharisees’ response to miracles performed right before their very eyes was to dismiss them out of hand because they were done on the Sabbath. Later they accused Jesus of casting out demons “by the prince of the demons”. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, their response was, first, to acknowledge that Jesus “performed a great miracle which we cannot deny”, then they proceeded to plot to kill Him, for fear of “losing place and nation.” No evidence, no miracle will convince a heart that is hostile to God, but a heart that is soft toward God will see evidence of His reality everywhere- in the birth of a child, the humming of a bee, or in the sweetness of sleep after a difficult day.
            What you find so distasteful, and in which I concur, is an affectation that grows within Christian circles (and perhaps any group), when they become closed in, relating only among themselves, with a shared, esoteric language. It’s like a stale room that badly needs to be aired out. When Christians huddle excessively among only their own, they become strangely religious and end up with strange affectations growing on them like mildew. If you look at the Biblical example, however, Christians went into the world, operating upon the world’s turf, not their own, and their main job was not to drag people into their church organizations but rather to reach people in the midst of their life’s situations. I address pastors and church leaders on this kind of thing all the time. You think I’m harsh in some of my posts, you ought to see how I address church leaders – many of whom will not even give me the time of day.
            But consider this: What is the chaff to the wheat? What is the false to the true? There is fools’ gold (iron pyrite), but also genuine gold. There is fresh water, but also polluted – some tolerable, some will make you sick, and some may kill you. But if we let the fact that there is polluted water and polluted air in this world stop us from drinking and breathing, we will have rejected two of the greatest essentials of life.

  3. Thunder, you say, ” Where we perhaps differ is that my goal in presenting views is to hash them out in the arena of ideas with the desire of truth winning out.” To me, there is a difference between faithful truth and literal truth. Your faithful truth is your own, you can hold as truth for yourself, and it may be literal truth in the end, but you cannot prove it to be literal truth. You can try to convince others to believe in your faithful truth, but that is it. Therefore, this discussion, and all regarding faith and belief, are not set in stone. They are debates regarding who’s faithful truth is literal, which is an unending spiral of debate which will in the end accomplish nothing. Discussing faithful truth as faith provokes thought, encourages new ideas, and can offer new faith paths for those involved. The moment you make it about literal truth, the debate turns toward a dead end.

    You say later, “Next, as far as simplicity or complication, my fundamental faith is very simple. The outworkings of it are as complex as they need to be.” You say in your last comment that I, “major in the fringes and fail when it comes to the heart,” of Christianity. What I think you are losing here is that I do understand Christianity as a religion. I know what it means to follow Christ, even to know Christ as a Savior. I understand believing in the bible, in sharing good news, in singing praise and following Christ’s example in my life. I do not understand all of the minute, sometimes contradictory, always inferior to the teachings yet for some reason upheld as law, rules of Christianity. From my perspective, I know the heart of Christianity and I admire those who sift through all the convoluted spare parts of the religion to get to that heart. Where I fail is bowing down to all the spare parts that come with the teachings of Christ that would make me a Christian. I have said it innumerable times now, I still hold Christ’s teachings as good, admirable, and worthy of following. There is a core aspect of Christianity which I do not agree with, the idea that Christ was the Son of God, and so with that, I could never be considered a Christian anyway, as the definition of Christian is one who believes in Christ as the Messiah.

    You say, “No evidence, no miracle will convince a heart that is hostile to God, but a heart that is soft toward God will see evidence of His reality everywhere- in the birth of a child, the humming of a bee, or in the sweetness of sleep after a difficult day.” This also I have said before, that I have experienced the same thing, just not while calling that which I experienced it through as the god of Christianity, but just god. Why must it be so vital for me to acknowledge that god under a particular religion, confine that god to the rules and regulations that religion claims comes from that god? Is it not enough truly for me to experience god, know it is there, and thank it for what I have? You will say no, that is not enough. I say it should be, and I don’t care if you disagree. If god disagrees, I will find out either in my life by god itself or I will find out when I am dead.

    To your last point, I say this. Yes, there is clean water and polluted. No, one should not avoid drinking just because there is the possibility of the water being dirty. You claim to have found the clean water, purified as it were, and now will not ‘soil’ yourself (for lack of a better term) with all that you consider dirty water, such as the Tao Te Ching. Despite the good minerals that can come from a dirty spring, you would rather stay thirsty until you come again to your purified water than to take a little sip of that mineral-enriched dirty water and take your chances. You won’t even consider taking a swim in a lake because you have a pool at home. You say you ask questions, but you only ask them when you’re sure you can twist an answer from your own sources. You do not bother to understand why other people have no problem with dipping in the lake when all you need is the pool. You don’t have to tear the pool down when you get home just because you got in the lake for a few minutes, but that is how you act around the lake. You act as if taking a dip in the dirty water is as bad as sleeping with another woman while your wife is away. If that is how your god treats getting to know others’ beliefs for the sake of debate, acting as if touching another’s religion in any way is the same as leaving your god, then I feel sorry for you.

    • Rana,
      Thank you for your response. Rather than responding further – not because you don’t deserve a response, but instead because I’d like to relay three ludicrous stories from when I was a kid, and from there I will explain my non-response. Any one of these stories would be sufficient to make my point, but all I’ll give all three for entertainment value, and so how the whole world can understand just how stupid boys can be. So here goes: in the spirit of your website theme, “Contagious, yet entertaining.”
      Story 1: Back in eighth grade I had a job with my best friend washing dishes in the basement of an old mill that was converted into a gourmet restaurant. The boss would be upstairs cooking, and my friend and I would sometimes entertain each other with friendly, but intense “slap fights” – basically a boxing match, but with open fists. We’d slap the tar out of each other and enjoy it. Sometimes the boss would come running down the steps to get something, and we’d suddenly stop and pretend we were working, albeit with beat-red faces with hand-prints on them and gasping for oxygen. Every now and then it would get out of hand, and a blow that landed extra hard would get the other guy a little angry, then the battle that ensued would end up shaking the dish tables with glasses as things went a bit too far.
      Story 2: Our BB gun battles. As kids we would take BB rifles out in the woods to shoot cans and junk floating down the creek. This got boring fast, and we’d try our skills on birds and squirrels. Soon bored of that as well, we’d turn to shooting each other. (Now we’re talking entertainment!) Normally you pumped the BB gun up 10 times, but, civilized kids as we were, we had a rule of two pumps max, which would only sting a little. Sooner or later, one of the kids would get it in his head that one of the others must have pumped it up more than the permissible limit, and next thing you know, it was all-out war – everybody pumping their guns up ten and fifteen times, and feeling fully justified. I’m just happy to still have my eyes.
      Story #3 Our Osage-orange battles. Behind that mill, there was an Osage tree, which gets these hard green bumpy fruits about the size of a softball – ideal warfare among bored kids with too much summer vacation left over and not enough to do. We’d hide behind concrete sewer drainage pipes, and let ’em fly. We’d avoid most, but these things really hurt when they hit, and getting knocked out would not be out of the question at all. We had a blast, but sooner or later one would really land hard – I can remember getting beamed right in the face. Then this warfare fun took on a new dimension, until finally we’d decide it was best to call it off. Then it was back to being friends again. Perhaps these stories are evidence that girls are way smarter than boys.
      Anyway, this is where I feel we are at in our interactions. What begins as a fun exchange or sparring that mutually sharpens skills, can suddenly take a turn when one of our projectiles lands hard, ore as in the case of the BB Guns, one party suspects the other of playing beyond the rules. My thought is – just like in these stories, to take a little break from the site and let things settle, because the normally healthy banter may begin hitting some sore spots and no longer taken in the spirit of fun. I’d be happy to read your reply, but beyond that I’m going sign off for a bit until I feel things might be more constructive. (And after you’ve had time to think over what you did! (JUST KIDDING!!) I’ll be back. Take care.

*Insert your thought here*

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