The Dark Side of Nothing

My Life as it spills out onto the screen.

Knowledge is Power

I was working on Part 2 of Pills, Pills and More Pills when the urge to use the restroom came upon me. I only mention this unsavory tidbit because I have started reading another book by what is becoming one of my favorite writers, John Shelby Spong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Shelby_Spong). Just before bed I’ve been read his book entitled “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture” (1991). But when I go sit on the pot, I picked up one of his other books because I couldn’t find the afore mentioned book. It was in my backpack and I forgot it was there. Just like how I’ve had these checked out from the library. One of these days I’ll have to return them or I’ll end up buying them like I did the DVD movie that I checked out and promptly forgot I had. Anyway the new book is entitled “The Sins of Scripture, Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love” (2005). I had started to read a few of the chapters and have since gone back to read from the beginning of the book. He points out his background and how he loves the bible, has been reading and studying it for maybe 50+ years, it doesn’t really say. But he strongly points out that his intention is not to destroy the bible. Both of these books I will be adding to my ever growing library.

  But what dawned on me as I was taking a shower is that a book can give someone knowledge. It became clear why some people wanted certain books burned. Those books on the assorted lists give common folk, unlearned, poor, etc. access to ideas that they themselves may not have come up with. They give us new ways of looking at things, new ideas, new theories, etc. To me it seems the people in control didn’t want the people they were over to know these things and tried/try their best to dissuade people from reading certain books. I went to bible college for 1 semester. I attended Southwestern Assemblies of God College in Waxahachie, TX (http://sagu.edu/home/). Now it called Southwestern Assemblies of God University. My major was going to be ‘Biblical Studies’ because I really wanted to know what the bible said in several of the passages. I wanted to go beyond the written text on the pages, back to the original language! When I did that more doors were opened up and I made discoveries that most church going folks don’t even know about. I must admit I’m in awe of how big it has gotten. I was trying to see how big the student body is now. When I went we had bearly 500 total students. The last time I had looked at the site I found where they were close to 2000 and growing. I thought I was drawn there for one reason but I was actually drawn there to meet one of my best friends and to guide him/show him that it’s ok to be gay and a Christian. He was struggling with this the same as I was. You see this was during the period where I was trying to “pray myself straight”! It didn’t work and it will never work regardless of those that say they have changed. Oh so your were really Bi, I’m happy for you that your married with kids. I have always wanted to ask what they were thinking about when they had sex (this is directed toward those who say they have gone straight). I heard this passionate story about a guy who had supposedly worked himself straight, yeah with constant (read all the time) bible reading, prayer and supervision (he lived with his parents so that they could help him overcome being gay). Not to be critical, but several items popped into my head after he spoke; I forgot to mention that he was going around to school promoting that being gay was bad and that you could change. Sure if you call being celibate changed!?! He said he was still working on his attraction to women. I wanted to shout, give it up now, you are just going to feel like human trash when in a few years you drift back to the bookstores, etc. I should know as I’ve been there. But another question I thought about was. “I wonder what he thinks about when he beats off in the bathroom or shower?” But then I thought well if he’s happy I won’t knock him. But I better not hear he committed suicide because he couldn’t go on living as a gay man!!! Well I see I’ve drifted off topic again.

  Back to knowledge is power – As I read John Shelby Spong’s books, he makes some theories that are based on the current biblical studies and I’ll admit some of the stuff is difficult at first to hear. Like that maybe Jesus was married (oh my did I hear a “Bullshit” half way across the US?!). But if you take it with an OPEN MIND (I know that is hard for many of us) then this knowledge moves you along further that you thought it would. Why couldn’t he have been married? Why would this be such a bad thing? Others are how the gospels were not written Matthew, Mark , Luke and John. Paul was the first to write anything and it was maybe 20 years after Jesus was alive. Then next was Mark and he maybe wrote 30+ years after Jesus walked the earth. Oh, I’ll admit that was a mind blower for me. Then was Matthew, he wrote about Jesus from a Hebrew perspective (when they were written and for who makes a big difference). He copied a lot of Mark. Then Luke, he also copied from Mark but corrected all his error and then some. He wrote about the story of Jesus from a Gentile perspective. Then came John, but I can’t say much here as I haven’t gotten to this chapter. All of this has come from “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism”. I’ve had to reread some of the sections because this was “new meat” to chew on. I could see why some pastors wouldn’t want their congregation reading such a book. I think they are afraid that they might be challenged or that some of the stuff they say might be challenged and shown to be pure crap. Like how the bible supposedly condemns gay, makes women feel unworthy, says it’s ok to beat your kids, etc. Here are the chapters for “The Sins of Scripture, Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love” (2005): The Word of God, (ever chapter after The Word of God starts with “The Bible and..) The Bible and The Environment, Women, Homosexuality, Children, Anti-Semitism, Certainty, Reading Scripture as Epic History. These books contains powerful knowledge that may lead me away from my current church where I couldn’t lead a Jr/Sr High School youth group because they are afraid I might say something positive about being gay. That incident is what lead me to start blogging, yet I haven’t entered a posting about that yet because it hurt. They basically said being gay was like being an alcoholic or having a Type A personality and needed to be controlled and suppressed and on and on, same SHIT, different spin and they did it all with a smile and didn’t verbally condemn me. But I still felt like a worthless piece of crap and soon I’ll be writing a letter containing alot of what I wrote here. Perhaps it will just be a link to my blog and a challenge to go read and see what it feels like from my point of view. After I heard the alcoholic suggestion I tuned them out and kept looking at the fine older business man that was across the way from me. I should have been more forceful, but I just kept nodding my head and saying the occasional “Uh Huh”. Then after the meeting I went and cried and was mad at myself for setting myself up for what I knew really wasn’t going to happen. 

 I got off topic again, sort of. I’m tired, but it’s so early/late that I won’t be going to bed. But again I keep coming back to knowledge is power. Perhaps the apple in Adam and Eve (2nd creation story, there are two of them) was a big book of Knowledge and to “eat” from it was to read from it. Of course neither happened because this is just a nice myth of how we supposedly came into being. Several “terrible texts”, as John Shelby Spong put it, come from these first few chapters of Genesis.

  I’ve alway wondered about the books that didn’t make it in the bible. Was there a debate and lobbying to get certain books in the bible??? Did it go something like this: “I’ll vote for Mark, if you vote for John. We really don’t want this Mary book because Jesus sounds way too human in it.” Those books mentioned in “The De Vinci Code” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Da_Vinci_Code), do they exists, are there more of them and why were they not added? 

  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER – When you start to dive into the bible and you find out when a book was written, why, for who it was written, what were they trying to communicate or convey to they people of the time when it was written and if needed what does the original language say. Then a whole another bible pops out, the one below the written text on the page. The bible your pastor may not want you to know. Some churches use Guilt to keep the masses subdued and others use their “power and knowledge” of the bible to keep the masses in line. “I am schooled and I know what is best for you. Don’t read that book, it’s of the devil, Satan, Santa, whatever.” When you start to learn what the pastor knows and perhaps beyond because it’s been 20 years since he went to seminary. Then you start to see some holes in what is being preached on. It’s sad that some people wholly believe everything that their pastor says about the bible and will never look any deeper then what they hear on Sunday morning.

   Knowledge can be used for Good or Evil, how do you use the knowledge that you have???

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October 18, 2008 - Posted by | Bible, Church, Gay, General, Humor, Religion | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Hey! Y’know what? Lately I’ve been thinking about finding more about the Bible to see what it really says about homosexuality – the context of the times, the original texts and all.

    I know how you feel – It’s crazy that we have to suppress our inclinations as if they are inherently evil. And how no one church gives a shit to look beyond the scriptures at face value when dealing with homosexuality.

    Oh btw, I tried to pray myself straight too! Hahahaha, the counseller told me to TRUST in the Lord! And PRAY fervently! Hahahaha.

    About the youth group, don’t feel bad. You don’t have to lead them to influence them. Try befriending them and once they think you’re cool, they’ll listen. Especially when you’re sharing from experience. All the best! And nice new design.

    Josh

    Comment by confessionsofaclosetcase | October 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. interesting blog. being HIV+ too, i can totally share your pain. and i play WoW too, on my Mac. 😉

    Comment by j | October 22, 2008 | Reply

    • Howdy J,
      I love this new interface for WordPress! Now I can respond directly to the comments so much easier. Which server do you play World of Warcraft on?

      Peter

      Comment by pnehem | December 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. Howdy Josh & J,
    Thanks for the comments and sorry I took so long to add more stuff. I’m working on trying to get better. It’s a lot like waiting to play World of Warcraft late at night. I know I want to post but just don’t have the energy to do it, especially since it can take me awhile to write it out.
    I’m trying to get better.
    Hey J which server do you play on. I’m on Llane. I hope you both had a good Thanksgiving.

    Peter

    Comment by pnehem | November 29, 2008 | Reply


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