Sinner’s Sermon

December 29, 2013

Hey cats n kittens time it’s Sunday (really cold one where I am) so put on that cup of coffee, dish yer self up a helping of tater-tot the ol dysucasserole (regional humor sorry) and get ready for another Sinner’s Sermon.

I guess first, I should touch on why I call this series of posts SS…I mean besides the obvious fact that I am Dysu gettin ready to writea (seemingly unrepentant)  sinner.

But mostly it’s a nod to the fact that most of the Christians I have dialogued with over the years, since I’ve been a precocious child really, have treated my questioning with something akin to abhorrence.

Found this through search on Christian website. Questioning=Heresy source: linked

Found this through search on Christian website. Questioning=Heresy
source: linked

I never understood that, even when I was a kid, why would God make my brain this way if he didn’t want me to ask these questions.

Which leads me to today’s topic which is, as succinctly as I can put it…

I knew you were gonna do that!

I knew you were gonna do that!

Questions regarding God’s plan in the following areas: God’s omnipotent fore-knowledge of events (all that I was, am and will be) and what that means when it comes to the idea of my dysfunction, and the popular cliche “God does not give you more than you can handle.

I once painted the following above the entrance to the warehouse doors where I was working as a job coach.

The Master Carpenter Needs All His Tools To Finish His Works!”

I don’t know why things are the way they are. I just know that they are this way.

Yesterday I re-posted an older post where I discussed the curious effects of Nature + Nurture on a humans (specifically mine in this instance oh it is to laugh) psyche.

Now we all know that our Christian forefathers who penned the Good Book weren’t up to date on modern psychology. But if we accept that God (whatever that is) knew, knows all, then he certainly had an idea of what being born with a certain preset batch of chemicals, into a given situation would bring about.

That is if we believe every word of the Bible literally. ( I don’t, but I feel pretty confident* about this God knew/knows all issue in particular).  If you are a person who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, however, than you cannot argue that even before the beginning of time, before there was even time itself, God knew everything about me.

Which means he knew about my dysfunction (more on that tomorrow). That He knew being born into the time and place I was (nurture) and given my particular stew of (God given) chemicals (nature). I would end my days tap, tap, taping out madness to no apparent purpose.

Was it a mistake? Did he give me more than I could handle?

Or is this my tiny little (but for the time being still continuing) role in His grand scheme?

Well we all know He doesn’t make mistakes, so fer some reason I am, perhaps, suppose to be who I am.

But given that logic that makes Jeffery Dahmer Ted Bundy, and Adolf Hitler also part of God’s Mysterious plan (something I Adolf quotebelieve but most Christians run from).

Okay hopefully I haven’t lost ya already.

I am not saying I am an automaton, I still make all my choices.

I’m just saying God knew them ahead of time.

And given that He is culpable in some ways for all that has happened.

But I think God accepts that as a “Gotta break a few eggs…” situation.

I also believe He will be accountable it will all become clear after we pass on and we’ll be like “Ohh gee golly now I get it.”

My apologies to these (I'm sure) fine folks fer my use as a tool fer light mockery.

My apologies to these (I’m sure) fine folks fer my use as a tool fer light mockery.

Anyway I’m getting off track ’cause what I want to say to you right thinking God Blessed, Good Chemical. Good Nurturing Good Functioning Units Is stop bein so holier than thou and start being humble and thankful.

When people say there but for the grace of God go I this is the meaning of that. Not that you are one paycheck of being an unfortunate. if you are a Good Functioning Unit you just get another job and move on. That’s the way yer chemicals and upbringing have made you. You will always be that way until you die.

Mens sanaUnits like me are blessed in a different way so I’m not complaining, my particular dysfunction has always been a lot of fun, at least fer me, I am a Unit apart and believe I was designed and nurtured to be that way.

I use to be bitter and mad, but now I have faith in the plan.

It’s a hard plan and again I don’t know why or what. I’m jes looking at what is.

I get more nervous about posting these Faith posts than I do about posting any of the other crazy things I say, which is kind’a sad really.

But given all I’ve said above…and in all my posts actually, I think this is why my “nurture” developed the way it did, and why I was blessed with the particular stew of chemicals I was…so I could be here typing these mad thing and posting them fer all to see.

In case I haven’t said it, I don’t know why, but like a good soldier, I’m gonna do and die.

God, Guts n' Glory

God, Guts n’ Glory

2 Responses to “Sinner’s Sermon”

  1. Hello Dysu! Well I guess it was my turn to go AWOL! I believe I owe you at least one reply to comments left over on my page. I was in the middle of yet another major move right around the time you came back online, and sadly, I haven’t really been on my own personal computer since (I have a work computer that I spend most of my day glued to, and by the time I get off it, the last thing I want to do is get on my own computer and do anything online). While I have been unable to respond, I have been following you diligently via email, which I usually read on my phone while sitting in the rocking chair waiting for the little guy to go to sleep. I hate responding to anything using my fat thumbs on my phone, so I guess you could say I’ve been secretly stalking your blog, lol.

    It never ceases to amaze me how spot on I always think you are about pretty much everything (okay, maybe not everything, but I’d say I’m in agreement with most of your social commentary about 97% of the time.) It must be the whole recovering liberal thing we have in common. But I digress. I love that you are writing about religion now too, which is the real reason I’ve finally gotten off my lazy tuchas to sit down at a real keyboard and comment!

    Having grown up in the Catholic tradition, I have been afforded the the luxury of interpretation without being made to feel like a heretic. In fact, when the History Channel’s award-winning miniseries about the bible first aired, our parish priest made an interesting comment. He said “there are a lot of people talking right now about THE Bible story, but I am going to tell you, there is no ONE bible story. There are many bible stories and many authors trying to tell us something through those stories.” Catholics do not favor literal interpretations of the bible. One of my favorite statements I ever heard a Catholic priest make regarding a strict, literal interpretation of the bible was, “We wrote it. We know how to interpret it.” (I just think it’s funny–I’m not trying to offend anyone or their chosen method of interpretation). And I am a very bad Catholic, so I’m not trying to preach Catholicism either. It’s just that the Catholic church takes a lot of heat from other denominations because they recognize tradition as part of the rule of faith. Now, it is still the church’s interpretation and guidance that parishioners are ultimately expected to follow, but questions (and confusion) and a great deal of dialogue are generally encouraged and expected.

    But I think I’m still diverging from the main point that moved me enough to get on here and comment, and that is in regards to God’s omnipotence and the idea of cosmic accidents. Like the timing of most of your posts, you have touched on a topic that I have been mulling over and which has been coming up in conversation for me quite a bit lately (kind of creepy, but true). I’m not sure I can express my thoughts on this in any real coherent way, and I should probably just write a post of my own instead of taking up your entire comments section with my two cents on the subject, but I only have precious few minutes before the little one comes tugging at my arm, so this will have to do:

    I am no theologian, and lord knows I’m far from divinely inspired, but for whatever my opinion is worth, I believe it all boils down to free will. Here’s the thing. Forget religion for a minute. Lets start with physics. In physics, there are many theories of multiple dimensions of reality (multiverse theories), but basically there is this idea that every time we make a decision (cause), the effects ripple out into the world, and the world as we know it and live in it is the result. Had you made a different decision, there would be different effects, and a different reality would manifest. But multiverse theory says there is no “had you made a different decision”–it suggests somewhere, in some other alternate dimension of reality, you did make a different decision, and there is another you living in another alternate reality somewhere, right? So then you extrapolate this idea, and you consider the fact that an infinite number of decisions are made every waking second giving birth to an infinite number of alternate possibilities to the reality we are living in now, and the result is that there are basically an infinite number of you’s living in every conceivable reality imaginable, just in some other dimension of the universe. So every you possible exists–from the saint you to the monster you, from the Ghandi version to the Jeffery Dahmer one–you are out there somewhere in every form imaginable.

    So that leads us to the question of course, who are you then? By that I mean, what truly defines us? Is it our memories, our environment, our genetics, blah, blah, blah, and to all that I say no–it is our choices. We are defined precisely and unambiguously by the choices we make because it is every single choice we make that determines the path we are on today and at every turn where we could have made a different choice some other you with an entirely different soul is living out that life, going down that path in that alternate dimension, but you, YOU, are standing exactly where you are right now because like a train on a rail, you made a choice that determined which track you took. But don’t misunderstand me–I do not believe it is the choices we MADE that define us, but the choices we MAKE. It doesn’t matter if I go in and erase every memory you have, your soul is not just the sum of your choices and memories, but it is who you choose to be right here, right now, in this present moment in time, because at every instant in time, we are standing at a crossroads, and it is the choice we make that separates us from who we were and who we could have been had we made a different choice, so we are exactly who we choose to be, which is why we are not defined by our past mistakes but by the choices we make in this present moment in time and space. We are defined by the choices we make, and at any instant in time, we may make a completely unpredictable choice, and in this way, we are exactly who we choose to be right here and now.

    So where does God come in you ask? God is the all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, right? Omniscient, omnipotent, all things at all times, he is everything, all of it. From him we came, and to him we will return in the end. On our last day, our final sanctification “takes place when a person enters heaven and becomes totally and irrevocably united with God in the beatific vision. (Etym. Latin sanctificare, to make holy.)” (http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=36271). The Catholic faith teaches that sin is not this hell fire and brimstone idea that people have come to associate it with–it is, by definition, simply our separation from God–and we are ALL living in it! Because if we weren’t living in a state of sin, we wouldn’t be here–we’d be united with God! Every choice we make that separates us from God is sin, and God is love, so the goal is to return to the lord’s embrace.

    So why, why did God create this mess? I don’t claim to know anything, but this is how I make sense of it: We are God’s creation. God created us in love, and he desires to be loved by his creation the way a parent desires to be loved by her child. But you can’t force someone to love you. You can’t create someone to love you. True love can only be the result of free will. The children of the lord must choose, of their own free will, to return to the lord. But free will means choices, the second we were endowed with free will, this entire multidimensional fractal universal mess came to be, which means the good, the bad, and the ugly must all coexist while this free will drama plays itself out all so that we may come to love the creator and ultimately return to the source. It is the proverbial snake eating its own tale, and God loves every bit of it, even the seemingly most abhorrent crevices of it, and it is infinite. As the Catholics say, “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.”

    Anyway, that’s my two cents on the subject! Just wanted to let you know I’m still here, still following, even if I’m mostly silent these days 🙂

    • Golly Sarge it’s good to hear from ya and I’m glad yer alive and still moving forward :). I must admit I had stopped by yer site a couple of other times also and hoped someday you’d be back writin.
      Okay so much to say here n ya know I can easily write another thousand words here lol, but I’ll try to be concise.(and remember as always speaking in general)
      1. I have always loved Catholics & the Catholic approach and have had my best theological conversations with priest and theologians of the Catholic persuasion.
      Catholics are much less likely to pretend they never sin, but I guess they have confession to take care of that. (from a historical perspective perhaps it is important fer individuals in a given community to once a week have to face a priest to divulge their sins, especially say if they were receiving aid from said Church or community)
      Catholics are also in general much more interested in asking why and feeling comfortable sometimes grumbling at our Father(Mother) fer leavin us stranded down here with very little specific instructions :).
      Next the whole meta-physical thing. Yes I am also comfortable talking and considering God & the plan etc from this point of view. However fer ease of discussion regarding logic conflicts in our understanding of what this being’s “deal” is, and fer these series of posts specifically I try to stay with in the framework of the Christian faith I grew up with.
      The Sinners Sermon posts are specifically challenging Christians who say they take every word of the Bible literally to face some of the inconsistent and sometimes blatant ways they use the Bible, wrongly interpreting passages or ignoring common themes in favor of a random passage or two that supports their ideology. Ex: one of my favorites is ignoring Jesus constant theme that all sins are equal in God’s eyes and therefore we are all in the same boat, in favor of a sort of ranking system.
      In this specific post I was addressing this kind of sideways. Many of the new Christians I know believe that (or secretly believe that) it is their adherence to Christian values and being a good and faithful servant which then brings blessings from God.
      They could choose wrong, but they choose right behaviors and get ahead in life and so it seems obvious that others who are making wrong choices just have to start making the right choices (stop sinning) and then they too will be okay.
      My point to these people is two fold (or more lol)
      1. Some people fer whatever mysterious reason are born, whether through chemicals, through environment (or many times both) are incapable of making the “right” choices consistently enough to get ahead or find their place in society.
      2. if you believe every word of the Bible you know two things; one God knew everything before time even began, and two he doesn’t make mistakes.
      This leaves a logic dilemma.
      How does a compassionate all knowing, all powerful Being, a Being who knows everything about an individual and all the *choices he will make prior to the beings creation, in some cases knowing the being will not make the grade and then condemn them to eternal punishment fer what He knew they would do?!? (*knowing is not controlling God knew my choices at the beginning of time but they are still my choices [I know it’s a hard concept to wrap yer mind around] annyway)
      Why not jes save the misery and send them to Hell to begin with?
      Ahh because they must serve as part of the plan.
      The plan is the plan He/She/They/It thought it up at the beginning of time.
      Which means I made all my choices at the beginning of time. I’m jes living the ride now.
      Does that I mean I can choose to do better? If I do that means I was always going to.
      Whatever i do there is nothing I can do that is going to surprise the plan.
      So that means as well that no matter what I chose/choose to do I’m still working towards the fulfillment of God’s plan, even if I’m choosing wrong and will suffer eternal damnation* fer doing so. (*if you believe the Bible to be hundred % literal) (Which then raises into question “our” concept of the word compassion as it relates to this Supreme Being(s)
      Okay but so what? Why does this matter? Why do I find this so important? Because so many Christians and Churches use this choice issue as a way to separate themselves as the “better thans” there by (I feel) driving a lot of good people away from God, from faith.,,(but in my philosophy of course that is the way things are suppose to be…jes as I’m here to rail against it lol)
      Lastly, omg, this is so long yer gonna be sorry you re-touched base with me oh it is to laugh…lastly I think if I understand you correctly you touched base on one of my personal idiosyncratic “Christian” beliefs which I never (I don’t think) have shared online yet…I also believe this is Hell, from the Biblical perspective, pain and suffering, weeping and gnashing of teeth, separation from God (someday maybe I’ll also share my faith in the idea (I believe spirit given,,,cause I never wanted to talk about this stuff, my brain is jes full of it lol) of both a Christian style Supreme being and reincarnation…but shhh people already think I’m weird enough
      Okay I hope I’ve made some sense and I’ll wrap it up Sarge with this.
      Thanks so much fer responding so thoughtfully…I often struggle not to feel, especially now that the Mouse is gone, that my worst blackest fears are true, that not only did I waste my earlier life, but now I am wasting what time I have left (driven the entire time to understand and disassemble this thing we call God, blessed with, fer whatever reason, chemicals which among other things cause me to do so oh it is to laugh!)none of what I feel, believe and am driven to think and now write about is real,
      I won’t stop having faith and believing though, it’s jes nice to have some notice and dialogue over the issue.
      Okay well I’ve still gone on and I gotta get out and do a little work, but I promise I” stop by and respond to yer other comments (much shorter hopefully lol)
      Annnyway and again Sarge, God Bless you n yer and thanks fer stoppin by 🙂

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