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God is The True Quality of all desirable things, and the worship of Him, on earth, will always require the worship of other things. 3 0 Perhaps you have heard that in singing songs to Him, we are, in a sense, worshiping music, and, sometimes, leaving God out of it altogether. 3 1 Often, though, it might be said that we worship God through music; much like how we love God through loving others. 3 2 I’ve heard that in the same way some worship God through statues… Well, I do believe that all things point to God, but I don’t believe that God points back. 3 3 Do you get this? Music will lead you to God, but God won’t lead you to music; you’ll have reached your destination. 34 We’re going up the ladder, remember? Not back down. God created all things a —all good things—if it were not so, how could anything praise Him as a “Good God”? 35 We worship God because we worship 36 We acknowledge, in something else. worship, not only that God is All-Valuable, but that God is The Creator. 3 7 God’s value, in our minds, comes from what we value, and in the moment that we begin to value Him more than it; affirming a deeper understanding of Him. 3 8 We worry, “Oh, I won’t be able to value [whatever] anymore, if I truly value God more, and submit [whatever] to Him.” 3 9 Submit means to put under. We feel cheated: like putting our toys back in our toy boxes, after playtime has been snatched from us by a cruel parent. 40 Sex is a toy we often can’t put down. I wonder how full the churches might be on a Sunday morning, if the sex drives of everyone on earth were suddenly parked, 41 I engines off, and keys thrown away. remember being asked, “So, you want to become a minister someday?” And in the same breath, “So you’re going to wait until you’re married to have sex?” 4 2 It’s like the same question to people. They don’t want 43 to put God above sex. But even sex points to God. We become creators, through sex; 4 4 we exercise our Image of The Creator; we experience thrills so pleasurable that we must proclaim that an Awesome God is at work; He created it. 45 If sex were a person, Sex would go to church. It would go to God; as would all things, supposing they knew what they 46 were, and Who God Is. Music, I am
particularly trying to stress, points to God. No one in his or her right mind, and nothing in all creation, would point to Music: 4 7 no mountain is high, no valley is low, and no river is wide, for the sake of Music. 4 8 When we call anything “good”, we must remember Who gave it that title in the first place b . 49 Worship, then, is the submission of good things. Worship is readjustment—it is the raising up of certain pleasing things, and the raising up of whom rose it c . 5 0 Your parent gave you those toys which you begrudgingly put away; and those toys mean so much more to you, shine so much greater, once you acknowledge who gave them to you, and, in acknowledgment, obediently put them away. 5 1 Sing a new song d , sing a new song e , sing a new song f — you liked this one?—Great!—You can stop singing it, put it away, bring it back where 52 it belongs! What you cherish is temporary; whom you cherish is everlasting g . 53 We all keep ideas of Who God Is, and we will always have these images wrong. Who can fathom God? He is his own and only interpreter h . 5 4 Here is the difficult, yet essential, lesson: Love God and He is here, now; pursuit of God is a common religion, but not a good one. 5 5 But someone will ask “How can we love something we don’t know?” And phrases will come to mind: “To know him is to love him.” 5 6 If you seek God you will find Him and love Him, but confused people seek first to understand Him. 5 7 He sows seeds of Love, and revisits the plants which grow fruitful with love; we love because He first loved us; we love and He abides at the same time; it has nothing to do with us understanding God. 58 You see, now, why I question the benefit of abstract thinking. Those who seek understanding often make a god out of it; they value it to the point of forsaking Its Creator; which is, in itself, a forsaking of understanding. 59 You will value things more, once you value The Creator more than the things. Essential to this—and particularly important to the sceptical pessimist, or the hopelessly depressed, which I find often describes myself—is that we must value
a34 Genesis 1:1 b48 Genesis 1:31 c49 Genesis 8:21 d51 Psalm 33:3 e51 Psalm 96:1 f51 Psalm 98:1 g52 2 Corinthians 4:18 h53 Genesis 40:8
God’s creation. We must enjoy life. Job was stripped of everything he enjoyed, and everything that made him capable of enjoying a . 6 1 He was deprived of his children and his health.
Against unperceivable argument? existence, each mind prepares an equally persuasive argument against its own 4 existence. Thought pervades this world untouched, unseen, unheard, and who can then doubt that God exists? 5 There is a level of existence beyond us that we are aware of; it and He are there. 6 There is a strong sense in me that most people who have birthdays are wrong; they almost have to be. Somehow we believe we are all right; all of us, somehow, different, but nonetheless right. 7 I have this vision of past civilizations, masses of people, each having the idea that they are right, and some (few) thinking exactly like me. 8 Well, I think, if I oppose my own thinking—of course knowing I’m not right—then I should be getting somewhere different, somewhere new, somewhere beneficial. 9 Of course, I could settle for merely opposing the flow of public opinion, but I especially enjoy opposing those whom I esteem to be good people, or wise people—the more spiteful an idea, the more appealing to me. 10 Christ’s teachings often look backwards to us; spite has always seemed favourable to me for this reason. I’ve long told people that my spiritual gift is spite. 11 When I thought about you, and how good of a person you were, I wanted to glorify you in my life; be your best friend, visit often, and forsake the world for you. 12 Obviously, this was crazy; though I think many people do such things, and would have in my position. 1 3 My spite decided to sacrifice you; say to myself, “Yes, she is wonderful, but there is greater still.” That sacrifice was an act of hope. 1 4 This was all mental, of course; there wasn’t much to see, other than a smile when thinking of you. 15 I recall a terrible relationship I had with a girl; everyone telling me to get out of it, even me. But that was exactly why I stayed in it. Crazy? 1 6 No, I don’t think so. That was a brilliant experience. God was there, so frequently conceivable, because He was being attacked so forcefully. 1 7 I was being brutalized physically, mentally, and emotionally; I wanted out, and she was dragging me down, and the worst parts of me wanted to stay. 1 8 Not a single person recommended me staying, and many 19 reprimanded me. It was shortly after,
a60 Job 1,2 b64 Psalm 57:9 c67 Matthew 7:16
“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
62 I do not doubt that Job still worshiped God, but even he affirms that he has long had reason to worship Him; he has long enjoyed his life. 6 3 Job maintained a firm understanding of Who God Is. And yet, “may the name of the LORD be praised.” Why does he say this? 6 4 Why didn’t he say “I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples” b ? Was it impossible to praise God? 65 Suppose there was a human who was tested, like Job. However, this person was not granted a good life; only bad— relentless testing. 6 6 Could this person praise God? Though I don’t know, I strongly doubt it. 6 7 Jesus said you can tell a tree by its fruit c : if God could only dispense evil fruits of torment and suffering, God would neither be worshiped, nor would He be 68 deserving of worship. Don’t think too much on this, however; God is Good. We feed on His good fruit, and declare that 69 God is Good. This is the only viable conclusion, because if He were not good, not a person on earth could enjoy or value 70 anything. Put that into the business world: if God were not good, all economic systems in the world would crash. 7 1 The value of money is directly related to the Goodness of God. You must learn to sacrifice the lesser for the greater. 72 We get our value directly from God. We are like mirrors; bright because He is bright. You are a great beacon of light, because you are a great mirror. 7 3 We need Him; we live because He Lives, we love because He Loves. All humanity is parasitic.
Some people claim that they don’t believe in God, arguing that He is not perceivable. He cannot be touched, cannot be heard, cannot be seen—how then could He exist? 2 The same minds betray them. Does not their thought smash their
while meditating and mulling over what to do, that I had a revelation; it felt tremendous; so much so that a shout burst out at the emotional overspill. 2 0 All of my doubts were silenced with my exclaiming “NO”—No, I won’t leave her. 2 1 It was a bad relationship for me, but it was the best relationship she may have ever had; am I so selfish; or demanding? 2 2 Another thought I had was that everyone discouraged it— everyone in that position would leave her— how could I then leave her? 2 3 Imagine me and her, and all of my advisors, in a room together, and they, each one of them, leave the room, because of her: do I leave the room, also? 2 4 Must she be left alone until she learns to be loveable? 25 I know, they were concerned for me; not her. But I had far more to learn, and far further to go for Christ. 2 6 I was not I’ve learned given a spirit of timidity a . firsthand, then, and so continue to affirm now, that the spirit of love and of selfdiscipline is all you need, both to maintain a 27 pure heart, and to nurture others’. I aimed to love her, and I struggled with her, building much self-discipline, exercising much power. 2 8 Mostly, though, you may know, I cannot promote loneliness. 29 Self-discipline speaks to selfforgetfulness. This is a great asset to our 30 joy, and in overcoming sin. The self speaks up often, demanding pleasures, and we shut it up with self-discipline, nurturing 31 self-forgetfulness. Forget yourself, and look to others: love God, rely on God, do not worry. This is such a hard teaching for one who is constantly analyzing, like myself. 3 2 Forget myself!? Forget anything!? Perhaps forgetting is a form of sacrifice. 33 Letting go and letting God take care of things: the ultimate sacrifice to some. Like being in the passenger’s seat in a car: 34 sometimes I think I can control the car if I pay attention for the driver, and pretend to put on brakes when I think the driver should; however, this doesn’t happen; the car will be fine or a ball of fire without my input; I can rest. 35 Most people think they are relatively easy-going; that they are chilled, and laid back. There is a fine line, I suppose. 36 Some people think they are forgetting themselves by sucking back mass amounts of alcohol—not quite. 3 7 This is not what I mean: this is called indulging yourself; this
is listening intently to your own desires and giving in. 3 8 I mean a place you don’t listen to yourself; in fact, can’t hear yourself; you don’t know your pleasures, and can’t lose to them; you don’t know what you’re missing, but you’re fully intent on what you have. 3 9 You are simply not concerned with your concerns. Who is? Who cares? Some people like giving concerns to God by worrying and then stopping; 4 0 why not just forget it in the first place? Is it inconceivable that God has and will take care of you without your asking? 4 1 Do not, however, make yourself out to be independent of God. He was your beginning and He will be your end. 4 2 Make Him your reason for everything. He is everything you’ve ever enjoyed, ever valued, ever loved. 43 I did an economics exam last year and it occurred to me that God knew all the answers; I don’t equate God with education most times; it felt strange to study for that exam by reading the bible. 4 4 It’s ridiculous to me that the principle of education is to teach best practices: that is, we are informed how something has been done well, and to imitate that; 4 5 education grows only when someone has overcome what education has taught. Essentially, education lives because of its neglect. 4 6 We are taught how to be Shakespeare, though this was never what Shakespeare was 47 taught. We are taught best practices: Education teaches what education did not teach. It is a pathetic leech; one that sucks on such a one that it would have reprimanded for not conforming. 4 8 And the teachers and professors themselves are peculiar: how can we be assured that the best judges are those who have been judged best? 49 Be careful of school: 90% of what it teaches we probably need anti-venoms for. 50 In school, we are mercilessly trained and ruthlessly educated—suffocated with a massive wealth of knowledge which, thankfully, can actually have some useful application for the betterment of humanity. 51 Here’s the catch: Sadly, this is not the intention of the vast majority of teachers; they prefer know-how to wisdom. 52 Persuaded, the typical student applies this knowledge to controlling the world, rather than the self, and seeking money, rather
a26 2 Timothy 1:7
than God, and squandering their lives, rather than saving others. 5 3 Our minds are opened only to conformity: we are taught 54 how to imitate. Education can bring freedom—the truth can set us free a —but we are mockingly using truth to persuade the rest of the world away from it; 5 5 like the Pharisees who stood in the doorway, keeping everyone out; even themselves b . How deluded such a person must be! How sad! 5 6 I’ve seen these eyes! I’ve seen such a person—the educated prisoner; a bachelor of wandering. 5 7 They do look lost. They do so wish for something more than this c . 58 But they are under the belief that the professors know all, and the collective student body knows more than they do; 5 9 so they better start acting smart. But acting smart is very much like being stupid. Don’t act smart, but focus intently; think plentifully: it is your role as a human. 6 0 It is when someone is trying harder to focus that he or she blinks more frequently—my dear, blink often.
wore a tie , I’ll shut up about that. However, these are the kind of ideas we need to silence; more importantly, these are the kind of ideas we need to make sure we 12 aren’t reproducing. Suppose in fifty years, the youth want our ministers to wear a tie, and we become the “old farts” who insist that the minister should not wear a tie; 1 3 thus, the circle continues and the real issue was never actually destroyed.
e14 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Conclusions and Farewells
I don’t mean for any of these ideas to be final; I mean, I’ve already stated that. I don’t profess to know everything or anything; 2 I’m only speculating: pushing at the boundaries of thought to produce something coherent; something that could be true. 3 And for the meantime, I believe some of this to be true. I didn’t always, (some of it I didn’t believe until after I wrote it) and I hope I won’t believe it in the future; 4 I hope to be further perfected, and not left alone in my ideas, not dwelling in them, not being festered by them. 5 I think most of these ideas are criticisms of popular ideas, and I should like if these ideas were not good in themselves, but tools to protect you from bad ideas. 6 Like a lesson in apologetics against the headstrong. Like an abstraction against the abstract. 7 However, not all of it is mere contrary thinking: I put a lot of thought into finding the origins of ideas, and the original meanings of words; 8 etymology, I believe, is incredibly important to Christianity. I think Christians look back to an extent, but not to the beginning. 9 Think of the “old farts” in church who insist that the minister wears a tie, for the sake of tradition; they’re looking back a mere fifty years, hardly two thousand. 1 0 But if Jesus
This, then, should be the mission of the church: to encourage freedom—can 15 freedom be freed? Where there is no freedom, there is no Spirit of the Lord; where there is no freedom, there is no Truth; there is no Helper, no Light. 1 6 Keep the restrictive thought outside of church; keep thoughts from latching on and 17 festering. Every idea that obstructs another should be disallowed and removed: freedom cannot enable anything that 18 disables freedom. There are many temptations that seek to disable freedom in you. Drinking uninhibits, but can be addictive, and, consequently, inhibiting. 19 Every obstruction to oneself should come from God or oneself, not from one’s peer; let them take out their own planks f . Only you and God know your heart. 2 0 I don’t mean for you to exclude others; only, it is for you to confess to them, not for them to identify your sins; nor should you identify others’. 2 1 Remember: do you value Christ? Build up in others what is true g , and ignore what is false. 22 I’m sorry again for writing such a complicated, long-winded letter. Maybe it’s for the best, in the end, but I worry that I’m taking away from what we had, when we wrote to each other. 2 3 I can’t stand “the usual”. I must change and do different things; 2 4 you’re important to me, and I can’t write to you careless things. 25 I’ve wanted an epistle for a long time: since I wondered what made the writers of the New Testament so special—i.e. more special. 26 I want good things for you. I am very moved by you. I want that to be true for
a54 John 8:32 b55 Matthew 23:13 c57 2 Timothy 3:7 d10 TBA e14 2 Corinthians 3:17 f19 Matthew 7:5 g21 1 Corinthians 8:1
the rest of our lives. When I think back on anyone whom I was attracted to, boy or girl, it has always seemed to be someone who had a heart for God; in one way or another, I saw God in them. 2 8 God’s not 29 dead, and God’s hardly irrelevant. We exist: here is something instead of nothing; here is thought and ideas beyond comprehension; 3 0 here is order and laws and science instead of randomness; here is growth and ideals and passion. 3 1 Life is huge, and people ignore it for drama, tragedy and comedy. 32 I want to love you, where God actually does. I envy God in this way; I want to be like Him. 3 3 All the attractive things I might want to give you, if I had the power, I would not give you; 3 4 I know that having the power, being God, I would give what He’s giving you now; God must be right. 35 It would be worthless to give as the world gives a . In the end, what is money? In the middle, what is money? Oh, what is money? 36 Money is the God of the fantasy. There are three worlds: firstly, there is the world as it is; 3 7 out of this we perceive a fantasy world; and out of this we conceive a world behind the world. 3 8 Ironically, the fantasy world is dull and dreary, devoid of hope and filled with death, where the fantastical idea of a world behind the world is reality b . 39 I know, then, deep down, that there is nothing good I can give you or even hope for you; 4 0 but only acknowledge that you are God’s, and that I am God’s. I know nothing about what is good for you c . 4 1 I can never give you anything you really want, and what you think you want, you will know soon enough that you never really did. 4 2 Wants themselves are tricky: think about what you want in the run of a day. Think about the essence of our desires. 4 3 I believe that I want to want no more. I eat so that I don’t want to eat 44 anymore. I buy a two-hundred-dollar mountain bike because I don’t want to buy anymore two-hundred-dollar mountain bikes. 4 5 I go anywhere or do anything so that I don’t want to want it anymore. 4 6 I want a place where wants don’t exist; wants are suicidal. 4 7 I desire to be rid of desire d . My body aches for a place of rest, and I am assured that where there is a desire there is an end to that desire e ; 4 8 and this desire that embodies every desire calls out to the world behind the world,
Heaven—The Spirit, The Truth f —The Kingdom Never Far g —The Life No Longer After h . 49 Thanks for reading Amanda; you’ll probably be the only person who would read such a book for me. 5 0 That alone is worthy of all the time I spent in writing it. And that alone is the reason I write it.
“Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.” Love j .
a35 John 14:27 b38 2 Corinthians 4:18 c40 Romans 14:4 d47 John 4:14 e47 Matthew 11:28 f48 John 4:23 g48 Matthew 10:7 h48 1 Peter 1:23 i51 1 Timothy 6:20,21 j52 1 Corinthians 13
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