Saturday, May 26, 2007

Where I Am At

I don't read a lot of fiction because I find most of it substandard. But I make an exception for Frank Perretti. Below is the autobiographical introduction to his novel, The Visitation. Aside from the obvious fact that I have never been in a charismatic church and have never aspired to full time ministry, he says what I have been feeling/thinking lately.

"I never thought I'd get sick of being a Christian. I was practically born a Christian, raised in a Christian home, nurtured in church and Sunday School. If there was anything going on at church -- special meetings, singspirations, Bible studies, vacation Bible School-- I was there. I read my Bible every day, prayed regularly, witnessed to others whenever I could, and knew all the hymns by heart. I was a youth pastor, an associate pastor, a teacher, a preacher, a public speaker. I was on the right road, had plenty of approval, and no plans to change course.

But no one to ld me I was still growing up and that the time would come when all the familiar trappings of the Christianity that I grew up with would no longer be comfortable. Like a child growing out of his clothes, I was having trouble getting things to fit -- except for one T-shirt that said, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.

No, I wasn't backsliding. Satan wasn't tempting me. I wasn't even disillusioned -- well, not with God. Call it growing pains. I was beginning to feel the difference between religion and relationship. The more I longed to know God, the more fed up I got with all the Christian "stuff". Where was God really? Would I really find Him in all the religious trappings, my particular Christian culture that told me by word and example what a Christian ought to look like, act like, believe, and do? For most of my life I'd wrapped that world around me like a security blanket; I felt safe, like a child at home with loving parents.

But kids like us grow up and need our own relationship with God, forged in the heart through time and experience, not draped around us by the church we attend. We need to know God for ourselves, not secondhand.

Coming to that realization, that point of growth, can be a lonely time. You just feel so tired of everything: No, I didn't have my "quiet time" this morning, so arrest me. If I have to sing that chorus one more time I'll scream. Maybe I'll stay home from church this time just for some peace and quiet.

And you don't buy everything so readily. Maybe that was a prophecy to you, but to me it was bad acting. How do I know that God really said that to Pastor? I didn't hear anything. Are we really going to vanish in the twinkling of an eye?

And everyone has a cure for what ails you: You need to read your Bible and pray more. You need to come back to the Lord. These are the lies of the Enemy; speak in tongues and they'll go away.

Well, don't worry. I made it through. Jesus walked with me through every moment, and I could see Him so much more clearly on the other side. I have a wonderful church family, I like singing the choruses, and I still read my Bible and pray every day. But things look different now. My faith is my own, I like where the Lord has brought me, and I won't be going back."

I won't be going back.

I have a reasonable certainty of knowing who the unChristian, sheep-baiting, "hit and run" cowardly retard is who sent me the letter below signed "Law Advocate." He has the unfortunate habit of writing parables. This man is a law unto himself and considers himself above the law and the rest of the sheep apparently. And so do his elders because I have yet to see them rein him in. For all I know, they applaud his savaging of the sheep. If he is smart, he will back off from this particular ewe because I am NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THIS SORT OF BALONEY. Any more of this, and I'll be consulting a real lawyer about harassment. And I am NOT kidding.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Well Gee, To Whom or to Which Organization Could This be Referring To?

I got the following in my inbox recently. I so like things like this. It brings back all the good times and memories of a certain organization I was in, and certain people I was associated with. Ah yes, the good old days. I feel so warm and fuzzy when I think of them. If this is coming from where I think it is coming from, it is further evidence that certain parties have not only taken leave of their teeny tiny minds, but also that they still delight in anonymous "hit and run" tactics, as well as persecution of the defectors from their little flock of "faithful" followers. How Christian of them. How faithful.

If anyone else out there (and you know who you are) has received something similar, I would appreciate it if you would contact me privately.

Please note the highlighted areas of the following:

May 14th, 2007
To Whom it may concern:

You have been identified as a person or organization that may be of interest in regards to the following matter under investigation. It has been brought to our attention by several private and aggrieved parties that the content of an Internet publication(s) that you either control, influence, or create or provide content for, allegedly contains that which is defamatory of specific persons and organizations expressly being named therein. You may have created or posted defamatory information, or facilitated its publication. These allegations pertain to the express use of names within this publication(s), and assert that the defamation is either of a direct nature (being derogatory predications or false information that is directly stated about such express names), or of an indirect nature (express names being implicated within a derogatory context), or by otherwise facilitating any such defamatory activity or content (allowing links to defamatory pages, failure to enforce conditions of use by moderators or owners, etc.).

The allegation further points out that the express and universally public employment of these express names on the Internet publication(s) in question is not occurring by the explicit consent of those being so named and allegedly defamed. Nor, the allegation also notes, are these names being used therein with any kind of implicit consent having otherwise been granted to you by the named persons, such as by way of any common and express membership with the named in any voluntary organization or special Internet group (wherein such names are used).

Furthermore, it is alleged that you may have also publicly disclosed that which was relatively private information belonging to an organization and those of its membership, without having either any right or permission to publicly publish such information beyond such boundaries; and, that you likely have done so with malice in order to defame or derogate. It is alleged, thereby, that you may have violated the rights not only of this organization as an organization, but also the privacy rights belonging to all of the persons named (or otherwise listed) in such publications as may have now been, by your unilateral and presumptive action(s), made universally public on the Internet.

Lastly, if such allegations are substantiated in a court of law, it appears that you may likely be found to have also violated the explicit terms of service (TOS) stipulated by your Internet service provider (or host, etc.), which terms you previously had contracted and covenanted to abide by. If this is the case, any secondary liability you may have to them arising from any legal action taken by others, is unknown.Request is hereby made that you immediately suspend and survey your Internet publication(s) and/or posts in order to arrest any ongoing defamation by forthwith removing any such defamatory content as you may be held directly or indirectly responsible for (including legacy threads and posts); and, in the future (when sites/pages are re-activated or posting is resumed), that you desist from engaging in any activity as is defamatory or in a violation of rights. There are not only moral implications to defamation, but there are also civil and legal consequences for defamation.

You do not have legal impunity or liberty to do ills that are unlawful, whether in Cyberspace or otherwise.The specific names and specific content that you are hereby being requested to remove or amend will not be provided to you for your direction in this matter: The moral and legal burden is upon you to publish only that which you know to be, in legal fact, not defamatory; and to publish only those names and that content for which you have either legal right or permission to so publicly make known.If any such defamatory content (or links to such) be allowed to persist on your Internet publication(s) or posts, or if you continue to create and/or publish other defamatory content, it should not be unexpected that full financial reparations for the same shall be sought for any and all direct or consequential losses to the earnings, reputations, or estates of those alleging defamation of their persons and names. This includes financial reparations for any and all hindrances or obstructions to their present or potential capital, employments, organizations, or business interests, and for all legal fees and costs in prosecuting a case relative to such damages, and for any and all possible punitive damages that might be recoverable by any and all legal theories that may be lawfully allowed in such a case.

It appears from the content of the Internet publication(s) in question, that you may likely make some claim to religion. It would seem to be good for you and for all concerned if you simply practice the ethical behavior and morals of the religion that you apparently claim that you have. It would seem that discussion of such religious topics might be engaged rationally in an honorable way, without defamation or without Internet publication of relatively private information without permission. If you are held legally liable in civil court, in accord with just laws, for doing otherwise, have no illusions as to that you are being persecuted for religion when you have rather, by lawless behavior, abandoned its very principles in these very things.

A simple and reasonable request is being made of you per the above, and only on behalf of private persons. No further notifications or requests will follow this first and final request that is here made to you. Your activity (or inactivity) on the Internet publication(s) in question will be monitored in accord with this request, and copied as requisite. The next contact you will receive, if any, will be by service of papers upon you, likely either at your residence or workplace, or wherever else the server might find convenient at that time. This will occur only if it is deemed necessary according to the results gathered by the aforesaid monitoring.This is not a threat, nor to be construed as a threat, but it is simply cautionary information that you are now being given the opportunity to consider and wisely use ahead of time. It is not the purpose of this cautionary information to judge any case, or to set forth the proofs to such an end. This shall be done, as necessary, in civil court. Please use common sense, basic civility, and good judgment by simply complying with this simple request as is now being gratuitously made available to you in advance.Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Law Advocate

Oh boy, am I ever going to have fun with this!