"There does not appear any greater evil in the disputes concerning matters of religion, than the persuading ourselves that our salvation or God's glory are lost by every little difference. As for me, I exhort my scholars, not only to distinguish between the true and the false according to Scripture, but also between the essential articles of faith, and the less essential articles, by the same Scripture."
Was it all lies?
Just excuses for why it wouldn’t work.
You play the part of the victim.
Please let me take the role of the criminal.
I hate to feel this way.
It seems to be happening everyday.
I’m tired and lonely.
Ready to give into this envy.
Coveting things that are not mine.
I’ll break commandments for my own sake.
Do what I feel.
Time and again...
It’s the same old story.
This one is actually new.
Writing from my point of view.
Opinions are too easily disarrayed.
I’ve grown old in my rebellious ways.
Just trying to leave.
With some heart and purpose.
Ready to be done with this.
Letting it go before.
Ready to embrace an opening door.
Kicked in the heart
Ripped off my head
I'll just lie here and pretend that you're dead.
7. With All Sincerity- I don’t know what it is. As I grow older, I get less interested at what goes on in local hardcore circles; a scene I was once very much involved with. However, as of late, I’ve been more impressed with the music these so-called "crazy, no talent" bands out today have the ability to compose (I suppose that’s why there are three metal bands on this list). Enter With All Sincerity, a band that is no stranger to originality and yes, wild, tough, and fast as anything music. Combining elements of death, thrash, old, and new school metal, With All Sincerity have the certain destiny of inspiring hundreds of kids to start bands of their own. Their brand of belligerent music is poignant, passionate, and purposeful. Having self-released their two pervious efforts, they finally settled down with fellow Texans, Pluto Records, to release their latest full length, The Age Where Nothing Fits. Who says only steers and queers come from Texas? Recommended: Crash! Crash!, Notes Listen Well, and When Good Movies End Bad.
8. Long Since Forgotten- LSF, not LFO are the purveyors of some of the finest new music to hit my ears in quite a while. Not that my opinion matters, but I see a lot of potential in these guys. Yeah I know, thousands of people in bands have potential and talent, so what makes Long Since Forgotten so exceptional? Well, the fact that they had humble beginnings helps. No flash in the pan sensation here, these lads had to work hard, putting out their debut, In All Honest and their follow up EP, Monday 12 AM in DIY fashion. Not a stranger to the label emo as well, LSF play a low-key, medium tempo rhythm that fluctuates adequately between their slow and fast numbers. Their sound could be filed under several categories. Combining elements of Sunny Day Real Estate and My Spacecoaster, Long Since Forgotten has a familiar sound with an unfamiliar phraseology. On their latest, All The Things You Said, lyrically, the band tells a story of sincerity, vulnerability, and passion. Clever writing and bright lines comprise their latest, which was picked up and put out by Rocketstar Recordings. Look for great things to come from this band who hails from the northeast. Recommended: Some Sort of Meaning, A Million Reasons, and Call You Later.
9. 7-10 Split- This was actually the last review I wrote. It was a hard decision to pick the last band to talk about. It's not like a lot of people are going to see this and go out and buy the records. I just want people to be able to read about great bands who usually don't get a lot of exposure. Thus, 7-10 Split is my final pick for a band youshould be dancin' it up to. Oh and my friend, you will be doin' a lot of dancin'! A quartet who fuses punk, sometimes poppy and sometimes straight forward, with big ol' metal guitar and drum parts. Sometimes singing, sometimes screaming, 7-10 Split are all over the place as far as diversity goes. They unify sound into a formidable piece of punk pie. While it may sound like they are ill assorted, the listener can expect a consistent sound every time. These boys from the south (GA) are perfecting their sound, maturing as musicians, and moving the scene forward in a speedy and noble manner. They put out their two previous releases on the now defunked Screaming GIANT Records. Their latest, The Stars Have Fallen, is not only their best effort to date, but also one of the better albums to come out in 2003. Put out by New School Records, The Stars Have Fallen is the epitome of good music; fast songs, well written lyrics, heart, and soul. Whatever they are trying to express comes out on the album. The words are well formulated and carefully chosen to express what they were feeling at the time. And in my opinion, that is something mainstream music is missing today. So, be sure to listen to these guys and all the other bands and artists I've listed (especially the independent kids). Recommended: Instruction Manuel, In Denial, Can't Take This, Searching For Talbert Jenson, Coathanger, Three N One, and Heartless.
4. Converge- Can brutality be beautiful? Converge doesn’t stammer to answer this question. Their response is an insanely fast and intense as hell conglomeration of metal, poetry, spirituality, and splendor. If music could somehow be an infusion of words, notes, and volatility, the end result for this band would seemingly be an incineration of sound. Converge has been together since late 1990 and within months of that, recorded their first demos. Ever since then, they’ve been putting out unyielding albums and don’t show any signs of letting up. Sometimes dark, elegiac, cryptic, and despair-ridden, Converge writes some of the most eloquent tunes in music today. No stranger to addressing contemporary issues as well, they are one of the most underrated bands to grace this industry. Recommended: Minnesota, My Unsaid Everything, Albatross, Heaven In Her Arms, and Concubine.
5. Jai Agnish- Where folk and electronic music meet Christian themes of faith and hope. Jai Agnish creates an attractive sound that appeals to the ears of listeners of many genres and styles. He is the creator of Flygirl, an acclaimed zine that mixes the same premises as his music. His 2000 debut, Automata, exemplifies what he enjoys in life—Christianity, peculiar toy-like sounds, and a snappy melody. Recommended: How You Dream, Deaf Today, and Climb To Remind.
6. Miles Davis- I’m sure I’m getting a lot of blank stares now. C’mon, who doesn’t like Miles? One of the names everyone should be able to answer with when someone asks you about jazz. Miles Davis was an architect of music and his notoriety stands far beyond many other "rock stars." After I got to college, I started to explore more musical genres than I had previously given attention to. Jazz was the first. I scored some traditional jazz and big band stuff. From the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and even Nat King Cole, that’s where I got hooked. In trying to listen to a lot of the different styles and types of jazz, I became more familiar with the significant figures who stood out from their peers. Miles Davis was one of those greats. A world-renowned trumpeter, composer, and musician, Davis played on more than one hundred albums. Many times as both: a player and bandleader. Davis was one of the most prolific artists in recording history and was nominated for an amazing number of Grammy’s (he actually won 6 or 7) and was a frequent visitor to the pop charts. The reason why? He was just that good. His arrangements and instrumentations told stories in a way that no one had ever heard before. And, it was mostly all instrumental. Did you get that? He told stories without words. The music’s validity and depth accurately portrayed the man behind it. From his fights with his psyche and intellect to his own self-endorsed battles with substance addition, Miles Davis wrote some of the greatest songs you never heard. Some consider Miles Davis' work the magnum opus of Jazz because of his constant progression to the music and his capacity to birth several of the music’s most notable styles. He will forever remain a legend in the hearts of those who adore him and recognize awe-inspiring music. Recommended albums: Birth of Cool, Round About Midnight, Cookin', Workin', Kind of Blue, and Bitches Brew.
Spoken in the best Mickey Mouse voice I can muster: "We're down with God!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!"
On ABCNews.com today, an article entitled "Pop Goes The Bible", takes a look at Christian pop culture's role in evangelicalism and the faith-integrated life.
Moving into smackdown* mode...
"He says, 'It is too small a thing that you should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.'"
- Isaiah 49:6 NASB
The newly defined, ever changing Christian pop culture should be purposed solely for outreach and to make the Gospel the tiniest bit more attractive to the hellbound eye. If we are conforming to this world for ourselves, then we are doing just that; knee deep in sin through it all. Our personal enjoyment and vanity mean nothing to God. We are to become all things to all men, without becoming these men in the process. It is too small a thing for you to worry about the color of your church carpet, or if John Q. Spiritual's Bible cover is flashier than yours.
As for you fundamentalists, you can kiss it; at least your kids are getting half of it right.
*The word smackdown was intended for evangelical purposes and geared toward fans of wrestling and rednecks alike. Any misrepresentation of my usage of this word will result in your death.
Hopefully, a soon to be feature on To Whom... Recently, I was compiling this list of some indie bands, new music, and stuff I don’t think a lot of people listen to. Some of these artists, I’m discovering for the first time. Some, I've been a fan of for a long time. I think they are all pretty great. I was going to make it one post. However, I’m long winded and it just turned into a mess of information and reviews. So, I made it into three parts, listing three bands into each part. I’ll do one a day, for the next three days. Stay tuned. Listen well:
1. Wes Dando- Not one guy, but a trio of gentlemen from Seattle who gel together some of the prettiest and technical sounds with an almost "quirky" resonance. Not just another indie rock outfit, this band writes sincere and personal tunes with heart, meaning, and soul. Their debut from 2001, The Tired Hours, showcases the brilliance of their sound. A quality in music that has been attempted, but not too often perfected, Wes Dando’s effort is a success. It’s available from Paste Music. Recommended: Coughing Is Contagious, As Bravery Crumbles, and My Confidence, Your Opinion.
2. This Runs Through- Another Florida hardcore band that is newly signed to California's very own Facedown Records. However, this is not your typical band; in fact, it's just the very opposite. With an extraordinary approach to hardcore, these boys blend their riffs and rhythm in the vain of Strongarm (RIP) and Throwdown, with the hope of the once thriving "spirit-filled" scene. That hope being their relationship with Christ. This is one band that is not ashamed to be labeled by their faith. Maybe not quite as technical or loud as the comparisons, but This Runs Through creates a wall-of-sound on their first EP, Until Forever Finds Me, which was put out by Indianola Records. Recommended: A Prayer Upon Revival, I Kiss the Envelope, and The Wind That Brought Us Here.
3. Led Zeppelin- This may seem kind of funny to some of you, but it has taken me more than two years to begin having an interest in listening to these English legends. I’m somewhat beginning to understand the genius that is Led Zeppelin. Formed in 1968, after having some lineup changes, and playing as The New Yardbirds, (to fulfill the original Yardbirds commitments) eventually Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham became the band we know them as today. Writing lyrics with mystic and mythological meanings and incorporating hard rock, blues, and folk styles into their music, they created their own definitive sound. They are also most notably recognized for producing songs and music strictly for an entire album listen; versus the trend of releasing strong singles and having filler for the rest of the record. All Music Guide writes up a good review on the band and gives suggestions for either, the new listener or the casual fan.
"And the hobbits weren’t the only four charming, cheeky English lads to win American hearts."
That’s from an article in Christian History magazine (Issue 78, The Man Behind The Myth) entitled, "An Unexpected Party." This article and whole month’s attention is focused on the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien. As all of my friends will earnestly admit, I’m not a fan of fantasy writing, film, or anything else of that nature. However, they should know that I’m a fan of history, especially when it relates to my faith. This particular article was addressing the newborn esteem people had for Tolkien in the mid-Sixties. Mostly, the abrupt explosion of interest due J.R.R. Tolkien in 1965 was because the Lord of The Rings trilogy was available in paperback for the first time. "Now anyone with three dollars could buy a passport to Middle-earth." However, as the quote at the top would indicate, there were some other folk from England causing a stir in the states for the first time as well:
"As Phillip Norman first revealed in his Beatle history Shout!, in 1968 the two foursomes nearly fused when the Beatles planned producing a film version of The Lord of The Rings starring themselves. That idea was aborted when the chosen director, Stanley Kubrick, convinced John Lennon and Paul McCartney that a Tolkien film was 'unthinkable,' according to Denis O’Dell’s fascinating account in At The Apple’s Core."
Too bad, huh? We could have gotten a Beatles version of L.O.T.R. instead of A Hard Day’s Night or Help!. Well, I’m sure we’re all content in what came about either way...
It’s been some time since I’ve had to do any sort of chores. You know, what your parents made you do to earn your allowance or to get any extra money. Maybe you had the type of parents who just made you do them because you lived under their roof. I think most of us had it more like the latter. Today, I’m working on, oh... about a month’s worth of dishes. A lot were some I got from my friend Bethany Dunlap when she moved. Most, however, are from me being a slacker these past few weeks. It’s pretty gross in there. I can’t believe I let them pile up this much. It actually stinks in my apartment. Maybe even as bas as some of the other houses in my neighborhood, which, if you’ve been fortunate enough to go into some of the other apartments, you would know, it’s really bad. So, I’ve just had some Sick of Change, Stavesacre, and Stretch Arm Strong playing in the background. Maybe I’ll get this done before Sunday. Good washing with ya...
"My mom and dad are always fighting. And it's getting very un-exciting. To get a good job you need a proper schooling.
Now who the hell do ya think you're fooling? But it's not my place oh-no. No it's not my place no no. No it's not my-not my-not my place in the 9 to 5 world. And it's not my place in the 9 to 5 world. And it's not my place with 9 to 5 girl. It's not my place in the 9 to 5 world" Ramones, It's Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World), from the album, Plesant Dreams.
Today, I had some errands to run. Nothing overtly exciting. When I was in Chipley, I decided to stop by the Goodwill to see what wondrous, priceless, little gems I could discover for a bargain. I found some books, but I like looking up the ISBN # first to see if there worth anything on Amazon. I looked through the stack of LPs and couldn't find anything that stood out. However, when I was looking through a stack of 45's, off to the side (over by the books), I found these great singles:
The Monkees- A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You/The Girl I Knew... The Monkees- Daydream Believer/Goin' Down George Harrison- What Is Life?/Apple Scruffs The Rolling Stones- Sad Day/19th Nervous Breakdown The Beatles- The Ballad of John And Yoko/Old Brown Shoe John Lennon- Instant Karma/Who Has Seen The Wind?
I paid like $3.18 for all of it. The girl at the counter said, "I didn't even know you could still play these things." I informed her (in my own little subtle way), "The best music ever made came out on vinyl."
Twenty one people were arrested yesterday in Montgomery, Alabama for protesting the removal of a stone Ten Commandments statue from the Alabama Judicial Building. The statue was originally moved there in secrecy two years ago by Chief Justice Roy Moore, and had remained there until the fine separation between church and state reared its head for conflict. A separation that is all too important for the church.
The statue was removed yesterday and Moore's supporters put on quite a display, refusing to even walk out of the building after being cuffed by the authorities. It was a pitiful site seeing their legs dragging across the floor as they were removed.
One thing that needs to be realized is that America is not a Christian country. It may have once been, but as it is now, this nation is on the road to destruction, and it will not be brought back with statues, or laws, and especially not extreme displays of foolishness. It will certainly not be retrieved with a forceful push of Christianity onto its citizens. This is a nation of comofort, not conviction. The government exists to make people happy, not to separate Heaven from Hell. I do not personally believe He wants this country back; to say that the United States is God people's makes us as foolish as pharisees.
The dispute in case seems to be more about legalities, a very large statue, a radical judge and his persistent followers than the Creator of the very land in which we live. God is not confined to a sculpture, and does not devote his time to trivialties.
"Then render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."
- Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:21 NASB)
In the past few weeks, I’ve watched a ridiculous amount of movies. A lot of them are from my own collection and the other stuff is what I borrowed from Chase, Justin, and other various friends. Just so you can know how I spend my nights, here’s a list of most of those films. NOTE: the movies with * are ones I own. Movies with links are ones I recommend-
I remember when I was too young for school. The first time I realized my sister was away at elementary school I was sad. I sat in front of a static-screened TV. I cried, I think because I missed her and felt left out. For the time being Mr. Rogers and a certain overgrown canary would have to be my friends and teachers. Sometimes it's easy to envy the little ones and to covet those days of little to no formal book learning.
Those days feel prehistoric to me. School has taken at least a third of every day I've lived since I was 5 years old. At the least. I've spent almost 6 solid years of my life sitting in classrooms. I'd like to calculate how much time I've spent procrastinating or making excuses for late work or pretending to be attentive or just struggling to remain conscious. I would like to know how much time I've given to homework, how many hours I've spent reading and how much of that was re-reading the same lines over. I'd like to figure up how many times I've thrown a book at the wall or damned school to hell. Wretched Minion.
But none of that math will put me anywhere else. This is where I am and to tell you the truth I like the place. Maybe its taken this long but I think for once I'm comfortable as a student, which is a good thing since today is the first day of the new semester.
Today is one of the most pretentious days of the year. People are never happier to see each other and their noses are never browner. In another sense it is probably the most hopeful day of the college year. The average student can sometimes convince himself that he is going to be above average for a change. So maybe that's all I'm doing. Yet, somehow I don't believe that.
I'm not expecting you to buy into this new proclamation of a better me. I especially don't expect my professors to. Don't believe me. That's fine. This is something that we will see or fail to see as time progresses.
I did better in the spring both by grade and by effort, but I expect to trump that double. This summer I took two classes, made two A's, and learned a lot. Of those 5 weeks of class I was never tardy and was only absent one day for a funeral. No longer is my absentee policy to miss the maximum allowable. No longer is anything short of academic excellence acceptable. I want students and faculty to perceive me as a serious student. I'm even willing to dress differently to get that point across.
I pay for past mistakes, in more ways than one: time and money. My school used to be paid for by a government agency. I lost that. Now it all comes out of my pocket. Something about that makes motivation easier. Also, my shenanigans have cost me a year. That's right, I should have graduated in May. But because I lollygagged so much I added a year to my sentence. That year is composed greatly of retakes.
Being a hot shot graduate and all, this is Jeff's first day not here. I miss him and feel left out. We were students together before we were ever friends, so after three years I've gotten used to that. I'll miss things like talking about what we were learning and keeping each other company in the computer lab. I don't expect to see him today. It's OK. I'll get over it. One day I'll be a hot shot too.
Those are my thoughts this morning. Today is the first day of classes at my alma materand you could say I kind of wish I was there. Now, even though I didn't start every first year of school on the 18th of August, this is the first Monday of a fall semester that I haven't been going to school in eighteen years. I was at preschool from ages three to four, but I figured that wasn't official enough for everyone. It's pretty freaky, not going to school right now. It's been, for lack of better words, my life, for such a long time that something seems to be missing. "Well, I wouldn't say I was missing it" (Office Space).
Speaking of what's going on. I'm going to interview for a position I recently submitted my résumé to at 1:00 PM today. I don't want to get into all the details because it would take much too long. It seems like a good job and I've already written a little bit about it. Please pray for me because it just feels like my last option. If I hear something, you will too.
Also, I kind of made a deal with God that if he wanted me to go back to Melbourne and live, he would let me get an eviction notice here. Well, this morning, Lamar, the maintenance man for this housing project, knocked on my door and was asking where Sean, my previous roommate, was. Apparently, he is still listed as head of household. I told him we filled out all the necessary paper work and he said he would check out in and straighten it out. I’m sure he’s going to handle it, but it still puts me in a weird predicament. That’s something that could also use some prayer.
So, while the kids are off to school, I'll be out running around looking to be a responsible, career-motivated guy, who is scared about this whole growing up thing and getting kicked out of his apartment.
"Kick back, cheap thrills, you'll do anything for a laugh even if it kills ya. The bridge, you took it out, the ticket taker suddenly lost count. Sleepin' under rays, your teeth crumblin' away. Say goodbye to all responsibility, you never wanted it man." NOFX, Freedom Like A Shopping Cart, from, Heavy Petting Zoo.
Today proved to be an interesting day. I actually wrote a complete song that I am proud of. I was just playing around with some chord progressions and out it came. I normally hate everything I write when it comes to songs. So hopefully it will be a top 40 hit! haha.
If I knew you were going to leave me I would have sent you packing
You keep telling me your lies and I kept believing
Its so intriguing how you set me up
You told me you love me and I thought you meant it
Did you tell yourself it wouldnt hurt like this
Dont say goodbye or see you soon as you walking away
Dont look back or say that your sorry
It's all meaningless
If you knew that it was going to end, can we pretend to
go back to the start.
Except my heart will never be broken and all our dreams will live
The world is ours for the taking if you would just stay here
Tell me why you tossed me aside
Dont say goodbye or see you soon as your driving away
Dont ever look back or say "Im sorry"
Its all meaningless
It is early and late, all rolled up into one. Well, the site is coming together rather nicely. Thanks to Justin & Jed for doing part of it. I've spent the rest of this quiet Friday night fixing little kinks. Hopefully all will work well. I've got a list of blogs to go through, if you think you should be linked here, tell us so in the comment box. The chatterbox is down because you kids took advantage of it. Shame on you!
I'm really lonely right now. Summer is over for G'ville, but I'm still looking for a job. School starts at our college on Monday, but of course, I graduated, so I don't have to go. So, yeah, loneliness isn't fun. But, I’m not so desperate that I’m going to marry the next gal that walks by. "Hey, who's that chick with the short hair."
While I was working on my many various activities earlier, I was listening to a burned CD my old roommate, Milks, made for Justin. It was the surprisingly delightful, Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Volume 1. While I'm not a big fan of them, I was tapping my foot to the beat just the same. I never really got into ‘em, but they contributed a lot to Rock and Roll. And for that, by chance, if Justin would let me keep it, I wouldn't be mad.
Not much else going on. I've been doing some writing and reading. A lot of poetry, no songs, no fantasy, sorry. I'm getting very tired, so I'm out. By the way, the archives are fixed. If you care, take advantage of that because it's annoying to mess with. I went through our year and a half’s worth tonight, trying to find links.
To Whom It May Concern: We are always moving forward, however sometimes it’s just slower than you.
"When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed. With a word she can get what she came for. Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven. There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure. 'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings, sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven. Ooh, it makes me wonder..." Led Zeppelin, Stairway To Heaven, Led Zeppelin IV.
You know, there is nothing better than the feeling you get after a new haircut. It's an indescribable sensation. A pleasant burst of freedom that renders your scalp to a semi-recognizable, yet newfound state of endless joy and bliss. That sudden response launches a reaction within you that only comes every so often. The way the wind and air feels on your freshly mowed mane is such a refreshing sentiment that you can barely contain yourself. The once unconquerable task of a trimming has been defeated and defiled back to its earliest reckoning. The perplexity and chemistry of this impression acts as a stepping stone for you as you seek to triumph over the most complex and seemingly insurmountable undertaking that the day might bring you. The haircut is the greatest thing that can happen to anyone’s day...
Sill unemployed. I feel prosaic. The Krystal in Dothan is hiring, maybe I could go work there? I'm pretty desperate. I'm not so desperate that I'm just going to go apply anywhere. I will work in food, but not at KFC (already did that for a year and a half in high school). You guys and gals remember looking for work back in the day? You picked your favorite places first and if you didn't get those jobs, you went with a second batch of choices, which were most likely, not your favorites. Well, I was doing that with a bunch of places that offer salary. Now, I'm just going to try to find any place to work 40 hours. I submitted my résumé to Life Management Center last week and called the guy today, but he never returned my call. Spectracare was having open interviews last week and I went, but because so many people showed up, they had to make those screening interviews. I should get a call later this week if I get a more "thorough" interview. I was talking with a buddy, James Bridwell the other night. I told him that I wasn't worried and I'm not, I know God will provide. My biggest fear is he will provide me with something that I wasn't expecting and then I will be quick to exit stage left. For my sake, I hope I cherish it because I certainly need whatever it is. A verse that comes to mind here is that one that says God takes care of the birds in the sky, so how much more will take care of our needs. That's the only thing I'm holding on to. And I'm just holding on tight...
Conceitedness is an ugly life
Only impressive when practiced
You’re becoming a brilliant successor
Teaching your own brand of lies
Reluctant to share what’s on your heart
It’s inconsistent with what you’ve been saying
On your own; the life of an independent
The way you are living is a game
It’s worse than I think I could ever be
But, wrong is wrong
It’s not relative
To you, wrong or right
It’s just for your amusement
You run to stay ahead
Competing for hearts of gold
You left behind pieces
Too inclusive to see
Reluctant silver stars for me
I’m waiting for my day
When all things will be made right
I live with my own ego
I don’t expect a medal
Tired of staying awake
To liberate this day
Your life means more
Than some stupid gesture
My trust is gone
You stole it away
You had hopes for it
I gave you the entire thing
Now you just live
Only to get by
Same sides for storyboards
A lesson learned in time
Comforted by closeness
Drawn to anything
That resembles your old days
Moving on to a new location
A place called hostility
Never to look again at history
Burning books to set free
All your tainted memories
Falsehood to father your antiquity
A blank statement of apathy
For you to hate me
But occasionally say, "Good day"
Down the street, up one block
A way for you to merely go away
For those of you who dont know, Mel Gibson has been in production for over a year making a film depicting the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ. This film is under heavy fire due to its graphic subject matter: the crucifixion of Christ. I have been following the film's production since it was greenlit last year. It was being filmed completly in Latin and Aramaic languages, which added fuel to the fire for the film's naysayers. Since then there has been the decision to add subtitles.
This project excites me for many reasons. The fact that there may finally be a definitive film version of Christ's life! The last time Mel Gibson directed a film it was my favorite movie: Braveheart. This will mark the first time that Gibson is not acting in a movie with his name on it, and frankly, I dont think he could play Christ. Jim Cavaziel of Count of Monte Cristo fame is playing Jesus, and from what I can tell, its amazing. This movie is not going to be for the weak at heart, since I have seen images of a blood soaked Jesus. Its going to be gory, bloody, and realistic. I saw the film's trailer a few weeks ago and I got chills. You can download the trailer here. I would recommend you watch it, its going to be an amazing film. If you would like to see another set of clips, which shows more than the trailer, then visit Harvest ministries website, the pastor there was actually able to watch a rough cut of the film with Mel Gibson. His thoughts on the film are interesting, and you can find the link to the clips from there.
Many christians I have talked to seem skeptical about the movie, since its Hollywood doing it. From what I know, and have read about Mel Gibson. I would consider him a christian. He is Catholic, which raises some evangelical eyebrows, but I beleive he is saved. Here is what he had to say about The Passion:
I'm not a preacher, and I'm not a pastor, but I really feel my career was leading me to make this. Making the Passion was a strange mixture of the most difficult thing I've ever done, along with this incredible ease. Everyone who worked on this movie was changed. Many people working on the set were converted while working on this film. The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to Evangelize.
If thats not enough, go here to read an article in the Salt Lake Tribune reviewing the film. I just found it today, and it had alot of good information.
So I hope all of this gets you excited about this movie, and I would welcome any comments you have about it. The film is expected to release around Easter 2004.
About a year ago I was talking with somone about the issues of drinking, smoking, and the idea of ruining your witness. First of all I think its funny how you would use a phrase like ' ruin your witness", it makes it sound like an appitite. Who came up with this idea anyways? Here is the basic premise: I could be sitting in a resturant with my friends, and I decide to order a glass of wine. I proceed to drink it, not knowing that across the way is another group of people that go to my church. They look over in horror to realize that I am drinking the "devils poison" and promptly begin to dicuss my spirituality. My witness was just ruined, just like their appitites.
I dont get it. Who excatly decides that someones witness is ruined? Certianly not non-christians I would think. Maybe you get a letter in the mail saying " on the night of September twenty-fifth, at nine thirty pm, you ruined your witness". Sounds like a court order, except that your fate has already been decided. Now everyone who sees me will automatically not want to become saved due to my wine drinking. I will be branded a sinner for life now, and no one will ever get saved by me again. I am of no use to God since He prefers "dry" servants.
Does all of that just seem incredibly stupid to you? It makes me wonder what God these people serve. Obviously a God who lets His followers make up their own rules and regulations about what a christian should do. He also must be a powerless God, since He is counting on all of us to get people saved, instead of Him working in someones life. I dont see that as the God of the Bible at all. I also do not see these issues such as drinking or going to movies as sins. Its building something out of nothing. They simply do not matter in the long run. Do you honestly think a non-christian cares whether you drink beer or like Kevin Smith movies? Do you think they were seconds away from giving their life to Christ, but stopped because you said "shit" on your website? Its absurd to think like that. In fact the only thing that has happened from making all these things an issue, is that christians have one more thing to fight about with each other. The sad truth is that christians have been lied to by tradition and fundamentalists, and have turned petty things into major issues. Its a waste of time. There are people dying without Jesus every day, and your worried about me cussing on my post?
I am tired, and my mind is wanting to attack the legalists, so I will quit while I am ahead. I read a good article on fundamentalist christians the other day, and it says things alot better than I do, since I suck as a writer. Check out the article here.
Bigotry is the ultimate form of ignorance. Unconcerned to understand that generalizing a whole group of people into one narrow minded ideology shows no sign of intelligence. No matter how far certain races have come in the struggle for their freedoms, no matter how much more “advanced” our society is, and how much more “tolerant” we are in this country, racism still exists. And it is a sad state of affairs for our nation and world.
The working of these thoughts was spawned after I recently viewed the movie, Men of Honor. This film tells the story of Carl Brashear, an African American who wants to become one of the elite Navy divers. African Americans, at that time, couldn’t get very high in rank and the Navy had never had a black man enter that program. The role of Brashear is played by Cuba Gooding Jr. and he does a wonderful job of bringing this story to life. The picture shows his struggle to succeed, overcoming obstacles of race, hate, and ignorance in the U.S. Navy and in his life.
This isn’t about a movie review. As I was watching, I thought about what if I had lived in the 1940’s and 1950s or earlier. Would I have had the typical white attitude? At first, I shook the notion from my mind. But, as that two hour movie played on and stirred up emotions within me, I began to come to the conclusion that I don’t know what I would have done. Would I befriend someone who was not my race, like I would today? Or would I be a shallow, ignorant fool, who just hated someone and was scared to get to know them just because the color of their skin was different than min? What do you all think? Would you be a friend or would you have been a foe?