Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I will not eat the King's food

When I started this little glimpse into my twisted psyche, I made a decision to title all of my posts "On (subject X)". As if y'all didn't notice that. But, today, my title is rather different. And with good reason, too.

My thoughts today are running towards choices. Important choices. Life-altering choices, and how to deal with them. And how important choices, and the ability to make those choices on one's own, affects our lives, and the lives of those around us.

While I may not get the nitty-gritty details of this little tale correct, due to laziness in actually researching it, the gist of it is accurate, and based on a sermon I heard on the radio while picking up trash from some God-forsaken township here in Dane County, Wisconsin. The story is one of choices, and how important they are.

When the Babylonians conquered Israel, the Babylonian king was impressed with the knowledge and minds of the Israelite people. So, he decided that he was going to take a group of the best and brightest children of Israel, and teach them how to run the Babylonian government for the king. He commanded that they not want for anything. The best food, the best clothes, the best teachers, and even the best homes. In return, these young minds were to become Babylonian. With Babylonian names, Babylonian gods, and Babylonian manners. The parents of these young minds cautioned their boys to remain true to their Israelite heritage, and to not forget that they were Israelites. But, what were these young boys to do? They were only allowed to speak Babylonian, write Babylonian, and use their Babylonian names. But, one of these young, promising minds, when asked what the King could provide for him, said "A simple room to study in, a simple bed to sleep in, and bread and water to eat." For three years, this young man studied in a simple room, sleeping on a simple bed, and eating only bread, and drinking water. When it came time for "final exams" after three years of immersion in the Babylonian way of life, only the young man of simple desires was acceptable to the King. He was the only one who learned what was taught, and the only one with the abilities to perform the duties the King required.

Now, I would imagine you might be asking yourself, "Self, what does this have to do with choices?". Glad you asked.

That young man would later be better known by his HEBREW name of Daniel. In order to remain true to his Israelite heritage, Daniel decided that he would NOT partake of the King's generosity, lest Daniel become beholden to the King out of gratitude. By not partaking of the King's food, Daniel was free to worship The Lord of Hosts, without letting thoughts of what the King might say about it. Also, by not accepting the King's generosity, Daniel also removed also all ability of the King to punish Daniel for any transgressions. Since Daniel was receiving next to nothing from the King, the King couldn't withhold much from Daniel.

Now, on to how this pertains to me. A couple of days ago, I posted about how the major denominations of Christianity selectively interpret the Bible, or, in some cases, ignore it all together. That same day, over at Mr. Minority's site, he had this post. Which got me to thinking. And then, I heard the story of Daniel, and his upbringing in the court of Babylon, which got me to thinking even more.

What I decided is that I will no longer eat the King's food. EVERY denomination of Christianity has it wrong. Every.Stinkin'.One. I have yet to hear a major denomination actually practice what it preaches, when it comes to believing the Bible is the Word of God. Every one ignores the parts they don't like, and preaches only on the parts they do like. So, from now on, until I find a church that actually PRACTICES WHAT IT STINKIN' PREACHES, I will no longer go to church. Nor will I affiliate myself with ANY denomination. I, personally, am sick and tired of going to a church that professes to be the "True Christian" church, only to find the minister preaching heresy and lies from the pulpit. I'm tired of it, and I'm not going to take it any more.

Another VERY important factor in my decision is the role which organised religion plays in the Bible. Which isn't a very good role. When one reads the Bible, it is almost always the trained clergy who turn away from the Lord of Hosts, and most of the prophets (I think all of them, actually, but I could be mistaken) had little or no religious training. Coincidence? I don't think so. It is also relevant to me that Jesus preached AGAINST organised religion, and told us that God was always with us, even if we weren't in the Temple. (for those who don't know, there were only two temples to JHVH in Jesus' day...one in Jerusalem, and the other in Samaria...which is why the Israelites and Samarians didn't get along. They were arguing over which Temple was the correct Temple.) In addition, Paul spent almost all of his evangelising years nowhere near a church...since he was too busy being Super-Apostle to actually attend church. Also, it's kinda hard to attend church when you are in a location to actually create a church...

So, from now on, I am simply a Christian. No denomination. No church. No minister to tell me how the Bible is wrong "just this once", none of it. I encourage y'all to pray about it, and consider it for yourselves, but I don't expect you to.

Some people actually like the King's food.

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country