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Old 12-13-2006, 10:01 PM   #31
Brynn
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Preach it!

Rev. Lockridge delivers an amazing extempore:

That's My King

And if that wasn't enough and you want to hear the entire sermon (3 more minutes) here's another take that it inspired:

Extended version
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:59 PM   #32
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leave it to the christians to neuter the true spirituality out of their religion by dressing it up with hip-hop beats and cheap digital video effects.

all glitz, no substance. if you have to WOW me with treatment, then your faith lacks substance.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:38 PM   #33
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Yeah, I have to say it doesn't do anything for me, either. I'm glad the guy likes his king and all, but he doesn't really explain any of his rationale.

It could just as well be an ad for a Popeil vegetable slicer dicer.

(Soothing beat, though!)
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:00 AM   #34
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That's about what I expected. I included the extended version, which has none of the back beat that offends so - just images to go with the unedited recording of the sermon. It's a bit more raw and authentic. I actually prefer to listen to it with my eyes closed, but I like the other one too - it's kitsch, sure, but hey, I like it anyway. It's what it is, and for me does not affect the substance of anything at all. It takes a lot more than a video of something to do that. It takes something like a Fred Phelps or a Pat Robertson to do that.

Images/media aside, what he is actually saying, and the way he says it is quite beautiful to me. To approach it like performance art or improvisational jazz or a piece of theatre Ė and Iím just talking about the second version with your eyes closed - requires a temporary but willing suspension of disbelief, just like anything else in the arts. Great sermons as art are definitely not for everybody, but neither is jazz, or performance art, or any other form of beauty (it also helps to listen to it all the way through, though).

I mostly like how the good reverend finds the full blooming power of his creativity in speaking about someone he so obviously adores. I love his passion, his unabashed, unbridled ecstasy of expression. I don't think you have to be a Christian to appreciate his gift for description or crescendo, although it certainly helps. But what attracts me most is that there's a joy and a freedom there that is palpable and unmistakable. You can't manufacture that part of it, and it speaks for itself.

Let's say it though - people who love Jesus can make your teeth grind.
I like various kinds of pets, but I'm uncomfortable around people who make them the epicenter of their lives. Hummel figurines do nothing for me, but some people collect them obsessively and compulsively (my husbandís godmother just died recently and left hundreds of them behind! What to do with them? We canít just throw them away because of how she obviously felt about them. But thereís no place in our lives for them Ė not even one, Iím sorry to say. Not even the ďcutestĒ one. No.).
Before my conversion, listening to people talk even casually about Jesus made me feel resentful and scornful, and real passion about the subject made me run from the room. Passionate people are exhausting to be around, and their agendas can be unbearable.

Maybe it's because of a sense of unseemliness/lack of dignity/lack of cool or perhaps even more - a note of unspoken accusation that I was always reading into it. Maybe it's because anyone who finds real joy in something throws the rest of us into stark relief if we aren't experiencing joy too at that same moment. We protect ourselves from looking at it in lots of different ways, I guess. I certainly don't know.
What I do know, however, is that Iíve gotten tired of watching all the joy in the room and not plunging into it. Iíve got my whole life ahead of me, and Iíll be damned if Iím going to stand around with my arms crossed, waiting for proof instead of going out and finding my own experience of it. When a person gets to that point, any criticism of the pursuit tends to fall harmlessly by the wayside.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #35
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i couldn't watch that thing, brynn, but i love you anyway!
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:40 PM   #36
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I watched it; it was okay. It didn't move me much.

I'm sure it's hard to keep trying to communicate this stuff to people whose politeness and personal investment around the subject so broadly vary. I admire you for trying, and I intuit pretty strongly that you're not doing it to earn anyone's admiration, but there you have it.

About the joy and the freedom and how it makes other people uncomfortable. People get much the same reaction when they are in the grip of a new love or any obsession that transforms them. Often the response is tinged with "been there, done that." Unless you're at the same place with your own insights -- whether they can be communicated in quadratic equations, love poetry, or scripture -- people have their own stuff going on, and while they might be happy for you, they might not be able to join you, whether or not they can relate to the passion. To some extent, I think this is why practicing faith in community seems to be so popular -- in a good-sized group, you can usually find one or more who is in tune with your particular insights, for better or worse, and that always feels great.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:20 PM   #37
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Someone just sent me a link to this Benny Hinn video, and it reminds me of the Rev Lockridge one, but with considerably less-soothing music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob6cpfeMoBo
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:39 PM   #38
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That moved me...I feel a bit sick. Are people really that willing to be sheep, and still insist that they are somehow "better" than animals?!

How very wierd to see folks standing there psyching themselves up to be knocked down sensless at the command of a guy with a reallllllly bad hairpiece...and paying for admission no doubt.

Wiiiiieeeeeerrrrrrddddd.
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Old 12-15-2006, 07:10 PM   #39
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Benny Hinn makes my skin crawl. HBO did a special on faith healers once..what a scammer.

The guy must get his information the same place the 8 year old does..and he is as aaccurate.


http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/tbn.htm
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:21 PM   #40
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That's actually a perfect soundtrack for that video. There's some major wannabe action certainly going on. What if you're in the audience and everyone in front of you decides to fall over just to be like everyone else, and you have this whole crowd fall on top of you???? I'd be annoyed. It looked like there were a lot of people falling out of politeness in those crowds. Politeness, or an intense desire to have an experience of any kind. Or mob rule. Very weird.

And the guys in black, catching everyone - what, were they innoculated or something?

That being said, some of that falling looked involuntary, especially the guy whose legs looked like they were pulled out from under him and he landed hard. I wonder if he broke a hip, he landed so hard. That would be ironic. I don't know if just a push or a wave of a coat is going to do that though.
Some of those people were elderly - breaking a hip at that age could be a death sentence and they know it.
Furthermore, it's hard to fall to the hard ground without some kind of involuntary action to save yourself. I've had to do it as a kind of "stunt" in a student film once, and even with extensive padding on the floor, it's hard (for me anyway) to get the body to relax without doing it a couple of times until you trust the landing. Try it on a trampoline or something, and do it perfectly the first time. Then do it on the hard ground.

So what's going on? No matter what, there's something happening en masse that has to arouse a little curiosity.

I've also no doubt that some people fervently believe that they were healed spontaneously by God that day. If that's really so, why begrudge a miracle? to paraphrase an old saw, "If God can use Balaam's Ass, He can certainly use Benny Hinn."

If their "healing" fades away with time, I would think that that would do more to destroy their faith than anything. So that raises the question of who Benny Hinn might really be working for. If he's a "false prophet", then I would think that atheists could really embrace a guy like that who goes around destroying faith in God and making Christians look like crazed, desperate, fanatical sheep to the rest of the world. If he's a con, and is exposed as one, he can only help the atheist cause, right?

Aaaaand, with all that having been said, (taking a deep breath here)
getting "slain in the spirit" is an actual phenomenon that happens to people who have never even heard of it before, weren't looking for it, and can't explain it away with any "fainting" theories. They don't "psyche themselves up" for it. They can't because they are not expecting it. I realize that puts me in the uncomfortable position of actually appearing to "side" with a charletan, but that's just something I'm going to have to live with, blushing all the way. It's weird, and it's real and it's embarrassing and that's the way it is.

I love you too, 12" ! I hate it when you're gone. *mwah*

trisherina - that's a perfect analogy.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:11 PM   #41
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hey brynn.. just wondering.. what does jesus offer that i cannot find in myself? not that i consider myself to be godlike.. just wondering what moves ppl to follow jesus
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:15 PM   #42
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It's a lot of different things for different people, Frieda.

Let's face it, some people are just very very well-adjusted. It almost seems as if they're born that way. They really do have it all together. They're kind. They're generous to a fault. They like themselves and accept others as they are because they don't feel threatened by them. Maybe they had really loving, balanced parents who raised them to be conscientious, honest, empathetic, forgiving. They're fun to be around, and people like them. Because of who they are intrinsically, they care about other people and can be depended upon.

My husband is a lot like this. He doesn't feel that he needs Jesus and isn't moved to "follow" his teachings in a formal way - although because of some inner code of his, he seems to anyway, and he makes it look normal and easy.

Jesus said that he came to heal the sick, not the well.
So he doesn't feel that Jesus offers him much at all. But he does take on a lot of responsibility, and gets stressed. When he gets stressed, he gets physically sick. I'd like for him to have someone supernaturally strong and reliable to throw his worries on.
So that's one thing Jesus offers, and if my husband ever does decide to go that way, that would be one of the big reasons, I guess. Some people get that in a very rich way through TM, but he hates meditating. Same thing with yoga - so he's got to do it his own way.

As for me, a considerably more screwed-up person, probably the most appealing thing that Jesus offers me is propitiation - he takes the blame for the things I've done, and redeems it by turning it into something healing and character-refining. He stands in front of me when an internal prosecuting attorney is pointing his finger at me saying "You did this and you did that and you suck and you're a failure and you're this and you said that...!" Oh, I can do a real number on myself, believe me. I was well-taught. I still try to self-medicate myself against it with alcohol and food and exercising and consumerism and keeping "busy." But I turn to Jesus for help with all that and he quietly says "No, me. Nope, I'll take the punishment for that too. Over here, that's mine as well - give it to me." Then it's as if he takes me aside and says 'Okay, you probably need to work on this. I'll help you. Here are a couple of ways.' He's my ultimate defense attorney.

He steps in, sweeps guilt away and lets me try again with infinite second chances. I feel loved in spite of not loving myself very much.
He lures me away from the total and complete horror of my own narcissism - to the extent that I'm willing to abandon it.
He's a person, not an abstract - a focus outside of myself, rooted in beauty and mystery, giving me a sense of purpose, adventure, and a reason for being here other than to make myself and other people miserable.

That's what I think of immediately. Other people will tell you something entirely different.
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1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.
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3. Your foot will change direction.

Last edited by Brynn : 12-20-2006 at 06:14 PM. Reason: blah blah blah ginger
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:27 PM   #43
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cool. but what about all the 'son of god' stuff?
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:12 PM   #44
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Well, yeah, there is that, isn't there?

I do believe he's the son of God. I didn't used to. But now I do.

For me, the story isn't intuitive. It's historical. Had it been invented, I think they could have done a much better, more thorough job of it, with fewer plot holes. They could have at least gotten their stories to match up better. The apostles could have made themselves look a little less like vain idiots and cowards sometimes. But it's very messy, and unflattering, like history is messy, and scandalous - not tidy, like fiction. It has conflicting viewpoints and things that individuals remember often diverge - just like in modern accounts of events.
I know it is possible to fabricate something masterfully messy, because all we have to do is look at Shakespeare, and his achingly flawed Hamlet and that gloriously tragic bloodbath at the end. but it's all very artful, isn't it, with all that iambic pentameter and beautiful metaphors and eloquent speeches? By comparison, the Gospels have none of that kind of gorgeous narrative line and character development. It just sounds like a guy sat down and wrote everything he remembered.

I do trust the record, and what witnesses said about what they saw and heard. The fact that the apostles were tortured and killed for what they witnessed is compelling when you consider that perhaps they couldn't or wouldn't have sacrificed everything for a mere abstract idea or philosophy. Jesus was a real man to them who changed their lives in such a way that there was no going back. It would have been the simplest thing in the world to have just forgotten all about it if he had actually stayed in the tomb, and according to the story, they really were ready to throw in the towel.

More than one account outside the gospels and other biblical texts confirm that there were at least 500 witnesses to Christ's accension into heaven. Later, many Christians died at the hands of the Romans rather than renounce their belief in Jesus as the son of God. It was so much more difficult to be a Christian then. Why do it?

Then there's all that prophecy from the Old Testament that was fulfilled in him, from his birth, to his ministry, on to his death and his eventual place in history.

I didn't used to believe all that. And none of that really matters anyway when you compare it to the experience of actually deciding to go ahead and believe, in spite of one's disbelief. One of Bill Moyer's favorite verses from the Bible is
"I believe. Help me with my unbelief." That's where I am.

When a person decides to go ahead and say "Why not? Yes, I am making the choice to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and I'm just going to give in to it and accept that," I don't know how else to describe it - something is birthed in the soul. It begins to flower and expand upon itself. Something is actually there that wasn't there before. It's a presence, a sentience, a completely new perspective - perhaps it was there all the time, but it needed water, it needed belief for it to begin to be so. It really is the strangest thing.

For me it felt like taking off an old favorite, ragged, slightly smelly, dirty-but-comfortable coat and trying on a beautiful new one just to see how it fit. I just never felt like taking it off and putting the old one back on. I couldn't. It made no sense. There just wasn't any going back.

So yeah, Jesus is the Son of God, whatever. He's Jesus, and it's good.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:56 AM   #45
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Where I always had trouble with Jesus was the similarity of aspects of his life as recorded in the Gospels with those attributed to Dionysus (of course, pre-Christianity). Anyone with decent Google-fu can look it up, but suffice it to say that there are similar elements in tales purportedly illustrating the divinity of Jesus -- miraculous acts and details of the Passion among them. Learning about this made it difficult for me to think of Jesus as more than a really cool inspired guy who had some great things to say -- which I would probably say about Mohammed and many other labeled prophets. Add to that the fact that theologians abound who reject the literal notion of the Virgin birth, and I have a tough time giving Jesus a distinct divine identity. Without that, of course, I find it difficult to see Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour, and without that, Christians merely tolerate my friendly mien at church. You gots to have the Jesus, as you pointed out in the other thread about belief.

Generally, Old Testament religion people relate to me well, since my faith (I persist in having faith, crazy old bat that I am) looks and feels similar to theirs in a lot of ways.
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