Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009?




Hi,


I'm still here. I posted so much material when I posted my book manuscript I wanted to give the blog as rest and give people time to read some of the other material. I'm grateful for all the comments and e-mails, which I've received. I have already made several changes (not reflected in the manuscript already posted).


I've also had time for a lot of reflection over the holidays . . . things I wish I could write about and may soon.


It has been a crazy holiday time. The three kids, who are in college in Washington, came home. But even before they could get here we started getting hit with the snow storm of the century. It was tough getting them home. Then we had 20 inches of snow and record cold. The only car that could get out was my Jeep.


Next our waterline from the well froze. This in turn caused the well pump to fail. We ended up going 8 days without water. I became totally consumed in melting snow for water.


One of our first dinner nights together, Caleb suggested that he is a materialist (in the true sense) of there being no God, no soul and that we are the sum of chance plus time (primordial crap in other words). That of course makes me sad, but I was not surprised.


The thing that makes me the most sad isn't that Caleb isn't "being a good Christian" but it is depressing for anyone to really believe that they have no meaning, no purpose, the sum of the universe's (with a small "u") crap. He is turned off by the farce-ness of Evangelicalism. But the only farce that is worse, in my opinion, is that of the materialist. I've known many that claim they have that position, but yet live like they have meaning. It is impossible to not live like you have meaning. But that's another story.


Then Tyler tells us that he has dropped out of college is broke and is possibly moving home.


Life is always interesting.




6 comments:

Craig V. said...

I got hit by the same storm. I rather enjoyed the change but did get cabin fever after working from home for over a week.

I'm sorry to hear about Caleb's move to philosophical materialism. One of the greatest causes of sadness in my own life as a pastor is that we in the conservative Christian world are finding it more and more difficult to give to our children a knowledge of our Lord. I suspect that one reason is that we have adopted an extreme form of an us versus them mentality where we portray ourselves as the only ones who properly do everything from art and philosophy to marriage and child rearing. No one can live up to that and when our children who have lived as a part of our community begin to see our real selves the whole thing falls apart rather quickly. I don't mean to imply that that's what happened in Caleb's life, only that your pain reminds me of a larger problem.

MJ said...

Caleb is our next to oldest and has experience half of his life in a somewhat dysfunctional Evangelical world and the later half (as I changed) in an enviroment where honesty and thinking was encouraged.

It is always easy to be retrospective, but if I could have changed anything, I would have avoided forcig him to attend so many Sunday schools and Youth Groups. He was insightful enough to see that there was tremendous intellectual and emotional dishonesty in those groups and I think that is what has made him cynical.

I encourage healthy doubting. The problem with most people is that they deny their doubts (suspress them) or they allow them to surface but don't ride them to the bitter end. They often get stuck in these places as Caleb . . . agnosticism, atheism, materialism (which happen to be the "cool" or socially accepted places to rest (among thinking people). But I hope Caleb, as I had to do, takes it to the end.

I tried to think and live as if the universe was chance + time, impersonal and chaos. But that is so inconsistent with reality. I finally had to doubt even that position and come back to the knowledge that God is there.

While I too am a skeptic, especiall about "miracles" which are mostly wishful thinking, I do know that prayer is real and can change the mind of God and the flow of history. Caleb will remain in my prayers.

willohroots said...

I have been there with frozen well pipes! It is good to have a stream in the back yard, if you bust through the ice you got water. Man ,I tryed to read your book but I am so angry right now on how you were treated as a brother i want to tie up a scurge and whip the dude. also i am mad at the navagators cairo and my key board. You got to stick this shafting in the middle of the book or something, cause a s a reader i need to be invested before i go through the pain with you. Seriously I would love to bitch slap this guy in the name of the Lord. Enough is enough!11 Spiritual Abuse alert! This is cultish!! Argh! i love you I hope you and yours are ok, and you are so blessed caleb is where he is to day. If it were me that watched my dad go through that crap I would be hunting down the whole denomination like dogs and killing them.
Do I seem mad to you! I have been over seas enough to relate a little bitty bit. Send this guy to my house. I would like to adjust his attitude. That, sir is no Christian!

willohroots said...

I am still mad!!! Holy shemoly! Praise God you are back with Jesus, you are a better man than I. Seriously, where does the dude live?

MJ said...

Willohroots,

Keep in mind, this happened a long time ago (over 15 years) and I was pissed for a very long time.

But, by God's grace, I'm over it. I hated to rehash the story but I have to take the reader through the difficult parts before they can understand where I ended up.

Thanks for taking the time.

Anonymous said...

Caleb is our next to oldest and has experience half of his life in a somewhat dysfunctional Evangelical world and the later half (as I changed) in an enviroment where honesty and thinking was encouraged.

It is always easy to be retrospective, but if I could have changed anything, I would have avoided forcig him to attend so many Sunday schools and Youth Groups. He was insightful enough to see that there was tremendous intellectual and emotional dishonesty in those groups and I think that is what has made him cynical.
-- JMJ

It sounds like Caleb got hit full-strength by the "Take Your God And Shove It!" reaction that you narrowly avoided after Cairo. That "somewhat dysfunctional Evangelical world" may have done more damage to him than to you.

My life was in the opposite direction; I was raised completely non-practicing in what was effectively "philosophical materialism" and got blindsided and hammered by that dysfunctional Evangelical world. Only hope I can offer is that my life and beliefs finally stabilized after 20+ years of drama-rama.

-- Headless Unicorn Guy