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fear is the mind-killer

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{ Now playing: 77s, "Miserable"; Over the Rhine, "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander"; Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart"; 3rd period of Pens vs. Flyers; Adam Again, "Walk Between the Raindrops"; Michael Knott, "Apocalypse Lips"; The Beatles, "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues"; Vigilantes of Love, "All Messed Up"; Living Sacrifice, "Burn The End (demo)"; Barenaked Ladies, "Be My Yoko Ono"; Bass Kittens, "Zim Theme (impending doom mix)"; Bach's Brandenburg concert #2; Michael Knott, I am No Christ"; Wagner's Gotterdamerung, Siegfreid's Death and Funeral March; Geinoh Yamashirogumi, "∞}∞≈∞E∞}∞z∞≠≠≠∏"; Alternative Worship, "Window"; Anonymous 4, "There is no rose of swych vertu"; Pink Floyd, "Money (techno remix)"; the Aunt Bettys, "Cruel"; Townes Van Zandt, "Waiting 'Round To Die"; Geinoh Yamashirogumi, "Choral Pattern of Kecak"; The Sugarcubes, "Birthday"; The Beach Boys, "California Girls"; Geinoh Yamashirogumi, "Shohmyoh";
Recent movies: China in Revolution (1 of 3)****; The Matrix Reloaded***; China in Revolution (2 of 3)****; Border***;
Recent books: II Samuel; Epistle to the Hebrews; Koch, The History of Prussia; Luther, Selected Psalms I; Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons; Dirlik, Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution; Salisbury, Tiannamen Diary; Emma Bull, Bone Dance;

So, we're looking at signing on for a tour with this crew -- let's call them... ACME International, ne? Besides prelim phone interviews, and references from believers who know and and employer, they want us to just say a few words about what we believe on a few important matter (God, Bible, salvation, etc.). Now, given that this I'm throwing in my lot here with a missions agency, and I'm a seminary grad, wouldn't you think this would be the easy bit?

But I'm beginning to think I've spent too long in this crazy vale of tears that is the evangelical homebase of the Episcopal Church - not so much for the evangelicalism per se (ask again later, grasshopper), but for the wonky Episcopal ethos... Between the evangelicals, and the raving lib'ruls, and the incessant sharpening of the knives, I'm a little paranoid.

No, a lot, probably.

It's just that I know that litmus-testing is a real factor out there.

("i could have told you you was on the wrong track
i could have told you about the knife in your back
i could have told you about the people you see
all of those friends were just your enemies
honey i've never seen you look like that before
you all messed up no where to go"
-- Vigilantes of Love, "All Messed up"

Now, the fact of the matter is, I know that ACME Int'l is a pretty decent place to be, both wide and deep, or we'd never have come to this intersection. And if I've survived all this time in the deranged bowels of Episcopalianism's only slightly dark heart, a wider slice of the Kirishitan world is likely to be vastly more forgiving, not to mention refreshing. But I know about the raving debates about infallibility versus inerrancy, I know about smells and bells and Puritan ph34r... ...have heard the chimes at midnight...

Weirdly, I find it easier to simply argue with the reasonably argumentative and to lock horns with those whose beliefs are netirely other, than to cast myself upon the mercy of my fellows Christians. But then again, I have every confidence that in speaking and seeking truth with those who don't believe, God is with us and guiding me. But who will preserve me from the devouring of Christ's own Church? I hate to admit, there's few bunches of people I know so well and trust so little as my fellow Christians. Not so much for malice, as for sheer damn-foolery. Especially when they hold my fate in my hands.

God give me strength...

"the truth is i bleed you
when these frequencies cut me
i'm a slut with a mission
a singular vision
i radio heaven
i get mixed signals
i move the antenna
i switch the channels"
-- Over the Rhine, "I Radio Heaven"

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