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"If there was no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton


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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

the millions don't get it, but thank Heavens the Virgin Queen does

In the beginning... was the Virgin:

I am writing this blog to chronicle the spiritual and political transformations that have happened to me in the past year. I have never felt compelled to share my story until now, perhaps because in the Before Time - in the Long Long Ago - my story was the twisted and cynical one that is so common among the secular youth of America. I lived life for my own purposes, shamelessly pursuing hedonism in all forms and indulging in what I can now see as a near-insane pursuit of violence. My regard for Life and Truth was nonexistent, my attitude towards morality utterly contemptuous. Everything changed for me one day when I was granted - even though I did not deserve it (and none of us ever does!) - the revelation that G-d exists. That His Word lives.

Now from the Court of the Virgin Queen, comes more on the epiphany:

on peering into the abyss...and seeing death...

on turning away from the abyss... and finding God...

The moment I found I had to reconsider Jesus was after the major aftershocks of my own conversion had calmed - while the details are too personal for me to tell just anyone, suffice to say that an essential part of it was the epiphany that Moses actually spoke with G-d and that the "story" of receiving the tablets on Mt. Sinai literally happened. For this to suddenly assert itself in the soul of someone whose complete faith in reason and science had previously made religious faith worthy of derision could only be the work of a higher intelligence than mine! To break through the dull flatness of modern cynicism was the single most exhilarating moment of my life. This meant that everything had changed: the Torah was not just a book, it was the living Word, and that meant G-d had revealed himself in a mass revelation to the Jewish people to form the Covenant.

I had of course known all these things beforehand as part of my general studies of literature (how I laugh now when I remember telling someone the Bible was a "good read" on par with a good sci-fi novel), but the gap between knowing and believing is a vast space with no bridge in between. Nietzsche famously said that "when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into you," and it is true beyond what even he intended that to mean. For one stands on one side of the gap in the comfortable arrogance of rational positivism, patting oneself on the back for one’s modernity and personal abilities, but eventually life becomes so boring and desperate that something compels the person to look down at the precipice beneath him. He cannot yet see the other side, which is where the delusion that the universe consists only of one’s ego falls happily away - the result is that all he peers into is the naked terror of death and the unconscious realms that ever threaten to draw in the seeking soul. Those who do not know G-d are yearning for contact so deeply that they are drawn into a morbid fascination with death, which they might be totally unaware of -not for nothing does the Bible clearly state that "those who hate G-d love death." The reason for this is that death is a mystery to science and the self-destructive urge so often seen in modern people is really one of exploration: after all, if you and your miserable fellow humans are all that exists in the universe, what else is left to explore but self-annihilation? They do not know it, but this is a yearning for release from the torture of being slaves to their ego, and thus separated from their Creator and furious at Him for abandoning them...

What is up to us is to meet Him halfway. G-d is not a tyrant who controls all of our actions and rules over ant-like men the way that the Greeks imagined that their gods did. We are able to enter into relationship with G-d because we are created in His image, with free will to negotiate and argue and set terms to a limited degree. I am called to uphold the original Covenant because those are the terms that all of the Jews at Sinai agreed to enter into, and those terms are eternal and unbreakable. Because of free will, I can choose to live my life in opposition to G-d and try to forget that I am bound by the Law, but to do so would only be to dive headlong into the abyss. Wise was He who said that we cannot break the Law, but only ourselves against it.

Some truths cannot be analysed or measured, they can only be experienced. This is the tragedy of the rationalist, ever gazing into the abyss - or seeking bread and circuses to distract himself from confronting the Dark.

6:07:00 pm