I’ve been rereading some of my old myminds recently and I realized how inconsistent I am in them. If you go through all my minds, you’ll find these blatant inconsistencies. And there are a lot of them I regret writing later. But I always leave them up because it gives a snapshot as to how I felt at the time, and it reminds me that I am an inconsistent, hypocritical person. It always humbles me. Anyway, the worst hypocrisy was how I was telling people not to get discouraged by people not coming to their stuff and then like 2 myminds later, me saying how discouraged I get by people not coming to certain stuff. It’s such blatant hypocrisy! It humbles me.
My wardrobe can basically be categorized into 4 groups. 1) Missions T-shirts, 2) Retreat T-shirts 3) Job fair T-shirts 4) Other. I came to this realization as I did laundry today, and I basically laundered everything I own because I had waited so long. But it is amazing how many of the 1-3 category T-shirts I own. Wow. And I just got one more.
I’ve been re-reading some old thoughts pages. I recently talked to someone who read all of Dave Hong’s thought pages in one sitting (note; I did not tell this person to look at these pages) and they made an interesting comment about Dave. They called him socially autistic. Meaning, one thing about autistic people is that their senses are super-sensitive, so things bother them more, like noises and stuff like that. This person was saying how Dave is socially autistic, in that he is much more sensitive about social things and stuff. What do you think, Dave? And when the heck are you going to update your page?
Is this the wrong place to be writing this? But on 3/8, Dave said how he was going to cry from release after it’s all over and they have the joint officers meeting. I just read this. And I remembered they had some kind of meeting. So how was it Dave.
By the way, I’ve been thinking about it, Henry, and I was wondering if I really did mess up again by telling people to look at these pages, and you are wrong. There are people who are interested in people, and it is no false assumption to think they are interested. Anyway, in this particular context I referred to these thoughts pages because this person made a specific comment how you learn a lot about a person by what they write. Anyway, the web is public access, and I’m making a disclaimer here that if it’s on the Web, I will refer people to it, so if you don’t think certain people should read it, take it off the Web, or password it or something. Because I will refer to it.
I recently had lunch with someone who was saying how the more they get to know people the more they dislike them. Well, not exactly like that, but the more you get to know them the more you get to know the crap that’s below the surface, and you respect them less than you used to. That’s probably a bad summary of what he meant but that’s kind of the idea. Anyway, I’ve thought about it, and I think the opposite happens with me, that the more I get to know people the more I respect them. Maybe it’s because I’m cynical or whatever about people, but I basically think the worst of a person when I first meet them. But the more I get to know certain people, the more I see where they’re coming from and I start to respect what they’ve had to go through. Because I realize I’ve had a really easy life. Anyway, I say this because I’ve recently gotten to get to know just a tiny bit better a few people and it’s just totally changed my view of them. And I still think of them the same way now, like they’re human with weaknesss and faults, but I see where they’ve come from and I have come to respect that a lot.
I was watching the senior video tonight and it was just really interesting. Pretty funny. It was basically all about dancing and all that. Anyway, I think I get along pretty well with the Berkeley folks, but I always wonder how I would have gotten along with them if I had actually went there. I don’t know about it. I think there are various levels to me, and as you get to deeper and deeper levels, you switch between liking and repulsion. Anyway, I’m at the level with Berkeley people where we get along, but I always wonder if I had gone there, if I would have been friends with these people. Or would I have been another Kevin Lee.
For example, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity of having gotten to know Albert Shim. Even though he hates me. Anyway, the only reason we know each other is because of Worship team. But if I had gone to Berkeley, wouldn’t have been on worship team, because we only select certain people per class. So would I have been friends with him? I don’t know. This is a little game I play sometimes, like just thinking if I had been somewhere, where would I have fit in? And I’m pretty sure if I had gone to Berkeley, I would have been on the fringe. That’s my feeling anyway. I think I’m better friends with the FiCB seniors because I didn’t go there, and we can stay on this certain level which keeps us friends. When I look at the people there, seriously, I have no idea which group I would belong to. Of course, there’s this balance of you fitting in the place and the place shaping you, but I don’t know.
That’s another thing. Why are Berkeley and Stanford people so different? Every time we get together I get this impression. I’ve probably talked about this before. Anyway, I wouldn’t have fit in at Berkeley. Although I would have at Whitney High School. Go Wildcats!
Anyway, I realized I’ve become really good at the schmooze game. I’m a pretty good schmoozer. I know how to play the game. It’s pretty simple, actually. All you have to do is pretend that you’re friends. That’s basically what I do at church. Is that tense? I mean I really am friends with some of them, but not most of them, and the secret to schmoozing is pretending you’re friends. Anyway, I really hated schmoozers when I was in high school. I hated the pretend social game that people played, but now I’m pretty good at it. Actually, I’ve become socially in a lot of ways the person I used to hate when I was younger. It’s pretty weird how that happened. My only saving grace is that I realize it’s just a game. I mean, I genuinely like people, but come on, I’m friends with very few of them. I realized this as I was thinking who to give missions support letters to. I mean, I schmooze well enough that I could approach almost all of them. But at least I reaized that I’m not really friends with most of them. If that’s a good thing. I’m not really coherent. Oh well. It just proves this is for me and not for you.
Last night the worship team went to Coriya, which is this hot-pot restaurant in San Francisco. It’s a pretty good hot-pot buffet. Kind of messy, if you’ve had hot-pot before you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, I ate with George, Albert Yi, Charles, Paul and Kenny. Dang. George and Albert take the phrase “all you can eat” as a personal challenge. Unbelievable the amount of mass they can put away. Wow.
As a graduation/going away gift, Charles gave some of us these mugs he got on a recent trip to Singapore. It says, “Singapore is a fine country.” And then around the mug it lists a bunch of fines in Singapore, like urinating on a lift, spitting, etc. The funniest one is the one for not flushing, because of the picture there. You have to see it. You will die.
Pastor Eugene said a great comment during the sermon on Sunday. He said something along the lines of good theology is practical or something or other. I like that. Anyway, there’s often talk of a church having good teaching and stuff like that, but I really believe the quality of the teaching will be reflected in the actions of the people. Because Paul’s theology was always accompanied and incomplete without action. I just really feel you can’t just talk about a church having good teaching, unless you see how the church acts, because to me, this is a more accurate reflection of the teaching.
Bible study on Sunday was actually pretty good, which surprised me because I wasn’t expecting to have it and was initially anonyed that we were. But we went through 2 John and there’s actually a lot there. Pretty dense. Reminded once again that loving God means obeying His commands. Which I never do. Ack.
I am steadily becoming worse and worse of a student. As you many know, I dropped a class (withdrew, to be precise) so I would not have to do a problem set. Lazy. Anyway, last friday I had a paper due, but instead of doing it, I just kind of messed around thursday night. I just didn’t do it. So all weekend I planned to do it, and lugged around Eddie’s laptop to do it on Saturday and Sunday. I started writing at 4:30 AM Monday morning. Anyway, I managed to get it off in 3 hours in between games of Snood. Speaking of which, Snood has seriously destroyed my life. Absolutely destroyed my life.
One topic that came up on Sunday was that of Catholics and whether they are Christians. It’s just very confusing to me. Especially to me having gone to Catholic school. I just feel it’s easier to diss them when it’s a totally outside view, but when you really learn their official theology, it’s kind of confusing. Sal said something pretty interesting, that their official theology isn’t all that weird, but how it’s done in practice varies a lot throughout the world and gets very strange. Which is true. Except even the official doctrine is pretty strange in places. The weirdest thing to me is how the Pope is infallible when it comes to encyclical letters. So once they’re out there, you can’t ever take it back. The pope can actually say a bunch of stuff and take it back, but when it’s an encyclical, it’s like the word of God, true forever. This idea of the infallibility of the encyclical was itself the subject of an encyclical if I remember correctly. At any rate, this makes the Catholic church just take really weird positions.
Among them is the doctrine of transubstantiation. At Communion, the teaching of the Catholic church is that the wine and bread actually become the blood and flesh of Christ. Easy to say a long time ago, but now with science it’s unclear how this happens. So now there’s all these weird ideas of how it happens at a molecular level and not on a holistic level and stuff like that.
Another one. One of the popes issued an encyclical saying that any form of birth control, other than the rhythm method, is a sin. Probably got this idea from the story of Onan or something. Anyway, the vast majority of Catholics, at least in America, just plain ignore this. But the Catholic church has to support this position. Just last year Pope John Paul II talked about it, saying he knows it’s a hard teaching and that most people just ignore it, but it is a sin.
The weirdest doctrine to me is that of the Immaculate Conception. If you don’t know, this refers to the birth of Mary, not of Jesus. It says that Mary was born without sin, or something essentially like that. You can understand why Protestants have a lot of problems with the Catholic conception of Mary. There was an article in Newsweek a while back about Mary, and it was really, really, interesting; if you can get your hands on it, I highly suggest reading it. At any rate, there’s a big movement in the Catholic church to move the status of Mary up to co-redemptrix along with Christ. Bold! The crazy thing, it’s not some fringe thing, but it has some big supporters, among them, Mother Theresa before she died. And the Pope himself is a big fan of Mary, believing she saved his life from an assassination attempt earlier in his life. The whole Mary thing is weird.
About praying to saints, Sal explained it in an interesting way. It’s not like Catholics don’t believe they can pray to Jesus or God or that they need an intermediary, but praying to saints is like asking them to pray for you, like you would ask a friend to pray for you. And certain saints because as Sal explained it, you would be more inclined to ask like a Bible study leader to pray for you, and it’s the same type of thing. Anyway, it’s like asking a friend to pray for you, except the friend is dead, but that doesn’t matter because we’re all alive in Christ. There’s a bit more to it, like their prayers are more effective because they’re there and stuff, but that’s the idea. I thought that was an interesting explanation.
At any rate, it’s just confusing to me, and not easy for me to just say that all Catholics aren’t Christians. Even to say that Catholic doctrine isn’t Christian. it’s just the Catholic church has the most direct connection to Christ. The Protestant church only came in the past 300 years. So it’s like, were there no Christians in between then? 30 A.D. until Luther? That just can’t be if what Jesus said is true. Obviously, the Catholic church must have at one time been the true church, but maybe somewhere it went wrong. But where? It’s just not easy for me to say when this happened. Maybe someone can teach me.
I also overheard Ben Hur’s small group being unholy on Sunday. I always thought the world would be better if it used a base 12 system. Just because it’s such a divisible number. My feeling is that would make things a lot more clean. Too bad we have 10 fingers.