I had this thought while having an interesting conversation yesterday. I’m gonna throw it out there and see what people think. So like the question was essentially how is it fair that people go to hell if they never hear the message? It’s not their fault because they don’t know better. Actually, what we were talking about is that some people just never think about stuff like that. Like, you know, people like me think about stuff like this all the time. But not everyone is like that; I mean some people just don’t think. So is that their fault?
Anyway, for some reason I started thinking about racism. So like some people, they just don’t think about it and they just accept the stuff they’ve been raised on, and they’re racists. So like, is that OK? My thinking is that of course it’s not OK. They’re possibly less culpable, but it’s nevertheless not OK. And I think most reasonable people would say the same thing. Well maybe not. Anyway, the point is, it’s not okay because there are certain absolutes when it comes to ethical behavior, and just because people don’t know any better doesn’t make it okay.
And so as a society, and I think this is what America has strived to do, the goal is to force people who don’t know better to think about it, and not allow them to remain in their ignorance, because even though they don’t know any better, it’s wrong.
Anyway, it’s the same thing with faith, isn’t it? People who don’t know better are still wrong, although their unbelief may be more understandable given their ignorance, it is nevertheless wrong. And our job, knowing that it is wrong, is to not allow them to persist in their ignorance, but force them to think about it. It’s just like racism, in my view. We can’t just let people stay racist just because they’ve never thought differently. But we’ve got to force them to think about it, and challenge them to realize the truth.
Anyway, I’m sure a lot of people will find that position in regards to racism reasonable, so it doesn’t make sense why the same view in regards to faith should be any different. It’s just as absolute, and even more important. But anyway.
I have a lot of ideas as to why I know what I believe. One thing though I’ll never do again is be arrogant in my own mind about my faith. I remember (I’ve discussed this before) there was a time maybe freshman or sophomore year where I was really glad, and I distinctly remember thinking how happy I was that my faith was where it was, and how I was at a point where I could never doubt again. Whoops. Junior year was very difficult for me, spiritually, and I think I went through some critical doubts. As always, I’m glad for that because it has made my faith stronger in the end, both in an emotional and an intellectual sense. But I’ll never again be cocky about my faith. I think that episode helped me realize that faith itself is a gift. It also helped me understand a bit, I think, what St. Paul meant when he said to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Not that you’ll lose salvation, but you gotta keep humble about it. Because it’s definitely a gift.
But anyway, these past few years I have really come to believe that Christianity is really the only logically tenable possibility in regards to faith. But it would take too long to explain it all. However, I do believe that there must be an absolute and an eternal. And I believe that if these exist there must be a God. And if there is a God, one who is absolute and eternal, I believe that there’s no way we could figure out anything about Him rationally other than by Him directly telling us.
I didn’t find the Blair Witch Project particularly frightening. But that’s just me.
Anyway, I think Dave is wrong. He’s right about Korea being more collectivist than America, which is a good thing, but he’s wrong about the birthday thing being a reflection of collectivist spirit. It’s just convenient is all. Ask your parents and that’s what they’ll say. At least mine do. And if birthdays were really a colletivist thing, then they wouldn’t even celebrate individual birthdays, but they do. So he’s wrong.
Another thing I don’t understand about Dave’s entries is he repeatedly contrasts Korean familial society with western “Freudian” society. What do you mean by this, Dave? I didn’t realize Freud had that much influence on Western society. Which of his ideas do you mean? From what I understand, Freud interpreted everything as sexual and is pretty much seen as whack. He even interpreted society in general as being sexual. So like in Civilization and its Discontents, his main idea, I believe is that man subjugates his natural sexual urges in order to create societies, and its this subjugation that causes societal conflict. But I’m hazy on that lame book and that lame retarded man, so I forget a lot of it. Anyway, Freud was a freak and a loser, and everyone agrees with that, so I’m not sure what Dave means when he talks about how Western society is all Freudian.
I really love our new apartment. It is so so incredibly dope. The place is just dope, from the size of the sink to the newness of it all. I love our entertainment center also. Surround sound, great TV, with Colorstream(tm) inputs, and a great DVD player to plug into it. Of course we got the Nintendo 64 action working. Then the patio area is nice and large, ample room for our bbq when we get one. Then there’s a pool! It’s a relatively nice pool as well, the only drawback being no place to lounge or sun. I also love the location. It’s within walking distance of Togo’s, Pizza Chicago, Fuki Sushi, Su Hong, and Red Pepper. And there’s a direct road (Charleston) to In N’ Out and Costco. Awesome.
I’ve also discovered this great Lucky’s off of San Antonio that is really close. You can’t understand how happy this has made me. First of all, Lucky’s is way cheaper than Safeway. The only thing better about Safeway is that they have their own milk for lactose challenged people such as myself. In all other respects, Lucky’s is better. Plus, this Lucky’s is huge! It’s not only a Lucky’s it’s like a Buy-Rite or some sort of drug store also. And there’s a Bank of America inside! I can do everything here!
One of these weekends I’m going to have my ideal day. I’ll wake up, go grocery shopping and do my banking. Then I’ll come back and have lunch at Pizza Chicago. After the requisite 1/2 hour rest period I’ll go swimming, then shower, then cook dinner with the groceries I’ve gotten. After doing the dishes, I’ll watch a DVD and all the special features. Of course Jieun will be with me for all this. What a great life!
I was at Mercado 20 the other day and I realized I hate cell phones. I know more and more people are getting them but it will be a cold day in hell before I recognize Missouri, I mean, before I get a cell phone. I think I realized why I dislike cell phones and pagers. Pagers even more, because cell phones are semi-purposeful but pagers totally lame. Anyway, the reason I dislike them (for myself, not for other people. Kind of.) is that those times I’ve hung out with people with cell phones, this is usually in Houston, the only reason we’ve had to use them is because we’re hanging out. Does this make sense? Like we’re all going to a movie, or to Dave and Buster’s, or to shaved ice, and having a cell phone just helps us organize that better. That’s pretty much the only reason we use it.
And that to me is just lame. Here’s why. To me, it’s like it makes me feel important, you know, getting calls and stuff. But it’s all just about hanging out. I think what I hate most when I see those lame Asian kids with cell phones at the Mercado is they have this swagger like they’re important or something. Give me a break. The only people calling them are their lame friends saying their on their way to the theaters or how they’re gonna meet up afterwards or whatever.
A short sidenote – I once saw Ben Ling walking to Manzanita and he was talking to Chi-Hua on his phone while he was walking, and he was saying stuff like, “I’m crossing Escondido now… I’m on the other side of the street now… I am now walking past Kimball…” That just absolutely cracked me up. By the way, Ben is not one of those Asian losers. I’m not saying everyone with a cell phone is a loser. I’ll explain how later.
Anyway, yeah, when people get calls or pages they think they’re all important but really, it’s just their equally lame friends calling in regards to hanging out or something. And really, how important is that that you need a cell phone for it? Do I really need a cell phone to tell someone I can’t meet up with them after watching American Pie? Not really. Anyway, this is judgmental of me, but who cares: people with cell phones feel like they’re important because they get these calls, but they’re not that important because the calls really aren’t that important at all. Actually I should quantify. When *I* use my friends’ cell phones, *I* start feeling important because I’m getting all these calls, until I step back and realize all we’re really doing is planning how we’re gonna hang out, which is kind of lame. Not lame, just not important.
Anyway, it’s just some people I get this feeling like they feel they’re important because they get calls, or that they really need their cell phones. If you realize you don’t really *need* it, or that it’s just a convenience thing, that’s fine. And actually some people really do need it. But most people, it’s just a hangout tool, and you don’t really need that. I don’t know if I am communicating myself clearly, but for me, it’s like, I realize that I’d only be using a cell phone for that purpose, to facilitate hanging out, and I really don’t need one, and it doesn’t make me cool. Ack I hate the Asians at Mercado.
Actually what I really hate is when people think they’re important because they’re busy or they’re popular. It’s related to the cell phone thing. Because you’re always hanging out with people or whatever, you feel like you’re an important person or something. Does this make any sense? I don’t know, I get the feeling sometimes that people think they’re important (I’m using this word a lot, and its meaning is very clear in my mind; I don’t know if it’s being conveyed well but I frankly don’t care) when they hang out with people a lot. And to me that’s just lame. It’s not really anything important they’re doing, they’re just hanging out.
And hanging out is pretty much lame. Well, it’s not lame, it’s a good thing, but it’s really not that important, in the grand scheme of things. So like, if you’re getting phone calls related to say ministry issues, maybe that’s one thing, but if everyone’s calling you to figure out when you’re meeting at Spatula City, you’re not that important.
But anyway, hanging out isn’t that important a thing. I hate it when people think they’re cool or important because they’re hanging out all the time. You’re not. Most of the time, you’re a loser. Does this make any sense? It’s like people have a feeling of importance because they’re always busy with people, but they’re not necessarily important. My claim is that they’re just ignoring how lonely they are by being with people all the time.
Anyway, I dislike it when people think they’re more important than they really are, and young Asians at Mercado with cell phones seem to act that way to me more than most, so I hate cell phones. I actually hate it when anyone thinks they’re important because they’re hanging out all the time. I guess what I dislike is when people lack the proper perspective, and they don’t realize that they’re hanging out with people all the time isn’t really that important; more than anything else it’s a distraction to keep you from realizing that you’re fundamentally lonely. As long as you realize this, it’s cool.
I really think that the word fellowship is overused. I really think (although it’s just my opinoin) that fellowship has to be a very intentional thing, and that a lot of the time, “fellowship” isn’t really that, we’re just hanging out. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out, it’s just not fellowship and it’s really not that important. I think that fellowship really has to be spiritually uplifting in some way, and it can’t be just getting to know each other better. Well that’s my claim at least. So there has to be some spiritual intention with it; otherwise you’re just hanging out, which is cool, just recognize it for what it is: not that important, and not worthy of a cell phone. Anyway, that’s what I think – there has to be intentionality and edification to really be fellowship. So, there’s no way going to a movie can be fellowship, because, I mean, you’re not interacting, and if you’re somehow spiritually uplifted, it’s not because of each other. Unless the movie is The Shawshank Redemption. And especially not if the movie is American Pie. You people know who you are.
Also there’s no way going to an arcade is fellowship. I went to an arcade recently with my YAG bible study “leader” Yoon Jae Park and that wasn’t fellowship. It was fun and all, even though I got my bony booty whupped, but it wasn’t fellowship. So yeah, “fellowship” is overused. Also, there is no such thing as basketball “fellowship.”
Anyway, it’s overused, and my bold claim, and I could be totally wrong about this, but I think maybe even in my fellowship, the name is misused. What I mean is that the Fellowship in Christ (at) Stanford seems often to have an emphasis on stuff that isn’t really fellowship, but more other stuff, most notably, hanging out. Hanging out is really important to FiCS, which is cool, it’s just, I don’t know, maybe the emphasis on it is more than it should be.
For example, with people who are “struggling,” at times the emphasis seems more on getting the person to come out to more FiCS stuff, and be better friends with FiCS people, and hang out more with FiCS people, than on having them build up their personal spiritual lives. Which is not to say that the second is ignored by any means; obviously everyone wants it. It’s just it seems to be assumed the it can only happen via the first emphasis, and that by the first, the second will necessarily follow. I don’t know, I just think we hang out too much. Actually, that’s not what I mean. Hanging out is a good thing, what I guess I mean is that we don’t always have the right perspective, and mistake hanging out for true fellowship, and even worse, think the more “fellowship” we’re having, the stronger our spiritual lives are. I guess what I feel we should do is have a proper perspective on things.
Anyway, I’ve rambled, and this was probably tediously uninteresting to most of you. I guess what I am thinking is that I tend to sin in looking down on people who aren’t introspective at all. I get the feeling like those losers at Mercado with cell phones think they’re important because they hang out with people and get calls and that bothers me because they aren’t important at all and we can all see that, since we go to Stanford and are obviously more important than them (ha) and if they just were just a little introspective, they would see this and not have the swagger that they do. And eventually they will. With “fellowship” it’s the same thing, what we call “fellowship” isn’t always, isn’t often, even, and how strong our fellowship really was will only be seen by the testing of time.
Speaking of which, college ministry is very strange, because 1) the environment is the most artificial environment you’ll ever face and 2) fundamentally, everything is so temporary. It’s just weird. Anyway, it’s hard to judge who should be leading/serving in college because those 2 factors make it hard to judge things. I really think you can only judge a person given a lot of time. And I think the strength of a fellowship can be judged only given time, when we see how strong the roots built were. Anyway, I think that’s why Paul says that deacons and elders should only be old. Like in 1 Timothy 3, in verse 6 he says they shouldn’t be a novice, so that that they’re not puffed up with pride. In verse 10, he says they should be tested before they become deacons. Time will test a lot of things. But with like c