Truth or fairy tale

“My grandpappy always advised me to never argue with a man whose god sat in heaven with a magic wand blessing some people and damning others. Unwinnable situation.” – larrypaulbrown

In 1979 the wonderful comedy troupe Monty Python released a movie called the Life of Brian. The film tells the story of Brian Cohen, a young Jewish man who is born on the same day and in the stable next door to Jesus Christ. He subsequently spends the rest of his life being mistaken for a Messiah. Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned it’s showing. The filmmakers used this notoriety to benefit their marketing campaign, with posters in Sweden reading, “So funny, it was banned in Norway!”.

When the film was released in my hometown I had to cross a picket line of sign carrying, bible holding protesters marching in front of the theater. For an eighteen year old it was pretty unnerving. I was a fan of Monty Python and their film Holy Grail was and continues to be one of my all time favorite movies that, sadly, I can quote verbatim; “Your Mother was a Hamster, and your Father smelt of Elderberries!”   

Critics, and there were many, said the film was nothing short of blasphemy. There were even those who claimed that the theater owners who profited from showing it and those of us that paid for a ticket supporting it were headed to hell. It was a tough life decision for kid more concerned about pimples than where he was going to spend eternity.

In the end, it wasn’t Monty Python’s best work. It had all the trappings of trying to capitalize on their success of the Holy Grail. But thirty-eight years later I have never forgotten the “passion” though seemingly misplaced and misdirected “passion” of those protesters. They believed in something, something fervently. They believed in a book of stories which they claimed were divinely written by the big guy upstairs and they believed in a man, a divine man whose birth, life and demise was foretold in those stories.

Now, one segment of the population believes part of the prophecy has been completed (they are waiting on the Revelation’s chunk to finish it) while the other segment of the population is still in a holding pattern, waiting for the arrival of the Mashiach. One group has grown much larger, certainly more vocal and at times more condemning and condescending to those of us not on “their” team. The other group is less visible, at times seemingly invisible, less vocal (expect in matters of Israel) and hasn’t had nearly the growth of the other group but still welds a lot of power, control and influence.

So whose book of stories is right, whose “truths” are correct, which fairy tale are we to believe? I am always a little skeptical when someone is willing to pound me over the head with their truth. I always wonder what they are trying accomplish, convince themselves that they are right or do they feel an obligation to save me from myself? Do they assume more people on their side makes the story grow from a fairy tale to a truth?

I may be a few fries short of a Happy Meal and my cerebral evolution may be just one step above a rock but I know what bullshit looks like, and smells like. I also know to step around it rather than walk through it. I love the passion of some you of Christians, I love how right you think you are. But 69% of the rest of the world isn’t convinced you have all the answers so please don’t get offended if we step around “it” rather than messing up the bottom of our shoes. Your truths, like your rights, end at the tip of my nose and I can smell them a mile away.

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About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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39 Responses to Truth or fairy tale

  1. fine. I’ll pack up my pearls and go home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, not sure what that means but thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Again, if this works for you. If it provides you with peace, hope and security. If it helps you to deal with people with compassion, love and empathy then go in peace. But if you feel an obligation to convince others that the path you are on is the only path worth traveling, then yes, we are on different journeys. Wear your pearls in peace.

          Like

          • My path is just that: MY Path… and I would not recommend it. In the words of Cynthia Bourgeault, “…either by sudden spiritual insight or by a long, tough slog through the mine fields of ego…” Mine has been the later.

            As your other responder says, there are many paths to the same destination. My path not only works for me, it has worked for many many many travelers…deeper, wiser, and more loving and tolerant than either of us. It’s grueling but beats standing on the margins throwing trash at other travelers.

            If I might suggest:

            ~ Don’t put intentions in other people’s mouths

            ~ Do your own homework

            ~ Do your own work

            Like

          • I would suggest to you that you follow your own suggestions as well. Again I wish you well on your journey. I am sure you will find like minded travelers. And remember what I write is mine some agree some disagree some read others don’t. I try to be civil to any and all that want to add their thoughts but I am unwilling to read or comment on dissertations.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Will says:

    There’s a great YouTube find of Cleese and Palin on an British talk show with a Vicar. Can’t make this up.
    Hello Mum. There’s a dead vicar on the doorstep.
    Is he C of E?
    I don’t know.
    It’s tattooed on the the back of his neck.
    Couldn’t let the opportunity pass.
    Know exactly of what you speak about. Lost what little faith my folks exposed me to in Houston Texas. Given the choice n sunday between a taped reply of Houston Wrestling or church, well. Rassling story lines of good and bad guys had a greater appeal. Better theater. Monty Python was on the night before. Following the original SNL cast. Religion was a distant sixth.
    folks who love Python remind me of that Star Trek NG episode with the culture that spoke only in metaphors. Nudge Nudge wink wink.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. etherealbeingsinmylife says:

    I love the quote you began with. It is so true. I feel that anyone who needs to convince you that their belief system is the correct one, to the point of “bible bashing”, showing up at your door, condemning you to a non-existent hell, killing those who do not agree with them etc, etc,are people who are not confident in their beliefs. They need to “convert” others to validate themselves. I no longer believe anything. I KNOW. I know because I have my own personal experiences of what I know and I do not base it on other people’s experiences. We must understand that Source/Creator/Universe/God is not the stick in the mud that humans make he/she/it out to be. The only stick in the muds with all the rules, regulations and condemnations are humans. In the end, it does not matter what you believe. We are all on different paths to the same destination. I will see you when we all get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suze says:

    wonderful post. I expect that you will receive a lot of “saving yourself from yourself” comments…this isn’t going to be one of them. I really wonder when people will wake up and see that there are many sides to the issue and stop bashing people that believe a little differently.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “We are knights who say, Ni!” So glad to connect with another Python fan!! I went with my parents to see “Holy Grail”, and I laughed through the whole movie, while the parents never even smiled.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patty says:

    Monty Python, yes ! 🙂
    Your view on preaching, yes ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You may actually be “a few fries short of a Happy Meal.” I can’t comment on that and maintain my dignity.

    However, you need to understand that the person you’re talking about here makes the sun seem to appear out of the ocean every day.

    He and His loyal and faithful writers managed to prophesy many things about our times that have absolutely come to pass in incredible order. He prophesied war that would commence in 1914, sicknesses that would accompany that conflict, famine to also accompany said conflict, earthquakes similarly.

    Today, in 2017, we’re reeling from the effects of all of those thing. He had His writers call theis period of time “the last days.” Jesus called it “the end of the system of things.”

    Now this bothers me, because I see the mess the world is in and I read in First John 5:19, that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one,” and then I realize that His “end-time” prophecies, to be followed by the establishment of an earth-wide paradise truly make sense.

    It made me realize that this was precisely what I had always thought, in my own mind, as a child, would be the most magnificent way for a God, if there was one, for Him to resolve all the world’s problems, and then I found the hope for the future that is presented by the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly sir you can believe, invent, justify most anything and everything from your bible. You can find the reason to own slaves, hate homosexuals, beat your wife, destroy villages, in your bible. Find the verse “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” and live a compassionate and loving life rather than waiting and watching for the “end-time”. But hey I am “a few fries short of a Happy Meal” what do I know. Peace

      Liked by 2 people

      • Boy, that reminds me of an illustration i received from a friend as an e-mail.

        Violin Illustration – Original

        A friend here was confronted with an illustration intended to show that the Bible isn’t a book of truth. The man said that the Bible is like a violin. “You can play any old tune on it. So each religion is able to support its own beliefs using the Bible.” This is one of those trite little gems of sophistry that folk like to trot out from time to time to dazzle and confound.

        This is is a nice little counter-illustration:
        “While it is possible to play anything from country to classical on a violin, have you ever heard a violinist hit a sour note? Isn’t it true that even people like you and me who may have not musical training whatsoever can recognize a mistake. Why, I’ll bet that if you heard a song for the very first time, you would still be able to recognize it if the violinist started playing wrong notes and deviating from the song? It just wouldn’t sound right.

        “The same is true of the Bible. You can play many pieces of music with it, so to speak. You can play ‘How to live a happy family life,’ or ‘How to raise children,’ or ‘What is the meaning of life,’ but it isn’t hard for anyone to notice when you’re playing a sour note, that is, when you’re teaching lies instead of truth. For instance, if you are using the Bible to teach me love of neighbor, then you go and say that it’s okay to kill your neighbor just because he happens to live on the other side of some political border…well, that’s a sour note. I would know that you’re lying and misusing the Bible. Why? Because the melody doesn’t sound right; it doesn’t ring true.”

        So while you can use the Bible to teach many facets of the truth, you can’t use it to teach a lie without getting caught. It is my firm belief that the Bible is the genuine 100% “Word of God” for humankind. We are meant to follow its guidance unwaveringly.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Professoreugene, I appreciate your passion, I really do. But if you can’t communicate your passion or your point in 20 sentences or less then I tend to believe you are trying to convince and/or validate yourself rather me. I would hope a man with your “passion” would know more about how the bible was put together. You know that tablets didn’t rain out of the sky? Human beings put it together, they picked, they chose, they edited and they almost left out my favorite chapter of the Bible, the Book of James.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Well, how fascinating! Sorry about the “mouthing off,” but I never know who’s at the other end of the line. I am never aware until they make some reference to their beliefs; only then can I begin to cotton on to what they’re all about. Actually, I’m totally convinced of what I’m telling you.

            OK, the writings of James. Quite fascinating, because he says two things of intense interest to you and me. The latter is more important than the former. James 2:14-26 tells us that “faith without works is dead.” So “works” in harmony with God’s Word are vital to our future. The rest of the Bible validates this view as correct.

            The more important item is at James 1:27, which tells us, “The form of worship that IS clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father IS this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.” So, to the exclusion of all others, James, tells us that God has a “form of worship” that he favors! The remainder of the book testifies to the correctness of this point also.

            I’m telling you stuff you won’t hear in any church.

            Thank you for your patience. Rgds,

            Like

          • “The rest of the Bible validates this view as correct.” Actually, this is not correct. Denominations that follow a strict Pauline theology state, in simple terms, no amount of work will earn you God’s grace.

            Liked by 1 person

          • You’re tight on that . A human has absolutely no hope of ever EARNING God’s grace. One has to learn about God and be obedient to His requirements. This will hopefully gain one God’s favor.

            Like

  8. 14 sentences there, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A sentence is a sentence, ask any jailer!

    Anyway, I just re-read your earlier response: ‘You can find the reason to own slaves, hate homosexuals, beat your wife, destroy villages, in your bible. Find the verse “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” and live a compassionate and loving life rather than waiting and watching for the “end-time”’

    Frankly this is the result of reading the scriptures sans any reason to get the overall context. I visited Johannesburg during the apartheid years, that was Bible-based program. I understand that men will twist the scriptures to suit their own agenda. That’s what imperfect men do.

    The Bible tells us precisely how man fell into sin, totally lost God’s favor, bringing sin and death upon himself and us, his offspring. And, boy-oh-boy, are we paying the bill for that action today.

    Most of the rest of the Bible is devoted us to telling us how God, in His undeserved kindness, has arranged for His Son to ransom his life to give the offspring of our first parents an opportunity to redeem ourselves in God’s sight so that we can see everlasting life here on a beautiful paradise earth.

    You see, those “works” mentioned in the letter of James are vital for each one of us. (By the way, I don’t beat my wife either.)

    Like

    • “I understand that men will twist the scriptures to suit their own agenda”. That is correct, so you will forgive me if I take all of your proclamations, observations, and “knowledge” with a grain of salt. In the words of A Beautiful Tomorrow: “You Do You And I’ll Do Me”

      Liked by 1 person

      • My ravings are not based on human interpretation of the scriptures. If you let them, the verses interpret themselves. As per Joseph: Genesis 40:8 “At this they said to him: “We each had a dream, but there is no interpreter with us.” Joseph said to them: “Do not interpretations belong to God?+ Relate it to me, please.”

        So, that is the procedure I follow: I am convinced that the Bible, when taken as a whole, must reveal a message harmonious and consistent with itself and with the character of its Divine Author.

        Whenever any part of the Bible seemed difficult to understand, it should be clarified and interpreted by other parts of the Bible.

        Like

        • Like I said before, I really do appreciate your passion but at the end of day, whether you are willing to admit it or not YOUR interpretation of the scriptures IS a human, and might I add, very personal, and biased, explanation, elucidation, clarification, and illumination of what you THINK you are reading, feeling, and understanding. If it gives you peace, if it makes your life complete, if it allows you to treat others (not just the people who believe what you believe) with love, compassion and grace……then go in peace. But, if you feel the need to pollute the minds of others or judge them because they are not on the same path as you are on then for me you are traveling in the dark.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Well, when the big day comes, don’t call me up and say, “Why didn’t you tell me,” because it will surely come, whether we like it or not. Rgds and thanks for the exchange. Eug.

            Liked by 1 person

          • So am I to assume, not putting words in your mouth, that you believe that only 2.2 billion people, those who profess to be Christian (31 percent) of the 6.9 billion people walking the Earth today will get their ticket punched when the “Big day comes”? Oh, and this is a simple yes or no question.

            Liked by 2 people

  10. Not at all. The Bible says that those favored by God plus all the dead of times past, which would include the 25 -million dead of World War I, 55-million dead of World War II, will get to live in His new world. Heaven is open to only a few thousand. I have no hope of ever going there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Revelation 14:1-4 among others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

      And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

      And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

      These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

      Again, one man’s (yours) interpretation of absolute nonsense. The worse mistake MAN did was include Revelation’s and exclude Thomas from the Bible. Revelation has screwed up more people than drugs or alcohol.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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