Updates for Tuesday, August 31st [2004]

Take things always by their smooth handle.

8/31/2004

I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man's milk and restorative cordial. Such grows my friendship with Mr. Meises, so when he is distressed about the state of affairs I did indeed find time to meet with him this last weekend. He informs me that he believes he is in personal danger. A Department of "Homeland Security" (which I do think I need to enquire upon) is investigating the ChronoTech corporation and those involved with it. It seems Daniel has not yet been contacted, but Mr. Meises tells me that they are afraid of a misuse of their project, or spies. Me and Ludwig only had brief time to talk, before he told me he must keep moving forward. I will continue my correspondence with him using the enternet mail utility he established for me. I have a feeling he may know how to get me home.

I met Natalie's parents last Friday evening, per our plans. Two religious folk, I felt it would be great to discuss things with them, and a interesting conversation we had over dinner,

Natalie: Meet mom and dad Tom, mom and dad, this is my friend Tom I told you about.

Mom: Well he looks like a fine Christian boy.

Me: Thank you madam.

Dad: So you attend church much?

Me: I do endeavor to, but since moving here I've spent more time in adjustment than in personal worship. Regardless, the church is untrustworthy today and in days past. We should all then, like the Quakers, live without an order of priests, moralize for ourselves, follow the oracle of conscience, and say nothing about what no man can understand, nor therefore believe.

Dad: That's wrong. If you spend too much time away from God you'll find yourself like those godless Arabs.

Mom: Without the church how would we be able to have good morals and stay right by God?

Me:The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, from the jargon of Plato, of Aristotle and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime preacher of the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, knowing the importance of names, they have assumed that of Christians, while they are mere Platonists, or anything rather than disciples of Jesus.

Dad: Natalie, you really want to spend your time with this man?

Natalie: Dad, you gotta understand that not everyone agrees with you on everything. You should listen to Tom.

Mom: Well I think Tom could listen more to the local preacher about the teachings of Jesus instead of supposing what he knows.

Me: I do listen to the teachings of Jesus, I'm afraid it's the preachers who have throughout history refused to do so. But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State: that the purest system of morals ever before preached to man has been adulterated and sophisticated by artificial constructions, into a mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves: that rational men, not being able to swallow their impious heresies, in order to force them down their throats, they raise the hue and cry of infidelity, while themselves are the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.

Dad: If there's any Anti-Christ son it's Saddam or Osama who lead the Arabs. We need more God in school and to stop tearing down the ten commandments in our courtrooms.

Me: What fool would put the ten commandments in courtrooms? The judges can sometimes be the most ungodlike of rulers, I trust the judge to enforce the law, not to enforce the teachings of God.

Dad: What are you? Some kind of Atheist? I thought you said you believed in our God, you know, Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Me: I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics of deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature. First of all, the the notion that god is three and one at once, a trinity, is mere hocus pocus for the gullible without a good understanding of God's way. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttlefish, thro' the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk.

Mom: Goodness. Well someone obviously needs to read his Bible a little closer. Here Tom and Natalie, we should watch this great tape of and his sermons after dinner. It's very inspiring.

Dad: Well I don't know quite what to say Natalie. You sure picked a weirdo. I hope he's at least voting for Bush.

So we put in the video tape of a program called "This Is Your Day". Immediately I was set agast at the production.

Me: Did he just say "surrender" yourself to Jesus? Jesus has a sublime and simple morality. You don't need to be his slave to be in God's good graces.

Mom: Of course he did. Just watch the show, you'll like it.

Dad: I happen to like the introduction. Just wait until he starts the sermon.

Me: That is a spectacular crowd attending this sermon. Why so many if this is a simple preaching?

Dad: Hinn is one of the most popular televangelists around. Just watch.

Natalie: You know dad, you shouldn't force him to watch this if he doesn't want to...

Me: He doesn't seem to know much about the prophecies of Jesus. Did he just call Jesus God? Is he a Calvinist? What is this rubbish about the Holy Spirit? I most definitely think that he's exaggerating the role of Peter... and missing the point of the great teachings of Jesus in revising the Jewish faith.

Dad: Will you stop analyzing this? We're trying to watch it. If you don't like it then listen respectfully. The best part of the show hasn't happened yet.

Me: What people don't understand about Jesus is that he may have had a sublime spirit but it was drenched in the dross of charlatanism and imposture, resting himself too little on the good acts of man and too much on moral repentance. This Benny Hinn misses much of the point... why is he singing?

Mom: It's part of the show. Let's sing together! You're alllllll I neeeeeeedddd, Jesus you're alllllll...

Dad: ALLLLLL I NEEEEED!

Me: This is ridiculous. What does song and dance of stage shows have to do with preaching the simple insight of Jesus? I've not seen one relevant lesson brought up, just idolotry and zeal. While you all are singing these thousands of people could be doing good works instead of attending this dramatic play. These religious animosities I impute to those who call themselves his ministers, and who engraft their casuistries on the stock of his simple precepts. I am sometimes more angry with them than is authorized by the blessed charities which he preaches. Mr. Hinn may be fine enough but... oh dear goodness, why did that woman just fall when he pointed? Why are those people falling when he shouts at them? What is this devilishness?

Mom: Oh Tom, relax, he's chasing out their evil spirits.

Me: This is the most outlandish quackery I have ever seen. Does he proclaim himself some kind of conduit for God and if so why must he sing this silly song throughout his horse & pony show? Why does he not scream Alakazam! from the highest of highs before having his stagehands fall to the floor? Is he going spook people with ghosts to engage slave worship to God? How low has the preachers sunk since my days of yore...

Dad: You're not as old as me or Ma, so I don't wanna hear it. Natalie, I thought you said he was a fine Christian boy. Obviously not.

It was at this point I decided to no further argue. It is clear the offense is deep driven for those who dare to question the authority of the preachers and the "televangelists" and the charlatan singing magicians. Sometimes you have to know when to reserve yourself, and when to grip things by their smooth handle and not their rugged one. This is one of those situations. Natalie reassured me she was more sensible.

your most obedient and most humble servant.

- TH. Jefferson

Editor's Notes:

Today's Jefferson update is a real exposition into his religious ideas. Jefferson was a pious man, definitely not an Atheist like his critics claimed. However, Jefferson always believed that the established church was twisting the common ideas of Biblical teachings. He didn't believe in the mysticism of Judiasm but he didn't agree with the convolution of Christianity, especially polytheistic concepts of the Trinity, and the preaching of obedience to the church as a substitute for a healthy, moral life. Before I cite some of the religious quotes I used over the course of the article, let's get one out of the way, on the subject of friendship, that was used early in the entry...

"I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man's milk and restorative cordial."
To Benjamin Rush, August 17, 1811

It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one . . . But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests. Sweep away their gossamer fabrics of factitious religion, and they would catch no more flies. We should all then, like the Quakers, live without an order of priests, moralize for ourselves, follow the oracle of conscience, and say nothing about what no man can understand, nor therefore believe. - To John Adams, 1813

The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, from the jargon of Plato, of Aristotle and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime preacher of the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, knowing the importance of names, they have assumed that of Christians, while they are mere Platonists, or anything rather than disciples of Jesus. - To Dr. Waterhouse, 1815

I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics of deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature. - To C. Thompson, 1816

Altho' I rarely waste time in reading on theological subjects, as mangled by our Pseudo-Christians, yet I can readily suppose Basanistos may be amusing. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttlefish, thro' the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk. - To Van der Kemp, 1816

I am not [a Calvinist]. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know. I am not a Jew, and therefore do not adopt their theology, which supposes the God of infinite justice to punish the sins of the fathers upon their children, unto the third and fourth generation; and the benevolent and sublime reformer of that religion has told us only that God is good and perfect, but has not defined him. I am, therefore, of his theology, believing that we have neither words nor ideas adequate to that definition. And if we could all, after this example, leave the subject as undefinable, we should all be of one sect, doers of good, and eschewers of evil. No doctrines of his lead to schism. It is the speculations of crazy theologists which have made a Babel of a religion the most moral and sublime ever preached to man, and calculated to heal, and not to create differences. These religious animosities I impute to those who call themselves his ministers, and who engraft their casuistries on the stock of his simple precepts. I am sometimes more angry with them than is authorized by the blessed charities which he preaches. - To E. Styles, 1819

Lastly, one great Jefferson quote that I didn't get the chance to throw in, for good measure.

I am not afraid of the priests. They have tried upon me all their various batteries, of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering, without being able to give me one moment of pain. I have contemplated their order from the Magi of the East to the Saints of the West, and I have found no difference of character, but of more or less caution, in proportion to their information or ignorance of those on whom their interested duperies were to be plaid off. Their sway in New England is indeed formidable. No mind beyond mediocrity dares there to develop itself. - To H. G. 1816

Jefferson had very unique and revolutionary ideas for his time. While I am an Atheist, I think Jefferson had it right, his theological arguments are stinging. Oh, and the Benny Hinn show that Jefferson watched with Natalie's parents? It's the August 31rst show available online right now, on BennyHinn.org. Don't ask me to address the inconsistency with Jefferson watching today's show of Benny Hinn's "This Is Your Day!" last Friday evening... let's just throw that into the literary wind.


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