Svithing religious complexity


Religion is a funny thing, don't you think? All this "faith" stuff, for instance. What's that all about? Live my life according to rules whose foundations are invisible? Talk about whack!

But lots of people do it, myself included, so there must be something to it.

So we make a decision based on criteria that are personal to the point of being inexplicable and then we live our lives, having made that decision and sticking to it.

Without going into the inexplicable and personal reasons, I have chosen to be a Mormon. What it means to be a Mormon is what I am thinking about today, in large part due to Master Fob's excellent svithe last week. Excellent except for dredging up that old raisin thing again (the jerk). Anyway, it was on obedience and you should read it.

Master Fob's argument is a strong one: religious followers should filter the teachings of their religious leaders through their own faith and prayer-relationships with Almighty. Brigham Young would agree with him. And so do I. But while agreeing with him, I reserve the right to disagree with him.

Here's the thing: I (for instance) have chosen to be a Mormon and among the tenets that acceptance implies is this: I accept that God has chosen folk to be his spokesfolk upon this earth and to give me information I need to be a better Christian. Now, I feel strongly that, yes, I should pray and discover for myself whether this doctrine of leadership be true, but once I've accepted it, the list of things I need to pray about has been vastly simplified. Since God and I have already sat down and agreed that Mr Hinckley is God's prophet, when Mr Hinckley speaks in his official capacity, I don't see an intellectual crisis in accepting what he says as the mind and will of the Lord without rehashing the prophet policy with deity.

Now, I suppose if he says something I have a hard time accepting I will of course have to return to my knees for a redo, because I don't believe in blinding myself in the name of faith. Faith isn't blindness; faith is seeing: If I have already been given faith, I will be able to push through the snowstorms of uncertainty--even if I only have enough understanding for faith to show me one footstep at a time. I believe that when I don't understand the specifics, my faith in larger principles will see me through. And modern revelation is a most vital principle.

Mmmmm....Marxism!Anyway, on to these coffee pictures.

I'm not interested in getting into the Word of Wisdom today, but I do think these pictures illustrate the nature of confusion and disagreement and getting along.

This Marxism coffee for instance. It's hard, but let's disregard how Marx would feel about being named after God's favored coffee and look instead at the type.

First: "Coffee 15%"

(Unfortunately, I can't type in Korean, so I'll just translate the part in the green ribbon.)

Second: "‹‹Now we're giving you two more packets, baby!››"

See. This is religious tolerance at it's finest. We may take away 85%, but if we always give back 200%, we'll all be okay.

The trick is to always give others more tolerance than you need in return.

Even when it comes to raisins, jerk.


Note:Lady Steed and I are moving this week to El Cerrito, California. Because of this, we will be short one internet connection for a period of time of an as-of-yet undetermined length. Thus, as I will have no internet connection, I will have nothing to svithe. Thus, svithing will be put on hold for some time.

I may still svithe. I may not. Until we're online again, no promises.

(end note)


Last week's svithe

Visit this week's svithe on Thmusings


Svithing out salvation

fear, trembling

Wherefore, my beloved...
work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling.
----Philippians 2:12


I've been to Costco about a zillion times so far this year and they're still not carrying salvation.

I've checked Amazon. No luck.

So I asked Paul and he seems to think salvation requires work. And fear. And trembling.


So I have to work. And I take it from that "fear and trembling" bit that said work must be done under the auspices of somebody somewhat intimidating?

In my REB, this is how Paul is translated:

    You must work out your own salvation
    in fear and trembling;
    for it is God who works in you,
    inspiring both the will and the deed,
    for his own chosen purpose.
Let's forget all my joking and recognize that the reason we need to fear and tremble, the reason we need to be reverential, the reason we need to be humble and accepting, is because we are not doing the work of our salvation alone, but we have a partner--somebody named God--who is actually in charge and merely asking for our cooperation.

It seems a reasonable request.

No membership charges, always free shipping, good company.

Good deal.

Last week's svithe

View this svithe on Thmusings