Saturday, October 18, 2014

That Faith Thing

  There are few topics, it seems just plain weirder than "faith". Don't look here for some novel lexicon derived, formalized definition. Rather, I shall proceed (as usual) "to shoot from the hip". And just forget all those warm-fuzzy "inspirational stories" we normally note. See? The strange-pants nature of our topic is (usually) made even harder to understand, and less clear by such stuff. I shall begin then, with an uneducated and ignorant critique of the two words, I often apply to discuss this "thing" called faith.
  Neither "assumption, nor presumption" work very well, as faith words, except to say that we do apply the principles of same. We take for granted (say) the truth-veracity of the Bible, or we agree in the inner-person that the claims, threats, and promises of Lord Jesus are valid, and so, to be built-upon? Do we have agreement so-far?
  My lead-off pitch then is to disqualify both! The lexical approach formats here as an odd loop. Both words "pre-sume" and "as-sume", are working off of a non-existent (I think) English word "sume". The latin "sumere", in it's base form, means; "to take". The flatly frustrating results we work with here are "to-pre-take" (as in presume), or worse yet "to-adopt-take" (as the word assume). Both make hash of the brain.
  To take, "prior to taking" (presume), makes you wonder about the "second taking" don't it? Think "2nd Blessing" folk here perhaps?  You're "in", but not really-really-in, til you do the second dose?  Or contrast that with; "to adopt-take" (assume). It makes a guy wonder whether the "adoption" in question. . was a legal one maybe? Think (perhaps) of some of those interminable "altar calls" for the benefit of them believers who have been with the Lord for decades? Like maybe, after 37 years of walking with Him, I suddenly realize that I've only been fooling myself all along? This doubling-up, this chronic "emphasizing" keeps bumping out zero output.
  So, in order to 'fix" things, we get into the goopy sentimental stories about just how very special your adorable mutt is? That wagging tail, and doggy smile "just speaks volumes to your heart". . . does it? I'd advise you, to tell it to shut up! Just pat the pup on the head, and toss a ball for him to chase, but don't confuse him with an angel. That cute story was intended to draw us close; and I find it repels! Again, we observe a two, that cancel each other. Now, this sort of word puzzle isn't only found here.
  Take a glance at "cleave", or even weirder (?) "unravel" sometime. Having attended more than your fair share of Christian weddings, you already know that for the two to cleave, is a way to say "to join, or become-one-with". Have you forgotten, that it also means the flat opposite too? It also means, to divide, or to tear asunder? Who is the comedian inventing that mess? Likewise, I feel confident that "to unravel" is not a difficult verb to grasp. What then, of "it's opposite"? Other than Shakespeare, who even uses "ravel"? Define it please? Why, of course! It means "to separate the threads apart", which is exactly what we meant by it's "un-version"? Where the heck is a word-cop when you need one? This "taking prior to being taken", this unwinding of strings, which is the "opposite of" unwinding strings. . .is strange-pants indeed!
  Speaking of strange pants, have you noticed "the longs"? Who knows (or cares?) when these dumb costumes became cool? But, take a look at those young fellars yonder. Are they "saying" with their "longs", to the world; "Hey lookee Mama, I'm wearing Daddy's shorts!", or what? Apparently, Daddy is an NFL lineman, (say) 6'-10", weighing in at 315 lbs.? These silly trousers have enormous barrel legs, and extend on "junior" to well above the ankle, and plainly below the knee. Too short for old-school "high-waters", and way too long for "shorts", these absurd "longs", are in point of fact, "shorts". Make 'em go-away, will ya?
  You get the idea here, a "thing" which we thought was "one" keeps doubling-up, to a net zero. This is not always the case. The word "nail" is a noun, and also a verb. When you say, "Hand me the nails, so's we can nail this together", I get it. But to attempt a similar dual usage to faith, we find that the sucker backfires, big-time! Faith (the noun), is this horrible mish-mash; where-in it sounds as if we were discussing Episcopalians, or something? To say, "There are many valid faiths"; ends up a recitation of your religious gew-gaws, ceremonies, festivals and doctrinal spin. . . and as such, constitute "a thing" (?) like maybe a nail or something? If there were a "thing" called faith, I'd proceed to ignore it, and demand that we discuss the verb.
  For these types of reasons, I much prefer to jog over, and hijack from Van Til, the word "presuppose", when discussing the verb; faith. Using the same lexical hatchet we applied prior, presuppose yields; "to before-under-position", which makes entirely good sense to a southern N.M. plumber!
  Come on down for a visit sometime. We'll just chase off that horde of tarantulas and rattlers for a few minutes, so to take a look-see at "a new house", in the "rough-in" phase okay? By the way, if you are unfamiliar with N.M., it's that place where they set off the world's first atomic weapon. . . and nobody noticed the difference! So, picture some really lousy dirt (bring some fertilizer for the weeds, will ya?), and in that (over-priced!) lot, we note some sticks nailed-up in a square-ish way. In the middle of those, there are a gang of pipes sticking up. There's your new house! See? As an unruly bunch of gypsies, we plumbers; predicting the future, are "before-under-positioning", all day long! We are busy finding walls, which not (yet) existent, are nonetheless "there". We drag along this great big crystal ball, you see? Well actually, we just use the cartoon (a.k.a. blueprint) to ever so carefully locate not-yet walls, not-yet-set fixtures, and such like details. We place our pipes, "just so". Just so what? So that, after  the cementeros pour the slab, and after the nail-beaters stand up the walls, (because we are all using the same cartoon!) poof and kapow, just like magic; our stuff is exactly where it needs to be! Well, kinda-sorta, at least. But, they really are right after we get done slugging the cured slab with a big hammer, and that's fer-sure.
  The root word "to suppose"  also suggests the idea of "to forge a copy, or to substitute". Hey, that works too, the substitute (for the actual house) is the idiot architect's drawing. It "stands-for another", namely that not-yet, and also-yet-"here" wall we search for.
  So, I tend heavily to toss the "taking-prior, or post" jazz (presume, assume); then pitch that slushy feel-good junk, and proceed to chronically ignore those schlocky E-pip gowns and candles as "faithy". See? A guy has just gotta ask at some point; "What in heck are we building here anyhow?". You've likely heard faith discussed as; "the already, and not yet", but I say, "Not yet WHAT?". I'm kinda rude that way.
  And I'd just like to say, along these lines, that as fellow builders, a man has just got to admire termites! Down in South America, those little dudes build the equivalent of bug skyscrapers! Very large structures (like maybe 8-12 feet tall) they build, and "Casa de-pipsqueak" is their project. I've heard, that if you dig down, find the queen, and kill her, suddenly across the nest, all the blue-collar types come to a screeching halt? Suddenly finding themselves laid-off, and with no job prospects, they wander around aimlessly. I dunno, maybe the she-bug is telepathic or something? But in any case, with her safe and sound, they work like plumbers (!) and can remember what to do next, one team, one hand with one design. Her alive and well, the mighty big house of little tiny wood-biters goes up-and-up!
  Now, the verb faith is a bit like termites, except more-so. There is a new thing coming (and in rough-in stage, already come). I name him ("her" actually) "the many-man", or perhaps "the compound individual". Notice; this is not just another case of doubling-to-zero. You might ask; "Tell me in a one word answer, is the structure a many, or an individual?". Here's my badge number, and as an undercover word-cop, and I say that the answer is "Yes", or as the E-pips insist, "Amen and Amen".
  The Community which is One (the Trinity) is really the only "place" where this yes actually functions, but He-They are working-out. . . "from there"! So then, in that "place" (Mr. Place to you) the question; "Which is of supreme value, the individual, or the group?", is stridently answered with "Yes!". Or similarly; "Which ultimately guides, the unity of the group, or the ambition of the person?", predictably yields "Amen!" as response.
  Basically, here's the deal, The Project Manager has designed, and is in the process of building a "wife". . . for His Son. Is that okay with you? And that wife is the new singular-many, that compound-individual we just now spoke of. Ya dig? So, even though, "on paper" she is-already, out here on the job-site, she ain't-yet, and also, is begun. With Him, it's a both/and thing, not an either/or. . . if that helps any?
  This faith verb works out to; "Do you trust the Project Manager/Architect (same Guy) and the cartoon, or do you suppose Him to be just another knucklehead college grad who has never nailed two 2 x 4's together?". Well, I'd say; "This particular Builder slapped together. .  reality itself. . . on His first try? Moreover, with no jack-hammering at all, to get things back into the wall", is how I read the resume. This Guy knows what He's doing, He's Good, real Good!
  The only glitchy thing in the design plan is that, if we talked only about bug-houses, we'd never confuse the bug with the house. Here, a confusion keeps appearing, but not that 2 = 0 thing. Faith does this, it switches the title to the property? That wife, structure, that new thing in earth, being constructed, turns out to be His new digs! We; like animated stones are being fit and mortared together, so to form a dwelling "place" for Him. A "house" which is alive, ain't like any other, a true one-of-a-kind, and she's going up, fer-sure. The 2 = 0 thing keeps trying to shift categories, inside of the cosmos, whereas His solution is to import into reality, a new kind of ownership, "from outside" of things. And it's big, real big! Hey baby, talk about skyscrapers!
  That's faith for you, a joining-in; an "Amen" ("Yes", in English) to the Project Manager's big brainwave. This wife, this compound-person, where-in this whopper, big ol' slug of persons are being knit-together, and rebuilt from the ground up, into something that doesn't exist yet (but does), is present tense; being gathered and assembled into that new-one-"thing".
  It don't much matter whether you personally "like, or approve of" the project. The thing is going up, with or without you. However, it would much-much benefit you (personally) to join. I mean, who wants to be just another building inspector, or some mere vandal, both of whom imagine they can halt or slow the project? Heck, even the angels above, are glad to doff their hard-hats, so to extend a warm handshake, as you come on-board! After all, this "place" is that one; where welcome itself was invented!
  Have as many "doubts" as you'd like to, as to whether the P.M. is "real", (He, Builder of Is?); or if this wife-gig is such a hot idea in the first place. Hey, knock yourself out, with all the doubt you can dredge up. None of that stuff will slow the job. It's your part (!) of the work, until you get used to the schedule around here. But, just as long as you don't walk-off the job-site, you'll be taught how to build, as you go along. It's the original o.j.t. sweet deal.
  Best job. . . ever! Uh, take off your hard-hat there pal, that would be "Mrs. Job" to you.

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