Updates

Oh god I’m so tired. I’m just going to babble about my life for a bit and see if anything useful comes of it.

My Car

I dropped it off Friday, still haven’t received a call with an estimate yet.

Christmas

I put up a tree. I’m allergic to the tree. It’s Spruce, so the needles are sharp enough to break skin. I’ve never had hives before. I find it oddly fascinating and kind of amusing. I don’t really have enough fucks left for this year to give about my skin. I’m delegating the decorating.

Oh yeah, and I’m planning a Christmas-themed post to go up this weekend. My god, it’s this weekend isn’t it. Christ almighty.

Friends

Not going well. Keep meaning to write a post about how not well my social life is going, a bit epic one that ties back into my childhood and speaks to the universal human condition but again, I’m really tired.

Reading

I managed to find time to read! Not much, but that’s okay, I have a book of short stories sitting around collecting dust. I’m reading Side Jobs, the newest Dresden book, a collection of previously-printed stories. Frankly, I don’t like having to hunt down every scrap of story across a dozen anthologies, so I like books like this. I prefer to read mixed-author short story anthologies because I like the theme they’re writing on rather than “Because it has Dresden in it OMG!!! Also a few others, as an afterthought”. Maybe that’s just me.

My health

Basically bad. Same as always. I’m managing.

I had half a mind to write a long post about spoons and my day yesterday and my quest to find my fiancee a Christmas gift without over-taxing my knees. Maybe I’ll write it later this week. If I can ever manage to get enough sleep.

Blogging

I plan to write a TPD tonight and set it to go up tomorrow, so I can relax a little this week. Maybe I’ll manage to do two, and a Christmas post friday and then I’d just have to write one on Wednesday. That’d be nice.

I’m thinking I should approach this more like Mark Reads and less like Slacktivist, primarily because I haven’t read the book before and I claim no special insider knowledge. I don’t know Christianity from the inside like Slacktivist does; in some ways that’s helpful, as it lets me point out things that others would take for granted, but in others it leaves me a bit lost, much like Mark fumbling his way through unfamiliar Fantasy tropes.

Ultimately I’d like to develop my own style, but I’m still learning. The next deconstruction will have the benefit of the experience of this one.

Novels

Wolfbound should be released this week. I’ll make a post about it when it is.

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One Response to Updates

  1. Jarred H says:

    Hank calls his predecessor at Ashton Community, Pastor James Ferrel, who moved far away from Ashton after being ousted from the church. Notably, he finds the number in the church records but it appears to be his home number; how many people keep their number, including a local area code, when they move across the country? That strikes me as a little odd.

    Under normal circumstances, this is pretty common. Pastors leaving a congregation often leave their contact information for the new pastor, just in case the new guy needs some insight into the history of a particular situation or issue in the church, wants advice on how to deal with Brother Jeremiah’s frequent attempts to derail the adult Sunday school class with debates about why the church doesn’t worship on Saturday because it’s the original Sabbath, or dozens of other ideas.

    What makes this odd is that Ferrel’s departure wasn’t normal at all, so this makes little or no sense. Yeah, I can see him wanting to find a way to talk to Hank and warn him about everything that he might face. But given he considered changing his name, leaving his number at the church makes no sense.

    The other possibility is that Hank got Ferrel’s new name from whatever national/international organization or assembly the church is affiliated with. After all, if Ferrel has a pastor’s pension coming to him, someone needs to know where to send the check. And that someone probably wouldn’t think much of giving that information to the new guy who took over the church.

    I don’t really have any experience in this area, so I’m not entirely sure what that means or how one goes about doing it to someone. Presumably it means he was kicked out of the church; the earlier conversation on page 24 mentions adultery (You can get kicked out of church for cheating on your wife? That’s really a thing outside of Catholicism? I’ve never heard of it happening before in a Protestant-derived church).

    Welcome to the concept of disfellowshipping. I think it’s primarily practiced — and even then it’s neither universal nor common — by Pentecostals. The most common reason for disfellowhipping is indeed adultery (and possibly pre-marital sex), and the basis for this comes from 1 Corinthians, where Paul himself instructs the church in Corinth to “cast out the adulterous man and treat him as a non-believer.”

    As an aside, some scholars syggest that this was a specific instruction about a specific person whose exact sins were not clear. As such, they feel that trying to apply this universally to all cases of “sexual sins” may be an error.

    “We did just what the Bible says: I went to Lou, then John and I went to Lou, and then we brought it before the rest of the church, and then we, well, we removed him from the fellowship.”

    The part about going Lou privately, then going with John, and then bringing up with the whole church is semi-Biblical. It’s based on a passage where Paul (I think) is offering advice on how to deal with disagreements between fellow Christians. In context, it’s offering a method of resolution that is far more friendly than the practice of dragging the other person into the courts and making a bitter battle. Again, whether it is correct to apply it to a case of adultery is a bit questionable. I’d also note that the passage is about handling things better, whereas how it’s applied in this story turns it into a legalistic “rule of order” on how to kick someone out. I’m not convinced that falls in with the original spirit of the passage.

    The congregation voted to kick him out, it seems to be implying,

    I’m not sure that’s correct. Yes, Hank brought the matter up in front of the whole congregation. But I don’t think that necessarily means that he left the decision of what to do up to a majority vote. I suspect it was more a case of Hank saying, “Here’s what’s going on and here’s how I and a couple of the elders (the Pentecostal equivalent to deacons)” determined to do. Pentecostals tend to be a weird mix of democratic and authoritarian like that.

    I wonder if he was accused of being a pedophile too?

    Spoiler alert.

    Adultery, pedophilia, and rape seem to be stock accusations that the Enemies of God use frequently in this book. So quite possibly, yes.

    (I thought it was about Love Thy Neighbor and Christ is Risen? Silly me, it’s obviously “all about” spiritual warfare).

    There’s a reason that some of us tend to inform such Christians that there is very little news in their “Good News” that is good.

    Now, we know he’s being guarded by angels, but again, he has no idea he has protection from the evil forces gathering here.

    Ah, but he’s one of God’s chosen, so he has to have faith that he has such protection. This is one of those weird things about spiritual warfare types. They both believe they are constantly surrounded by treacherous evil and the traps of the enemy and yet completely safe from it.

    see if compromise can’t be reached.

    Psstt….you’re talking about a subculture that sees “compromise” as a dirty word. “Compromise” means “impugning your righteousness.”

    I’d be reaching out to the Stanleys, making suggestions about couple’s counseling to work through their deeper issues.

    That would mean acknowledging that there are deeper issues. Plus “couples counseling” (at least the useful sort) is most likely based on psychology. You know who’s into psychology? Juleen(sp?) Langstrat! (Insert about fifty three “Ooga Booga!” comments here.)

    I’d pour through any tomes on spiritual warfare and demonology I could find.

    At the time this book was written there were no such tomes. (Actually, I suspect you’d find it hard to find such a tome even today.) In fact, the closest thing to such a thing at the time was this book. Hank’s a character in this book, so he can’t exactly pick it up and read it. (Though that would make for some interestingly surreal fiction.)

    I should clarify, however, that I should say that there are no such books from a Pentecostal perspective. Sure, the Catholics have plenty of books on demons, exorcisms, and whatnot. But that’s all way too Catholic (read: blasphemous) for a Pentecostal pastor like Hank. Spiritual warfare from his standpoint is pretty straightforward:

    1. Be a good Christian.
    2. Notice when you believe a demon is active.
    3. Rebuke said demon in Jesus’s name.

    That’s a very short book. And by “book,” I really mean “pamphlet.”

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