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fight with a preacher man

So, I got the Zelda bug. I played too much last night. I am off the fence. The cel graphics work great, the game is awesome.

Looking forward to Soulcaliber 2 very much. They are going to have a different character for each system. Link for Gamecube, Spawn (a la McFarlaine) for Xbox, and some Tekken guy for PS2. While I think Link would be neat, I'd much prefer to have it for my Xbox, where the FPS is going to be better, and the resolution clearer.

It is snowing outside! People thought it was springtime... APRIL FOOLS!

Anyhow, to the point of this mindless ramble:

My commute in was eventful this morning, in a limited way. The train was 6 cars rather than the usual 9, so things were a bit packed. I generally stand, regardless of available seats, so it is easier for me to exit. I don't negotiate small people crammed into seats very well.

Anyhow, Crammed into one of the door alcoves was about 10 people. Two of them got on with me in Mount Vernon, and apparently knew each other from one walk of life or another. They spoke briefly of the ball game last night, and the flu/being sick/allergies. Then, the gent next to me asked what the other thought about "what was goin on over there".

Now, I probably would not have noticed this conversation so much, playing my game boy and all, if they didn't keep leaning back and forth to each other to half-whisper in audible ranges. As it was, the guy next to me asked about 4 times before his conversation partner heard and comprehended what he was being asked.

Now the fun part begins.

Turns out that the guy next to me was a preacher. Not certain on faith, but it was christian, and fairly whacko.

Basically, the preacher went on for about 10 minutes creating allegorical connections between the book of Revelation, and the current situation in Iraq. He said it was a spiritual war being fought on the physical plane. He explained how Saddam's statues were idolatry. How the world was failing because there was no prayer in school, and gambling is legal. He made it clear that the US was a false kingdom, bent on destroying a smaller false kingdom. Supposedly, both the US being a false kingdom, and the fact that Iraq is where Babylon once stood was enough evidence for him to be convinced. His poetic after touch was "To an unbeliever, this is all nonsense, but to us who "know" we "know".

The whole while he was going on about this, his partner was nodding and uhhumming... he probably would have been amening if there were more than one of him.

The preacher then went into allusions based on Daniel's mentioning of the Euphrates in Revelations 16:41. He explained how the number of allies we have (supposedly 14 by his reckoning) is important, because it is the inverse of the 41 mentioned somewhere else in Revelation.

Circumspect divination, based on ancient text, even if presented as fact, is almost tolerable to me... but when people start preaching biblical numerology, I get riled.

Without introducing myself, or much of a segue, I rambled right in on his preacher-rhythm when he paused for a breath. I asked him if he believed that only 144 thousand people would be saved.

He got a dangerous gleam as his audience breathed deeply, unsure what to make of my question. He told me he did believe, for that is what was written in the bible.

I asked him if he believed he was a member of one of the tribes of Israel, for they were specifically the ones mentioned in that passage.

He started to ignore me, and go back to his preachee.

I further asked him how if 144,000 was significant because the number was written just so in the bible, how 14 could be significant as an inverse of 41. Were the numeric codes of Daniel arbitrary, or was there some sort of decoder ring they give out in bible studies.

Now, I realize the last one was kind of low, but it got the reaction I wanted.

He started in on me as a blasphemer, as one who "uses the words of the Lords for the agenda of the serpent"... before he could get too much of a head of steam on, I raised my voice to match his (there were several people staring at this point) and asked him why I was the blasphemer, if I was quoting scripture verbatim, and he was omitting parts that didn't fit his pitch.

He made a face like a cod with mud in its gills. He opened his mouth wide, as if to shout, then snapped it shut hard. His lips flapped like a wet sheet snapping on the line.

He leaned forward, almost to the ear of his compatriot, and whispered fiercely (though quietly, to the point that I assume he thought I didn't here him) "We will have to discuss this further when the devil is not about."

I laughed, told him that I was not a devil, and he was a lousy preacher, if he couldn't answer my questions, and told him that I hope he didn't take my debunking of his "good word" as a sign that it was true... for only the devil would want to usurp the truth revealed to him.

He did not seem pleased that I heard what he whispered, his compatriot looked at me dangerously... I was prepared to get socked in the face by either of them any moment.

Instead, the conductor came in the car, and cleared right through the alcove, splitting preacher man and I up as he went on searching for tickets.

The conductor stood there until 125, where I got off.

I have a feeling this is not the last time I am going to see preacher man, or his flock. I think next time perhaps I should introduce myself a bit more cordially before chiming in on his prothesilazation.

He may have heard the news, but I have read the word. And they are just so; words. They teach lessons, they inspire, they can be used for good or evil (as he was so happy to point out)... but ONLY if you believe in them.

Otherwise, Sleeping Beauty's kingdom, awaiting her reawakening, and the chosen of the Lord, awaiting his second coming are on equal footing in the "believability zone".

It scares me how many people would rather sell their fleece and listen to the shepherd than face the possibility of wolves.

Comments

chellez
Apr. 1st, 2003 12:10 pm (UTC)
That kinda reminds me of my mom. Although, she doesn't use terms like "the devil", "the lord" or "serpent".. and she avoids cliche allegories one might hear while walking past a baptist church in Alabama.. she still finds a religious explanation for EVERYTHING.

Like this war in Iraq.

The Jehovah's Witnesses have this book intended to explain the book of Revelations. It breaks it down scripture-by-scripture, explains "what it means", and also shares large, colourful and graphic images of all the major events in the book. Mind you, this is not presented as an INTERPRETATION, but as fact.

My mom reads this book and believes that Revelations is a literal prediction of things to come.

So.. the harlot is organized religion. The beast is government. The government will lie with religion, then it will tear it apart. My mom thinks this applies to Islam. (Of course it doesnt apply to Jehovah's Witnesses, they're the group of millions of others that actually has it right).

Religion has been at the crux of most major wars in history. It might not be as big of a player in this one... but how many flag-waving christians out there wouldn't love for the US to have another country to force democracy and christianity on?

I love how people find a way to justify the invasion of Iraq. Its all in God's hands. Its fufilling a prophesy. Its happening because the iraqis are bad people who don't believe in Jesus and blow up buildings.

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delascabezas
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
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