A Believer in Christ?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Burning Man : One Thread
>From: Christopher Kee
>Status: U > >Have you ever read the bible. >Obviously not. >What did the Israelites do when Moses went on the mountian to pray. >They made a golden idol, and danced around it naked. >God was very upset with this. >It is one of the 10 commandments to make no idols before me(God). >I'll pray for all of your salvation. >Please wake up. >Believer in Christ, >-Chris
-- Christopher Kee (email@example.com), September 29, 1998
After reading what I wrote to you I realised that I needed to make a correction - here is the corrected email:
What a wonderful reality that Christopher and the rest of us are able to express our ideas, opinions, and are able to learn. In some places, in some realities, there are people, groups of people, who would hurt or end ones life for expressing an idea or opinion. The only way to learn is to have, at least, a sense of freedom about our ability to express ourselves. I have found that not pre-judging, not making a conclusion, about the 'ten thousand' experiences that we encounter everyday is actually difficult and is part of the art of living and learning; to have reserve and to lucidly experience is an art. And, this art requires one to have self-honesty and sincere want, possibly "need", to know the truth. I pose this question to Christopher: if a person had walked down the street in New York 150 years ago wearing some of the clothing that we wear today, say a 'bathing suit', they might very well have been killed. Does the fact that wearing this clothing would have been considered wrong and very bad make it actually wrong and bad ? And what if it were a situation where the afore mentioned person tried to not "inflict" their activity on others but, instead, had a "reasonably" private area were they would wear these clothes but someone found out and told the greater community about these activities going on in this "reasonably private area," do you think that these people wearing the unusual clothes would be left alone by the greater community ? I think they would have been "attacked" in primitive manner and possibly destroyed.
I am not saying that there is not truth, but, instead, I am trying to pose the idea that humans are extremely complex and varied; and, that finding the truth, finding new vistas, new realities, requires, sometimes, among other qualities, courage. This point is subtle to many people, and likely it would be "glossed over' by many as not significant. It is sometimes frightening thing "to not know." And people, often, will react to what they do not understand in a foolish manner and as if "they do understand" while not being fully conscious of the reality that they do not understand. Finding the protocols that facilitate productive, and good, communication and being open in order to gain a true understanding is an art; yet answers are readily available to us. Opening up to the reality, and having sincere respect, of the fact the human consciousnesses are widely varied is key to the survival and evolution of good and just groups of people - be it family, community or government. Christopher I suggest that you read Platos' Apology. I would like to hear from you.
Peace my Friend,
-- David A (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 06, 2004.
What a wonderful reality that Christopher and the rest of us are able to express our ideas, opinions, and are able to learn. In some places, in some realities, there are people, groups of people, who would hurt or end ones life for expressing an idea or opinion. The only way to learn is to have, at least, a sense of freedom about about our ability to express ourselves. I have found that not pre-judging, not making a conclusion, about the 'ten thousand' experiences that we encounter everyday is actually difficult and is part of the art of living and learning; to have reserve and to lucidly experience is an art. And, this art requires one to have self-honesty and sincere want, possibly "need", to know the truth. I pose this question to Christopher: if a person had walked down the street in New York 150 years ago wearing some of the clothing that we wear today, say a 'bathing suit', they might very well have been killed. Does the fact that wearing this clothing would have been considered wrong and very bad make it actually wrong and bad ? And what if it were a situation where the afore mentioned person tried to not "inflict" their activity on others but, instead, had a "reasonably" private area were they would wear these clothes but someone found out and told the greater community about these activities going on in this "reasonably private area," do you think that these people wearing the unusual clothes would be left alone by the greater community ? I think they would have been "attacked" in primitive manner and possibly destroyed.
I am not saying that there is not truth, but, instead, I am trying to pose the idea that humans are extremely complex and varied; and, that finding the truth, finding new vistas, new realities, requires, sometimes, amoung other qualities, courage. This point is subtle to many people and, likely it would be "glossed over' by many as not significant. It is sometimes frightening thing "to not know." And people, often, will react to what they do not understand in a foolish manner and as if "they do understand". The disinction, between good protocol that facilitates productive, and good, communication and understanding, finding the truth, or the Truth, is a mystery and an art; yet readily available to us. Opening up to the reality, and having sincere respect, of the fact the human consciousnesses are widely varied is key to the survival and evolution of good and just groups of people - be it family, community or government. Christopher I suggest that you read Platos' Apology. I would like to hear from you.
Peace my Friend,
-- David A (email@example.com), September 06, 2004.
Can't you be a true beliver and go to burning man? I want to go to meet the people and see art, not to worshop an idol.
-- Amy Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 15, 2004.
It is fine to say that you are a believer in Christ, but i doubt very much that these people going to Burning Man are followers of Christ. If indeed they were followers of Christ they would have submitted to Him and would be joyously obeying His commandments. Somehow I think the Christ I know and the Christ they refer to, are two totally different entites. Please pray and make sure your salvation is secure. You will know in your heart if it is not.
-- Hum (email@example.com), April 03, 2003.
I know it is a bit late in the day but I have only just found this site.
I must address Mr Sonntags statement regarding Adam and Eve. (If this is your own belief.) Had Eve not have eaten from the tree of knowledge then the world certainly would have been a different place. By eating from the tree it gave man and women intelligence, the ability to reason and make decisions. By this action we became aware of the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. What would have happened if Eve had not eaten from the tree. You could have bashed your neibour on the head and eaten him, tortured people for enjoyment, anything you care to think of would be legal! All of these things would neither be good nor evil because man would know no different. Without the tree of knowledge mankind would still be in a state of chaos.
I wish people like Mr Sonntag and others would look at the other side of the coin. Humanity should be gratefull to Eve (Isis!) for making us what we are and who we are. If it was not for her then evolution would be stagnant and the internet would not even be a dream. Neither I or Mr Sonntag or anybody else would be capable of having an opinion.
-- brian gerrard (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2003.
I have already woken up and I do not worship idols or practise idolatry. TRUE christianity or genuine followers of Christ should not worship idols, the bible clealy says not to worship idols. We worship a living God, not a god made from stone and metal. God is a spirit and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.(John 4:24)
-- Mark Zeidler (email@example.com), February 03, 2003.
I am exited to find so much interest in the topic. Currently I am writing a book entitled 'The Burning Place.' Throughout many primitive societies fire represents culture. Think of Prometheus, camp fire stories, and sharing recipes over a hearth. Doesn't Christ give us all of these things?
-- John Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 29, 2002.
Yes I do believe in Christianity. Although not the new literalist version. Maybe you should do some research and find out what the ORIGINAL Christians believed, before the Romans took over. Christ is within us all. Christ represents conciousness. Conciousness is God, and we are all apart of this ineffable Oneness. May the Great Goddess bless you and take away your anger.
-- Sandra (email@example.com), February 06, 2002.
Hi Gregg Eyman,
Maybe this is the reason why so many people renounce Christianity, or organised religion.
Jesus Christ did not come to bring peace and unity, but rather division. And one of the most fervent Christian preachers Rev. Billy Graham said himself that is not natural for true Christianity to be popular.
By rights, Christianity as a religion should only comprise about 10% of the world's faith from the true Biblical scriptures.
-- Dario Western (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 12, 2001.
The use of scripture to try and argue one's point in here is ridiculous and perhaps ludicrous. Scripture is one of the most widely debated subjects in the world. Even Christians cannot agree upon the true meaning of any specific written scripture. If they could, there would not be so many denominations and branches of denominations in the christian faith. In fact, those who use scripture to denounce the actions of others are in fact in direct violation of the ten commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Those who quote scripture to try and argue a point only prove that they lack the intelligence to actually prove their point.
-- Gregg Eyman (email@example.com), November 16, 2001.
As I am a vegetarian, nudist and someone who is more akin to putting into action the things Jesus Christ taught than just 'believing in him and being saved' - I want to say: what right to "Christians" have to judge people who practise 'alternative' lifestyles responsibly or whose other spiritual/religious value system does not match theirs?
Truth is not what is written in the Bible, but from our own subjective experiences with life. Understanding that the New Testament was written in Greek (and thus many words that Christians take for granted to condemn certain people and faiths) and that Jesus Christ did not criticise the sinners, but what they caused with their own actions.
I thought this re-statement of a piece about not judging nudists should be of interest:
Romans 14: 1-4 "Welcome a textile Christian who is weak in faith, but do not base your arguments around his personal opinion. One Christian's faith allows him to go around naked in public, but the Christian who is weak in faith believes everybody should always wear clothes. The Christian who is a nudist must not despise the Christian who is not, while the textile Christian is not to judge the nudist Christian, because God has accepted both kinds. Christian nudists, who are you to judge the nudist of another religion? It is their own God who decides whether they succeed or fail in life. And they can succeed because God is able to do that. The textile Christian thinks that a dressed person is more important than a naked person, while the naturist Christian knows that under our clothes we all are exactly designed the same. Each one needs to make up their own mind. Whoever goes around dressed does so to honour God, whoever will go dressed or undressed as they please does so to honour God, because they have given thanks to God for their bodies and their ability to do so. Nobody dies for their own self, it is for a Universal God that we are to die for. So whether we are textiles or nudists, we still belong to God. Jesus Christ died and rose to be the Lord of the nudist Christians and the textile Christians. You then, who have never lived with nudists - why do you pass judgement on your nudist brothers and sisters? And the Christian nudists are not to despise them, but rather take pity on them. All of us will eventually stand naked before God for him to judge us, not human beings. The scripture says: "As surely as I am the living God, everyone will kneel before me and admit I am God." Everyone of us, then, needs to give an account of himself before God. "DO NOT MAKE YOUR BROTHERS & SISTERS FAIL" "So then, stop judging each other. Instead, you need to choose not to do anything that will make your brothers and sisters fall from faith. My union with Jesus Christ has made me certain that no naked body is 'unclean', but if somebody believes that nudity is unclean then it is unclean to him, but not necessarily everybody else. If you hurt or condemn your brother or sister because of their nudity, then you are not acting out of love. Do not let your arrogance ruin nudists. Christian nudists, do not let what you are doing gain a bad name! For God's kingdom is not a matter of merely being naked, but of joy, peace and righteousness which the spirit freely gives to us! And when a nudist serves Jesus Christ in this way, he pleases God and is admired and approved of by others! So then, we need to aim at these things to bring peace to the world and strengthen our friends. Do not, because of clothing, destroy what God has done. You can go naked anywhere, anytime, but it is wrong to do anything that will cause your friends to fall from faith. The right thing to do is keep from eating flesh foods, engaging in public sex, getting drunk or drugged before going nude, or abusing nudist liberties to have sex with a child. Happy is the nudist who does not feel guilty when he does something he knows in his heart is right! But if he has doubts about what he is doing, he will fail because his action is not based on faith. And anything that is not based on faith is sin."
-- Dario Western (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 26, 2001.
I, by myself, am nothing. Only through God's word do I obtain any wisdom. Passages from the book of John come to mind as I read all the postings on this subject.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." John 3:16-21
"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him in the last day." John 12:47,48
Jesus answered [Thomas], "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Those who believe in Him will understand; those who don't know Him, I ask that they read further in the book of John; and for those who have rejected Him, these words will be nothing but more burning coals heaped on their heads.
-- Kevin Nordquist (email@example.com), September 05, 2001.
For the past ten years earth-worshipping pagans have migrated from Canada, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and 25 other countries, to an isolated corner of Black Rock Desert in Nevada, where a four-day-long New Age techno-fest known as "The Burning Man" has been conducted.
Recent attendance at The Burning Man surpassed 15,000 wiccans, satanists, goddesses, nudists, and a consortium of other lost party- goers, who converged on the hot Nevada desert for a Labor Day weekend of "glorious Hell on earth."
The number of participants at the Burning Man gala has nearly doubled each year since 1986, and this year organizers hope to break an attendance of 30,000.
Burning Man 2001 features the theme The Seven Ages and is based on an enormous board game. The attainment of wisdom is the goal of the game, which begins with The Cradle and ends at The Mausoleum.
THE QUEST FOR WISDOM?
The Burning Man continues to reject the Bible's answer for the attainment of wisdom, while offering a no-holds-barred "Woodstock" style New Age festival, where neo-pagans, wiccans, transvestitie entertainers, curiosity seekers, and old hippies go to trance, perform rituals, burn sacrifices to pagan gods and goddesses, dance in the nude, engage in sex, and otherwise "express" themselves and become one with Gaia.
In the past, attendees set up theme camps such as "Lost Vegas," "Motel 666," and "Crucifixion With a Celebrity" (where one could purchase a picture of a crucified obese Elvis). Hamburgers were sold by devil-worshippers at the McSatan cafe, and T-shirts were sold that proudly proclaimed, "Praise The Whore."
The Burning Man itself is a 40-foot-high effigy of the "Spirit Cave Man" (sacred to local Indians and New Agers) which is torched, together with just about everything else, at the close of the festivities.
George Otis Jr., president of The Sentinel Group (a Christian research agency), attended the Burning Man festival with a colleague. He wrote of the experience:
On Saturday night, the hell-themed [festival] reached its crescendo in the form of a drama....These people were literally celebrating the fact that one day they would enter hell. To simulate their journey, the camp’s center stage was transformed into the "Vestibule of Hell." The guest of honor was none other than "Papa Satan."....As the lecherous Papa Satan bowed in mock chains before a placard reading "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," a group called "Idiot Flesh," [supposedly Christians] dressed as hooded executioners, began to play a discordant dirge accompanied by flashing strobes. When the crowd started its torchlight procession toward the Gates of Hell and an eerie, sculpted castle called The City of Dis, I sensed an unmistakable chill in the air. Our march had been joined by unseen, malevolent guests....nudist and a moving sea of devil banners [also] moved around us....At the tri-tower City of Dis, our descent into the Inferno reached a demonic sanctuary....While massive loudspeakers pumped out a hellish bass tone accompanied by tormented screams....people dressed as demonic insects celebrated by copulating with other captured souls. It was a scene that looked as if it had been plucked from a horrific nightmare. Mesmerized by the evocative music, the performers began to chant, "Devil’s delight, fire tonight!" Wood piles inside the towers of Dis were ignited, causing orange flames to belch forth from the eyes and mouths of demonic gargoyles built onto the turrets. As the heat became more intense, the entourage danced around the towers. Satan had defeated the church. (read the whole Otis article) Otis continued the report by confessing, "I had to remind myself that what I had witnessed at the Burning Man Festival was happening right here in the United States--not in the temples of India or the deserts of Sinai." Otis also admits that he met many friendly, creative and intelligent people at the Burning Man festival. (I'm not surprised at this. Over the past few years while sharing my conservative viewpoints on television and radio programs around the world--including paranormal programs such as Coast to Coast with Art Bell--I have found that modern pagans possess above average IQs. The vast majority are educated and willing to listen. They are, in my opinion, the very people for whom Christ died).
UNDERSTANDING THE BURNING MAN PHENOMENON
A spirit of mysticism has been present in the United States for generations. Like an insidious cancer—unseen, patient, deadly—it has grown. Indications of its presence have been felt occasionally, and confirmations of its actuality have been documented from Washington D.C. to Portland Oregon.
One can trace old city-name origins, such as Ceres, Alexandria, Mars, Fortuna, and Media, and discover the early influence of Burning Man- like mysticism within the United States.
By looking at sites such as the House of the Temple, the home office of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, one discovers early versions of Burning Man-like occultism. Located several blocks from the White House on 16th Street in Washington D.C., the House of the Temple contains eight candelabrum fashioned after Hermes, the “god of light,” as well as various other artworks reminiscent of the Temple of Dionysus. Statues of the goddesses, Isis and Nephthys, stand hallowed inside.
Down the street and around the corner one finds additional evidence of Burning Man-like mysticism: an enormous obelisk (phallic Egyptian symbol of fertility) known as the Washington Monument.
From there one travels across country to Portland, Oregon, where a huge statue (”Portlandia”) indicative of the goddess Hecate stands overshadowing the entrance to the City of Portland Office buildings. On the Portland City Seal, “Lady Commerce” holds a trident under a six-pointed star. Both are important instruments of Hecatian witchcraft.
To the South, in California, Athene (Minerva), the manly goddess of war, greets humans with a prominant position on the Great Seal of the State of California. Other states boasting similar Great Seals and goddesses include New York (Liberty and Justice); Oklahoma (Themis); New Jersey (Ceres and Liberty); and Florida.
Even the Great Seal of the United States depicts an array of equally abstruse symbols, including an unfinished Egyptian pyramid overshadowed by the “All-Seeing Eye” and bearing the cryptic phrase, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, “A new order of the ages.”
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
As we approach the culmination of the “new order of the ages,” cult experts forecast a staggering revival of idolatry and eastern mysticism. As church attendance declines across the United States, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Theosophists, Christian Scientists, and Burning Man-like adherents, expand to meet the desires and mystical interests of Americans. Tarot card reading is at an all-time high. Psychic phone lines are jammed with over $300 million in calls per year, and celebrities like LaToya Jackson and Dionne Warwick lend credibility to psychic consultations. Even the U.S. Government showed interest in such phenomena. During the 1995 budget cuts, the C.I.A. was forced to release a $20 million project (“Operation Stargate”) aimed at studying the usefullness of psychics in gathering military secrets from foreign powers.
The wives of two U.S. Presidents, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton, were subject to public examination after it was discovered they consulted with astrologers and psychics. Hillary Clinton went so far as to channel “conversations” with the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt.
The obvious widespread interest in such paranormal activity substantiates what New Age expert Judy Vorfeld says: “Dabbling in the realm of the occult is currently stylish. Even some Christians seem unable to avoid the attraction of this colorful, seductive world.”
The colorful seduction of mysticism is reaching into every fiber of our culture. From Burning Man festivals to public school Environmental Education to faddish television good-guys, today’s generation is bombarded with a New Age Occultianity (western Christian beliefs mixed with occultism) that popularize the supernatural. Beloved comic book heros such as “Spawn” teach our youth the dangerous Persephonian idea that a person can be in league with the devil, and still be a good person. Such doctrines of “harmonizing duality” are extremely popular (comics of Spawn have sold over 100 million copies) and blend nicely with the syncretistic goals of the Burning Man Movement.
THE REAL BURNING MAN
Christians must realize that people are not the problem, powerful and ancient entities are behind such anti-Christian activities. In the air above and the earth beneath are nefarious progenitors of Burning Man mysticism. “Gods” to some and “demons” to others, such forces have numerous titles. They can appear in hideous forms or as beautiful angels of light. They are the “wicked spirits” (poneria: the collective body of demon soldiers comprising Satan’s hordes), “rulers of darkness” (kosmokrators: governing spirits of darkness), “powers” (exousia: high ranking powers of evil), and “principalities” (arche: commanding generals over Satan’s fallen army) of Ephesians 6:12. As the "gods and goddesses" of the underworld, they live today and encourage mysticism among pagans, witches, New Agers, church-goers, and Burning Man participants, in at least the following ways:
Aphrodite—sensuality, fertility rites, wiccan rituals, sacred prostitution.
Amun-Ra—masturbation, self realization, environmentalism, Darwinism.
Apis—animal worship, animal rights, animal channeling, occultianity.
Apollo—humanism, oracles, channeling, psychics, drugs, visualization.
Artemis—goddess worship, animal worship, animal rights, lesbianism.
Asclepius—holistic medicine, psychic dreaming, spirit-guide animals.
Athene—goddess worship, feminism, the spirituality movement, lesbianism.
Baal—oracles, polytheism, abortion, fertility issues.
Demeter—environmental education, earth worship, goddess worship.
Dionysus—excessive wine, freudianism, ecstasy, pornography, lesbianism, abortion.
Eros—eroticism, mystical sex, body worship, body piercing, sacred prostitution.
Gaia—earth worship, environmentalism, paganism, pantheism, sweat lodges.
Geb—environmental movement, animal rights, eco-paganism.
Hades—devil worship, occultism, spiritism, necromancy.
Hathor—goddess worship, earth worship, animal rights, animal worship.
Hecate—witchcraft, necromancy, crystals, spells, druidism, feminism.
Heka—mysticism, demonism, animal rights, environmentalism.
Hypnos—hypnotism, psychic dreaming, prognostication, e.s.p., clairvoyance.
Imhoteb—mystic healing, animal dancing, holistic medicine, vision quests.
Isis—wicca, witchcraft, goddess worship, magic, channeling, visualization.
Min and Qetesh—fertility rites, body worship, sensuality, pornography.
Osiris—occultianity, necromancy, anthropomorphism, occultism, spiritism.
Persephone—animism, zoroastrianism, dualism, magic, necromancy.
Ptah—universalism, pantheism, mysticism, holistic medicine.
Sekhmet—environmentalism, mystic medicine, animal worship.
Seth—homosexuality, rebellion, earth worship, environmental movement.
Vatchit—devil worship, channeling, trancing, visualization, necromancy.
Zeus—satanism, transexualism, pantheism, oracles, animal worship.
By whatever names they may otherwise be called, the underworld spirits elevated in the Burning Man festival are gathering the combined efforts of the kingdom of Satan into a conspiracy of apocalyptic proportions. As a consequence, we are experiencing an unprecedented revival of paganism at a time when the United States is considered the most advanced economic and technological power in the world.
Why is the Burning Man growing in popularity? There is an ominous answer. Billy Graham declares, “Lucifer, our archenemy, controls one of the most powerful and well-oiled war machines in the universe. He controls principalities, powers, and dominions. Every nation, city, village, and individual has felt the hot breath of his evil power. He is already gathering the nations of the world for the last great battle in the war against Christ—Armageddon.”
But defeat awaits the real Burning Man at Armageddon:
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Rev. 20:10).
-- Ahavah (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 24, 2001.
You know, if Jesus were around today we'd hop on my Honda, go have a few pints and head off to The Gap where we'd walk in and start turning over all the clothes racks.
Yep, that's what we'd do alright. Then we'd head on over to South of Market (here in San Francisco) and have a few more drinks at Trannyshack.
-- Mr. Helpful (email@example.com), August 07, 2001.
-- qwerty (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2001.
well i am still a believer in christ and i will be going to burningman again this year! got my ticket. we will be doing a christian camp of some sort again this year. hope the weather is better this year. burningman has got it rabies shot and will be fine i pray this year. watch your back and your neighbors front and keep your head down but have fun dammit. really we love burningman. peace zanner
-- Donald Putnam (email@example.com), April 09, 2001.
Although I haven't been to burningman, I plan to go this year. I've just found out about it, I must be living in a cave or something.
However my answer to your post is that, who are you to judge who's gods are acceptable? Whether or not, people "worship" or "deify" the burningman, which to me is obvious, they are not.
Paganism predates Xtianity by thousands of years, Xtianity is a mishmash of various pagan traditions and beliefs that were incorporated into the religion that convert people. It was either be converted or die.
The lessons I take from the bible are moral ones, I don't follow it dogmatically as there are errors contained within it. After all it was translated from Aramaic to Greek to Latin and then to German and then English. The last time I checked, God didn't write books, man did, and men make mistakes.
-- none (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2001.
This is like that segment of the film "Airplane", when everyone lines up to smack the hysterical passenger... okay, my turn. Spiritual life is where you make it, and it is made in Bosnia, at BM, Los Angeles (yes, even Los Angeles...). Chris, I'd be more concerned about the great idol lady (Miss Statue of Liberty), and the potential harm caused by leaders like Bush using patriotism to gather the people around unspiritual actions (www.whatdemocracy.com tells it straight). BM is what people will make BM to be, and most seem to make BM a symbol of expressionism, freedom, and love. Where does the Bible speakout against this? Chris, take two aspirin and lay down... you'll feel better tomorrow when you awake with a bit more enlightenment. (wheww, I feel better now...). Thanks all, and see you in 2001!
-- DD Bay (email@example.com), February 06, 2001.
i think you are full of shit.you stupid fucking reject.
-- matthew long (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2000.
Two things. 1. Where does the Bible tell us that we are to tell "unbelievers" how to act? 2. The Bible DOES say that true religion is visiting the widow and orphan in their distress and keeping yourself unstained by the world. If more Christians spend time evaluating there own spiritual progress (that is how much like Christ are they) we would see less internet cowards practicing there ministry of superiority.
-- Larry Blevins (email@example.com), November 10, 2000.
I went to burning man in '98 & '99 and, as opposed to a worship service, nobody was gathered there for the same reason. Some people were there to party, others to create art or perform, others (myself) to live in a semi-imaginary and surreal world for a week without any of the bullshit we all have to swallow every day. If there is any type of worship going on at BM, it is non-worship. If there is a reason for it, it's that there is no reason. I appreciate your prayers, I think.
-- Nathan Payne (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 14, 2000.
well, we went to BM 2000 and what a let down, what with the cops busting folks left and right, felt like a BIG TRAP. Though we did do a camp on 4:00 and throat right down from gigsville called "first church of the cosmic orgasm" it's meant to be a joke. people, take this BM thing less serious. pleaseeeee. we had some fun ,but are mad as hell about the way BM sold us all out to cops. so next year we will be going to las vegas for a vacation instead of BM, it's sad cus BM has turn on us like a rabid dog. peace..... zanner
-- Don Putnam (email@example.com), September 11, 2000.
God is Love
Love is God
It is indeed judgement that will defeat us
The desert is like space. So devoid of resources, all we have is what we bring. You look at a show like "Survivor", which makes an entertainment out of the darkest side of human nature - selfishness - and you realize what a thing of beauty Burning Man truly is. It is not religion. It is a community. A chance for seven days to try and create a world that is free of the conflicts that have been discussed here. Personally, anyone who calls himself Christian and then uses the Bible as a rulebook makes me angry. But that is a person who needs rules, because rules bring order. Unfortunately, following without questioning can be blinding. It can cause you to worship a false god. I want the word Christian to mean something other than it currently does in our society. To me, thousands of people living together without violence, crime, or money is about as Christian as you can get, with or without the Bible. Jesus was a speaker and a doer, not a writer. He came to us with the most splendid news, and what a jumble man has made of those words. Anyone here remember the H.M.S. Love of last year, the submarine surfacing in the desert? It was not a pagan idol to be sacrificed, but a song to the window to God that opened up when one person fell in love. I never met the person, but I read the words that were left there and I knew Love. Burning Man strips away the chaff that fogs our vision, all that crap out there that we have to contend with every day, and there we see each other in a more truthful light than is possible maybe anywhere. We come to Black Rock to live in a world of our own making, and with that will come our faults. We are empirical beings, relying mostly on our five senses to tell us what is in front of us. We have thousands of years of deep rooted religious and moral conditioning. We live in a complex and dazzling world of material and technology. We carry with us primal vestiges of a time when all was Darwinian survival - our warlike nature, our will to kill, the anger that rises on both sides of any discussion on this topic. But weren't our faults the very thing that made God love us so? He must have seen the promise in us, His flawed creation, seen what we could become. Why else would He send His only son to tell us how He felt? Let's not squander His gift to us. We are eternal beings, and God's light isn't something we're trying to get to. It's someplace we've already been. We are human. And God loves us. Now let's love ourselves, and others. No one can survive in space alone.
See you in three days.
Max Q Peck Pleiades Mission Research
-- Max Q Peck (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 24, 2000.
Ok both sides need to stop arguing its not christian to judge somebody else or to put down somebody else the only thing i have to say is that the bible talks about dressing modestly im not judging anybody im just saying what the bible says
-- ~~~~~~~~~~ (email@example.com), August 23, 2000.
Mr. Putnam a few posts back is a believer but had a Tolkien camp summoning magickal dragons with a gong. Two belief systems at work? Any conflict there? I presume his reply would be, "that dragon stuff was just for fun." That's the point of BM. Fun can be deep, enlightening, life-changing. Some people go overboard on Tolkien, some on the bible, pick yer poison.
I just read this thread and cringed at the jargon deployed as argument. I was raised on the fundamentalist view of the bible. It just didn't hold up for me. There is no one answer. Everyone should go to www.selectsmart.com and take the "belief system selector" the test told me I should be a Unitarian Universalist followed closely by a neo-pagan. Not bad for a Southern Baptist boy.
-- rablack (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 22, 2000.
"P.S. Don't justify your actions on what the Bible doen't say, instead, base them on what it DOES say. Either believe it completely or reject it completely. Nobody likes lukewarm water. "
Well, actually, I like lukewarm water. It's been shown to be healthier to drink water lukewarm. But, my point.. The almighty bible which seems to be the focus of this discussion, was NOT written by God (if you believe in God). It was written BY MAN, WITH MAN'S BIAS. I am a confirmed Catholic and go to church every Sunday, and the one thing my church (note, not all Catholic churches are like mine) taught me was that the bible was 90% bullshit, because it was an exaggerated account of the life of Christ. People who stick to this bookbound version of sanctity scare the hell out of me, because they take a two-thousand year old book and try to crucify the future with it. That's NOT it's intent. I am a Burning Man virgin. I can't go this year because I have too much pre-sophomore year of college preparation (my first apartment needs to be moved into) but I WILL be there next year, period. And from all the reading I've done about Burning Man it sounds more than great.....it sounds like -the- definitive artistic/cultural gathering around. I don't think the BM has a damn thing to do with false idols....it sounds like a tribute to the soul and the human spirit in an incredible artistic manner, allowing us to expose are true psyche's/emotions/human spirits through complete depravity, leaving us only our creativity. BM facilitates self-exploration and self- worship, not demeaning our God (if you believe). Sentience
P.S. It's these types of psychotic sin-obsessed Jesus-Freaks who transform the world into an intolerable cage. Just go by my adage: Leave peaceful people at peace. BM has nothing to do with society's violence, besides expressing cries of suffering in response to what society has dealt it.
-- Sentience (email@example.com), August 08, 2000.
Did Christopher ever show us his ass?
-- Anita Mann (AnitaMann@hotmail.com), June 22, 2000.
I attended a lutheran school for the 1st 8 schooling years of my life learning the bilble (brainwashing) every day. I was never given a choice. My beliefs began to diminish in college about the christian religion. I have attendend the b-man event the past 2 years and it has changed my life (turned it a complete 180). For the 1st time ever I saw a community of people who were positive, always helpful, always friendly, quick to say hello and offer what they had to share. The christian religion is based upon the belief that we are all inherently evil "sinners". Well I don't believe I am inherently evil and I did meet anyone out of the 23,000 other people at B-man last year that even came close. Now, Mr. Kee, I have read the bible from front to back and probably know more about it than you. But I never once read anything in the bible that said we should not gather to have fun, be creative, get away from the crazy, fucked up, rat race society we all live in where MONEY is god. The bible says a lot about respecting your neighbor and doing unto others what you would want them to do to you, which is the underlying theme of B-man. Mr. Kee, I will not judge you for your ignorance or your fear of the unknown. So please do not judge me for my knowledge of who I am or my happiness. Thank you.
-- Chad DuFrame (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 24, 2000.
Wow that is a lot of diverse responces to the ? of "a believer of Christ" Well i am , and i went to Burningman 99 and am going again this year. I am planning a Christian camp of some sort on a small scale. Based on Love, not hate, not fear, not judgement, but Love. Some of my ideas include "Angel camp" "Christ camp" "Jesus freak camp" ect. as a name for our little home. Last year we where at mars 7:20ish our theme was "summon the dragons" we are big jr tolken fans as well as Christians. we had a really nice gong that one was to "strike the gong to summon Gandolph's horde of magikal Dragon's so that they may appear in your dream's" people really liked it. This year it may be "strike the gong to wake the Christ within" Also our camp may include a wood cross wraped with wire to hang barter gifts on. What do u all think, please be nice. We really Love being a part of the burningman experience. thank you "zanner"
-- Donald Putnam (email@example.com), April 28, 2000.
I simply wanted to say that I love the Lord and I fully agree with your comment about idol worship in the church. The darkness that is over the church is really sad but thank God that the revelation of the light of his glory is being unveiled. God is in this time releasing the truth and showing the world that the hope of its glory is Christ in them. People have to have remove this idea of the man Jesus. He was the pattern son. In Romans 8:29 it says that for whom he did foreknow he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn of many brethren. An all encompassing scripture I know but the truth is that God is bringing forth sons who are walking by the spirit of God and doing only that the Father tells them. Jesus is not the man who lived on the earth and did all these great miracles though he did them but he is the embodiment of the spirit of God that is available for us. Thank you.
-- Chad (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 01, 2000.
All judgements regarding other human beings should be left up to God.
When you Judge another human being you are judging GOD.
-- E Phyllip Jenyus (email@example.com), September 30, 1999.
I see a lot of truth and intelligence and decency going on at Burning man. Thats not a bad combination. Without truth, expecially about oneself, not much else good happens, regardless of the other beliefs. the lying ruthless types just dont do very well is seems. Burning man is on the oposite end of that spectrum
It may be also that one does not come up to communion with others, and the dogs and the cats at real hard core levels, or especially the source of all life, until he comes up to living a truthful and decent life personally. At that stage it seems then not so much an external situation, me and a separate God, as one realizes the greater unity in all life. The good and the bad, we are all brothers it seems. Jesus said to love our bothers. It was just men who talked about killing the infidels. Thats very interesting isnt it. Jesus was the prince of peace truthfullness and decency, and the foundation on which the Christian religion was founded. But the bible as it comes to us today has words of men in it, that advocated war. Christ never did that from what I could tell, but I am not a bible scholar either.
Its dogma it appears that screws it all up. Not the insight, but the dogma, failing to see the big picture but excerpting various aspects to justify ones opinions.
I'm looking to help with a BM project being planned in the bay area. expecially with any young ladies between 18 and 70 that want to build something, let me know. I've got a lot of tools and a few bucks I could do something useful for a change. I was thinking like maybe a spa that gets cold when its hot outside, and gets warm at night. with underwater lighting.
-- Phil Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 1999.
He was a lamp, shiningand burning, and for a while you were willing to be happy in his light John 5: 35
-- johnny jensen (email@example.com), September 14, 1999.
How do I respond? You have so many points that to respond to them all would truly require a fairly massive tome, (hyperbole of course ).
First of all, my point about an Atheist not being able to talk about morality. The concept of morality requires something transcendent in order to be logical and consistent. Under purely materialistic system, we may have individual value systems, but if I choose not to be guided by what you value, you have no moral recourse. If I choose not to care about whether the species survives or whether you are pleased or not with my behavior, there is no shame there is no guilt. Sure, you can use bribes or threat to alter my behavior, but there is no objective standard of right or wrong that you can appeal to.
I do agree with you, that the reason that Hitler and Stalin have caused more suffering and misery than previous tyrants is that they have had more power at their disposal than those that came before. Since I must elaborate, here is the point I am making with their example. Mankind has always known evil. There have always been tyrants. To lay the sins that are common to mankind preponderantly at the feet of Christianity is ridiculous. Now what you can fault Christianity on, is that many supposed Christians are not acting consistently with what we purport to believe. It would seem to me, that since our 'apparent' failure to live up to our own standards incenses you so, that you must believe (or want) Christianity to be true.
You make many assumptions both about me personally and about history in general. These I find amusing. My passages shrink as you say, because I was not interested in investing that much time in them. If you are reasonably tenacious, as I think you will be, you will certainly be able to claim the victory, as I will decide that sparing with you, is not a productive use of my time. If you choose to believe and pronounce that this is because of my intellectual shortcomings, then so be it. Also, as time goes on, I am becoming more convinced that "brevity is the soul of wit". I dislike hearing long pontifications from others and am sure that others feel the same way about mine. Anyway, I have read large portions (maybe all) of "Let History Judge". It has been so long ago that I cannot separate what the author said, from other things I know about the period from other sources.
I am also amused by the rererence to the "persecuted gay and lesbian community". Considering that your average gay has a higher level of income, a higher level of education, and much more political power than the average American, it is amazing that they can posture as a persecuted community. The fact that they are able to, testifies to the enormous clout that they have in both politics and the media.
If you, like Charles Darwin, choose to believe, that the dissolution of consciousness and the utter meaninglessness of all human endeavor is a system that rational men should desire to believe then that is your choice. I prefer to believe the one who said "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." MATTHEW 11:28-30.
-- Mark S. Sonntag (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1999.
Jesus lives in my heart. Jesus lives in the desert. God is all around us, and I'm thankful and worship with all my heart.
When Jesus looked at you during his life, he didn't see a soldier or a merchant or a whore or a murderer. He saw *you*.
You Christians should go to the desert. You should go to Burning Man. But go to see your brothers and sisters. Go to offer your hearts, and share the grace you have found. If you go with a sword, to judge and condemn and assume and blame, don't be surprised when that behaviour is turned right back around on you.
Jesus taught me something about love, and it's the only thing I need to know about it. Love means love *everybody*. Not just the people in your church. Not just the people who you like, who think like you do and believe what you believe. Love means love everybody.
And when your time comes, God will judge *your* heart. I'd spend my time washing my own shirt before bitching about somebody else's if I were you.
-- Robert Holder (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Again, if you're coming from an Atheist point of view, you have no ground to talk about morality, because for an atheist, if he is following the logical conclusions of his faith, there can be none.
Wrong once again, Mr. Sonntag. An atheist has just as much a right (if not more) to wax pedantic on morality as any dyed-in-the-wool bible thumper like yourself. Morality, and for that matter, the very religion (and religions) that you go on so much about, are a purely human inventions with real world social implications that have more meaning than some non-existent pantheon. Laws, morality, structure, all these things are one might argue, necessary baggage for our species. We are communal, social animals and our ancestors learned the hard way through natural selection that cooperation and intergroup behavioral morality was a necessary part of our own individual survival.
Showing your poor grasp of history, you point out two modern day boogey-men, namely Hitler and Stalin. You also claim that these individuals are responsible for more human misery than any others you can think of, demonstrating only that you have a poor imagination. The Christian missionaries of the Americas alone (not to mention those who despoiled the Philippines, the South Pacific, and other locales) are responsible for more deaths and pogroms of ethnic eradication than both Hitler and Stalin combined. As for the wider march of history, there have been other civilizations and rulers who were just (or more) destructive and ruthless as were either of your two modern examples. Many of them have used religion as well, as a justification for their acts of naked aggression.
As for Hitler and Stalin, much of the effectiveness of their war crimes came in large part from the age in which they existed. Never before had the technology and political machine been in place to allow such efficient and widespread abuse of other human beings. On the other hand, there existed few if any global supervision and awareness beyond ones own national borders. The crimes that are taking place in the former Yugoslavia are no less horrific, and again, they are a war waged in the name of religion (Christian and Moslem) and ethnic cleansing. Stalin is even a more complex case, and I highly recommend you do some reading before you bandy him about. I would start with Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev s Let History Judge : The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism and go on from there. And if you are looking for historical figures who inspired great suffering, you need travel no farther than Jesus of Nazareth and Martin Luther.
In an aside, it is interesting to note that as our discussion grows deeper, your own passages shrink and your quotations of scripture grow larger. I would hardly say this flatters your ability to hold a rational, intelligent discussion but then your faith has never encouraged free and rigorous thinking. "The assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for His existence. But this is a rash argument, as we should thus be compelled to believe in the existence of cruel and malignant spirits, only a little more powerful than man; for the belief in them is far more general than in a beneficent Deity." [Charles Darwin, "The Descent of Man"]
"I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine." [Charles Darwin]
"The 'Christian spirit' which persecutes the gay and lesbian community is the same as that which perpetrated the Crusades on the Arab world, which outlawed Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, and Darwin, which justified the enslavement and segregation of African-Americans, which kept silence during the Holocaust, and silenced women as spokes people for God. As it always was, this cruel spirit is still in error." [Dr. George Williamson, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Granville]
-- E.M.Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
Again, if you're coming from an Atheist point of view, you have no ground to talk about morality, because for an atheist, if he is following the logical conclusions of his faith, there can be none.
However, that case aside, I would say that the two people in history have that done more than any others to have "caused immeasurable suffering, weal, and damage to the otherwise rational exploration of the cosmos and ourselves" are Stalin and Hitler.
Stalin was an Atheist and Hitler a Pagan.
"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. 'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their fetters.' the One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them." Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath saying, 'I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.'" PSALMS 2:1-6
The fool says in his heart, ' There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. PSALMS 14:1.
-- Mark S. Sonntag (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
I have but a few simple remarks for Mr. Sonntag. Yes, in the end should we be able to view the results of all human effort and travail in another million years (or likely even a thousand) our epitaphs would be starker than poor old Ozymandias. Morality is something that humans envision after starring into the void for too long, like shapes in a darkened room that are build only of rocking chairs and our imagination. Your faith, your god, your bones will be dust in the march of time. However, in the more narrow scope of human history, religion and Christianity in particular has caused immeasurable suffering, weal, and damage to the otherwise rational exploration of the cosmos and ourselves. Therefore, for the here and the now, your pernicious, narrow minded, evil little sect is a detriment to every living thing on the planet. So certainly my choice is for you to take a long cold ride into outer space on the next approaching comet and leave the rest of us rational human beings all the better off for the absence of you and your shrill cacophony, which like the bard said, signifies nothing.
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings. Look at my works, ye Mighty, and Despair!
"You could trouble me for a nice, tall glass of SHUT THE HELL UP. ...Check out the name tag, you're in my world now... ."
-- E.M.Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
September 7, 1999: i have just arrived home (in Seattle) from my first Burning Man (yes, i was a virgin). Before I attended, I heard countless opinions from friends and family (most of them had never attended). To be honest, I was a bit frightened by some of the powerful imagery described by them -- and the few photographs I discovered on the internet seemed to loosely back their words.
I now have a much different view of Burning Man, having experienced it first hand. I entered the gates as an observer, but left as a participant. In fact, I am planning to attend next year.
To anyone who feels like Burning Man is occultic or satanic, I simply quote the scriptures they live by: seek and ye shall find. If you're looking for evil, violence, hate, destruction or anything else that you despise, you don't need to visit Black Rock City to find it; look in your own backyard. We live in a violent and self- serving society. Watch the news. You'll find plenty of "anti- christian" ideals right in your own home--just turn on the TV or pick up the newspaper.
I went to Burning Man to discover. What I found: twenty-thousand peaceful and loving artists striving to have a week free of "city- life." I found lots of love, friendship and kindness. For example, there is no commerce at the event. If you needed something, you could ask a neighbor or barter for it. Everyone seemed so willing to help each other out. Those who over-prepared for the campout fed those who didnt prepare as well as they should have. It was almost overwhelming to see such a beautiful sense of community out in the middle of nowhere!
I saw God everywhere. What better place to commune with your creator than in the midst of an ancient lakebed... naturally created by God.
Speaking of nature, everyone seemed very concerned with protecting the desert while staying as its guest. When we left, we took what we brought in (including ALL trash). Most people traveled within the city on bicycles rather than fossil-fueled vehicles. As for loving thy neighbor, I did not personally witness a single hostile incident between two people. In fact, when I arrived, I knew one person... by the time I left; it seemed as though Id made hundreds of friends (I brought back many email addresses of new friends I'd made from ALL OVER THE WORLD!).
My response to your comment is simple, before judging it--see it first hand. You may be surprised. Don't let a few scary comments from the media or people that you know keep you from finding out what is REALLY going on. It is neither a cult nor a pagan ritual. In fact, the actual burning of the man was probably not the highlight of the event, in my opinion. It was the people that attended the party and their profound love for art and freedom of expression that ultimately influenced my viewpoint. I came back to Seattle with a new joy, knowing that God is still very much alive on this earth and that humans can still put aside their differences and love one another for the beautiful creations that we are.
-- daveflowers (SupaFlower@aol.com), September 07, 1999.
GOD, Please protect me from your followers.
-- Gregg Eyman (email@example.com), September 05, 1999.
I AM A 43 YEAR OLD ROMAN CATHOLIC,ENGLISH LIT MAJOR,WEIGHT LIFTER, RESTARAUNT CRITIC,ROCK AND ROLLER,CYNIC,KANSAS BASHING EVOLUTIONIST, LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC INTELLECTUAL WITH AN ATTITUDE THAT JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT BURNING MAN ON THE INTERNET YESTERDAY THAT CANT BELIEVE ANY OF THIS EXISTED WITHOUT ME KNOWING ABOUT IT. ICON,IDOL,GOLD COW WHATEVER. IM GOING NEXT YEAR.
-- JOE HOUCK (HOUCK@DPS.STATE.IA.US), September 05, 1999.
Regarding your statement in support of "legislative morality." Would not moral decisions, left to a free society be exercised like a muscle at the gym, thus leading only to further development? Given to the machinations of the law, it is my opinion that morality would be subjected to whims, loopholes and pushing of envelopes which would do nothing but weaken the very fiber of morality and it's ultimate fruit of the vine - personal freedom.
The choice is ours - mindless sheep running in lemming-like fashion through the corridors of techno-funk media-guided beurocratic morality or self-responsibility for decisions based upon our own personal experiences and understanding of what we know and feel to be true and righteous in our own hearts.
- Commander Bob
-- Commander Bob (Hammerofthor@earthlink.net), September 03, 1999.
Let's have a reasoned argument for the devotee of Mr. Bertrand Russell. Mr. Russell was an atheist I believe (at least for most of his life). If you're an atheist, then this material world is all there is. After death there is a dissolution of consciousness. Therefore, once your dead, it matters not to you what you did in life or what was done to you. Considering the fact that everyone will die this meaningless of action applies to everyone. Eventually even the universe will run down. Thus we eventually will come to a pass where it doesn't matter what any person, or aggregate of persons, did or did not do. When it all comes down to dust, there is no difference between Adolph Hitler and Mother Teresa, between Gandhi or the Marquise de Sade. If I leave you alone, proselytize you, force my religion down your throat, convert to yours, wash your feet or hideously torture you, who cares? It's all the same in the end!!!
"Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return." ECCLESIASTES 3:19-21.
-- Mark S. Sonntag (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 02, 1999.
Did not the Judeo-Christian god often command his followers to go out into the desert? All three religions of the "book" (i.e. Judaism, Islam, and yes, Christianity) came out of the same area/background for the most part. Most of the key concepts of all three faiths come from a much older pedigree, shamelessly stealing elements of Egyptian, Persian, and Babylonian myth and calling it their own. Faiths that are born out of this harsh landscape seem to have engendered a fanatical bent in their later day worshipers. I have rarely seen Buddhists who were such unpleasant and potentially dangerous Zealots as which is regularly produced from these three "religions." Is BM a pagan event? Certainly, at least in that it fulfills three identifying features of what many followers of Judeo- Christian or Islamic belief would consider to be pagan, namely:
1. A number of attending celebrants consider themselves to be pagan, and view the spectacle as a chance to perform, enact, or celebrate their own religion and religious ideas.
2. The imagery of the effigy (and elements of the celebration itself) are highly charged with pagan (Celtic) myth in the form of the burning wicker man (just be gland they still dont add captive Christians to the bonfire, a shame IMO) as well as the temple of Ishtar.
3. The word pagan is often bandied about by Christians (and other faiths) as anything that is ritualistic, spiritual, and not of accepted Christian dogma. Certainly for a number of participants, be they pagans or otherwise, the experience is a deeply enjoyable and yes, spiritual one, accomplished by participating in acts and celebration that are not in line with accepted Christian teachings.
Now what does this mean? Absolutely nothing. What is a pagan? Nothing more than a prejudicial and anachronistic term. If youre a Christian you might as well get all worked up in a lather over Muslims worshiping at the Dome of the Rock, or ethnic Albanians bowing towards Mecca, or atheists choosing to take part in their very legal rights to abortion, family planning, and contraceptives Oh wait, you do get in a lather over these things, and with alarming frequency, even kill innocent folk because of your prejudiced, narrow- minded, misplaced religious fervor.
The bottom line is that if you feel that activities or the philosophical underpinnings of BM imperil your own faith, sanity, or immortal soul (which I dont think you have anyway, but what the hell go ahead and waste YOUR lives), DONT ATTEND! No one will miss your presence there, nor will they tell you what business you have by going to church, a prayer group, or a softball game that injuries no ones else brain except your own underdeveloped one.
Sigh, I WISH pagans, the real kind, still attended BM. In that case Id extend the invitation to as many Christians as could be safely crammed inside the Man in question to attend So go find some poor Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, or just anti-creationist free thinker to harass and leave the Man alone.
- E. M. Edwards
"If you think that your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument, rather then by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless and will therefore result to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young in what is called "education"."
"Religion is based... mainly on fear....fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.... My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."
"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence."
-- E.M. Edwards (email@example.com), August 30, 1999.
I myself have read the Bible many times, starting from my attending a Catholic school in N.C., as well as my gaining a Minister's liscense and also for my Theological studies in college. For anyone interested in my opinion, the BM event may very well be viewed as sacrireligious by some, but just because someone chooses a different mythology or perspective in the expression of their spirituality does not make it wrong. Fire has been a part of our spirituality for as long as we have skittered around on the land. An expression of oneself, in any way, shape, or form is not wrong. As Wyccans attest;"And ye harm none, do what ye will."
-- Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 28, 1999.
Christ can either be your Judge or your Savior. The choice is yours. Choose this day whom you will serve.
-- Greg (email@example.com), August 27, 1999.
I wandered on to this thread and thought I would throw my 2 cents in. I can understand why some folks would be offended by Burning Man, it treads on their beliefs and therefore their identity. Some people swear up and down on their Chevy and will point out the faults of all the other makes of vehicles. It just reinforces their identity to identify and oppose something that is not what they are. It is human nature to classify and catagorize, thats the way we are. So we see a "your either for us or against us" attitude. I suppose there are people out their that think the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and to them it probably is. Their beliefs and identity have been threatened. But rest assured, the people that are dancing naked in the desert aren't out to corrupt your values, they have no interest in taking anything away from you. It meerely an exercise in enabling and enlighting oneself to grow. Take care and don't stress yourself out. Eric
-- Eric Hove (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 17, 1999.
I think you're all thinking about it too much. Relax! Enjoy the experience. Live a little eh?
-- Alex Southard (email@example.com), August 14, 1999.
I think firstname.lastname@example.org had a wonderful idea about having a Christian camp. I can't make it (this year at least), but I think it would be really neat to have one (or more) cross to which people could be tied naked. A crude sign on top could say 'Believer in Christ'. Of course, some kind of monitoring would be necessary so that the person(s) on the cross doesn't get heat stroke or worse.
-- John Wheeler (JDWheeler@compuserve.com), August 09, 1999.
Small nit here, Kiki on 5/13/99 said that God kicked A&E out of Eden because They (God is plural here, Christians think of the Trinity, others have other explanations) were afraid of Man's becoming immortal. I'd just like to point out, that before they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was OK for A&E to eat from the tree of life ("You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but . . ". Gen 2:16). It was only after their disobedience, that immortality became something to be withheld from mankind. I would guess that many burners are trying to find their way back into Eden. However, the way lies forward through the provision that God made in Christ, not backwards. I once believed as many of the burners do, but instead of finding light and life, I found death and darkness.
Luck y'all in your journey.
-- Mark S. Sonntag (email@example.com), July 14, 1999.
Jumping Black Jesus, Ya'll are getting your panties in a bunch tryin' to justify yer actions in the face of some nambly pambly criticism leaking out of the mouth of some sad, repressed God-freak. I remember (Back before John Wayne died), when any self respecting Burner would have Listened to what C K one had to say with an open mind, an open heart, and the righteous belief that ANY person, from the enlightened, liberated, beautiful, children of fire that I fall in love with all over again EVERY FUCKIN' YEAR, to the most pathetic close-minded, death-worshipping Christ-whore, has a right to speak their own mind; without fear of judgement or retaliation. Yes, brothers snd sisters, any self respecting burner would look that sadly misguided soul straight in the eye, take him by the hand, lead him, Like Moses, out into the desert, Duct-tape his mouth shut and toss him into the heart of Bianca's Smut shack. Face it we have more Spirituality, Eroticism, Passion, and Primal Beauty crammed into our souls after a one week in the Desert, than this sad punk will ever experience. Stop justifying and remember who we are. Namaste, bruthas an' sistas, See you in the dust. The Indigo.
-- The Indigo (Bluechrome@aol.com), July 07, 1999.
I share Kiki's wish that 'Christians' would focus their efforts on unifying people rather than dividing them against each other. I am deeply saddend by the cruelty and evil that is perpetrated in the name of Christ by people who have not understood His teachings.
I believe that truth exists and that we all have an inborn desire to find it and align our lives with it. When our lives are more closely aligned with the truth we are happier and more at peace with ourselves and the rest of humanity. When we live our lives in opposition to the truth we are less happy and less at peace with ourselves and those around us. Nobody lives in complete harmony with the truth.
I have never been to Burning Man, but I have enjoyed reading the experiences that some people have had while there. It seems that some people learn a lot about themselves and their relationships to the people and world around them. Our society is severely messed up and sometimes events such as Burning Man can help us see the contradictions and inequities in it more clearly. They can inspire us to try to live more in accord with the truth and thereby improve the world around us
On the other hand, I suspect that there are many others for whom Burning Man is just another temporary escape from the pain or emptyness they experience in the 'real' world. It can not get them any closer to the truth and the resulting peace that they seek.
I want to tell everybody, especially those who like Jason know that they don't know everything and as a result feel confused, that God lives. We are his children and He loves each of us. He sent His son Jesus Christ to the earth to teach us and to redeem us all. We can learn all truth from Him.
However, I want to make it clear that the fact that I believe these things has very little bearing on how well my life is aligned with the truth. I have no ability and certainly no right to judge another person as to their degree of success at learning and living true principles. I know that there are many people in many cultures who don't share my beliefs who have aligned their lives more closely with the truth than I have. I know how to learn the truth, but it is up to me to live it.
I sincerely hope that my rambling post has been helpful to someone.
-- Greg Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 03, 1999.
as far as religion goes, i dont know. i believe in jesus christ. i also believe in the christian GOD, or GOD the father. i dont understand why many religions set forth many of the restrictions they do,(such as no tattoos, no alcohol, no pre marital sex)and so forth. but i firmly believe that god is out there and is concerned with each of our lives. i admit i dont understan what is going on at the BM events, but it seems harmless, why is everyone so concerned about it? i dont see a page chatting about the "lunatics" who flock to see the pope. i say leave them alone, let them do their thing.im lost and confused, and looking for answers, if you have any please send them.
-- Jason Lancaster (email@example.com), June 15, 1999.
Before you know the answer you must study the question. As we are all free to choose and not to judge then there is no answer nor reply. For I shall not judge unless to be judged.
For God/god/gods has many faces. We are individuals whether we choose to be or not. For we are all cursed or blessed with the sight of individuals. As individuals with different preceptions are sight of preception is that of many ranges of color and beauty. As there are many preceptions of what, where, and why we came to be. The only answer is the answer you find within yourself. A question asked by the mind and answered by the heart.
Religion is in the heart and not in the mouth. Do not spend your whole life searching for what you will know the answer to when you die. It seems like a waste for life is short. Be patient the answer will come. I promise death is enevitable.
love and let live peace!
-- J. Germaine (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 1999.
First of all, Adam and Eve were NOT thrown out of Eden because they sinned, or because God was mad because they ate the apple. They were thrown out because God was AFRAID they would become immortal. Go check it out! :)
Second, [and this is off-topic, kinda] people do good and bad things whether they are Christian or not. So what's the point of becoming Christian?
If it's to go to Heaven, that's a bad reason. You don't sell your soul to God for the pretty penny of going to Heaven. Besides, that just means it's some big lottery ticket, based on greed.
You are Christian, [or Pagan, or Buddhist, or even Atheist] for the purpose of *understanding* God. Understanding the unexplainable. At least, that's how I like to look at it. [It gives me a handy excuse for my belief that most all religeons are valid. :) ]
As far as Burning Man goes, well, Burning Man is harder and harder to quantify the more I know about it. :)
Why it's important to *me* is because it's an experiement in *community*. Larry once said that mostly white people go to Burning Man because it is mostly white people who are without culture. At Burning Man, it is simply *exploding* with culture!!
And on that note, I've always felt that the social need was one of the most important aspects of religeon. [And also why I think it's silly for religeons like Hari Krishna [sp?] to come to America because you cannot divorce it from the culture it came from. Same for Christian missionaries in distant lands, because much of Christianity is intertwined in American [and European] cultures.]
At Burning Man, you tear yourself down and build yourself new, because the very *fabric* of American culture is torn to its essences. It is like an initiation -- and initiations exist in our society in many religeous as well as secular ways. Initiation is a good thing, because it allows us to see progress, and it takes the *moment* and makes it into a doorway. We pass through that doorway and are changed.
Is that unChristian? Well, if the only way to understand transformational experiences is by defining them as religeous -- and Burning Man is not Christian -- then you might have a problem. [Note: when I say it's not Chritian, I don't mean it excludes Christians. I just mean it doesn't exist to furthur belief in Jesus. You might even use it for that purpose, but that's not why it exists.]
[Side note: wouldn't it be cool if there was a Christian Camp where folks made art based on their beliefs?? Not as a Witness to sinners [which would miss the point of Burning Man itself] but as an *expression* of their beliefs! That would be way-cool! Sadly, though, I don't think Christians could divide their beliefs from the need to convert, since that is one of the core aspects of Christianity...but I digress... :) ]
I think there's more shades to the world than Christian and non-Christian and I think we can be tranformed in an orthogonal direction to *whatever* religeon you are. That being the axium, then there's room at Burning Man for everybody, just like there's room on this planet for everybody.
Burning Man is what you make of it.
-- Someone said they thought everyone looked lost inside themselves. Many people who come to Burning Man *are* lost inside themselves, I certainly being one of them. :) But for a lot of those folks, Christianity just wasn't the answer. [I being one of them. :) ]
I think that what you see instead is people being lost in the *physical* world, but being found spritually.
Now, don't confuse spiritually with a specific religeon. What I mean is a connection with the Inner Self -- which might even be God. I mean connecting with something that is deeper than the mundane experience.
So if you define "spiritually" as either connecting with Jesus Christ Our Lord or not, then to you those people probably *do* look lost, because the rope they're tied to looks like it's tied to nothing.
Well, I'm beginning to ramble, so I'll shut up now. :)
I guess I wish Christianity focussed more on *unifying* people rather than dividing them, which seems to me more of what Jesus was trying to teach. Acceptance, and breaking down of the old Jewish traditions.
Personally, I think he woulda dug it. :)
-- kiki (email@example.com), May 13, 1999.
Wow! Hey kids Extremo here, this is pretty cool! I jus' wanna submit dose questioneenos...(1) What came first, Adam & Eve or the Dinosaurs? (2) Did God create man or did man create God?
-- Scot"Extremo the Clown" Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 29, 1999.
Hey Russel, how do you straddle a fence for long perionds of time? I always found it to be very uncomfortable and easy to get knocked off. I find much more stability over here in the far right wing. Maybe if you sit on it long enough, the circulation gets cut off so you no longer feel it? While your on that fence, tell us how you would confront someone about Jesus. I'm sure it will be nice and warm and won't offend anybody like Paul and James always were.
-- amazed (email@example.com), March 24, 1999.
Chris Kee - Your concern is touching. Most people at the Burning Man have read the Bible. Most of them reject it, but not out of blind ignorance. You can't save someone's soul if you don't respect them, and your "Obviously not." and "wake up" statements demonstrate a clear lack of respect.
Dan McMillan - First, it's not on "State of Nevada" property, it's on Federal land. And they have every right to charge you money, because it's a private encampment. If you're camping with 10 friends out there, I can't just go walking into your tent without your permission. And you can charge me money to use your camp toilet if you have one. The entry fees at the Burning Man cover the costs of obtaining permits and getting a bunch of porta-potties out there, among other things. You should be ashamed of yourself for being a freeloader.
Burnin' Buddies - Respect is a two-way street. You gotta give some to get some.
Everybody - Don't take anything too seriously, especially not people that take you too seriously.
I like lukewarm water.
-- Russell Mast (aka Nobody) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 22, 1999.
I sound so silly to be arguing about what other people do or not do.
We are free to do whatever we wish as long as it does not interfere with other people, no matter how horrendous, stupid or ridiculous it may look to other people.
And to base any kind of fundamentalist opinion on a book written 1600 years ago from the fragments of translations of translations of the life of a guy whom, just by his aspect (hippy) would be shot on the spot by any right wing, NRA supporting moron... well, what I can I say...
If you love dancing naked like mad around a fire while believing you are enduring some kind of spiritual rite, then CHEERS!! Have a good time and enjoy yourself!!
Live and let live.
-- John Rattagan (email@example.com), February 18, 1999.
How is christianity responsible for the fall at the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve sinned.. they were cast out. I don't see the correlation you speak of. If anything, since Christ existed before the creation of the world and Adam and Eve 'walked with God', their rejection of God's truth was what caused the desecration of 'mother earth' as you put it.
I know this doesn't have much to do with Burning Man, but I thought the last post needed a reply.
-- Jasj (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
christianity is responsible for our desecration of our mother earth because it was only when we were cast out of the garden of eden that we became lost.if anybody out at burning man appears to be lost inside themselves, they will damn well have a better chance of finding themselves out there then in the religion that cut us off from ourselves(nature)perhaps forever.
-- johnny handle (email@example.com), January 14, 1999.
If Jesus comes back to earth on labor day weekend, you can bet he'll be at BM! For one reason or another..
-- Mark Godzilla (MarkGodzil@aol.com), January 06, 1999.
I attended BM 1995. It was my first, and probably my last, because I moved back East to Michigan. I had been living in Reno for about 5 years in 1995. Some of my friends knew the guys who first went out into the desert and burnt thier man in efigy of severe pain felt by one of them loosing his girlfriend. Or so that's how the story goes from the locals. Everything eventually organized into a larger party event. I remember that in 95, they tried to make me pay 30.00 to go out there into the desert. I had a 78 International scout and went around those scalpers. They had no right to charge anyone. It is State of Neveada Land. As for this whole Christian/Pagan argument... I believe in Christ, as my savior, and I try to view others the way he would see them. The whole BM event for me in 95 was very strange. I had lived a sheltered life since my childhood. But then again, I like the way I was. This event opened my eyes to the other world out there. What it must have been like in a Pagan environment. Though I dorned a shirt that said: "We wrestle not against Flesh and Blood, but against principalities and powers of Darkness in high places" I found there was no worry of any of these folks becoming President or gaining any worldly power. More than half of them were very buisy selling substances, conforting hangovers, building bizarre encampments, dressing up, playing with fire, lasers, holographs, stragne car building projects, and et.
Though overall, I didn't care for the sign that read: "Thank you for choosing Hell" and "Celeberty crucifixion". Overall, I felt out of place, but only because it was not a place for me. No-one harrassed me about my shirt, or the cross dangling about my neck. In fact I sort of felt like a minority. I didn't feel that there were many people roaming about with Christ in their hearts. But, to judge anyone, points back at me! I can only say that, as a Christian, there is no need to go out their, unless you feel strongly convicted to try and help people whom may need prayer. I doubt you would be well recieved handing out tracks and stuff like that. Then again, I don't think Jesus would do that. With Him in my heart, I watched with open eyes what people were doing. Many of them really were lost inside themselves somewhere. I mean they found their place amongst others like them, and even found acceptance far away from any norms. But I felt most of these people have already made their choice, or don't think there is a choice to make concerning rejection/acceptance of Salvation. Many were there simply for the art of it. Others for the profit of it. And some for the buzz of it. In any case, it's always been pretty normal in history for people to mass together and party. I just think that a Christian living in his faith, will not find himself at home out there. But there certainly could be ways to help in case things go bad for someone out there. Some people lost their money somehow and food/water. Some could use more love! Could'nt we all! :) I remember a girl, after just rolling around in a mud mosh practically beg for water when the sun came back out and dried her up like a prune! Overall, I was always trying to figure out what was really going on here, and the answer can only be found through each individual's tale they tell. I certainly learned what extremes exist in todays world. Perhaps I lost some more of that child-like innocence? In any case, I think the Lord might walk around and check that event out, like he did in Israel, and then find allot of people who are hurting inside and heal them. How many people would notice Him? He would'nt appear like anyone special. But you would see something in His eyes. It would be difficult to point your finger at the whore while you glance at His drawing in the sand! After He had found His friends in the crowd, he wuld maybe move along to continue on with the work of the Kingdom to Come.
-- Dan McMillan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 17, 1998.
I personally would recommend reading Harlan Ellison's "Repent Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman." It seems to me, and feel free to comment if you think I am wrong, that this represents the ideals behind the Burning Man event far better than the chosen analogy. And, if anyone cares, I am Catholic with Jewish tendancies.
-- Jack O'Connor (email@example.com), December 12, 1998.
I think the Israelites had a lot more fun before Moses came back a spoiled it all. So they wrapped some beef in gold, heck, they didn't have aluminum foil then. At least back then the mythological christian god got involved in things. Now the creep should be prosecuted for criminal negligence.
-- Capn (CapnFlash@hotmail.com), December 11, 1998.
I would simply put forth these thoughts: 1) Jesus did not judge the woman caught in adultery, but did tell her to sin no more; 2)Jesus stood in front of the Pharisees (that is, the RELIGIOUS people) and said, in essence, "I am God." By making that statement, He was either revealing himself as a raving lunatic or He is God. He leaves that for each of us to decide...end of my judging others, post haste! I may think that something someone does is sin, but I do not know their heart, nor am I qulaified to judge it. That's God's job. I can't even beat you into believeing there is a God (Jehovah)...you must decide that yourself. Christianity is not supposed to be a religion ( a set of rules ), it is a relationship with the living God. Unfortunately, many people can only justify themselves by imposing their rules on others. The Bible says, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." That means freedom. I am free from sin...Jesus died to pay the sacrificial price for me...and you. You have to decide if you want to accept that or not. It is time for the church to stop condemning people and seek holiness to love as Jesus loved, forgiving sin, and healing our fellow man. God bless you all and may you find the Truth...and, while truth is not subjective, I cannot force you to believe anything, but by forceful tactics, I fear that I would drive you farther away. Peace.
-- Dave Doty (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 11, 1998.
It's me again. My intentions were not to find something wrong with BM so that I could rant and rave about it as some so called bible twister. But after many hours of searching as many BM related web sites that I could stand to look at trying to find something positive, one word comes to mind.....pathetic. I guess I'm just a extreme consevstive. Don't get me wrong, some small part of me might like to run around in the dessert buck naked doing whatever came to mind, but that road only leads to places I don't want to think about. Maybe I'm the weird one for thinking it's better to be a productive, morally upstanding citizen. Yes, I said the M word. Morals, people say they can't be legislated, but I beg to differ. Once upon a time, people cared what went on around them, even when they weren't directly involved.
And we wonder why our children are going around killing each other. Like Maralyn Manson said, "It's a long hard road out of hell." Unfortunately, I think all of the bridges are BURNED.
Keep your eyes peeled, a change is about to take place.
-- speechless (email@example.com), December 06, 1998.
Hey Scott! I think what you posted is great. I know I told CKee to stop his judging but this was all in the context of the BM event. I did not see a single person there who would or could fuck kids while in the fine Black Rock Community. What I mean is yes we must judge at times but only when we are directly affected by the actions of assholes. Maybe I don't use the right werds sometimes but I almost felt like my real family was being attacked by some over the edge Bible Twister. 'NUFF SAID. Sorry if I piss anyone off by this but that's the way I saw the event and I thought CKee insulted all my friends and family in attenDANCE! Have a nice Holiday everyone!
-- chrish (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 30, 1998.
While watching BurningMan '98 on a latenight Austin TX. TV station, I thought to myself, what in the world are these people doing dancing around in the middle of the dessert naked? What does this all mean? I just saw a bunch of people who got together in a desolate place to act upon thier inner feelings and just do what feels good, without worying about what thier neighbors might think. Because thier neighbors were feeling the same way. To the average person, it didn't appear that any direct worship of any one thing was taking place. Although as a believer in Christ myself, I can understand Chris' point of view. The next day I decided to look it up on the internet and see if there might be an explaination for it all. I read the founder's speech and realized what was going on. After reading the founder's speech, the though of an event focused on bringing people togther for a common goal didn't sound like a bad idea. After reading the comments and further thought, this came to mind. Wasn't Jesus a burning man? His words and actions were and are the light that God wanted us to see, and be brought to before He was (burned) destroyed. And now that He is gone, do we spread His light, or our own little insignificant spark? About this machine we all live under, I agree, it is winding down. What will happen when it stops? Will our LOVE we try so hard to show for each other create some perfect world and save us from certain disaster? I think that is wishfull thinking. I would hope that instead of looking within ourselves for the answer,the realization that we are basically lost, helpless, and not in controll of the world we live in will come to pass. But again, wishfull thinking. As for the letters that say we shouldn't judge the actions of others, open your eyes you fool. Judging others is the only thing that keeps this crazy world in check. (Hey! So what if I think it is OK to have sex with small children and then eat them. Who are you to judge?) If we continue to live by a philosophy such as this, who knows what will be an accepted practice from one day to the next.
P.S. Don't justify your actions on what the Bible doen't say, instead, base them on what it DOES say. Either believe it completely or reject it completely. Nobody likes lukewarm water.
-- Scott Allen (Gpzzx9@aol.com), November 22, 1998.
All other things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.
-- Steven Paiano (email@example.com), October 23, 1998.
Actually, I am another Christian writing in support of my brother. The reference to the Golden Calf fits better than you might think. Certainly many of the Israelites used the the occassion to engage in a generally inebriated and licentious celebration. (Sounds kinda like the Man to me).
Some of the posts on other boards regarding the garbage problem and the possiblily of enlisting rituals of high mystic content in order to address it certainly sounds like the old pagans to me. While I am sure that many of them lived in awe and fear of their gods, these gods were always manipulated by the elites to further their ends. Even those who lived in fear and awe, understood that the gods were there to be manipulated.
Not so the God who is. The God of Jacob, Issac and Abraham lives! As with idols, men have always tried to manipulate him. But hear his words:
"I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you." ISAIAH 42:8-9.
A century ago those with eyes to see knew that sooner or later that He would bring his people back to their homeland, just as he promised in ISAIAH, JERIMIAH and the minor prophets. If you expressed this idea to the Edwardian world of the turn of the century, people would have thought you crazy. Today Isreal exists!!!
For many of you, your only experience with Christianity is from organizations where the leaders have long since ceased to belive in "He who is" and view Him, like the pagans, as just another idol to be manipulated. However, he knows you, and longs for you to know him.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" REVELATION 3:21-22.
-- Mark S. Sonntag (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 12, 1998.
There is only one answer to such a post:
Hey, Christopher, SHOW US YOUR ASS !!
-- MadMax (email@example.com), October 09, 1998.
Have I read the bible? Yes, as a matter of fact, I looked up that specific reference before going to Burning Man 98. I didn't want to tread on my beliefs. I checked it out on a Bible CD I bought to see what the mythical account was about (I've cut the boring, redundant and irrelevant bits:
Exodus 32:4 And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:5 And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD. Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Exodus 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]: Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. [blah...blah] Exodus 32:20 And he [Moses] took the calf which they had made, and burnt [it] in the fire, and ground [it] to powder, and strowed [it] upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink [of it]. [blah...blah] Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people [were] naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto [their] shame among their enemies:) [blah...blah] Exodus 32:31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
So, if you got thru that, here's my read of it... for one, the issue seems to be that they made the calf into a god, which the Burning Man is not. No one in this day and age could be so deluded, could they? Except that the Burning Man represents an intense experience for many people attending, and so it might be construed that the effigy represents that experience, which they hold highly and celebrate. That's kinda obtuse. And that would be a personal interpretation by a few. Listen, some people even today may worship cattle, but it doesn't stop me from going to the agricultural fair, just in case some cow worshippers are there.
Now, the burnt offering stuff is interesting. There were other burning ceremonies, for example, there was a ceremony burning wooden dowels, aka faggots, the word used to describe starter wood to burn the witches in the past... as gay men at the time were considered... starter fuel to burn witches. So, this ceremony was to burn past associations of the word faggot... which certainly wasn't any offering to the effigy. There were some other events that were religious parodies that really annoyed me, frankly, but, so do my neighbours in the city. Any event this large is going to have people who delight you and a few who really get on your nerves. Burning Man has many, many delights and only a few things that disturbed me.
Now, the calf quotation above says they were naked, which some people at Burning Man were. Read it again. Neither Moses nor God in this account really say anything about the party or people being naked... it's just the calf being considered a god that they're mad about. I have another view of my Bible search on what nakedness means to contemporary Christians compared to a re-reading of the King James interpretation of interpretation of edited manuscripts that survived that were derived from multi-generational inspired oral histories, however inspired. Still, it has value to us. But yeah, read your Bible for yourself with a fresh mind and stop listening to the other bigots interpretation of it. But that's for another thread.
-- Ryan Stewart (RyanStewart@grx.com), October 06, 1998.
Your numbers are dwindling.
Our numbers grow.
Do the math.
-- Krangoriak the Wicked (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 04, 1998.
I personaly dont view the "burning man" as an idol of a god to be worshiped, I view it as an effigy of us which if you were releagious could use it as a communication instrument to god (christen or pagen) Next time your at burning man contribute a message that you would like to send to god('s). When the man burns, your message would be carried to god('s) in the flames (a pagen idea) and if Burning Man Inc. wont let you send your message they should!!!!!
-- bob (email@example.com), October 01, 1998.
First of all, we do not worship the man. If we did we would not burn him and he would be protected and made of gold. He is not an idol. He is an effigy, a symbol for Larry and his friends to do with what they please. Wake up Chris Kee! Learn what a false idol is and stop your judging, especially when you seem to know nothing about BM or idolization. I PRAY FOR YOU JACKASS!----A believer in CHRIST and FREEDOM.
-- chrish (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 1998.
Two comments: ....
1. Who are you to judge another's experience? How do you know that it is not you who might "wake up"?
2. Last time I was in a Church I saw quite a number of statues which people seemed to be worshiping. How do you explain this?
-- richard (email@example.com), September 29, 1998.