Thursday, June 18, 2009

Persons and Censorship

Something that I never really thought about in Proverbs is that the majority of the entire thing is addressed to "sons". I think that when I read the Bible, I get it stuck in my head that somehow the writers wrote it as if they were addressing or going to be addressing a million people... like a bulletin on myspace, or a blog, or a twit. 

Like, yeah! I'm going to write this and it's going to be written and addressed to a large audience and so I've gotta write for the audience that's going to read it. I guess the best way to describe my thought process is selling advertisements. When you're working on ad sales and you write a "personal" email to the artist that says "Hey guys! How are you?" and you make it sound as personal as possible while still reaching a number of people. 

And I don't know why I seem to have it stuck in my head that the Bible is written like that, because it's not. And I didn't even realize that that's how I have it in my head until this morning. Because all these pastors and people always talk about deeply personal the book is, the books are, and I believe that, practically. I mean, hell, I talk about how deeply personal it is all the time. 

I guess what I really mean is that the dudes who wrote it, wrote it because they had a deep passion and burden for what they were saying, and, maybe more importantly, because they loved the persons (and I use "persons" as opposed to "people" for a reason) that they wrote to in a profound way. 

And I realized this because of the first couple of words in the first couple of verses in the book of Proverbs, where David writes the letters that form the word "my son" - and then he goes on to say words like "listen" and like "do" and like "do not" and it's not because David is a jerkoff with a power trip that "wants to tell a whole bunch of people that will probably read his wonderful Godly book someday" - but it's because he loves Solomon, his son, and his other sons, and he wants what's best for him. 

The coolest thing about this realization, for me, is that it brings a sense of personal relationship that has nothing to do with me, but has everything to do with a dad loving his kid, and telling him how to live practically. And it starts to feel like a conversation that my dad would have with me while we stand in the garage and talk about why I started smoking cigarettes. And he tells me that it's good to do certain things and not good to do certain things and he tells me that stuff because he loves me, not because he has an audience. He tells me the things he tells me because he has a deep desire to see me grow up in wisdom and godliness, and because there is a burden on his heart, as a father, as someone that loves someone, and not because I just happen to be standing there and so I might hear him and I might not. 

Maybe that doesn't make sense. Or maybe it makes sense because it's common sense and something that has already clicked with most everybody. I guess I just think it's cool because I've always said that it clicks with me, too, but I don't know if it really ever has. 

It wasn't written for the audience, like this blog is written for an audience, no matter how much I'd like to believe it's just written for me. Instead, it's written firstly out of a very personal love, and the audience came secondarily. 

And I guess that's something that's cool to me, too. That no one pulled any punches when they wrote that stuff. And why would they? If it's as deeply personal as we all say it is, then it would have to be real, right? I pull punches on this blog because if I were to say every single thing that I'm always thinking and feeling I would be scrutinized and questioned and that's something I'm not entirely comfortable with. But I feel like that's what people do. They pull punches in front of an audience because there might be people in the audience that won't like what they have to say, but if it's one on one between a father and a son, why would Pops censor himself or neglect to share everything that's on his heart? 

Maybe that's why I have so much respect for artists like Eminem. I may not believe in or agree with what the dude believes in or agrees with, but the fact is that the dude believes in and agrees with a lot of stuff and he says it, right? What's the infamous motto? "I just don't give a fuck!"  It may not be right or justified, but I think that I believe him when he says it. And a lot of people may or may not like Eminem because his music may or may not be good and he may or may not have a whiney voice and he may or may not complain constantly and blah blah blah, but the guy is honest, and he believes in what he does, and he says what he says, and he loves his daughter, and he's gone through trial and error of reconciling with his wife, ex wife, wife, ex wife, and he raps about personal life things that transcend the whole "sex, drugs, violence" rap thing. And there are plenty of other artists that do the same.

I think that it clicked that the Bible is that kind of personal. The kind of thing that says what it says regardless of what people think about it. And while Eminem's lyrics may not be the best example I could have given... I think the point I'm trying to make is that censorship bugs me, and when I think of censorship, one of the things I think of is writing or saying things to massive amounts of people and holding back on what's really on your heart, or what you really want to say most, because somebody might not like it. 

And the Bible doesn't do that. It has all the elements of what rappers rap about. It has violence and sex and drugs and passion and love and relationships and fear and trust and instruction and poems and cussing and pleasure and futility and anger and death and life. It has life in that book. And yeah it has the "Eternal Life" but I'm talking about the "living-kind-of-what-we're-doing-now-life". 

And it's not written to me like a blogger would write to me, 
it's written to me like my dad would talk to me. 

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