Wednesday, June 23, 2010

history

It’s a bit brighter down here than it has been in recent memory. It’s also a bit quieter…. Probably because people are getting their caffeine to go in order to enjoy the 5 minutes of sun. I don’t have that luxury today, I have work to do. Specifically, at this time of the morning, I’m engaged in keeping my head above water in my attempt at higher education. I’ve got to tell you honestly that Summer classes suck. I’m glad that Summer school was never part of my routine back in my high school days when I actually knew what I was doing. School should be from September to May. Anything more is quite depressing. I’ll also tell you that the Summer class thing is even worse when you’re not enjoying the class in question.
I admit that this is a first for me in the “not enjoying” part of this journey.
For nearly two years I have been cruising along, fairly enjoying the subject matter during each semester. That all came to an abrupt halt this session as I entered subject matter that was centered around American Church History, although I’ll tell you that it has been mostly just American history. Even more specifically, it has been the “dark underside” of American history. Let’s just put it this way…. It’s not the history that I learned during the days when Summer school was a reality for some of my childhood friends. I call it “history with an agenda”. Now don’t misunderstand me when I say this. I am not saying that there is not truth in this current history lesson. I’m also not saying that there was no agenda in my school days history. Actually, what I’m coming to realize is that any history, coming from third person , fourth, or beyond sources, contains an agenda dictated by the writer. Don’t believe me? Spend some time in Barnes and Noble wandering through various recordings of American history contained in various parts of the store. I tried this out yesterday and guess what I discovered…. Wildly conflicting accounts of the history of the country that I call my temporary home, depending on where you find the writings. Apparently, when you haven’t witnessed it personally, it’s all up to interpretation and, might I be so bold as to add, agenda.
The beauty of this is that it comes at a time when I am teaching in my community o’ faith on the crucial nature of the eyewitness accounts to Jesus rising from his grave. It is interesting that the word for witness is the same word that martyr comes from. In other words, they saw what they say and they’d put their life up against the testimony of it. You may not know this but most of the writing in the Book of Books is first hand accounts of either what had happened or what was happening at the time. I find it mildly humorous and at the same time deeply disturbing that many would swear on the validity of a historians agenda driven account of our nation while, at the same time, discounting an eyewitness recording of events surrounding the life of the greatest individual to ever walk this planet. It doesn’t make pursuing a graduate degree any easier, I will tell you that. In the end, it elevates my view even more of the Book of Books, not that it needed it. Those writers literally invested and lost their lives on the testimony of their writings. As a result, so would I. I wonder how many of the writers of my text books would risk the same. For them I’d not even risk my Barnes and Noble membership.

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