Well, guys, it turns out that I’m not really dead!
So, as it is plain to see, I have been on a break from dA for a while now. A few days ago, I had made the decision to give it a second try, and, well… I think that my break might be extended. I want to explain, because it is no one’s fault aside from my own. I feel that it is appropriate for a farewell message that I delve into myself a little; show you who I really am.
Now, I warn everyone that this will be LONG. It is my hope that some will actually take the time to read this, though I use the word hope because I understand that A) people are very busy, and don’t always have the time or patience to read something like this, and B) not everyone wants to hear what I’m about to say. Never-the-less, I hope that some will read this, and consider what is said. I hope I don’t offend anyone with my views, as I am only one person, though if I do, I can’t much help it. So here goes.
Now, since I’ve been on this site, I have stressed through my art and/or writing that I am a Christian. I would like to explain to everyone why I believe what I believe. I simply want to explain my thought processes in a fair way, and with respect for the beliefs of all who read this. This is merely what I believe; what you believe is your own choice.
Now, let’s get the first thing out of the way: science. Or, one could say atheism or secularism. I’ve been raised in a Christian home all my life, and Christianity is all I’ve really been taught. But I want everyone to know that following this faith is my choice, not my family’s. I’ve considered a lot, and ultimately, everything felt like it led back to Christ. With science, it’s hard to explain, but I will try my best. I understand and have studied the arguments that God was not needed for the creation of the world; and frankly, I simply can’t bring myself to believe it. Yes, there is a chance that the world was created through natural processes. However, the chances are so low, and the universe is so complicated, that to me, it has always cried “Created!” I feel like it is more logical, to me anyway, to believe that, based on the shear complexity of life, that the universe had to be created. And, frankly, I would rather believe in a creator.
You see, without a God, or a creator, life feels meaningless to me. There were times in my life where I plotted suicide; and if the conclusion that there is a God out there that loves me had never come to me, I just might have gone through with it. I feel that creation is necessary for me to feel meaning. To think that the very God of this universe, the one who holds the stars in his hands, knows my name… that tells me that I mean something. Nothing else in this world -not my family (who I love very much), not my friends, not my worldly possessions, not even my most precious accomplishments- has ever made me feel that way. Never. They merely reinforce the meaning that God gave me first.
Now, let’s explore God. What about religions with multiple gods? The conclusion that I came to in that field is that, any god who must share their authority over the universe with another is not a god worth worshiping. Again, this is only MY opinion. If you believe in multiple gods, all the power to you. I still respect you. But for me, I just… I believe that a god -what goes into a true god- must be the absolute highest rank of perfection, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. A “god,” to me, is not something to be worshiped. It would be, at most in my eyes, a powerful being. But they, in my eyes are no better than me. After all, I believe that there are only two rankings of a conscience being: perfection, or imperfection. The thing that I invest my praise in must meet perfection, and something that is not ALL powerful, such as an individual god amongst multiple gods, is not worth it, in my eyes. My “god” can’t just be any old “god.” It must be a capital G, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.”
So, what about a god that uses a system of works? I thought about that too. But I came to the conclusion, after careful meditation and consideration, that this quality, too, imposes on the ultimate perfection of a true God. See, a god that allows people into heaven based on a system of works, is a god that can be won over, in my eyes. They lower their standards to that of a mere human. And friends, I am simply incapable of investing praise and worship in anything that would lower its standards to that of what a human is capable.
See, later I will explain that I believe that human being are God’s most prized creation. However, I have poured years into the observation and understanding of us complex creatures. I also believe that we are the most ruthless, hateful, imperfect, disgusting beings there are. Any god that settles for the filth known as mankind is a god that I can only find disgusting also. In my eyes, we are NOT worthy of heaven or any other form of bliss. I will cover that a little later. Don’t believe me? Friends, I would submit to you that if I were to take the thoughts you have in one week, and play them out like a movie for all of your loved ones, you would run from that theater shrieking like a madman. The simple fact is that we are far from perfect, and any standard lowered to us is a standard I can’t accept.
So what now? Where do I go from here. I’ve pretty much eliminated every possible option for religion, right? I should probably just give up on my search and throw in the reins. But something happened. Suddenly, in steps Jesus!
Now, most people have heard of Jesus. There are all kinds of things about him on the internet. Many of them are not good. I hope to maybe challenge some of these allegations held above Jesus’s head.
See, Jesus was an answer to all of my searching. He’s the one I always came back to when I started to consider other possible explanations for life. Let me tell you a story of what I believe. It starts out with three simple words: “In the beginning.”
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. God made a great garden on the earth called Eden, and in it, he created man, named Adam, and woman, named Eve. In the garden, everything was perfect. There was no death, no sickness, no pain, no heartache. Everything was bliss. A “Heaven on Earth,” if you will. God gave man free reign over the garden, with only one simple command: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
However, the woman was deceived by Satan, and she ate the fruit, believing it would make her like God. Then the man ate the fruit, knowing that God had commanded him not to. At that moment, nothing was ever the same. God cast man from the garden, and life became what it is now. Death, pain, sadness, sickness –imperfection- had entered the Earth.
Now, here’s something I must set straight. Many people often say that, “God sends people to Hell for screwing up one flipping time? Seems pretty harsh.” Here’s the thing. Hell was NOT made for people. It was made for Satan and his fallen angels. But, there is a lie out in the world right now. People are saying that there is NOTHING that God can’t do. That is a lie straight from Hell. There is some stuff that even God cannot do. God CANNOT be around imperfection. He simply can’t. His perfect nature WILL NOT ALLOW IT. So, now that humans are imperfect, we can’t enter his kingdom, because it is impossible, not by God’s will, but by how God is. In heaven, so long as imperfection is, God cannot be. So we die, and we can’t go to heaven, and we can’t go back to Earth, and there’s no place in between; it is written in the laws of existence that a soul must remain within one of the eternal planes after death. So Hell is the only place left to go.
And listen closely: Hell is not a party. It is not a place of good times and indulgence. It is a place of eternal suffering, and it is so bad that it is literally impossible for humans to comprehend how horrible it is. We simply can’t. The torture is beyond any human measure. And this is the place that we have no choice but to go to after death at this point in the story. We can’t beat our imperfection by actions. The Bible says that “There in none righteous. No, not one.” So it seems, to be frank, like we’re ‘screwed.’
But in steps Jesus! John 3:16 says that “For God so loved the world, that be gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus is that son. God manifest in a human body, fully God and fully man, Jesus came to this Earth, with full understanding of his purpose: he would die the most brutal death of all time, for the sake of humanity. He walked and talked with sinners while leading a perfect life, performed miracles, and showed us what it means to love. He taught us what it means to live.
And sure enough, he was betrayed by the men who claimed to love him. He was brutally beaten, tortured, and hung with nails through flesh upon a cross. And here’s the significance: when he died, he defeated death and our imperfection. He offered us a gift. He died on that cross, but three days later, he literally rose back to life. The only human to ever do that; and I mean to actually die. He was dead for three days. He had no modern technology to “bring him back.” His soul actually left his body, but returned again. No one has ever pulled that off.
When Jesus died, he left a gift for us on the table. All we must do is accept it. See, sin separated us from God, but Jesus died for those sins. So now, those who repent and place their faith in Jesus may have their slate wiped clean. His blood washes away our imperfection, and opens a way for us to reunite with God in his kingdom when our time on this Earth is done. We need only to place our faith in Jesus.
Pretty awesome story, right? I sure think so. So let’s talk about why I trust this God. First of all, he represents absolute perfection. As I said a while ago, I want to place my faith in the highest standard there is available; and here it is. God is loving, all powerful, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He is perfect, and nothing less. Also, he doesn’t share his power. It’s all his own, by his own divine right and privilege. Also, he doesn’t betray his perfection by lowering his bar for us. In fact, he CAN’T lower the bar for us. His perfection won’t allow for it. He holds us accountable for our actions.
Which brings us to the last point of why I choose to worship Jesus. Jesus isn’t fair. That’s one of the common arguments I hear against God. “He isn’t fair.” And it’s TRUE! HE ISN’T! That’s what’s so awesome about my God. The Bible (God’s word) says that we are like filthy rags. By God’s standards, we absolutely deserve Hell. God gave us life, with such simple rules, but we were selfish and stabbed him in the back. I believe fully that I deserve to burn for eternity for the things I’ve done. But God isn’t a fair God. He loves me anyway. I am in no way deserving of his love, but he gives it too me anyway. I can’t explain why, so don’t ask me. It doesn’t make sense. But he does. He loves me, and he loves you, and he loves everyone.
I used to be a broken person, but through Christ, I have experienced a happiness that was once unbeknownst to me. Joy was once a foreign concept, but now it is my everyday life. I used to hate life, but Christ has given me reason to live. My faith goes to the highest bidder, and Christ gave me everything. I’ll take it. And you can too.
See, we’re all naturally broken people. Even if your life is going smoothly right now, if you do not have your faith invested in Jesus, you are wandering in the dark. Everything might seem to be going well; in fact, things might even continue to go well for you. However, no matter what, in the end, everything of this world is going to burn up. We will be faced with the weight of our transgressions, and they will drag us straight to Hell if we do not believe in Jesus. It is by his blood and his blood alone that we are saved. If you don’t believe me, the proof is in the scripture.
And maybe you are like what I used to be. Maybe you’re a broken person who actually feels broken.
Listen guys. I don’t care what you’ve done in your life. I don’t care how broken or messed up your life is. I don’t care how bad of a person you might be on the inside. There is NOTHING that Jesus cannot forgive; he died on the cross for you. The Bible says that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the Life. No one comes to the father except through him. There is room in God’s kingdom for all, and he welcomes you. You don’t have to earn it. You simply give yourself to him. Invest in him the trust that he will love you and care for you, that the grace he offers in Christ Jesus is sufficient, and you will be spared an agonizing eternity. In its place, you shall receive life. He is strong enough to save.
So now what does this all have to do with dA? Well, though God does accept us as we are when we accept his grace, that doesn’t mean that he wants us to keep living in sin. He wants us to strive to be like him, to better ourselves, and to love others. He wants us to have an intimate relationship with him. The Bible says that the Church (and I mean the people that compose it, not the literal structure) is the bride of Christ. He wants to draw close to us, so he can lavish us in his love. And I want to return the treatment.
I strive to be better; to live a less sinful life. To love others like Christ loves us, and to grow in my relationship with him. One sin in particular that has held me back for years is lust. One must control his passions, lest his passions control him, and he become a beast. I have become a beast. Listen, I’m not calling anyone out, and I mean no offense if this is part of your life, but lust is a sin. And, I’ve figured something out. I am single. A question that I often get is, “James, why don’t you have a girlfriend?” My answer has always been that I have demons that I want to face before I get into a relationship. Those demons are all aspects of lust. See, I believe in traditional courtship, where both parties strive towards marriage, as an ultimate, God honoring goal. I believe in sex after marriage. My dream is to be “One and done,” like my wonderful brother and sister-in-law, Yezno and Yoruhoshi. I want to date one person, marry that person, and grow old with that person, constructing a life as we go. That person deserves the best of me; why should she have to share me with the naked women on the other end of a computer screen? She deserves all of me. I already said that the Church is the bride of Christ. We don’t want Christ to turn his back on us. So when Jesus tells men to love their wives like the church, why should I turn my back on my wife. No wife wants to have to share their husband. And they shouldn’t have to.
For this purpose, I am isolating all aspects of my life that offer fodder for this erotic lust that consumes me, and harms my relationship with God. Like it or not, dA is one of those things. For my own clear conscience, I have decided to give dA a long break. I may not be gone forever, but if I return it will most likely be with an account that is under 18 years of age, and with a filter. And it will be a while before that even becomes a consideration of mine.
I feel good about this decision, and I want everyone to know that it is over nothing that you have done. Everyone I have met has been kind and a wonderful companion. But I believe God would want me to distant myself from these temptations, and I am his willing, devoted servant. This is what is good.
I hope that the message contained within this journal is received well, and I wish you all the best. Hey, maybe it even made some of you think. But whatever it did for you, thank you for sticking through to the end, and I hope it blessed you. I want everyone to take care, and I love and appreciate you all.
This is EliteDrakeD10, signing off for the last time.
With love and kindness,