|“Prepare yourself for the Truth.”
Normalbob, you keep telling me that all you want is the truth. I came across some quotes on truth working on some articles. Thought I’d pass them along to you. Some guy named Pontius Pilate enquired about truth 2,000 years ago. He asked the question “What is truth” in front of a man who once said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” I believe if Pontus Pilate had asked Jesus, “Who is the truth?” or “Who has the truth” Jesus would have answered him with the truth. It seems to me, you expect “the truth” to be information, facts, figures, knowledge, understanding. Perhaps what you are expecting as truth is too small. Perhaps you expect the truth to be bread crumbs when it’s actually a full loaf. Perhaps you can never find the truth because your aim is too low. Jesus didn’t answer Pontus Pilate with a handful of words. The TRUTH is much more.
Honesty consists of the unwillingness to lie to others; maturity, which is equally hard to attain, consists of the unwillingness to lie to oneself. Sydney J. Harris
A collison with Truth is the best thing that can happen to one's faith. Gary Amirault
Being truthful, when you know it will cost you, is the true test of honesty.
"Information that is consistent with our pre-existing beliefs is often accepted at face value, whereas evidence that contradicts them is critically scrutinized and discounted." Tom Gilovich, a psychologist at Cornell
Truth as Heresy
"A man may be an heretic in the truth, and if he believes things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reasons, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy." (F.W. Farrar, History of Interpretation, xvi)
"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. Let me tell you something, friend, it is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It's better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. (Excerpts from Pastor Adrian Rodgers' talk at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in 1996)
From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth; from the laziness that is content with half-truths; from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth -- Oh, God of Truth, deliver us!
Prepare yourself for the Truth.
Just as I predicted. You've got all the breath in the world to shout insults, sermons & other people's quotes, but not a thimble full to answer why anyone should listen.
Do I have to type the question three or four more times like I've had to do previously, or can you coax Jesus into removing his hand from in front of your eyes?
|“Normalbob, you are an impatient runt.”
Good grief, Normalbob, you are an impatient runt. Believe it or not, you’re not the most important person in my life. I get 8,000 visitors a day on just one of our sites. I happen to be working on something else and thought I’d drop part of it at your doorsteps. I’m taking your questions to me very seriously and I’m NOT going to be rushed by your flailing arms with hands full of you know what. Patience. Normalbob, you need patience. Throwing accusations and misinformation will not help you, me or anyone else. I’m working right now on an open letter to Oprah about her promoting a false healer who goes by the name of “John of God” down in Brazil. She has hoodwinked millions with the program she did on him. I doubt that she did it intentionally, but many people will be hurt nevertheless. I started that project before you came along. And I intend to finish it probably before I get to your second set of questions. So you can throw your crap all you want. I realize you have nothing better to do with your time and life except to aggravate people. I’ll get to your questions and you’ll post my answers because you promised to. And I’m sure you’ll have some real nasty, sarcastic comments to add probably because that’s all that is in you.
You have to understand, Gary, my whole life I've been doing my best to figure out the answer to all the questions I can predict, turning my beliefs inside out, looking at them backwards and forwards, asking myself "why?" and "why?" again like an irritating child until there's hardly a question I can't answer assuredly and on a dime.
I have trouble relating to this "grown man needs days, weeks, and many attempts to duck outta the way or outrun a question about his beliefs before he can answer" person that you are.
As you've seen, when you place a question to me it's answered quickly, without double-talk, in a reasonably sized letter & paragraphs that fit into the palm of your hand. Not 5,000 word essays on completely different topics, linking articles, quoting everybody but myself and preluded with email after email of nonsense. But I suppose you and I have different ideas on how adult men are supposed to communicate with each other.
Please take your time, and just do the best you can. I know it can be frustrating coming up with answers for extremely complicated questions that you've never thought of before. My heart goes out to you during this epic trial of the mind.
|“God let me enter the mind of Christ... His very Being came into my being. His being is not subject to the lies of the natural mind.”
Here you go, Normalbob. Fulfill your obligations. I expect you’ll make your “normal” comments filled with the usual. After all, what else can you do until you start asking the right question? I think I would enjoy meeting you one day. I’m quite sure I will on the other side, but I’d like to meet you on this side of the grave. By the way, I realize you have a thing with the Jesus issue, and have difficulty seeing any thing good coming from what I do. But if you visit our comments section and read a few brief quotes from visitors, you might discover some people are actually helped by us. I know personally ther have been several people reading to commit suicide who changed their minds after coming to tentmaker.org. Here’s the link:
P.S. If there are any left over questions lingering in our email exchange, please let me know. I think there were two sets, one on what if I was wrong and the other on what makes me think my brains and senses are except from the hard wiring to lie thing.
I few weeks ago I stumbled into Normalbob’s trash Jesus and Mohammed site. I emailed him asking how many of the cheesy dressup Jesus and Mohammed dolls he sold. He told me over 30,000. I then emailed him humoring him with the fact that this Jesus that Normalbob is trashing worse than worst scumbag on the planet, has been pretty good for him financially. As a matter of fact, I think if it wasn’t so lucrative, Normabob probably wouldn’t put so much effort into slamming Jesus and Mohammed. Imagine -- two people that Normalbob never met and he makes them look worse than Hitler or Stalin. Some of the most noble words spoken among men came from Jesus when he said,
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt. 5:39-48, NIV)
When Jesus was judged to be crucified by the leaders of Israel, Jesus practiced what He preached. He said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Now these kind of words are worthy to be listed among the great pacifists in history. Martin Luther King and Gandhi looked with reverence towards the man from Galilee. But Normalbob despises Jesus, who is revered by a third of the world and Mohammed who is deeply respected by a sixth of the world. I asked Normalbob:
“What if you discovered He really was real, what the bible said of Him was true, that He is the “savior of all mankind.” What if he truly loved you with a passion that is beyond your present ability to receive? What would you do with all that guilt and shame you would probably experience in that moment? How could you get rid of it?”
Bob answered and I answered back. In my answer I pointed to some scientists who have come to the conclusion that we are actually hardwired to lie to ourselves. http://tentmaker.org/blog1/?p=142 Normalbob trusts in his “reasoning” abilities, in his ability to recognize truth through his five faulty senses and brain wired to lie and probably filled with drugs and alcohol. How can a mind programmed to lie to itself wired to five senses that are outperformed by dogs, birds and insects ever actually “rationally” come to “truth?” How can it be truly “rational?” Well, Normalbob didn’t have an answer to that. So he threw that question back to me. He wrote:
• Why don't your rules of independent mind deception apply to you? Why are you the only one to be trusted, and the rest of us are all weighing out answers that feel good, lying to ourselves for the fix? Why aren't you included in this human trait? Please, Gary. I completely grasp the concept of self deception to serve ones own prejudices. I'm presently on page 239 of Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World" which speaks directly to this issue, at length, winning awards for doing so, even quoting scripture regularly. I strongly recommend it to you.
I will be the screaming embryo in a black sack waving his arms around like a loon. I'll be the shit-swamp creature covered in lowly sewer filth and grime just as you describe. I will be that monster you accuse me of being, but for Christ's sake, answer a question! Answer it like I do, where I state your question, then respond to it to the best of my ability in my own words and then make the answer public for all to see and judge. How about that? Complete transparency so the claims can be examined and truth revealed. It takes a real man to accept such a challenge, Gary. I've responded to some very personal questions from you. Do you have it in you to do the same? In fact, I'll do you one better and promise to post all of what you just said to me and this response (copy/paste) on the site if you simply answer that one bullet-point question in your own words. Endquote of Normalbob’s tirade.
Gary’s Answer: So then, if human beings, in their natural state have imperfect senses connected to a mind that takes that data and filters it through fears, hate, anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness, prejudices, biases, societal pressures, emotional blocks of all kinds, electro-chemical reactions in the synopses that don’t always fire right, drugs, alcohol – if all this stuff prevents NormalBob from finding truth, especially since he claims to be so interested in it, what makes me think I’m different from Normalbob? What makes me think I have the truth?
A foreign man runs into a bar anxiously saying “What is bathroom, what is bathroom!” In his mind he thinks he is saying “Where is bathroom, where is bathroom.” Everybody thought he was drunk so everyone ignored him. He is annoyed that no one is telling him where the bathroom was. The man left the bar thinking they were prejudiced because he had an accent. If he asked the right question, he would have been directed to the bathroom.
He’s reading a Carl Sagan book right now looking for truth. He’ll never find it reading Sagan. He’ll never find it reading any book, including the bible. The right question is “Who is truth?” Truth is a Person. In Him resides all truth. In Him resides life. Millions of Christians read the Bible looking for “truth” thinking they’ve found it and yet the very Bible quotes Jesus saying, “You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have life, but they testify of Me, but you are not willing to come to Me that you might have life.” (John 5:39)
| A man named Pontius Pilate asked a man Jewish leaders wanted crucified “What is truth?” Jesus never responded. Pontius Pilate left Jesus never knowing the answer to his question. Pilate asked the wrong question. On another occasion Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6) Normalbob thinks “truth” is information, facts, knowledge.
||Normalbob thinks “truth” is information, facts, knowledge.
Twenty-five years ago, the truth, the life, the way came into my being. He didn’t come by way of my five senses; He didn’t come into my being by my natural mind; His very Being came into my being. His being is not subject to the lies of the natural mind. How did I know something more than new information, more knowledge, more facts came into my being? My nature changed, my whole outlook on life changed. I saw things I’d never seen or dreamed of. In one moment of time, I came into a state of being where I hated lies. I had a clean conscience that was absolutely wonderful. I experienced love, joy and peace that was beyond anything I could ever imagine. I made decisions that cost me tens of thousands of dollar knowing that if I told a little half-truth that any “normal” businessman would do, that I could keep the money, but I couldn’t. The “truth” my relationship with Jesus was too costly to give up through lying, through clouding my conscience again through lies. No one can understand this unless they EXPERIENCE it.
I realize Normalbob’s arms are probably flailing fast enough to fly right about now. I know my words will not convince him of anything. But I thank him for the opportunity of bearing witness to the Truth. Normalbob promised to post my reply. I think he probably will but I also expect him to piss all over it. That’s ok, God still loves him and so do I.
This Jesus Christ, who Martin Luther and Gandhi couldn’t hold a candle to, who is greatly defamed by Normalbob even though Jesus never did a thing to harm him, this Jesus changed my life. And He did it not through my senses or natural mind. The Bible speak of “the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16) Paul speaks of the renewing of our mind that we may know the will of God. (Rom. 12:2) He speaks of the natural mind being an enemy of God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Rom. 8:6) There is a Mind beyond our natural mind that some people get connected with. That happened to me. I’m not more special than any person on this planet. I did nothing to “deserve’ this experience. Maybe it was just my time. I do know EVERYONE will one day experience God and they will be changed forever. I enjoy it every time I see someone encounter God. I’m NOT talking buying into a religion, this is different.
So, what makes me think I got hold of something through the same sin-stained senses and mind that Normalbob has? I didn’t. God let me enter the mind of Christ. He let me see through HIS senses, feel with His heart. He gave me HIS life. He gave me Himself, the Truth. My wife saw it immediately. My employees saw it immediately. My foreman called my wife and asked what happened to me, that I was a different person. My neighbors saw it. I had a Catholic friend of mine who had marital problems come to me asking for help. He said he knew something had happened in my life that changed me greatly. He wanted to know what it was because he needed help big time. I was able to help him. My whole outlook on life changed, not from reading a book, not from listening to tv preachers, not from buying into some religion, I changed because I had an encounter with “the Truth,” the Person of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, Normalbob, I started going to church because preachers told me I should, lots of churches, that really screwed me up. I didn’t know that “church” wasn’t the same of Christ. I didn’t know that the “traditions of men” that screwed up the Jews thousands of years ago would also screw up the institution called “church.” I spent five years in hundreds of churches being fed garbage. Perhaps some of you know what I’m talking about.
So Normalbob, I’m different from you because I know the right question to ask. Who is the truth!? And to that question, there is only one answer. And you can’t have the reality of that question without a personal meeting with “the Truth.” Information, even if you had all the information in the universe would not give you “the truth.” Only God, YOUR Father can introduce you to “the Truth.” And I’m very certain your day will come. It would give me great joy if I get to see you meet “the truth” while I’m still walking this planet. And when you meet “the truth” you’ll burn all your trashy dressup dolls and do something more productive with the few years you have left on this planet. Now, fulfill your obligations, Normalbob. I’m smiling. Peace to you, Spirit, soul and body,
Ohhhhh! I didn't realize you'd actually entered into the MIND of Christ. I take it all back. I was foolishly thinking your senses could be tainted like the rest of us, but that was before you explained how you were actually one with Christ Jesus, feeling what He feels in His heart and receiving truth first hand from God Himself. That changes everything.
How could I have been so presumptuous to think your brain could be vulnerable to the same delusions & self deceptions as the rest of us? Especially since you had this epiphany when you were at your lowest, with nowhere else to turn, your life in shambles. That's the perfect time to trust everything your mind's throwing at you, because that's when your judgement's clearest! It's a unique moment when your brain isn't cluttered with all sorts of other distractions, like worry, hopelessness, frustration, anger, sadness, longing, confusion, poisonous chemicals, and a desperation to grasp at anything just to get out of the hole you're in. God forbid He'd come to you when you've got your life together and self-destruction isn't one of only two perceivable options.
Gary, I too have had this experience, but I call it "a moment of clarity." It's an unpredictable moment when your head is free of the thousand things it's usually cluttered with, and suddenly there's that inner voice saying something like, "The reason you're so unhappy is because you're destroying your life with alcohol" or "It doesn't make sense because it's not true" or "You left your keys in the pocket of your blue coat" or the multitude of other things it can reveal when your head is clear of its typical assumptions & prejudices. It's a magical and enlightening moment indeed if you're able to listen and retain.
Now for someone like me it's hard to relate to this moment for an alcoholic. I neither drink nor do drugs. I'm just not interested in either and have never been. I've always been able to channel my urges for escape into art and writing. But I bet it's a pretty mind-blowing experience if you've been living your life blinding your brain with chemicals. And I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb saying that trusting the rationality of someone whose mind has been unaltered by intoxicants & addictions makes more sense than trusting one that's been poisoned by them. That's the number one reason I've stayed away from all that in the first place, and I suppose it's my response to "how can I truly be rational?" – I do the best I can, and I try to pay better attention to the people who seem most unburdened with all the things I've listed above. Obviously someone completely different than you. Your burdens seem to be great and numerous. They're so painfully obvious in your letters, videos and articles. And finally throwing all rational thinking into doubt, it's the last resort of an untruth gone haywire. I mean Gary, even after reading fairly articulate letters from me, having my own business in NYC going on a decade now, and the overall girth of my site and you're still concluding that I'm possibly a drug addict, alcoholic, scheming behind partners, a flailing, unbalanced whatever involved in however many illegal activities? It just shows how little of your rational and observational skills are put to use on any given occasion.
Obviously you're not at all surprised that I'm completely unmoved by your claims of direct truths from God Himself. Can you imagine if that'd actually had an affect on me? You stating that God told you so, becoming Jesus for a moment, and me utterly bowled over, my life turned upside down because of it? I can't see how even you yourself wouldn't think I might be a bit retarded if that were all it took. What does that tell you?
You should be having one of those moments of clarity right about now, Gary.
|“If everything I wrote in this testimonial was true -- nothing made up, nothing out of my imagination, no influence from drugs or alcohol, if everything in this testimonial was true... Would you change?”
Well, Bob, during the time I’ve been at your site, you constantly speak of being rational. You pride yourself for being fairly articulate, having your own business in NYC, of the overall girth of your web site, etc. You claim that all you want is truth. Yet you delight in entrapment, goating them on in private conversation, and then letting them know you posted everything for the world to see sprucing it all up to do the best to put those who disagree with you in the worst light possible and you post it under “hate mail” unprovoked. Really? And you call this rational? You feature yourself dressed up a devil, you denigrate people you know nothing about, make money is crapping on a man that men like Martin Luther King and Gandhi hold highly as do billions of others, you photograph women dressed as sluts to promote your trashy dressup dolls and arrange your site to gather to you an audience of people with minds as depraved as yours. And you take pride in this? I think when you dropped your guard and said, “Believe me, I am endlessly, immaturely, obnoxiously entertained by my own BS,” I think that might be about the only honest and “rational” think you’ve written.
You and some of your cohorts took me to task that I used the word “shit” in our private email exchange. Well, gee, Normalbob, look around you…all there is on your site is crap. There is nothing intelligent, rational, worthy, enlightening, noble on it. It’s a crappy site and it demeans everything that is worthy. You crap on everything. Yes, Normalbob, in your own words, are “endlessly, immaturely, obnoxiously entertained by your own BS.” And you have a handful of groupies who are in the same mindset.
A parable (perhaps just crap to you and your cohorts).
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no--it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but ONLY one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are--and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life--can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later.
I feel very confident, Normalbob, that all this manure you have been manufacturing and flailing all over the place, will be tilled and turned into the ground to produce a fruitful tree. I think you will be quite fruitful consider the amount of manure you have produced. Eventually, you will get tired of producing it, and your groupies will also weary of the same old same old.
Let me ask you another question. If everything I wrote in this testimonial was true -- nothing made up, nothing out of my imagination, no influence from drugs or alcohol, if everything in this testimonial was true, how would that affect the life you are presently living? Would it cause you to change? Would you drop your mockery? Would you begin to respect that which you presently crap on? Would you change if everything I wrote really happened?
What if everything you say is true, your experience real, your truth not flawed but directly handed down to you from God himself? Wow, what an amazing question!
–What if you're right??
Well, as I'm sure has already been prewritten by your ego, if everything you say is true you should be raised up onto our shoulders and whisked off to a throne made of diamonds in the center of a room surrounded by all the senators, kings, popes & presidents of all the world so that your wisdom (and riveting collection of quotable quotes) can be taught to them at length.
You should be instantly declared a Prophet of God and the world should be forced to fall at your feet to shine your shoes with our hair, our tears of regret as shoe polish.
Gary, if Jesus is real and the Son of God, and you experienced his mind first hand, I should be dragged by my ankles into the town's square and stoned to death for doubting a self-proclaimed Prophet of God, just like they used to do. In fact, all who have ever dared doubt your claims should be forced to their knees in front of you, and everything you dictate from that day forward should be written with one of those gold felt-tip markers in a book bound in bulletproof steel.
Dare I suggest that Gary Amirault should be declared leader of the world and new laws should be established making it illegal to doubt you ever again under punishment of shame, torture and even death, if you so declare. You, Gary Amirault, should be our temporary god until the next guy making similar claims comes along and we give him your throne, and shoe polishing, and so on and so forth.
That's how the world should go. That way we'll always know what we're hearing is true, and doubt and skepticism a thing of the past.
Wow, talk about flailing arms! I almost flew away!
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