It's the return of everyone's favourite guest columnist--Matt Cimone!!! If you'll recall (or were around to recall), Matt
did Issue 15, which I mislabelled as Issue 14 at the time, causing much confusion. Anyway, he had the subtitles "The
Veil" and "Why Aren't We Pagans?", containing the coolest subtitle in the world--"The blood of Christ
and the blood of Jupiter's lunch". His contribution is kind of long, so you'll get Part 1 this week and Part 2 next week.
So, without further ado, let's get this show on the road.
October 30, 2001
Hello Random fans. Matt Hoskin
was gracious enough to allow me to write for his not-so-random magazine entitled Random. I last wrote for Article 15 which
is now available on Matt's webpage. For those of you who are new to the scene allow me to introduce myself.
my name is Matt Cimone. I recently graduated from Fort William Collegiate Institute in good ol' Thunder Bay, Ontario ( Miss
you guys!!) and am now studying International Development at the University of Toronto in Scarborough. I became a Christian
while still in high school in April of 1998. Great year that 1998. Since then (wow not that long ago when you think about
it) my whole life has had a new sense of direction and purpose (although at times I realize not where that direction is headed!).
Anyhow, Matt Hoskin (hot-skins) is really an inspiring dude and reminds me to get off my butt and do some good writing for
the Lord, especially when I myself consider that I have been blessed with a decent writing ability, so here we are. By the
way, if any of you are ever free, you can listen to my Christian rock broadcast out of Scarborough campus radio at http:\\cscr.scar.utoronto.ca
on Mondays between 1 and 2pm live right on the internet!!!
The versus of God. What Really Nailed Christ to the Cross??
In the entire nature of our existence, we seek to escape all dependence upon those around us it would seem. From
the time we realize that we no longer want the comfort of our parents, or can be rebellious on our own energies we seem to
want to rid ourselves of the fact that we are completely incapable of accomplishing anything without those around us, to say
nothing of requiring God's strength. How have we specifically tried to do this, to what end shall it be that we work towards
and what symptoms has it create in our lives?
1. "Seems like you are ill to me. Say ahhh....diagnosis...God
The hot metal of the fry window framed the bar manager's face perfectly. His eyes wavered only from
the slowly rising hot air that separated him from myself. I was saturated with restaurant grease, very hot, very odorous.
He was clean, spoke to people at the bar all evening, and got paid ten dollars an hour more than I did. "Man, you mean
you don't drink or smoke? Not many of those around here. What's your drug of choice?" Interesting question. I didn't
know how to answer it. Instead, I was focusing on the the profound truth of our existence on this planet that had just been
illustrated to me by my otherwise ignorant boss who had no idea of the universal constant that he had just highlighted for
the entire restaurant kitchen staff. Looking through that window, my eyes watering with salad dressing and his new bleached
hair glowing semi green in the fluorescent light, my boss and I only reaffirmed thousands of years of prophetic word spoken
through men who would never even know what deep fryer or hydrogenated oil was. It was the very word of God. "So...?"
he stared at me. "What is it....your drug of choice?"
It is so clearly revealed that life itself is nothing
without some type of direction. It is a meaningless drum beat of seemingly random events that transpire in one's life. Perhaps
some are able to place more value on it than others because of the circumstances in their lives. Others cannot and end their
lives. The majority of the rest either don't think about it or encance their life with chemicals or their so called "drug
of choice." Ross, my boss, at some level knows that his life is missing something, something that he has decided to fill
with substances. But he does not represent an individual but rather an entire legion of ranks that walk this earth everyday.
He represents the world itself.
How many times have we encountered these people and as Christians have attempted
to tell them that there is "more" to life than just sex, drugs, beer, or anything else that people choose to do?
We direct them to things like sunsets, walks in the park, or pointing out the mere adventure that life itself can be but not
really telling them at the same time why we can call life itself our "drug". High on life some call it. The simple
fact of the matter is that most people will laugh at you. I was watching a Molson Ex commercial yesterday. Three guys are
sitting around a bar when a friend comes in and says, "So I was having sex with this girl when I decided that I should
hang out with you guys at the bar. How do I know when to balance having sex or hanging with the guys?" Then, the actor
who plays Norm in cheers appears and says, "Hey guys. Don't you know that there is more to life than just beer and sex?"
At which point he and the rest at the table begin laughing at him. Great joke. :( I'm sure it will sell lots of beer. At the
same time it is so very, very sad. My entire frosh week was an example of how much time is spent in today's American society
trying to "enchance" life as it were. That entire week was spent yelling obscenities at other universities or subtly
encouraging minors to get drunk. We listened to an alleged sex educator on relationship dating. His idea of commitment was
waiting until you were "ready." I could have paid a parrot to have said that and it would have been much cheaper
and still have meant as much to the people who were listening. He ended his presentation by dancing to a tune from each decade
since 1950....I dunno either. Don't ask me. Last week was the pinnacle of university life. I was invited to my first fraterinity
party. Not just any fraternity, but the most well known fraternity in all of Canada. Not only did I go to the party, but I
was the one who got stuck working the bar all night. Let me tell you something, if you ever want to be popular at a party,
be the guy with all the beer. I was formally known at the end of the evening as "The beer guy", "beer dude",
"beer man". Girls were talking to me all evening. Why wouldn't they, after all I was helping them to "enchance"
their lives. Right? Needless to say I will not be joining the fraternity.
Plumb, a band that I play on the radio
station verbalizes my boss's statement excellently in their song entitled "God Shaped Hole". Simply stated, the
song says that our lives are incomplete puzzles (I use life and ourselves interchangeably because we are essentially what
our life is.) and that puzzle has one jigsaw hole that can only be fit by a certain piece. I thought the song was ingenious.
"I will tell you about him some time," was my response to my boss's question regarding my drug of choice. "Him?
What are you gay!?" he stated. Should have seen that one comming. So obvious. "No, he's one of those Jesus guys,"
one of my collegues stated. It's amazing how Christ's name will echo even while frying grits in a restaurant.
I first became a Christian, my life was won over because I realized that my own puzzle piece was insufficient. My God-shaped
hole was filled with Karate, and trying to be "cool". I am glad that I did not carry on with that. Perhaps more
suiting to my own position, I would have said God-shaped spectacles rather than God-shaped hole. Life became meaningful to
me for the simple reason that I realized meaning was infused into my life. I could see that after I embraced truth. I was
not a single-celled organism that spawned from a lake of primordial sulphurous goo, sprouted legs, grunted, swung in trees
and then created nuclear power anymore. I was placed here for a purpose. When I went away to Europe that following summer,
my experince was one of awe realizing that this world could be no accident. My amazement with life and my ability to appreciate
it no matter where I am nullifies my need to see life as useless, dull, hampered and requiring "enhancing". The
ironic thing that for my life to improve would require my own death***
2. Man Versus God. If you are really the
son come off of that cross!!!
The fall of man. What an awe-striking event when you consider the simplicity of it.
Adam ate of the fruit of wisdom, and "poof", here we are. Adam's sin was not eating the fruit. Adam's sin was not
taking what he was not supposed to take. Those were all just by-products of the original sin which was disobeying God and
Adam believing that he needed to "enhance" his life with something that God would not already provide for him. Silly
Adam. Guess Ex doesn't say it all after all. Make sure to write a note to Norm from Cheers about that one.
now studying International Development at the University of Toronto. It was a very hard programme to get into and I was very
happy that I managed to get in. However, when I thought about it more and more, I was entering a very frightening area of
human development. Secular Humanism, also called social humanism, or scientific humanism. Humanism, put simply, is the strength
of man to change the world around himself without the help of God. Humanism is not a new thing; it began to flourish during
the times of the Renaissance and formation of new philosophies of thought from areas of the world like Greece, but never before
in this world has it had such a grip on the entire globe. I started having troubles with this. People who are non-believers
and strongly atheistic dominate this area of study. Fuelled by God-denying ideas such as the theory of evolution (which mind
you is not-so-scientific even from a non-religious stand point). Anthropologists, social scientists, evolutionary biologists
are all people who promote humanism and become individuals like my very own professors. What shall I do!? I really don't know
where this is going to take my future life. I know, however, because my God-Shaped Hole is filled and my faith is in the Lord,
that I am here for some reason. In the meantime, what I can do is hold closely to my faith and what I know is truth.
A book that I have been reading recently, Mind Siege by Tim Lahaye (awesome book, its by the author that wrote Left Behind.
I highly recommend it), talks all about this particular subject. In it, he clearly outlines how religions. and especially
Christianity. are assaulted by many world organizations including the United Nations. They believe that it is religion that
divides people, spawns hatred, and this war in many instances. The Humanist Manifesto, published in 1931 and republished again
just last year in 2000, and signed by high ranking members of nearly every world organization in the world, states as their
number two official belief of humanism (which is now officially considered its own religion by the Supreme Court of the United
States) that there is no God. "No deity will save us we must instead save ourselves." Sad thinking. Personally,
people, if that is truth, then I am in big trouble.
This is a very real and scary thing. All at once these people
are promoting world peace and the eradication of hunger and they are doing it by removing God from public institutions, the
thoughts of those around the world and finally from the world itself. They may call it love but truly it is a form of "anti-love"
or "hate" since that would be the word normal English speaking people would use (silly me). It is the same mentality
that cast humans from Eden. The same mentality cast Lucifer form heaven. The same mentality nailed Christ to the cross. We
can do it all by ourselves. We don't need you. You're in our way. And for what? In the end what shall we develop these poor
nations into....!!!!!?? (drum roll) a society filled with individuals who call me "the beer guy"! Congratulations.
From our own wisdom we have saved the world, frat parties and all. We have given a Ross in a third world country a job in
a restaurant where after work life is smoking weed, and we have provided a bunch of other people a means of creating a very
comfortable life in much need of "enhancement".
When considering a career as a missionary in other countries,
I have often remembered this statement made by a friend of mine who had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic.
He stated, "It seemed obvious to me that we didn't need to accelerate their society. We need instead to slow ours down."
It is not the other parts of the world that need help. Our society needs help. It is our society that has washed us in a sea
of apathy to real life and instead created a haze of pornography, greed, meaningless fame, and other idols in which to live
our lives. We are utterly saturated all the time by very "enhanceable" material. We have tried to create a society
so comfortable that we have created the most ultimate challenge to exist in: no challenge at all. For Christians, I believe
our society faces the greatest atheistic threat. We want to save the world. We can't even preserve nature properly and rightly
so. I see a flower as a miracle of creation. Others see it as a biological accident of the big bang.
it should seem too alien, so strange, so incomprehensible to our ears to hear of any large-scale global project to do any
good without a Christian motive that we should compare it to the opening of a tin can with a toothpick. We should regard each
such motive as if it were something that we had never heard of before. An idea that sounds absolutely ridiculous, impossible,
in fact, because it is. It is impossible to succeed because the truth is we cannot save ourselves, we can be saved by deity.
The projects of global aid are to help people in the world feel whole in their lives. This cannot be done by filling
their bellies. It is from filling their soul. In our society is not from chasing the "beer guy" or "beer man";
it is from chasing the "life guy" and the "life man." The only way, truth, and life we have is not from
the humanist manifesto, but rather Jesus Christ and the word of God. The only way life will truly have meaning is to know
that all meaning itself created life. Without that, I imagine us as frustrated children who refuse to accept their puzzle
does not work. We are pounding, mashing and crying to make that last piece fit in where it obviously is not part of the picture.
--Shout it from the rooftops. "I am not and ape!!! I am not an ape!!" Try it. It feels good. :)
him, Matt Cimone.
If any of you would like to talk to me about my program, my life, my faith or that very cool book
called Mind Siege, please write to me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you live in the
Toronto area you can reach me at 416-724-5967
*** an interesting side note. My pastor Kevin Dibbley sent me an e-mail.
It quoted the Al Qada group connected with the Taliban. One of the leaders stated, "We have youth prepared to die just
as americans are prepared to live." My pastor said: "On one level it is preverse. These people are ready to die
to kill. On another level they shame us who should be so ready to give up our lives to save rather than destroy out of their
own ignorance. As much as it is our joy to live for God, the preparation to die for our faith for the salvation of those around
us should be equally at our fingertips." Yea for Rev Kev