Issue # 7 Is Finally Out!

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Our largest issue yet – and still free! Download now to read interviews with Ojo Talyor of Undercover, 4-4-1, Paravell, Sterling from Veil of Ashes, and much more.  Also, Bill Walden of Undercover continues the discussion on Homosexuality and the Church.  Ryan Weaver talks tattoos and Josh Lory takes a smack down on complainers.  Not to mention a ton of reviews from all over the place, including new albums from Retroactive, Born Twice, and Bombworks records.  Download for free here: Also – don’t forget to subscribe! Subscribers get the newest issue sent right to their inbox.  See the subscribe page above.  Now, on to the next issue….

10 Responses

  1. Wow! To be in the same issue as Ojo………thank you Steve for not editing or sugar coating anything we talked about. I admire Down the Line for it’s journalistic integrity…………godspeed………

  2. I’m surprised you used my little picture that I drew….:When Vampires Try to Look Cute”……………very cheeky……….LOL…………..

  3. Well you know me, I’m itching to get on with the discussion with Bill Walden. Why haven’t I? Here’s why: I always seem to be at the ready with some point to make in response to points other people make, and I’m ready with my responses to Bill’s statements—my counter arguments and such. But I’m choosing instead to exercise restraint for the time being. I feel a strong impulse to “not let the other guy have the last word,” and that’s an impulse I’d like to get control of, so I’m controlling it. It hurts a little, but personal growth doesn’t come without some pain. So rather than jump right in and have my say, I’m leaving it to others to have theirs. After a bit, I’ll go ahead and have mine.

  4. I think the main disagreement between Bill and I on these things are best expressed here, in the article:
    Bill said:
    “Jesus has always been the victim of redefinition. My fight as a Christian and as a man, is to not redefine Jesus to fit my preferences, but to seek to allow Him to conform my life that it may more accurately look like His life.
    I believe that the current trend of people saying that you can be gay and be a Christian too is another chapter in the book that redefines Jesus and historical Christianity. I do not believe that this is good. I think it is wrong.” —-(quoting Bill in the article)

    Me: I don’t see people redifining Jesus Himself. I see them rediscovering Him. I don’t see them doing that in order to make him fit their ‘preferences.’ I see them rediscovering Him in the light of the reality that they and their loved ones know. I see no “sin” in redefining Christianity in the least. What do we mean by Christianity anyway? Are we following Jesus, or joining an organization? God is true, men are liars. Let God be exalted, and the institutions of men be under constant scrutiny of good-willed, fair-minded people. Let the institutions of men be shaken, broken, “redifined” as needed in order for human beings to live well, and love well. As the reality of sexual orientation becomes clearer, a church that refuses to aknowledge it has no use. A Jesus who celebrates the love lives of his gay children as he does his straight ones is not being redifined, no more so than the shape of our planet changed when they discovered it was a sphere. But let the manuscripts that described the Earth as flat, be taken out of the classrooms and and into the museums of man’s error, where they belong.

  5. Ric, I think you are actually highlighting what Bill is talking about. Th Bible actually never says that the Earth is flat. In fact, the one place that it describes the shape it is said to be a sphere floating in nothingness. When it speaks of the “four corners” of the earth, an actual literal translation of those words is technically “four directions.” The idea of a flat earth was actually a neo-pagan concept that was adopted in the Middle Ages – it was actually another attempt by man to re-define who God is. What most people refer to as Christianity is actually following scriptures of the Bible, not an institution. There have been polls conducted on this – that is usually what they find by a landslide. People don’t see it as following a group or institution, but following the teachings of God as recorded in the Bible. I think Bill is referring to people trying to say that those scriptures say something that they don’t, or that they don’t say something that they do.

    We live in a country where you are free to follow whatever you want and even create your own beliefs. To me, I believe that we have been around long enough on this earth that someone has been bound to have stumbled on the truth long before I ever came along, so I don’t feel comfortable making up my own beliefs. I don’t believe in a cruel God that has been holding back on the true meaning of the world around us just waiting for mankind to become enlightened enough to figure it out on our own. I believe that God has to have revealed it a long time ago. After reading pretty much every holy scripture in existence and asking every hard question out there, I came to believe that the Bible was Truth. With every thing I read, from the Qu’ran to the Book of Mormon to even Dianetics, I had to either accept it as true, reject it as false, or re-write it to fit what I wanted to believe. But I was never comfortable with that last option.

    The Bible has specific things to say about homosexuality. You either have to deal with it, reject it for saying that, or re-write it based on what you think is correct. This is a free country, so of course you are free to do any of those three. But the word “Christian” was invented in the Bible itself in the book of Acts, and it meant a group of people that followed the teachings of Jesus as they existed in the first century. That’s what Greek scholars tells us that word meant in Greek. It’s not just “little Christs”, but “people that follow what Christ taught.” People have sought to add to those teachings ever since then and still call themselves “Christians”. That is their right to do that, but I also have the right to disagree with that.

    Jesus said that “I and the Father are one.” His Father Yahweh had specific things to say about homosexuality before that. To say that he didn’t is redefining that. And like I said, you are free to do that in this country. At least own up to it if you are doing it. It doesn’t make me mad one bit or make me hate you for it. Jesus was surrounded by people that were constantly trying to redefine what he said (his disciples), and he loved them despite that. But he still corrected them, and he still called that redefining sin. We have him quoted on that, so we also have to deal with that.

  6. Matt, I’m not talking about the country. I’m talking about people attending a human institution that teaches them that their creator requires them to make sure that their children know that if they are gay and dare to live authentically, their creator will have them incinerated alive for all eternity.

    I’ve never pretended to be a bible expert. There are people who are much better than I at explaining how the bible is misinterpreted for the purpose of punishing God’s gay children for wanting to be themselves. Having learned what I learned of the Son of God through all my years of pursuing Him, I reject those interpretations as ill-willed unto themselves. I don’t go back and forth much about the bible in that regard, for it is a bullet-dance which I don’t believe God requires any of his children to have to do. God does not shoot at the feet of his children, nor does he command their parents and pastors to shoot at them. Yet the shooting continues.

    So yeah, it’s a free country. The framers and keepers of the constitution have set us free. I believe our creator also wants us to be free. The chruch however, has established locks and chains for the lot of us.

  7. I know you weren’t talking about the country – that was just my point.

    Thing is, it is not the church that lays down these “locks and chains” as you call them. It is the Bible that tells the Church what is sin and what is not. The Bible does not say that we go to hell for sinning. It says that we are separated from God for eternity if we reject Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. If we continue to sin after that, it is still sin and the Bible tells us not to do that. But it doesn’t condemn us to burn for sinning after we genuinely decide to follow Jesus. That is just man’s misinterpretation of Jesus once again. But it is not the Church that established this. God labeled certain things as sin thousands of years before the word “church” was invented.

    But the Bible tells us that the leaders in the Church have to encourage people to walk away from sin. If a leader of a church points at child molestation and calls it sin, we applaud them. Technically, that is still putting a lock and chain on someone. But if they point at something we like and call it a sin, we then turn around call it “locks and chains”? We can disagree with them labeling it as sin, but I’m a little sad when people resort to extremist language to guilt people to their side. I know some church leaders that also do the same thing, who resort to throwing sicks and stones or “shooting bullets” at others to get their point across. But isn’t it just the same to do it back at them? Sorry, but I see accusing someone of using “locks and chains” to just be another form of “shooting at the feet.”

    The Bible calls homosexuality a sin. It says that in the original Hebrew and the original Greek. I can’t change that. I can disagree with it or I can deal with it. The Bible also says that we all sin, so I can’t hate anyone for committing any sin. Actually, hate is also labeled a sin – so hating someone for anything is sin. So I would look at those that preach hate against homosexuals and I would also tell them they are wrong for doing that. But according to you, that is also putting a lock and chain on the haters. So what am I supposed to do – never tell anyone that I disagree with them?

    The Bible does tell us that God sets us free. But then in the same sentence tells us to not use our freedom to indulge in sinful behavior. So the church is wrong when it agrees with what the Bible says? I just don’t get that.

    This what a lot of people, including Christians, don’t get. Being free, or realizing your freedom, is not the end. It is not the destination. It is the starting point. You still have hundreds of choices to make after getting to that point. If you are a Christian, the teachings in the Bible are meant to guide us once we get to that starting point.

    I get that many leaders in the church have been mean and hateful. I have hundreds of horror stories myself of church leaders being outright evil to me. But if I want the church to be graceful and compassionate to me, then I have be gracious and compassionate to the church even when parts of it are hateful to me. Why respond in the same spirit? To cast stones at the church would make me just as bad as the people that cast stones at me.

    Besides, to accuse someone of creating locks and chains just gets pointless anyways – they just have to quote Romans 6:18 (“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”). In fact, the entire chapter of Romans 6 teaches that we are either slaves of sin or slave of righteousness. It says you choose one or another. So accusing someone of teaching locks and chains will get you nowhere, because they can just agree with you and point at Romans 6 and say they are in locks and chains to righteousness.

    That is just the way life is – you aren’t just free. You have to choose what you want to be free from and then make yourself salve to something else to make it happen. If you want to be free from brushing your teeth, then you can do that… but you will be a slave to bad breath and cavities and what not. But if you want to be free from cavities and all that, then you have to be a slave to brushing your teeth.

    Also, I am a selfish egotist that loves to eat. That is just who I am. I was honestly born that way. Being selfish is wrong, but eating in itself is not wrong. But if I don’t keep my eating check, I will develop major health issues. But wanting to eat is not bad. But I have to struggle with controlling my selfishness and my eating every day. I happen to believe in choice over DNA. If you believe that you are a slave to the way you are, the way you were born, what is in your DNA, etc – then that is your belief. I don’t agree with that on any level. I believe that humans have the ability to change anything about themselves that they want – whether it was good or bad or sin or righteousness in the first place is irrelevant. I used to be an introvert. Nothing wrong with that. One day I decided to become an extrovert. Still working on that one, but it was my choice. I get tired of people telling me that I am a slave to the way I was born. If someone else doesn’t want to believe that we can change, that is their choice. Just quit telling me that I am wrong for believing in hope.

    Now – would I like it if I tried to change something and failed, and then all these people kept telling me I wasn’t trying hard enough, or I didn’t love the Lord enough, or that I wasn’t really serious about it, or whatever? No way. So what would I say to the person that says they genuinely tried to stop being gay but couldn’t? I would agree with them. They probably did try, and they probably couldn’t. Been there many times myself on many issues, so I would never condemn anyone for “not trying hard enough” or whatever. I would accept and love them as a fellow human being, flaws and all. Even if they were shooting at my feet. Because lets face it, there are factions of the gay rights movement that are shooting not just bullets but cannons at the feet of the church. I have read the fliers to prove it.

  8. The God I believe I’d met is Supreme Being. All good, no bad. I don’t believe he said what the bible says he said about everything, or did all the things the way it says he did them. I described in the article how a real God actually living and working in your heart and mind is not bound to the bible. One can know Him independently from the Bible, surely as your friends know you as you, regardless of what is written about you, especially if it doesn’t match the you they know.

    I realize that by saying these things I’m forming a new set of doctrines, inconsistent with the “Bible only” tradition we had been convinced by our forebears to be fiercely loyal to. On the night I was born again, with all the experiences that are granted us on that event, it came with no particular impulse or inner direction to regard the bible as the sole infallible, all we need to know about God. After some time I agreed anyway to conduct myself as though it were, in order to stay approved by the people around me,. my only connection with the Kingdom of God. By doing so, as it turns out, I put a lock and chain around my heart. You’re right, we can choose to believe what we want about the bible. The difference for me is that I don’t believe anymore that one is condemned for saying “no thank you” to parts of it that are inconsistent with the God one believes he has actually come to know. A vague, fogggy second hand description of a person is utterly independent of the person himself, if the person actually exists. If he doesn’t, then well, I can’t think of God as someone who actually exists in hearts and minds, and at the same time insist that he can only be known by what folks from long ago have written about him.

    Again, as I asked in an Altar Boy song many years ago, what do we mean, by Christianity? We throw the word around thinking we’re going God a favor, but Love is the thing that goes against the grain.

    Clicking forward:

    Since a gay love life–schoolyard crushes, then dating, then romance and marrage–does no more harm to anyone than straight ones, and provides for a gay person all that a straight love life provides straight people, I’ll never be convinced (again) that our Supreme Being creator condemns a gay life well-lived while celebrating a straight one.

    Not having the last word, but I do want to interject, thank you Matt, and Steve, for everything you do in your magazine. Once upon a time there was no such place for folks to hash this stuff out. Earlier generations had kept that door solidly closed, so to speak. But now there’s light shining in, and out through it.