Saturday, November 29, 2008

Church issues: Mine, Yours, and Ours.

Church Issues

If there is one mantra that agitates me more than any other, it is people complaining about the church.

That said, I do understand particular church issues and respect that there are people who have been hurt by churches (including some of my closest friends). I know there are healthy churches, unhealthy churches, noisy churches, subdued churches, isolated churches, worldly churches... The list goes on. I am not a fan of every church, nor does this mean that I don't get angry at the church from time to time.Betrayal, by David Boyd

My frustration is with those who approach the church with unrealistic expectations and walk away, bitter and disappointed. Throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak, giving up on Church because of isolated incidents of hatred or bigotry.

So to address said issue, I've decided to write about a few incidents (starting with my own) and muse about a Biblical approach to such problems. This is hopefully relevant to both Christians and non-Christians, though I mostly hope to sway the opinion of Christians. For the non-Christian I hope I can offer a new perspective on how Church conflict should be viewed...

: Mine

For most of my Christian life (all of five years now) I haven't experienced much trouble with the church. I became a Christian at 18, found a church close to where I worked in Caldwell and I enjoyed going. The people were friendly and the teaching satisfied my appetite for learning. I was involved with the worship team for a while (not my calling, by the way) and also tried leading a Youth Group (also didn't turn out so pretty, but that's for another blog).

My first issue with this church occured when I noticed that the preaching of the Pastor seemed tainted to me. When reading through Acts 16 where Paul and Silas are singing to hyms to God in prison, the Pastor said something to the effect that the only reason these two were singing was because they were in such dispair. Like it was an effort on Paul and Silas' part to keep their spirits up during the horrible circumstances God had put them in.

Maybe it's because I'm a disgusting optimist, or maybe this is where I fall into being critical, but I always have and always will have trouble with the idea of the woeful Christian. For me, this interpretation of Acts 16 didn't settle right because it gave me the impression that for a Christian to do God's work he should expect to do it with a frown and a sigh. When I became a Christian the most important revelation to me was that I could have hope. That no matter how bad my circumstances looked I could hold on to the truth that God had a plan and a purpose for my life. Silas and Paul singing despite being in prison was a demonstration of that truth, not a contradiction.

The end of my story is short. I tried bringing up my feelings to the said pastor, but instead of building him up I think I tore him down more. I walked away from the conversation feeling like more prayer and understanding should have been in order, and I learned my first lesson about the church:

Leadership is allowed its weaknesses.

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13

Even the most well-intentioned Christian leader is NOT infallible, nor will he or she always behave at the top of their capabilities. Healthy leadership is to set a good example for the rest of the congregation (and that includes working on said weaknesses), but leaders should not be expected to always be perfect. Only Christ can fulfill that expectation.

: Yours

Most of you probably have a story you can tell, and I'm sure are more devious than a well-intentioned pastor gone awry. I've heard stories of fellow-church members walking up to someone in the congregation to say, "Fuck you", and that was supposed to be God's will. Or fire and brimstone preaching. Or manipulation. I can list my own behavior as a horror story where I have aggressively attacked someone to make a point. A portion of these comes from a flawed nature we Christians still battle with from time to time, but a part comes from the fact that the church isn't made up of 100% Christians.

Believe it or not, simply because one goes to church doesn't mean they're "in":

""Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.'" Matthew 7:21

"Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' " Matthew 13:24-29

It brings to mind my favorite quote of St. Augustine,"Never judge a philosophy by its abuse."

So please, don't let the ones who put up the appearance of Christianity without substance be the ones you use to judge the rest of us...

: Ours

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Ephesians 4:15-16

The truth is, folks, the Church is necessary. The Church is you and the Church is me. To say that the Church is too flawed to function is really saying that we are all too flawed to ever be in community, Church or no.

Community is an intergral part of the Christian experience where even the pain can serve a greater purpose. Through the hurt and frustration that comes through relationship we learn humility and strength as we depend on Christ. To walk away from such an experience would be to deny ourselves of a deeper, more fulfilling, Christian life.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

Painting is titled "Betrayal" by David Boyd


Andy Malone said...

Good post, Brooke. I'd like to offer my opinion on this matter. The problem with finding a church or denomination that you like is really all or nothing. I'm a severe individualist and would not join a group that I disagree with in any substantial form. I cannot and will not be a part of a group that does not represent my views as an individual. If I have to leave certain opinions at the door or stay silent on others in order to be part of a group, I have failed as an individual. This is why I probably will not join any organization or institution, club, etc, atheist or otherwise. While some people chant the familiar mantra of "unite or die", I think it's pertinent to note that even the "New Atheist" movement has accomplished most all of its mainstream successes not through organizations or groups, but from four or so individual guys and one hell of a funny comedienne.

My biggest problems with churches and general charities (including some decidedly anti-religious ones) is the opulence. Any organization that calls itself a charity that spends even a dollar more on bathrooms, furniture, etc. than is absolutely necessary is a dishonest organization to me. My sister's church is in the process of spending more than 100,000 dollars to add size to its already large building, and she was puzzled by this. After all, surely in the guise of charity, many other people could have used this money. This works for both religious and secular charities. My grandmother told me a sad story about a man who lost his wife to cancer. The man donated steadily to a cancer charity a good portion of his remaining income. Being a big donor, they invited him into their headquarters. He noticed how the building was state of the art, and everything from the paintings on the wall to the high-tech equipment and eventually left, disgusted and promising never to donate to them again. I think you see what I'm driving at.

Cool article, Brooke. I look forward to see what you have in the future.

Brooke said...

Thank you, Andy, for your thoughts, they do get me musing so you are a success. :)

I do agree with you that Churches can get too preoccupied in appearances and forget what's truly important... I remember when I was going to the Vineyard and taking their 101 class they talked about how missionaries coming back from the field would get angry at the nice building and amenities. Their answer was that they were appealing to a certain kind of people, and those were the people who were able to provide the money for those mission trips. The nice building also was used for weddings and such, and those proceeds also went into giving. It's true there is definitely a line, though...

As for beliefs, I guess it depends on what beliefs we're talking about. There are major beliefs that I don't compromise on, like the nature of Christ, but there are a lot of issues that people divide over all the time that I think are unnecessary. In one of my classes at BBC they talked about a church that argued the importance of using one cup in communion, since it was in the Bible and whether using more than one cup made you a genuine Christian. :/ That is the kind of silliness I refer to.

Denominational Division:

"You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?

"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

Arguments over non-divisive issues:

"If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."

"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful."

Etc, etc...

Keep commenting, Andy! I love it. :)

Laura Lou said...

Hey, so I'm glad I read this. Weird. I didn't even know you had a blog.
Um, I guess I've done more than my fair share of bitching about church,and I'm sorry if I've gone overboard. I'm sorry too, if it's become offensive to you. That said, I do think you made your points beautifully.

I guess my suspicion is this: people seem to be better people when they don't have the "holiness obligation" over them. That sounds pretty harsh. I don't mean it harshly. I just mean that the charge and expectation of being "a good christian" can easily overwhelm a person. It's usually pretty easy to keep up appearances (some are better at it than others), and I think that the way one views their performance of keeping up said appearances determines for them whether or not they're actually a good christian. I'm sure you've often heard it said that what matters is what kind of Christian you are OUTSIDE church doors. What kind of person are you on monday morning? I think the weekday Christian is a more authentic Christian. That's not to say I don't think we should fellowship with other believers. It's just that, for me, right now at least, I find it hard to focus solely on my spiritual closeness with God in the system of organized religion. It becomes obfuscated, obscured. Maybe someday it won't be so. But for now....yeah.

Brooke said...

Lou: I really, really hope you don't think this blog is a direct reference to you--I know I used some of the content of our conversation in the introduction, but I was trying to use your experiences to keep my point of view balanced. I wanted to acknowledge the hurts as well as provide solutions to the problem... I probably should have asked your permission. <:) This blog has come about from a number of people.

You're right, there are a lot of churches out there (usually the smaller, more inward focusing churches) that make it about appearances, and that irritates me as well. But there are a also a lot of churches that genuine try to avoid that whole mess. Also, there is a level of responsibility each of us carries that should motivate us to be genuine no matter what other people choose to be or not to be... And we also should not take it lightly that the Bible actually commands us to be in community.

Ah! I need to be working on my paper right now, but I'm going to send you a quick personal email to make sure we haven't started a holy war. :)

Laura Lou said...

Hey, I've taken no offense at all, no worries!

I realize I haven't been to a great variety of churches, and I realize the appearances thing does tend to describe smaller more inward focused ones.

I guess what I'm really more uncomfortable with, is deeper than the appearances thing, though. I think--and I know we do disagree here--that the exclusivity of the gospel is what I'm uncomfortable with. I think the "gospel" is much bigger than we think, and that we're going to see far more people in heaven than we ever imagined, and from places we never imagined. That's a touchy issue, I realize, but I think sometimes we tend to make Jesus into a sort of CEO of protestant evangelicalism, and it doesn't sit well with me. It's like Jesus becomes the abra kadabbra for salvation. Really, I've heard people say that a person can be searching for God, but it's for naught if he does not know the name of Jesus--and I've heard it argued that in such cases, God is guaranteed to send somebody to teach this person the magic words: jesus christ. I think this is limiting God to an appalling degree, and not only that, but it's limiting Christ to a specific context. If Jesus is God, he's bigger than any human context of experience, and I think that sincerity of heart, and the desire for moral and spiritual transcendance translates across all social, cultural, and existential boundaries, and is, in a spiritualized sense, putting one's trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. All the elements are there in this person: understanding of sin, desire to transcend it and the world through repentance, and the urge to service and worship. God, I believe, is the lubricant in all of that. To many, Jesus is understood as Muhammed. To other's he's understand as Krishna or Lao Tzu. To still others, he has no name. I understand that the Bible is very specific about some things, and I have some thoughts on that as well, but it's probably a discussion for another time and place.

Anyway, I'm a heretic, but I love God, and I love thinking and talking about these things--and I'd love to talk about them with you, if you're willing. I by no means want either of us to feel like we're crushing the other's convictions underfoot. That's just silly. I respect your views, and the attitude with which you do so. I was glad you wrote this blog, and I have absolutely no hard feelings whatsoever. I love you very much, Brooke. We'll talk about this at more length soon!


Brooke said...

Good, I'm glad this isn't going to create a fissure in how you and I approach each other, because you know I'm going to disagree! :)

My problem (I'm probably repeating myself) with this approach of God's Word is whether you would be applying the standard of God's word to God's word. i.e. Does God's Word allow the kind of latitude of interpretation you're posturing?

Now let me clear up what I'm not going to say about the Bible: I am not saying that everything should be taken literal to the extent that it's all written like a text book. Particular aspects of the Bible are poetic, figurative, etc, but to me it's fairly obvious what those portions are.

But in what you've just said, you've deviated from at least one explicitly Biblical thought:

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

And even the spiritual people of the Apostle's time apparently needed to hear the Gospel,

"Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: 'Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

Now, I am going to agree with you that God is much bigger than we are and his methods much more varied than I'm sure we always participate in, but to deviate (as a Christian) from what he's clearly laid out can, for me, only be described as presumptuous. What it reminds me of is how Job infers doubt about what He knows about God after his experiences, and how in the end he's humbled when God says (paraphrase), "Who are you to doubt who I say I am?"

I guess I just do see where it's my place to assume that everybody in their own faith is ok when that's not how the Bible presents it... I thought I was ok with my fuzzy belief system before you presented me with the Gospel, and I can tell you that while it was a nice thought that I'd drift up to heaven someday, my experiences after knowing Christ have completely turned that assumption around.

And as if I haven't said enough already, there is one more verse I think is relevant to discussion:

"For it is written:
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'

"Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe."

Laura Lou said...

What you say about the Bible standards reminds me of a humorous piece of writing from Raymond M. Smullyan, called "Is God a Toaist?" This piece is written as an exchange between a mortal and God. Here is an excerpt:

mortal: what I really want to know is, do You exist?

God: what a strange question!

Mortal: Why? Men have been asking it for countless millenia.

God: I know that. The question itself is not strange; what I mean is that it is a most strange question to ask of ME!

Mortal: Why?

God: Because I am the very one whose existance you doubt! I perfecty well understand your anxiety. You are worried that your present experience with me is a mere hallucination. But how can you possibly expect to obtain reliable information from a being about his very existance, when you suspect the non-existance of the very same being?

Perhaps its not a very good parrellel, but using the Bible, which was written by finite people, to "prove" the Bible's claims, is sort like the problem that God and the mortal identify in Smullyan's dialogue. it's circular reasoning to rely on the passage itself as a proof of it's veracity, just as it's circular reasoning to rely on God's word that He exists when you're asking because you doubted that existance in the first place.

Moving forward a little bit, don't other sacred texts also contain caveats concerning the veracity of their content? Upon what criterion then, do we say our text is truth and others' false? I think we need to look at God and His Word, incorporating the world's discourse in our examination.

Also, there is a growing amount of evidence to suggest that Paul himself did not necessarily understand Christ to be God incarnate, nor the resurrection to be literal. Here is what Spong says:

"Would Paul have said that Jesus is God? Although he might not have denied the truth to which these words pointed, those forms of communication would never have occured to the Jew from Tarsus. They were words a later generation of Christians who had lost their jewish roots would develope to try and give rational form to their experience of Jesus. Jesus was for Paul God's "first creation." This is hardly adaquate Christology by later theological standards, but it served Paul well. For Paul, Jesus the Christ was a special human life through whom God had uniquely acted an in whom God was uniquely present. Jesus was for Paul a Jewish man so faithful to the meaning of God, that when faithfulness cost him his life, God raised him up to heaven in an act of vindication and as a way of saying that God is LIKE what Jesus did, and like who Jesus was. When Paul speaks of the resurrection, he means the raising of the dead Jesus to heaven. The vindication of the life Jesus lived, was proclaimed by God's exaltation of him. For Paul, resurrection and ascension were not two actions, but one. Paul's consistent verb form for the resurrection is passive. "He was raised by God." The action was God's action, because it was God's vindication. The active verb, which suggested that Jesus did the raising himself, was in a very much later tradition. The separation of the resurrection from the ascension is not reflective of primitive Christianity. Paul gave no narrative details of resurrection appearances, and he said his conversion, which clearly was a dawning, inbreaking vision of the now-heavenly Jesus, was different in no way from all other appearances, save that Paul's was last."

whew. That was a lot. Sorry. Anyway, I don't think that just because Paul says "there is none other through whom you must be saved", that we can assume that statement to be God's. For Paul, Christ was truly the only way to be saved, and so he, not God, assumed that it was true universally. I'm repeating myself here, I'm sure, but I believe it's very important to distinguish the writers of "God's word" from God himself. We need to distinguish Truth from the containers of truth. We seem to foget that finite human beings did actually write the texts, and they had agendas and prejudices, just like we all do. They had limited understandings, just like we all do. I see no reason why this means that they were any less inspired by the Divine, and no reason to say this makes the Bible less sacred or beautiful or relevant for our lives.

Brooke said...

You can't whew, I'm the one who quoted so much Bible!

Circular reasoning is only an accurate accusation if I'm a Christian trying to defend the Bible to a non-Christian by using the very thing needed to be defended. You, however, still name yourself a Christian. This title implies that you have already placed first in your confidence the Bible (or should, because that's where the name even comes from). To go against what's written in the Bible means you're using a separate tool to measure what the Bible teaches--whether that's you're emotions, or another book, or another philosophy. The question then becomes like you said, which means of measurement is the more dependable?

As for Spong:

I don't know that his methodology has brought him to a very kind place (excerpts from the above article):

"'A supernatural deity who lives beyond the sky watching over this planet keeping a record book for final judgment and periodically invading the earth has become unbelievable,' Spong told an applauding crowd. 'The security found in the Christian tradition that we are in possession of divine truth revealed directly by this theistic God in either Scripture or tradition has been obliterated.'...

"He refuses to go into Christian bookstores, which sell books that tell you how to 'properly beat your children, how women should be second-class citizens and gay people should be bashed.' Spong does not believe in traditional prayers, which are simply 'adult letters to Santa Claus.' He has likened the posture of praying on one's knees to a 'beggar before someone who has the ability to give him his next meal, a slave before a master, a peasant before a king.' And although he still wears a cross over his vestments, the stories of Christ's sacrificial death are 'nonsensical.'

"Traditional Christians who still believe that Christ died for their sins are touting a Gospel that is 'strange, bizarre and, finally, repelling.' Amid laughter and applause, Spong opined that the world will not accept Christ's atoning death: 'I don't care how many bloody hymns we sing in worship. These threadbare concepts are simply not worthy of eliciting worship. They have become grotesque.' Spong wants the church to stop telling people they are sinners and 'stop dumping the church's ancient pathology on modern people.'"

Yow. Ok.

I'm not opposed, though, to digging into where he gets his ideas from (the ones you quoted). I'd prefer to see his research to find out where his claims originate, not just read his opinion on how things could have happened...

Ok, I better get off the computer! I might just call you tonight to TALK about this stuff. It would be much quicker... :)

Laura Lou said...

Okay, so I still need to read your article, but I'd like to comment on a few things you said...

and I don't want to say too much here, because I feel as if I'm in danger of becoming the icky cough syrup of theolgical belief...

um, first, calling myself a Christian needn't mean that I've stopped searching for truth. In that sense, then, perhaps, you can say that I'm in the same place as your unbeliever for all intents and purposes of this discussion. Your argument is something of a red herring, but more than that, it's an ad-hominem. You're saying that because I call myself a Christian, rules of logic should no longer matter in our realm, and that if I'm really a Christian, I would understand this. But be careful--you're essentially saying that within the parameters of Christianity, the need for logic and reason is no longer need come into play,(as I already stated) and I don't think you really mean this, especially since we both know you're a wonderful apologetitian.

Another worthy clarification: As a Christian, I put my trust in God, not the 66 books of the Bible. If being a Christian actually denotes the extent that I have made an idol of a literal written word, I am willing to dispense with the term. I hasten to clarify, however, that I needn't dispense with the Christ I see in the Bible, the Christ of my namesake as you say. The Christ of the Bible, literally interpreted or no--is still a Redemptive, God-infused person to whom my life is indebted, hence my salvation.

You ask "which measurement is more dependable?" for understanding what is written in the Bible. First, I have to take exception to the assumption that since I do not take the Bible literally, that I am going against the Bible. But I'll answer the question nonetheless. I answer that faith itself is the measure. Sincere faith which guides every man's sincere search for truth. A search I believe that God is inevitably both a cause and effect of.

Ah yes, Spong. I admit, this is only the first book I've read from him, and he didn't sound quite so sardonic as some of the things you've quoted. Nonetheless, I might agree with him on a few things--such as Christian bookstore, to name one. But enough of him for now. It's not actually relevant.

Yes, you should call! I will say I'm not very good at verbally debating things. I clam up and say things I don't mean, but I would love to talk to you anyway. I hope you're not getting too disgruntled with me.

Brooke said...

I know what you mean about the talking thing, it has it definitely has it downsides. I guess I prefer writing as well because as I'm reading responses, I can quickly go online and do some research before I formulate and respond with an opinion. :) It all works out very nicely!

And you are absolutely free to question things, and I would hope that wouldn't make me too disgruntled. ;) I guess I'm just hoping you haven't cemented this opinion (and that I haven't cemented mine) making discussion about these things pointless...

Real quick, the reference to title probably has more to do with personal application--if I no longer saw a reliable authority in the Bible, I wouldn't call myself a Christian. I'd probably call myself a Universalist, because that would (in my opinion) more adequate portray what I believe...

Back to Spong: I'm sure you're pulling from other sources as well, but I spent quite a while last night doing some reading from Spong and wasn't impressed. I read counter-arguments, and overall reviews, and it doesn't take mental gymnastics to figure out the mysteries Spong seeks to clarify by throwing them out the window. And I promise this is a shorter article, but please look at: this.

I don't know about the rest of his works, but for him to mishandle language like he does in some of his other books makes me doubt his integrity in general. And this isn't just Brooke the staunch Christian speaking, this is Brooke the investigator as well. :) If I feel like he makes any good, intellectually dependable points I will take absolutely check them out.

As for the phone call, we may not be able to talk for a while anyway, depending if I go on this trip with Jessie she wants to take. We were thinking about driving to Portland for a concert, but if the roads decide to be as scary as they're threatening to be, we'll probably decide to skip our vacation of death. :D If we skip it then I'll be more free to chit-chat!

I'm really glad you and I are being open about what we think and feel about this stuff, because, to be honest, for a while I've felt an undercurrent of this whole thing. Like you and I weren't able to be completely open in conversation, and it was driving me nuts. I'd rather just talk about things, so I'm glad this is where we're at. :)

Laura Lou said...

Gah! I went to your link, and it said the page I was requesting did not exist. Something like that. So I stayed at CRI, and search under "John Shelby Spong", and "Spong" and couldn't find anything more than passing references to him in articles that had to do with completely unrelated subjects. Grrr...maybe I'll just do my own reseach, if he's purported to be turning into such a huge con-man. ;)

Laura Lou said...

Oh by the way, I nearly died of ecstacy (not the drug) last night.


Really, I think you could decide to lynch me for my heretical beliefs and I would go smiling from ear to ear, just because I passed my math class. I SO excited!!!

Brooke said...

I like how all my articles disappear a week after they're relevant. Niiiiiice.

Ok: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! You passed math!!! That is WONDERful. I'm very happy for you. :D

I've grown tired of my computer, by the way. :P I'm going to finish my homework today and take a break from all serious thinking!