No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it. –Ephesians 5:29
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. –Matthew 22:39
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. –Philippians 2:3
When I “look in the mirror,” so to speak, not at my physical appearance, but at my personality…what do I see? First off, how do I do this? There is only one accurate way. And that is through the reflections of myself as seen by other people. Only when you have a clear picture of how other people see you, can you truly “look in the mirror” and have an accurate, not self-deluded picture of what kind of a person you truly are.
I don’t like what I see. I tend to not be liked by certain categories of people, but on the other hand, I can make groups of people laugh at my jokes. While I’ve heard some people call me a d*ck, I’ve heard others refer to me as a comedian. While these same people have referred to me as gay, or a child, a nerd, a square, a legalist, an isolationist, or awkward. Me being me usually turns people off; and sooner or later, I get the feeling that they are laughing at me, at how nerdy I am, rather that at anything I say, because they find it agreeable. I’m just glad I have a wife who loves me. Because of these often occurring negative reactions, I’ve tended to protect myself by being a loner. I think some of it has to do with the fact that I don’t cuss, while basically everyone my age cusses now. Even one little slip up with a cuss word, might go a long way in developing a “trusting bond,” even in a church, the mentality goes. It seems that people hate the idea that they have to watch their mouth when they are around me.
Most of the time, I think that American sports are boring. Sorry. Ever since I was a kid, it just never caught on: soccer, baseball, basketball, and especially football, never really got me all that interested. Instead, I gravitated towards “freak” interests like skateboarding, electric guitar, horror and sci-fi movies, and computer gaming. The popular crowd seeks to be a part of the jock category and wants to compete in that. That’s the vox populi, the voice of the people; when you deviate from that interest, you’re seen as freakish, because you are deviating from a popular social norm. Nerd, freak, hipster–yeah, that’s me. My interests reflected my personality and vice versa. But then there’s other nerds, freaks, and hipsters–there’s others of these that I find it hard to get along with.
1. There’s those that are prideful and conceited over knowing more than you do, or having more influence in their nerd-dom than you, if that means anything.
2. Freaks usually are satanic, and use the f-word like 25 times a day, and probably use drugs. Because I’m a Christian, they see me as awkward, and can’t see me as a friend. Especially, as I’ve noticed, the macho “biker” freaks, or the Metallica fans who are into macho attitudes. As a freak, I guess I’ve always been more like Kurt Cobain, or Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan, or Chino Moreno–the more sensitive type: a touch of emo, but not to the point of being girly. Maybe I’m wrong about these comparisons, maybe I’m right.
3. I’m a Jesus freak–meaning, that I’m in the skater and rock-n-roller category, while at the same time, Jesus has more or less control over my heart. Cornerstone Festival used to be my mecca–unfortunately defunct in the year 2012. I never got to go there. Solid State Records used to be the label that I imagined my band would be on some day. But I’ve noticed that Jesus freaks today, even Sonny Sandoval and Bruce Fitzhugh, are using profanity and allowing it. There seems to be a decline in reverence for life under God. In 2000, I never would have imagined that in 2012, P.O.D. would release an f-word song called “I Am.” Coincidentally, 2012 was the same year that Cornerstone closed down. It seems that Jesus freak now means hyper-grace freak, or John Crowder freak, or antinomian freak, but not lordship freak. I would be a lordship salvation freak. I suppose, I would be a John Wesley, Wesleyan Jesus freak. Yeah, I can see how trying to be a holy saint, skater, metalhead would make me pretty awkward to be around. I am a peculiar man: “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). Yes, I think so about myself. And I have no plans of changing aspects about my personality or my interests to mainstream myself, because I don’t find those things interesting: namely, team sports, cuss words, macho competitive attitudes, smug reserved intellectual pride, being fake nice rather than being that one guy who tells it like it is and makes everyone else feel uncomfortable; and how ’bout this: focusing on the negative for as much as, and as long as I want, regardless of what other people think–because it makes me feel good to address the negative until it is all addressed and done, like exorcising a demon.
Recently I’ve been watching a documentary series called Metal Evolution, which is a history of metal TV show. It’s really helped me to tag down the bands that have shaped me. I’ve always known who these bands were, but seeing them in a historical progression has been cool. It seems my biggest styles have been thrash metal and nu metal, and then of course, the lyrics of Christian metal. It’s been hard for me to break out of any of these styles into other music genres, mainly because I feel like they really captured my personality in a lot of their songs.
– Metallica – thrash metal (James Hetfield)
– Sepultura – thrash metal (Max Cavalera)
– Nirvana – grunge / alternative rock (Kurt Cobain)
– The Smashing Pumpkins – alternative rock (Billy Corgan)
– Rage Against the Machine – nu metal (Zach de la Rocha)
– Korn – nu metal (Jonathan Davis)
– Deftones – nu metal (Chino Moreno)
– Soulfly – nu metal (Max Cavalera)
– Coal Chamber – nu metal (Dez Fafara)
– Snot – nu metal (Lynn Strait)
– System of a Down – nu metal (Serj Tankian)
– Living Sacrifice – Christian thrash and death metal (Bruce Fitzhugh)
– Project 86 – Christian nu metal (Andrew Schwab)
– P.O.D. – Christian nu metal (Sonny Sandoval)
– Disciple – Christian thrash metal (Kevin Young)
– Embodyment – Christian thrash and death metal (Kris McCaddon; Sean Corbray)
– Extol – Christian thrash metal (Peter Espevoll)
– The Famine – Christian thrash and death metal (Kris McCaddon)