The do-it-yourself ethic is one of our doctrines here at Kiln of the Soul.
You could consider me a whistleblower against the established religious institutions of America. I’ve worked on the inside and I’m telling you that I believe there’s a whole lot of fraud going on inside those organizations. Not mere criminal fraud, but I see it as fraud against faith itself. So taking my professional training as a clergyman, I’m giving you the inside scoop. It’s not like the government is going to do anything about it, but I’m taking this to the court of individual faith believers. This is my specialty and I’m showing you that much of my expertise is not needed to do religion. It’s primary usefulness is shooting holes in the existing mainstream system. I don’t attack faith by any means; I promote it. And I don’t attack religion, but I attack the notion that you can’t do it for yourself.
For years I’ve been teaching folks how to do individual religion, and I’ve also taught folks how to do house-church. Granted, your household has to cooperate on some level, but there’s no reason you can’t find your own path individually if you find yourself alone. Further, I’ve tried to create a virtual parish atmosphere for those who find themselves isolated. A virtual fellowship is no substitute, but it will reduce the impact and help carry you through until God brings us to a place where our way of faith and religion attracts more people.
By the same token, I’ve been teaching a lot of DIY stuff: computer technology, fixing cars and some household stuff, self-help psychology, self-help education of your children, etc. What I have, I share freely. I’m doing my best to bring you the advantages of whatever expertise I have without you having to go through all that training. Some of you have made a similar effort to share back what you have learned. I’ve seen it on your blogs and in your comments here.
This week I received a call asking me to counsel someone who is in jail. It just so happens I have worked in law enforcement, so I was able to dispel the mythology of “truth, justice and the American way.” I warned them that fighting for your “rights” is a dead-end game; let your lawyer worry about that. It’s not a question of using his/her expertise, but of recognizing that it’s just not important. Instead, focus on a realistic assessment of what is, what is the reality of your situation and not some imaginary ideal. Decide where you have to draw boundaries. You’d be amazed at what kind of crap you can tolerate because it’s just externalities. By the same token, you absolutely must fight to maintain your moral identity. But you’ll find that the latter is often a much smaller subset of what our society tends to believe, and frequently what our society teaches is utterly false and misses the point. I also mentioned that it was pointless to take offense at much of anything. Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you tormented. The jail atmosphere is loaded with people who delight in predatory torment, including the staff. Cooperate from a position of moral strength and be ready to pay whatever price is demanded for being yourself.
Again, this is little more than a specific application of the same DIY spirit of handling things according to their actual significance. Too much of what our world does is locked up in systems of certified expert this-n-that. It’s bogus. For most of your genuine human needs, we can bring glory to God with just-good-enough. As I continue working on things to post on the YouTube channel, the emphasis will always be DIY and doing religion in the common every day life we live.