Things Have to Change

The Great Eternity by Majestic Vanguard
CHAOS by Salamander Factory (SRW OGs BGM: Zweizergain’s theme)
-Ugh, don’t ask.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with is downloading stuff. Most of my downloads are PDFs of Dungeons & Dragons books and mp3s, and the problem here is that a lot of the music I download is unavailable locally.

So I’ve been having it my way, downloading massive amounts of material off Limewire, justifying it by saying that the companies that sell this stuff charge exorbitant amounts for it and don’t really pay the artists much anyway. I kept saying that since they’re exploiting people, I am only taking from the exploiters. A “chaotic good” attitude, if you will.

Now the problem with this is that I’m still putting what I want over what God wants, and what does he want?

One of our pastors partly owns a music store that legally sells mp3s and is licensed to compile these songs onto CDs. Instead of the usual “PIRACY IS A CRIME” stickers on their CDs, they have “Man’s law says piracy is a crime, but there is a higher law: THOU SHALL NOT STEAL.” I guess it’s pretty clear from that what the Lord wants, and any justification we can come up with is shaky–taking the stuff keeps the record labels from paying royalties to the artists, anyway. Furthermore, since I have a lot of Christian music as well, that means I’m stealing from my own brothers and sisters.

This began bugging me recently, when I was reminded of the warning given to believers when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper:

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep [are dead]. –1 Corinthians 11:27-30

The context of the verse was that many people were using the Lord’s Supper as a way to party and get drunk–others were instead being gluttonous and ate all the bread, so others were not able to partake. However, the command is pretty clear–examine yourself and repent of your sins.

I’ve been partaking of the Supper but there were sins I was not letting go of, and as a result, I was feeling sick, weak and even 8 hours of sleep could not make me feel better. Is this superstition? I don’t think so. It’s been happening in my life and I think it’s more than just coincidence. Whatever the case, I believe in what the scripture says.

This led me to a quandary. Was I going to continue partaking of the Supper just to put up a front? Was I going to stop taking it because I knew that I was not ready to give up a sin? Or was I going to take extreme measures and completely delete all my downloaded stuff?

This morning I saw the metal trays on which the bread and juice were stored in, and I knew this was the moment of truth. We were going to have the Lord’s Supper, and I had to choose—who really was my Lord?

As I settled into my seat at church this morning, I decided that although it wouldn’t be an optimal solution, I would just not partake of the Supper. That would prevent me from eating and drinking judgment unto myself, so maybe I’d feel better. As the speaker (Dr. Harold Sala) spoke, though, God reminded me of His love—how He is to me a Shepherd, a Father, and a King–and that He wanted to bless me. He didn’t want me to remain stuck in the rut of my own sinfulness. I told Him honestly that I really would not be able to delete all my stuff all at once since I needed some of it. In the agreement of His understanding and his demand for righteousness in my life, I decided to give up any future downloading and take the path to righteousness step by step–I would eventually buy everything illegal that I have currently downloaded. This was actually my plan, but I was content with procrastinating and not actively budgeting my money so I could effectively reinstate what I have stolen. Now, however, the vision is clear, and by God’s grace, I will do my best to let go of my greed and acquire these things the right way.

I have no idea how to do this, honestly. I have dozens of D&D books, meaning I might even have to seek out out-of-print material and even buy CDs off the net (since they’re unavailable here). Regardless, I feel that it’s only right for me to do this, because I know that doing so will please my Lord. I don’t want to live like I used to anymore. Things have to change, and they begin here.

Struggling in Righteousness,
Your Black Lion

PS: Dr. Sala’s message was excellent, and so as not to dilute any of its meaning, I will link to it when it’s posted.

PPS: The Black and the Purple now has its own blog[link]! Kate and I will be co-admins, and we’ll be using it to post the chapters of the story so that people outside of PSHS could read it as well.


~ by J. R. R. Flores on July 8, 2007.

2 Responses to “Things Have to Change”

  1. i was in the exact same spot a few years ago. i was of the mentality that “i’ll never have to buy another cd again!” 😛 if there’s anything i can say, it’s BE PATIENT. you’ll eventually find those OOP and unavailable cds/books. if i knew years ago what stuff i’d actually find and not have to illegally download, i still wouldn’t believe it. 😛

  2. Thanks bro, it’s good to hear that. It’ll definitely take a while, but I think it’s something worth pursuing anyway.

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