homer kizer

Logger, Fisherman, Writer, Prophet

Homer loved being a hewer of wood—


Self-identification as a prophet seems odd, alien, akin to entering graduate school as a midlife fisherman without an undergraduate degree or even any upper division class work in the discipline … after two years of college, I left to marry when eighteen years old: after having graduated from a small, Oregon coast high school, I journeyed inland for two years before returning to the rainy forests of Lincoln County, where I opened a gunshop that never really amounted to anything, a hobby turned vocation, and a vocation challenged when drafted into the Body of Christ in 1972.

I didn’t want to be religious, at least not in 1972; for after my father—also Homer Kizer—died in January 1958, when I was eleven, Mom married a Seventh Day Adventist in October 1959, a nice enough fellow, but not someone I respected as a twelve year old high school freshman … I did sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in one year because I could and because of my size and an aura of unfocused anger originating with Dad’s sudden death. As the tallest freshman at the top of my class, I was physically larger than my stepfather with almost as much formal education. And I wanted to prove that as a Sabbatarian, my stepfather was an uneducated hick; for the whole world couldn’t possibly be wrong about the day on which Christians were to worship a God I didn’t then believe existed. So I read the Bible for myself just to prove my stepfather wrong. I read commentaries and articles from many traditional Christian denominations, but I couldn’t get past the simple argument that under the New Covenant, the Law is written on hearts and placed within the person so that murder, an act of the hand, becomes anger, a state of the heart, and adultery, an act of the body, becomes lust, a thought of the mind. Under the New Covenant, the Law moves from regulating the acts of the hands and the body to regulating the desires of the heart and the thoughts of the mind. Hence, the Sabbath doesn’t move from the seventh day to the eighth day, but moves from regulating what hands and bodies do on the seventh day to what hearts desire and what minds think.

In early November 1959, I slammed the Bible shut and said to myself, Well, if you’re gonna believe the Bible, you have to keep the Sabbath. Luckily, or so I then thought, I wasn’t convinced the Bible was anything but a collection of myths and superstitions. However, after being unsuccessful in proving my stepfather wrong, I knew enough to argue against traditional Christian dogmas, and I wasn’t above doing so whenever the opportunity arose. I used to welcome the infrequent visits of Jehovah Witnesses, for none of them knew their Bibles well enough that they could support their doctrines from Scripture.

It is an immature person who delights in shredding another person’s beliefs with the Bible that other person holds when he or she knocks on your door. I know, for I have done so, and I will probably do it again. But I will no longer delight in doing so for there is only sadness in exploring what a person believes without the person having closely and critically read Scripture. And the Bible will support close and critical reading: the Bible is the shadow and copy of the invisible, heavenly Book of Life in which the lives of faithful disciples serve as epistles. As a text, it will withstand deconstruction.

A human child of less than thirty months of age cannot comprehend dual referents; i.e., where one thing represents another thing, usually as a scale model of the second thing. Nor can infant sons of God comprehend dual referents, the metaphorical language employed throughout Scripture in both text and texture. And as an older human being wouldn’t expect a human infant to think like an adult person, a more mature son of God should not expect spiritual infants to think the thoughts of mature Christians … my middle daughter, when about two years old, would go around telling people that her name was Kristel Sue Kizer Big Girl—the Christian who feels the need to claim maturity that isn’t in evidence is spiritually as my daughter then was (she now has a Ph.D. in inorganic Chemistry and academic tenure).

In 1972, I was drafted into the Body of Christ—I would have been far more willing to serve in Vietnam (because of my size, the military had turned me down three times)—but being drafted began a series of events that resulted in me living in and fishing out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where in 1979, I began to write: I had been writing professionally for nine years when I entered University of Alaska Fairbanks’ graduate writing program, where I felt like a spy. As a Sabbatarian Christian and fiscal Libertarian among social progressives and Marxists, I felt like I had infiltrated the enemy’s camp where I dare not make a mistake or I’d give myself away as not belonging in the covey of academic quail huddled where the Chena River entered the Tanana.

I returned to college after being away for twenty-three years (1965–1988), and I returned as a graduate English student whereas I had begun college as a math major on an Honors Scholarship. I returned because I had no other way to educate three daughters who had enough scholarship money to pay for books and tuition, but not enough for housing and board. By living with me in married student housing, they could afford to go to school—and I could afford to live on campus because I taught as a Teaching Assistant [TA] even though I had no degree.

Then, in January 2002, in a calling similar to the calling of Paul, I was called to reread prophecy, a claim I have boldly made for the past decade … I wouldn’t have called myself to the task placed before me; for I have a past that isn’t without spot or blemish. Unlike my younger brother Ken whose integrity is beyond reproach, in the decades during which I lingered in the margin between civilized society and open rebellion against social norms, I huddled at the edge of poverty so when called to reread prophecy, I had no resources that could support doing an unpopular work for God—and that is what any rereading and deconstruction of an iconic text will be: unpopular.

With the calling to reread prophecy came understanding that I must work on the same terms as the Apostle Paul worked, placing no burden on those who are taught, teaching without asking for support, for tithes and offerings … the person who will follow the money of this ministry will find a website selling hand carved wood bowls, each a one-off piece, some better than others but all beginning as a length of wood I adzed into its final shape.

When Israel entered the Promised Land behind Joshua [in Greek, Jesus], the Lord promised to communicate with Israel through the giving or withholding of rain in its season … by Paul not asking for support even when he was in need but relying upon God and the work of his hands, Paul was dependent upon the Lord for his support, making the giving of support or the withholding of support an effective means through which the Father could communicate with Paul apart from hearing words spoken by the Holy Spirit. And the work I have done since being audibly called to reread prophecy has been supported by the work of my hands and the unsolicited contributions of a few. To those few, I owe considerable thanks for they make this website possible.

I find it difficult to keep timely commentaries on the websites already on line: transforming this website from a strictly commercial site to another theological site will add to this difficulty, but will also increase the bandwidth available for the work of ministry. Therefore, initially this site will feature more links than archived commentaries, but that will change as time passes without calling attention to itself.

Today, I’m far from Kodiak Island, far from Dutch Harbor, far from Fairbanks, but I continue to dwell in the margins between this present world of transactions and the world to come that will be without transactions, without buying and selling, without One Percenters and Ninety-Nine Percenters, without Capitalists and Marxists, Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals. And it is from these margins where change must necessarily come as the world that is gives way to the world of tomorrow.