iBlog: August 2006


Tomorrow's blog today

Thursday, August 31, 2006

If cats always land on their feet and toast lands butterside down, what happens if you stick toast to the back of a cat and push it off the table?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Email from my brother for the Tim Reeveseses Amongst Us

This took me 3 mins to crack - tatty is still trying to solve it. How good
are you?

Consider the sum cross + roads = danger. Replace each letter with a number
from one to 9. You need to allocate all 9 numbers to a letter. Given that
s = 3, can you work out what 6 digit number represents the word 'danger'

Clue, it may help to set out your working as below to see whats going on.
Have fun :-)

c r o s s
r o a d s +
d a n g e r

Monday, August 28, 2006

If there's one thing that sucks more than Christians...

... It's liberal fundimentalists

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Authentic Living and Buddhism

I've often thought (aside form missing the obvious points about the Trinity etc) Buddhists have a much deeper isnight into what a love centered life means. Kind of Authentic living... here's a quote from the Dalai Lama:

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

What Churchtianity looks like

It's not the Yeti that scares people in the Alpes!

One Girl Army

Here lies the old myth,
breaking the mold with,
truth to take away the trickery.
Twenty centuries of progress,
suffer slowly as we regress,
losing headway to ourselves.
Behold the covers, the sisters, the mothers,
the daughters, and spouses, on the magazines.
Truth has been abused.
How could she fill those shoes?
Propaganda meant to fuel their schemes.

She is strong but never silent,
sure of where her truth/strength comes from.,
one day, one girl army will overcome.
Treading the current, issues at hand,
Shifting, we sway, from justice and then back again.
What we once broke, He has made right,
lifting her up, giving birth to Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ten Commandments on You Tube

Conservatism 2

Below is my comment to a post by Joolian Re: the recent pardon of the deserters of the British Army of the first world war trenches. (This is the other thing that's been annoying me)

I firmy believe what they refused to give, is the price of democracy and always has been.

I probably wouldn't lay down my life for the church or for my political party, but you can bet that I would sacrifice myself for the democracy of my country and my children.

It seems farsicle that we're so far descended from the trenches we can piss all over what was, in reality, the legacy of the men who fought for our very right to a free opinion on the subject!

I'm glad the deserters had the humiliation and penalty that became their cowardice. It's not a lacking of bravery that made them turn their back on democracy, liberty, freedom, England and the rights of every person reading this, it was a basic human defficiency that put themselves before everything our ancestors have fought and worked so hard for in the past. They'd sooner have let this country to the hands of the fascists (etc) than their own family live lives of the free.

In my eyes, there is no pardon for these men, just as there is no pardon for anyone else who thinks themselves above democracy.


I found a Hagar the Horrible sketch that made me laugh!

(I know it's not actually funny, but by Hagar the Horrible's standards it is)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More Matt

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Conservatism 1

To the untrained Roughage-Reader, I probably appear like a political yo-yo, routinely flicking between the dangerously conservative and the sickeningly liberal and then back again. In actuality, my political mindset distinguishes between the social and the Christian. My opinions on society and its governance are awfully conservative – I think the judicial system shoots itself in the foot by early prison release, political correctness is one of society’s main downfalls (sorry, Helen B) and the welfare state has become a crutch for certain sects of society because it doesn't discern enough. My views on Christianity, however, are so liberal they make my gums bleed. I don’t agree that Benny Hinn and co have a generic revelation, I don’t agree that tithing should be to the church, or should even be a statue 10% and nor do I believe any person in the wider society should be made to conform to the Christian’s morals (Eg Jerry Springer protests).

Today, I thought I’d give those conservative Christians a break from my incessant harassment and concentrate on pointing out society’s mistakes, because as we all know, I’m always right by default.

The below is an extract from Inigo Wilson’s blog, the disgraced spokesman person for Orange who has been suspended for being too conservative. In my eyes, you don’t discipline a person at work for their political opinion (well, maybe if they paint swastikas on the front door or dress only in a thong). But it seems poor Inigo has fallen victim to what I think of political prejudice. Granted, his views on Islamaphobia are the sort that keep human rights lawyers in Gucci suits and Rolexes, but it’s the principle of balancing political taboos with the EU-unconstitutional concepts of PC culture and political centrality that leave our little country clueless with regards where the lines of acceptability and social interaction are drawn.

In my eyes, political censorship is contrary to the fundamental principles of democracy and abuses liberty. I don’t think society en masse needs this kind of parental control. It seems to me, that the John Major government (in reaction to the frustrated socialists antagonised by the previous St Thatcher) and all successive cabinets are bound to the fear of the incalculable apocalyptic engulfment of society by the conservative minority. And every view that hasn’t been approved by BBC executives and Civil servants in suits who eat museli and have the word `liase` in their job titles, are predisposed to repeat 1930s Germany.

In reality, I think society at the individual and intersocial levels has it’s own knack of self-censorship. Look at any high school, there are natural groups –Homer Simpson says…
``there are the jocks and the nerds. It’s my job as a jock to give the nerds a hard time``
And this is an omnipresent concept where you group random people together in the faith of a self levelling feudal mutuality that becomes one of the basic human states and instincts.

Now freedom of speech, in the context of the supposed abuse thereof by the senseless Right Wing minorities, is not a finite commodity like money or goods that one person or group acquires at the expense of another. Mr Wilson (below) satiricly calls racism `the worst crime ever conceived of`. If an abusive expression of words is indeed as bad as Blair and co seem to think, then conventional football ralleighing, Parliament and Jerry Springer should all be likewise stilled under the iron cushion that is the interest of political correctness.

The above point about a natural mutuality in groups that works towards an automatic sociological mechanical system, I think, inherently polices this verbal villainy that our little century strives to control and denounce.

Ours, is the only epoch that has *needed* political correctness. Our country was worth the most and was the most upstanding (and Christian) before the days of self censorship. Boundaries were self evident in society and needed no scribing to be true. People knew their place, and though often were not happy with it, did not demand success at the expense of another.

I'll blog the other thing that's been annoying me another day *yawn*

Extract Outlining Definitions of Modern Terms from Inigo Wilson’s Blog

Equal - as in ‘opportunities’: describes the desire to have a workforce resemble the population it comes from, rather than matched to the task in hand.  See 'diversity'.
Hate-crime - same as 'normal' crime as far as victims are concerned - but much more distressing for Lefties.    
Impartial - media, BBC: the balance achieved by attacking the Opposition for being Conservative and attacking the Government for being insufficiently Lefty.
Multi-cultural - All culture is valid - unless Western in some way. Usually to be 'celebrated' and always found to be 'vibrant'. See 'diversity'.
NGO - Non Governmental Organisation – the repository of all moral authority in Lefty World and whose words and motives may never be questioned.
Organised labour - what Lefties used to be interested in
Racist - means "shut up!" - and is much, much worse than being violent, thoughtless or unkind. In fact, easily the worst crime ever conceived of.
Skills-based - education: "teach the little ba**ards Microsoft Word or something. They don't actually need to know anything…".
Social exclusion - where bad people, behaving badly, somehow became our fault.
Stereotype - any attempt to describe the general characteristics of a group favoured by Lefties.

Churchtian Phrases that don't make sense

`Worship Leader` in the context of who ever happens to be leading music... the theory supposedly being that worship and music are synonymous. (again more sheep mentality but that's not elaborate on here)

`Slain in the Spirit` doens't make sense. the Spirit doesn't `Slay` people, He blesses and loves them, and I've yet to find a biblical comparison to every evangelist's favourite trick of pushing people over

`God has a plan for you` in a very Rawlesian context that you're supposed to be inspired that God, before this proclemation, was indifferent to your life and doings.

Revival In the context where there never was a vival in the first place (not a great annoyance I must admit, but again, Christians adopting words for themselves just regresses them one step further towards `religion`. Oh that's another one...

Religion In the context of an insult.

Back Slidden For someone who doens't go to church as much. `Back-Slide` isn't a verb! And doens't make sense as a compound word structure to be construed as one. It'd be like me saying to someone, `ooooooo, he's awfully holy regressive`. Not that, it's also a bloody annoying thing to say about someone, it's an excuse for churchtians to gossip about other churchtians without using the phrase `he's not as Christian as he used to be`, and lo, the judgement and gossip of the situation is lifted.

`We're going to have a time of worship` You see, for the grunt Christians they worship for about forty five mins a week on a sunday morning, but the Christian intellegensia worship in a cell group as well so they worship twice as much. Me, I was working so much in sixth form, I missed church for about three months, so I went a quarter of the year without worshipping. That's back slidden indeed!

Revival Fire What!? Stop using two out of context words and trying to trade mark them! Unless you count this - but still doesn't make sense in that the Twelve wern't reviven.

Awesome (see last sixth months of blogging below)

God is in the House To distinguish between that and the times when our omnipresent God finds Himself waiting at the door wondering which deacon has the key.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Me, Unorthodoxism and a dab of Authenticity

I took a message at work yesterday for a chap called Matt. This is how the conversation went
Me Tim from IMS called for you
Matt Urgh he would do!
Me Want his number?
Matt No!
Me His reference is [ref]
Matt Gurgh it would be wouldn’t it!
Me He wanted you to call before half five
Matt Cuh’ - He would do wouldn’t he!
Me His…
Matt Gruphgh!

Of course Matt was joking (both Matt and Tim are nice chaps – hence that conversation amusing me), but I sometimes think I’m like that with the Christians:
Me Urgh
Church New songs in church, buy our CD!
Me Grugh, they would do wouldn’t they
Church Reality…
Me Gurgph!
Church `Are you going to Soul Survivour this year?`
Me *Patronising stare*

Anyone who’s seen the fire brim over in Tom Rawles’ eyes at the mention of `Benvolio` or actually read three posts of my blog must now be aware that I’m no stranger to the devil’s advocate role of the culinary church critique.

But I think my dictum can be surmised by the concept that:
As much as I refuse to be governed by the mindset of being a sheep whose Sheppard is the church leadership or be party to the `Pretend Until Something Happens` philosophy that makes the insecurity of many people just disappear, I question the church around me and the wider ambience of what may be considered the compus mentus of the body of Christ.

Unorthodoxy is many things: intriguing (for some blog readers), lethal (in Stalinist Awesome regimes), genius (in art), idiotic (in beaurocricy), risky (in business), sometimes encouraged (in seeking God in Emerging Culture) and even conformist (in Emo/Alternative culture). One thing unorthodoxy never is, is a stranger to the individual with the freely thinking mind that knows when conformity is a virtue, and when the ambience of linearity is an impersonal and constricting burden.

I think a lot of people see me as a church saboteur, infiltrating the Russian Toxic Prayer Plant, laying the plastique explosives of a cynical first person narrative and escaping in a conveniently placed micro-light disguised as a biro for some adultery in an exotic European city, I rather see myself as more of a benign figure. An honest appraisal at least and a libertine at the undesirable most.

I’ve mentioned before that Adrian Plas said there’s a movement of honesty running through the church. Too many people are tired of hearing the `everything is fine so smile and buy our CD` attitude that has prevailed ever since the tambourine was smuggled into the hands of unapologetic worshippers. These feral Pentecostals, for all their flags and acoustic guitars know the value of the `joy of the Lord is my strength` - a philosophy that, to me, proves ever more brilliant and true as the years go by.

But I think many people and movements are just an ongoing attempt to mimic that euphoric shakin’-on-the-ground state of heart without knowing the meaning behind it. As such, they adopt a veneer that says all the right words, goes to all the right festivals and buys all the right CDs, tax disc holders and WWJD bracelets to embed themselves evr more deeply in the culture of churchtianity which removes them from this fundamental inspired `the joy of the Lord is my strength` ethos that becomes the textbook Christian. This façade of `we’re okay because we’re Christians`, for more than many people simply doesn’t work. It leaves people feeling destitute, depressed, dispassionate and demoralized (and ask anyone, I’m not a man who uses more ds than necessary!)

The reason for this fabricated faith not working is as self-evident as the farce that it so obviously is… Its mere nature is literally unauthentic (that’s: small A – unauthentic not unAuthentic).

So maybe for everything unorthodoxy is, and for all its various forms, in the context of churchtianity, unorthodoxy is healthy. So long as it’s outside the confines of the heretical, I should think that unorthodoxy in whatever form is vital to the ongoing assertion of priority in the life of a Christian.

I remember being a nipper and going out of my depth in the Swimming pool in sunny Yarmouth. (It was only about four months ago I learned to swim) I remembered what mummy taught me about just relaxing and the water would float you, so I did that and just sank. I thrashed about like an epileptic fly with a CNS disorder to stay afloat until (well, I can’t remember how the story ended with that – I just remember telling dad and trying to sound really hardcore later that day – either way, it must have had a happy ending because I’m not especially dead today).

Sometimes this is how I feel about the mainstream church’s conformity to their Spiritual and cultural yardstick. Everyone has their own issues, agendas, hang ups, obsessions etc, and to expect this pattern of Christianity to confirm to this is silly. If you can’t swim, then laying back on the water is a stupid thing to do, and may very well be pathetic enough to be included in a Lee Evan’s sketch. Authentic Faith and unorthodoxy, in the context of Churtianity and human nature are not mutually exclusive concepts.

I think I’ve talked a lot about a lot of stuff in this blog, but my point is this:
The best way to re-evaluate one’s position with regard to life the universe and everything is not by hiding in a durex pitying the poor destitute of the world. Neither is it by buying your way through the stock of SPCK. Self-perspective can’t be found by following the trend and swimming along with the status quo of Christiankind (Like Orwell hypothesized: `a minority of one doesn’t make you mad`).

With that in mind, the role unorthodoxy plays is to challenge accepted traits. To re-establish that which we all take for granted, and who knows, when the grounding is Biblical, come to more relevant and truthful conclusions – even if the expense is honesty, and the destruction of some well established church comforts.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Durex church

I thought I'd touch base with today, just to see if I a time out from them and time for them to grow up had taken any effect, I clicked on Awesome News

... And this is what my thoughts are on the subject...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

More on Churchtianity and a Note About Management Speak in the Modern Church

Text from Shaun Pharicies Humphries:

`A Christian doesn't walk in rules but by obedience to the holy spirit. Paul says `i am a slave of righteousness` and `i am bound by the Holy Spirit`. It's not rules it's a choice either to obey or not to obey. It's always a mater of obedience. But Jesus says `He who doesn't obey my words doesn't love me`. It's a choice of desire to be holy onto the Lord and keep yourself unspotted from the world. But `whoever doesn't bear fruit will be cut off and thrown [next text] into the fire` The Bible isn't liberal. It's a narrow path. I am constrained not by rules but for my love for the holy spirit. And I know Him intimately and when I grieve Him. So I always seek to do what He tells me and He speaks out of my mouth. That is why I have a narrow walk and that is how all disciples of Jesus are called to be. I wont contact you again because it's not the will of Jesus. Please pray and read the whole word about these things. God bless`

Now much as I take infinite pleasure in annoying conservative Christians, I feel I should add some context to said text.

It followed a text I received from him out of the blue which read `Leave her, remove yourself from her, go home to your parents and seek God` and my response which read `You seem to take a Professor Trelawney approach to Christianity insofar as you see the gloom in everything, I think you need to liberalise your view of how God perceives us and stop seeing life as a Christian walking in the boundaries of rules`.

But behind that top trumping of each other's 60 second sermon lies an over-zelous, isolated, chap in his fresher years of Christianity. With this in mind, I think back to my early days of Christian and my steadfast view of how great I was in the shadow of all these sinners, and how loving I was that I could appease God's plan by running a CU. However, it serves no less to my chagrin that two hands can't count the number of neophytes I've seen of the same mold who don't realise they can't save the world on Cup-A-Soup and student loan. But I've known not one who doesn't eventually find themselves plateau at a place of common sense, and more often than not this is achieved by the mere virtue of common sense that it can't be taught by a paster or by quoting St. Paul to convict.

Why is that?

Three words,
1) Profitabilityness,
2) jumping higher than the bar and
3) successfulition

I think one of the many drawbacks of Churchtianity-nouvelle is the over exposure of cliches, idioms and that kind of Christian management speak that leads people to:

walk the narrow path,
keep yourself unspotted from the world and
WWJD etc

Thing is, just as these management speak innovations of linguistic pragmatics work well for the management who find themselves removed from the shop floor, sometimes, these Christian all-is-well sentiments find themselves smiling down on us from a platform of unattainable illusion of a world free of challenge.

While writing this, I'm listening to this on radio 4 which talks of doubt, realism and Christianity. This again is further evidence for me, that the `religious` crimes of the modern church are being challenged by a minority of Christians with an `Authentic Faith` or an inspired view of love and walking in the Spirit. Some might brand it Emergent, others call it cynicism, Aidrian Plas referred to it as a mini-revival of honesty.

Personally, I just think the spiritually superfluous worship vehicles that worked for the Kendrick, Bilburgh and the Delirious epochs now find themselves lacking in a very real sense. The modern church finds itself at it's first crossroad: the Awesome/Hillsong/Mega-church Churchtianity and the reflective/meditative/emergent Christianity bubbling under the rented theatres, P.A systems and teen-idol type figures of the Rawlsome generation. Now much as there is both no emnity between these two fractions and all the philosophical gulf you can shake a serpent at, I don't think it's fair to think of the two as Hare and Tortoise. this sells more than this, but there's no competition between the numbers in the church and the ones who employ different emphasis on their moral spreadsheet.

Not to say that the uncouth strobe churches have the wrong emphasis, but maybe, they could learn (perhaps in the same fashion that slowed my pace of unrestrained imposition,) that enthusiasm without common sense bears little fruit other than the inevitable Jone's effect (of people following what's cosmopolitain, established and apparently superiour to themselves) if the passion manifests into rock music and visually elitist guitarists.

Much as I try to avoid unfair generalisations, I think a lot of the time that's an apt summary of the ethos of certain churches, and because of it's boistrus personality this church philosophy seems to figurehead the 21st century church per ce. There are, like i said however, a growing breed of conscious Christians who seek God behind the tired cliches of Christian management speak and who don't need church to try and be appealing to appeal*, and who seek to appease their inner Christian quotas not by sending convicting texts saying the Bible is not liberal, but who choose to creep in behind all the hype that your faith can buy to love their Lord their God, and to love their neighbours as they would themselves.

I happily find myself siding with the latter.

* this is what church looks like with all the strobe lighting, young musicians, shouting preachers and motivating buzz words... failing to find itself attractive because, to use the vernacular, it tries too hard. however, this is what a beautiful church looks like... loved because of it's worts 'n' all
I want to write a novel

The Lord's Prayer Translated from t'Oringinal Aramaic

As discovered at St Augustine's this morning. (Note to St Augustines: I owe you one `Morning Service` sheet)

Our Father, who is throughout the universe.
let your name be set apart and holy.
Through your kingdon and counsel,
let your desire and delight be,
as in the universe, also upon the earth.
Give us this day bread for our necessities
and food for our understanding,
and free us from our offences, as also
we have freed our offenders.
And let us not enter our temptation,
or make do with worldliness,
but set us free from error and
For the kingdon, the power and the song
belong to you
from ages to ages
Sealed in faithfulness

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Epistemological Responsibility and Authentic Faith

Carl talks about Epistemological Responsibility and how that relates to the justification of the Christian’s attack of everything that doesn’t involve the raising of hands by some degree.

Even outside of the context of the Christian’s faux reasoning for social oppression, I think this is a very interesting concept; that we all must take responsibility to align our cognitive thought processes, epiphanies and decisions with worldly rationale and find a balance between that and our irrational (but righteous) stances on the supernatural. (Also, the thought that observation and knowledge are just as mutable as the offspring thoughts to which they give birth – but won’t go into that here!).

This concept of Epistemological Responsibility has, like I said, somewhat occupied my general musings on stuff and junk recently. As such, like a good little blogger, I thought I should to apply it to the e-hyper domain space arena circus forum and make all you foolish minions listen to my whimsical whinings!

Perhaps a topical approach would be to look at the views boasted by different parts of society with regard to the attempted bombings of our planes recently by Islamic extremists. Also worth noting would be the resurrected ``gosh that bunch of naughty men really push my pickle!`` philosophy, the effect of which is called upon every now and again (by The Sun et al) to correspond with the indefinite sporadic intervals of horror these men choose to impart.

Firstly let’s take what is usually the simplest approach possible: the conservative. The Daily Mail seems to have the approach of ``everyone with a beard should be sent back to Muslimland and apologise for all of our social and economic faults of the past. Come one Come all, and let us pin our folly on the scape-Muslim!`` Sometimes, it’s easy to be caveman and be naïve and protective over our land and women and pride. Not always the best way, of course, but with all respect due to the commonwealth and beyond, I think there’s a plausible correlation between us having an empire and conservatism and us, as a nation, having neither.

The Telegraph and the FT talk about the financial and business implications of the marooned planes & people at the airport. Maybe the thoughts of these readers pursue only the capitalist goal, but I shouldn’t knock it. Capitalism is often heartless but it puts you in your job your clothes your house etc. Maybe the people who make the world go round sometimes need to dissociate themselves from this moral double take that our wee world seems to have temporarily employed at this attempted fundamentalist devastation. But that doesn’t mean humanitarianism is not important… this blog is about people being accountable for their thoughts, views and opinions, and these businessmen and capitalists are answerable to their shareholders, not Allah or the Human Rights Watch council, (well, with perhaps the occasional concession for the latter).

The Times and the BBC news seem to take the safe approach: political correctness. A few of the few virtues of political correctness are that you know if it came to it, political correctness always wins an argument of morals, you can’t get sued for it and you can convict other people’s morals to it with the inexorable edification of your own. This monster I call Polite Conceitedness is engulfing schools, public services, politics and businesses. It’s therefore not surprising that these two main heritage Media services of the very Great Britain adopt such a fluffy façade with regard to these poor minorities. (By the way, there’s nothing wrong with political correctness, it just bores me and frustrates me. I like to call a spade an `an anachronistic and antiquated farming device of low effectiveness with often unfeasible input to output ratio` - that is to say, finding the best in everything is overrated at best and dangerous at worst).

As for me. How do I align my thoughts? If I am really answerable to my conscious awareness, where do I stand with nine fella’s trying to destroy my country? Where do I stand with a reported army of a thousand soldiers (statistics courtesy of The Sun) woven into our society ready to explode themselves in the most savage fashion merely to see our distaste and suffering? Where do I stand with a religion whose texts breed hate and has subversive sects whose entire purpose for being is Western and economic annihilation? Personally – I could live without it.

But my thoughts don’t only find themselves bound to the white Christian Britain populous and the FTSE Index… God can’t show me what Authentic Faith is, for me to then let my undisciplined heart and mind condemn these men on the moral grounds governed by their mutually perpendicular society, in which I just happen to have been born.

I’m reminded of the chap in the Old Testament who wrestled with God until the morning because he wanted the blessing. The truth is, my Epistemological Responsibility should lie only with the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob who loves Richard Reid as much as He loves me. I find myself wrestling against the sheer idiocy of loving these men and to avert my thoughts from the unloving and morally indulgent. In my daydreams, I should find myself washing the feet of these imprisoned men, not beating the dying daylights out of them. I should see them on the front page as people who stand before God as will I and feel the same condemnation of sins, not think ``well bend my banana if you’re going to heaven mate! Ay, Dad!?``

This feeling of suppressed hatred is not one that can be replaced by the PC brushing under the carpet of all but the best qualities of these people, rather it can only be authentically challenged by considering these men and their despicable actions circumspectly. I don’t believe there are mechanics behind love, but I think the semantics of the term `Loving in spite of… ` is an oxymoron in itself. I don’t love these men in a way that excludes their disagreeable morals. The fact is they make themselves into their principles and don’t see the two entities of what they call themselves and what they call righteous, as mutually exclusive.

Therefore, loving them despite of their values is in itself neglecting them because it neglects how they present themselves and how they would want to be received by others. That would be loving the idol you make of them. Like I said, I don’t think there are mechanics behind love, but I think Authentic love has the bold depth to stand up to someone and love them without needing to either ignore or love the dirty parts for the love to be indicative of love for that individual, but rather it finds a sincerity and liberalism that isn’t by default governed by the politically correct human rights constitute. This sort of love loves by simply saying `` I love you because I am like you, and God loves me``

That, is true responsibility.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wow, slow down...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sonnet 116, Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Stupid Anal Retentivness

I just looked back over old blog archives and edited a misplaced apostrophe.

love benvolio, x

You know, It's funny...

... How God says La and me are not married because we haven't spend £7k, policed family diplomacy, sorted out venues, been through marriage courses, rang cateres, and got dressed up quite yet.

... I guess God, in all of His infinate wisdom and loving benevolence must find Himself inexorably bound by such material constraints.

oh well

Ce la Christians knowing best


Advert for Robert's Blog.

love benvolio, x

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Perspective and Authentic Faith

Perspective and Authentic Faith

So Reality is come to a conclusion and the leaders are giving themselves a well deserved hearty pat on the back. The face of Norwich is unalterably changed by the week of litter picking and fence painting, and not even the front page of the Norwich Advertiser could escape this movement of God.

And while fifty percent of the populus of Swaziland live either below or far below the poverty line, and six in ten are HIV positive, and while the world willfully turns a blind eye to 1500 a day being killed in the Congo, and while it would need a mere hundredth of the world's arms budget to sponsor EVERY child's schooling in the world, all we do is weed a handful of gardens and put up a couple of plaques to appease our Christian consciences.

I try not to spout statistics too much lest it encourage complacency towards the very thing they, quote rightly, serve to highlight. And even Google image search can make us happy-Westerners with our freshly painted school railings accustomed to the gulf between everything we can waste away and that for which so many walk for days.

At Fridays a long time ago I shared my Word about Swaziland (listen here, takes about ten minutes, but has the lovely Bex Wright so it's not all me yabbering away), and much as everyone seemed to expect me to dash over for a six week orphan-cuddling session and return with a camera memory card full of love, I've always maintained whatever it is I do over there will be much bigger than a temporary fleeting ``hello, have a hug and an injection and t'raa`` sort of mission. And whatever it is I'll do won't be until I've been much much much much more prepared by God than this mess of Ben that I am now, because putting this Ben into something so serious as a person's heart and life is a very silly idea indeed (and please believe me when I assure you I don't do false modesty!)

Projects like iThemba and live8 are humblingly awesome, and almost push into insignificance things like FM and highlight how much of a complete waste of money things like SITC are. Take Soul Survivour for example, 22,000 people * £75 a pop to do this (*Statistics courtesy of `Adam` at Soul Survivour helpline)

Now without meaning to revert back to statistics, a year of Soul Survivour admissions alone cost roughly the same as 1,650,000 British standard pounds. That's the same as 453,750,000 opal fruits! (Assuming the standard 11 per 25p packet).

Not quite sure where this is all leading yet? In the words of the most annoying exam questions: `Compare and contrast the above extract`. It never ceases to amaze me how indulgent and narrow mindedly petty us Western Christians are. Carl picks this theme up here about how with all the issues in the world at date and how with everything there is to object to and all the pathetic sickening poverty and violence that pervails all around us, us loving (and moreover, insightful as to the real meaning of Christian love) Christians claim to deplore, we occupy our over-exploited precious time with such pithy inconsequential embarrassing evangelical faux pas.

Don't get me wrong, I realise I'm no more than an armchair savoiur, I could blog all the way to global economic homogeneity and still not bring it an inch closer by any actual action. But I do rather believe the first step (after affirming what love means as Authentic Faith) is to put into perspective what the dickens is going on in this little embarrassment we call `the world`! Five Iron Frenzy say this:

When truth can be so distant
and hope evades our reach
Peter swam across the water
and found it on the beach

And if you choose to put this moral corruption into a single perspective, the maxim would be this:

The West get richer at the expense of those who cannot afford to be party to it. The Lights on the Hill are obliged to deplore such an act then, patting their fair trade box of tea, return to lives as dastardly as befitting the West.

It's a sad truth and not much can be done about it... especially while I type and you read at our £350 computers in our high street jeans. That is other than volunteer to make ourselves consciously aware of what's going on behind the scenes of all the news and spin and globalism that plagues our lives. And not in the `Oh dear that's a terrible tsunami, have three pounds` way or even a `fair trade biscuits taste disgusting but I buy them anyway` way – in a stark awareness of standing up and realising the beauty behind authentic faith.

For going out into the world as something deeper than the Biblicly selfish `let your light shine before men...` sense that inspired Reality, but with the pre-meditated guts and bone warts 'n' all under the surface subversive non celebrated love that becomes what you may call the Authentic Christian.

I think what makes love Authentic is that you feel there's a necessity rather than an urgency with regard to all the terrible scenarios I've outline above. Oppressed people become more than the mere `they're fellow human beings` philosophy that inspires Christians and non Christians alike. I think authentic love is also reflective and realises that hope, if there is any, lies in the NGOs and not the sporadic `I'm going to save a nation!` thinking that has more than a few running into the sunset with a Bible running rapidly behind.

Unlike the standard love-by-default (that I mentioned in my last blog), Authentic love asks `what can be best actioned to love those who need it most`? Sometimes love is staying at home and tything, at other times, it means to use the skills you've used as a doctor or architect in the West to be best applied where academia doesn't quite reach their part of the world. Sometimes Authentic love is saying war is needed for an eventual liberation of a tyrannical statesman. Perhaps Authentic love even says that for all the Christian festivals, jumping, overpriced speakers and tear jerking cathartic songs – maybe, just maybe, God would be more pleased if that blip on your bank statement would have been more lovingly channeled into cleaning a village's water supply or tending to anti-retroviral medications.