iBlog: September 2006


Tomorrow's blog today

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I made a cartoon about me and my church blogs...

Monday, September 25, 2006

More thoughts on `Authentic Faith` and Church 'n' That

More thoughts on `Authentic Faith` and Church

I started this blog on a very negative note adopting the approach of St. Augustine's being the lone acceptible church in the world. But in praying about it, that was all deleted and this was written in stead...

I don't think my blog is has the existential monopoly of defining a picture of the ideal church or Christian heart. And in fairness, I think a good disclaimer would be to say I honestly believe church as both a concept and a practise is an impossibilism. But to be bold, I do think I have perhaps some insight into what church should genericly be before it adapts itself to the individuals and culture.

It sounds cliche, but I think my time as a Christian would be best described as a journey. A journey through many phases, realisations, mistakes and eventually, the ultimate revelation that comes through physical death. The first draft of this post was almost an account of each of these milestones so far and how they've hindered my connection with God, but in reconsideration, if my life is indeed a journey, then it's almost like Pilgrim's Progress whereby every step is just taking me closer to God - even if it meanderes away to do so. Also, if my journey is in God's hands then with the lazy testimony of hindsight, I can say that each step tessolates perfectly into His plan - the extrapolative truth being I think I'm writing this blog because I want to record and perhaps share my musings (and perhaps inspired musings) on church. In short - this post is just a single step on a wider journey towards God, and even if it's theologicly further from God than I was yesterday, I have faith it's still being used to teach me.

In much the same way that earlier this year I went on my `journey in search of authentic faith`, I think the same proess of learning can be said for my recent thoughts on church. The outcome of my search of authentic faith was I learned that Christianity in every form can be regressed back to Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

If there's one single axiom to describe the manifestation of authentic church (to speak in my own vernacular) then I've yet to find it. But I certainly think that just like finding the individual's authentic faith in the muddle of Christian looking things - one similarly needs to regress everything superphelous from the church to find out its own point and beauty.

In contemporary church, its ongoing persuit of perfection seems like an ameliorative process of including flags, bigger bands, bigger choirs, more CDs, more books and more shops to sell them in, more histrionical speakers, more festivals, and of course the aggressive microphone chanting of: ``MORE LORD! MORE LORD! MORE LORD!``... Perhaps this can't be blamed when you compare geographical, sociolical, intellectual, cultural gulfs between St Paul and St Hinn but that's a different story.
Here's a Novel Concept...

Buddhist enlightenment is a fascinating area, mostly because it's surprisingly true (on the main) and resonates throughout Christian teaching. To outline the principle of enlightenment (to the best of my limited knowledge) is this: One sells all posessions and gives the money to charity and adopts uniform orange clothes then shaves ones head to rid the self of identity. After the passion for inherited physical and identity-affirming virtues is overcome the Buddhist will remove themselves from what Christians might call `the world`, and further this denial of self by vows of chastity and silence... and with prolongued meditation and the lack of desire to follow `the world`, one comes to inner enlightenment. (Of course, there are many contemporary Buddhists who try and fit enlightenment and meditation in with work etc).

The idea of the Bodhisattva* is to reach a state called non-retrogression where they basicly go from learning to love living without posessions and the world to a state of mind where they can never backslide and never fall to a lower state of Bodhisattva practise.

Oh, before we go any further to all the readers who are thinking `Pfft, what has Bodhisattva/Buddhism ever done for us!`, here's an extract from the internet:
The Bodhisattva Ideal is not a new idea; it is an ancient method of transformation that leads to enlightenment. Brought to this world by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago, it is as powerful today as it was then.

It offers a path of benevolent action that transforms the world through the eyes of compassion, and lays out an ethical plan of caring for all beings. It is nothing less than revolutionary. It is nothing less than the powerful face of our primordial wisdom nature emerging triumphant in a difficult world.

I wouldn't insult our oblivious allies: the Buddhists by saying that my mini-journey has lead me to a state of non-retrogression, but I do believe I've touched the realm of minamilst church and the novelty of worship zero (ie: worship nes pas de mode ... all the worship with none of the sugar guitars or cholestrol flag waving) and loved it, but I think I wont go back to the Hillsong view of worship. Not because I happen to prefer an almost armish approach to asthetic worship, but because I believe I've found a deeper beauty in a church singing with no accompanyment - just their hearts unified by God rather than everyone in their own worship bubbles furtivly girning to look as worshipful as they can in a room unified only by the words they sing.

His holiness the 13th Dali Lama (aka, a good chap) says this about Bodhisattva; my enlightened metonymy for the Gospel Christian:
"The Bodhisattva is like the mightiest of warriors; But his enemies are not common flesh and bone. His fight is with inner delusions, the afflictions of self-cherishing and ego-grasping, those most terrible of demons That catch living beings in the snare of confusion And cause them forever to wander in pain, frustration and sorrow. His mission is to harm ignorance and delusion, never living beings. These he looks upon with kindness, patience and empathy Cherishing them like a mother cherishes her only child. He is a real hero, calmly facing any hardship In order to bring happiness and liberation to the world."

So a novel idea?

Well, I don't think an *idea* is the right word... in fact `authentic faith` as a practise bases itself on the reality of honest appraisal which (to me) looks like a mindset and outlook of Christian living as outlined in Matthew 22:27-30 (above) rather than ideas and adage built to look Christian enough to evoke sincerirty.

Similarly Buddhists would describe their path to enlightenment as `the wisdom of emptyness` - again, not a tangeble principle or maxim, but a mindset you have to earn and want. Like revelation vs lesson. Or epiphany vs memory-verse. Even Holy Spirit vs sermon.

So how does `auhentic faith` or emerging church (from the Latin Emerinim meaning, giving at least half a thought to what the hec they're doing) relate to the Bodhisattva , Nirvana and enlightenment? The principle of regression, and realising that getting to the root of something is very rarely an amelorative process.

If you go to a church it may well be worth asking these questions (and trying the `authentic` approach of honesty)

- Do your songs change and if so, why? Why can some worshippers still thrive to Charles Wesley when others snigger at Kendrick? Is music a fashion as much as it is an aid to worship.

- Can you see worship in your church? Do flags or banners or dancers make worship tangeable? Conversly what worship is happening that's not observable. Is your personal worship a spectacle? Do you need to conform to extrovertism or feign enthusiasm to have a sincerity of heart? Or do you only look happy when your heart is lit?

- Do you get excited when someone says into a microphone ``there's a real presence of God here``? If so why is it that God doens't have a very real presence at work or on the bus?

- Have you actually thought about any of those questions? If so why not? (that's the most important question and embodies `Authentic Faith`)

The novel idea isn't to battle orthodoxy or even deny the Holy Spirit - it's kind of like a boat on the River Nile when the Egyptians were building the pyramids...

In the Nile River, for boats to travel up and down: to travel North up the river,the sailors would rig the sail to catch the wind, but when they needed to go Southwards, they'd drop the sail and let the boat be taken by the currant of the river.

For me, I had a sail in church that was propelled by big meetings, powerful songs, and things that just looked churchlike, but when I took my sail down worship suddenly became cathartic not passive and personal not emulative. The sail always made me move but it would depend entirely on the wind and more often than not took me away from God, but the currant is a safe path that always trickles and always knows where it's headed.

Those few questions above aren't new, I think I've blogged something similar a while ago, but they never get less relevant and the more you value your walk with God, it seems the more willing you are to actually think them over rather than dismissing them as pessimism.

But the moral of the story is this: You can't superimpose Christianity on a person and they can't adopt a veneer of Christian sincerity hoping it will evolve into actual sincerity. But through regressing your walk to nothing but the feet-washing servility that comes with loving the Lord your God with all your Heart mind and soul and loving your neighbour as you love yourself, non-retrogression is as inevertable as the boat's passage on the currant.

* Someone who aspires to the philosophy of: enlightenment under the principles of Buddhism. Some 13th century Lama said there were 52 stages to Prajna (enlightenment) and a Bodhisattva is someone who's well on their way to Nirvana, or someone who chooses to delay their ascent to help others get to their level.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Extraneous Words

I want to write a blog using the following big words because I like big words, but I can't think of any context for these big words:

douceur de vivre

Another Caption

Bin Laden: So it begins with G and it's definately in this room!
Muslim Bloke with Eric Morcombe Glasses: YES!
Bin Laden: I give up...
Muslim bloke with Eric Morcombe Glasses: Binny, We don't give up in front of the camera!
Bin Laden: I don't want to look sinister today. I like your cardigan

You know what's annoying... ?


I just emailed this to talk talk

Please cancel my account with immediate effect, and not bill me any charge made after 1755 of 23/09/2006 at which time, my efforts to contact you on your `between 9am to 6pm` phone line was deemed outside your opening hours.

Please consider me extremely dissatisfied with the ongoing lack of service and value for money with your company.

I expect this to be dealt with immediately, but I anticipate with your usual operating efficiency, I shall hear back from you within ten to twelve months from now.

Yours faithfully

but they've actually been okay to us.

In a bad mood you see.... But it's okay because they don't know I'm a Chrsitians, it's not reaally double standards.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Eye of newt... ear of bat... MORE LORD! MORE LORD! MORE LORD!

... and in other news today, truck found in giant elephant's dung

More Matt

Friday, September 15, 2006

How cool.

Image here

So i wrote to Mr Oliver Letwin for a signed picture and he wrote back today saying:

Dear Mr Foster

Thank you for your e-mail of 13 September.

I am afraid I do not have any photographs, but I enclose a signed with compliments slip which I hope will be useful.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely



I'm not sure how he thought I'd find an autograph `useful`, but if he's endorsing identity theft then at least he's honest.

There were no gramatical errors I could find alas. I'm thinking about writing to all of the cabinet and shadow cabinet ministers and finding one with a spelling or punctuation error, then going to the Telegraph and ruining their careers like some sort of grammatical Michael More.

I'm currently awaiting signed pictures from Vanessa Feltz, Edele Lynch (mmm) and Mick Hume (editor of Spiked and columnist for the Times).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

And while we're on the subject of olden awesome music...

I'm going through one of periodic phases where my music playlists regress to the primative sixth form orange county/soft punk/pop metal tastes, but I've realised,

bands like

Eve 6
Sum 41
Boxcar Racer
Dashboard Confessional
New Found Glory
Bowling for Soup
Jimmy's Consumtion of the Planet

are actualy really good (at times)
... or maybe I'm just being nostalgic

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

And while we're on the subject of ninetees awesome music...

... Up your but with a coconut!

You can still find this song on Limewire and if you ever want a laugh out loud antiquity then it's well worth the DL. (I'd host it but can't get on ftp atm)

" Ooh stick you Your mama too
And your daddy…
Ooh stick you Your mama too
And your daddy…

Your mama, your daddy
Your greasy, greasy grandmammy
You got a hole in your panty
Got a big behind like Frankenstein
Going beep-beep-beep down Sesame Street
Toot-toot-toot wear army boots
In your ear with a can of beer
Up your butt with a coconut

[Repeat Chorus]

Do you want me to tell you what I really think about you?

You got facial hair like a polar bear
You blow up like a toad and then explode
Your face looks mean like Halloween
You got big red eyes like cherry pies
You got the IQ of a digeridoo
You look insane and got no brain
You got a big fat belly like a bowl full of jelly
Your fat mum Milly looks like Free Willy

[Repeat Chorus]

It’s like a horror movie isn't it?

Do you wanna know what
I really think about you?

You're a little kid that looks like a squid- oh no!
You've got a bad perm like a can of worms- oh no!
Cheeks like a balloon ; face like a baboon- oh no!
Everybody knows you eat the nails from your toes & you rub 'em in dirt and eat them for dessert!


[Repeat Chorus]

You got ears on your face like spock in space!
You got teeth in your head like Mr Ed!
Everybody knows you put fleas in cheese, mix them with glue and use it like shampoo!


Ping-pong why am I saying ping-pong?
Ping-pong Ping-pong Ping-pong!
Whatever whatever whatever!

[Repeat Chorus]

Ever Noticed How Yummier Singers Were In My Day... ?

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Venerable Epoch

The recent Labour Party exposition of internal division against an otherwise excellent leader, leaves me wondering: perhaps what we need isn't actually a Prime Minister to run the country. In fact, with anti-Clinton and Anti-Bush traits running through the last two decades I recon we can deduce a President doesn't work as a head of state either ... there's even enmity between proletariat and dictator; Christian and Priest; child and parent. So if I'm thinking this through correctly, it seems people per ce don't make good leaders.

Well either that or people don't make good subjects.


Okay, seeing as it's easier to change a leader than a populous, I'm going to have to save the country again aren't I. *rolls eyes and sighs* and work out what would make a better leader than a hooman bean.

Okay, so we'll assume the paragraph of my self-genius rhetoric has been read so here are my three propositions for the new leader of Great Britain.

1) A Shoe Box:
Although the historical accelades of a shoe box aren't quite distinguished enough for a Wikipedia mention, it's qualities as national leader stand the test of anonymity. For a start:

The shoe box, aside from it's limitless polymorphic qualities as a shoe and/or photo receptacle, also has in its capacity the venerable control and dominion of anything subject to it. For example:
Ben: Where are the shoes and/or photos, La?
La: They're in the shoe box being both neatly and safely secured in accessible storage that's not only low maintenence, but also easy to tessolate.
So we see the wonders of the show box as a storage device are manifold. But how do these relate to leading a country? Well I'd like a leader who can store lots of facts and treaties and memos and stuff neatly, someone who's easily accessible and can tessolate well in the House of Commons. The last point being of hidden importance because if we could fill Parliament with easily tessolatable box-shaped politicians, or even boxes for that matter, then we could fit more brain into governence of the land. Plus, no one ever heard of a back bench shoe box ousting otherwise perfectly fine (albeit graying) shoe boxes. In addition, Shoe boxes don't have affairs and normally give Jeremy Paxman a straight answer.

The main drawbacks of, for example, the Rt Hn. Sir McFrenzie Shoe MP of the Gateshead East & Washington West constituency running for regional representation is that shoe boxes (for all their governmental brilliance) hold very little sway with the public. Polls show that boxes and other such like recepticles (eg, hat boxes, even ring boxes) never have inspired anything other than servility in the eyes of the general public.

2) Salad
What the Shoe Box lacks in respect, the salad party makes up for by its public demand from nearly all social classes.

In election 1997, Polls taken of the UK electorate indicated salad had a seven point lead over the Tory Party, and lost out to majority representation in the House of Commons to the `New` Labour by a mere seventh of a point!

The Salad Party (or `New` Salad) was founded in 1992 by a partially eaten breakfast as a reaction to the growing inertia of the Cholesterol Syndicate of North Wales and Rhyll - a controversial contender for number ten amongst whose least favourable manifesto clauses included the motion of the 750 minimum calorie limit per meal and the demographic recommendation that vegans be fed to vegetarians to balance population growth and curb dietary radicals.

Being salad, it enjoys the predisposed favour of celebrities and perennial detoxers alike and has enjoyed a successful history in the limelight. However, unlike a shoe box, salad unfortunately wilts in the sun and generally goes mouldy in a few days and this quality has never been (and is likely to never be) condusive to a successful political leader.

This was most accurately demonstrated in 2001. New Salad gained a seat in the House of Commons in the 2001 General Election in the Knowsley North & Sefton East constituency, however, the salad bowl (consisting of tomato, cucumber, lettuice, chopped up carrot things and a side of salad cream) needed to be wheeled into Parliament's first meeting by a defector from the Summerset Movement for the Political Liberation of Salad, Condiments and Cold Meats Front (or SMPLSCCMF (part of the European Hippie Grub Lib. Network)). The cheaffeur of the salad was, lamentably, assasinated while walking around Westminster for `sympathising with politicly aware foliage`. The New Salad MP was abandoned in Downing Street for several weeks only to be sat on at the next meeting by an over zelous Tory, whose gustow in the vocalisation of anything that contradicted public consensus portended his rear end landing in several places along his chosen bench, invariably taking him further away in volume and geography from his stature of the beginning of the meeting. The salad said nothing throughout either meeting.

3) Tea
Tea, has the immediate advantages of public endorsement and keeps for several months (if not longer) before beeding to be refreshed.

Now if you don't think that `Colonially British` is enough of an oxymoron to detatch an object from its patriotic tratis, then you'll agree that despite tea having never been grown in this country it's an exclusivly Rule Britanic beverage. The backbone of our excellent nation.

History has shown that no battle on English territory has been faught before the consumption of tea and the blitz would have been sorted out only three explosions in if Hitler had attacked us after morning tea. Tea also invented the cloud and has saved Luton from armegeddon at leat three known times this decade from short fuzzy monsters who jump and exclaim Nerp! when angered by the red of certain passing cars. Tea leaves can predict the future and if asked politely, can lullaby babies to sleep.

So it's plain to see that tea has the good of our nation at heart and has proven itself over and over to be a sapeint role model for the green and plesant lands to which we are party. According to google search "tea" and "quotes" in `pages form the UK` The film Lock Stock has this to say:

"Eddie: The entire British empire was built on cups of tea, and if you think I'm going to war without one, mate, you're mistaken."

Which goes to show that I am again, correct. (Again, I'll try and be nonchalant and bypass the rhetoric of my brilliance).

However, with accolades such as these, it would be perfectly reprihensible to evade a rhetoric on the virtuous stead-fast nature of tea and its ability to run Parliament...

Tea stands up for what is good and propper: biscuits, sore throats, being cool on a hot day, warming up on a cold day, recovering from a hard day, and getting ready for just another day.
Tea doesn't object to where it's put. Whether it's a silver jubilee mug, a bone china mug with tacky clip art, a Victorianesque petite cup and saucer with quaint patterns, or whether it's a plain mug with a broken handle and has `the sun` stamped on in flakey red transfer on the side.
Tea doesn't discriminate against its drinker, whether they say ``cuppa tea goin', luv?`` or ``put us on a brew, duck`` or ``I say, I do believe it's high time for tea`` or even ``ching chiouw yiao yummy tea shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiow``.
Tea is mutable. Whether you like it green, black, yellow or white... hot or iced... fruity or charcoaly... aromatic or composite of sticks... in a strainer or in a bag... in a square, circular, or pyramid shaped bag - tea will always be what you want it to be.
Tea is self sufficient. It makes itself if you only add hot water - it blends and stirs and flavours by itself.

All good qualities to run the country.

So throw away your bulky party membership cards, ignore those lying intellegence officials, and hang the the words of those lying heads of department and state and let us place tea in the House of Commons to govern our lives.

The vicissitudes of political philosophy are running at full tilt toward Great Britain, and a torrent of just, and honourable leadership is dawning near. Leaving the human in charge of itself will invariably lead to a saturnine disaster of Biblical proportions. The propagation of honest and true leadrship is upon this land. RISE UP, KNIGHTS OF THE TIP!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

So Apparently...

... God's always been into this [Authentic] mindset of sincerity and mercy, and wasn't totally into the blind-covenant abiding, sinner-stoning, plague-sending, war-mongouring, offering quota that the old testament thinks He is.

Hosea 6:6 "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings"

Psalm 69:30-31 "I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs"

Matthew 12:7b "I desire mercy, not sacrifice"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

You Can't Teach and Old Church...

So my theory on the beaty of the monogomy between Anglican Church and its one-man-show congregation being a mirror to the mega-church polygamists (who have the absurd notion that church is for the masses), has been put to rights today when i learned that Holy Trinity Brompton is an Anglican Church.

I shall be writing hithertoforthunsly to the Biship exclaiming my disgust on a number of accounts, thuslybelowmentioneddefinedlyhere:

* Drums kits in a church building... the CofE act of 2001 states very clearly God's transition from hating to accepting drum kits, but also clearly states a two cymbol limit for every one kit! We very clearly see an excess of cymbols littering the stage at such meetings.

* The congregation do not say the grace to one another at the end of meetings. This is tantemount to not `amen`ing a prayer - they void the entire meeting by their disregard of the words God told us to say to one another.

* The Vicar dresses in what can only be described as `ireverent` clothing. This is not appreciated, as it's very difficult to tell who is in charge and whom is favoured by God when there is no uniform to illustrate as much.


* The meetings seem decidedly disorderly. I should like to see with immediate effect a zero-tolerance stance on dancing, unapproved harmonies of songs, repeated choruses and jeans.


But saying that, I did see this on their web home page, which just goes to show, however mega-churchy they may think they are, they'll never shake the Anglican streak out of them!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Awesome don't make Bolshevik Labour force