Church

Feature

Re-thinking unforgiveness


No Comments

I’ve never seen anyone leave.

The preacher would say,

“if you’re offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother or sister has something against you, or you against them, leave your gift and go and be reconciled to them”

Or something along those lines, a paraphrased Matthew 5:23-24. Often “gift” was worship, and the congregation were implored to take serious the business of unforgiveness.  Still I never saw anyone leave.

After a quick mental check and finding no unforgiveness within I quickly tune out waiting for the service to move on. And this was the pattern that repeated whenever the issue of unforgiveness was raised, you see I’m a pretty laid back-easygoing-live & let live kind of guy, how could I have an issue with unforgiveness?…

Until I did.  Until that face.

One day I was praying and the word “unforgiveness” kept coming up in my mind and I’d keep trying to dismiss it, because as we’ve already established I’m pretty Saintly. So as I pondered & prayed this persons face kept coming up (in my mind, not a saintly-I’m having visions kind of way), and while I was busy convincing myself I had no issues with forgiveness, it started to dawn on me that I had a bit of a bad attitude towards them.

Which got me thinking about other people I had  bad attitudes towards.

Which got me thinking about negative attitudes in general and what causes them.

A negative attitude grows from a slight (perceived or real) done to you or towards someone else, that you have taken exception to.

Think about it. That guy you play sport against who you think is a bit of a dick because of…., that politician who said that thing about those people, that lady at work who never says “hello” to you…

A negative attitude grows from a slight (perceived or real) done to you or towards someone else, that you have taken exception to…

Isn’t that the definition of unforgiveness?

It’s time to let go.

inspirational-quote-set-prisoner-free

Advertisements
poetic

before I do


No Comments

 

When freedom isn’t freeing,

and belief shatters your faith.

When grace brings condemnation,

and judgement takes love’s place.

When numbers are not crucified,

and we covert a kingdom cup.

When new realities are preached,

while old ones are lived out.

When politics drive promise,

and people are busied with promotions.

When vision is as fickle as the wind,

and the most important meetings are whispered.

When the meal is dished out and no longer served,

 and I can’t stomach the food that we’ve poisoned.

That is when I’ll walk away,

before I do.

blogosphere

Evangelicalism, You Have Traumatized Me


No Comments

Evangelicalism, you have made your people defend a book, but not the marginalized in front of them. You have blinded them with your judgements. You have made them so hungry for power, that they want nothing to do with the powerless. You have turned them into the oppressors. You have made it all about the next life, while ignoring this one. Your people pray, sing, maintain their holiness, but what they don’t see is that this is turning them into white-washed tombs. They don’t realize that righteousness is justice. Holiness is defending the powerless and taking care of the least of these. You have made it all about themselves.

You still have some honest, good people within your religion, but you must release them from your bondage. You must give them the freedom to be messy, to question, to love, to do justice, to give mercy, to be kind and gentle. You must step aside and let them see Jesus, and to be Jesus.

Evangelicalism, you have traumatized us enough. Maybe you are the one who is traumatized. It is time to examine your fruit. It is time to heal, so that you may bring healing.

Exerts from the a blog post entitled “Evangelicalism, you have traumatized me” from Robert Lofgren

Feature, News

Enter the Void – the year that was


1 Comment

 

I believe in world peace.

I believe that all men are created equal.

I believe in the Force, America, freedom, the Tooth Fairy, a bearded man in the sky, Jesus Christ.

 

Beliefs are cool but in the words of Tyrion Lannister,

“words are wind.”

 

They say faith without works is dead, and I’ve often felt that to believe something you need to be living it. Otherwise you just like the idea.

But what happens if that “living it” takes over. What if that action becomes the only sign of faith, does it just become empty ritual… and how can you tell?

How can you tell when you’re so caught up in the doing that you’ve stopped being.

When you’re more Martha than Mary.

How can you tell when the things you do sneakily become  the relationship you have, instead of overflowing from it. And does the fact that I even have to ask a sign things aren’t right?

 

What seems like an eternity ago I embarked on some travels, part discovery, part losing things along the way, part chasing dreams & passions. A journey which saw me hanging out with the houseless in Hawaii, and sharing tears in Palestine.

A journey which saw me stop writing. A little bit awkward if you keep a blog.

And in amongst the travel weariness, shameless self promoting selfies, new experience buzz, innocence lost insight, humanity rediscovered, crisis uncovered, laughter, tears, solitude and connection, was an invitation to enter the void.

 

I would summerise my faith journey this year as an invitation to enter the void. The laying down of things near and dear to me, let the chips fall where they may.

I started writing this post early 2014. I’ll finish it in 2015. Apart from a couple of YouTube videos, quotes & previously unpublished poems, I only wrote one post last year. And while very little of what I write sees the light of day I pretty much wrote nothing of anything.

I didn’t read much either, I made no videos, I didn’t volunteer, I didn’t go to church.

In fact I lost all desire to do any of these things, which was a little bit strange.

Concerning even, if I thought to hard enough about it.

 

emptiness1

Yet I felt strangely at peace with this invitation to emptiness, as if it were ok to be on this journey. Some how comfortable with the uncomfortable, or at least at peace with the process… whatever that might be.

Like rehabbing an injury, things aren’t right but one day will be.

Last year I attended a friends exhibition and was really moved buy the powerful stories and imagery, so much so that I bailed early, it made me think about my own travels, the people I’d encountered and their messed up situations. Maybe 2014 was the year I chose to shut down a bit instead of being overwhelmed by the worlds problems and my inability change things.

As 2015 begins I find a rekindled energy for some of my passions, a desire to read, to write, to create. I’m looking forward to finding and committing to a faith community, but that may depend on where I end up living. Somethings I don’t think I’ll ever resume, their time has past and I’m happy to let them go.

 

Love & Breathe. Here’s to doing coming from being.

Let-Go-Let-God

 

poetic

hallowed


No Comments

behind a tranquil monastery is a boundary of forestry hiding a barbed-wire monstrosity

a church safe cursed by a razor-wire crown of thorns

we must protect our truth, sanctified and clean

like we set the standard for what clean is

hide your light under a bushel

unless it’s sanitized and superficial

poetic

Culturanity


1 Comment

Supermarket-church snap-frozen-reheated greetings, cookie-cutter-christians rehearsed prayers and scripted meetings

Yahweh’s speechless we’ve hijacked his voice and branded it like sneakers,spread the brand globally sweatshop-manufactured-ministry, unethical in our political standing on others to maintain our status quo

checkered shirts, buzz words, clap for yourself ignore the helpless, it’s you who commands and god who follows, enslaved by his own words pages of grace turned into spiritual laws and promises

a world void of colour and complexity, 40-days of formulaic-faith-paint-by-numbers-christianity

we’ve robbed the God of creation his creativity, denied his mystery, trapped him in a black and white box of simplicity

is it any wonder he doesn’t flow through me…

when kingdom looks so different from this brand of culturanity