Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: November 2011

democratic control | nakedpastor.

I wonder how many faithful church goers see a linkage or similarity between the conflict of free speech in a democratic political system vs. a totalitarian state of social governance and the freedom offered by Christ and the unilateral control of leadership exercised in the local church?

Advertisements

Birthdays are strange things.  I don’t recall asking for mine, planning for it to happen, or even being there when it happened.  All I really have to show for it is the sincere opinion of the mother and father who claim to be my parents and a piece of faded official paper with what appears to be my name on it witnessed only by the scrawled signature of some official faceless stranger who has never met me nor whom I will most probably ever meet and who would obviously not recall me or my name even if we did actually bump into each other one day.

Yet faithfully each and every year, this day is celebrated.  Even distant acquaintances who hardly ever make contact join in and take the time to send celebratory wishes.

Birthdays are strange things!  Indeed, to my mind they are one of the universes great and mysterious little illusions.

Also, this is possibly the only real fact I have about my life and my future … – that when I leave this world, of which I have no recollection of participating in any plan to decide where or when this will happen, someone else shall on my behalf receive yet another certificate which will mean nor matter not one little bit to me at all after I have left.

This grand forthcoming event too will be officially commemorated and witnessed by the scrawled signature of some official stranger whom I will have most probably never met and who would never even recall me or my name even if we did actually bump into each other in some other place somewhere out on another leg of the journey I’m not really so sure I’m even having now.

The funniest thing is that most of us are delighted when this day is celebrated and profoundly hacked off by any who forget to celebrate it for any reason whatsoever.

So, may I end off by wishing once and for all a most sincere and wonderfully happy birthday to you.

In South Africa a secrecy bill (the “Protection of Information Bill”) has been shoved through in what clearly appears to be a sneaky, underhand and sinister fashion.  If it gets past any constitutional court appeals and hearings it stands to give the government unimaginable power to control who says and does what … and exclusively at their (the ruling party’s) own discretion and for their own personal benefit and ultimately, protection (from exposure and prosecution for corruption and any other deviance or malpractice).

A thought from another planet perhaps: – the bill, what it stands for and the way it was forced through as well as the alleged reasons for this action is to my mind somewhat extremely unethical to say the least. The fact that it comes through the ANC is nothing less than shocking.

However, in terms of the direct implications of the bill on the “free press” what to my mind does perhaps need to be thought through is the extent to which the press really is “free” and objectively “journalistic.”
Let’s face it, sensationalism sells and revenues from advertising in publications that generate sensationalistic response is what makes the world go round for the press industry.
The press feel like their freedom to inform is being taken away, as well as their freedom to bring an ‘objective’, factual perspective (and before I am branded as a neo-Nazi, totalitarian despot sympathizer, I do believe that strong debate and passionate opposition is essential and very healthy for any community).

But for many decades now I personally battle to read the newspapers, or watch TV, TV news, or read current news editorials as they are to my mind so overwhelmingly manipulatively inflammatory and one sided in terms of the sensationalistic negative spin they seem to take (take the whole recent Rupert Murdoch debacle for example).
Could it be argued that the cries of the “free” press are the same as the cries of the record industry against piracy (who even mobilise the artistes themselves to campaign against piracy) when they themselves, to my mind at least, are the biggest pirates, raping and pillaging creativity, the arts, culture, artistes and the coffers of the artistes themselves for their own gain and dictating to the masses what, when, and who to listen to in order to extract exorbitant profits for themselves?

(and as a personal footnote jab, the Gospel Worship/”Contemporary Music” industry as well as the Christian/Gospel Book Publishing Industries do exactly the same thing – selling manipulatively marketed, sensually “popular” merchandise for exorbitant profits and in so doing dictating to a thoughtless and naive church what the “prophetic” voice and message and culture of God is…  – which in the present Christian scene is merely a very weak, attempted copy of what is perceived to be popular and trendy in the ‘secular’ marketplace. –  A bit extremely blasphemous to my mind … …  .. .   don’t you think?)

For me quite an important aspect of living a life above the noisy dust of the frantic and confused herd is captured in a passage out of  Paul’s epistle to the Roman church.

This passage urges us to not conform to the patterns of this world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

I feel we live in an unreal world of hype, smoke and plenty of mirrors.  Everyone seems to be huffing and puffing, trying to sell something and make as much noise as possible in the process.   what’s more, we don’t only sell stuff, we sell ourselves.

We raise our voices in the market place to try drown out all opposition so that we can seize center stage, get the attention and do the deal.  Perhaps the reasoning behind this bustle of activity is the belief that the squeaking wheel gets the oil?  and that if we so overpower them with persistent in-their-face-ism we will convince them to be convinced about us?  Or maybe it’s that we actually don’t really believe – in ourselves, our product, perhaps even in our place under the sun or in God’s ability to sustain us as we humbly go our way – … so we shout louder and louder to convince ourselves … and others?

On facebook I have been alarmed at how much of this personal marketing process is shown to have  begun to saturate us in our interactions with each other.  We are preyed on by the owners of the social networks, their clients the advertisers…  and we also prey on each other.  We pepper our own and others profile walls with our personal marketing schemes.

As a way of protest and retaliation to the way I personally have been violated by this barrage of self-selling I (with not a little humorous tongue in cheek but yet with serious intent) posted a status warning people I would add them to an obnoxious group of my own making.

And here is the description of my group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/149728498460808/

This Group is a protest page for and against those who qualify themselves as members of such a group by thoughtlessly joining others to their group/event/cause/page/scheme/need, etc. without the dignity of respectfully, privately and personally inviting the person and waiting to receive some form of willing agreement.
It’s also for those who shamelessly market themselves at the expense of those they claim to be their “friends” or pestering them to “LIKE” them or their group/event/cause/page/scheme/ etc… … and who bombard others (their “friends”) with constant cries of “look at me,” “buy my product,” “support me,” “like me,” etc.. with seemingly very little or no awareness of their own self-centred vanity (as if the marketing bombardment of the corporate consumer slave-driving worthless commodity peddling corporations is not already relentlessly beating everyone into helpless submission and then total subjugation).

If you are “joined to the group” without your personal consent and made a member then “feel the love” and revel in the fact that it is an honorary title you now hold.

CONGRATULATIONS!!
You are one of them!!!  YAY!!
… and please, don’t try deny it…
… YOU DESERVE IT!!

But, this is not the mark of the beast YET! … you see, you CAN be removed, but it will necessitate you acknowledging this about yourself and posting a public apology on the wall of the person you disrespectfully “joined” to your “group” or “cause” without respecting them by asking for their their active, willing and personal consent.

Along with the “Secrecy Bill, “Big Brother,” the Church Police and your next door neighour “we” will be watching closely and keeping a record so don’t try to cheat and sneakily delete your membership (because if you do, you’ll simply be added again) … if you are unrepentant as the famous song goes, .. “… you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave… “.

Have a nice day now and please don’t forget to “LIKE” this page?

 

a thought on birthdays

… and the days of thought it births

~~~

… we remember that point

in the circle of time and space that we first appeared
and it serves to take us back each year
… to remind us that we are here
not by our own doing
(as far as we can tell anyway)
but by some purpose that is beyond us for now
… but not beyond us for ever

… if we would only still the noise
as the cycles spin by
… and give space to the center
around which the cycle spins

and then…

we would then stop spinning
and rest with the spinner

~~~
I trust we will have an inspired cycle this next time around

When it was asked by the religious rulers and dignitaries when the kingdom of God or “heaven” would come, the answer given was that the kingdom of God does not come to those who watch and wait for it, nor is it a place somewhere ‘out there’.

The Kingdom of God or “heaven” is within. *

What answer would we receive if we were to ask where hell is?

* Luke 17:21

In the balance and order of things there will always be what we could describe as systems.

They are not there all that clearly some of the time but if we look at the substance of life around us we can see it fairly easily.

These systems support life and provide it with a substructure.

The systems support life but life does support the systems, nor does life exist for the systems beneath.

It is the other way around.

It is when life in any way, shape or form is focused on serving the systems that the real problems arise.

To love life and the people and creatures who carry it along as conduits of the divine is a wonderful thing but to love the systems and focus on our own systemic understanding of what we see as the substructure … and then to seal this limited understanding of the systems of life as the truth is completely the opposite to wonder.

We call this religion,

… and politics is religion,

… and religion is politics.

Anti-gay pastor arrested for public masturbation asks gay community for forgiveness | The Lookout – Yahoo! News.

Every time I hear someone (including myself) getting really passionate about an issue I get these warning bells in my head…

…and the persistent ringing in my ears seems to be telling me that nothing happens independently or in a vacuum.

It tells me that whatever it is, it’s all coming from ‘somewhere’ … and that ‘somewhere’ is mostly out of control and not really often all that conscious…

… to us.

It also warns me that very possibly the so-called “impassioned” person is merely trying to make sense of it in his/her own life one way or the other.
I am never surprised by these things when they come out publicly…  in fact, I am almost expectant.
It’s almost as if it’s something we can only wait for to happen.

The expectant, faithful skeptic – that’s me.

The only ‘surprise’ I tend to have is how some manage to ‘conceal’ it better and longer than others?
… and just maybe … could this be an indicator of exceptional ‘deviance’ and the real ‘intentional sin’? – now there’s perhaps a thought worth getting some feedback on don’t you think?

(and for those fundamentalists amongst us…  have a good little look at Romans 2:1 ~ … what we judge and condemn in others is in us and we do the same things …. etc.)

A musician and a jukebox have many similarities but they are very different as well.

Both stand before people and can fill the environment with information in a way that has a most profound effect on those who hear.

Both get fed money in order to perform.  One could say that both are paid for their services.

Both have a mechanism of sorts that enables the flow of music to come out.

But jukeboxes are not musicians because musicians are human beings with infinite qualities, uniqueness and personality.

Jukeboxes on the other hand are not musicians.  They are machines.  Impersonal, clinical, emotionless mechanisms which respond to the demands at a pay-point as a coin is inserted into the appropriate slot and the specifically chosen music (if it is programmed into the system) is automatically reproduced exactly like the original.

A clinical transaction dominates this mechanism.

“No pay, No play” is the national anthem as well as the hymn of worship.

There is no emotion, love nor passion in any of this.  There are no feelings, no joy, expectation, passion and no remorse.  This is all a legally sanctioned set of transactions which if violated will incur legal penalties articulately specified and clinically enforced.

A jukebox is a pay-on-demand mechanism which serves those who insert coinage in so that it plays their specified tune on demand.  But one could say that it mainly serves the owner and master of the jukebox who takes all the profits.  The owner and master from time to time opens up the guts of the jukebox and removes the bounty, leaving the jukebox empty and once again ready to be refilled for more profit to be extracted at a later time.

There are no jukeboxes that are musicians.

They cannot be musicians because they are not humans.  After all they are machines.

However, there are many musicians who are jukeboxes.