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Category Archives: beginnings

While watching a program on the Soviet mass murderer Andrei Chicatilo it was mentioned in the commentary that an internationally embraced definition of insanity is centered around whether the individual knows the difference between good and evil.

In the Genesis account of the garden of Eden it is said that there were two trees in the centre of the garden. One was the tree of life and the other, positioned in the centre of the garden right next to it, was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – a tree that seemingly bore fruit that if eaten would achieve in the devourer of the fruit the apparently fatal ability to distinguish between good and evil.

The story declares that mankind desired the fruit of this forbidden tree and after having partaken of it something seemed to be opened up in their understanding that wasn’t there before. It was as if a Pandora’s box was opened and this act of rebellion facilitated the spiritual death and degradation of all creation.

In this day of superior knowledge and self proclaimed sophistication we now seem to celebrate as a virtue of sanity the same attributes and ability that the account of the garden of Eden presented as death inducing.

Perhaps we need to ask the question, “how sane is our sanity?”

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awoke to the rain

pitter-patter on pain

the dust of disdain

circles down drain

 

awash with fresh hope

a slate that seems clean

new beginnings begin

with future unseen

 

we believe

we believe what?

what do we believe in ?

 

why do we believe?

is this a strength or a weakness?

do we believe in questions…

…or only in answers?

can we believe in why?

 

to believe is to …

accept as true or real

… to credit with veracity

… to expect or suppose

to think

…to have firm faith

religious faith

… to have faith, confidence,  trust

… to trust in the truth or value of something

…to have an opinion

or just to think

 

there appears to be not too much solid evidence in belief

other than what we hold as opinion…

 

yet we believe

we all do… not just the religious or the mystical

we all believe

… even the scientist

the atheist

the agnostic

 

for anyone to call themselves a believer and others not

dwells in the height of misinformed arrogance

…and any who claim not to believe

are their resident neighbours

 

… and for those who do…?

 

do we believe in God?

do we believe in a personified God?

 

do we believe in devils?

do we believe in a personified Devil

 

apparently devils believe in God … and God believes in a devil

even the sacred texts reveal that God spoke of the Devil as though the Devil was real

 

and we …

what do we believe?

 

do we have to believe?

do we want to believe?

perhaps we need to believe?

 

do we want to choose?

do we feel we have to choose?

 

do we?

 

… and must we choose…

between good and evil

between God and the Devil…?

can we believe in both at the same time?

does believing in the one exclude belief in the other?

or are they the same … just opposite ends of the same continuum?

 

some, maybe even most, would say that they believe in a god, even a personal God

… who is kind, good and is active in initiating healing and extending grace and forgiveness, love and acceptance

a good God who is the giver of all good gifts and the creator of all that is good

 

many of those same people most probably would also say that they believe in the devil

… a personified Devil… the evil Devil who is against the good God…

…an evil Devil who is active in perpetrating pain, death and destruction, extending hate and trouble, suffering and rejection

…the evil Devil who is the source of all that is bad

 

many, if not most who believe, believe that the good, kind God created all things

…that nothing that is present in any way was made outside of God…

they also believe that the good, kind God is supreme, sovereign, omnipotent, preeminent, before, after and beyond all things

 

yet the same believe in a Devil

 

so who created the Devil?

and how did the Devil come to be?

 

did we create the Devil?

did we create him as a personalised Devil?

 

… and if the good, kind God never created the Devil, who did?

 

maybe we did?

 

 

and who created the good, kind, personalised God?

 

maybe we did…

 

did we?

 

 

Many can quite easily agree that when God met with Moses in the desert it was a huge occasion.  A pivotal point had been reached and in hind sight one can see that the plan required a very strategic turn at a very strategic time and a very strategic person was needed and engaged to run with it.

The ensuing events as recorded revealed a very detailed process and procedure which was handed down and followed for generations.

I can’t help thinking that if I were to hand down such a strategic communication to a very educated person (like Moses was) and ensure that the whole thing not be placed at risk of being misunderstood I would have been very much more specific and detailed right from the very beginning.

Yet God grabs Moses’ attention by burning a fire in a desert bush?

Why all the vague symbolism?

Why run the risk of using such a sensual attention grabbing device?

After this Moses spends great amounts of time alone up a mountain gathering data and eventually comes down and delivers a plan of exacting detail and inflexible adherence.

Quite a significant shift from the original symbolic encounter he first had when he saw the burning bush in the desert and heard the call of God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Was that the plan all along?

Or maybe Moses just got a bit carried away and all the detail we inherited was something from his fertile imagination and his own psycho-pathology?

Who was the God of the burning bush?

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.

Which religious group meeting (‘church’) you attend is much the same as which banking institution you choose.
It depends exclusively on what return on your investment is perceived to be the most beneficial to you.

Has the Bible Become an Idol?   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/skye-jethani/bible-idol_b_922324.html

 

Just how religious are we?

Are we able to look at ourselves with an open eye?

I don’t like criticism (unless I’m doing the criticizing).   However, in my many years as an deployed  journeyman I have never learned as much as when I have been confronted with the bitter truth of my own short-sightedness.  No, let me rephrase that, the bitter truth of my own total blindness to the stuff inside of me – that prevents me seeing the stuff outside of me – that locks me into what I hate seeing myself do.  I have usually hated every second of the exposure to my own folly and I have good reason to believe that nothing much will change at all in terms of the continuing journey. I also hate it when others see me for who I really am, and what I really do.  I am filled with unhealthy ego and grotesque insecurity.  As a result I deploy all manner of diversions in an attempt to squirm out of the smelly mess I find myself in.

It takes huge courage and even a suicidal attitude to take personal growth seriously.  I have never found a raised hand or a warm “hallelujah” to ever instigate real change in mine or anyone else’s life.   Yet we flock to hear those ‘feel good’ preachers and those spin-doctors who tell us things our itching ears want to hear.  Let’s be honest here – the minute we hear someone tell us the truth we tend to leave their presence.  They are not healthy for us.  They hurt us.  They challenge us.  They are simply not nice.

Suicide is an ugly, tacky, abysmal concept, but isn’t this what it means when we hear that in order to follow Christ we have to pick up our cross daily and follow him?  And didn’t he die?  Yes, he rose again and offered that to us as well, but he died first.

One of the most impactful personal revelations I have ever stumbled over is simply this, “death always precedes life.”

I urge you to take a good, hard, dirty read of the media link I posted above.  We may well meet next at the disgustingly putrid tombstone, but that’s not the end of the journey.  It never is.

 

 

 

maybe  the  law  was  given  in  such  exacting  detail  that  we  would  have  some  idea  as  to  how  to  deconstruct  the  structural  clutter  in  and  of  our  fallen  existence

 

 

that is ….  if  and  when  we  are  awakened  to  the  wind  of  light  that  breaks  through  the  hardened  crust  of  our  fallow,  barren existence

 

 

the  kingdom  of  God  is  within … it  cannot  be  constructed  from  without

 

 

some hoped, some expected, some feared, some jeered … but so far it looks like it will all pass over uneventfully … except for the residue of the experience which will very possibly last a lot longer than the memory of the event in our lives – if only subconsciously perhaps.

on sunday morning many who in the secret place of hope and fear in their hearts who believed it would all end, or even hoped it were the truth, will most probably agree with those who scoff saying that they knew all along that it was not true … but inside?

a lot of what we believe is determined not by faith but by the apparent facts that seem to manifest around us and are either ratified or denied by the other mortals we associate with.  perhaps we may choose to deny it but to my mind it’s a very social gospel we live by – one that is rooted so much more in the natural than the spiritual or eternal.

me, i think i’m with those whose hopes were dashed

perhaps a fair amount of those who secretly hoped the world would end are those who really qualify – and perhaps by default – for a true spiritual faith?  perhaps they hoped not because of a theology or intelligence this way or that but because they are suffering in some way or another? – financially, emotionally, physically?  perhaps they are extremely lonely even in the crowd and the laughter?  perhaps just the thought of being taken out of here is such an attraction?  perhaps they truly feel like aliens in this harsh and cruel world?  they might not be able to admit it publicly but they may feel like they are unloved, lonely, desperate with very few to tell about it let alone understand.  perhaps these people long for a reboot of the whole damn thing?  for some a total change, however drastic and costly would be such welcome relief?  my faithful scepticism tends towards their world – especially at times like these.

for many of the brazen and outspoken, those who verbosely quote chapter and verse and pontificate on what the latest apostle/prophet/preacher/author last published … well, they too have fears and doubts – only their inner fears won’t allow them to acknowledge it.  but they feel safe inside their own minds because in this modern era volume is believed to be the all powerful answer

what is it about us that so easily wishes on things? why is it so easy for us to be effected by this kind of stuff?

as my blogname suggests, i am a faithful skeptic.  My views are not at all acceptable by the mainstream out there yet i too have a belief system and an extremely strong one at that.  this is what impacts me so greatly.  for me, having an extremely strong faith is not an achievement at all – as much as romantic love for another is not an achievement.  it just happens and we are swept along by it.  it tends to consume us.  and it leaks out for all except usually ourselves to see.  me, i am mostly shocked by my beliefs.  i have grown comfortable with them not because they are correct necessarily but because they are mine and they are all I have.  i doubt a lot and never stop questioning, but i cannot shake off my beliefs.  they sort of consume me

so, it looks like the world may not end today and for some this may very well be the end of their world

there is a song penned by phil keaggy long ago that has made an indelible impact on my thinking ever since i first heard it sung. the opening lyrics go something like this,

“who will speak up for the little ones?

hopeless and half abandoned

they’ve got a right to choose

life they don’t want to lose

i’ve got to speak up, won’t you?”

he was writing on the abortion issue as far as i can recall but it is nevertheless equally true for the lonely, the suffering, the desperate, those in despair and hopelessness, those whose personal reality clashes so dramatically with the theology and meme-artistry around them.

who will speak up for such as these?

me, i tend towards being brazen and self-possessed … but i’ve got quieten down a whole lot and speak up – won’t you?

waiting on God … hmmm?  a very prominent meme amongst christians from what I can see

firstly, it’s very rich coming in a world of fast-food, instant gratification, personal short and long term insurance, re-insurance, quick-fix best sellers, disposable culture

just the thought of waiting on/for anything is revolutionary in our times

so what are we waiting for? …. for God to open doors?

I was asked this very sincerely recently –  so it got me thinking

… and when we wait what are we waiting for?

is God late? reluctant? … holding out with punitive intent? … insisting that we first learn a lesson or two before he grants us our wish … our need …. our desire ….does God do this?

hang on,  I thought it says that he makes it rain on the godly as well as the ungodly … so, nah, can’t be then? … can it?

hey! – maybe he’s waiting for us? … but if we are waiting for God and he’s waiting for us neither will get what they’re waiting for – in fact, this way no one gets anywhere … so it’s got to be one or the other, not both? … not so?

so, what does it say? … it says that God is at rest – that’s what it says

and what could this mean?     is he tired?     exhausted?      needing a holiday?

but then again, maybe not ….  maybe he’s satisfied?  … like after a job well done … maybe even content, confident – maybe God’s at rest in the fact that what was begun in the beginning was indeed good, profoundly successful and very well balanced and well able, in it’s own good and perfect time and process to run its perfect course to a perfect end … ?

but for most of us to wait is a huge weight – especially in these times we live in

ok, so he’s resting, but does this mean he’s stopped? … now there’s a question!

it all was started in the beginning and it goes on, or so we are led to believe

we use words like eternity … a very short word for such a long time

… but then maybe time has nothing to do with eternity? … now there’s another long question

it’s often sung from the scriptures that waiting on God is good

but is it always good to wait?

well, maybe not always, but perhaps definitely in this day and age

why?  –  well to my mind we live in an artificial world – a world no longer in line with what it was meant to be – a make believe world of virtual reality masquerading as reality, in fact no, not only masquerading as reality, but actually replacing reality

we have made the world we live in and it’s a world of strenuous marketing strategies based almost exclusively on self-promotion

this is so anti the spirit, pattern and process of the universe we say we live in – even so anti the spirit of the Christ we claim to worship and follow as personal disciples (did the term ‘anti-christ’ come to mind? … hmmmm?)

I had a thought once that shook me to my bones – a simple thought really, but it changed almost everything for me …. it dawned on me that the creator as well as the creation does not plant trees, but instead, seeds are sown. … this is a revolutionary thought (if you can let the seed take root in your mind that is)

if anything is to surface, it will surface even if it has to break through tons of solid concrete

it may take time but it will surface

there are very few if any, sudden, quick fixes

trying to make things happen …. also, ….  waiting for things to happen, both don’t work – it will  happen, or it won’t  …. and when it does it will not be a second earlier or later than is the perfect time, regardless of the circumstance or context – perhaps even if the context is our own misguidedness or even mindless foolishness … now there’s another thought

this is not fatalism but the reality of the order of our universe … and if there is no order … well then, nothing matters at all … which sadly, in this day of such enlightenment and technological advance is pretty much the way we live our lives mostly – no mind for the effects of cause nor the cause of effects – no understanding of time or space ahead or past …. only, nothing but me and mine

perhaps ‘waiting on God’ is simply the time it takes to finally allow ourselves to see the reality of who we are? … also the reality of what we are, where we are and what we are standing on  … so that then we can respond appropriately

perhaps it’s the time it takes for us to come to a realisation of who or what God is? … for us?

and who or what we are … for God?

… that is who God is …

…. that who we are is what we are

…. that who we or God are is not what we’d like it to be, or wish it weren’t – which is just normal marketing and merely vain magic tricks  to try perhaps stay the hand of the inevitable for a while  (did you hear the word witchcraft?)

there is order out there as well as in here … so maybe waiting on God is the realisation that shouting louder only makes us deaf to the realities around us…

… that trying harder only increases the resistance …

… that giving up only prepares us for collision

but like God, we too can be at rest