Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Nobody’s perfect…..

You’re not a nobody. Nobody is.

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I remember a test I took in college. It had loads of deep theological questions on it (most of which I got wrong, I’m sure) but the last one – the last one I got right.

 

It was a simple question – what is the name of the lady who cleans your room?

 

I spoke to her every morning, her name was Siân.

 

Not many people got that question right, I found that very sad. Despite all we had leant during the year about the value of all people; no matter that we had studied families from the Khasi Hills of India and the slums of South America. We knew the names of these people and their children and yet not the name of the woman who cleaned our room.

 

That taught us all a valuable lesson – nobody is a nobody.

 

Jesus had shown this many times; lepers, prostitutes, publicans, sinners, the down and outs of his day had all felt the love of Jesus in his presence at the tables or in their lives.

 

My favourite story of this kind is of a man called Zac.

 

Zac was short (I can relate to that), disliked and very rich (that bit I can’t relate too). He was a tax collector and was quite used to cheating people. One day he had heard that Jesus was coming to his town and seeing that Jesus was a huge celebrity he wanted to go and see him. Being short he climbed a tree and watched this pop star walking past but instead of walking past the J-man stopped under the tree and looked up. “Zac” he said, “Come on down, I’m coming to tea at your place.”

 

How could this be? Zac was a nobody and yet the man wanted tea at his home. All the “religious” types grumbled that Jesus was going to eat with this tax collector, one who was lower than the lowest.

 

Zac turned to Jesus and told him that if he had defrauded anyone he would give it back and four times more and half of everything he had he would give to the poor. Jesus looked at him, then spoke to the crowd, “Remember, this man is also accepted by God, for he too is a son of Abraham. For I have to come to search for just such as him.”

 

Moral of the story – no-one is valueless. God loves everyone – even short tax collectors. How do we not see this every time we open the Gospels???

 

So next time you’re in a food court and someone clears your table remember they are a real person; that person behind the milk bar counter – person; bin man – person; hotel cleaner – (guess what? Yep) person. Those pesky asylum seekers – people; the homeless guy on Elizabeth Street – person.

 

I think you are getting the idea – there are no nobodies.

 

Jesus shows us, the Bible tells us and we really know, deep down – all are equal in the eyes of God.

 

So why not in our eyes?


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Nobody’s perfect…..

You’re not a nobody. Nobody is.

 

I remember a test I took in college. It had loads of deep theological questions on it (most of which I got wrong, I’m sure) but the last one – the last one I got right.

 

It was a simple question – what is the name of the lady who cleans your room?

 

I spoke to her every morning, her name was Siân.

 

Not many people got that question right, I found that very sad. Despite all we had leant during the year about the value of all people; no matter that we had studied families from the Khasi Hills of India and the slums of South America. We knew the names of these people and their children and yet not the name of the woman who cleaned our room.

 

That taught us all a valuable lesson – nobody is a nobody.

 

Jesus had shown this many times; lepers, prostitutes, publicans, sinners, the down and outs of his day had all felt the love of Jesus in his presence at the tables or in their lives.

 

My favourite story of this kind is of a man called Zac.

 

Zac was short (I can relate to that), disliked and very rich (that bit I can’t relate too). He was a tax collector and was quite used to cheating people. One day he had heard that Jesus was coming to his town and seeing that Jesus was a huge celebrity he wanted to go and see him. Being short he climbed a tree and watched this pop star walking past but instead of walking past the J-man stopped under the tree and looked up. “Zac” he said, “Come on down, I’m coming to tea at your place.”

 

How could this be? Zac was a nobody and yet the man wanted tea at his home. All the “religious” types grumbled that Jesus was going to eat with this tax collector, one who was lower than the lowest.

 

Zac turned to Jesus and told him that if he had defrauded anyone he would give it back and four times more and half of everything he had he would give to the poor. Jesus looked at him, then spoke to the crowd, “Remember, this man is also accepted by God, for he too is a son of Abraham. For I have to come to search for just such as him.”

 

Moral of the story – no-one is valueless. God loves everyone – even short tax collectors. How do we not see this every time we open the Gospels???

 

So next time you’re in a food court and someone clears your table remember they are a real person; that person behind the milk bar counter – person; bin man – person; hotel cleaner – (guess what? Yep) person. Those pesky asylum seekers – people; the homeless guy on Elizabeth Street – person.

 

I think you are getting the idea – there are no nobodies.

 

Jesus shows us, the Bible tells us and we really know, deep down – all are equal in the eyes of God.

 

So why not in our eyes?


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Was George Michael right?

Seeing is believing, unless your religious in which case the opposite is true.

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Was George Michael Right?

 

Here’s is a question that demands an answer – one that cannot be ignored –

 

Is George Michael Iron Man?

 

Think about it, have you ever seen George Michael and Iron Man (or Tony Stark) in the same room? Both have perfectly sculpted facial hair, both have less talented friends called Andrew (although I don’t think we’ve ever seen Iron Man’s friend Andrew – Iron Man is a genius and so probability states he has a less talented friend called Andrew, it is a popular name. BTW I can’t think of any geniuses called Andrew, although I do admit I didn’t think about it for more than a fraction of a second.) Both made money from waving their arms about, both like Pepper (again an assumption but I can find nothing online that says George Michael doesn’t like pepper). I think I’ve cracked it – GM and IM are the same person.

Back in 1987 Iron Man, thinly disguised as as a leather jacket wearing, guitar playing George Michael, insisted we have ‘Faith’. (1987????!!!!! I couldn’t believe it when I read that.)

I agree with him, faith is a very important part of  belief in God. But what is it?

Well according to the bloke (we assume its a bloke, it may have been a woman but since we are talking about the 1st century in the Middle East where women didn’t really count and had no education other than how to cook and clean and be a good little housewife, I’m going to say bloke) yes, according to the bloke who wrote a letter to some Hebrews somewhere (we aren’t sure where) –

“faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.

(From The Epistle to the Hebrews ch. 11 v. 1)

 

Lovely words – but a trifle confusing. I had confidence that my hope of winning the lottery last week would come true. It didn’t (then again, it may have helped my cause somewhat if I had bought a ticket!). I do not see the blu tooth connection between my iPad and this keyboard but I’m assured it works by the words I see appearing as I type. Faith may be the confidence and assurance thing as described above, but it is more than that and not so easily described.

If you’ve ever watched the All Blacks play rugby you may understand this next illustration – if you haven’t I may lose you for half a page or so, but stick with it, I’ll start writing in English again a bit further down the page. I’ll put an asterisk there, like this *, to show you, if you really can’t take the rugby stories.

So if you have ever watched the AB’s play well you will have seen a graphic demonstration of what faith is.

 

Imagine the scene – the men in black are playing their arch rivals the Wallabies in the deciding game of the Bledisloe Cup. It’s 21 – 21 with 2 minutes to go and there is a scrum on the Wallabies’ 22.

The half back puts the ball in and retrieves it from the number 8 and here is the demonstration of faith- he passes without looking, straight to the man on his shoulder. The fly half passes it on, again no need to look, to the inside centre, he passes it back inside (while looking outside him) to the scrum half (who has circled round) who throws a double miss pass to the winger who scores a spectacular try in the corner. All this is done without anyone needing to look where the ball is going.

Why? Because each player knows there will be someone there to take the pass, he trusts those around him to do what they should, he has faith in his team mates – for faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Is God any different? Not to me! He is the player always on your shoulder, always there to catch the ball if you drop it. The unseen support who is just where he should be, just when he should be.

 

* Welcome back to the non rugbyed people in our midst.

 

There is a famous little story called “Footprints” it tells of a person looking back over their life, which looks like a beach, and seeing two sets of footprints in the sand. On closer inspection there are parts of life where there are only one set of prints. Turning to Jesus the person asks why, at the worst points of life, Jesus had left Him alone. Jesus answers, “That’s not where I left you, that’s where I carried you.”

 

There is a cartoon that extends the tale – a grinning Jesus pointing and saying, “And those lines are where I dragged you for a while.”

photo-5

 

To me that’s what Faith is – knowing that Jesus is there and will even drag you around for a while.


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Was George Michael right?

Seeing is believing, unless your religious in which case the opposite is true.

 

Was George Michael Right?

 

Here’s is a question that demands an answer – one that cannot be ignored –

 

Is George Michael Iron Man?

 

Think about it, have you ever seen George Michael and Iron Man (or Tony Stark) in the same room? Both have perfectly sculpted facial hair, both have less talented friends called Andrew (although I don’t think we’ve ever seen Iron Man’s friend Andrew – Iron Man is a genius and so probability states he has a less talented friend called Andrew, it is a popular name. BTW I can’t think of any geniuses called Andrew, although I do admit I didn’t think about it for more than a fraction of a second.) Both made money from waving their arms about, both like Pepper (again an assumption but I can find nothing online that says George Michael doesn’t like pepper). I think I’ve cracked it – GM and IM are the same person.

Back in 1987 Iron Man, thinly disguised as as a leather jacket wearing, guitar playing George Michael, insisted we have ‘Faith’. (1987????!!!!! I couldn’t believe it when I read that.)

I agree with him, faith is a very important part of  belief in God. But what is it?

Well according to the bloke (we assume its a bloke, it may have been a woman but since we are talking about the 1st century in the Middle East where women didn’t really count and had no education other than how to cook and clean and be a good little housewife, I’m going to say bloke) yes, according to the bloke who wrote a letter to some Hebrews somewhere (we aren’t sure where) –

“faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.

(From The Epistle to the Hebrews ch. 11 v. 1)

 

Lovely words – but a trifle confusing. I had confidence that my hope of winning the lottery last week would come true. It didn’t (then again, it may have helped my cause somewhat if I had bought a ticket!). I do not see the blu tooth connection between my iPad and this keyboard but I’m assured it works by the words I see appearing as I type. Faith may be the confidence and assurance thing as described above, but it is more than that and not so easily described.

If you’ve ever watched the All Blacks play rugby you may understand this next illustration – if you haven’t I may lose you for half a page or so, but stick with it, I’ll start writing in English again a bit further down the page. I’ll put an asterisk there, like this *, to show you, if you really can’t take the rugby stories.

So if you have ever watched the AB’s play well you will have seen a graphic demonstration of what faith is.

 

Imagine the scene – the men in black are playing their arch rivals the Wallabies in the deciding game of the Bledisloe Cup. It’s 21 – 21 with 2 minutes to go and there is a scrum on the Wallabies’ 22.

The half back puts the ball in and retrieves it from the number 8 and here is the demonstration of faith- he passes without looking, straight to the man on his shoulder. The fly half passes it on, again no need to look, to the inside centre, he passes it back inside (while looking outside him) to the scrum half (who has circled round) who throws a double miss pass to the winger who scores a spectacular try in the corner. All this is done without anyone needing to look where the ball is going.

Why? Because each player knows there will be someone there to take the pass, he trusts those around him to do what they should, he has faith in his team mates – for faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Is God any different? Not to me! He is the player always on your shoulder, always there to catch the ball if you drop it. The unseen support who is just where he should be, just when he should be.

 

* Welcome back to the non rugbyed people in our midst.

 

There is a famous little story called “Footprints” it tells of a person looking back over their life, which looks like a beach, and seeing two sets of footprints in the sand. On closer inspection there are parts of life where there are only one set of prints. Turning to Jesus the person asks why, at the worst points of life, Jesus had left Him alone. Jesus answers, “That’s not where I left you, that’s where I carried you.”

 

There is a cartoon that extends the tale – a grinning Jesus pointing and saying, “And those lines are where I dragged you for a while.”

 

To me that’s what Faith is – knowing that Jesus is there and will even drag you around for a while.


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16 and dangerous!

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Again I must thank the Monks at the @UnvirtuousAbbey for this week’s sign…

Have you seen this girl interviewed? Malala Yousafzai is a truly amazing young woman. Her stand for women’s rights, her gentleness and humour have taken the world by storm. As a young Muslim woman she is showing everyone what her faith is really about. It is not blowing up buildings and  suicide bombs but tolerance and respect for all.

As Gandhi did last century, Malala is showing people of faith around the world (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew etc) how their faith should be lived out.

What she is asking is not outrageous, but in the manner of Jesus, it is radical. As I understand it (and are you sitting down for this?) she would like education for women. In the culture where Malala comes from, the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkha province, the local Taliban have decreed that woman must be utterly subservient to men and cannot receive education, among other things (like dignity and equality). Malala challenged this; got shot in the head; recovered and has become one of the world’s leading activists on woman’s rights at the age of 16!

Standing up for the right is a guiding principle behind Christianity; equality for all is another. Jesus didn’t come for the few, or the one’s we like but for EVERYONE and that means young ladies from Pakistan as much as middle aged men from Melbourne. And he came so that those young ladies and middle aged men (and all the rest) may have life in abundance, not clouded with fear and hate but shinning with love and acceptance.

We can all learn so much from Malala. Not just from her message of education for all but also how she delivers it – with patience, humour, love and humility. As we join our voices with hers let us also learn from her and show our faith to the world around us that all may see the grace and love we receive from a loving God and willingly pass on to others.

 

Watch a clip of Malala here

 


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16 and dangerous!

 

Again I must thank the Monks at the @UnvirtuousAbbey for this week’s sign…

Have you seen this girl interviewed? Malala Yousafzai is a truly amazing young woman. Her stand for women’s rights, her gentleness and humour have taken the world by storm. As a young Muslim woman she is showing everyone what her faith is really about. It is not blowing up buildings and  suicide bombs but tolerance and respect for all.

As Gandhi did last century, Malala is showing people of faith around the world (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew etc) how their faith should be lived out.

What she is asking is not outrageous, but in the manner of Jesus, it is radical. As I understand it (and are you sitting down for this?) she would like education for women. In the culture where Malala comes from, the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkha province, the local Taliban have decreed that woman must be utterly subservient to men and cannot receive education, among other things (like dignity and equality). Malala challenged this; got shot in the head; recovered and has become one of the world’s leading activists on woman’s rights at the age of 16!

Standing up for the right is a guiding principle behind Christianity; equality for all is another. Jesus didn’t come for the few, or the one’s we like but for EVERYONE and that means young ladies from Pakistan as much as middle aged men from Melbourne. And he came so that those young ladies and middle aged men (and all the rest) may have life in abundance, not clouded with fear and hate but shinning with love and acceptance.

We can all learn so much from Malala. Not just from her message of education for all but also how she delivers it – with patience, humour, love and humility. As we join our voices with hers let us also learn from her and show our faith to the world around us that all may see the grace and love we receive from a loving God and willingly pass on to others.

 

Watch a clip of Malala here

 


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I hate people that hate other people.

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If reading the Bible leads you to hating people then you’re reading it wrong.

I love reading the Gospels. I do it for enjoyment not just for work and every time I read them I find something I haven’t seen before. This week I looked for the word ‘hate’. I trawled through the Gospels in my N.I.V. Bible and found 21 references. That’s a lot more than I expected but then I went on to read the passages in more details.

Two verses seem to sum up the what the Gospels have to say about hate – Matthew 5:44 and Luke 21:17. The majority of Gospel verses are either of the “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” variety or the “You will be hated by all because of my name” sort. So it’s either a don’t hate verse or a you’ll be hated verse. Which ever one it is there is not one Gospel verse that tells us to hate other people (apart from Luke 14:26 and that’s about the cost of discipleship and is making a definite point).

So what do I take from my reading about hate in the Gospels – easy – don’t do it but do expect it. We do not have a message of hate to preach but THE message of love and grace and what we have will make us hated.

But you can look around at some, of what the media term, Christian churches and all you find is hate. What Gospel are they reading? Which translation do they have? Westbro Baptist church’s website is godhatesfags.com. Now there is the Gospel of love we preach summed up in a website name, if ever I’ve seen one. I’m trying to secure you’re_all_going_to_burn_in_hell_unless_you_do_exactly_as_I_say_because_I_know_the_mind_of_God_and_he_only_speaks_to_me.com.au. It’s a bit long but it’s got a ring to it.

It seems to me that these churches if hate are projecting the things they hate onto God instead of letting him show them how to love.

You see, I can’t find this Gospel of hate anywhere! In no passage can I find an example of Jesus hating women or blacks or gays or the poor or any other group of people no matter what the disciples think of them. I find him getting pretty cheesed off with the Pharisees (the religious fundamentalists of his day) with their concern for law rather than people and the rich with their drive for wealth (at the cost of the poor) but he doesn’t seem hate them, he seems almost to pity them. He gets very angry with them and calls them all sorts if wonderful and inventive names. (Vipers and snakes being up there). Jesus is also pretty clear and what they should be doing (Luke 11:42)

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced…” but there is no hatred of them.

He even prays for his executioners. Now if you’re going to hate someone I’m pretty sure your executioner would be quite high up on the list. Jesus, however, asks God to forgive them because they are somewhat misguided. Grace and love in action.

And that is what we are called to do – be the here and now extensions of a man who loved everyone, even his killers.

Divine or not (and I say divine), the Son of God or just a decent guy (I’m in the Son of God category) you cannot deny the teachings of this wondering prophet from Nazareth could make the world a better place – if only more people learned the uplifting power of love over the destroying mire of hate.

So if reading the Bible is leading you to hate, you are reading it wrongly. Very, very wrongly. Try reading it again and take a lot more notice of what Jesus says.

(Actually, we would all do well to do that).


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I hate people that hate other people.

 

If reading the Bible leads you to hating people then you’re reading it wrong.

I love reading the Gospels. I do it for enjoyment not just for work and every time I read them I find something I haven’t seen before. This week I looked for the word ‘hate’. I trawled through the Gospels in my N.I.V. Bible and found 21 references. That’s a lot more than I expected but then I went on to read the passages in more details.

Two verses seem to sum up the what the Gospels have to say about hate – Matthew 5:44 and Luke 21:17. The majority of Gospel verses are either of the “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” variety or the “You will be hated by all because of my name” sort. So it’s either a don’t hate verse or a you’ll be hated verse. Which ever one it is there is not one Gospel verse that tells us to hate other people (apart from Luke 14:26 and that’s about the cost of discipleship and is making a definite point).

So what do I take from my reading about hate in the Gospels – easy – don’t do it but do expect it. We do not have a message of hate to preach but THE message of love and grace and what we have will make us hated.

But you can look around at some, of what the media term, Christian churches and all you find is hate. What Gospel are they reading? Which translation do they have? Westbro Baptist church’s website is godhatesfags.com. Now there is the Gospel of love we preach summed up in a website name, if ever I’ve seen one. I’m trying to secure you’re_all_going_to_burn_in_hell_unless_you_do_exactly_as_I_say_because_I_know_the_mind_of_God_and_he_only_speaks_to_me.com.au. It’s a bit long but it’s got a ring to it.

It seems to me that these churches if hate are projecting the things they hate onto God instead of letting him show them how to love.

You see, I can’t find this Gospel of hate anywhere! In no passage can I find an example of Jesus hating women or blacks or gays or the poor or any other group of people no matter what the disciples think of them. I find him getting pretty cheesed off with the Pharisees (the religious fundamentalists of his day) with their concern for law rather than people and the rich with their drive for wealth (at the cost of the poor) but he doesn’t seem hate them, he seems almost to pity them. He gets very angry with them and calls them all sorts if wonderful and inventive names. (Vipers and snakes being up there). Jesus is also pretty clear and what they should be doing (Luke 11:42)

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced…” but there is no hatred of them.

He even prays for his executioners. Now if you’re going to hate someone I’m pretty sure your executioner would be quite high up on the list. Jesus, however, asks God to forgive them because they are somewhat misguided. Grace and love in action.

And that is what we are called to do – be the here and now extensions of a man who loved everyone, even his killers.

Divine or not (and I say divine), the Son of God or just a decent guy (I’m in the Son of God category) you cannot deny the teachings of this wondering prophet from Nazareth could make the world a better place – if only more people learned the uplifting power of love over the destroying mire of hate.

So if reading the Bible is leading you to hate, you are reading it wrongly. Very, very wrongly. Try reading it again and take a lot more notice of what Jesus says.

(Actually, we would all do well to do that).


  • 0

Don’t judge others……

SEPT 30 2013

 

 

For the past fortnight I’ve had a bright red beard with dreadlocks and beads in it. I must admit (apart from the pain) it looked spectacular but not everyone thought so. I had a few people remark on ‘the look’ most of whom were passing strangers who have no idea who I am or why I had a bright red, dreadlocked beard. My favourite comment was when I was walking down the Elizabeth street and a guy with BRIGHT orange trainers (not just bright orange but BRIGHT orange) walked past and called me a, “Freak.” I should have hugged him, I’ve always wanted to be a freak, always wanted to be different. He may have made my week. Here’s a quick look at the freak….

face edit

But his comment did make me think, what does what we wear say about who we are? Do we judge people by how they dress? Of course we do. Recently one of the ladies of the church apologise to me that their child had come to church in jeans – I don’t care, at least they were there, they can wear what they like.

If you’ve ever been to Piccadilly Circus in London you will have seen the punks. Bright, spiky hair; make up; tight, torn clothes; piercings and that’s just the boys. I remember my mother telling me that they were, “Just trying to make a statement.” I’m still not sure what that statement is short of the obvious and I’m not having a second blog with swearing in it yet (I’m still getting over the complaints from the first!).

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The polar opposite of the punks, of course, are the be-suited corporate wanna-bes whose dark suit and designer shoes are every bit as much of uniform and a statement as the spiky hair and piercings. They scream – I want to belong, I want to be successful, I want to be a clone of my boss.

But which of the two groups are more valuable as people?

Does my worth depend on whether my beard is tidy or not?

Does your value depend on whether you fit my idea of what a person should dress like?

Are we better Christians because we wear suits to church?

OF COURSE NOT!!!

What you wear is as ridiculous a way of judging others as what colour your eyes are. “Oh sorry, you have green eyes – you can’t come in to our church, we’re a blue eyes only congregation.” It’s the whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover thing.

Everyone is different – get over it! We all have different tastes and different likes. Even though I can’t understand it not everyone likes the light operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan and some people do like One Direction (I mean, per-lezzzzze, One Direction???) but as I say everyone is different.

Thinking of that – we all sin differently too (and we do sin, each one of us, and that means YOU dear reader). You’re view of what constitutes sin may be very different to mine – I have a massive problem with the Church using guilt and the threat of damnation as its primary weapon of conversion – throwing around the “SIN” word and the “HELL” word in order to try and convince you of the love of God. It always sounds  to me like, “God loves you so much that he is going to burn you in a fire for ever, you pitiful little worm!”And that view of God troubles me, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that I don’t believe in sin. I do, I just don’t believe in judging others for they way they sin. I have a log in my eye and I ain’t gonna try and take the speck in yours out!

Again I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand up for the right, show our principles and stop bigotry racism, sexism, and the other evils we see, when we see them but let’s try and quit the judging game.

Judging people for the way they sin, especially because it is different from the way you sin, is always to be wrong. Forget the judging – start the loving. Love people for who they are, not what you want them to be – do that (as consistently as we can) and we take another small step along the pathway to being more Christlike whether you believe in him nor not.


  • 0

Don’t judge others……

 

For the past fortnight I’ve had a bright red beard with dreadlocks and beads in it. I must admit (apart from the pain) it looked spectacular but not everyone thought so. I had a few people remark on ‘the look’ most of whom were passing strangers who have no idea who I am or why I had a bright red, dreadlocked beard. My favourite comment was when I was walking down the Elizabeth street and a guy with BRIGHT orange trainers (not just bright orange but BRIGHT orange) walked past and called me a, “Freak.” I should have hugged him, I’ve always wanted to be a freak, always wanted to be different. He may have made my week. Here’s a quick look at the freak….

But his comment did make me think, what does what we wear say about who we are? Do we judge people by how they dress? Of course we do. Recently one of the ladies of the church apologise to me that their child had come to church in jeans – I don’t care, at least they were there, they can wear what they like.

If you’ve ever been to Piccadilly Circus in London you will have seen the punks. Bright, spiky hair; make up; tight, torn clothes; piercings and that’s just the boys. I remember my mother telling me that they were, “Just trying to make a statement.” I’m still not sure what that statement is short of the obvious and I’m not having a second blog with swearing in it yet (I’m still getting over the complaints from the first!).

The polar opposite of the punks, of course, are the be-suited corporate wanna-bes whose dark suit and designer shoes are every bit as much of uniform and a statement as the spiky hair and piercings. They scream – I want to belong, I want to be successful, I want to be a clone of my boss.

But which of the two groups are more valuable as people?

Does my worth depend on whether my beard is tidy or not?

Does your value depend on whether you fit my idea of what a person should dress like?

Are we better Christians because we wear suits to church?

OF COURSE NOT!!!

What you wear is as ridiculous a way of judging others as what colour your eyes are. “Oh sorry, you have green eyes – you can’t come in to our church, we’re a blue eyes only congregation.” It’s the whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover thing.

Everyone is different – get over it! We all have different tastes and different likes. Even though I can’t understand it not everyone likes the light operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan and some people do like One Direction (I mean, per-lezzzzze, One Direction???) but as I say everyone is different.

Thinking of that – we all sin differently too (and we do sin, each one of us, and that means YOU dear reader). You’re view of what constitutes sin may be very different to mine – I have a massive problem with the Church using guilt and the threat of damnation as its primary weapon of conversion – throwing around the “SIN” word and the “HELL” word in order to try and convince you of the love of God. It always sounds  to me like, “God loves you so much that he is going to burn you in a fire for ever, you pitiful little worm!”And that view of God troubles me, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that I don’t believe in sin. I do, I just don’t believe in judging others for they way they sin. I have a log in my eye and I ain’t gonna try and take the speck in yours out!

Again I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand up for the right, show our principles and stop bigotry racism, sexism, and the other evils we see, when we see them but let’s try and quit the judging game.

Judging people for the way they sin, especially because it is different from the way you sin, is always to be wrong. Forget the judging – start the loving. Love people for who they are, not what you want them to be – do that (as consistently as we can) and we take another small step along the pathway to being more Christlike whether you believe in him nor not.


Upcoming Events

Dec
23
Sun
11:00 am NATIVITY SERVICE
NATIVITY SERVICE
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
FOLLOWED BY A VISIT FROM SANTA AND A CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Jan
27
Sun
10:00 am CHURCH PICNIC
CHURCH PICNIC
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
 
Mar
3
Sun
3:00 pm 2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
A wonderful afternoon of traditional hymns and music held at St. Michael’s U.C. on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. Features the Blue Ribbon winner from the 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales, Andrew P.