Saturday, 8 October 2011
It strikes me that he had no time for the rule keeping of the Pharisees and worked on the basis of inclusivity, treating those on the outside with absolute respect, having dialogue with the person. But that doesn't mean that he promoted their autonomy, far from it. With regards to the woman at the well, the conversation revolved around the number of husbands she had, and the fact that her current partner wasn't. To me this was only to highlight that her identity was found in relationships, not in God. Therefore he was offering her a better way (the living water), a chance to relocate her identity. A relationship based on grace, which involves the regeneration of the self and ultimate transformation. And I accept how imposing your own views on others is looked upon today, but if there is something that good, trans formative and positive it becomes wrong not to share it. So for those of us who are a part of a Christian community, it cannot be insular or inward looking, because it only becomes another form of tribal belonging which can be found anywhere. We have been given a wonderful and undeserved gift,and it therefore gives us no right to look down on anyone. Our community should be pointing people towards new life found in relatioship with God, nothing more or less...
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Saturday, 6 August 2011
The film begins with the two main characters (Joel and Jackson Lamb) in the midst of what could only be described as extreme loss. Where the mother/wife was killed in an industrial accident, however, life had to go on for the father and son. Both had their own particular way of doing this, with the father burying himself in his work and the son (Joel) finding some form of escapism making Super 8 movies with his friends. It was then that they witnesed a catastrophic train crash, which was the beginning of some very strange disappearances in their small little town. However, I won't say anymore, and let you enjoy the film for yourselves.
All I would say is that in Super 8 we have something which is almost as good as ET, but not quite....
Monday, 25 July 2011
Fundamentalism itself came from the Southern Baptists in the early 20th century, with the sole purpose of defending conservative Christianity from its more liberal and modernistic counterparts. As the name suggests, the movement sought to re-introduce the fundamentals of scripture into common parlance, with the aim of bringing Christianity back to its truest form.
However, fundamentalism now seems to revolve around a state of mind rather than correct doctrine, a sense of superiority as opposed to humility. And this sense of elitism is only really based on a form of absolutism, with the under current pride. But the more I think about fundamentalism, the more it occurs to me that it is yet another humanistic way of coping with the complexities of life. And as a Christian and a counsellor, it is my opinion that fundamentalism is both a spiritual and pastoral issue. To me, faith is the belief in something you cannot fully understand or see, and it remains dynamic, not static or absolute. And in terms of therapy, absolutism is typical coping behaviour for those who could be described as having a insecure attachment.
Friday, 10 June 2011
In regards to suffering, when faced with the anticipation of the worst kind of punishment possible (The Garden of Gethsemane) he completely surrendered his will to God, and the result was true Redemption. Something amazing came out of the worst possible suffering Imaginable. To me that becomes formative for our personal suffering, because God works the best out of what seems like the worst (Romans 8:28).
But I wonder how much we take this on board? Or more specifically live in the light of...I know for myself that I don't, and deep down think I know better than God by getting despondent about my future. Losing sight of the fact that the God who brought about his redemptive purpose in Jesus can work my life for its best ends. Instead I can only look at what is front of me, which is the direct antithesis of faith.
But what is truly transformational is that God doesn't get impatient with me, or drop me because I continually get things wrong, or misunderstand the Gospel message...He will be with me until the end of the age...
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
However what interested me as well, were the dynamics in which the extreme dysfunction sprilled and increased. And like with most group dysfunction, there is always the strong and in someway charismatic leader (pictured above), where by the very force of their personality impose their own deviant way of doing things. Also there becomes a form of heirachy in the overall dysfunction, with people who become like a second in command to the main leader (like the woman who planned to throw the client to the floor). And it's through this form of structure, maybe not named, where the dysfunction descends throughout the whole staff team. Subsequently those who are not confluent with the overarching approach become victims themselves.
So we are only left with what could be called a toxic organisation...
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
However , with every good thing, there has to be an opposite, or in short, a bad thing. So when one is talking of bad relationships, the only real motif one could use is the word toxic. And in any context, toxic means harmful and injurious to other people. Therefore, not only do toxic relationships drain one of energy,and make them constantly defensive and hyper vigilant, they become hurtful and damaging in the long term. To the point where the only lens a person can look at the world through is one of their own pain.
And for myself, as a Christian, one of the biggest underlying causes of toxic relationships can be found in the most insightful polemics about human nature (Genesis 3:16), or better known as the fall. Which for me highlights all our tendency's to think that we know best, and that our own rights need to be respected whatever the wider consequences. Now there are many forms of this behaviour, and it could be put on a continuum, which is to say that there are some extreme forms of selfishness that have greater consequences (the distribution of wealth). And then we could think of our daily lives, with even our best efforts to portray a positive projected image of ourselves are always underscored with issues of self interest. But even though the consequences of our self interest can be vastly different, it all comes from the same place, or our own falleness.
Now I'm sure this will be offensive to some people, particularly those from a humanistic standpoint, who would go as far to say that man is inherently good and we must learn to evolve as a human race. Or the wave of Postmodern pluralism which permeates more of our culture then we would like to admit, who claim that everything is a relativistic social construct, highlighting the need to rid ourselves of all 'oughts' and 'shoulds' ... With the result being a new and spacious place for human kind to live in without the constraints of overarching world views, rather aptly sang about in the John Lennon song 'imagine'. But as much as I like John Lennon, and alot of what our culture brings us today, denying the root of the problem achieves nothing. And points to the fact that our humanness needs to be redeemed by something beyond ourselves and all our ideologies, something which has been made possible by our Lord and Saviour (John 14:6), Jesus Christ.