The best way to begin overcoming some things is one step at a time. (Actually that’s generally the way to overcome most things.) With that in mind, I’ve come up with a realistic new model of doing this and I am about to:
I’ve had this post sitting in draft for a few days as I pondered whether or not to post it. Obviously I decided to press that button.
A long time ago I announced that I was going to write a series of articles on the various New Testament passages tied up in the issue of the role of women in the church, specifically when it comes to ordination and preaching. Shortly thereafter the blog fell relatively silent. Plenty of people have been accessing the material that’s already here, which is great to see, but my output is negligible.
I won’t go into all the reasons this happened, because my life is my own (well, it’s God’s and self-ownership is a lie so I suppose I mean that some parts of my life are private) and I don’t intend to share it all. But one of the main reasons this series was not forthcoming is the same as one of the reasons why my writing output here plummeted. This blog post, which will hopefully signal the start of a bit more activity here, is about as close to a window on my psyche as you’re likely to get in writing. It’s partially a vent, and certainly not designed to persuade you of anything, nor is it an invitation to argue about whether or not what I say here is true. Here’s the reason:
Human beings are terrible.
I have a life, you know. I do other things besides write and talk about theology, philosophy, the Bible and social issues. It just happens that this is possibly my favourite thing.
I also make music, and here is my Soundcloud page.
I am also in the process of setting up a guitar luthier workshop, and as that becomes more complete I share that process here. (Good tools, as it turns out, are expensive!)
I would also like to branch into doing readings / voice acting, but how one gets into such things, I have no idea. But here is a reading I did recently of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, Alone.
There are a few other readings of this poem at Youtube, but you know what, I prefer mine. So if you want to make me feel better without paying a cent, head over to Youtube and upvote this video, and share it with as many people as you think might like it.
I do have more writing in the works. Stay tuned for an article on John Calvin and the Marian doctrines.
Things are still quiet around here. A case of burnout and the events of everyday life have kept me from writing terribly much of late. Still, it’s very heartening to see that even when my writing output here slows to a halt, there are plenty of people reading the blog – which now stretches back nine years! Can you believe it? Even when I’m not writing, there are always people using the resources that are already here. They are doing it right now! For this I’m grateful and encouraged. I’m also encouraged by the correspondence I continue to receive about material at the blog and podcast. I’m amazed and humbled by the wide range of people who have expressed appreciation for the material I post here.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key has announced that New Zealand will be sending members of the New Zealand Defence Force to Iraq to train Iraqi troops in the fight against Islamic State (IS). Against some who think we should not support the effort against IS on the grounds that it is “not our war,” against the government’s political foes (and even allies – but with the apparent majority of public opinion) I believe the PM has made the right decision for New Zealand to get involved, and a laudable one in the face of predictable opposition. In truth I think our soldiers should be going there to engage IS rather than to train soldiers, but involvement rather than keeping our distance is the appropriate stance.
Black people face real disadvantages and difficulties when it comes to crime and law enforcement. As soon as some people – usually white people – hear those words, they begin to switch off and act as though they are not interested in the problem, or in even admitting that there is one sometimes. But there is one, and if you’re a person who, like me, wants to be a follower of Christ in the world, then you should care because people are hurting over this.
The lead story on tonight’s news was that of Pastor Logan Robertson’s email reply to Jim Marjoram. Jim Marjoram is a homosexual man who recently wrote an autobiography detailing his former life as a “fundamentalist” Christian. He emailed a number of Auckland Churches about the book, and about the “Support Silent Gays” support group. Robertson’s reply is now world-famous in New Zealand: “I pray that you will commit suicide, you filthy fag.” Read about it here.
Now, my cynical side (the side I usually listen to) says that when you send an email to churches advertising a book about your journey from “fundamentalism” to being openly gay, and advertising a gay support group, if you’re clever you send it to a few liberal churches who will offer supportive comments you can quote, and you pick the nuttiest you can find, so you can quote them. Either end of the spectrum is good for publicity, and that has certainly proven to be the case here. Send the book it to people who will react badly, and make sure everybody hears about it when they do. Works like a charm.
Still, what an overly nasty thing to say, you might be thinking. And you’d be right, of course! It beggars belief that the pastor of a Church whose website calls itself a “family-oriented” church would say this. And it makes one’s head explode to see that at that site, we are told that “Pastor Robertson has a love for the lost and our church has a vision of reaching the lost souls of Auckland.” A love for the lost! I doubt there would be much point in any of us, Christian or otherwise, trying to reason with a person who thinks this is a helpful way to reply to anybody. What’s more, there are enough people who already hold patently false views of how the church interacts with gay people, and this will only make that perception worse.
How does this happen?