Tuesday, 23 December 2014

'It's because we don't believe in God'

Below is a blog post from my friend Sam over at Elizaphanian. Whilst he is speaking about the Church of England, I am fully convinced that what he is saying applies more generally to the Christian church in the West. This is the time of year when we see the church engaged in a whole variety of evangelistic endeavours and, I think, highlights the malaise and predicament Sam is blogging about.

He has kindly let me repost it on my blog in full. God check his blog out for yourselves.

'I am more and more persuaded that the problems that we face in the Church of England stem from a collapse of faith. We no longer believe in God, we no longer know what we do believe in, and so we chase desperately after idols, hoping that one or other of them can fill the gap.

This will never happen. Between the idol and the Living God is an incommensurable distance.

Which idols am I thinking of? Here are some.

The idol of public acceptability, leading the Church to marry the spirit of the age, leading to inevitable widowhood.

The idol of ‘family’ as if the worth of the church can be measured by how far it can compete with Go Bananas.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Love Thy Neighbour

'It is easy to love the idealized figure of a poor, helpless neighbour, the starving African or Indian, for example; in other words, it is easy to love one’s neighbour as long as he stays far enough from us, as long as there is a proper distance separating us. The problem arises at the moment when he comes too near us, when we start to feel his suffocating proximity – at this moment when the neighbour exposes himself to us too much, love can suddenly turn into hatred.' (Enjoy Your Symptom!: Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out, Slavoj Žižek, p.8, 2001).

It is preferable for us nowadays to avoid 'the Real', that is, to adopt a sterilised or sentimental version of events in order to anaesthetise us from any given reality. Christmas is a prime example of this phenomenon. Take this recent advert,

Whilst the advert seeks to simply yet profoundly declare what Christmas is really all about, what it actually does is reiterate the nostalgic, sentimental and sterilised desires within us. The couple are typically white, middle class, the baby quiet, clean and happy. The home starts middle class, and ends in a stable scene, that is, a middle class version. Without doubt there would have been 'great joy' at the birth of Christ, but that joy would also have been accompanied with pain, blood, sweat, tears, fear and uncertainty. What the advert does is once again enable us to avoid 'the Real' and embrace nostalgia. This advert, like much within our church services over this Advent period have little to do with the Incarnation. Christmas 'evangelism' and church services feed off nostalgia and sentimentality, a sentimentality that pulls us away from the God who became flesh in the stench, shit and sin.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Why Black Friday Is Good For The Soul

In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight we are confronted with the madness of the Joker. He is a character that deeply unsettles us because of his truthfulness. Take the following clip,

"I'm a man of my word."

The power of the scene is that we know the Joker is telling the truth. The Dark Knight is a film filled with lies where everyone except the Joker hides behind lies. The Joker is like a falling into an icy lake, shocking us into reality, recognising that things are bad, that we may not get out of this situation alive. Because the Joker tells us the truth he highlights our need for transformation, the stripping away of masks.

'This is how crazy Batman has made Gotham.'

A moment of madness exposes the reality.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Keep Calm and Trust the System

It is the System that is the problem, not the people within the System. Yet the people within the System become so enslaved to It that they are no longer able to see beyond it.

We can rage at the decisions and actions of those people within the System, and rightfully challenge their continued abuse and oppression, but they themselves are part of a bigger 'thing' that is out of their control.

At the next election here in the UK we are presented with a real issue as to who to vote for. None of the political parties are in any way unique or different, they are simply part of a System that controls them. Any party who gets into power in 2015 will simply become part of the oppressive System that continues to humiliate, indoctrinante and oppress.  And this is the very real challenge for those of us who are seeking transformation and redemption for and from the System.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Taken and Given

'...the violence we use creates new evil...It inculcates the longing for revenge, and for what the losers call "justice."' Walter Wink

The Taken films highlight Winks point well.

Now those of us who have watched the Taken films know that they are pure entertainment designed to make you root for the 'good guy' in his quest to kill the 'bad guy'.  Interestingly though they bring to the surface the very problem we continually face within our violent world of how our violence creates more violence, and the evil which we seek to overthrow through violence we end up mirroring.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

'Men Made It, But They Can't Control It'

'The owners of the land came onto the land, or more often a spokesman for the owners came...Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold.  And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves...If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank - or the Company - needs - wants - insists - must have - as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them.  These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time...The owner men sat in the cars and explained.  You know the land is poor.  You've scrabbled at it long enough, God knows.

The squatting tenant men nodded and wondered and drew figures in the dust, and yes, they knew, God knows.  If the dust only wouldn't fly.  If the top would only stay on the soil, it might not be so bad...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

ISIS, Mirrors and Freedom

The news of the beheading of David Haines over the weekend has, for obvious reasons, been the focal point of conversation and news stories. As with so many others my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of David Haines, James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

If you're like me what shocks me the most is the sheer brutality of the act.  Now I have not watched any of the videos that have been released and have no intention of doing so, but that does not stop me from recoiling inside at hearing of the brutality of the act.

How is it that one human being can literally cut off the head of another human being?

As I have reflected on the nature of this violence I reflected on my own ability to act violently.

I am not a violent person, yet I wonder if there were certain circumstances and situations where I could spiral into a place where I no longer viewed the person in front of me as a human and lose all sense of compassion, empathy and common humanity and so inflict upon them brutality like we are witnessing in Syria?  If I was stripped of my identity, if those whom I loved were ripped from me, if I was deprived of sleep, food and peace could I commit these acts?

I have heard many times from many different people that if someone harmed their children they would do whatever it takes to exact vengeance upon the perpetrators. People speak very candidly about their ability for violence when the scenario of violence against their children is suggested.

Perhaps there is something within all of us that is able to act in ways of extreme brutality to another human?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Divine Comedy

'I'm not telling you the right way to think, but I am telling you that the way that you are thinking is not right.'

This phrase has been rattling around in my head for a few days.  I'm not sure if I have heard it somewhere before, but it made me think about the parables of Jesus.

When Jesus speaks in parables it is not because he is telling us literal truths and laying down new laws to live by, rather it is to subvert the cultural and religious ideology and wake people up to a new reality.

The parables of Jesus subvert the absurdity of a lived reality and calls people into a new way of life.

This is what true and 'real' comedy does.  We laugh because we recognise the absurdity of it all.

Jesus is a stand-up comedian with a twist, because rather than simply point out the absurdity he subverts it and calls people to imagine what might be if we allowed ourselves a transformed imagination.

What if the way I think about the world is not right?  What if the way I live is not right because of the way I think?  What if I woke up to this, how might I think and live and love in this new reality?

The subversiveness of Jesus' parables means that we are invited to use our imagination without creating new laws or ideological systems that trap people in old habits.  Rather, the parables invite us to think and theologically wrestle and imagine and create and love creatively and speak out imaginatively and embrace diversity because of collective imagination.

'Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?'

This is the finest type of comedy.

Jesus does not say what the log or speck of dust is, rather he highlights through subversive comedy that we, whoever 'we' is, are blinded by our own judgemental attitudes and need to see with a different perspective.  He is not telling us the right way to think, but he is telling us that the way we are thinking and seeing is not right.

Jesus is Divine Comedy and we need to learn how to laugh.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Rack Religion

I snapped this today...

In many ways this sums up ideology within religion. People become a commodity that is used to further a myth system that in turn continues to raise the powerful and destroy the oppressed.

In order to do this the ideology has to marketed and promoted to draw people in to its system. In our culture and climate the market is fierce and extremely volatile, so your ideology has to be attractive and competitive.

So you hang it there, dress it up and lure people in with false promises of success, happiness and fulfillment; buy into this ideology and all will be well.

Monday, 28 July 2014

'This is My Design'

*Warning* - Not for the faint-hearted...

Hannibal is one of the slickest, smartest and well thought out shows around. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted providing a depth of darkness and insight into the ability of humanity to walk in darkness and violence.

Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter are fascinating characters, two sides of the same coin, symbols of a curtain that draws back and reveals truths into our common humanity that we can all too often be blind to. Will Graham exemplifies the human propensity to imitate one another. Indeed Graham reveals how such imitation leads to violence, a desire to kill or discredit another whom we see as our rival because in fact they are so similar to us.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Consumer Christ

Let's be clear, Jesus is not some self-help guru here to make our lives a living luxury. His purpose is not to straighten you out, smarten you up and propel you into heights of finally fulfilled potential, status and recognition. He has not set you goals and targets, a weight loss plan and a seven week programme to transform yourself into someone who can stand in front of the mirror and say, "I am beautiful. I am successful." Jesus did not incarnate himself into the grit and grime of this broken and beautiful cosmos simply to make you the centre of it and help you become a somebody. A life lived with the effervescent God is not to make all your troubles disappear, relieve you of all concerns, keep you safe and sound or to choose you not to die in a plane crash. As Bonhoeffer said, we  have confused peace and security, with security and success now the idols of our age.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Taking God's Name in Vain

There are times when I read Christian blogs and news stories and simply despair. I genuinely gasp in horror sometimes at the things said and done in the name of 'God'.

There is a readiness to speak the name of God over the words and actions of so many of us, willing to contend that the words I say, the actions I do are ordained and appointed by God.

Of course I am only too aware of the considerable and towering presence of people of faith throughout the world who care for the sick, provide for the poor and work tirelessly to relieve the suffering of so many. History is radiant with the colour of compassion.

So it is a paradox at times, for there is also no doubt that there are things said in 'Jesus name' that make my heart sink as well as sing.

Perhaps many of us have simply taken the name of God in vain.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Waking on Water

Whether we are a religious fundamentalist, a strident materialist, someone who is a convinced theist or whoever, we all live our lives in a state of trust or, for more specifically, faith.

Each morning I get up (sometimes somewhat reluctantly...) I do not for one moment consider whether or not I will float to the ceiling when I step out of bed. I have not once in my life thought that there may be a possibility that the gravitational pull that keeps my feet on the ground will have changed so dramatically that I no longer find it is able to keep my from floating off in to the air. Not once have I considered that this might be a possibility.

This is down to faith.

Before I ever learned about gravity I have always found myself connected the ground. When I was little if I leaned out of my bed I would fall. When I jumped I came back down again. When I crawled as a baby I stayed on the floor. When I learnt to walk I never floated away. Indeed helium balloons amazed my because they seemed to do something that was entirely different to my own experience. How did they float? Why did the balloons at my party that we blew up not float? Superman was amazing because when he jumped he flew. Then at school we discovered what gravity was. But here is the thing, gravity as with so many other things in this world, exist of course, but their existence is a reality to us because of mental impressions, our consciousness and shared conceptual paradigms. In other words, our consciousness is what makes these things a reality to us and in doing so we have faith in the way the world is, often never even questioning the way things are.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

(Un)Certainty Maybe

We need to embrace uncertainty and doubt for it is here that a deep and fascinating relationship with God is birthed.

Certainty, whilst appealing and seemingly safe, can lead us into anxiety, fear and misguided trust.

Let me give an example to highlight this.

I am certain that the grass is green. Indeed, I am so sure that the grass is green that I am willing to put my very life on the line for this proposition.

However, when I walk outside to prove to you that the grass is green I am confronted with a garden full of brown grass because the sun has shone persistently upon my garden, I have not watered it, and so the grass is now brown.

So the grass is not green, it is brown.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I Am (Not)

We are a people of memory.

Indeed, the moment you spent in reading each word in this sentence has become a memory. You may go back and read the same words again, but that unique moment when you read those words is now a memory. Our entire lives are a memory, formed by every movement, encounter and moment.

Perhaps this is why God alone is called 'I AM'.

You are you for sure. You exist in the sense that others can be hear/see/smell/touch and encounter you in some way. You are a part of this material world, created from the dust of the earth, formed in your mothers womb, born into an uncertain world.

Yet can any of us ever say 'I am...', for to say 'I am' is to say that you exist wholly in the present, no longer determined by memory. Perhaps the best any of us can do is to say 'I was...' for the moments that define us will always be memories.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

New Atheists, Mermaids and the Non-Existence of God

My seven year old daughter loves the idea of mermaids. We have a story book that explores legends and stories of mermaids and how we continue to have a fascination with these mythical sirens of the sea. Indeed you will often hear of 'shocking' discoveries that mermaids are indeed real, with apparent proof from video footage.

New athiests and religious fundamentalists are simply seekers of sirens.

You see the quest for mermaids is basically a quest for an object. So we are dealing with language of 'subject - object'; we are the subjects seeking out an object.

New atheists and religious believers alike are seeking to prove the 'existence of God' which Tillich helpfully describes as 'half-blasphemous and mythological.' In other words, once we seek to prove God's existence like we try and prove the existence of any particular object we have ceased to talk about the God of Christian orthodoxy. The only reasonable response to trying to prove the existence of God is atheism, because such a god is as observable as the sea sirens my seven year old is fascinated with. No wonder then that early Christians were called  atheists. And it is no wonder too that Christian mystics have often used atheistic language when speaking of God.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Democracy? What Democracy?

Let us be under no illusions, we do not live in a time of democracy.

Certainly we have democracy in the sense that I am able to go and vote for a party. Yet in the very real sense I am no longer free to vote because there is no freedom in my vote.

What I mean by this is that the landscape of politics is such that I am left with little to no actual voice through my vote. Whomever I put a X against will do little to change the landscape of the political desert. We are in a situation where the main political parties have continually undermined the voices of the people and repeatedly acted in ways that oppress, abuse and damage. And no matter who I vote for this will continue to happen as political agenda, narcissism, greed and misplaced desire dominate. Time and again we are told that 'hardworking people' will be rewarded casting suspicion and distrust on anyone who does not appear to fall into such a category.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

True Perfection

'This is true perfection: not to avoid a wicked life because, like slaves, we servilely fear punishment, nor to do good because we hope for rewards, as if cashing in on the virtuous life by some businesslike and contractual arrangement. On the contrary, disregarding all those things for which we hope and which have been reserved by promise, we regard falling from God's friendship as the only thing dreadful, and we consider becoming God's friend the only thing worthy of honour and desire. This, as I have said, is the perfection of life.' Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in GOD

Frank Schaeffer has done something remarkable with his new book.


When you experience raw and uncompromising honesty it is a strange sensation. It is like when I used to be an oyster fisherman and would see the sun rising over a glass sea, leaving me breathless. Or then the next morning being tossed around on violent waves struggling to see ahead because of the wind and rain. Nature is an honest force that when in the midst of it leaves you in no uncertainty about what it is about and your place within it; honesty has a habit of doing that to us.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Steve Chalke, morality and identity

Christianity is not an ethical code, a means of morality that teaches people how to be 'good' and 'decent' people. Morality code Christianity leads us from the Way of Jesus towards a road of individualism, legalistic codes that decide whose 'in' and 'out' and non-differation between any number of religious and secular groups around the world. Being 'good' is not the goal of following Jesus.

However, it seems to me that the debates, arguments and fall out over Steve Chalke and the Evangelical Alliance removing Oasis from its membership has in some way to do with a morality code Christianity. The EA have determined a certain view on sexuality, Steve Chalke holds a different view and they have found each other wanting; EA have an ethical and moral code to stand by and Oasis do not sit favourably in light of this code.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Worshipping Doubters

'And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came to them and said...'

This is a fascinating verse in Scripture that invites us to doubt.

What is interesting is that Jesus comes to worshippers/doubters/worshipping doubters and sends them all into a world of certainty with the Gospel.

Worshipping doubters are sent by God to those who are certain and secure in all that they believe and to declare that they have witnessed something that they do not quite know how to explain or put into words. Oh they will use words, at times with great confidence, yet those words do not quite portray everything that they have seen and heard. Worshipping doubters declare to a world of certainty that all that they are certain of may need to be re-examined. The Resurrection calls us to question everything we know, invites us to doubt and thus to find faith.

Worshipping doubters smash the god idols of certainty that call us to mindlessly adhere to the way the world is. The certainty gods do not want you to think, perceive and see that you've been lied to.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

'This is the end, for me the beginning of life'

On April 9th 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazi's.

When he was summoned to go with the guards it is reported that he turned to one of his friends and said,

"This is the end, for me the beginning of life."

In one of the last letters he wrote whilst in prison he said,

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Life Together

When Christianity becomes a code of morality, an ethic of 'right or wrong' then you can be sure that we have ceased following Jesus faithfully. The Way of life with God is not about 'not breaking the rules' but about how we might live lives that ever more reflect the Light and Life of Jesus; how might we become more human.
A morality code Christianity inevitably leads to individualism and how 'I' am saved through right living and how 'my' salvation is the most important element of my existence. A life like this is not the abundant life that Jesus calls us into, it is not the life of communion with the Trinitarian Life. Living through a lens of 'not breaking the rules' leads to a spirit of judgement and condemnation or perpetual guilt and shame, sometimes both.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Palestine, Politics and Power

I have a picture of Jesus depicted as a wanted criminal on a poster with an offer of a reward for his capture. It is implied that he is a dangerous rebel whom the powerful are trying to capture because of his criminal activities on behalf of the poor.

I showed this to someone not long ago and they were confused by it. They asked why Jesus was being portrayed in this way. They couldn't understand why politicians or the powerful would see Jesus as an enemy and what relevance Jesus would have in these areas of life.


In April 2002 am Israeli bulldozer - a bulldozer made and sold by Caterpiller Inc., an American company - destroyed a Palestinian home in the West Bank. The home was destroyed in the middle of the night killing Mahmoud Omar Al Sho’bi's father Umar, his sisters Fatima and Abir, his brother Samir, pregnant sister-in-law Nabila and their three children, ages 4, 7, and 9. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus (otherwise you might fall down a well)

Hippolytus writes, 'It is said that Thales of Miletus...looking towards the heaven, alleging that he was carefully examining supernal objects, fell into a well; and a certain maid, by name Thratta, remarked of him derisively, that while intent on beholding things in heaven, he did not know what was at his feet.'
Jesus calls us to be aware, to 'see', the reality of the world around us. To 'fix your eyes on Jesus' is not to gaze into the heavens longing to be set free from this world; it is to walk with Jesus in the muck and mire, to eat at the table of strangers who become friends, to laugh with Jesus at the joy and the wonder of relationship with God and each other. It is an earthly, gritty and liberating way of 'seeing'.
If our eyes are looking up at the heavens we will miss the beauty and pain of today.
If our eyes are looking to the stars we will miss God with us in the gutter.
If our eyes are fixed on life after death we will miss the beauty of the life of God today and the hope of the Kingdom tomorrow.
If our eyes are fixed on 'supernal objects' we will miss the suffering of our fellow human and the ways Jesus is good news to the poor, oppressed and captive.
How can we walk faithfully with the Risen Jesus if we are stuck down the bottom of a well?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


'Christianity entered history as a new social order, or rather a new social dimension. From the very beginning Christianity was not primarily a 'doctrine', but exactly a 'community'. There was not only a 'Message' to be proclaimed and delivered, and 'Good News' to be declared. There was precisely a New Community, distinct and peculiar, in the process of growth and formation, to which members were called and recruited. Indeed, 'fellowship' (koinonia) was the basic category of Christian existence. Primitive Christians felt themselves to be closely knit and bound together in a unity that radically transcended all human boundaries - of race, of culture, of social rank, and indeed the whole dimension of "this world"'. 

Fr Georges Florovsky, Empire and Desert 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Are We the gods Now?

Christian faith from its very beginnings has declared that God is able (Jude 24). Early Christian witness was to a God who, not only was able but who was wholly other and supreme to all things. Irenaeus declared that God 'is not as men are...the Father of all is...a simple, uncompounded Being, without diverse members, and altogether like, and equal to himself, since he is wholly understanding, and wholly spirit, and wholly thought, and wholly intelligence, and wholly reason, and wholly hearing, and wholly seeing, and wholly light, and the whole source of all that is good.' (Against Heresies, II.XIII.III) God's supremacy over all things and his Lordship over the whole cosmos (Colossians 1:15-18) was powerfully witnessed to and affirmed by the early church in face of fierce persecution and demands upon them to swear their allegiance to Caesar, something that they refused to do; God is able was their ringing testimony.

However we live in a time when many would seek to convince us that humanity is able on its own without any need for God. Certainly this is not a new concept with history littered with human desire to 'go it alone', be masters of their own lives and discover a perceived freedom from religious conviction and faith in God. Many have come to believe that God is an unnecessary part of human life, that our own advancement's and achievements have made God an irrelevance and that there is no need for God.
Without doubt our continued discoveries in the sciences, anthropology and cultural hermeneutics, amongst other things, has enabled many exciting and revolutionary changes to take place within our societies. Yet as advanced as we appear to be, as able as we think we are, we are left with the reality that, compared to God, we simply are not able;

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Do Not Conform

When does our conformity serve, enable and bring blessing to majority thinking, even when such thinking is oppressive, abusive and anti-Gospel?

Jesus calls out a people who will oppose the oppressors, shine the light of truth and expose the abusers and be guardians of a love ethic that reveals and crucifies hatred and fear.

Conformity can be a means through which we find ourselves on the side of hatred and fear, guardians of violence and greed, a willing yet ignorant cog in a system that turns and controls us.

Martin Luther King Jr spoke of the three evils, racism, poverty and war. He often spoke powerfully and boldly to the Church about how complicit it had become in promoting and promulgating these evils but that a time had come to no longer conform but to be transformed non-conformists. He called the Church to remember her roots and the 'gospel glow' of the early Christians who though 'quantitatively small' were 'qualitatively giants'. Such was their commitment to the non-violent Way of Jesus and his love ethic they revealed to a world the truest and most powerful sense of what it means and looks like to love God and neighbour. Orphanages and adoption, feeding the poor, caring for the sick, loving the loveless and refusing to bow to Caesar and the violent demands of the Roman Empire saw the Church flourish.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 4th February 1906 - 9th April 1945

'It is not for us to predict the day - but the day will come - when people will once more be called to speak the word of God in such a way that the world is changed and renewed. It will be like a new language, perhaps quite nonreligious language, but liberating and redeeming like Jesus' language, so people will be alarmed, but overcome by its power - the language of new righteousness and truth, a language proclaiming that God makes peace with humankind and that God's kingdom is drawing near...Until then, the Christian cause will be a quiet and hidden one; but there will be people who pray and do justice and wait for God's own time.'

'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.'

Monday, 20 January 2014

What If...?

Do you go to church?  If you do, I have a few questions to ask.

How far away from where you live is the church that you go?

What are the reasons you go to said church?  Is it the preaching? The music? The kids work?

If you travel out of your local community to a church in another community why have you not tried to go to a church in your local community?

I don't mean go for a month or even a year but for a few years and really give it a go. And why not invite others who live locally and travel out to another church to go to a local church too. Why not together look for how you can GIVE to this local church, use your gifts in this church, GIVE energy, encouragement, support, ideas, prayer and most importantly, love and relationship.

'The church is too traditional'

'The church's worship is really poor'

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Benefits Street and Nazism

Benefits Street on Channel 4 is causing a stir.

There have been calls for the show to be taken off air, Twitter death threats and many feeling uncomfortable and uneasy with the way the show portrays various people from various backgrounds and circumstances.

Without doubt when watching it you need a very large pinch of salt and a way of seeing through the propaganda.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Revolution? What Revolution?

Today human relationships are frail, easily fall apart and are as easy to break as they are to tie together. Electronic communication allows us to have relationships with a safety device; the possibility of instant connection and disconnection. 

We live in a consumerist world whereby we are encouraged to constantly upgrade what we have, to get the next new thing and to replace the old. The nostalgia marketing movement that is being used right now is an example of how effective and ingrained this view of the world is. 

Nostalgia marketing causes us to remember how things used to be, the toys we used to play with, the clothes we used to have, the way things were in our relationships with each other. So we long for the good old days. The advertisers then tell us we can have the good old days today by buying something new but making us believe we are simply going back to what we used to have. All we are really doing is upgrading and casting away what we already have. It causes us to be dissatisfied with what we already have and long for something else. Electronic communication along with consumerist culture directly impacts how we relate to one another and it means that getting rid of the unwanted, much more than the act of getting hold of the desired, is the meaning of individual freedom.

Our detachment in our relationships is but a symptom of how we are encouraged to become ‘someone else’ through this constant ‘upgrading’. Rather than seeking salvation or redemption which call us to life-long discipleship, we seek instantaneous results of transformation. Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk puts it like this,