Monthly Archives: February 2014

“…just sayin’.”

Thought of the day: why do people think that meta commentary about their ‘role’ in a debate, or about their way of tackling a question, or about their ideological standpoint on something, absolves them of assuming responsibility for what they say or how they think?

“I hate to be ‘that guy’ in the conversation, but…”

“I’m an x, it’s nothing personal or anything, but there’s just no point arguing with me about y.”

“Oh, come on.  I’m a z. What else did you expect?”

“…just sayin’.”

It’s as if, with a sort of existential irony that perhaps only the French can really master, they’ve just shrugged their shoulders with a smarmy, faux-tragic smile and a face with ‘tant pis’ written all over it, and said, “This is me, this is the role that I occupy in society, this is what the invisible, deterministic forces of evolution have made me into; out of this I speak, and in reality I have no freedom to speak any other way. You have no right to hold me accountable for what I say; because what I say is what I am, and what I am is something that I am powerless to stop or change.”

To which I say, what a load of postmodern codswallop. If you’ve got this far into a conversation then you’re a reasoning human being; not a baby, and not someone so mentally ill that they can’t be held responsible for their actions. Yes, the world is mapped out by God’s Sovereign design, and yes, you are capable of making meaningful choices within that design. You who are so eager to declare that you won’t be pigeonholed under a socially-constructed label when you feel your toes are being stepped on – yes, you there in the corner! I hear your plea. Now if you want to be taken seriously and be your ‘own person’, if you insist on proving to the world that you’re a self-made and self-determining human being who doesn’t need a God or a system or anyone to tell you what you are, then start by facing up to the fact that you won’t have credibility unless you personally own the things that you say and do, no matter what you say you are. Do not decry labels and stereotypes and frames of reference then turn back to them when it suits. Nail your colours to the mast. You defy social construction? Fine. Be what you are; own what you say. Were you “just sayin'”? Then try saying it a little louder so that we can all hear you.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian

“Are You Going to New Hope Revival?” – Young People, Elitism and Christian Conferences According to an Unchurched Convert.

Perhaps Christian conference names are meant to sound quirky or enigmatic.  However, as a newly converted, teenage, unchurched Christian listening to my churchy classmates boast about how many they had been to, and watching them show off their snazzy wristbands and recite lists of their favourite Christian music artists, I just found them intimidatingly pretentious. I grieve for this culture and the source of discouragement it must be for other socially insecure, image-conscious teens who have newly converted from non-Christian backgrounds. I really do.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian

Notes on the Pursuit of Marriage – A Lesson Shared.

This post is primarily intended for people who are dating and engaged, for those who are single and considering marriage, and for those who are wondering whether the old Christian clichés about dating and relationships actually ring true in practice.

A lot of my friends whom I met in college have just got engaged. I swell with pride every time I see the notification pop up on Facebook and can be filled with so much joy to see something so beautiful that I shed a tear, but it’s always followed by pensiveness about my own situation. Myself, I’ve just come out of a dating relationship. It was a good relationship based on understanding and forgiveness, and I was sad to leave it, and we parted as good friends who had just realised that, for now, a forever-promise wasn’t God’s best for either of us. It was a wrench to say no to that relationship when there were things that seemed to be totally right about it. But it taught me a lot, and without revealing any identities or specific details, I want to share that here for those who might benefit from it. Call it part of the healing process. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian

Reflections on Jobseeking, British Government and Patriotism.

The more I go for job interviews, the more I realise how inadequate the whole recruitment system is. All they get is a CV, a begging letter; two, maybe three interviews, and a couple of statements from people who are being shoe-horned by generic conventions into writing nice things. Experience in marketing layout design, a flare for advert-writing and acting, a few meticulously cultivated contacts, and a certain lack of integrity, might be all it actually takes to persuade someone to give a person a job. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian

A Sight for Sore, Western, Christian Eyes.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

February 11, 2014 · 12:46 am

Between Culture and Reality – A Thought Along Christian Lines.

The more I think about it… the more I realise that the distinction between ‘culture’ and ‘reality’ is not that easy a thing to see and grasp, unless you can view your culture in contrast with something Other, point for point and distinctive for distinctive. Of course, even then you often end up discounting the Other you’re comparing it with as ‘primitive’, ‘barbaric’, ‘bigoted’, ‘patriarchal’ or ‘undemocratic’ and disqualifying it from comparison before you’ve started. However, I’m not sure it’s impossible to be open-minded enough to try to escape that trap and closed-minded enough not to end up a muddle of multiple relativistic identities. It might be existentially dangerous, it might land you in therapy, or worse – but I’m not sure it’s impossible for certain souls to do and come out of unscathed.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Christian

A mediocre poem inspired by a reading of ‘The Cross of Christ’ by John Stott this morning.

O Christ, O God, sacrificed for me,
Can words capture all that you’re worth?
You made yourself nothing so I could be free,
God-man come down, sentenced from birth.

God-man come down, how fragile this life
That raw human will could destroy you?
O sacrifice lamb, you complied with the knife
That the power of the worlds reserved for you.

Statute of old for a world full of vice,
God-crimes are paid in blood sacrifice.
Their blood-debts ran rife, their hearts turned to dross,
So God gave his life for their crimes on his Cross.

O grave, silent Power that drives the earth,
O Master of woes, wails and sins!
The clamour of pomp but a flower-span’s worth,
You drove as a lamb from within.

O Almighty Power, O still small voice,
Quiet as the cosmos and deeper.
Invisible breath in the sails of choice,
O Sacrifice Lamb, be my Keeper.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian

Little Lie

Little lie
Declawed and toothless, where did you come from?
You prowled around our churchyards armed with nothing but your hot, smooth tongue.
Flitting through our doctrines, we’d left the door wide open – woe is us.
Little lie, how could we find you now
After all of the lives we’ve thrown away on you?

O Christ’s Body Broken, how many thorns must be thrust in your side
just to prove you’re alive?
So many poisoned members lost, and still you’ve afflictions to fill
before your Master arrives –
Will you have blood left to shed by then
When our hands have crucified you again and again?

Little lie,
You took us in the day we took in you.
Starving and left homeless, little stray, we built you castles in the sky.
And now as Christ’s afflictions fill
On cheap speculation’s thrill,
Can we claim the Body still?

(This is Christ’s Body, broken for us.
Who could have thought that times would turn thus?
Church for each doctrine, church for each whim,
Pouring out His blood or pouring out Him?)

Little lie
Declawed and toothless, where did you come from?
Licking your wounds ’til the Lamb takes out your tongue,
Flitting through our doctrines, we’d left the door wide open – we were wont.
Body of Christ, don’t heed or pity:
A holier blood was shed to ransom you.

2 Comments

Filed under Christian