It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary, anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time ahead and far on into life, is - ; solitude, a heightened and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent - ?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. Only in this sense, as the task of working on themselves ("to hearken and to hammer day and night"), may young people use the love that is given to them. Merging and surrendering and every kind of communion is not for them (who must still, for a long, long time, save and gather themselves); it is the ultimate, is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.
But this is what young people are so often and so disastrously wrong in doing they (who by their very nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder, bewilderment. . . . : And what can happen then? What can life do with this heap of half-broken things that they call their communion and that they would like to call their happiness, if that were possible, and their future? And so each of them loses himself for the sake of the other person, and loses the other, and many others who still wanted to come. And loses the vast distances and possibilities, gives up the approaching and fleeing of gentle, prescient Things in exchange for an unfruitful confusion, out of which nothing more can come; nothing but a bit of disgust, disappointment, and poverty...
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet)
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"
(Admiral Farragut, as quoted by Stop Five Records)
THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation's grip on our lives. Taking its legal status as a "person" to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" Provoking, witty, sweepingly informative, The Corporation includes forty interviews with corporate insiders and critics - including Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.
Winner of 24 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, 10 of them AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS including the AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY in WORLD CINEMA at the 2004 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL...
The film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan.
Today, every molecule on the planet is up for grabs. In a bid to own it all, corporations are patenting animals, plants, even your DNA.
The Corporation exists to create wealth, and even world disasters can be profit centers. Carlton Brown, a commodities trader, recounts with unabashed honesty the mindset of gold traders while the twin towers crushed their occupants. The first thing that came to their minds, he tells us, was: "How much is gold up?"
"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wendy's International Inc. on Friday doubled to $100,000 the reward it is offering for information on the origin of a human finger found last month in a bowl of chili at one of its restaurants."
(Full article at Yahoo! News, April 15, 2005)
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death--and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.
(Philippians 2:5-8, The Message)
Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.
(Robert C. Gallagher)
All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.
"Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, authors of the Left Behind series, have criticized the new NBC mini-series Revelations as being 'unbiblical' and 'weird.'"
(You can read the short article here.)
Wake up dreamer
It's happening without you
Stop being so laissez-faire
We're all scared of the future
Welcome love/I have made a place for you here/I know every word they say/I know how they want to make you change/Change if you want, but don't you go and change for me/I will love you as you are/I didn't mean to make you want to go and leave/It's a fight between my heart and mind/no one really wins this time/If you don't find the love you want, if I have acted ungracefully, I don't want to see you go/I never meant to make you want to leave/But go if you want/Make your way straight to the door/I hope that you look back before you go 'cause grace looks back before it starts to leave/In the fight between my heart and mind, no one really wins this time/In the endless fight of grace and pride I don't want to win this time.
I just believe that there's a place in the church for everyone. That's pretty much what the song was talking about. I don't want to get too much into it, but it's basically about being accepting. The line, "change if you want / but don't you go and change for me / I will love you as you are / I didn't mean to make you want to leave," pretty much that's just about…if you believe homosexuality is wrong but you want to love people, you can't just sit there and tell them, "I'm not going to love you until you change."
The other night some friends were over and we were watching The Amazing Race (a reality TV show, in case you didn't already know that). One of the teams on the show is a gay couple. On this episode they were doing really well, and one friend (who, I will note, is currently attending Bible College to become a pastor) made the comment that he really hoped "the fags" didn't win, and that he also hated people who "talked with that girly voice". Another friend spoke up and told us that he felt like boycotting the show because of the gay guys. After all, "why would they even let people like that on the show?" I was blown away. This coming from two guys who'd call themselves Christians -- ie. Christ Followers.
It isn't new, this attitude of contempt for homosexuals by the Church. You'd have to have your head buried to have not heard or seen some form of disrespect and hate towards homosexuals by Christians. (How about the website, GodHatesFags.com, in case you wanted an example, albeit an extreme one). But it breaks my heart. I don't understand where it comes from. I don't understand how people can carry the banner of Jesus Christ and still treat human beings with such lack of compassion.
I'm not defending homosexual behavior. I'm not trying to gloss over what the Bible teaches on it. What I am defending, though, is homosexual people. Where was it in the history of the Church that we decided to forego Jesus' command to love our neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40), and instead pick up our pitchforks and protest signs and burn them at the stake? How far from being like Jesus can we go before we can no longer call ourselves Christians? I feel like we've been testing the limits on that for some time now.
I doubt there are even a significant number of Christians who have any sort of [positive] relationship with homosexuals. We've dug our trenches so deep, and carried our doctrine so proudly, I'm less-than-hopeful that there are even a few Christians willing to put their pride behind them, put down their Theological clubs, and embrace a homosexual. I know I’d have a hard time with it. I am very aware that I have no homosexual friends (that I know of). I shy away from it. I have too many prejudices, too much of an 'image' to lower myself to such a position. There is a limit to how accepting we are of people, right? I mean, Jesus had his limits, didn't he?
That's just it. I don't see that in the Gospels. I don't see Jesus putting His foot down and saying, "Hi. My name is Jesus. It's nice to meet you. Before we get too far in, I should warn you: I can't get close to you unless you stop being like that." What was one thing that characterized Him? He accepted people. He didn't let walls divide them. How could GOD get close to prostitutes, terrorists (after all, were not Zealots terrorists?), scumbags and thieves? Not to mention powerful people, rich people, men of authority? Jesus had no limits. Jesus didn't make people change before he loved and accepted them. It wasn't that he ignored the sin. But he knew that people don't respond to judgement. People don't need another finger pointing at them.
There's the old Christian mantra, "Love the sinner. Hate the sin." We seem to flap our gums a lot about that. Everyone wants to think they know how to do that. But history tells us it isn't so. We don't honestly distinguish between sin and sinner. Well, not unless it's one of our friends who struggles with pornography or greed or lying or cheating. In those cases, well, those are special. We know the difference, right? But gay people! No way! They are too different from us normal folk.
Like I mentioned before, I'm not arguing that homosexuality is an a-ok way to live. I'm saying that we have taken on more authority than we were ever given. God didn't tell us to go and convict our neighbor of his sin, to show him the error of his way. We were called to preach the good news -- the mercy, grace, love of God. That each one of us is a sinner, a miserable failure, and yet God has chosen to save us. Why can I not try to show that same love for my fellow man, despite his faults?
I think we as Christians forget what it is to be human. We forget that we all are ancestors of a sinful man and woman. We all suffer for it. Homosexuals are human beings too, relatives to the same man and woman! It seems like a simple enough truism, but more often than not we seem to make them into abstract ideas, problems that can be solved through a few easy steps, or by chanting the right prayer seven times.
The challenge is the same for all of us: to apply what Jesus taught to real life. It isn't easy. Most of the time I'm the furthest thing from being like Jesus. But I want to be like Him, and I want to learn to love people like He did. I have no excuses. Maybe my challenge, now, is to love those people who call themselves my brothers, but don't have the slightest clue what the word 'love' means. Now that is hard to do.
We must not allow other peoples' limited perceptions to define us.
Today I realized something about myself that for whatever reason, I've never realized before: I need new things, and often. By things I simply mean new 'stimuli'. Which is sort of odd, because I've always hated change -- or more specifically, the bloody pain it requires.
Anyway, today I was thinking about why it is I love to buy things. I've always thought that I've been somewhat addicted to buying things. But I've noticed other things in my life that all point to the same thing: being addicted to newness. For one, I've always wondered why I've never had a job that I've wanted to do for any extended period of time. After a few months, I am always sick of it. The longest job I've held was this past year working for Fort Nelson First Nation. But even with that, by the end, I was ready to get out. So here I've been worried that I am never going to get a job I want to do for a long time. A second problem is how I tend to start things and not finish them, or at least take forever to get through them -- specifically with books. I get book after book and manage to read about half and then go on to the next. Sure, I love the feeling of finishing one, but it's the getting there that is tough. A third is that I have a hard time listening to a CD over and over and over. After about a few weeks, at the most, of obessing over it, I'm ready for a new one. Which is probably why I have so many (though I consider it somewhat of a 'hobby', so I think I'm clear there).
And so today all of this came to mind, and the idea that I am addicted to "Newness" dawned on me. Why in the world has it taken me so long to notice this?!
There are a few concerns I have with this. One, I don't want to be doomed to a life of being unsatisfied. Obviously I won't be able to have a new wife, new kids, a new house whenever I get the itch for more newness. I won't be able to quit whatever career I have when I get bored with it. I won't be able to fit a bajillion unfinished books into my house, either. And I don't want to feel trapped by repitition, which seems like a feeling I may encounter.
Yet it also encourages me; at least, the discovery of this personal quirk does. I think I am less afraid of change, as a whole right now. I also think it may help me control my mini-addictions. If I know that I am simply longing for new 'stimuli', maybe I can divert my attention from ways that may cost money! Like going to the library...
Isn't it funny how sometimes we're just suddenly aware of our little personal idiosyncrasies?
Or is that just me?!
Oh, it is?
The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.I've been thinking alot about traffic lights. A strange subject, no doubt. Perhaps it's because I like to go for walks, and there is a set of lights just by my house, and I always pay attention to the amount of traffic around here. But for whatever reason, I think they are quite a genius idea. While it is always a pain getting a red light and having to stop and wait and try not to look at the car stopped beside you (although, as a side note, it can be quite fun to stare intently at the driver until they look in your direction, and then raise your eyebrows real high and smile big -- just make sure it isn't a police officer), you have to consider what chaos traffic would be if it weren't for them. Here in Abbotsford there is an intersection affectionatly known as "Five Corners", because, obviously, it has five different roads meeting up, so the light system is quite the art exhibit. I was thinking today how it already feels like madness, but how ridiculous it would be without those lights there, or even working together.