Thursday, November 18, 2010

Confessions of Lucifer – A Diary

. . . Lucifer, Son of the Morning . . . how you are fallen!

Isaiah 14:12

I was an angel once. I am not as has been described by the church – they have projected their own fears, warped by a distorted imagination, representing me as an ugly creature with horns, a tail, cloven feet, red eyes, black skin and holding a pitch-fork.

They portray me as ugly and grotesque – permit me to pay mankind back the “compliment”; man too is ugly. Any claim he has to beauty is only skin-deep. I pause . . . let me be generous – it goes deeper than his skin, up to his flesh actually. Man’s beauty is only skin-flesh-deep. Pretty skin and pretty flesh, covering the always-ugly skeleton!

But I digress. I was saying that the church has cooked up a false representation of my appearance. Their description cannot be true. My aspect is nothing of the sort –

I was an angel once!

in a sphere of existence many dimensions removed from the earth. I was the anointed cherub that walked the stones of fire with many precious stones for a covering. I stood on the holy mountains of God – soared in the divine winds of heaven – my voice, a symphony of timbrels and pipes, lifted in endless praise to the Ancient of Days. I sang with the sons of God – our collective voices rising like an offering – melodies criss-crossing each other in a dance of light.

That was before I became my own Master. But, I am an angel still!

A little thought would convince you that my features couldn’t be as the church has described me. Such a being as they have concocted would have no appeal – no power whatsoever to attract. Were I as described, the world would shun me, the church would despise me – men and women would be repulsed on account of my features. But people love me, the world welcomes me with open arms and broad smiles. I am not ugly. I never was. I am always beautiful – always was and always will!

Even the Man of Galilee gave the church a hint of my personage, when He was on earth but the church was too distracted to listen. Hear Him speak once again:

“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven!”

Even in my fall, I shone like a million stars – in a blinding flash of illuminating brilliance. I lit up the dark sky as I traced a trajectory towards earth. O what a woeful day it was many aeons ago – when paradise was lost:

Once – a cherub, the seal of perfection.

Now – A Mighty Angel, . . . fallen!

Many believe that I cannot enter a church because it is “holy”. That cannot be true. Afterall, there are many modern priests in church who are so adept that they could teach even me, trickery and falsehood, and who freely strut about inside church, even at the altar.

If they can, then, so can I!

I dare to say that I am more honest than many priests; my intentions are known to all and I do my best to fulfil them. I believe in God and I tremble!

The modern priests on the other hand spew’s falsehood cloaked in half-truths. They twist the scriptures for their own gain. They believe in God and they do not tremble!

I fear God but the modern priest does not. He only fears losing the members of his congregation to another priest three streets away, who by the way, is more cunning and more devious than he is.

They say also that I am afraid of a cross. Is that a joke?

I cannot possibly be scared of two beams lying across each other, wether it is made of wood, iron, or gold. I am not afraid of such crosses. The only cross I bow to – the only cross that conquers me is the one formed by the vertical beam of the will of God, over which lies the horizontal beam of the will of man, and upon which the King of Glory dies. Two beams – two wills – God’s and a man’s, becoming one in the sacrifice of the Christos!

I do not tell a man to kill, steal or maim. The nature of man, desperately wicked as it is, is quite capable of concocting and executing such atrocities by himself without any assistance.

I am subtler than that!

Where I find vice, I humour it. Where I find virtue, I flatter it. So that by degrees, a man’s soul is turned away from God and away from his neighbour – turning wholly on his own Self. When a man is sufficiently full of him Self, he does not require the devil or any fiend to tempt him any further. In that Self-state he has an unfettered ability for any kind of evil he can imagine. I know this firsthand because it was the reason for my fall. At the peak of my Self, I boasted:

“I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will be like the Most High!”

Even a virtuous man when flattered for his virtue is at that point at the most likely of losing that virtue and yielding to Self. If he is humble, and I flatter him for his humility long enough, I could actually get him to take some Pride at how humble he is! Even in virtue, there lies the potential for corruption.

Let he that thinketh he stands, take heed lest he falls!

I am subtle!

When I tempted the Prince of Peace in the wilderness, I did not tell Him to steal, kill or maim. Instead I flattered him for his virtue and for his power.

“Be gone, Satan!” . . . thundered, the King of kings

On most days I still shake my fist in rebellion at the Lord of heaven and do my utmost to thwart the efforts of man to be reconciled to his Maker. And on most days, I am filled with Misery, because no true joy can come from the working of evil. Misery! Misery! Misery!

Such Misery is the worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched!

I roam the earth as I make this entry in my diary, and I hear the voice of an angel who I once knew in the Sphere of the heavenlies – it is a familiar voice – I have heard that voice many times singing with me aeons ago in the Courts of Praise before the Throne. I know the voice. The voice calls out now with the shout of an Archangel - from far away like the rumble of a distant thunder. The sound is yet to reach these parts. The ears of men are yet to hear it!

Will the church be raptured? How soon will this be?

“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments . . . !

And of this few, how many of them speak? Do these few clamour for the truth in the midst of the falsehood on the pulpit? Do they call-out the misrepresentation of the gospel of Christ and the glorified corruption of false doctrines?

“You have a few names even in Sardis . . . !”

Do these few stand idly by as the Faith is being made a mockery of by a bunch of ministers and talking-heads who have hijacked christianity? Do these few speak out like Nathan did to David, saying,

“Thou art the man!”

How many of the few see the rot and do not speak? Their silence is a huge weight on the scales of eternity – the collective weight of the silence of these “a few names in Sardis” perhaps, more than the iniquity of the majority makes the church too heavy to be raptured.

They ask “why is the church not raptured?” – they wonder why the rapture has not come. The answer is simple enough:

The church is too heavy!

If only they knew to end the silence! . . . Speak up! . . . and in so doing make the church lighter!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Parade of Illusions

(Picture) Is this a horse or a mountainside?

"The laws of God are not malicious, they are subtle."
- Albert Einstein

I am wary of any human being who appears to have an answer to every question and my wariness morphs instantly into outright suspicion if this person asserts this seeming omniscience from the pulpit. Imagine it, a man who it appears has a response for every issue – whether philosophical, metaphysical, geological, biological, or archaeological. Imagine it for a moment – one man, answering with emphatic certainty, all the time, an infinite number of questions.

Of course, there is a place for supposition and hypothesis, there is a place for the Pauline expression “I speak as a man” but that is not what I am talking about. The person I refer to here is the one who consistently insists that he is right on every issue and is always quick to weight his utterances with the congregated might of Divine Authority, saying “Thus saith the Lord” or “The Lord told me to . . .”. It is this same man who leans his opinions heavily on his listeners, and with tacit threats of heaven’s displeasure if they as much as think that he is not right or worse still, if they attempt to voice the inconsistencies in the Pastor’s dialectics.

Whether he is a bishop, evangelist, prophet or pastor, I am wary of any man who never says “I don’t know”

I have always wondered why the Church jumps into issues and make proclamations about subjects that they don’t have sufficient information about or that they don’t even have a scriptural reference for. Of course you can voice your opinion but to insists that the proclamation has the certification of Heaven, is a whole different matter altogether. Imagine the embarrassment and the damage done when eventually your “divine proclamation” is proved to be wrong.

When Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a Heliocentric worldview (that the sun is at the center of the solar system) his idea was severely criticized and anyone who espoused them was arrested by the Church, who insisted on a Geocentric model (that the earth is at the center of the solar system).

What is most striking about the Church’s position was that it was not based on a scriptural reference but rather, what they “felt” was correct. According to them, man was the pinnacle of creation, and if man was on earth, then, earth must be at the center. If that was the Church’s “personal” opinion, that is fine, but to go around proclaiming that “God told you so” or that the opinion has a “divine approval” to the point where you persecute those who hold a heliocentric view is reprehensible to say the least.

Galileo Galilei was put under house arrest by the Church because he said that the earth is not stationary but moves. He was branded a heretic because according to the Church “the earth does not move” and this again was not based on any cogent scriptural reference either but they gave the impression that they had God’s signature on it and proceeded to persecute all those who took a contrary view.

I have never understood this “boldness” in some people. In the words of the thief on the cross “Are you not afraid of God?”

Why are people so quick to preface every utterance they make with “The Lord says…” when you know the Lord told you nothing? How can you say "Thus saith the Lord” when in truth you are only voicing your opinion. There are many pastors who will answer for the damage they have done to people’s lives because they used the authority of the pulpit to voice their opinions while appending God’s name to it.

In trying to defend why Christian’s should be rich, I heard a minister say that Christ’s robe was expensive, and that was the reason the soldiers did not want to share it but rather cast lots for it. Where did he get this “revelation” from? We were told expressly that the soldiers cast lots for the garment in fulfilment of prophecy, period.

Someone gave an account of how a minister said Christ must have been rich because he had a treasurer and that he must have invested the gold, frankincense and myrrh he was given as a child.

Where, for goodness sake, is this in scriptures?!

A pastor preaches such distortions in church and the congregation, intoxicated myrmidons of ignorance, jump up and down, giving one another hi-fives and screaming word! word! word! or “ride on pastor” or “preach it” or one of the many catch-phrases or jingles that has become the stock in trade of the modern christian.

God save us all – we have no idea how far from the truth we have strayed.

I am in no way implying that Jesus was poor. I am all for prosperity – I want to be rich too and I want everyone to as well, but must we distort the scriptures to say what it was not intended to say. How is having a treasurer evidence that a man is rich? Every social group or student association has a treasurer – some even have financial secretaries – does that mean that they are Fortune 500 companies?

Some have also preached that if Jesus was poor he would not have had so many followers. How then do you explain the followership of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi or Jaycee, of Light Her Lamp blog? Are these three wonderful people millionaires? Is it not the greatness of their personalities and ideas that pulls everyone to them?

Again, I say, I am not implying that Jesus was poor. My point is the tortuous interpretation of scriptures that ministers indulge in to support their claims and all the while attaching God’s Name to it.

Someone please show me (maybe I missed it), where it says in scriptures that Jesus invested the gifts he was given as a child by the Wise Men. A pastor preaches this in church and he goes unchallenged and instead the gullible congregation urges him on?

Again, God save us all, because we have no idea how far from the truth we have strayed.

It is bad enough that the pastor says this at all but what is absolutely baffling is when they say that their utterances are by divine authority and that God told them so. Am I missing something? The word of God is our reference text. You can voice your opinion or hypothesis if you want to; you can say like Paul “Not the Lord, but I, say this”. But, when pastors take the Seal of Heaven and imprints it on their opinions, then the Church in one collective voice must ask a question that echoes the ovation given to Herod:

The voice of a man, or the voice of god?”

But the church is silent – instead we jump around, screaming for more of such “rhema”

But, am I surprised? What is to be expected from Christians that do not study? With full stomachs and empty minds – with cheap tastes and short memories, such Christians venerate their pastors rather than God. A “restlessness” may tug at the hearts of such christians perhaps, – some “instinct” may warn them that these “revelations” do not line up with God’s word but these christians are in a “hurry” to believe the pastor – they forget in their haste that “the best of men at their very best are still men”, - they forget that they are supposed to be Berean christians, - they forget the injunction

“Let God be true and every man a liar”.

They are more interested in being in the pastor’s good graces than to raise an objection or at the very least, study the matter for themselves. They go to church buildings, Sunday after Sunday to partake in a parade of illusions.

Why can’t a pastor say “I don’t have an answer to this question but give me some time to study and pray about it and I will get back to you”?

It is partly because he feels obliged to always have all the answers – his congregation demands it – the congregation has put him in the place of God in their lives and the pastor must “deliver” at every service – he must “perform” for them every Sunday while they applaud him. The pastor must play his part well or else he will lose his members to another pastor three streets away who knows how to “perform”. It is an eager crowd and they must be satisfied even if the pastor has to make stuff up. At the end of the day, you have a pastor who is not true and a congregation that is false – pastor and congregation, both, astonishing the Angels!

The laws of God are not malicious, they are subtle, Albert Einstein once said.

My friend, that subtlety demands that we study God’s word in detail. Yes, we can put forward our opinion on a scriptural issue but let us endeavour to say like Paul said when he did, “I speak as a man”.

Let us not be too quick to ascribe DIVINE AUTHORITY to our own opinions. History has shown that it damages the credibility of the Church in the long run.

Shalom aleichem!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Intellectual Complacency - The Zeitgeist

(Picture) The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Flight
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built a “Habitation of Peace”

- Poem by William Blake

Do you know what it is to be a Christian? I do not mean a christian who goes to church at least twice a week – who says “God bless you” at the appropriate points in every conversation and clutches a bible to his chest, his head bowed, as he affects a pious pose for all to see. I do not mean a Christian who reads the bible at least once a day, prays quite often and never misses a church conference.

I am talking of something much more than that – I am talking of a Christian who knows that God created his spirit and, that God also gave him a mind – to think!

I am talking of a christian who knows that the same God who delights in seeing him study His word, does not forbid him from exerting his intellect on the world, and indeed the universe in which he lives. A Christian, who realizes that faith is not necessarily blind and that reasoning and thinking is not “doubt in disguise”

Why have Christians given up the intellectual turf to non-believers? Through the course of the last century, Christians, for some reason, have slackened their grip in all fields of intellectual discourse – the arts, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and apologetics. And no, I am not talking about simply going to a university and earning a degree, I am talking about being a “Thinker”.

In our present age, it is no longer considered “spiritually cool” to be a Thinker. Thinking is now looked upon as a sophisticated form of disbelief and, an appeal to reason is not particularly welcomed. The bride of Christ has abandoned the arena of Cognitive Revery, taking bogus comfort in the false premise that faith in God, as a rule, must not involve the intellect and reason. There was a time in the not too distant past when the greatest thinkers in the land were men of faith –

Leonhard Euler (1707 – 1783): mathematician and physicist who wrote apologetics and argued against atheist in his time.

Bernhard Riemann (1826 – 1866): Mathematician. Described Riemannian geometry, which enabled Einstein’s theory of general relativity. He even tried proving mathematically the correctness of the book of Genesis.

Friedrich Gauss (1777 – 1855): The king of them all. A child prodigy – corrected his father’s arithmetic before the age of three. Made groundbreaking mathematical discoveries while still a teenager. He is perhaps the most brilliant mathematician to walk the earth. He is nicknamed the “Prince of Mathematics” and he believed in an eternal, omniscient and omnipotent God.

Kurt Godel (1906 – 1978): Mathematician, philosopher, and logician. He is the greatest logician that ever lived. His "Incompleteness Theorem" is an extraordinary feat of sublime genius. He once said “I believe in the afterlife independent of theology. The world is rationally constructed, according to which the order of the world reflects the order of the Supreme Mind governing it”

And an atheist talks about logic? Hear the words of the greatest logician to walk the earth.

Time and space would not permit me to mention Gottfried Leibniz, Blaise Pascal, James Clarke Maxwell (I could go on and on)

“Modern Christians” have given up the intellectual space and stage that these men occupied and of course, it would not be empty for long – the void has been filled with other ideas, the most pervasive of which is the constantly growing notion that there is no God.
There are even Christians who automatically equate philosophy with atheism – that is how ignorant some in the church have become.


At least, two-thirds of the New Testament was authored by the greatest Christian philosopher in church history – Paul of Tarsus. Paul debated with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Athens. What do you think he said to them? He met them on their turf and showed them the flaws in their reasoning.

Paul was a Thinker!

But fast-forward two thousand years later – it is no longer fashionable to think in The Church anymore. It is much easier to “go with the flow” to use a popular church parlance. We might just as well emblazon over the doorway of the modern church:

“Abandon Thought all Ye Who Enter Here!”

This has become the new canticle of the “fast-food-generation” church – this is the Zeitgeist of the modern faith! – It is, the spirit of the age!

You are a christian perhaps – when was the last time you read an intellectually stimulating book on any subject, whether in the Sciences or the Arts? When was the last time you read a book that was not the bible or one churned out every three months by your pastor or one of the numerous "fathers in the Lord” in Christendom.

Mind you, I said "Christendom" and not "Christ's Kingdom". In Christendom, the Christian lives within "a" kingdom while in Christ's Kingdom, it is "the" Kingdom that lives within the Christian. But, I digress. That is another topic for another day.

You can read, I presume; you can write as well, - you are educated, no doubt – you have a university degree – and perhaps even a postgraduate degree as well, but how much philosophy, literature, government, biology, physics, apologetics and logic do you know. Why has the word “philosophy” become a dirty word among Christians?
Whether you like it or not you are being bombarded with philosophy every minute of your waking life. When you watch a movie, listen to a radio programme, read a blogpost, even when you ponder on your own thoughts you are being presented with a philosophy of life and that philosophy of life influences society’s mindset about God.

Do you have any clue about the history of the church? Do you have any idea what the evolution of theological thought has been in the two thousand years of church history? Do you think that knowledge is not important? Do you think it is irrelevant?
Then, tell me, how will you rationally put forward a defense of your faith when you have no clue about the history or the antecedents of that faith? How will you counter the opposition when they confront you with half-truths and complete falsehoods about church history and the christian faith?

I can hear you saying that you will quote the scripture to them.

Will you, then?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe the scriptures and have nothing against quoting them as often as I get the chance, but in your schools, in campuses, libraries, or laboratories, what will you do when the people you meet would not accept as valid the reference text (the bible) from which you quote? They would rather engage you with logic and reason.

Should you walk away from them when they do, just because you can not hold a discussion on their terms? Does that mean all is lost and they are beyond your reach?


A Christian should not cower into a corner when faced with giving a defense of their faith outside of the scriptures! You only do so because you have refused to read, - you have refused to think, - you assume that faith must be blind – and you wrongfully apply the label of “faith” to whatever you have refused to do sufficient research on.

But faith is not blind belief – it is not burying your head in the sand, while half-hoping or half-wishing that by some cryptic mechanism, your ignorance would somehow give birth to the truth.

At present, all over the world, the intellectual discourse is dominated by atheist or their glorified clones – the agnostics.
Children in schools are being fed the notion that there is no God and they take it as truth because it comes from the lips of their respected professors and teachers.

And what is the church’s response?

The church organizes “Easter Retreats” "Spring Retreats" and “Men Conferences” and “Women Conferences”.

When are we going to put together an “Intellectual Conference?”

It is a shame that it has come to this, that a university graduate who calls himself or herself a christian can not take on an atheist and put forward a robust, rational and logical argument (without resorting to scriptures) for the existence of a Supreme Being.

You must read!

You must think!

You must understand the issues of the day!

There is more logic and rationality in “faith” than in the porous conviction of the atheist. The atheist is quick to boast that rationality is his clarion call but if you critically subject his views to reason, the logic (or lack thereof) falls apart. I say again that there is more logic in believing in the existence of God than in the converse.

The only reason why the world at large is listening to the atheist presently is because Christians have left the intellectual arena to them. The atheist dominates the intellectual discourse of the day and unwisely they are left unchallenged.

But who will challenge them when Christians are busy attending “Retreats!” and “Conferences!” and in tacit agreement, conspired to crucify Intellect and Thinking, again and again . . . and again!

Christians everywhere must read! – think! – read! – and think some more!

Christians must not cease from “Mental Flight.”
Flap your intellectual wings, and Heaven would grant it the strength to fly.

Think, and you shall Find!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I am not a Christian

"When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

- Jesus Christ, (Luke 18:8)

I am not a christian.

I thought I was. But, it dawned on me recently that I am not, and I don’t think I ever was. The label “christian” has evolved through many cycles since it was first voiced at Antioch. By a label, I do not know what to call myself. I do not subscribe to names and badges because man and religion, ultimately, make a mockery of any nomenclature, no matter how innocently crafted. This much I do know:

I believe in God, the Father, Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, my Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

In its truest form, the term “christian” is supposed to mean “a follower of Christ”. It sounds simple enough, but how come then, that there is very little of Christ in christianity today? How is it that the image of the Christos is not etched on the face of the “modern faith”. Why, indeed, do people go to church to look for Christ but instead find the priest?

I am not one to criticize the church – that is not my quest. These questions are directed as much to me as they are to anyone who has also bent their knees at Calvary and cleansed themselves in the blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. I am only perturbed by the realisation that the more and more I read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the less and less I see the nature of Jesus in the “modern church.”

Should someone go out there at high noon with a torch in their hand, walk the streets and point the torchlight in every direction, looking for Christ in men? Why has it come to this, that someone would require a torch in broad daylight to search for a follower of Christ? Are they that scarce now?

The torchlight would reveal a throng of people milling into buildings of worship, all clutching their bibles to their chest. Some of them have all kinds of religious paraphernalia pinned to their coat lapels and dresses. With the torch, you will see that they are christians, . . . but will you see Christ? – will you see the ChristosThe Anointed One?

And no, they are not the same – being a Christian and being Christlike are not the same thing at all – not in this age – not in the “modern church”. Being a christian is a label, a badge, more like a political party actually, . . . while being Christlike, is LIFE!

Was this what Jesus alluded to when He asked that thought-provoking question in the gospel:

“When the Son of Man returns, shall He find faith on earth?”

If being a christian means forming “clicks of spiritual brethren” in church who look down their noses at their fellow christians, because “those ones” are not spiritual enough, then, I am not a christian.

If a young lady, who in a moment of weakness, had premarital sex with a man and she is guilt-smitten and truly repents but still needing reassurance of God’s forgiveness, unburdens her heart to her pastor, . . . if being a christian means that the pastor then decides to “crucify her flesh so that her soul will be saved” by announcing her misdeed in church and making her sit through every service at the back of the church congregation in shame for 6 weeks, then, I am not a christian.

Why does the church shoot its wounded? Why do we beat a man or woman who is already down? God has forgiven the young lady but the christians will not.

When a minister of God engages in an adulterous affair and realizes his mistake and appeals to the Heavenly Assizes for mercy, if being a christian means that he is denied by his fellow ministers and the “church board” – each one trying to outdo the other at how quickly they can distance themselves from “a fallen man of God” instead of putting their arms around him and restoring his shaken faith, then, I am not a christian.

When a pastor is stripped of his position and sent packing at short order from the house the church rented for him, when he is for all practical purposes excommunicated from the church all because he “slipped and fell” even when the Court of Heaven has pardoned him – if this is what it means to be christian, then, I refuse to be called a christian.

Yes, he sinned. Yes, he slipped, and he fell. But, he has appealed to the Courts on High, and the Christos has thundered back a response:

“Your sins are forgiven you. Go and sin no more!”

The Ancient of Days has forgiven him, but the christians will not.

It is fashionable these days for christians and christian organizations to immediately deny any association with a minister who sins – we see it quite commonly. No sooner is a pastor caught in adultery, than you hear the “church board” and its affiliates downplaying his role or involvement in their organization. These christians do not require a Cock crowing, to time their denials anymore – they are experts at it now:

“I do not know the man!”

“I do not know the man!”

“I do not know the man!”

“I do not know the man!”

. . . . . and on and on it goes . . . . .

That will become their new chorus.

They forget in their narcissism and greed, the wisdom in the saying:

“There go I, but for the grace of God”

The pastor is on his own at the time of his greatest need – his fellow pastors look at him askance, cancelling all previous engagements with him – to them, he has become “a dirty man of God” and he is still regarded as such even when he has settled his accounts with Heaven.

“Let him find God’s love and forgiveness if he will, but we will never give him ours” is the christians’ attitude towards their former shepherd.

I am not a christian.

How can I be a christian, when to be one means that members of one denomination must see the members of another denomination as inferiors, rivals, or outright enemies?

I can not be a christian when the authority of the pulpit is used to bully and intimidate the congregation with supposedly “hot messages” instead of encouraging them and rebuking them IN LOVE if need be.

If being a christian means reasoning is snubbed and the intellect derided, whether overtly or covertly in a church because you are not permitted to think – because afterall, it is the pastor’s job to think and tell the congregation what to think, then I am not a christian.

If an unsaved lady who feels that her life is empty, decides to attend church because she is trying to seek and understand the Truth, but comes to every church service in her trousers, but she is constantly told by the “spiritual congregation” to “stop wearing trousers or to stop coming to that church!”. If this is what it means to be a christian, then I am definitely not one.

If christians can not accept the broken and the fallen, who else will?

If christians can not extend forgiveness to a pastor who “messes up”, even before he asks for it, then, who else will?

If christians cannot embrace the fallen man, or the fallen woman (who by the way, is already repentant), then how dare we defame the name of Christ by calling ourselves His followers.

It is an admirable age we live in – an age when we can reinvent anything – we have even succeeded in reinventing a christianity without the Christ!

What a piece of work christians are! – what a veritable bundle of unbridled egotism!

Alas, I tell you, the angels wonder – they wonder at christians, they wonder at the arrogance in an imperfect man, who mercilessly condemns another imperfect man.

I am not a christian.

I rest my case.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Bandwagon Effect

It is so much easier to go with the crowd. People as a rule, are apt to allow another do their thinking for them. It never ceases to amaze me how a single idea, if let out at an opportune moment, and parroted ad nauseum, can snowball into something quite large - And when given sufficient time, it makes no difference that this idea is completely destitute of logic and has no basis for its continued pursuance.

It is the bandwagon effect!

For years now, I have watched with fascination, almost amusement, at the popular view concerning “love and respect (submission)” between a man and a woman in marriage. Again, people have taken the message of Paul in Ephesians 5: 22-33 and driven it in a direction that it was not originally intended.

In relationship seminars and books, you must have heard it said so many times that :

"Men want respect, and that men value respect more than love."

(as if respect does not matter as much to women)

Infact some have gone as far as to say that:

"If you ask a man to choose between love and respect, he would choose respect."

Now, notice, that this is all supposedly based on the premise that Paul told women to “submit” to their husbands.

Some have even gone as far as to say that:

"Paul told women to “respect” their husbands and did not tell them to “love” him because “love” comes naturally to a woman."

Does anyone sincerely believe that love comes naturally to any human at all simply because of their gender? Do you not know of any woman or at least, have you not heard of women who do not love their spouses?

Now, if the above was true, how would they explain Titus 2:4, where

“Young women are admonished to love their husbands”.

O! I see! maybe love comes naturally only to “old women” and not to “young women”

(I am sure someone has tried to use this as an excuse by now)

On the other hand, in the same Ephesians 5: 22-33, men are admonished to love their wives.

An immediately obvious question would be:

Does that mean that men should not “respect” their wives because they were not specifically told to do so?


Does “respect” come naturally to men, and is that why they were not specifically instructed to “respect” their wives?

I have always steered clear of this topic but I have no option now but to weigh in because I hear this same message about “respect” and “love” being preached so frequently at weddings.

Personally, I think there is no scriptural basis for the formula that they are trying to concoct.

When Paul talked about “respect” and “love” in marriage, he was not trying to create two new equations that read:

Husband = to love .............. equation I
Wife = to submit ................. equation II

Here is a Newsflash:

I believe that the man is also expected to "submit" to his wife and the wife should also "love" her husband. Why? Simple.

If I truly love my wife, I will "submit" to her and my wife will only truly submit to me if she "loves" me.

In Titus 2: 6-8, Paul told the young men to be sober minded . . . etc

Should I then deduce from this passage alone, that Paul knew that it is natural for young men to LOVE THEIR WIVES, and that is the reason he did not specifically instruct them to?

My whole point in this issue and in all other issue concerning scriptures is that you CANNOT TAKE A SINGLE PASSAGE AND RUN AWAY WITH IT and the fact that something was not EXPLICITLY mentioned does not mean that the instruction was not IMPLICIT.

I do not understand why women are constantly told that "men have fragile egos” and this “fragile ego” demands to be propped up by the wife’s constant respect or submission. Why are men never told to stop sulking, grow up, and be less egotistical? What everyone is happily calling and glorifying as "male ego" is just another fanciful expression for "male selfishness".

Male selfishness is the last vestige of an instinct which was acquired through the course of history that women were created for the amusement of men.

But, from the beginning, it was not so!

This is not some feminist rant. I am a man but first and foremost, I am a human being and I owe it to my fellow humans – women, to speak on their behalf.

I see a trend especially in Christendom: we have drawn up this long list of so-called “differences” between men and women, among these are:

"The woman uses her left brain while the man uses his right brain"
"The woman is emotional while the man is logical"
"Men get their validation from their jobs while women get theirs from the home"
"Women should “submit” to their husbands while men should “love” their wives" (people have taken this passage by the apostle Paul and stretched it to distortion, as if "submit" and "love" are two entirely different modes of behaviour.)

How on earth can you put the sexes into such rigid boxes? I have met many women who are more rational than men and who also get a sense of validation from their jobs.

Does this make these women any less women?

I have met men who are more emotional than women and who get a higher sense of fulfillment from their home than their jobs.

Does this make these men any less men?

People are people and you can find the combination of all the items listed above in both sexes. No particular item on the list defines a particular sex. What these rigid roles do is give people unrealistic expectations of themselves. A man feels he has to live up to his “manliness” by being all of the prescribed items on the list and the woman her "femaleness" by doing the same.

Obviously men and women are different and I for one know that very well (My training is in the sciences and I can give you a long list of physiological and biochemical differences between the sexes) but these so -called “differences” are not as "unique" as these “relationship experts” are advertising.

Has anyone noticed that God Himself does not have a different plan of salvation for women and a different plan for men? If the differences between the sexes are so “destiny-defining” obviously God would have taken that into account.

Here is another newsflash:

“Submission” and “Love” in marriage, are aspects of the same thing. A man who truly loves his wife will invariably “submit” to her. He was told to love his wife as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF UP for it.

In other words, Christ’s love for the church led Him to the ultimate form of submission:

Death on the cross!

And no, Christ did not die for the Church (his wife) because the Church (his wife) first submitted to Him. We are told that it was “while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us”

Now, that is TRUE LOVE! That is UNSELFISH LOVE!

If a man TRULY (I always use the adjective TRULY because TRUE LOVE embodies every noble virtue possible, including respect/submission) loves his wife, he would also SUBMIT to her.

So, eventually, what you have is, the husband “loving and submitting to his wife” and the wife also “loving and submitting to her husband”.

Love and submission in marriage are aspects of the same thing.

If a husband and wife have TRUE love for each other the issue of "submission" will not come up because the bond between them would be so seamless, that you cannot tell at any point who is "submitting" to whom. They are both constantly giving to each other.

If a man has a plan in mind but his wife has a better alternative and he still insists on doing it his way, then he is in the wrong for not "submitting" to his wife. He can do what he likes obviously, but that does not make him any less guilty for not "submitting" to a better idea from his wife either because of his "ego" or because he actually believes he is right.

The truth is that, if there is TRUE love between a couple, the man should never feel insecure about "NOT BEING A REAL MAN" if he submits to his wife, because they are supposed to be ONE! 

It is the inherent insecurities in marriage relationships that feeds this love/submit debate.

Ideally, and in REALITY it should not be so.

In a marriage, TRUE love is the overarching principle - and if a man and a woman TRULY love each other, SUBMISSION TO EACH OTHER would be the most natural thing in the world.

I can’t believe that a married man can actually say that if he has to choose between “respect” and “love” from his wife that he would choose “respect.”

How can a man get true “respect” from his wife without having her “love?” The kind of respect I am talking about here is not born out of fear or intimidation

It is like telling someone to choose between “God the Father” and “God the Son”. You can not choose one without invariably choosing the other.

When love is true, a husband and a wife should be able to say these words to each other:

Your hands are in the hollows of mine,
my heart with yours is full;
Love’s command is upon my eyes
to see myself in you

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Thousand Splendid Things

Awake, O north wind,
And come, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.
Let my beloved come to his garden
And eat its pleasant fruits.

The Shulamite, Songs of Solomon 4:16

The bard of Stratford-upon-Avon, that true but uncrowned king of the blessed isle we call England, William Shakespeare, once described love as a discrete form of madness.

Ah me! . . . he was right!

Love is indeed a fine thing. The love between a man and a woman is without doubt a beautiful thing. There is no human experience I know of, that ranks above that moment when Cupid’s arrow first strikes your heart. The world around you becomes a pleasant blur and the heart within you throbs! . . . and throbs!! . . . and throbs!!! . . . glowing with all the passion of a hundred suns.

But is it possible you ask?

Is it possible for the love between a man and a woman to thrill our imagination with such fever-pitch intensity?

Yes, yes, . . . O yes, it is possible!

It is possible to have a love that is so untameable, unassailable – love that is like a storm in the heart and nothing can be done about it either in time or in eternity. Yes, such a love as the human heart craves for – a longing, so deep and a hunger that is twice as wide.

For a man to look into the eyes of the woman he loves and be lost in their wonder; to have those ten dainty trimmings that he calls her fingers, tickling his sides to make his heart merry with laughter; to roam the grassy fields, the countryside ringing with their laughter – intoxicated with this wine that flows from their hearts.

To have the moon bathe their marriage nest in an unbroken stream of silvery light; to taste honey between each kiss – their breath, the smell of scented flowers. To place her seal upon his life and do the bidding of love, which commands him to see himself in her – that is, my friend, a thing of beauty.

Such a love is as much a wound of Cupid’s arrow as it is the combined will of the lovers to keep it so. It must be tended to like a garden of flowers – weeds must be kept out. One man can love one woman and, one woman can love one man and they can both be the better for it – like music and poetry - in eternal union.

Love is a winged creature, a native of the skies. It is an offspring of the wind-borne clouds, an ever-soaring companion of the stars. Love is a minstrel, love is a goddess, - love is a scion of the divine.

It is the light in the eyes of a strolling couple, even the sun in its brilliance does not compare. Love stirs the heart in unending bubbles – it is life’s elixir, it is a spirit, so fair. It is the soul of laughter, the messenger of joy; it is the Artist of all nature’s display.

Love is the coolness of morning, it is the fire in your bosom – it is the volcano that erupts within your frame. Love exalts your sight, it makes your vision boundless – love is a deity that grants you a noble name. It is heaven’s melody, it is as vast as the eternals, love is a mystery that no man can search.

It is a divine angel, the beat of all hearts.

Love is more than a thousand splendid things!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is in a name . . . what is in a word?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
by any other name would still smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II

In this seemingly simple quote above, Juliet sums up the beauty, the angst, and the eventual tragic denouement resulting from her love for Romeo. Who would have thought that love could hold so much pain in its bosom – a pungency of sadness that simmers down to a mellow sweetness. Love, with all its exultation, with all its cherry-fresh succulence and brio, is a precursor of sweet sadness. Would the ambivalence of love be absent if it was called by another name?

What is in a name afterall? Is a name not a sophisticated verbal articulation, a mere product of the movement of the vocal cords modulated by the tongue and lips? If the english choose to call the action of putting food into your mouth “eat” and the French choose to call it “manger”, does it change the fact that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – via his mouth of course” (can I get an Amen! from the male corner?)

But seriously, is it my calling a cup a “cup” that makes it a cup? Was it not a “cup” before I called it so? I have heard christian say that Adam named all the animals in the garden as if there was something particularly mystical about the sound he made when he called out the names. I agree that Adam named the animals. I don’t doubt that. But, do you seriously think that Adam called a wild cat with spots a “leopard?” I mean, do you think he actually mouthed the words: l-e-o-p-a-r-d / lěp'ərd /? Did Adam name the animals in English then?

Which language in particular did Adam speak?

How about christians who insist that when David faced Goliath in a duel and went down to a stream to pick five smooth stones, that each of those stones represented a letter in the name, "Jesus". That sounds interesting and would make for a good line during a sermon, but is it not taking it too far when people insist on making a doctrine out of five stones representing the five letters in the name of Jesus.

Do you think Jesus was addressed as “Jesus” when he was on earth? He was called Yeshua in Hebrew and Iesous in Greek and when these names were written down, they were definitely not done with the characters of the alphabet that we use today. Does that make Jesus any less than who he was when he was on earth? – Divinity in human form.

I am not trying to split hairs here. I mention these things because history has taught us and is still teaching us that mankind generally tends to be religious, so religious at times, even to the detriment of the truth. People can make a doctrine out of anything and from seemingly simple issues, as evident in the myriad of denominations in christianity today.

These doctrines usually start from something simple and seemingly uncontroversial but with continuous reiteration they take on a mind and a life of their own, become binding on their followers and eventually everybody forgets why the instruction was given in the first place and obey it without so much as a question. When you ask these followers why they subscribe to such a doctrine, they give you an answer that basically says:

“that is what we do in our church”

Man is a religious being: The children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank which is on the hip socket because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip. . .

Jesus on the mount of transfiguration had Moses and Elijah by His side and Peter calls out “It is good Lord that we are here. We will build three tabernacles – one for You, Moses and Elijah.

I tell you, if Christ were to appear to you in your living room, sitting on a particular chair, it is extremely likely that after the event, you would venerate that chair, infact no one will seat on it again. You would even have people coming on pilgrimage to your house from all over the world to see what will now be fanciful called

“The Chair”

Do you think that example is far-fetched?

Have you not heard of christians trooping to various parts of the world to sites, were supposedly a Saint was reported to have been sighted? Huge crowds gather around those sites for days.

People still troop to Jerusalem constantly to see the tomb of Jesus. Have these christians not heard the words of the angel? It was announced two thousand years ago and still reverberates to this day:

“He is not here. He is risen!”

Now patience, patience, don’t jump on me yet. I am not against visiting historical sites but I only bring these up to show you how susceptible man is to concede to religious activities while ignoring the substance and the essence of the gospel. Man has a tendency to chase shadows. Christ Himself said it best –

“You strain at a gnat but you swallow a carmel.”

I read an article in a blog recently where a christian asked a rather pertinent question. She wanted to know if it was okay to substitute some other words in place of “swear words” e.g.

“shoot” for “shit”,

“heck” for “hell”

“darn” for “damn”

"effing" for "fuck"

Personally, I wonder, whether words become less of a profanity just because you take a letter or two of the alphabet out of it? Does it make any difference if you voiced “heck” and “effing” but your heart is actually saying “hell” and “fucking”?

You are merely playing with words, my friend. It is still profanity no matter how you spin it.

It is mere window dressing and political correctness run amok when people write f**k when everyone knows that the asterisk in the midst of the words is “uc”. It is ludicrous to say the least when we tacitly agree that it is okay to swear on television and on radio as long as we “bleep it”

Hello!!! "THE BLEEP" is now the universal Morse Code for a swear word or a foul language. So, who is kidding who or in the words of “my generation”:

"So, who the heck is f**cking with who?"

Oops! see what I mean? The asterisks could very well have been the actual alphabets, “uc”

Is it not better if you do not use profanity at all? I know that one can make occasional slip ups (I certainly have) but it is a different ball game when society is almost elevating swear-words to the level of Art with all the fanciful embellishments that it gets. Let us instead call it what it actually is:

A verbal diarrhoea resulting from mental constipation.

There is a whole variety of words in the english language and in any other language of your choosing to express yourself in. It is a poverty in the depth of vocabulary that makes one resort to four-letter expletives.

Oh, I see, you want to sound “folksy” and “current” – well, too bad that you have to go into the gutter to do that.

To echo the mood of a modern day Juliet:

What’s in a name? “A hell of a piece of shit”,
irrespective of how you spin it, to “A heck of a piece of sh*t”
would still smell, just as bad.