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Stuff (my lame title for a post I have no idea what to call)

Life is pretty dam chocka block at the moment, which means the blog inevitably suffers. So sorry for that if you care. In part it has being because of some processing I have being doing. I am realising that across the board in NZ and around the world there is a huge amount of diversity in theology and style, and normally there is way more that unites us than divides. On my part, there has probably being too much energy spent "majoring on the minors" in the past, and my attitudes have changed a whole lot.
In saying that there are three things that I would say I am still very passionate about.

Firstly that christianity was never meant to be a sub-culture, but rather be within culture, counter culture, subverting, challenging and changing culture. Im still saddened and probably a bit gutted about the bubble, and how ingrained the christian subculture industry is.

Secondly, I am still very passionate about honesty and authenticity in the framework of our faith, probably reflected most clearly in our gatherings. There is far too much language that is just plain weird. There is still a lot of "victorious living" talk going on which doesn not reflect the struggle and reality of most peoples life. There is still a whole lot of "fake it till you make it" pressure for people to behave in a certain way. . And while no one would probably argue me on this point (no sam we need things to become more artificial?!?!), in my experience it requires huge amounts of courage to be authentic people, its often painful, its vulnerable. In the same breathe its liberating and life giving, and finds us relating to Jesus with more honesty and authenticity, which breeds humility, depth and a greater understanding of grace. There are a bunch of stories connected to this post, ask me next time I see you for some illustrations from my own life... perhaps I have being too honest in some of my talks?!? There have being some awkward moments : )

And lastly, I think that we need more places where we can externally process sensitive issues, where we can flesh out that uneasy discernment feeling we get when we read, hear or see something we dont agree with. Clearly this needs to be one or two close friends, not something worked through with every tom, dick and harry, but I wonder whether we have those sort of places. Places of brutal honesty, the sort of conversations that would get you in trouble if overheard, but are completely safe in that context. I am grateful for a couple of close friends whom I know will not judge me as I process things, and is probably part of the reason I have grown to enjoy far more the diversity of people's thinking and practice in recent times. Once things are out of the head and verbalised, things become a whole lot clearer.

In other news, my day off was spent vomiting over the side of a boat... me and dad won a fishing charter a while ago and so were very excited about having a sweet day on the ocean. A long day with no fish, and lots of barfing due to rough seas. I was trying to find some un-confessed sin in either my dads life or my own that would explain why we have such miserable luck fishing.

And lastly, check out this photo essay narrated by the subject. This dude was wrongly imprisoned for 16 years. He talks about what it’s like to enter the world outside of prison after spending all of his adult life behind bars.
(HT Marko)

“Stuff (my lame title for a post I have no idea what to call)”

  1. Blogger Tash Says:

    hey sam. did you know that stu is back in the blog world? i like where you're going with the question of honesty instead of victorious talk. it has to do (i think anyway) with my favourite current topic of forgiveness and confession in community from James 5. (i think i need to get some new material but...) the picture is one of a community that faces trouble, joy, sickness and sin together. in other words, they are fearless in the face of the darkness of humanity. a fearless community has no qualms about loving the difficult, the challenged, the challenging and the equally human. i become more and more aware of my own dark dirty little soul, and more aware of how fearless i need people around me to be...

  2. Blogger Andrew Says:

    Maybe your dad could have thrown you overboard to see if the sea calmed down. Just a thought mate... I mean it worked for Jonahs shipmates.

  3. Anonymous D.J. Phillips Says:

    Wow that photo essay was very moving to me. Thanks for posting it.

  4. Blogger Sam Says:

    Shot Tash, like where those thoughts are going, sounded like you ripped it up at that church you were speaking at.
    And Tate, trust me, the thought did cross my mind... though I decided if it did come down to sin, my life is a bit of a petri dish of sin so I would need to throw myself over, and yeah... wasnt that keen for that