Love the gun, hate the gunner

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Hate the rhetoric, love the speaker.

Hate the consequences, but never change.

Love myself, but what can I do.

Meet me where I am – 

But leave me unchanged. 

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“Soundbites bite.

Repeated enough they become truth
They never were and never are

But we will allow

For they fit our timetable of outrage
And discomfort of connection

For a millisecond”

 

Three things I pray,

justmebeingcurious

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I was taught to be unkind

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I was taught about false teachers.  False teachers are of the devil.  False teachers are of soothing words and sleepy listeners.  False teachers are false shepherds – intent only on the destruction of my soul for all eternity.

 

As I continue my journey I am finding that my fear of false teachers is less and less.   I see false teachers too often to fear anymore.  They are everywhere in all corners of my life.  They are not just in church.  They teach society, law, ethics, art, philosophy, science …

Teachers are not just teachers they are friends and strangers and enemies.  They are family, friends and foe.  And the biggest teacher of all is me.

I know.

Is the falsest teacher of all.

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“The kindness of not knowing”, justmebeingcurious

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“I was taught by church – by science – by society – by all around me … To KnowTo Be CertainTo Be SureTo See EvidenceTo See No EvidenceTo Be SureTo Be CertainTo Make Up My MindTo Declare And Defend My PositionTo Take A SideTo Be One Or The Other

And in that teaching I was taught to be unkind.

I was NEVER taught NOT to know.”

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I was taught that not knowing is weakness.  I was taught that I must be correct.  Which means I am either right or I am wrong.  But what is right and wrong if not just the current “majority view” (in and of this world)?

Right and wrong changes.

Slavery was okay.  Loads of possessions wives was okay.  Swearing was okay.  The death penalty was okay.  Burning witches was okay.  Child labour was okay. So much was okay that now is not.  So much that is still not (that one day will be).

I think we forget love without condition when we worry about everything BUT kindness … everything but NOT knowing.

We are taught about the “evidence” of the bible – the false evidence of science (and the same for both – in reverse – by “the other side”).  We are taught about the right or wrong of different faiths and of no faiths.  We are taught and teach all of that “I am right and you are wrong” stuff …

And in that teaching I was taught to be unkind.

But isn’t that …

The biggest “false teaching” of all?

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I am wealthy

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It must be nice to have the luxury to debate these issues

“the Biblical vision of gender”

My Beautiful One

Rebekah wrote a post that connected with immediacy and clarity.

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We are rich in time and, boy oh boy, how we like to waste this wealth!  We are rich enough in time to sit and verbally spar with each other.  We are rich enough in time to dump static opinion and beliefs over each other.  We are rich enough in time enough to examine spiritual “belly-button-fluff” over which we obsess.

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Riches are referred to in the bible over which we obsess.

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And I have found that wealth is taken literally.  Riches are “stuff” of money and purchase.  A big car.  A fine house.  The best jewels.  The finest wine.  All “stuff” we can hold and touch and count and store.

Yet I am rich in so many ways that is nothing to do with I can hold and touch.

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A family living in a place of safety.  A family living in good health.  A family living with excellent and free healthcare 24/7.  A family who takes for granted three meals a day.  The freedom to write words like this and press send to the whole world.  The freedom to be bored, to be restless, to be distracted, to be yearning and spontaneous.  The freedom to live as I wish constrained only by my fears and timidity.

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It must be nice to have the luxury to debate these issues.

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The bible for me becomes ever more simple, ever more connected, ever more immediate.  Call it what you will, debate it as you will … dismiss it as you will … for me there is one great truth that is rejected ONLY if I fear this truth:

‘Love them, me AND you.  Unconditionally.”

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What is to fear?

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Well I used to fear love.

I used to fear not controlling, not measuring, not counting, not receiving, not being in charge.  I used to fear losing all those “riches” I thought of as “love”.  I relied on rules and law and commandments.

Because if I was going to treat you okay I wanted an enforceable contract that said you were going to be grateful and that you were going to treat me okay.  But I wanted a contract with get-out clauses.

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Like … familiarity breeds contempt.  Like … the grass is always greener on the other side.  Like … what I found attractive in you now repels me.  Like … I reserve the right to count whether or not you give me more than I give you.  And the biggie …

It’s only wrong if you catch me in the act

(and even then it’s your fault I felt the need to do it)

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And all of “that” is NOT fear … ?

All of that we think IS “love” … ?

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It must be nice to have the luxury to debate these issues.

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‘Love them, me AND you.  Unconditionally.”

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Riches are riches.

I am wealthy.

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What am I doing with this truth?

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We all travel if we allow

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Few of us really and truly follow our dreams.  Too scary.  Too uncompromising.  Too much having to give up too much.

Usually “control” as we like to kid ourselves.

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Our son and his girlfriend are in Canada.

Saved for a year.  Gave it all up.  Took enough clothes for every season.  Blagged a business-class seat across there.  Bought a van.  And now adopted a dog (very unplanned!).

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We have watched their journey with love and affection.

We have no control.  All we can do is share their journey.  With love.

All we can do is to share their journey in instant texts, video calls, emails …

And then this …

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“The Worst Thing About Vanlife”

“But most of the time you’re all of these things at once because not having to work and having to travel is you as a human in your most raw, vulnerable position: fragile and welcoming, high-strung and excited.”


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I love “travelling”.

We all “travel” if we allow.

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Paul

 

This tiny ten-letter-mustard-seed-phrase

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There are certain word-strings that stick a pin in me.  A very real “ouch” word-string.  And then I have to find out why.  GSHJ does that from time to time.  I can be reading something and “ouch” followed by “What was that for?

It happened with this:  “Have We Made Bible Study Too Simple?”   The first “ouch” was the word ”study” followed closely by another with “we”.

It was Don Merritt who made me aware of me using a “straw-man” in some of my writing: A fictional “they” in order for me to tear down this fictional “they” as evidence for the point I was making.  And the use of “we” is the most-used straw-man.  Because “we” is (almost) the same as “they” – with a twist.  “We” is me being right and you (who should be one of “we”) having to agree with me – because “we” are correct and “they” (who say – incorrectly – that they are “we”) are not.

Ouch.

Then the word “study” in front of “bible”.  Bible Study.   A phrase used so often it is now its own “evidence”: bible study.  This tiny ten-letter-mustard-seed-phrase packed full of institutional religious baggage like this (from the “About Page”): “Missio Alliance began as an initiative of Ecclesia, a relational network of missionally-minded churches and leaders that takes a primary interest in encouraging and equipping church planters.”  Which screams: “We are God Qualified” – unlike like me.  Unless “me” is God Qualified – and then I might be “we”.

Ouch.

Then this from the post: “At the moment I was a bit taken back.  This shut down the conversation.  It was before my days in seminary and honestly, I wasn’t equipped with a good answer.”

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I get a lot of this Paul – I got a lot of this from you in your “early days”.  This dependence on you and your own cleverness – to fit-in – to be seen to have a “good answer”.  To be able to win the argument – to successfully argue me out of the bible and into another (allegedly).  See the infamous Pharisees and Sadducees – all the “sees and cees” (now reborn as “ologies and isms”).  It’s all about cleverness – being seen to have the right answer – to win hearts and minds for me.   And in the process to split and divide – to maintain the God Qualified as gatekeepers for me – to maintain “them” relying on “we” to explain me.

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And I have just created my own straw-man.  The God Qualified (of seminary and theological college).  My direct conversation with God Soft Hands Jesus – my “baggage” of “dividing” those who believe in the same God Soft Hands Jesus as I do – but not “exactly” the same as mine.  My appealing to those who have a similar train of thought – and in the process dismissing those who don’t.

Because if any of us (or they) really lived this “All Are Welcome” fiction – none of this would matter.  It wouldn’t matter what I (or you) believed if we really lived being capable of love without condition – really lived that love can only be love without condition.  Really believed that “love” split into four (God Qualified) Greek words … is putting cleverness in the way of God … causing another to stumble … perhaps a child who loves without condition because love IS without condition.

And that makes us all false teachers – makes us all use and abuse the bible – because we all look at “sinners” and “sin” as some external force to be beaten – we all look to God to save us.

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And there you go again.  Who is “we and us” – and what were you saying about using “we and they”?

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And he is right.  As is the (possible) rebuttal that “Church folk have to talk to church folk – so using a common language saves time.”

Except that I bumped into this “common language” and the language is not “common”.  It is institutional and God Qualified – it is the language of “seminary Church”.

And that keeps me from you – and keeps us ALL from God Soft Hands Jesus and living love that IS love without condition.

Him, you and me.

“All” without condition.

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Takes me back to the good old days when it was just the “sees and cees”!

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“I love you like a river…” Seni bir nehir gibi seviyorum…” (from Aleph by Paulo Coelho)

This post connected.

Love does that …

Paul

YA BAKİ ENTEL BAKİ

I love you . “I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth.

I love you like a river that creates the right conditions for trees and bushes and flowers to flourish along it’s banks. I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go.

I love you like a river that understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, the…

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We called that love

Just me being curious

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When I became a proper Christian it was with wonder and fear.  Of my totality of connection to Creation and all therein.  And what the fuck I was supposed to do now (including the fear of STILL thinking/saying “fuck”).

Wonder of God – yes.  Fear of God – no!

(that was reserved for my fellow Christians)

It was a similar cocktail when Mrs (to-be) Paul and I agreed we were an item.  Wonder of someone I fancied!  Instant fear of farting … speaking in my sleep … eating too much … doing the wrong things!

And then time kicks in.

The first fart (and then farting together). The first constricted silent poo (and then the  pooing together). That inevitable drift from “holding it all in” to letting it all out – to “being ourselves”.

Which still wasn’t.

Because along the way we found each other’s “hot buttons”.  And…

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