Globalization consuming freedom with austerity.

These recent weeks have been interesting and alarming all at the same time. Greece has recently voted as a nation to refuse further austerity measures from the rest of the European Union. For a long time, they have spent more money than has been coming into the country, and neighbours have been keen to give loans to assist them out of their difficulties, but have they helped, was there a very different agenda?

Today, the UK Government announces it’s budget, austerity has become an everyday word for exceptional circumstances; but those circumstances are no longer exceptional. We live in a globalised economy that collapsed in 2008. Massive debts have accumulated in most countries, each owing the other it seems. Who are paying the price for the fantasy world of other crashing? Certainly not the people and institutions that created and perpetuated the circumstances. Regular people are paying the price, the ones who are not able to afford, the ones not able to earn……

I am a great fan of a group of communities called the Bruderhof. They live together, work together, and decide things together. They have learned what it is to take the Sermon on the Mount seriously, and is in fact the core of who they are, how they are, and the way to be. I am currently reading “Jesus and the Nonviolent Revolution” by Andre Trocme from Plough Publishing (a free download). It is very thought provoking and very relevant in today’s world of violence and war. Within it’s pages is a section of a different kind of violence and oppression:

People believed he would re-establish the legitimate Davidic dynasty and free the people from foreign domination. Isaiah 61 refers specifically to a liberation, and it is a social one: “To preach good news to the poor… to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Being the hoped-for Messiah, Jesus meant to accomplish what the prophet announced as the task of the Messiah. He was setting out to liberate the oppressed of Israel. He was proclaiming a ‘year of freedom’ (“the year of the Lord’s favour” or the “acceptable year of the Lord”).

We now hold the key to the problem. By proclaiming a “year of freedom” in Nazareth, Jesus was threatening the interests of property owners, those with power. This is what incited their murderous anger. His adversaries never admitted the real motives behind their fear and hate. As good conservatives do, they hid behind the noble pretexts to discredit the prophet from Nazareth. They wanted to defend the institutions, the temple in Jerusalem, and the tradition of their fathers. They resisted the “year of the Lord’s favour.”

Exactly what was this “year of the Lord’s favour” that Jesus proclaimed? Most exegete agree that it was nothing less than the sabbatical year or Jubilee instituted by Moses.

Moses had insituted a genuine social revolution aimed at preventing the accumulation of capital in the hands of a few. This was to recur every seven and every forty-nine years. Iuse the term ‘revolution’ intentionally because the social readjustments commanded by Moses were far more radical than the efforts of modern revolutionaries. Contemporary revolutions grow primarily out of economic disparities caused by technological developments. Jesus’ revolution, on the contrary, drew its strength from God’s liberating justice. By proclaiming the Jubilee, Jesus wanted to bring about a total social transformation, with an eye to the future, yet based on the vision of justice God had already set forth in the past.

The Jubilee, with it practices and norms, would have been known to both the poor and the rich of Nazareth. Was not the Law of Moses read every Sabbath in the synagogue? But it was not being fully put into practice. Here Jesus suddenly demanded that the Law be put into immediate practice effect – “today.” Was this good news or bad? That depended on who you were. The Jubilee demanded, among other things, expropriating the lands of the wealthy and liquidating the usurious system by which the ruling class prospered. It is easy enough to understand the enthusiasm of the poor, as well as the fear of the rich, which prompted them to try to stop the social revolution by means of crime.

We already have a method of dealing with such widespread debt, we already have a method of dealing with a debt when it is pretty certainly never going to be paid. Power and control is and was a brutal tool and method of keeping people at bay. What is the difference in today’s current financial climate. Will Greece ever be able to pay of it’s debts? What is the motivation of the creditors? Would you loan money to someone who was unable to pay it back?


If you look around our suburbs and inner cities you will see clearly in the UK an increase in loan sharks wearing lambs clothing……. I suggest that we look upon these countries in the chart above in similar fashion and also consider the ideology of our current government, a government that has demonized the cannot and have-nots…… think about it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Science of God

An excellent piece about a false dichotomy……. Science v Christian faith.

Trevor Nashleanas

As a pastor living in a college town I run into skeptics, doubters and unbelievers regularly. One of the most common objections I hear about the Christian faith is in regards to science. People just can’t seem to wrap their minds around God.

I get it.  I really do. I have a degree in biology and psychology.  I’m more than familiar with naturalistic evolution, evolutionary psychology and the behavioral sciences than I’d like to be.  I’ve taken physics, chemistry and genetics.  I, like many of my peers, appreciate hard facts, empirical evidence and measurable results.

In a world of scientific questions, factual evidence is our friend. Measurable outcomes are important, but when it comes to God I’ve learned that they just aren’t enough.

When Science Isn’t Enough

Science is built on the premise that what can be known is measurable.  It can be quantified with empirical evidence. This is true…

View original post 711 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In His Cathedral



The greatest of cathedrals are not made by the hands of men, but by the very hand of God Himself.  In those cathedrals, you can go to pray and to listen to the sounds that are not sounds made by men.

If you listen very carefully, you may even hear the voice of God.

People often say that they can worship God anywhere; in the desert, by the sea, in the forest…  I happen to agree with them, for these are wonderful places to worship Him.  Surrounded by His awesome creation, taking it all in, it revives our spirit.

I can only think of one better place to worship God than in the midst of His creation, and that is in the midst of His people, for when we are in the midst of His people, we are not only surrounded by His handiwork, but we are also right in…

View original post 5 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Believe All That You Believe

An excellent, short piece…… doubt, questioning and faith.

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

Occasionally I’ll binge-read atheism blogs to re-examine my faith and to remember what it was like when I was an atheist. Some of the online debates are absolutely terrible, but a rare few are civil, compelling, and thoughtful. I have to really pause and consider the implications of a godless universe.

It’s always such a balancing act to question your own faith, but I also think most Christians are too afraid to look over the edge, to dance on that precarious cliff of hard questions, so we run to easy answers and bad arguments. We’re too scared to investigate doubt. We’ve equated a lack of confidence in faith to some kind of moral value judgment, as if “doubt” means personal failure. I refuse to believe that questions must mean a lack of character. I propose the very opposite: that we must have a place of safety to ask those questions…

View original post 57 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The # 1 way we (Christians) have failed our children

Agreed. N.T. Wright has spent a long time saying the same in countless books, but this is the basic gist.

everyday theology

A friend shared this on Facebook the other day:

“If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?” I asked the children in my Sunday School class.
“NO!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?”
Again, the answer was, “NO!”
Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my wife, would that get me into Heaven?” I asked them again.
Again, they all answered, “NO!”
“Well, I continued, “then how can I get into Heaven?”
A five-year-old boy shouted out, “YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!”

We have failed. In a world where even a 5 year old identifies heaven as something you “get” when you…

View original post 140 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Engaging With “Unsaved” Family and Friends

I come from a non-churchy background and I know why this is important – We have to be counter to what the world expects on so many issues but unfortunately we live in a binary thinking world – one that God counters by His grace if we look close enough.

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

pfahlercommakatelyn asked a question:

How do you deal with your mother and other people not being saved? Do you have any hope for them?

Hey dear friend, I have a ton of hope for my family.  I have a ton of hope for everyone else in my life who doesn’t know Christ.

I understand two simple things.

1) They have a completely different worldview than me, and I need to adjust my dials for them — not in a way that compromises my faith, but in a way that shows grace. I don’t ever force them to bend to me.

View original post 220 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coercion, Coffee, Conversation.

The desperate evangelist needs a new approach. Nice post 🙂

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

I saw a guy with his Bible open at Starbucks teaching theology to another guy. He was unloading all kinds of information about creation and moral laws and prophecies and pneumatology and atonement, and it was all very good and knowledgeable and I applaud him for that — but I guess the one thing I would’ve done differently is just ask questions. “What’s always bothered you about Christianity? How’s your church experience been? How’s everything going with you? Do you want me to pray for anything?”

I don’t mean to diminish this guy and it’s actually really hard to do what he was doing. He’s much braver than me. I also know we don’t have to pit theology against fellowship; we can do both. I just wonder how many times I tried teaching someone all my impressive information without listening first. I wonder how long I let myself get into…

View original post 27 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment