Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Phew... that was heated

I know right? I am actually writing a post not long after my last one. I just had to get this down before I lose it from my mind.

In my house live three men and one woman; myself, my brother, mother and father. I am the youngest at Twenty-One and my brother is two and a half years older. This as you can imagine can get quite... well, let's say 'heated'. Different opinions do not fly well in this house, and are often shot down. God help anyone who suggests anything outside of the norm. Alas, this person is 98 percent of the time, always me. 

Anyone who has read my previous posts will see that I do not exactly think inside the box. I have always tried not to, as constant challenging and stretching of the norm is what progresses the human race. New discoveries and establishments of new boundaries, whether they be biological, astronomical, theological, etc. in nature, are always linked to the person who was willing think, and then proceed to  something new and unorthodox. This is how I like to think. Always have done. My dad on the other hand, appears quite the opposite. I think those who have had the blessing of knowing and/or living with their father will find a familiarity in my frustrations here. My dad is very stuck on his opinions, what he says is truth. If he thinks that the weather outside is raining, then it is raining. If he thinks it is sunshine, then it is, no matter what anyone else may see with their own eyes. And no, before you think that I am just having a rant because me and my dad have had an argument, I am not. I refuse to discredit anyone, no matter how much I disagree with their opinion. Always 'Agree to Disagree'

However, tonight has raised many questions, which I need to get down. The first of these is how to open someones mind to the point where they will see the other persons stand point, and then respect it. I fully understand that we humans very much enjoy being comfortable, and being established on what we believe. Every person has a strong opinion on something. I guess.. *sigh* it is 'human nature'. I really do hate that excuse. I myself have changed opinions on many things, before studying my degree I firmly believed that the only true Christianity is that which is western in culture, and sings only the latest and uplifting Christian worship music from the growing Christian celebrity culture. Now I am not so sure (as you can probably tell from my wording). 

Tonight, myself, my dad and brother debated over whether, if a global disaster were to occur, whether natural or otherwise, that meant the human race had to start again with only memories of life before, would society be built on old notions of democracy, countries and ruling minorities?, or would a more utopian society be built that was free of crime, money, debt and corruption. I seemed to be on the losing side. Apparently greed, ruling elitism, a need for money, are all human nature. If we were to start from scratch, we would be much the same as we are today. I choose to believe very differently as I am sure you are aware by now. 

This debate, like all discussions in my household, rose to anger, frustration, and ultimately division. I am now sitting in my room, confused at how people can be so stuck in there ways, to verbally destroy anything new idea or notion that would upset the norm. It annoys to the point of sadness. No two people are united on everything, I accept this. Yet we can at least be responsive to the other party, and try to see their point of view from their position right? If I was confronted by a cannibalistic wizard shaman who believed that image and money is the root of happiness, that the Moon is the wife of the Sun, and that stars are their offspring, where every third offspring needs to be sacrificed to the flying sky spirits, I would try to show them respect and at least attempt to see it from their point of view, however difficult this might be. I accept that many of my opinions need refining, and more research studied in order to actively support them. I accept that I can be wrong, as being wrong is not something to be afraid of, as something can be learnt as a result of it. 

I really hope that our evolution takes us to a stage where all opinion is valid, however new, obscure and weird it may be. Every opinion is welcome, within reason of course. I guess I shall just have to keep my mouth shut, or face the consequences.

Sorry if that sounded like the disjointed ramblings of an opinionated student.
Please feel free to comment and share your view if you agree or disagree with anything that I say.
 If you like what I am writing, then I shall continue to do so. If there is something that I you think I should write about then please tell me. Also, if anyone you know may enjoy my this blog, then please share it with them. 
Thanks again for reading 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

United under God?

First of all, apologies that I have left it so long to write my next post. It was in the pipeline, and now I actually have time. Over the summer I have been working, pretty much full time. This linked with the constant catch up with friends most evenings and everything else that turns up in everyday life, means I have not had much time to sit down and write my thoughts down.

On the agenda was to inform that I have been finally diagnosed with dyslexia, and as I started to write this, the actual report came through the post. This report confirms what I myself, my parents and many past school teachers have suspected. High potential but average grades means that I have either had no interest and did not care, or that I have had a disadvantage to the rest of the general student population. I suppose it is nice to have an excuse for my somewhat poor sentence structure and going off at tangents though. 

The title for this post is 'United under God?'. It is a subject that I have been wrestling with for a while,  whenever I have had a chance to be in my own company. The subject concerns whether the human race can ever be united. To the point where war and poverty would no longer exist, because of a unity with the rest of the world. In the New Testament, particularly in the book of Revelation, the scriptures speak of how one day 'every knee will bow' and all who are saved will be united under God in the new heaven and new earth. 

Yet secularism offers a different approach. Many secularists will argue that all people do not all have to share the same beliefs to share empathy with one another. People do not have to believe the same things to live in mutual cooperation. It is interesting that when a group of Christians are together for any length of time, there will always be separation and classification. It has become a kind of joke among many Christians, 'what denomination are they?'. 
This will always remind me of the classic joke about the 'man on the bridge', which goes like this:

    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."
"Why shouldn't I?" he asked.
   "Well, there's so much to live for!"
"Like what?"
   "Are you religious?"
He said, "Yes."
    I said, "Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?"
   "Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
   "Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
   "Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"
"Baptist Church of God."
   "Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"
"Reformed Baptist Church of God."
   "Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"
He said: "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915."
   I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off. 

Yet, when a small group of Christians who have never met before were to do so, say, in a predominantly Islamic area or nation, the sheer fact that they have Christianity in common is enough. However in a more familiar and comfortable setting the opposite is the case. Why is any kind of empathy toward our fellow human being only aimed toward to the few in a crowd of many. I don't understand!

I think it is fair to say that we have come a long way in our short time on this planet but have a long way to go before I will call our race 'civilised'. We know longer only keep to blood lines or local tribes/clans, but are now (in the broader sense) largely identified with our nationality. Still though, even in a 'United' Kingdom, there is the North-South divide. Then there is what part of the North/South you originate from, in some cases even moving on to where you were born/raised, as if such a thing is in anyway important.

Christianity, and indeed most modern religions hold that under their respective God/s and moral code, the world can be united, just as long as everyone follows that belief system. Anyone who has studied the history of Christianity for any amount of time can see that Christendom (Church governed state) has not and never will work. The same can be seen in many Islamic nations where any shift from the cultural or religious norms is harshly oppressed and eliminated. 
I suppose that yes, if everyone thought the same, believed the same, acted the same, was the same, that global unity would be very possible. This is not however possible, anyway doable, or fair. Logic would then ask the question, and wonder what can actually develop a mutual empathy that can unite the world, eliminate discrimination and break down physical and imaginary man-made borders. This kind of world would not be united under God, but united through shared empathy toward all. I wonder what part religion would play in this, and whether religions would have a positive or negative part to play. 

Any comments to add? Please let me know, I would be very interested to hear agreements and disagreements. I hope my next post won't be so long away this time. 

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Eco-friendly Church?

Any one who has had regular lengthly discussions with myself will soon learn that I am a growing eco fanatic.
I find that it is a massive subject that is not talked about enough, and there are many reasons for my caring. I first find it interesting that human-kind today (especially Western cultures and China) view themselves as advanced technologically. When looking back at say pre-historic human, I can see that we as a race are indeed skilled with technology and are moving on from hammers and nails, and onto circuit boards.
But my observation is this, if we power all this development by merely drilling dinosaur remains out of the ground and burning them, I cannot label the human race as advanced.

In our world, OIL has just about replaced the gold in which we apparently base out money on. The price of a barrel of oil is above all else in the stability and success of the stock market and the income of not just big companies, but as the price of things go up as a result of this affects all walking on this earth whether directly or indirectly. This is not advanced. This is just exploitation. I do not have to inform readers about the damage that fossil fuels do to the environment, as it is clear. The speed up of global warming is of a result of us. The industrial revolution has finished, perhaps a renewable energy revolution should be next.

We have the technology today to raise the whole earths peoples living standards higher than the richest man on earth. This is proven (see links below). But what is stopping us? the money. This is a subject I shall not expound in this post but will in time. We have the technology today to power the whole worlds energy needs safely. But not only that, we can have abundance in power if we get rid of fossil fuels and focus on renewables.

To most people, this is hippy talk. Free love stuff. Partly because those who are stereotypically labelled as protesters are the ones who are publicly renouncing fossil fuels, with statements such as 'you are killing the earth'. It is good that at least some people are complaining about this injustice, but is a shame that every day people who stand for this change are put in the same camp as these professional protesters. Killing the earth? No, we are not killing the earth, it has had worse to contend with than human beings, we are just making it uninhabitable for our race. We have to do something about this.

'But what difference can I do?' 'Why should I turn off a light to save energy when Las Vagus is lit up all year round?' Good questions. What can you do? Campaign and complain, make your voice heard. Which leads me nicely onto my next point, the Church. How many billions of Christians are there in the world? Doesn't Genesis command God's people to steward the earth? So why is the Church doing next to nothing to make a difference in this area. If the world Church banded together in the search for sustainability both ecologically, and for resources then such a change would be made. What better Christian example for the world is there than pushing for eco-friendly energy and production??? If every church in the UK pushed for Solar Panels on their buildings roofs, this would make a truly massive difference both to the environment, but also on how people view the church. Solar Panels are visible, and people can see the difference that is trying to be made without having to preach it to people. Money even isn't a problem, as after 25-30 years the things pay for themselves. Along with that, the government are actively supporting the investment in Solar Panels through 'Feed in Tariffs ', where the government pretty much pays you for having them.

The same goes with cars. I have visited many churches where nice BMW's or vintage Jaguar's are parked outside. Surely the purpose of a car is to travel from A to B. Christians are commanded to be in the world but not of it. So why hasn't half the church community invested in electric cars. Power your house with Solar Panels, power your car for free!! And it gives the Christian a positive example, helping with its mission. Granted, some people cannot afford these new electric cars as they are often twice the price of the conventional petrol powered car. However, the money that is saved in the long term by owning one of these vehicles is great.

I hate to get angry, but I am fed up of Christians fighting among themselves over petty things such as differences over communion or baptism, which in comparison are tiny tiny issues. Isn't the increasing melting ice caps a bigger issue, and something God actually gives a crap about!?

Please, as always let me know your thoughts in the comments
Chow x

Links as promised, enjoy.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Its been a while

First things first

I apologise that I have not written for so long. With Christmas, New Year and January deadline, it has been hard to find time to sit and write another post, a task that I have been meaning to do for a while. The holidays were quite full on, what with essays to write and relatives to see, not to mention the somewhat countless pub trips to catch up with friends, whom, I wish I had more time to see.

Right, not that is out of the way, I suppose now is the time to write about a particular subject that has significance to myself or the world that surrounds me. This being said, I do not have one. The desire to write another post has been bugging me for so much, that it has robbed me of a subject to write on.

There is hope however. Those of you reading this will see the banner at the top of the blog, and may recognise it as lyrics from a song, one that has always been close to myself and was written by a band whose ideals, life views and stance on todays society have always hit home and whose lyrics I cannot find fault with. The lyrics read:
'Home could be anywhere when I am holding you' 
These lyrics are taken from a song called Adieu, written by Enter Shikari.
If you get a chance, I urge, or at least strongly recommend readers to find and listen to it. Such a good track!

This band, who hold no membership with any religions organisation or view, write these lyrics in a purely secular context, written in a way that can be seen to be as Christian in nature as any modern worship song writer's work. Before leaving home to take my place as a degree student, I would listen to it,  drawing religious significance. Home could be anywhere when I am holding you, could be addressed as much to God, as to any girl or fleeting fancy. I knew that as long as I hold on to God, then I could call any location of my choosing home. Powerful words indeed.

When moving out of home for the first time, this song was very significant and was a nerve wracking time. Now, I am a second year student and this song is just as relevant today as it was back then. Next year I will have completed my degree and can only hope that I have attained a job at this point. In this time where even the simplest and/or common jobs are scarce, I may have to again move from home. 

I hope you can see then, why this song is so important to me. Wherever I choose to live, I can call it home if I hold on to God. This is why I have chosen this to be the header title to this blog.

I hope to write again soon, hopefully next time with more content. Thank you all who are following and support this blog and thank you those who take time to read it. As I have mentioned before, if you could shed light to how I could improve this blog, or if you have a desire for me to write on a particular subject, then please comment and let me know. Thanks again

Thursday, 29 December 2011

So then... Blog time...

Right so here I am writing a blog.

Most of you reading this will probably know me in some way or another, and if you don't then welcome, needless to say I hope you all enjoy reading what will probably end up being a unstructured and no doubt mindless rant and today's politics, modern Christianity and the 21st Century 'so-called' modern society that I live in. I will probably even mention a good ol' family rant now and again and also of myself, to get me off any high horse I may appear to be lifting myself onto.

I hope that this at least gave you some idea about what I like goes on upstairs what my general standing is.

To those who do not know very well, or at all, let me give you the low down on who I am.
I am a 20 year old student from the East Midlands UK studying a Degree for Theology.
I am a Christian, love music, and seem to have a somewhat musical, yet challenged underdeveloped brain. (I hope you are beginning to detect and engage with my sense of humour).

As I said, I am a Christian, however if this fills your head with various negative connotations that today's media would have drilled into your skulls, then please relax, because although Christianity is my belief and is what I set my morals by, this does not somehow make me a 'bad guy' or one of those super indoctrinating tv pastors or door to door 'God botherers'. I would like it be known that this generalisation that was just shown was not done in good taste, just a few of many nicknames I find modern Christians labelled with nowadays. To be perfectly honest I am very laid back about such things. As long as when you see through the window into my life and my beliefs (that this blog will no doubt end up becoming) and can be seen without prejudice or previous misconception, and are respected, then I am fine with all. If you belong to a neighbouring faith, or have no faith at all then peace be with you, as you probably have just as much reasoning for believing as you do as I do about my faith. Hope my grammar is still on form here, however I can feel a steady decline as time goes on...

I really hope I have not resorted to mindless babble or an unnecessary defence of my opinions.

So here it is, my first blog. At the closing of 2011 I write this post, and I hope that this will be a blog for the new year, and hopefully the entire year. Hope you have enjoyed reading it. I have no idea whether it is too short or too long, but do feel free to comment (as I am sure their are facilities to do so) on how I can improve, and what I can further moan abo... I MEAN what subjects I can discuss in the future.

I am gonna let you into a secret, I have know idea what I will end up writing about. The idea to write a blog came from a friend of mine, and since I have so many ideas and discussions going on in my brain during studying and from general life, I thought I would give it a try. It all seems to be going well so far... No incoherence or absurd grammar yet, although do bare in mind that this will be an increasing issue as the time goes by. If you require perfect grammar to function then reading this probably isn't for you. Maybe a good old academic paper might be an alternative? Just a suggestion..

I hope to write another post soon, but as of yet am unsure how often I will write. Although it is my aim that  a rhythm is developed so you can come back to read new posts if ever you had the desire. It is the early hours of the morning as I write this so I will conclude and cease. Please stop by soon and feel free to comment, I would much enjoy the read.

Chow x