Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Benjamin published at Porpoise Diving Life

The January '07 edition of the Porpoise Diving Life E-zine is out, and it contains an article by me! Yippee. You can read it here.

8 comments:

Megs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megs said...

your article is very good darling. i love you!
i'm just wondering though ... what does george w. bush have to do with christianity? i was curious about how he came to pop up in your musings?

me said...

hey ben. 2007.The new year is so sneaky!

i have been really encouraged by reading your thoughts - i respect your honesty so much. eSp to make 'church' relevant and accessible, and a place where people can 'meet' jesus.

And I really value your fight against injustice and rage at the unfairness of it all. My response is also prayer in these situations.

Just reading your article,it struck me how people's experience of God is so caught up with how they experience church on a sunday .... i did a talk on acts today and looked at the early churhc - god cares intensely how we treat eachother - how that community of faith reflect his heart in the way we treat eachother.

i just read a book you might like - its called community and growth - by jean vanier - he talks about communities and says anything i want to say much better. he founded the L'arche communities that are communites for the handicapped.

R
ps:(answered your blog tag today in my blog. they are a diff 5 things - u know 10 things now!)

Benjamin Ady said...

Megsie,

I guess you are referring to "I find the militarization of christianity by g.w. and the christians who suppport him disturbing".
You ask "what does g.w. have to do with christianity?"
The answer is multifaceted. I suspect a lot of people in the middle east connect g.w. and america with christianity. I've heard even really brilliant people who I respect, like Ravi Zacharias, for instance, praise the invasion of Iraq and the ouster of Saddam on the grounds that the country is now so much more open than before to the influx and influence of christian missionaries. (not to misrepresent Ravi, I read this around two years ago, and he might have more or different things to say on the subject).
g.w. was mostly elected by people who claim to be christians. at least some large plurality, if not a majority, of the u.s. armed forces would call themselves christians. ...
Most of all, though, that particular comment from me probably has to do with my own personal history. I grew up, from age 12 to 24, in a church which was in some ways the wacko right wing republican headquarters for the state of washington. That was formative for me. In that church, if you asked the question "what does g.w. have to do with christianity?", people would be honestly confused as to what you meant. so that whole thing is lurking there in the background. I know intellectually, of course, that, as with any particular group/form of chrisianity, this represents neither the wide array of christianity, nor (for sure) the "original" intent/culture of christianity (whatever that may or may not be).
Hope I didn't answer at too much length.
I love you.

Kate said...

Ben,

I suspect that most Christians in Australia are opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Most people of all varieties here see it as an American oil issue, or a 'finishing Daddy's business' issue and saw through the 'weapons of mass destruction' lies from the very start. Many, many Australians resent John Howard's sycophancy towards GW.

Remember, Bens, that your blog is an international vehicle of expression, and that your concerns about various types of Christianity you have experienced (whilst horrible in and of themselves) may be quite unique to America.

While I agree that we can all do with a kick up the backside on occasion, and we are all flawed, I often feel that you're just not talking about the Christians I know, especially those whom I most like and admire.

Benjamin Ady said...

...Kate--didn't you guys just re-elect Howard?

Did you feel my words amounted to a kick up the backside? Ouch. I apologize. It was not my intention to thus kick you. I'm stoked to hear that your experience with Christians has been so much better than mine. I agree that a lot of the toxicity in the world in general is uniquely american. On the other hand, I suspect that each country, and each country's christians, also have their own unique toxicity. Certainly the militarization of Christianity is hardly uniquely american--indeed, the U.S. may not even be the current worst offender along these lines. Just check out, for instance The Lord's Resistance Army.

Kate said...

Bens,

Don't worry about me being offended; as Megs will testify, I love a good debate.

I guess part of the issue for me is that the 'Sunday morning church' you talk about is not the whole of what Christianity is but a starting point. And many of the most profoundly generous Christians are actually following Jesus' words about doing it quietly. In saying all this, I know I am very middle class and as guilty as the next person of talking about kids, holidays, my dying garden (drought), the price of fruit (drought) etc in conversation after church, rather than AIDS issues or other more worthy things.

Funnily enough, Mr Howard's re-election had little to do with Iraq, because it's not seen as important as domestic issues over here. The biggest single factor in Howard's win was the perceived incompetence of the Opposition; that combined with the current boom in the economy (largely due to mining exports to China). Recent surveys have found that the most significant issues for Australian atm are the drought/water shortages/global warming, which is somewhat ironic given that Howard was re-elected despite his refusal to sign Kyoto.

Benjamin Ady said...

"Funnily enough, Mr Howard's re-election had little to do with Iraq, because it's not seen as important as domestic issues over here."

Do australians, then, have a little of the same disease of insularity which we have in such abundance over here?

"'Sunday morning church' you talk about is not the whole of what Christianity is but a starting point"

Indeed. Or perhaps not a "starting point", but rather *just* a point.

Dwight Friesen talked about a silo as metaphor for Sunday Morning Church® (okay, I'm extrapolating a little) in his talk at Revolution Conference He described how out in rural america you can see these huge silos at crossroads out in the middle of nowhere, and that's where they store the food, and that's where all the cattle come to eat,and, really, it's a bit unnatural. He was offering a different model for church, a networking model. Very kewl

And yet Sunday Morning Church® is a *large* point (if such a thing is possible). Perhaps even the point at which the majority of christians worldwide visualize the focus of their christianity. It it were the only point, I *definitely* couldn't be a christian anymore. But you're right, there are a plethora of iterations of "church" and "christianity", and among that plethora there are those in-which-Benjamin-can-be.