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Showing posts from September, 2007

Me and Jesus (and Christ): Episode 7

When I speak of Christ I don’t think of a Second Person of the Trinity, at least not as old theologians did, and some still do; instead I think, I feel, about a spirit of anointing, what the Greek word Christ refers to, about a spirit of blessing that is so powerful in its revolutionary vulnerable way, power-with not power-over, cooperation not competition and content and conquest... that this spirit could not be silenced and destroyed by evil and death, but lived on and grew in community more life affirming. I think of Christ as a parable itself, and believe it is stronger, theologically for it. Ron Robinson It's funny how things turn around. After years of trying to reject Christ and follow Jesus, right now I find myself turning more to Christ. Jesus was a historical fallible person. I cannot follow him in a mechanical way. For example was Jesus, maybe just a little bit, racist, sexist, homophobic? There are all kinds of historical arguments we could have about this, but I t

The Language of Reverends

This is something I've been mulling over recently, and the preaching of Bill Darlison (might take a while to load, but worth listening to, as always) has prompted me to say it out loud. Bill says, 'Clergy titles are wonderfully ironic in the light of Christ's teaching.... this is all ballony!... Even Unitarians are not free from it. Why do we covert the title Reverend? We really should have nothing to do with this stuff.' I've got to say I agree with him. Titles are awkward things for all of us I think. Are women Miss, Ms, Mrs - why do they have to be anything? Why does it matter to anyone what anyone's marital status is? Is there actually any function to any title, other than for people to think that they are better than others? But in the religious life especially I am suspicious of titles. I'm increasingly Anabaptist these days and think that the testimony of equality is deeply important. That's not to say that there isn't a place for lead

How far we've come

Did anyone else catch the 50 year old interview with John Wolfenden on BBC 4? Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of the Wolfenden Report which recommended the decriminalisation of male homosexuality. The report's recommendations weren't followed until 10 years later though. It's fascinating and scary to see the language in which the conversations took place. The assumptions behind the conversations are just amazing. The conversation were along the lines of,'We're not saying we morally agree with this perversion, only that we don't think this perversion should be illegal when other perversions aren't.' That wasn't that long ago. Lest we forget.

Me and Jesus: Episode 6

Sometimes Jesus can feel like an abusive spouse. He says the most lovely things sometimes, and other times he says the most horrible things. And I struggle with what is central and what is peripheral, what is permanent, and what is transient, whether there is enough there to keep me in the relationship and whether I can find a way to ignore (or deal in some way) with the rest. If I took my analogy seriously then I should be saying to myself: Get out! Get out of that abusive relationship and don't look back! And so many of us, so many of us Unitarians have done exactly that: liberated ourselves from an abusive religious relationship. And it hurts so much to look back because it was difficult, and now we're free. And we only want to talk about it to say how glad we are to be rid of it, and to make insulting comments to Jesus to keep him at arms length. But as much as Jesus (and/or the tradition) hurts me, it also hurts me when someone makes those snide comments. 'Hey, that