empires (I’ll tell you what’s a bit freaky, after I had finished writing this I noticed that the word count said 666)

Some of the strangest moments I’ve experienced over the past few years are those moments when something happens that reminds me how much I’m actually like my parents and relations.

Things that I’ve been doing for years suddenly become reflections of how mum or dad or crazy uncles have been reacting in the same situations all those years – Its obvious. Like father, like son – how did I miss it?

Lately I’ve noticed that any creativity or love for the environment, farming and sustainability didn’t appear out of thin air when I popped out 3o odd years ago. Its always been an active part of my family heritage.

My great uncle built his own electric windmill years ago, my grandfather helped invent a machine for harvesting willow and saved the unique Lough Neagh trout, one uncle keeps bees, another wants to brew some cider this year, great aunts and uncles kept their own sort of nature reserve with newts in the pond, one recorded a corncrake calling  and gave me the tape recorder and tape it was on and other things.

Today I saw another one which I’d missed. My family dislike for Empire and authorative regimes. I remember how my dad occassionaly goes into a rant (usually after reading something in the Daily Mail) about the evils of the EU and the beast, how the French and Germans want to plant microchips in our hand and make us worship the beast (exaggerating a bit now) and control us. They want to make our bananas straight!They are trying to control our lives! Its evil!

For a long time I thought they where just a bit crackers. But lately I’ve been seeing the same sort of thing in myself not with the EU but with the IMF, WTO, Tesco and WalMart, the financial systems that control the world. We don’t like empires for we don’t like the injustice of it or maybe out of fear.

“How dare the EU tell us that we have to do this, or do that – what right do they have to take away our freedoms?’ my extended family might rant.

“How dare WalMart encourage consumption and how dare city shareholders in all the companies demand more and more profits at cost the planet and the poor” I might rant.

But I’m with my family on this one – surely we do live under some type of malign empire? We in the west tend to think that we’re the first Christians in the history to be free of Caesar’s or huge influencing forces that control us and assimilate us and make us say “The ECONOMY IS LORD” or “PROFIT IS KING”.

Why is that? Why are we so free from a modern day Roman Empire?

Sometimes at church you here people say ‘We’re so fortunate to live in a free country where we are free to worship as we please unlike our brothers in _____ who may be persecuted for going near a church’

We are fortunate (I wouldn’t want to go to prison ) but in another way is it just because we’re not doing what we should be by believing all sorts of counter- cultural stuff and living it, even if it meant suffering for it?

There seems to be a certain air of superiority (arrogance?)in our talk like we’re free of domination systems and empires while the rest of those in the world aren’t.Does that not strike you as a bit strange?

Why is Revelation in the Bible?I don’t know much but was it not written by John to help churches in a difficult time of persecution by the empires and authorities of that day. Is it not useful for those who go the church in Ireland these days. Who are the powers in our daily experience?How dismantle them in love?Why are we not persecuted more by them? Who are the caesars we need to stop proclaiming as Lord in our society?

Mums, dads, brothers and sisters – lets dismantle Caesar’s Palace brick by brick…


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