unemployment/stick to your guns?

If I said that I didn’t want to join the Army due to some Christian belief that we shouldn’t engage in violent behaviour against our fellow human that would probably be respected.

If however I say that I don’t want to work for Tesco’s, HMV etc. due to some Christian belief that we shouldn’t fight for over-consumption and PROFIT at cost to the planet Earth and my neighbours who live on that planet then that may be less respected. Some might think I’m being lazy and avoiding work.

There might be a way in which my opinion  might be respected but at the end of the day you need a job to earn money and they are scarce on the ground, you can’t afford to be picky so you should take anything you can get.Right?

Yet we know that our Western lifestyles are deeply unsustainable, and if people don’t know that they either haven’t been told, are living  a fantasy world or just don’t really care.
We know that we are greedy with too many of the worlds resources (fossil fuels,fresh water,soil,food) and because of that this good (but fallen) planet that God made is being destroyed.  From things we’ve heard we know that our present greedy economic system keeps many people poor, but thats a good thing for us as we shop in Asda and it keeps things cheap.

Yet if as Christians we believe in resurrection/New Creation, and that is where we are journeying to in life how could we justify going along with things that ultimately destroy and wreck the place as we go along?

We  may know that we should repent/change  our wasteful lifestyles yet when push comes to shove you need to get a job, any job and it doesn’t seem to matter what that job is.
“Sure could you not work for _______, earn money and use that money to study for what you really want to do?’
Well I could, but  would that be a bit hypocritical and two-faced?

Funnily enough I don’t enjoy the shame of being unemployed or being broke all the time but for me this Christianity business has to add up all week, not just  ‘holy’ bits that are relatively easy to tack on.Either there is a Kingdom here,(but not here) or there isn’t. What’s it to be? I can’t just work for things I don’t believe in now to get to closer to where I want to be later on because the now matters.

And surely the world hasn’t changed completely since Biblical times?
Surely there are still empires and kingdoms, emperors and kings out there who demand/expect us to worship them and hang on their every word, to not question their authority and just get on doing what they expect us to do?

How much do we go along with them knowing full well that a different king is on the throne? Do we just face up to the reality that you need a job, any job to look after your loved ones? I don’t know, its hard.
But surely Christians should be subversive and not just go merrily along hand in hand with what those emperors and kings want/expect, whatever that means?

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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…

“a world in which one set of nations operates as the dependants and effectively the servants of other nations has long been considered unacceptable….but the world’s new commercial structures, including the notion of globlized agriculture…, seems in many ways to be reinvigorating the old imperialistic relationships in a new guise”

Colin Tudge

in google we trust

Dear Heavenly Google

you are the fount of all knowledge. None is wiser than you. In your storehouses lies wisdom and truth.
You are good great Google. I come to you as one who does not have the answers.

Why is oh great Google is my life such a mess?

Could you point me to a few useful articles that might help me redeem my sorry life?
why am I invisible?why does nobody care?

answer me dear Heavenly Google.

Amen