Archive for July, 2014

Well, actually pulled myself out of bed early and decided to head along to this other local church again for what would be the third time. My wife and I headed along, and what do you know, yup-it’s closed this week. Think they’re all on holiday, or well maybe a spirtual camp/festival thing.

So that was that, but now I am here on a Sunday all ready to worship for a change (yeah I know, sounds bad right?) and back at home. So it leaves me with my thoughts. Perhaps that was the point…

So I put on some ‘worship’ music that I dig…Christian rap-rock band P.O.D. (Payable on death), their most recent album-Murdered Love. A little angry but very passionate. The lyrics speak to me well.

The day that they murdered…day that they murdered…day that they murdered LOVE…

I’ve been slowly reading this book about how we see Jesus today, often we see him as a passive, relaxed, white, chilled out guy…was he really?

Wasn’t Jesus the guy who questioned social order, hypocracy, injustice all around? Should we not think of him like that? Is that just difficult, inappropriate, not right with our culture? Well, sorry but we probably really need to see that Jesus more than ever.

 

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Summer stuff going on…

Posted: July 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Just a quick one here, thinking about what’s going on…

The fantastic super-intelligent and long-lasting Manic Street Preachers have a new album out right now called ‘Futurology’ not long after the previous much more quite one.

This new album pulls in influences of early 80’s art-rock, electronics, Krautrock sounds, and sees the Manics more energised and fresh than in a good many years.

There are now dozens of trailers around online for the mad and crazy new Marvel movie Gruardians of the Galaxy due soon. With a bunch of new more peculiar and bizarre characters taking on villains in space with rockets, laser, space explosions and more it looks real good fun.

It is festival time now, we’ve just have Isle of Wight, Download metal/rock festival and the legendary Glastonbury which was conquered by the mighty Metallica. On the Christian front, there is New Wine and eventually Greenbelt due. Are you going to any?

World around me…

Posted: July 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hello again, so here are a few more thoughts…

You see, I have some issues and problems with my walk of faith in our world today. I know, we all do let’s be honest. But you see, I find that I feel in an unusual place. It could be that apparently here in the UK/Britain we seem so aware of ‘class’ -working class, lower class, middle class, upper class. The problem might barely exist over the States, or it could just be me with my own awreness of politics, media and culture.

But as a modern Christian under 40 years of age, I look to the scripture and I then look at the world around and it throws up many challenges and questions. I do question things, hey I’m that kind of spiritual guy-sorry!

I know about the Enlightenment, when the poor masses began to read and not just simply listen to the Bible dictated and tailored to them, telling them that they were born poor for a ‘reason’ or God intended that for them. I question just how of if many good working class people-young or old-would take the chance to wander into any kind of church today, feeling that they could possibly relate to the people in there or vice versa.

Yes, a church is a place to worship, but it is also a community place to meet and support others in life.

Another frustrating issue, which so many churches and Christians ignore regularly is modern culture.

Example-video games are the highest selling, most financially successful form of entertainment today-fact. Almost all young people play them, and people well into their 30’s and older.

In this country, the US, Europe and others, cultures are mixing and changing every day, all of the time and more than ever. We must learn and respect others.

I am not a youth pastor, missionary, pastor etc.- that is not my path but I do not intend to just simply moan and grumble here. I aim to just point out a few things, reflect and consider what I see and know of this world.

I wonder about how different people feel blessed or spiritual and why…

…I feel that many in Western churches are seemingly so happy and spiritual simply because they were born into comfortable families, wealth etc. Well, God really blessed them for a reason…or they just happened to be who they are and with their family and their nice town etc.

Would there be so many in that church, born into very poor families, with possibly no job or terrible job, no partner, bad family life-would they stay in their church and feel truly blessed?

These are just observations. Don’t get me wrong-I really wish many would go to church, forget crime, drugs, hate and find peace, love and faith.

 

Alright, so here are a few underrated or less well known things that boost my spiritual Christian walk and faith…

The music of Johnny Cash-an amazing country music icon now sadly passed away. He had his troubles, but made so many great uplifting and inspirational songs and albums through his life, and tried to follow Jesus well.

Bands-KING’S X-Truly stunning band. The first four albums are fantastic, awesome worship songs there. very honest music. Some said a mix of The Beatles meets Metallica. In America, many Christians distanced from the band when singer Dug came out as gay mid-90’s. Were percieved as a ‘Chrisian band’ from start, but more of a spiritual band these days.

Skillet, RED, Love and Death/Brian HEAD welch (guitarist from band KORN), Stryper-yeah I know, but really if you like classic rock/metal they’re pretty cool really.

Flyleaf-Really fantastic Christian band, sadly original singer Lacey left a couple years ago, now have new singer and new album due later this year.

The Whosoevers-Members of Flyleaf, BrianHEAD Welch, P.O.D. involved in this Christian alternative worship movement in USA.

P.O.D.-Rap/metal Christian band, some great albums/tunes including ‘Alive.

Times of Grace-side project from Killswitch Engage band members.

U2-Possibly the biggest Christian band ever really.

Also love many bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, Prodigy, Radiohead, Bjork…

Books-The Manga Bible-From UK comic artist Siku, it came out around four/five years ago, fantastic artwork.

Donald Miller-Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God knows what, etc. Really great, honest thoughts collected in books.

Rick Warren, Jeff Lucas, Rob Bell, Adrian Plass…

I also really like the sometimes ‘controversial’ Christian festival GREENBELT-which incorporates art, faith, music, worship, discussion of all and many kinds.

Hello all out there. How are you doing? This here is going to be a small new place where I just put down some thoughts and ideas from this point on.

This is how things are-I am a guy in the UK/Britain, I am in my thirties, I am some sort of Christian. Here is the difference- I am also a fairly open-minded, liberal in view bloke, I like much of modern pop culture, I did not grow up specifically Christian and I am now sort of ‘Born Again’ even if that is a naff term sometimes.

I am not too regular a guy as I really am not too into football or most other sports (I don’t mind them, they’re just not my thing), I don’t really drink any more-not a religious thing, more personal and again no problem with friends and other drinking.

Mostly though, I just don’t ‘click’ with most ways of church and worship, but I know that there is nothing wrong with that, and I am not going to just go along with it to please others, or the be in a social club, for social status or because it is expected.

In the UK now the majority might believe that mostly the country is secular, non-christian now, most churches are very empty, very boring, old stuffy places. Well, no – there are many christians across the country, that is true, although mostly the most active and youthful might be around London, the capital city. There are more ‘modern’ churches all around the UK, but they are mostly just copying the main American ‘Big church’ style. This is fine and great for some people, if that is you, well great-enjoy it.

I will be honest-I am a bit of a cynic, some things I just can’t easily believe or get with. I am not going to just bad-mouth them here on this site/blog, that is not why it exists. If some do really speak in tongues, love the ‘safe’ pop indie folk nice worship tunes, fine. That is not really for me.

Here is a little more about where I am coming from:

I really like rock/metal music, I am married, I like video games, I like art, all kinds of films and movies, travel, all kinds of books, cultures.

I studied art and film, I am fairly tolerant to most other religions and faiths, of Atheists, Gnostics, secularists, and others.

I think that there are many Christians under 40/50 who might not honestly really connect with regular church, or feel pressure that they should.

Let’s be honest with our faith and our walk in this life.