Thursday, June 29, 2006


I was just reading over the Amplified Bible version of Romans 1 20-32 (as I do)

20For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defence or justification],(B)

21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honour and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [c]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

23And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],

25Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it).(C)

26For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one,

27And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another--men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own [d]bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.

28And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome,

29Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,

30Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents.

31[They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.

32Though they are fully aware of God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.

"OK, what of it?", I hear you cry. "Tis the the heart of doctrine and you're using the wrong version... "

Reading it over without taking note of what one is told it means....

It's clearly about the state of things in Rome at that time, not a great and good notice on all time, unless I've missed the Temple 'whores' and the mutilation cults in the present day (Rom 1:26:27) . The abnormal role for women, in Paul's book (specifically in Timothy) seems to be not bare foot, pregnant, in the kitchen and silent, so women teachers would be 'abnormal and unnatural'. There was also the tail end of the mystery cults of the Magna Mater and Attys to consider, where ritual emasculation and mutilation were part of the religion (with a sacrament similar to, but less symbolic than, the Christian one). That covers "suffering in their own [d]bodies and personalities" very well. Also, the use of drugs to aid possession and scyring, as well as fuelling the Roman 'Bacchanals' were common. Usually belladonna family, the effects being disassociation, hallucinations and, quite literally, a burning sensation in the privates, which was arousing.

Looking form the social context of the letter, Paul is having a square go at two things:
1) Women in power. A repeating theme as one of Paul's bete noire. But that is wholly in line with Peter's attitude as outlined in the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas and the Apocryphal Gospel of the Magdalene.
2) Drug fuelled lust and mutilation.

Reading over Romans with my best historian's eye, that's the best I can come up with, But I am now pressing agin 1600 years of dogma about Paul's 'intent'.

The only intent that can really be imputed would be the historical conditions in Rome at the time Paul was being scribed. Since we don't know what the letter that this responded to contained, some of the over all context is lost, but what we know of Roman society around that period, my context is probably as good as it gets.

Wake up people. It doesn't mean what you've been told!!!

The Wisdom of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

These don't need me to expand upon. Each is a jewel.

"Cowardice asks the question, Is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, Is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, Is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, Is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him that it is right."

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives. "

"The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Migraine and the Soul - Caution Graphic content!

I don't know how many of you suffer classical migraines, but they have a way of engendering a level of humility in the face on one's fragility and place in the cosmos.
It's hard to be arrogant, sitting, at three am, blind, in one's own excrement and vomit, reduced for the moment to infancy or dotage. If you can rise out of the pain and the stench, you hear the silence that having one's ego stripped from one gives. And in a strange way, it's comforting.

A divine, watchful silence, with which you are one.

Then you're dragged back to the place of pain and stink and degradation to try to throw the contents of a now empty stomach down the toilet bowl. Then it passes and you can go back to the silence, beyond the pain, the smell, the noise....

And in the silence you meet who you are. Good and bad.

St. John of the Cross ,eat yer heart out! :D To qualify that comment, I was first diagnosed with migraine aged 7. I'm now 41. I lost a lot of my childhood to migraines, when I wasn't caring for my mother. So 34 glorious years. One gets practised in finding a way through it.

It is pointless dressing the reality in a party frock. It's painful and sometimes you lose control of bodily function, up to and including a full bowel motion.

If you can't pull your mind into a 'better' place you let it win. Sometimes it wins. Last night I ended up winning...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Letter To Louise.

The Letter

There's not much I can say about this. If there had been more of this in the Church of Christ and less of what I've seen, and been on the pointy end of, I'd probably be Christian now, rather than what I have become. Even though the guy is a Baptist.

I'll leave the last line to Bruce W. Lowe... A man with whom I will probably never agree with, but I think I can say I both respect and admire...

...[H]ow can we sinners, we great sinners, say anything to gays or lesbians or anybody who wants to worship and work with us except, "You say you love the Lord and want to serve him. We do, too. Come be a part of our fellowship of worship and study and work. We are all such sinners in God's sight we need one another and we can help and support one another. We are not here to judge one another's sins; we are here to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ as we make our Christian pilgrimage."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My name is Roger...

and I have an anger management problem.

they say that the first step to resolving a problem is to admit you have it. So, to my motley collection of readers out there, I admit it. It's almost certainly NOT come as a shock to any of you, other than mild surprise I can admit to being anything less than perfect.

How it began is a reason, not an excuse, and it's a behaviour that has out lived it usefulness. It's just a pain.

So... time to put into practice all the training I've had.

I will fail from time to time, and, being my own harshest critic, I will beat myself up over it. however, there is always the next 'day' to start again.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Grandpa Harley's Dictionary #2

Close-minded - Applied to a person who deliberately refuses to see the manifest and universal truth of one's stance (see 'Moron', 'Apostate', 'Heretic', 'Zealot' and 'Pharisee').