Dialogues, monologues, sketches, poems, rants, theological and liturgical bits and bobs and miscellaneous other verbal doodles...
Santa, God and Satan
A few days ago I overheard this conversation which Sally later posted as her fb status update:
Sally: So do you think Santa is a real person?
Ciaran: What?? You can't disprove Santa is real. Well you can, but then you would crush my childhood dreams and I will bring Childline down on your head like a hurricane.
Everyday life in the Campton household.
Anyway, a few days before I overheard another conversation on a bus which included the line:
"I gave up believing in God shortly after I gave up believing in Santa and the Tooth Fairy."
I'm sure you've come across similar, and if not, spend 5 minutes looking at the comments on many "Christian" contributions to YouTube or other open-access Christian website.
Such an attitude to the idea of God reflects more on our "consumerist" attitude to God... he's there to bless us and to turn painful experiences (like losing a tooth) into gain (hopefully financial!).
If you want to start debating with someone on the back of statements of this kind then this post by Michael Patton over on Pen and Parchment last March may be of interest... It certainly makes a change from my younger days when it only took Santa to be mentioned in evangelical circles for someone to mount a spiritual high-horse in which the fact that poor old St Nicholas' modern monicker is an anagram of Satan, would be the clinching argument concerning the evils of the modern Christmas, although those arguments are still out there... (everything's out there on the internet if you are prepared to waste time looking for it).
However, perhaps before debating with non-theists about the logical inconsistencies of their Santa/God analogy, we could have a look at how we who claim to be theists, approach God... Because this erroneous understanding of God as a cosmic-Santa, has not arisen purely in the minds of non-theists spontaneously without "cause", but is probably founded on the fact that we in the church often talk about him and treat him in such a way, spending more time on our Christmas prayer lists, than in listening to him... More time trying to get him to work for us than in truly worshipping him...
Perhaps if people outside the church saw us worshipping the God of scripture rather than a God with a fluffy beard who will bless us (or otherwise) on the basis of whether we are naughty or nice then perhaps they might take us, and God, more seriously.
ps. Am I the only person in the western world who has never seen "Elf"?
Don't often post other people's stuff here... But I found this so powerful that I thought I should. It's a performance poem based on John 4: 4-30, and I have attached the original YouTube video below. A word for women, and men, everywhere... "to be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known."
I am a woman of no distinction of little importance. I am a women of no reputation save that which is bad.
You whisper as I pass by and cast judgmental glances, Though you don’t really take the time to look at me, Or even get to know me.
For to be known is to be loved, And to be loved is to be known. Otherwise what’s the point in doing either one of them in the first place?
I WANT TO BE KNOWN.
I want someone to look at my face And not just see two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears; But to see all that I am, and could be all my hopes, loves and fears.
But that’s too much to hope for, to wish for, or pray for So I don’t, not anymore.
Now I keep to myself And by that I mean the pain that ke…
My friend Stocki has already sent you, and our other political leaders, an open letter, and social media suggests that many agree
with what he says (including myself), but I was already writing this when I saw
his, and whilst it covers similar ground, and fewer may read this, I want to add my tuppence (especially
since it takes a lot to get me writing these days!)
And at the heart of it is this, I recognise that you both
have a legitimate electoral mandate. The big question is what you do with it. Both
of you have made great play of the fact that people voted for you on the basis
of your statements before the election. Now I have no desire to get into the
legitimacy of those positions. You campaigned on them and you each were elected
on those platforms. Both of you grew your vote in a highly polarised election,
and whilst the DUP lost a significant number of seats they are still the
So you both have a mandate.
And so far in the negotiations you …
This has been a tough week. It began with my birthday but any celebrations were somewhat subdued because I awoke to the news that one of my brothers had been taken in for radical surgery. He then went to ICU where he has been all week. I and all the family are so grateful for the excellent care he has been receiving, from the surgeons, the ICU consultants and nurses, the physios and the whole team. Our NHS is amazing. The picture was fairly bleak at first, and whilst things are somewhat better now he is still not "out of the woods." But it was interesting that material I had already prepared for worship and other prayers and pieces of scripture that I read, some of which I have posted here, have been remarkably apposite for all that I and the rest of the family have been going through. For various reasons we have been very coy about making any details public and even now I don't want to go into details, but prayers have been and continue to be valued.But again, in prepa…