One of the differences between using a phone and a laptop is that one cannot screenshot, share or copy and paste as easily. You make a lot more typos. And the phone interrupts. I normally ignore the phone until second coffee.
So I am working on the blog this morning and the email comes up… Last day sale at big box store. This morning my brother is taking mum to get a new bit of electronic gear … A lot of her appliances are worn out after fifteen years in their current house.
But I wonder, not if these things are licit… But if we concentrate too much on the material and not on what matters. Which is then soul of my brother, sisters, mother, father, sons, daughters and grandkids. Which has nothing to do with the electronic tools they have, or their virtue signals,.or the internet.
It is about the grace of God, who saves us from the damnation we deserve.
27“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his soeal.” 28Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” 32Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.40This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.40This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
1You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
I am reaching the point where I see those who rely on thier own virtue and experience as a danger to the same running of any institution.
Note the hatred of this ecofeminist, who has the gall to not only write qualitative papers on Christian ecofeminists (or heretics) but fail those who she disagrees with.
Who sees her role as re education, who makes sure her courses are required before graduation… Parents do not send your young people to be educated by those who cannot stand even a “Smile it’s Sunday” sign outside a church.
Though I drove on in steely silence, I wanted to slam on the brakes, storm into that cluster of shiny happy young people and throw down a Molotov cocktail of sudden death, mental illness, tragedy, and suffering of all kinds into their church street party: “NO! I will NOT smile because it’s Sunday. And who are you to tell me I should? Who are you to imply that if I do not smile, I somehow don’t measure up to your understanding of what faith or salvation is?”
Rage boiled within me for miles and miles, churning over the shame these young people tossed around in an insular, and therefore, arrogant obliviousness.
In a classroom, in my professional life, I’m perhaps hyper-vigilant in preventing potentially shaming exchanges. Student feedback tells me my Religious Studies classes are safe spaces. Yet I keep myself safe by operating only out of my intellect, employing analysis and critique in the third person.
In the classroom or while writing an article, I know how to keep myself safe. I patrol very clear boundaries. And over several decades, I have developed effective strategies for replenishing myself when shame overtakes me in situations beyond my power to orchestrate.
In that Sunday smile poster, all the smug, self-righteous, condemning religiosity which formed me in shame as I learned to talk, walk, and never break a rule, assaulted me once again, as Alison, not Dr. Downie. I wish I could imagine talking to that group without my professor-shield. Volunteering to walk right into shame, to walk right into a crowd pronouncing that I am religiously inadequate, has, so far, exceeded my abilities.
I hope that one day, perhaps even in the coming New Year, I will have the courage and strength to walk squarely into a poisonous cloud of shame, to risk being vulnerable, perhaps to teach more by how I live as Alison than how I structure classes as Dr. Downie.
The duty to have safe spaces is a form of oppression. It detains people and deports them because they will offend vocal minorities — from Roosh to Britanny Pettibone. It enables petty tyrants from Angela Merkel to Theresa May.
And it will not save you. This world is fallen. There are risks. People will hate you — if you are if Christ that is a promise.
You cannot live in a safe bubble.
But Christ can save you, if to him you return. Do not follow the call to commerce on this day of rest unless needed — and the busy nature of Auckland means that my parents have to schedule these things when they would be elsewhere because their kids are over busy — and do not assume that you can make things correct by enforcement of correct words or attitudes.
The Puritans and Anabaptists were wiser. They exnouraged virtue, but said their sins were such that they needed Christ.
Their hope was grace, not hatred and Molotov cocktails.
Follow them, and not our current mad professors from their false, intersectional, heretical college and cathedral.