Glimpses Of The St Peter’s Story: Eating To Bridge Cape Town’s Divisions

28cb4741-cec6-4ecb-8d7e-16bb1eb53fc1

This is the first in a new series of posts giving non-chronological snapshots of the story of our church’s life.

His name was Peter, but most knew him as Green Eyes. He had been part of our regular Thursday Community Supper for most of the six and a half years that we have been meeting. This supper isn’t an act of food provision, and it’s not a project that aims to serve the marginalised. It exists to provide a space for people to eat good food together, to listen to each other, to get to know each other without the pressure of time or the divisions of one of the world’s most unequal cities getting in the way.

Over time we have found that many of those who attend regularly are poor or marginalised in some way; a good number of them sleep outside. Our policy is that we are not a soup kitchen; we serve food to people at their tables rather than expecting them to queue up. The university professors who attend sit and eat the same food as those with no job, sleeping on the street. Some of us who are more privileged come to cook or wash-up or serve food to tables; some attempt to shepherd the children in a room at the back of the church; some of us just sit and listen and talk. For all of us, the goal is the same – this is about community, about knowing each other. Sometimes, towards the end of the evening, we’ll have a very informal and short expression of the Communion Service around one of the tables.

Peter was well-known locally, and especially well known amongst us. He often came on a Thursday drunk; but we don’t turn away for being under the influence of drugs or drink – unless they’re very disruptive. After all, most among us who come are under the influence of caffeine; prone to greed; frequently found to be binge-watching; slaves to lust; prone to anger. But we don’t stop those people at the door; so to do so to others would seem to be a strange double-standard. It’s not as if the Jesus whom we claim as our model turned people away because of their addictions.

When we got to know Green Eyes, he would tell us why he came to Thursday Supper. “I don’t come for the food. I can get that anywhere.” (This is true – if you are desperate, food of some description can usually be sourced if you know where to look). “I come here for respect.” He understood the essence of what we are about; it’s not about the food.

Some so-called homeless ministries serve food past it’s sell-by date; some have their guests sit and listen to a talk. We don’t. We eat good, fresh food. And we listen. And we talk. And sometimes share Communion. Out of that has grown a partnership with an NGO run by one of our number which assists people into rehab programmes and night-shelters, and has seen success in doing so. Out of that has arisen a series of friendships which nourish us longer than a meal does.

A couple of months ago Green Eyes’ wife appeared at Thursday supper, distraught. He had died from complications associated with TB. He hadn’t had a funeral. So with her, we arranged one in the church. The family’s first language is Afrikaans – so I had little to do or say. Much of it was led by our friend and church member Craig, in Afrikaans. Memories were shared. Craig talked about us seeing and knowing each other across Cape Town’s divisions; and how Jesus saw and knew Zaccheus; and how Jesus sees and knows us, too. It was simple and profound; and I only understood what a few of the words meant.

Now on Saturday mornings a group of Thursday night regulars meet together, whoever wants, to read the Bible together and to talk about it means for them. In doing so, no one is teaching or leading, so much as all are reading together – trying to shed the layers that years of religion and systematization has enforced.

This is our church. Well, a large part of it. There’s also our 2 Sunday services. which look more like Sunday services are often expected to. But really we think of ourselves as having three services – 2 on Sunday, 1 on Thursday – all of which are in a process of evolution which we hope is God-guided. We are trying – sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding – to build with God a church in which power is equalised, division rejected and our common status as image-bearing children of God celebrated. It’s hard and messy, and there’s little in the way of strategy or structure. As one friend put it in his PhD research on the subject, this is mission as improvised jazz as opposed to finally structured song or symphony. We don’t know what this will lead to, but it seems to us and the Holy Spirit to be good.

 

 

Advertisements

Losing Christian Privilege

I blame Jesus. If he hadn’t said that stuff about being blessed when you’re persecuted, then I don’t think we’d be where we are today. St Paul’s not much better, who made a great show of listing all the persecutions and opposition he faced as somehow ‘proving’ something about his ministry. Yep. It’s God’s fault.

When I was training to be a priest (20 years ago), it was often observed at the conservative college at which I trained that Christians in Britain were too lukewarm; they took their faith for granted, were wooly on some important doctrines, too much drawn to liberalism, weak on evangelism and generally a bit of a let down. What was needed, it was sometimes touted, was a good dose of persecution. Some people even prayed it would be so. People actually prayed that the country would change so much that Christianity would be illegal and that people would die for their faith. It seems an odd thing to pray, to say the least, when this is the daily reality of actual people in some parts of the world, but there you have it.

20 years later, it seems a given in some conservative quarters to state that these prayers have been answered. According to some, the recent court decision in London to put an exclusion zone around an abortion clinic to prevent prayer and protests outside is seen as a threat to religious freedom. The BBC, some insist, is blatantly anti-Christian and – worse, in the eyes of those who protest thus – promoting a gay agenda. Here in South Africa, some Christian groups are loudly defending their God-given ‘right’ to physically discipline children; to disallow that, is to threaten the freedom of the church, it is said. In America the religious right have hitched their wagon to the lucrative gun lobby, and assured anyone who’ll listen that the Constitution’s second amendment enshrines a ‘God-given’ right to own assault rifles.

Pointing out facts is, it seems, unpopular. No one’s threatened with serious trouble over graciously and peacefully (and there’s the key words) presenting a ‘pro-life’ perspective; you don’t have to search the BBC website for long to find stories and programmes which show the Christian faith in a positive and realistic light. I could go on, but the point is probably obvious by now – this isn’t an argument about facts. It’s about perception. Christians feel like they’re losing ground; the Bible shows us we’re blessed if we’re persecuted; look – we’re being persecuted!

The reality is that in all 3 of these countries – and many others – that we Christians are losing ground. And that’s OK. For many years, way before the current generation was born, we were living in a ‘Christendom’ reality. This is the idea that Christianity is assumed as deserving of a preferential hearing. Christianity was the privileged religion, and it was treated as such. These were Christian countries, it was assumed. As the world changes, society is globalised and the influences are more diverse. Suddenly, Christianity is no longer assumed to be primary; it is questioned, in many cases found wanting, and certainly no longer deserving of privilege.

Which is as it should be. Be it in post-apartheid South Africa, levelling the playing field between men and women, or giving other religions than Christianity a share of the platform, the loss of unearned privilege can feel like persecution. But it isn’t. It’s just the lop-sided playing field levelling itself. If the Gospel is as winsome and powerful as we think it is, then this should not worry us and we should not protest it. Jesus and the early Christians were not known for protesting their own rights or demanding a privileged hearing; they were rather more focussed on the rights of others – and in Jesus’ case, emptying himself of all he was really, truly entitled to.

In fact, there’s more to say still. The Gospel tells us that we have no rights of our own before God, but he graciously gives us all things in Jesus. He was all about laying down his rights. If the playing field really is levelling to all religions and world-views, then we should welcome it as a chance to be like Jesus and empty ourselves of all unearned and undeserved power and privilege and see a real demonstration of the power of the Gospel to which we claim to adhere. Further, if we really think we have a God-given right to protest outside abortion clinics or to own a gun or to hit our children (3 very different things, of course), then we need to be asking ourselves some serious questions as to how far we’ve drifted from the Bible we claim to hold in such high esteem.

Maybe, in some mysterious way, God has answered those prayers. He hasn’t given us persecution – though, of course, he remains perfectly entitled to do so. He has simply taken away a privilege that was never ours to begin with; it only ever belonged to him. Let’s let him worry about getting the hearing he deserves; our role is to, like Jesus, empty ourselves of power and simply serve him – where we find him. Which will so often be in the form of the people we were previously loudly protesting against.

Proudly No Nation

Proudly No Nation

The Olympics are in danger of helping me forget that 2016 is, fundamentally, rubbish. It’s tempting to think of big sporting events like this as bread and circuses (minus the bread); the ancient Roman tactic of staging magnificent spectacles of blood-sports in the Coliseum to distract from some inconvenient facts of life. Used the wrong way, such events can be just that. Put them in their right place, however, and they can serve an important purpose: a kind of holiday from the depressing full-time difficulties that occupy all of us, that when it’s over may leave a bit of a hole but as a result of which we will find ourselves somewhat refreshed with a bit more lightness in our spirits to help us navigate these dark and troubling times.

There are few absolute goods that are of human creation, however. Big sports events in general and the Olympics in particular can fan the flames of the sort of love for nation and exultation in nationhood that can be hard to resist. When a lifetime’s work – most of it away from the public eye – is rewarded on the big stage, it can feel good to wave or wear or post to social media a flag and enjoy the shared afterglow of one person’s achievement. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the acheivement per se – especially if it inspires us to more unseen commitment to our own goals and callings.

I’m a British person who lives in South Africa. For many years I thought myself proud to be British. I’ve let go of that, however. I’m still proud of some of what British people have and do achieve; over the last week I’ve been freshly staggered, for example, by the almost routine commitment to excellence from the British cycling team. It inspires me, and I believe it deserves to be celebrated and rewarded; I want to learn about it, and apply it my own fields of endeavour. Increasingly, however, I find that I can’t call myself proud to be British. Not when I consider a history of colonialism, a present of racial and economic inequality, and much else besides. I’m not proudly British. 414eztpwzkl-_sy450_

This drive to exhibit national pride easily tips over into hounding good people for not doing what others think they should be doing. Think of American gymnast (and champion from the London Olympics) Gabby Douglas, hounded to the point of tears for not putting her hand over her heart during the playing of the American anthem (read about it here). It starts with criticisms of what this supreme athlete does with her body whilst a piece of music is played; it soon becomes the dog-whistle racism of criticisms of the texture of her hair. In other contexts I’ve lost count of the number of social media posts I’ve seen criticising a South African rugby coach for not being ‘#proudlysouthafrican’ because of his team selection (interestingly, I rarely see that particular criticism made when the coach has white skin). It seems that the message is this: be proud of your nation, and make sure you show that you are in the way I demand – or you’ll be hounded until you change or you’re gone.

This should be especially problematic for us who follow Jesus. When God chooses a nation in the Old Testament, he doesn’t choose it to be ‘great’ in terms of its achievements, victories and international power or fame; He chooses it to be a blessing to other nations. Blessing, in Bible terms, is about speaking well of others (or God) and enabling others to move into the fullness of what they can be, doing and being good towards them. In New Testament terms, Jesus models a use of power and status that empties itself rather than draws attention to itself; that wraps a towel around its waist and washes dirty feet rather than pride in self. We’re invited to take pride in a stigmatised death, a seeming capitulation to power, a use of one’s own power to open life in all its fullness to those who would snuff it out. Jesus, Paul, John, Peter – they all seem to have very little time for the very idea of a nation; let alone taking pride in an accident of birth. The identity and pride of a Jesus follower isn’t Israel or Rome or Britain or South Africa or America; there’s no true greatness in any of those, and there can’t be whilst they consist of sinful people. Identity, pride, greatness for us is in the new creation, in eternity and the way of the cross – suffering, death, sacrifice for others, that leads there.

The flag has no place above, or next to, a cross. We live in the here and now – and that means in a nation, yes. But we die to self that we might live for others; we invite the awareness of the reign of a king who rules over a kingdom that transcends physical borders and breaks down the divisions of race and country and everything else of human construction.

We live under the rule of a servant king, who calls us to serve and love and carry a cross; not wave a flag.

 

South Africa, God is especially fond of you

We all like to think we’re special. The truth is, we are.

We are immeasurably special.

Yes, even you. You, you as an individual, you. You are made bearing the indelible and unique hallmark of the divine Source of all things. You were bought for Him at an unimaginable, inexpressible, uncountable cost. He’d have done it for you if you were the only one left. You are precious and deeply, personally, intimately loved in ways you can’t express or hope to understand this side of mortality.

You are special.

A pretty average book helped me understand that. Remember The Shack? A decently written novel about suffering and God. The God character whispers in the ear of the one who suffers “I am especially fond of you”. Beautiful, that. The only part of the book that stayed with me. God is especially fond of me.

What made that powerful in The Shack was that it eventually became apparent that God whispered of special fondness to each and every person. It’s utterly personal, deeply unique … and equally addressed to each and every person. That makes me deeply loved and very special – but also not that special at the same time. God performs the clever juxtaposition of boosting my self-esteem and keeping my ego in check at the same time.

The same is true for countries. Every country is special. Every country is unique. I suppose we might even be able to say that God has a special purpose for each country. Every country is different, so every country has its own purpose to perform. He chose one country through which to make that plain, but only so that each country and each person could find their own special place and purpose.

I’ve thought about all this a great deal recently, and it became inescapable for me when a meme started popping up in my social media feeds. South Africa – where I live and work – is experiencing a convulsion of rage and protest which will lead we know not yet where. It’s shaking a lot of people – which it should do, needs to. The meme talked of God not letting South Africa go – to which I heartily and fully say ‘Amen’. It said other things, though. Like this: “He loves you too much to let you keep the racism”. There are other things that meme says that God loves the country too much to let it fall back into.

I understand the sentiment, and it sounds Godly. It’s certainly true that God doesn’t want people or countries to be racist or to foster poverty. But the existence of those things is down to us, not Him. Keeping racism? That’s on me, not God.

God has special purposes for South Africa – just as He as special purposes for every country – but embracing those is up to the people of the country. If we get it right, it’s a reflection of His grace and good and to His glory. If we don’t, it’s on us. To suggest – even by implication – that God loves us too much to fall back into old traps  is to imply that one country is favoured over another. What about the countries where those things are happening (and let’s be honest, most of them are already happening  in South Africa anyway)? Does God love them any less because those countries are further down the rabbit hole?

No.

God is incredibly fond of South Africa. But no more so than He is of any other country. Expressed uniquely, personally, locally to South Africa for sure; but the love is shared around to every other country also, and none are left unequally unloved. South Africa is very special to God, and is also just like every other country. He gives us the tools, the invitation, the capacity to let go of poverty and racism and corruption. But it will be for no lack of God’s love if they seem to win; that’s on us, and us alone.

The gift of not being perfect

I’m tired.

That’s partly because I stayed up close to midnight to watch Arsenal’s inevitable demise to the liquid machine of Barcelona’s sublime brand of football. But it’s not the real reason. I’ll get to bed a bit earlier than usual this evening to make up for it, and all will be well. No, I’m tired in other ways. In no particular order …

I’m tired because I’m a new parent. We’ve been fostering 13-year old Mr K and 7-year old Miss J for around 2 months now. We’re told it takes 6 months-1 year to reorient life to a new reality like this. We’re doing quite well, all told, but  we’re making plenty of mistakes and learning plenty of new things. Learning and making mistakes is tiring. The earlier mornings are tiring. The dealing with the overflow of past traumas is tiring.

I’m tired because I lead a church, and it’s a tiring job. It’s never done, you never stop thinking about it, there’s always more I could do and I work more hours than most people know or believe – and I’m pretty good at protecting my time off.

I’m tired because I don’t live in the country of my birth. I’ve lived in South Africa for 6 years now, and it’s home – in as much as anywhere is ever home in my line of work. But I’d lived in the UK for 36 years before that; it’s how I was born and raised, the air I breathed. Living in a place that’s not that of your birth is always going to be a little destabilising; and especially so in South Africa, where as leader there’s the swirls and eddies of the country’s history and present threatening to sweep you away and grab your attention. The issues are so complex, so intertwined with one another, so hard to get a handle on. Add on that something is coming to the boil here, now; violent unrest is coming the surface once again. anger is surfacing and it needs to be faced, understood, listened to and acted in response to.

I’m tired by all these things, because I don’t do any of them as well as I’d like to. I try hard as a parent, but I fail daily. I try hard as a church leader, but I fail daily. I try hard to understand South Africa, but I fail daily. There’s issues that demand attention, articles to read, conversations to have – none of which I seem able to get to, all of which tire me out by their presence in my inbox, mind, newsfeed, book pile.

Then some words spoken came back to me. My therapist said to me, as I was becoming a foster father, that I’ll feel the pressure to be a perfect Dad. But relax, he said. You can’t be perfect – all you need to be is good enough.

Good enough. I can do that. Jesus calls it grace. I can be a good enough Dad; He’ll do the rest. I can be a good enough leader; He’ll make up the difference. I can be a good enough resident of a convulsing South Africa; He’ll bring the perfection. He’ll call people who’ll give to my foster kids what I can’t; He’ll raise up people within my church, and other churches, who’ll do and be what I and my church can’t do or be; He’ll bring forward people dealing with each issue and conversation that really matters. I just need to be good enough, to be obedient with what I’ve been given, to do what I can and not what I can’t.

Good enough.

It’s called grace, and it will mean I can sleep.

 

More than the few: on English football and South African xenophobia

The latest outburst of xenophobic violence in South Africa has, as you might expected, provoked comment and soul-searching. it’s distressing to watch the colours of the rainbow nation fragment. This time around other African governments have been drawn to comment, which has in its turn provoked a belated act of leadership from President Zuma. In his impassioned response to a Mozambican writerr’s criticisms of the incidents, Zuma argued that the detestable actions of the wrongdoers were the action of a ‘few’, of a minority.

This sparked a memory for me. A memory of the darkest days of English football. Allow me to explain (even if you despise football, please bear with me; I think this is important). In the 1980s, and into the 90s, English football experienced a period of self-recrimination and examination in the wake of a spate of football-related violence (much of this could also be said to be true of the sport in other nations, but I want to turn the lens on that closest to me). The strictures that resulted from this were severe: expulsion, for a time, of English clubs from the highest level of international club football, a series of changes to the way crowds were policed and legislated. We could also argue that it resulted in the structural changes to the game that resulted in the multi-millionaire culture of today’s Premier League, but let’s not go there for now. As the game’s public image sank, there was a frequent refrain from inside the game. It’s only a few fans

Using comparative statistics, that’s true. In a stadium of 40,000, only a minority would be real trouble makers. Most were indeed there to see the game. It’s true; but doesn’t make the dead and injured any less dead and injured. Various things needed to be done – some of the legislation (though perhaps not all) was appropriate and necessary. In addition to this, there needed to be invitations from those in football to a different way of following the sport; witness, for example, before the 1989 league title decider between Liverpool and Arsenal, the Arsenal players presenting wreathes of flowers in memory of deceased Liverpool fans. This two-pronged approach was necessary; but it missed a third prong, one which still lies (largely) unaddressed. The third prong revolves around the inherent problem of something that gives English football such a unique and special identity.

English football has an almost unique culture of fans travelling to support their team, and doing so with a special kind of noise, colour and passion. Globally there are few sporting events with the vibrant appeal of an English football derby (local rivalry); fixtures like Manchester United v Liverpool and Arsenal v Tottenham (Spurs) have an atmosphere you really have to experience to believe. This is because of the inherent tribalism in English football; these rivalries go back over a century, drawing fuel from sources wider than sport, into the very fabric of the communities which they represent. As a life-long Arsenal fan living on the other side of the world, the morning of a game with Tottenham, I wake up with a feeling in my stomach best described as adrenalised dread. This is what makes it special; it’s also what makes it dangerous. Fair warning: the contents of the next paragraph may offend.

When Tottenham player Sol Campbell moved to Arsenal, it provoked a storm of protest and anger. The song that some Tottenham fans sung at him ran thus (to the tune of Lord of The Dance): “Sol, Sol, wherever you may be/You’re on the verge of lunacy/And we don’t give a fuck when you’re hanging from a tree/Judas cunt with HIV”. Count yourself blessed if you don’t understand all the mental-health, racist and homophobic references in there. Arsenal fans were not blameless. A favourite response was the massed sound of air escaping between teeth aimed towards Tottenham fans. Tottenham has a strong base of support amongst North London’s Jewish community; the sound imitates gas in the Nazi death camps. 

Yes, it was only a few fans who engaged like this. But this hatred, which I’ve seen contorted onto the faces of desperately ordinary people, could only grow in the soil of the tribalism and rivalries at the heart of English football. Not every football fan was guilty; but we are all responsible for creating the environment in which it can flourish. Only when we acknowledge that can hatred be removed from football.

So back to South African xenophobia. We need more leadership and legislation. We also need hashtags and demonstrations of other ways to be South African. Some of these we are getting. But a third prong is needed. This third prong needs a kind of self-examination that seems rare in these fevered times. It needs a self-examination that says that all South Africans live under the curse of apartheid, have inherited (as argued persuasively by Professor Jonathan Jansen in Knowledge In The Blood) a view of life based not on shared humanity but on race. I’ve reflected elsewhere how moving to South Africa can make you feel more racist, forcing you to think in a way you never would have.

Since democracy came 21 years ago, South Africa has embraced a flag and a view of proud nationhood which the world loves. Think back to the 2010 World Cup; bad football, but a good face to the world for the country. It’s what makes the country so appealing to many outsiders – hope, life, new identity. Alongside that, the fruit of apartheid continues to grow in the heart of all South Africans; in the soil of proud nationalism, dismissal of the other easily grows. It was well taught by apartheid, and doesn’t go away just because all citizens have the vote. It’s just subtly refocussed. Now it’s the other nations who are ‘the other’. For most that’s benign; for a few, it’s xenophobic. The third prong of attack that’s needed is the humble and gracious self-examination that says that all South Africans have skin in this game, have learned prejudice in the blood and in some way have guilt to bear.

It’s doesn’t appears to be fair at first sight, but it’s really a deeper vision of justice than mere surface level fairness. Christians call it original sin. We’re all guilty. Until that’s owned, expressed and consciously turned from, all the well-meaning efforts of politicians and activists will be of limited effectiveness.

To our knees, then.

Missing out on missing out, or seeing Frozen at last

Moving countries is a sure way to put all sorts of parts of your psyche to the test. The new culture(s), the change in weather patterns, missing your favourite cafe or radio station or park, the relationships to build .. all of these and so much more splash around the surfaces of the consciousness. You are out-of-place: you know it, others know it. It’s obvious.

When we moved to South Africa nearly 5 years ago we experienced all of this. It felt like we were constantly missing out on something. It’s not so much destabilising as it is the creation of a whole new identity. Much of what you had become accustomed to building around you as part of your sense of self is gone and you have to do it all over again. One of the things I discovered I was missing out on was a name for this experience of missing out on things. I don’t know if it’s especially popular in this country or this part of this country, but I kept hearing and noticing 4 letters as part of speech. FOMO. It sounded like the name of a music festival; it would be casually slipped into a conversation and the locals would laugh. ‘FOMO! Ahh…’ Like the new car I hadn’t seen before, it was suddenly everywhere.

It stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and apparently it’s a thing. I don’t know where it came from and I’m not especially keen on finding out, but some people were having counselling or prayer ministry to deal with their FOMO. I was missing out on missing out.

Another area I was missing out on had nothing to do with moving to South Africa, but has more to do with the fact that my wife and I don’t have children. Though we both love films, this does mean that we tend to avoid seeing films that are aimed at more of an all-age audience and tend to concentrate on more ‘adult’ fare. (no, not that sort of adult). This means that sometimes we miss out; over the last couple of years it felt like we’d Missed Out in a very big way. Because, you see, we hadn’t seen Frozen.

Frozen is one of those animated films that has become a huge cultural icon. ‘Let It Go’ is everywhere. People are always posting hilarious versions of it on social media relating to news events or life in general; comments would be made about the cold not bothering me anyway. There were debates about how feminist it is, or isn’t. None of which I watched, understood or partook in. I was Missing Out and I didn’t like the feeling. Or so I thought.

So we recorded it off the television, and did the decent thing last week. We watched it as originally intended – with an eleven year old who’s currently staying with us along with her mother. Do you think you have ever Missed Out on something? Not only had the 11-year old not seen Frozen before, she’s never seen snow or ice (we live in Cape Town).

Most of you don’t need me to tell you that Frozen is a really good film. The songs really do work; Let It Go is proper ear-worm fodder; the snowman and the reindeer are classic creations. I laughed out loud several times, as did the 11-year old. Finding ourselves thinking about fostering I thought … if I was responsible for an 11-year old girl, would I want her to see this film? Yes, probably, I thought. Not only is it great fun but it’s refreshing to see an animated princess who has agency and decision-making power and who isn’t defined by the colour pink or her choice of man. It’s got a way to go – I was a little troubled by the subtext that a woman’s emotions affects everything and everyone around her – but this is much better a role model for young girls than many an all-age film I’ve come across before.

For me it’s a good animated film; up there with Up and Wall-E but not in Toy Story trilogy territory. But here’s the thing; it was better when I hadn’t seen it. Not having seen it had actually become part of me; a small part of me, but part of me nonetheless. I had gained a bit of cultural kudos from not having seen it; I was the person who hadn’t seen Frozen!!! Now I was one of the crowd, just like everyone else. I was laughing at the jokes. I understand the lines about the cold not bothering me – but the thing is, it kind of does. It was a bit better on the outside.

That shouldn’t surprise me. People tend to experience me as a bit ‘alternative’; just this week a friend in the same group discussion as me started laughing as soon as I took the microphone because he ‘just knew you’d say something subversive‘. I guess he was right; I talked about the way a certain passage of the Bible was used in demonic and dangerous ways by evangelicals like us.

I need to watch this, though. Defining myself by something other than what Jesus says about me is very dangerous territory. I may prefer being a little on the edge but He says I’m chosen and accepted and in. If I’m not careful I could find myself frozen out just to make sure my fragile sense of self is intact. Better to get that from Him, not whether I’ve seen a given movie or what I think about a certain passage.

Frozen is a good movie; I’m glad I’ve seen it. I do miss missing out, though.

Not to worry. Big Hero 6 has just been released.

I rated this film 4/5 on rottemtomatoes.com and 8/10 on imdb.com