Tag Archive: hypocracy

as i stand so close to the flames

that the tiny hairs on my arms start to catch alight

filling my nostrils with that pungent, burning hair smell

i catch the silhouette of my reflected outline

quietly nodding my silent assent

to those who by their righteous actions tonight

have ensured that this clinic’s business

for the immediate future at least

has been violently aborted


as i stand to the far edge of the back of this lively and passionate crowd

i am caught up by the exuberance with which our leaders

are delivering today’s heartfelt message of righteous anger and God’s judgment

on those who would exchange normal relations

for these abominations

not quite confident that God does indeed hate fags as has been so eloquently declared

through the intimacy of a well-intended loud speaker

or the letters lovingly painted onto an otherwise pure white poster

i at least choose to hold my focus

on all those who will be set free

as a result of us gaily presenting our well-crafted sermon

as we came out here today

Lovingly Gesturing Biblical Truths


back at home i spend some time online

catching up on the news

all the time dodging the vitriolic and caustic comments

of fellow christian brothers and sisters

resolutely aligning themselves with either camp

and how could you possibly hold THAT opinion

if you have given any attention at all to THIS specific verse?

(“You fool!”… understood.)


another moment, yet another person caught in a crime

this time i bend down to pick up my stone

but am stopped in my tracks

by the sound of his voice

speaking these words

so lovingly

‘let the person who is without sin throw the first stone.’


and i pause for just a minute


as i think it over to myself…

a ticking watch nervously counts down this moment of interruption

my heavy breathing bears testimony to the wrestling that’s going on within my head

as i roll his words around in my mind, this way and that way, looking for the answer

but then suddenly it comes to me in a flash

as i remember that he has already paid for my sin

when he died on the cross

he took all my guilt and shame

and the sin penalty that should have been mine to pay

and he paid for it in my place

and so that makes me sin-free, right?


that makes me the one able to throw the first stone…

just like he said.


my hand finds a suitably jagged edged piece of stone

closes tightly around it

i can feel its rough edges digging into my skin

i stand to my feet in a single motion

powered up by all the holy righteous anger i can muster

and with every muscle in my body giving assent to my actions

i hurl that stone with all my might and watch as it hits its target

watch as you slump quickly to the ground


and, as if the dam wall has been burst

i watch as my just action unleashes the rest of the frenzied crowd

some who had already started to let their personalised rocks fall to the ground


again and again the rocks smash against their intended victim

your cries have long since passed

blood and bits of skin and bone fly hideously around

and within moments you are no longer a person

but a grotesque mass of broken body and blood


broken body

and blood?


as if in a pitch black tunnel just noticing a faint hint of a light up ahead

something starts to swirl within my mind

a recollection, a mass of thoughts, something is trying to be heard

and i try to focus in on what is being said, as my stomach fights against gagging from the smell that is rising up from your body

your dead body

broken by me… broken for me?

no, broken by me.


i glance up.

struggling to see clearly with these beams of wood protruding from each one of my eyes

i manage to finally catch a glimpse of him

his face displaying so obviously that this is not the way he was hoping it would end

as if something has gone wrong

gone horribly wrong

but what is it? i did what you said. i did what you have to have wanted. right?


and there it is

off to the side, faint and very much in the distance

but there is no mistaking the call of the farm bird sounding the beginning of a new day

or is it the end of one?

nope, there it is again.

and one more time.


i realise that the first crow has labelled me a resounding gong, a clanging cymbal

the second told me i am nothing

the third plays out that i have gained nothing

all three signifying that i have failed in this,

in this, my virtuous enacting of your justice

and if that is true, if i have failed in this

that surely means that no part of this was truly Love


what is the first commandment? obey the rules

what is the most important? don’t step outside of the lines

what is the gospel? don’t do this long and complicated list of things


wait, what?





i stand close to the flames

trying to massage some warmth back into my hands

no-one needs to come up to me and ask if i know Him?

i know my actions have already answered that one

and as i catch my reflection in a nearby piece of glass

i notice the flames, licking at my feet.


ooh, i’m not sure i like this psalm, or maybe more importantly where my reading of it took me…

cos it’s david again, being a self-righteous plonker:

‘Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.’
Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord and what His hands have done,
He will tear them down and never build them up again.’ [vs. 3-5]

starts off with a distancing of himself from ‘the wicked, those who do evil’ [which again makes me think this has to be a pre-Bathsheba break-most-of-the-commands-in-the-Book written psalm] and then lists all the nasty things he would like God to do to them… GET THEM, LORD!

and as i sat there reading and meditating on the psalm, thinking what a hypocrite david is, the silent voice [oh, you know the One] came to me with a bit of a “so you’re better than him, right?” and i knew i was in trouble. cos that’s just it. how david writes this psalm is so often how i live my life – my stuff is not so bad as your stuff – it’s arrogant, it’s self-righteous and more often than not it’s probably just a blatant downright lie.

God, have mercy on me a sinner.

but maybe once i have realised that, and gone to God in repentance [which means turning away from, not just uttering the word ‘sorry’ with nothing attached to it] and chosen to try and see the world through different eyes, His… maybe there is still hope for me:

‘Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.

The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.’ [vs 6-9]

this week the third lausanne congress for world evangelication is happening in cape town – 4200 delegates from around the world representing church leaders, academics, theologians, marketplace people as well as men, women as well as old, young – convening for a week to discuss relevant issues facing the church – things like globalisation, pluralism, multi-faith society, relevance, integrity, response to poverty, trafficking etc etc – it is an incredible time and i am so super amped for the beautiful Val that she gets to be a part of it

in 2006 i was privileged to be a part of what was called the younger leaders gathering where 500 people from 150 churches met in malaysia for a similiar younger version of this congress – it was life-changing and i met some really amazing people who continue to be a part of my life – and this week i am involved in a global link which is a satellite conference dealing with a lot of stuff Lausanne is dealing with (watching a lot of same footage and hearing same talks and then engaging with the stuff) – last nite was the first session and went from super not amped (organisational issues in setting it up) to being completely amped (the group that arrived) and then encouraged/blown away/broken/challenged/shaken by the footage that we watched, in particular the history of the church (very very good and very very bad and a lot of persecution) from Jesus time to present day

the one phrase that came through about 6 to 8 times in that presentation was “people thort it was going to be the end of the world” (for example when the plague claimed about a third of Europe’s population or something) and as the voiceover guy said at the end – every generation thinks there’s is going to be the last, but one of them will be right

but the one message that came through again and again is that a divided church is a weak and foolish and irrelevant thing – the church is responsible for a lot of missingthepointness and violence and hypocracy and so on in terms of the past (well, not really, if you define church as God-following people cos it hasn’t been when people have been truly following God that that stuff has happened) but it has also been part of an incredible amount of good and positive and upliftment and life – when the church is a group of people who follow God and walk in the footsteps of Jesus while filled by His Spirit and living that out, then the church is a beautiful thing – that church is worth loudly proclaiming that i am a part of

if you are part of a local congregation and either you or one of your leaders ever makes any statement or claim about your specific church being the one true church or better than other churches or anything like that or speaks out against other churches then run, flee, head for the hills, leave that ‘church’ and seek out Jesus…

so i recently wrote a 5 part ‘reasons to hate Christianity’ blog series which was (for those who read it) intended to be a tongue-in-cheek statement on some of the basic things Christianity is actually meant to be about – things like love and forgiveness and looking after people in need which are all things that actually no-one in their right mind would hate…

but yet people hate christianity and have issues with the church… therefore there must be a problem somewhere…

james writes this, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!”

and i think that’s it. we don’t. well maybe not all of us, but enuff of us to give people outside of the church the idea that it is not the predominant thing we are about

in fact Jesus said this, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, if you love one another.” [John 13.34-35]

so why is it that the church is more often known for being judgmental, or anti-gay, or greedy and wanting all of your money, or hypocritical and so on… cos i think that is why people hate christians and fear or despise the church…

as my friend kleinfrans once said ‘the God i believe in is not the God you don’t believe in’ and i think that’s really true and the krux of it – people are against Christianity and the Christian God only because the witness and example they have had (from God representatives) have been so bad

Jesus Christ issued this hardcore challenge to those who would be part of His team – “If anyone wants to follow Me, He must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” [Luke 9.23]

when Christ is at the centre of Christianity then it works – then it attracts – then it heals – then it brings together – then it uplifts – then it unites

and so as Christians, or my more favoured term Christ-followers (which implies that we do) cos there are so many different people calling themselves christian who are so badly not-representative of who the name is meant to be all about, we need to be the love and the grace and the forgiveness and the uplifting that it as all about

then maybe we can start introducing people to a God they are in fact desperate to believe in.

[to see the start of the series ‘Reasons to Hate Christianity’ click here]

‘…and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ [Acts 2.47b]

what comes just before the ‘and’ of that passage that caused such huge growth in the early church? was it their amazing evangelism plans or ABC steps of getting people to follow Jesus?

none of the above! it was meeting together, eating together, loving God and loving people together – basically just being church – listening to preaching, seeing miracles happening, sharing of ‘their stuff’ so that no-one actually had stuff but certainly so that no-one had no stuff. celebrating God.

thru just being what church was meant to be – active, living, loving followers of Jesus – the church grew.

people were drawn to the church in Acts cos of love. these days, too often, one of the main reasons why people leave the church or avoid it is the lack of love.

that is a horrible thing. do better church! [and yes, i am part of that.]

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” [Jesus, book of John 13.34-35]

%d bloggers like this: