Tag Archive: keith green


plag

so plagiarism has been on the menu of late, in christian circles anyways…

first up it was Mark Driscoll and various questions relating to work he copied or used from other sources… starting with a radio interview and then exploding into all sorts of articles and even some friendly tweets from ‘I kissed Rob Bell farewell’ tweetster, John Piper.

then David Rudd wrote this piece ‘In Defence of Plagiarism’ which referenced a recent occurrence of Rachel Held Evans work being plagiarised [the person later apologised] and Rachel jumped into the comments section of that to make it quite clear that she was not okay with people ‘stealing her work.’

various other celebrities and non celebrities jumped into the fray in different ways and forms and probably the best comment i have read in the whole conversation slash waging war was the one that said ‘the problem here is not plagiarism, it’s idolatry’ which resonates so closely with me – to me ‘christian celebrity’ is an oxymoron, or should be – any time we put anyone else on a pedestal that is not Jesus, we are bound for trouble soon. so maybe the problem here is not plagiarism, it’s celebrity? [runs and hides]

at the risk of being accused of plagiarising David Rudd, i should say that this will likely sound a lot like his, simply because i think to some extent i think the same thing, but i would love to air my two cents largely because i am just so bored and frustrated and ridiculoused out by all this online conversation and hopefully you have been able to miss the whole thing and so excuse my little rant.

i know this is not a popular opinion rant. especially among those who benefit off being the people able to call “Plagiarism.”

[and let me disclaim with the fact that i do feel that using someone else’s words and pretending they are your own is bad and silly and wrong and illegal for sure]

HOWEVER, my stance on this whole thing as far as i am concerned, is and always has been – if you want to use any of my stuff, go for it.

If it is Godly and worth using then i want as many people as possible to be reading what i write.

If it is all me and not worthwhile then i want as few people as possible to be reading it.

Problem solved.

And i have heard all the arguments and questions of ‘Oh yes, would you like someone to come and steal your car?’ and posturing and logic and so on, or it feels like i’ve heard them all – feel free to prove me wrong – but for me i have to ask what the heart of the writing is about?

If it is for the kingdom, then let go of the pride and the glory and the fame and the need for your name to be on the bottom of it and just celebrate that the kingdom is being preached.

And if it’s about making you look good, then at least be honest about it. Own the pride. Own the good feelings and identity and worthfulness you get from saving the world or transforming lives or whatever it is you are building up or breaking down. But just be honest.

My favourite book is a book called ‘No Compromise’ – the life story of a guy called Keith Green who i completely believe would be with me on this stuff – he used to infuriate ‘good, christian, musicians’ and worship leaders by giving his music away because, i don’t know, he believed [like i strongly, strongly do] that worship should be free. silly man.

i have written a book, which i do hope to somehow get published someday [called ‘I kissed hating [the church] goodbye’] and in the intro i pretty much disclaimed the likelihood of unintentional plagiarism in its covers simply because when i hear a good idea i often grab it and use it in a preach… and then after a while i have used it to often it suddenly starts to feel like it’s mine and i have no idea where it came from. can you imagine Jesus overhearing Paul referencing one of His parables and whispering down from heaven, ‘Hey Paul, don’t forget to mention you got that from Me?’ Nah, didn’t think so.

i love the notion of what Derek Webb has been able to do with Noisetrade in terms of music, where bands offer their music for free or a donation or even just a shout out – and so everyone has easy access to some great and often new music and there is the opportunity to pay-what-you-can or even to enjoy it for free but be telling others about it.

so, in summary:

taking someone’s stuff and pretending it is your own is bad [because i am such a not big fan of lying and that’s what that is, really]

writing stuff or creating art or music or poetry – be open-handed with it and let it get out there – why should just the rich and money-laden and privileged be able to get hold of your stuff

stop putting people on pedestals and christians, stop following the example and pattern of the world – we were called away from that. we can do so much better.

best worship song of the year? don’t get me started…

i am participating in NaBloPoMo which is known as National Blog Posting Month in which the invitation or challenge is to post a blog every day [except on day 2 of the month when you are camping in a place with no internet signal even for your cute little hotspot device!] and for this one i decided to take up one of the prompts they provided:

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

mentori wouldn’t say i have a mentor. in fact the only story i tell of having a mentor is one i had for literally five minutes. a great pastory guy by the name of Craig Duvel who i have grown to respect in leaps and bounds over the years but who always lived in a province far away from mine [and since he moved to my province, i moved country so that didn’t help a lot]. i remember sitting with him at a camp and i think it was related to my struggles with pornography/masturbation at the time but his advice was, ‘Keep a Short Account with God’ and i have used that and shared that many times since then. He told a story of how one morning at 3am he was woken up and remembered some unconfessed sin in his life and how he went to the lounge and fell facedown before God and made it right with God… the idea being that you start a new day with a fresh slate not being burdened or judged by your brokenness or any recent mess you may have been the cause of. And it works. When we allow sin to build up, it is like building a tab at a bar – it gets to the point where it is more natural to say, “Stick it on my tab” than it is to really be grieved by it or want to deal with it. So any time you become aware of sin in your life, or anything breaking intimate relationship with Him then right there and then, or as soon as possible, deal with it, make right and if you need to make right with people too, then do it as soon as you can.

so only 5 minutes of mentoring, but it was completely helpful.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE MENTORS GONE?

for me it has usually been a story of either not recognising any older men in the contexts i am in who i respect in the sense that i would want them mentoring me, or that those people who i have seen with those things  just seeming so incredibly busy with so much other stuff that they would not be suitable candidates. i definitely had a mentor in my earliest youth leading role in terms of helping me lead and grow in confidence and maturity in a lot of leadership related areas, but i think to some extent we had a difference of vision and ethos and so it didn’t feel like the kind of mentoring i imagine, but i am completely grateful for his presence in my life back then and owe a lot to him.

but in the absence physical mentors in terms of men who are older than me pouring into my life it has become a combination of literary mentors [so the influence of passionate men of God like Keith Green and John Wimber and others who spoke into my life through the pages of books], peer mentors [so being co-mentored by good friends of a more similar age or even younger like Sean Du Toit, Bruce Collins, Rob Lloyd, Andy Pitt and i could go on] and also through men like Paul and Peter, David and Moses, and of course Jesus Christ. none of these were formal mentoring relationships, but through watching and listening and late night conversations and hearing stories of and from, these people spoke [and continue to speak] loudly into my life.

‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ [Proverbs 27.6]

i have absolutely loved this verse and i stand by it. if you do not have people in your life who have the invitation to speak honestly [and cause something that feels like a wound cos who likes rebuke ever?] then you are doing yourself an absolute disservice. Rob Lloyd has been one of those voices in my life [his description of me as reminding him of Paul – “passionate yet tactless” – is one that stands strong in my memory] and i have so much love and appreciation towards him for that and taking a quick look over myself, all of those bruises have healed in such a way that i can’t even remember where they were [but the lessons have stuck!]

so be mentored! it is so important – any fool who thinks they can walk this life well by themselves is one. and a good way to start is by asking – is there a man/woman you deeply respect or feel you can learn something from? Ask them if they will have coffee with you once a week, once a month. [hint: pay for it! This is completely something worth investing in – for the price of a regular cup of coffee or breakfast you can have your life revolutionised? seems about right] The worst they can do is say no. [Well, i guess the worst they can do is whip out a swordfish and carve their initials in your face but if that happens it is an indication that they were possibly not the right person to be mentoring you?]

and if you can’t find someone to ask then do what i did in terms of finding mentors and role models elsewhere. be careful not to pedestalise them – the closer you get to those ‘perfect’ people who are so close to God and so good at life, the more flawed you will see them to be, so stay grounded in admiring the Jesus in them and learning from that.

try and be mentored by a diverse crowd. if you are a white male [as i am] and only invite white males to mentor you [through the books you read, music you listen to, preaches you hear] then you are missing out on a whole lot of good life lessoning. invite someone from a different race or culture than your own. from a different gender. from a very different generation. and start with stories – listen to their life, hear lessons they have learned, obstacles they have overcome, failures they have endured and successes they have witnessed and been a part of.

it may not look like you want it to look. but if you are not being mentored it is largely your own fault. do something about it.

and perhaps a great way to start is to find someone who you can mentor, meet with regularly, intentionally pour into… but more of that in my next post…

[And if you have a moment to comment, I would LOVE to hear some stories of people who have mentored you in a way you found helpful]

[To continue to the next part on being a MENTOR, click here]

‘For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.’

i mean, that’s quite an intro already, right? and possibly carries a profoundly deep message in terms of really getting our minds around the fact that David, altho he had messed up horribly, still ends up at the feet of God, rather than simply trying to hide or run the other way… where do you end up when you are caught up in the depravity of sin?

‘You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart
You, God, will not despise.’ [vs 16-17]

and there we see that David really gets it – he starts at the point of his brokenness and failure but realises that it is not the outward motions that God is after – it is not about performing the right religious activities or rituals – God wants to know and see that he has truly changed – God is interested in the heart…

‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.’ [vs 1-2]

this is the start of the Psalm – David appeals to what He knows of God, who he knows God to be – He appeals to God’s ‘mercy’ and His ‘unfailing love’ as well as His ‘great compassion’.

Note that David is asking for mercy, not justice. Which is a thing most of us do much of the time i imagine. David knew that calling for justice for his actions would mean his life. But knowing the God he serves, he knows deep down that even though he doesn’t deserve it and possibly might not even feel like he has the right to even ask, that God is all of those things and will likely respond with much mercy and grace and undeserved forgiveness and new life.

and then he speaks those words that Keith Green turned into such a brilliant and haunting song:

‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. [vs 10-12]’

this could be a daily prayer to start the day with… the search for a clean heart, the joy of really knowing God’s salvation and a spirit that is willing for whatever opportunity is placed in front of you…

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

there is a verse from revelations which has been running thru my head – it’s the one where john has the vision of the messages given to the seven churches and is found in rev 3.1-3 and says, “i know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. wake up! strengthen what remains and is about to die, for i have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. but if you do not wake up, i will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time i will come to you.’

and just been thinking lots about the difference between head and maybe even heart christianity and actual real life flesh and blood Christ following and how much of that disparity exists in my life as well – in terms of my head and heart i am absolutely 100% passionate about God and kingdom growth and world transformation, absolutely…

but how much am i actually living this thing? loving God, loving people? like really? actually? in 3D?

i know there’s bits of it, for sure, but i’m pretty sure there’s not nearly enuff, and if i’m absolutely honest, i am terrified that i am not even coming close to really living it out – one of the things which excites me about next year’s doing something different (and still waiting on God to see what that is) cos i don’t think it can continue…

and right now that seems to be the difference between me and guys like shane claiborne and keith green and so on – in heart and passion and mind i would imagine we are d.n.a. twins (or triplets?) but they lived it out – out on the streets – in peoples faces

and even huger than that is the difference between me and Jesus. and that is really not cool for someone who claims to be an ardent Christ follower as i do – Christ loving (absolutely) Christ believing (no doubt) Christ awe-ing (full on)

but Christ following? hm.

there must be more than this… in my life.

this is not good enuff.

that i am grappling with lately:

one of them is taking the incredible life-transforming simple-gospel stuff we are reading about in books like Shane Claiborne’s ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ and Erwin McManus ‘an unSTOPPABLE force’ and Rich Stearns ‘The Hole in the Gospel’ and even going back to the legen….dary Keith Green’s ‘No Compromise’ story and not just being excited and ‘challenged’ and ‘changed’ by it, and not just talking about it and maybe looking down on others who ‘don’t get it’ and all that and when do we actually start doing it and being transformed and changed – do we actually ‘get it’ or are we just excited by the idea? that is a tough one and i know my biggest problem is knowing the ‘how’ cos i am excited and i do think it’s great and i do want to live the simple passionate compassionate miraculous life to the full Jesus calls us to, but practically what do i need to do? question one i am grappling with.

part of question one is how do i justify the fact that i just spent R600 on an Eddie Izzard dvd boxset but don’t feel i can justify spending R700 to R900 for me and tbV to go watch him live (i guess that could be a problem with justifying both as opposed to either one of them perhaps) but then also not being able to justify someone else wanting to spend R300 on make-up for a wedding? why is mine okay and theirs not okay?

linked to that question will be that my lavish will be simple and ridiculous to Bishop’s Court residents and Saudi Arabia moguls but my simple will be wasteful and lavish and dreamed of for a typical Kayamandi shack resident – wealth and poverty can be relative to an extent.

question 2 regards being pastory type guy at enGAGE, a congregation that is part of the Vineyard church in Stellenbosch – are we really effecting change in the community or am i realistically simply just maintaining a small community of like-minded people? as in really, like what is really really happening there? cos if this year is all about just looking after 30 to 50 Christians and trying to make sure they are all still Christian at the end of the year and maybe a bit more Christian, then what the flippy flipperson? there MUST be more than this.

not needing answers (well, not from you) – just needing to ask the questions…

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