christmas-cancelled-sml

Last year, I nearly made a big mistake! I started telling my son this joke

“A clever man, a clever woman and Santa Claus get into a lift, who gets out first?”

The correct answer is “the man as the other two don’t exist!”, but I had to stop myself as he is still a believer in the jolly white-bearded fellow from the North Pole! (Not to mention I was kinda outnumbered round the dinner table with the female:male ratio!)

As you may have gathered from previous blog posts, I am not a massive fan of “Organised Religion”, Christianity is meant to be a way of life, I believe that it is all about the relationship between you and God and how that manifests itself in your daily life, in your behaviour and your attitudes!  I was encouraged however to see “Christians” feeling so passionate about the issue of women being Bishops! Compare that to the apathy of voters (or non-voters! as only and average of 15% of the population did vote) at the PCC elections a few weeks ago (to be honest I wasn’t 100% sure what they would be doing either! Should have asked Wikipedia!)

I don’t fully understand all the politics of the Church of England and how it all works (I don’t really enjoy “church politics” full stop!), I do not understand why the “church” has evolved into requiring a single person (The Pope) or a group of people (A Synod), to decide how all the churches should run, whether that is Catholic or Anglican (or any other denomination for that matter!)  Isn’t that close to “heavy shepherding“? Following a twitter conversation with a fellow Chuck fan, (I love discovering how many of us are Christians or have faith in God!!) I was informed that it all apparently came from the disciples and Peter being the leaders of the church.  Ok, so that’s how it may have come about, but when did Jesus ever say

“make a enormous group of people and let them decide the direction of my church”

or

 “Give one person in another country, who you will never meet, the power to say “Yay or Nay” to how you should behave!”

I heard a comment, which I fully agree with, someone I respect greatly said “I am as much against women being Bishops as I am with men being Bishops!” The word Bishop comes from a Middle English word, which came from a Latin word, which in turn came from the Greek word “Episkopos” to mean overseer, the early disciples “oversaw” the early church but Paul later condemns the early church for saying “I am a follower of Paul”, or “I am a follower of Apollos” His point being that arguing over who you “follow“, robs us of the power of Christ’s death!

Christ died on the cross and the curtain tore in two, this meant that there was no need for priests to intercede for us, we all have the right and privilege to come to God as we are and ask for help/forgiveness/guidance!  So why do we think we need any other person to guide us? Jesus said call no other person “teacher”, call no other person “father” for there is only one of either! (I once managed to get an interview by quoting the last verse of the linked passage!)

I am confused how the church has created so many saints and days to celebrate these saints! Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) was possibly a great man who cared for children, but the world has created more movies about him influencing the world and performing Christmas miracles than about Jesus!  I recently watched a movie about the Nativity, and I realised that I have been desensitised to the “nativity story” but the movie actually explored how people would have reacted to Mary being pregnant before marriage (wanting to stone her!), what Joseph would have gone through (the doubt of how good a father he would be/what could he teach the “son of God“?), the generosity of a shepherd and Mary responding that Jesus was “a gift to all mankind!

I know we are all entitled to our own beliefs, even Christians will debate the emphasis we should give to certain rituals or acts, if you know your bible well enough you can argue with anyone, the problem being even the Devil knows the words of the Bible! I know that certain aspects of faith need to be explored and God uses everyone in different ways. Part of me finds it bizarre that parents are willing to let their children be taught by young/old women but when it comes to speaking to them from the pulpit, that is a whole new issue?? Admittedly I have not heard many sermons preached by a female that have really hit home and made a change in my attitudes, and there are particular female preachers who I really struggle to get anything from especially when I know that they believe God said they could have a facelift?! (I cannot remember a passage where Jesus felt compassion on a person with loads of wrinkles and then slapped mud on their face to make them look 10 years younger! Unless Luke was the first cosmetic surgeon?)

I love the fact that Jesus came to earth as a baby so that he could truly feel empathy to our suffering, it is great that so many people felt compassion for their fellow man to live as close to Christ as they could! But I am not sure how necessary it is for us to remember them or even make them “Patron Saints”, as Jesus said

“whoever wants to be great in this world needs to humble himself and serve”

When I eventually kick the proverbial “bucket”, I do not want to be remembered for what I did (unless it was of benefit or made a positive impact on another person) but I wanna be remembered for who I was!  Whatever we do whilst on this planet, we will receive the acknowledgement that God wants to give us! None of us have earnt it, in fact none of us deserve it! Without sounding corny, each day is a gift from God, it is what we do with the present every day that matters!

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