Archive for April, 2011


Dangerman

Recognise this person ?

~~~

Pervasive confusion covers

everything he touches –

with a smog-like blanket

“God told me” – claims a hot-line

to the divine – no argument,

beyond all contradiction.

~~~

Discordant notes shrilly

sounding their off-key dissonance.

Haughty spirit looking down

from self-made pinnacle

of independence – gives rise

to nausea in the belly’s pit

~~~

Dealing underhandedly –

masterful political skills

undermining, not underlining

pulling strings behind the scenes

operating furtively, not openly

thrives on secrecy – moves in shadows

~~~

Closed off to correction,

unteachable, unaccountable,

disdaining true authority,

he fumbles ever onward,

believing that he’s leading

– when none follow after.

~~~

High-sounding words, appearing

spiritual, yet as vacuous

as the fruitless life he leads

From this time forward

may he be known

as the Dangerman

~~~

 

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Sick or Whole ?

Those who think they’re “well” don’t need a doctor.

Surrounded by humanity’s dregs

Scum-bags, rotten to the core

Yet unashamed, reclines with them.

Objections from the floor…

~~~

Hypocritical teeth-gnashing

from religion’s Holy Joes

“Does he know these folk in here ?

Their smell gets up our nose”

~~~

But sharp rebuke the Master gives

He does not waste His time:

Words so measured, cut to quick,

reveal their heinous crime

~~~

Purpose emphasised again

Not for the self-engrossed,

But for all the sick in heart,

Who recognise they’re lost !

Healthy Cynicism ?

Going with this title, really resulted from a discussion with my ‘spiritual accompanier’.  He’d just asked me a most interesting question about how I deal with ‘negative’ stuff that people dished out, in my years of serving the church. I must admit that I’m still chewing on that one, but these two words together have been rampaging around my brain for a few weeks, as I’ve pondered April’s Musing, and they surfaced again like torpedos when I heard the question – my initial response.

You may be uncomfortable with the idea, to the point of denying the possibility of such a thing as healthy cynicism, but if I were to qualify that an opposite attitude would probably look something like total gullibility, would that make a difference ?

It seems to me that there are a lot of folk, who are so easily ‘duped’ for a lack of the refreshing quality of a healthy cynicism, which simply refuses to believe everything it sees, and wants some degree of re-assurance prior to committing actions, heart and emotions, and even (especially) finances.

You may have come across the car advert where the beautiful blonde flounces up to the counter, and says in a rather loud voice, “I’d like to order french fries, one burger and a milk shake” to be told by the incredulous attendant, “This is a library”.  The blond looks around her, and in a barely audible whisper says, “Id like to order french fries, one burger and a milk shake” ! The punchline goes: “Beauty is nothing without brains”.

There are occasions when I get the impression that some well-meaning church folk believe that to be ‘spiritual’ means kissing goodbye to the brains that God gave us – a daft & dangerous philosophy, if you ask me.

Now, by way of example,  do I detect a ‘hint’ of healthy cynicism in Jesus, when it’s recorded, “he did not entrust himself to them (i.e. people who believed in his name, when they saw the signs which he did), because he knew all people … for he knew what was in man”  Furthermore, don’t I hear his repeated injunction to his followers: “don’t be deceived” as a need for us to wise-up to the possibility of being ‘taken in’ by the unscrupulous ?

Now, I don’t think this gives us permission to be obnoxious or cantakerous individuals – Jesus was neither of those, and we cannot use him as an excuse for bad behaviour – for there was nothing unhealthy about his ‘distrust’ of certain people. But I do think it gives me the responsibility of ‘discerning’ what’s good or bad, what’s wholesome or not, what’s right or wrong and then making decent choices, when faced with such issues.

Of course, at the same time I am conscious how unhealthy cynicism can eat away at a person’s heart and relationships, to the extent that they become like islands – remote and alone. This is definitely not to be advocated.  That kind of carping, hyper-critical, closed-mindedness was typical of the religious opponents of Jesus – known as scribes & pharisees – who constantly tried to entrap him with their politically motivated questions.  Such cynicism is bitter, and incapable of the self-giving love, of which Jesus is the epitome, and which led him to the Cross.

Speaking for myself, I think that healthy cynicism has enabled me to push aside destructive criticism, which was aimed at crushing me. It has saved me from believing false claims of ‘charlatans’ who have appeared from time to time with their ‘so-called’ charismatic gifts and tried to take over my life. It has preserved me from winds of false theological ideas which frequently blow across the planet, and do not accord with Scripture. It has prevented me from getting sucked into situations which would have proved detrimental to my spiritual progress, and that of my church family. But perhaps most importantly,  it has rescued me from the wild and wayward imaginations which have emerged from the depths of my own murky heart.

So I have reason to thank God for ‘healthy cynicism’.