One of the things which I love about blogging is that somewhere inside of it conversation is hidden.
My friend, in her cleverly named blog Half-Formed Wish, says ‘sin is selfishness’.
Say it fast & it might come out as ‘half-warmed-fish’.
She is a bright girl.
Full of ideas.
Also cleverly saying with the name of her blog that what she writes are only ideas & ‘half-warmed’ at that.
I wish I was as creative.
In her blog she wonders about God & faith & life.
As many do.
As I also do.
In this particular post she talks about more than just her conviction that ‘sin is selfishness’.
She also talks about ‘how God communicates’.
Apparently she’d been told the same thing from five different sources, including a tweet by the hip-hop artist Lecrae.
Go check it out. I’m putting ‘links’ everywhere, it is as easy as a ‘click’ of the mouse.
My friend thought, maybe, just maybe God is trying to tell her something with the same thing from five different sources.
I wanted to converse with her about this, but she blogs in blogger and try as I may, my WordPress ID, my gmail account, my gravatar, none of it wants to let me post a comment, unless I sign-up for a blogger blog & then I can comment to my heart’s content.
But, hey, I’m on FaceBook, I’m on Twitter, I’m right here in the wonderful world of WordPress, I can’t blog in two places.
Or can I?
If I can, let me know.
Some friends want me to blog in Tumblr – eish.
Too much, unless I can sort of blog here & copy to blogger & tumblr.
If I can, why not.
Unable to comment on her blog, I decide to blog about it & hopefully someone will read what I post & comment & we can have a bit of a conversation.
I know Bjorn will.
Please Bjorn, talk to me.
And maybe my friend the faithful sceptic.
Step 1: look for a picture for this responsive post.
A picture with your blog is nice.
I don’t know why. It just is.
That’s what bloggers do, whether in wordpress or blogger or tumblr.
I get my pictures from two sources and there is nothing to be read into that.
No divine message.
Just two sources.
That is how it is.
But Zuko haven’t done too many conceptual ‘sin’-pictures. Not any that I know of or could post here at this very moment and hence I revert to that ‘leading free stock photo site’ & search ‘sin’.
I can’t really say what I was expecting, but I did not expect 55 photos of apples.
Fables are deeply ingrained in western society.
And pictures obviously speak louder than words.
The pen is not mightier than the sword it seems.
The picture is.
Think Humpty Dumpty sitting on that wall.
What do you see?
You see an egg.
Nowhere in the poem it says Humpty is an egg.
But in 1904 a certain W. W. Denslow illustrated this children’s rhyme, which seemed to have its origins as a riddle.
How did he portray Mister Dumpty?
As an egg.
The Oxford English Dictionary believes that the term ‘humpty dumpty’, in the 17th century, referred to a drink of brandy boiled with ale and, in the 18th century, to a short and clumsy person.
Perhaps the riddle which has become a rhyme never refered to an egg at all.
Perhaps it warned of the dangers of excessive drinking, especially for short clumsy people, in that typical puritan doomsday way which have found its way right into our 21st century western christian religion and which brings us back to my friends half warmed fish – the sin-thing.
So I find pictures of apples depicting ‘sin’.
It comes, off course, from the thing with the snake & the tree of which the Christian Old Testament & the Jewish Pentateuch talks in the ‘Genesis’ of things.
The Holy Texts of these two monotheistic religions never describe which fruit it was that Eve & Adam so boldly ate.
Thank you illustrated children’s bibles. 🙂
Think Adam & Eve …
Yes the beautiful pristenely white (naked) couple, their strategic bits wholesomely covered by leaves and in their hands (wait for it) … an apple.
Usually a red one.
It is visually more appealing.
The notion that ‘sin’ is stuff we do, I believe, has travelled through time in a similar way.
I have that depiction hanging in our kitchen.
Hanging there, not because I subscribe to its idea of God & life & final destination. Rather because I do not & it serves as a constant reminder how stupid my kind can be & how easy it is to start a movement based on fear.
You must know it?
Perhaps it was even proudly displayed in your grandmother’s house or used as prop in a sunday school class?
It shows two roads & two destinations.
The one road (the broad one) is filled with places where people drink & dance & gamble. On that same road, in the picture against my kitchen wall, is also ‘de lening huiz’, the bank offering loans.
At least for the better part of the next two decades.
Doomed to that flaming place of torture, according to the theology of that picture, at the end of the broad road.
I’m on that road.
I love dancing with my Zuko.
I love sitting down with a glass of red wine (or sour mash whiskey, depending on the occasion) and talking late into the night.
‘Sin is selfishness’.
Is the snot running out of your nose when you are afflicted by influenza the virus itself?
Is the headache and fever which tires you out & makes you all grumpy the virus?
Or the sore throat?
I don’t think so.
They are symptoms.
Your body’s physical response to the invasion of the influenza virus.
The virus is inside of you.
It is in your blood.
It pulses through your veins.
This is my ‘half warmed fish’ on the subject of sin.
Selfishness is the snot.
My soul’s response to something else pulsing in my being.
It is there.
I cannot deny it.
Inside of me.
It is running down my face & makes people gag as they interact with me.
It is inside of the greedy bastard who exploits his workforce, not paying them a fair wage, just sucking them dry so that he (or she) can increase profits.
It is inside the megalomaniac despot who, drunk with power, does not govern in benevolence, but steals & destroys.
It is inside the insignificant African boy who holds on to his little bit of money, using it only to benefit himself and his family, with not a thought spared for anyone else or the possibility that he may affect someone’s life.
It is in me.
But the stuff I do or do not do, the selfishness is not it.
And somehow it is becoming less.
If I may be so bold (or arrogant).
And I believe it is becoming less, because God has allowed me to live in relationship with him (or her?) and has affected me.
Giving me insight into my own being.
Giving me a new set of eyes with which to look at life.
A softer heart.
A different ambition.
I cannot buy into the ‘sin’-theology.
That is not what I read of in the Christian New Testament or the Jewish Pentateuch.
I read of a God who connects with people.
A God who calls a fornicating, murdering, arrogant red-headed boy a man after his own heart.
A God who lets animals talk so that a city of idiots may be saved.
A God who loves a prostitute & does stuff alongside her.
Amazing life changing stuff.
A God who removes sin from all people as far as the east is from the west.
Who dumps it in the deepest depths of the sea & never thinks of it – yeah, you get those words in the Old Testament, brother.
Written by Jews.
Before Jesus was born a human.
Perhaps this is my ‘half warmed fish’: more than what we can imagine of what we ‘believe’ comes from Humpty Dumpty pictures.
And perhaps we should talk about this stuff.
Not trying to convince each other of an opinion.
But to hear each other.
To get some insight.
For me – it has always been a whisper.
Deep in my being.
A wordless whispered conviction.
Not loud or obnoxious at all.
Not in words I can recognize.
Or words for which the Oxford English Dictionary would have a definition.
In something else.
An awakened love, possibly.
Talk to me.
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