Posts Tagged ‘People’


Malachi is another look in the mirror challenge to the people. Let’s be honest though, at the hub all the prophetic books are that way, as it is about justice and what the society is failing to do–to care for one another. That crumbling of the Hear O’ Israel Prayer (The Shema) of love of God, Neighbour and Self. The cessation of one or more pieces of the three and society crumbles. This is the resonating message, what does it mean today though within our increasingly secular society? Can it speak to us still?

And the answer is yes. See, Malachi, shows what happens when we are so far down the rabbit hole of our own self-interest that many in our society are suffering, when a bully culture has become predominant…what happens with the people of Israel? Do they accept the challenge to be better?

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” 

-Malachi 1:2 (English Standard Version)

Note the counter questioning to the statement. Some will have palpitations and say, it is people wounded of course they cannot see God in their story, but there is something deeper. They are looking for someone to blame for how they are, and the change their society is going through. It reminds me in history of how we got the Comics Code, because a crazed psychologist thought comics were the root of juvenile delinquency; or McCarthy’s trials of faux communist agents, Salem, or modern day Alberta. A province that refuses to diversify our economy, and accept economic change so our government launches a private corporation “war room”; a bunch of old MAGA hat wearing folks stalk Greta Thunberg and counter-protest our current and future leaders in a climate strike, and some incel wanna be blogger working for Rebel Media, stalks the 16 year old girl to her hotel, and then dox’s her. Our Government MLA’s challenge Opposition MLA’s to a fist fight in the midst of a legislative sitting, and harrass them to (illegally) disclose their vote, because in their rabid minds a vote for anyone other than a Conservative in Alberta is treason.

as 1:6 reads:

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’

How do these instances tie into Malachi? Simple, the people questioned how God loved them? As care takers for creation (when we were cast out of the Garden), the conversation is just that, on ecology, care and responsibility. Yet, we want to blame everyone else under the sun for our current economic circumstance. We are like the priests blaming God, not looking at our own practice, ethics and morals for the state we are in.

For a starker contrast in the religious and political world, we blame the victim of the rape, instead of the burning down the institutional pieces that need to go. We do not want to admit that it is our inability to love ourselves, or one another. We have sold out ourselves and neighbour for a love of money, and now we are here…and are looking for someone to blame, like an ancient scape goat that would have the sins of the village placed on it and then released into the wild.

But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts,

-Malachi 2:8 (ESV)

We are desperately seeking a scape goat in society, as Israel was. We as a society communally no longer have God to blame, so we seek out other things that strip away humanity, and corrupt the societal social covenant. We call it debt, deficits, tax payer rights– it leads to austerity– it leads to infrastructure crumbling, hospital closures, and public schools under funded. It creates conditions for critical thinking and wholeness to fail, so that we are nothing more than commodities to be bought and sold by private enterprise, where the worst of business practices, can become predatory, and we accept it as ethical, where governments make decisions in their donors and corporate share holders best interests, not in the interests of the citizen.

And sadly, this ethic has moved into the church rapidly. It is not about the missio dei, or honouring and embracing the beautiful diversity of the imageo dei… it is about money, and numbers…

What changes if we get back centered. What changes if we answer 3:17 “Where is the God of Justice?” with, right here. That is in us, working through us, to transform our world for the better, to become a healthy soul, that challenges and exorcise those that use God’s name to further corrupt political agendas that dehumanize and harass, that leave those in most need behind.

Politics is the modern allegory for Malachi’s marriage parable. Where it was pointed out that there was a bride of the youth, for us in Canada that is our Just Society, yet then Israel sought out a new bride, like a bad performance of Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch or a stereo-typical philanderer’s mid-life crisis trophy bride swap (in those times it was inter-marriage with those outside of Israel–note the above illustration from the Alberta Government).

Now, some may say you’re just a liberal-socialist bashing conservatives and using scripture. Nope, I am calling on all politicians to do better. We used to have a core value set in Canada that all parties discussed openly, and the debates were centered around thoughts to ensure delivery and growth of things like our health care, care for seniors and persons with disabilities, those in need, and education…not the screaming bully matches we currently have seeking scape goats and gotcha moments.

Malachi is God speaking about those in worship engaging and holding their leaders, priests, neighbours and self accountable. That is what we need in our world now. Healthy accountability. Not a world where we have to re-assert simple things such as vaccines save lives, Nazis bad, and science true.

Check your own heart and soul, and ask– what is driving my life currently?

 


Divinity

Divinity (Photo credit: Eye – the world through my I)

This was a tweet from Mark Harvorth @HardlyNormal  a travelling advocate for those without a place to lay their heads in North America.  It is also a true fact.

But let’s grow beyond the 140 characters to understand what Domestic Violence can be rooted in (please note this article is not exhaustive, my doctorates are in Holistic Psychology, Metaphysics, and Divinity, so please seek out other sources as well to grow your understanding so in 2013 we can eliminate this blight on our species).  During the holiday season isolation goes up, those struggling with mental illness goes up, those with addictions, and the social users goes through the roof. Unfortunately with our greedy materialism driven lives, financial cliffs become a leering reality for many families who over stretch their bank accounts and credit to ensure their kids and themselves keep up with their neighbours.

Also, in the US, Black Friday is break even, while in Canada it is usually Boxing Day that becomes break even for many retailers, which means that during this season for those in the retail sector this is high stress because one does not know if their store will exist post break even or not. As well, the rise of stress and usage of both legal and illegal substances in the party atmosphere lead to an increase in driving under the influence, and life crippling/ending accidents. Anecdotally, it appears that more aged relatives become hospitalized or pass away during the First Day of School-Thanksgiving-Halloween-Rememberance Day-Christmas links in the year than other times which casts society members ill equipped for interdependence in healing into grief cycles.

Are these excuses for beating the crud out of your loved ones? NO! Never read understanding rationale behind harm, as validating the harm as okay. What it means is being able to work within the setting to bring a reconciliation within the offender so they will not offend again, and bring a reconciliation within the victim so they understand that they are not the cause of said violence and they need to heal the wounds (seen/unseen) to be able to live a healthy life once more.

But the sad part here is that some (most?) reading this will be thinking of domestive violence as physical abuse, perpetrated by a Husband (or male partner) upon a wife (or female partner)…and that is only the visible tip of the ice berg that society is willing to accept. What follows is a short list of other forms of abuse that we endure within our domestic connections that one may not realize is abuse, but it is:

1) Same-sex partner abuse (male to male, female to female) or any configuration within a relationship that exists out of the LGBTTIQ communities.

2) Parent upon child

3) Child upon parent

4) Grandchild upon grandparent (vice-versa, and insert whichever generations you choose)

5) Between friends, roommates,

6) any familial relationship (aunt, uncle, mother, father, sibling, cousing, godparent, grandparent, cleric) upon another within that familial network.

These are all the relationships where domestic violence can exist (if I missed some please add to it within the comments section).

The forms it takes very obviously:

1) Physical – quite self explanatory that is inflicting bodily harm upon another.

2) Mental – degrading an individual to the point where you control them (much like Cults do) and they isolate themselves from healthy supports within their lives.

3) Addiction– whatever addiction is destroying your life, you then initiating the relative into the same behaviour, misery after all loves company.

4) Emotional – It is akin to mental, yet this is at the visceral level that makes us family (domestic units) and causes one to feel they have no value, and that how they are treated (which is usually worse than a mouse or other rodent) within their family unit is what they should seek in life.

5) Sexual – R-A-P-E or any form of sexual assault that happens by one in authority, through coercion, threat of violence, or partaking within another form of abuse. It can be petting, gropping, choking, BDSM, Manual stimulation, Anal, Vaginal, oral, bestiality…etc. but the key is that it is about power and control and it is wrong.

6) Spiritual – Where a member of the domestic unit uses the family’s spirituality/religion to control and subjugate others to their will. It becomes evident as abuse when one feels disempowered, isolated and must conform for fear of losing domestic connections. Sadly, some families of clerics fall into this trap where the cleric acts as religious and parent to the family and does not seperate the role; smaller and mega churches can also fall into this through a cult of personality. Most famous for of spiritual abuse through fear of ostracization is seen in how hte Jehovah Witnesses‘ deal with claims of abuse, or when one marries outside the faith or Bountiful, B.C..

7) Negligence – This is a catch all category that can be not providing the  means of simple living (food, clothing, shelter, connection with other human beings); isolation from the community at large to family with good hearts attempting to care for a relative when they are incapable of caring and too proud/scared/inept to access the resources available for the individual’s care.

8) Financial – We have all seen the television commercial against elder abuse that sees the grandchild or child taking money through threats or coercion from their loved one. But financial abuse can be so much more. It is misuse of funds, it is playing of the love the relative has for you when you are in need, it is stealing from them blatantly, it is living with the relative but having them pay for everything. There are so many ways when the domestic unit moves from a caring/shared partnership when multiple generations live together to when it becomes a targetted one individual is the cash cow so the others can not participate.

These are forms of abuse, this is obviously not the complete or exhaustive list because as a species humanity is constantly inventing new ways to hurt those that should be the most dear to us.

The challenge is to recognize if we fall into a lesser or major extent of these, if any of our loved ones do, then to seek out the appropriate help and support.

The ancients predicted 2013 would be a year when the way the world is would drastically become the way it was and a utopia would emerge, eliminating the ability of familial violence from this earth would definately be a miracle in the right direction.


What are your thoughts on these 8 points? Is anything missing? Needs to be expanded?


Another day, and sadly those trusted to shepherd the young revealed to be a monster:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/02/01/calgary-sex-rodman-abuse.html

It is quite nice that the son is standing by his father the abuser, what a Christian act, yet in none of these statements are there talks of supporting the victims, aiding them in healing and walking in the light and realizing that this abuse had nothing to do with them, or the God they may or may not still believe in.

So it is fine to stand with the abuser, but in a truly restorative system the victimizer is held to account, and walked with for rehabilitation back into community in a healthy healed way, but NEVER is the victim forgotten. They are walked with towards healing, and reconciliation of their own soul and the pain they have endured, and rebuilding of that which actions such as these have stripped away from them.

So Pastor, I know this alleged monster is your Dad, and the world has changed, and he has done the “christianize” thing of confessing his sins and struggles… but what of those that he has admitted to victimizing—RAPING, and who will walk with them and speak for them, and aid the ones that still struggle in silence with their shame, hurt and pain to emerge once more into the light of community with self-worth?

Where would Jesus be in this mire? With all.

-30-

 


CYC is  a youth drop in centre in NE Calgary. I have been blessed to be involved in the centre in various ways over the years. First as a volunteer running a movie group that aided teenagers in understanding what messages good or bad are coming to them via the media. Then training staff on how to build authentic community.

The centre has integrated into the community aiding teens and their families to grow into a healthy community, they have linked to the local public schools. If you can help with monies please do:http://youtu.be/_F0HQ5uZxPY