The Cage of Fear

Centuries passed. They no longer understood what it was to be hunted, and torn apart by wild animals. What their ancestors had given up their lives for, they despised. And as they sought the new, the unusual, and the exiting, they lost the gift of knowledge. Then some, though small in number, saw the Cage. It was gilded; created by those who would be imprisoned therein. The Cage was fear. Fear of losing the comforts that they had made for themselves. Fear of being free from the web that entangled them. For they took comfort in what bound them; and the outside became something considered wild and dangerous. But the few saw the truth. The outside was freedom. the outside was suffering, to be sure, but it was freedom from the Cage. Of the few that saw it, even fewer were bold enough to escape the Cage.

We the people, have enslaved ourselves to our creations. They form a cage around us. A cage that has surrounded us since birth. We find comfort in the cage, because it seemingly cares for us. When we need to speak to someone in the antipodes, we merely use a device and, like a genie of the lamp, our wish is its command. We created currency, with which we can buy and sell whatever our hearts desire. But the currency has become merely an idea of riches — a promise of happiness, pleasure and contentment. But in reality, our riches are being stolen, and gradually fed to a sickeningly rich few in a reverse-Robin-Hood heist. Scientists pride themselves in supposed proof of things that we have always known, and the world looks on in awe, saying, ‘Look how high we have climbed!’ And as they marvel and wonder at what they have created, they don’t see the Cage of Fear that they have built around them; which, like the poisonous venom of the New Guinea dragons, is slowly taxing their lives into a shell of hopelessness. And as this happens the few look on in awe, saying, ‘Look how far we have fallen!’

Is this it? Will we continue to be enslaved by our genies of currency and wondrous technology? Or will we finally see the Cage? I hope we will have the courage to reject the Sheriff of Nottingham, and his master Prince John, in his lustful wallow of self-love. Real joy, real satisfaction, and real riches come to those who don’t follow the hopeless chase of fictional geese, that turn to ash when captured. Oh, humanity! Look how far you have fallen! Look at yourselves, strutting around like kings, but dressed in the blood of innocent men! Is this what you do with power? The time will come when you will fall, down, down, down. Your walls of security will be seen as what they are — lies. The Cage will fall, and you will not be prepared for true freedom, so you will perish in its harsh justice. But in all this there is hope. The few will know the ways of the outside, and with their help you will rise from the ashes like the phoenix that the human race is. And when you have recovered from your fall, you will once again enjoy true freedom. And thus will your plot to enslave yourselves again will be reborn …

I hope this rant makes sense. It’s a bit abstract, because I’m a bit sketchy about what I believe on this subject, but if nothing else, I hope it got you thinking about what you stand for.

Unity, if there is Such a Thing

I was going to write another entry, and I found this draft, so I thought I might as well publish it:

A couple of weeks ago the question was posed to me: what are the younger generation of Christians doing today to create unity amongst the body of Christ? I thought that this was quite an interesting question to ask, because today there are so many Christians who disagree with the rest of the body of Christ. We are really doing nothing to create unity. ‘But,’ I thought, ‘I can’t agree with everyone; some people’s ideas are just plain daft.’ So, really … what can we do to be one with the rest of God’s people? This is a question that I haven’t got a full answer for yet, but I will try to answer some of it to best of my knowledge.

Obviously agreeing on everything is impossible, so the only way we can work together with our difference of beliefs is to accept that we have different beliefs. This sounds like an obvious statement, but for some reason a lot of us have ignored it over the years. Yes it is important to stand up for what you believe in. Yes, it is important not to just go by what the person next to you is doing. And yes, it is very important to discuss and even argue our different opinions. But I’m going to say something now that may get a few eyebrows raised; it’s more important what we do than what we believe.

What we believe obviously matters to us. It matters to our personal lives and shapes who we are. But what we do matters to the people around us; it affects the lives of those around us and shapes the world. Even — dare I say it? — even whether we believe in God at all doesn’t matter if we do nothing about it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t believe in God or the divinity of Christ. But I am saying that what we do about it is more important than what we believe. If i believe that God is the creator and ruler of the universe, that belief means nothing unless I do what He says. I can believe that God judges every one of my sins but unless I repent from them that belief really means nothing.

But what does what I’ve written so far have to do with the original question, What can we do to create unity amongst God’s people? We can act instead of cut each other off. We can love each other instead of trying to force them to believe what we do. We can work together to build God’s kingdom, instead of tearing His kingdom down by excommunicating each other. How can we be the body of Christ without unity?

Sometimes I think to myself, ‘If everyone in the world were like me, then there would be world peace.’ Now, this is most definitely not true, because if the entire population thought like me, we would all be too radical to even admit that we agree with each other. (I often say that what I fear most in the world is myself.) So what would create world peace? Is it beliefs? It’s a very hard question to answer, and I’m not sure I can answer it, because I have never experienced it. But just because I don’t think I can answer a question shouldn’t mean I will stop trying. So I will try.

First, I will try to define what world peace is not. It isn’t every man agreeing with each other; that’s just not healthy. Neither is it a world with only one branch of religion; as far as I can see, all of the religions of the wold have some flaws. I suppose world peace might be achieved if no human killed another human — If nobody deliberately tried to hurt another person.

So what can we do to achieve such a goal? I don’t know. But what can I do to help? Get along with people. Try not to hurt them. You don’t have to agree with them, but I do think you have to love them.

This is a much more complicated subject than I thought it would be. So I suppose I’ll try to answer a more specific question. What can young Christians do to create unity amongst the church? That is also a very hard question. Perhaps even harder than the first one. So many Christians seem to think that it all depends on all Christians agreeing with one another. The trouble with that, is that the type of Christians who think that also want the whole world to believe their specific theologies. And the problem with that is another group of Christians that believe a slightly different thing cannot tolerate the first group. It’s a really mucked up jumbled mess.

But what can I do? I can’t agree with every other Christian, because some Christian’s ideas are just plain daft. I can’t say that all beliefs are equally right because some beliefs seem to me to be quite clearly wrong. This is what led me to the conclusion that whether someone’s beliefs are wrong or not, it shouldn’t matter as long as what they do isn’t wrong. So what is the right and wrong thing to do? As far as I can see, all of the peaceful religions are good for the world, and all of the non-peaceful religions are bad for the world. (I may be wrong on this though — I haven’t thought it through very well yet.) And as far as I can see, the Bible si the best guidebook to follow. All of the laws and commandments in the Bible that were written to be eternal statutes make up a good system to run the earth by.

The more I think about this subject, the more complicated it becomes. Perhaps a whole library of books could not explain this fully …

The Unimportance of Belief Without Deeds

Sometimes I think to myself, ‘If everyone in the world were like me, then there would be world peace.’ Now, this is most definitely not true, because if the entire population thought like me, there would be no uniqueness of individual people, which is an important thing to have in society. So what would create world peace? Is it beliefs? This is a very hard question to answer, because I have never experienced it. But just because it is difficult shouldn’t mean I will stop trying. So I will try.

So what is world peace? It isn’t every man agreeing with each other; that’s just not healthy. Neither is it a world with only one branch of religion; as far as I can see, all of the religions of the world have some flaws. I suppose world peace might be achieved if nobody deliberately tried to hurt another person. So many in the church seem to think that it all depends on Christians agreeing with one another. The trouble with that, is that the type of Christians who think that also want the whole world to believe their specific group of theologies. And the problem with that is another group of Christians that believe a slightly different thing cannot tolerate the first group. It’s a really mucked up jumbled mess.

Obviously agreeing on everything is impossible, so the only way we can work together with our difference of beliefs is to accept that we have different beliefs. This sounds like an obvious statement, but for some reason a lot of us have ignored it over the years. Yes it is important to stand up for what you believe in. Yes, it is important not to just go by what the person next to you is doing. And yes, it is very important to discuss and even argue our different opinions. But it’s more important what we do than what we believe.

I can’t say that all beliefs are equally right because some beliefs seem to me to be quite clearly wrong. This is what led me to the conclusion that whether someone’s beliefs are wrong or not, it shouldn’t matter as long as what they do isn’t wrong. What we believe obviously matters to us. It matters to our personal lives and shapes who we are. But what we do matters to the people around us; it affects the lives of those around us and shapes the world. Even whether we believe in God at all doesn’t matter if we do nothing about it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t believe in God or the divinity of Christ. But I am saying that what we do about it is more important than what we believe. If we believe that God is the creator and ruler of the universe, that belief means nothing unless we do what He says. We can believe that God judges every one of our sins but unless we repent from them that belief really means nothing. Belief is irrelevant without action.

So what is the right and wrong thing to do? As far as I can see, the Bible is the best guidebook to follow. All of the laws and commandments in the Bible that were written to be eternal statutes make up a good system to run the earth by.

Ab imo pectore, Oves Tondente.

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An Inconveniance In The Night

The other day I was driving through the outback, somewhere in New South Wales, in the middle of the night. I was listening to some calm opera music to cool down my impatience on the straight, flat, seemingly unending road. I had been driving for about two hours when I came to a certain country town. Hungry, I looked for a place that sold food — and one with a toilet. Unfortunately the first place I came upon was a McDonald’s. McDonald’s does not sell food, but it does have a toilet. (They hide the toilet behind an area where they trick people into thinking that they’re buying food.) This Is valuable information: every McDonald’s has a toilet in it.

After using the toilet, I walked out and made my way back to my ute. I found that I had locked it. No problem. I reached into my pocket for my keys, and found … emptiness. Now there was a problem. The key was, I could see now, still in the ignition of the ute. I pulled the handle of the door repeatedly, hoping it would open but knowing it would not. After kicking, punching, and clawing at the outside of the cab for several minutes, I finally managed to prize enough space open at the top of the window to fit my fingers in.

Now what? The keys were still well out of reach, and I had no wire to hook them with. If only I could find some fencing wire … or a coat hanger … or something long with a handy grabbing thing designed to pull keys out of ignitions and return them to their owner who was locked outside. But I had none of these, so I went for a walk.

Walking up and down a street in a country town in the outback in the middle of the night near a McDonald’s is a most unrewarding experience. The smell coming out of the McDonald’s smelled almost like food — It reminded me that I was hungry and this made me angry. I wanted to throw bricks through their window and yell illogical insults at them. Instead I went back to my ute and started punching the cab window. The window didn’t break and let me in. It didn’t even cry and beg for mercy. It just hurt my hand; so I stopped and tried to think of a better idea. ‘Forget it,’ I said to myself, ‘I’ll just spend the night on the tray.’ So I climbed up onto the tray and unrolled my swag and lay down.

Trying to sleep on the tray of a ute parked outside a McDonald’s in the middle of the night is more unrewarding than walking up and down a street in a country town in the outback in the middle of the night near a McDonald’s. For some reason, youths from around the town were coming to the McDonald’s. They were buying products. More strangely, they were eating said products. And they were making lots of noise in the process. This annoyed me exceedingly for a while, but eventually I thought of something else to think about. Something Else proved to be quite interesting, for Something Else was a means of breaking into my cab and escaping from this food-forsaken place.

There is a toolbox on my tray, and it is to this I turned my attention. I rolled up my swag and opened the toolbox. In the toolbox were a few odd things: a roll of cotton and a suture needle, a pair of long-nosed pliers, some blue hay-baling twine, and a coat hanger. The coat hanger would have been ideal had it been the wire kind that you can bend into special key-hooking shapes, but it was the plastic kind. Then I had an idea. I tied the coat hanger to the baling twine. Then I dangled the coat hanger through the gap in the top of the window and swung it back and forth. I was trying to hook the window handle. I swung it back … I swung it forth … I swung it to … I swung it fro. And for nearly and hour I stood next to the cab, holding the baling-twine, peering through the window, swinging the coat hanger, and praying to God that it would catch on the window handle.

‘That’s it,’ I mumbled to myself. ‘I’m not going to be able to hook this. Obviously God just wants me to spend the night outside this infernal McDonald’s.’ I decided to pull the coat hanger out and retire for the night. But as I pulled, the coat hanger refused to come. It was almost like … it had caught on … yes! It was caught on the window handle! I stood frozen, not wanting to move and break the spell. Then slowly I pulled. And lo! The window came down two inches! I pushed the window down another inch, and was able to reach in up to half way up my forearm. Then I used the hook of the coat hanger to hook the keys. I will never forget the joy and satisfaction I got when I held they keys in my hands once more.

Soon I was listening to my Opera music again and driving home. Where there is a will and a God, there is a way.

Ab imo pectore, Oves Tondente.