• Not so Radical Reform

    In all of our theology, we are careful to distinguish between the two pillars that stand behind all of our understanding of  the faith: Law and Gospel. This is what stands behind Two Kingdoms theology, the understanding that God rules the world through the Law on the left and so orders the world in … [Read More...]

  • ABC District

    Babbles on Reform

    Going into this weekend as a delegate at the ABC District Convention I have been thinking, reflecting, reading, and praying about what is to come. I put this forward as a discussion point: As many know, I am not a “life-long” Lutheran, I found Lutheranism after dalliances with atheism, occultism, … [Read More...]

  • Police Hero

    Why I Support the Police…and Want them Watched All of the Time

    I am a child of 9/11. I was working in the Southern Saskatchewan oil patch as a lowly swamper for a drilling rig moving and trucking company on that day. I remember very clearly that we were at the shop getting ready very early for going out on a rig move that day when I overheard on the gin pole … [Read More...]

May
23

Not so Radical Reform

ABC DistrictIn all of our theology, we are careful to distinguish between the two pillars that stand behind all of our understanding of  the faith: Law and Gospel. This is what stands behind Two Kingdoms theology, the understanding that God rules the world through the Law on the left and so orders the world in that way and also rules the world through the Gospel on the right and so orders the proclamation of his life-giving and salvific Gospel.

For various and, we are starting to realize – anachronistic – reasons, we are sensing the need for reform. And ideas that on,y a year ago would have been seen as radical pipe dreams are now on the table, so I thought I would sketch out a few barely formed thoughts here.

First, we should take our theology seriously in the construction and administration of our synod. Second, we should realize that we are terribly, incredibly small, and no longer can pretend that we have the money and people to support large bureaucracies. Third, we need to be about what we have always been about – Word and Sacrament Ministry.

So, basically, I feel that we should properly distinguish between Law and Gospel, between the Kingdom of the Left and the Kingdom of the Right. The idea that we have things called “Financial Ministries” (seriously, we have never seen the problem with something that is quite literally a Mammon Ministry, sigh…?) is quite ridiculous. We need to separate the corporate work of the synod from the ecclesiastical work of the synod, and prioritize the one over the other.

There is no need for Districts as independent corporations. They should exist in the future only as ecclesiastical supervision areas, with only one corporation, a single and national one.

We need to elect a President, who acts as CEO of this corporation but is not responsible for the ecclesiastical care of the people of synod. And then we should elect a bishop for each “district” who would be responsible for the ecclesiastical supervision of that area, and responsible for that alone.

The Districts, then, would be dissolved as corporations and all of their functions as a corporation taken by the national synod office. We would only then require one convention every three years, not four.

So, what do you think? These are just some thoughts for conversation, but I think that there is the root of some very important reform here.

 

 

 

 

May
19

Babbles on Reform

ABC DistrictGoing into this weekend as a delegate at the ABC District Convention I have been thinking, reflecting, reading, and praying about what is to come. I put this forward as a discussion point:

As many know, I am not a “life-long” Lutheran, I found Lutheranism after dalliances with atheism, occultism, and a serious look at some Eastern faiths led me to Christianity in its most Charismatic form, and then after that particular brand nearly destroyed my faith, I walked the wilderness of Christianity for a time. I didn’t know much, but I “knew” that Jesus died for my sin, the Bible was the Word of God, and somehow I was “Heaven-bound” because of it all. I wandered from congregation to congregation, applying my litmus tests, as ill-considered as they were (Do they answer my questions about the Bible, or brush them off?) and trying to figure out who I was. Eventually, I found myself in the evangelical wing of the Lutheran church. I stayed there; it had a depth to it that other evangelical churches seemed to lack. During my time there I decided that further formation and theological study was called for, and I headed out to a Lutheran university with intention to attend a Lutheran Seminary. I discovered the liturgy, the Confessions – and in many very real ways – the fullness of the Gospel during this journey.

It is perhaps due to this long personal journey and struggles with the faith that I am constantly at wonder that those that grew up with it all seem to take it for granted. And I am often gobsmacked that they passionately revere institutions that to my mind not only were ancillary to Lutheranism but at times were antithetical to it.

Is it possible that I am of a generation that questions the need for any institutions and when that institution cannot then justify itself I am quite ready to discard or reorganise it? Or perhaps it is because it was not my family and friends and even person who were involved in the blood, sweat, and tears, which it took to build our institution and so, have little or no emotional connection to it? Or maybe I am just excessively utilitarian in my thinking on the matter? I’m unsure.

I will say this, however: There is a small but vocal community of us that have been highly critical of the way in which our synod has been organised. Some of us, admittedly, because we don’t understand the historical reasons and compromises that it took to create the Lutheran Church – Canada, though I assure you I am not of that camp. I have taken my time to study the history of our synod, reading minutes of meetings, talking to people that were part of the negotiations, and during my time at the archives, just being exposed to the vast material that was produced to get us here. I get it.

Here’s the thing, most of us who are critical have been saying one thing over and over and over again, “This isn’t sustainable and it doesn’t make sense.”

No one, were they to plan a means by which our tiny synod would be governed, would today arrive at the system we have. It is a historical anachronism, an LCMS hangover, designed for a context and experience not our own and kept by people at a time when change to anything new was a scary prospect.

I honour and understand why they did it. But we must not be beholden to them any longer.

It is terribly sad that it had to come to this in order to energise the synod towards reform and for people to not only begin to examine and discuss it, but for that to line up with a time wherein the political will is aligned with reform.

Personally, I am thinking forward. The situation is plain, our District is financially destroyed, we face an increasingly hostile population, an increasingly secular society, and those that remain volunteer and serve in numbers far, far, lower than their parents or grandparents. And us Generation Xers and Millennials value the institutions very little beyond the local congregation. A population that sees PowerPoint as a backward and dated technology cannot help but see the bureaucratic, top-down, bloated, functions of our District as a less than charming metachronism.

My situation is plain. I now am responsible for my own piece of the next generation. My daughter will grow up never having known another faith or confession. She was baptised a Lutheran and if I have anything to do with it, will have her first Communion a Lutheran, and so on.  I want as strong a Lutheran synod as I can for her to inherit, and I feel as though without radical reform, she won’t have one.

Dec
05

Why I Support the Police…and Want them Watched All of the Time

Police HeroI am a child of 9/11. I was working in the Southern Saskatchewan oil patch as a lowly swamper for a drilling rig moving and trucking company on that day. I remember very clearly that we were at the shop getting ready very early for going out on a rig move that day when I overheard on the gin pole truck driver’s radio that a passenger plane had struck the World Trade Centre. I remembered that I knew of a previous instance wherein a plane had struck the Empire State Building completely by accident, so I didn’t think that much of it, except that it was a tragedy. As we drove to work, we all heard that the second plane struck, and then the word “attack” started to be used. I won’t go blow by blow of all my reactions and experiences of that paradigm altering day, but a very Canadian thing occurred.

I think it was in Yellowknife where a Korean passenger jet was reported as being out of contact and suddenly CF-118s had been scrambled, and then it had landed. As it landed, I watched part of it on TV. The ground crew and whoever else was running and scurrying away from the plane, fearing that it might blow up, or that gunmen might emerge, we had no idea at that point, everyone was just scared. But I saw the RCMP moving in the opposite direction of everyone else. These were members who were stationed in Canada’s far north, they were not trained and equipped to deal with a terrorist attack, but they were the thin red line, if they were going to be the only ones standing between an attack and the citizens of Canada on that day, they would do it, and they were ready to lay down their lives if necessary.

Now, it turned out to be a complete false alarm and nothing at all came of it, but on that day I was convinced and have never veered from that conviction that the police are, at their hearts, heroes.

That being said, they can also be giant d-bags.

Now, I am certain that they don’t go into work wanting to be, but everyone, myself especially, has bad days. Sometimes you snap at someone, sometimes you bend the rules a little because you just can’t take it anymore, and sometimes you are harder on those you have authority over than you need to be.

But the police are given enormous power. For the most part, they are the only people empowered by the state in Western Democracies to visit violence upon civilians. They are given wide range in making decisions in the moment as they need to apply force, and are authorised and directed to enforce the laws of the land against those who would not follow them willingly.

If I have a bad day, I may hurt office-mates feelings. If something goes wrong when I do paperwork, I might embarrass myself or my company and have to redo it or face some other consequence. But if my heroes, the police have a bad day, someone’s life may be ruined. Or a life may be lost.

I know it is an inevitable consequence of a civil society that we are going to need some kind of organised police force to protect and serve the people, and I get that in this decidedly non-Pollyanna world that we inhabit that they may have to apply various levels of force, up to and including the deadliest of force. And I know that they carry the sword for the state and that their vocation is sanctioned and approved by God, who is pleased by their work. St. Paul writes about the sword in Romans 13 when he says “Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” The police are one of the vocations in the modern world that bear the sword in the name of those that are in authority.

However, I also know what it is like to receive the business end of a hard police boot or to be smacked repeatedly with the big flashlight that they carry only to be released with no record of the interaction ever having occurred. I know what it is like to feel powerless as a police officer destroys or damages your property and you know that you have no recourse. And I know what it is like for a previously completely polite and super-nice person to become aggressively hostile when you assert, very politely, your rights.

I have watched a previously polite and kind man go purple with rage and begin screaming at the words, “I do not consent to a search, sir, am I being detained?”

And I know enough of these people; in my family, who I work out with, and amongst my friends, to know that these are basically regular folks who have an abnormal desire to help serve and protect people.

I once was driven in the back of a cruiser when I was much younger by an RCMP member who then found a quiet spot and pulled me out, handcuffed and 60 pounds lighter than he, and proceeded to beat me up, pretty bad. Then he took the cuffs off, and then “challenged me to a fight” and called me all manner of homophobic slurs as I lay on the frozen ground – bleeding and crying – humiliated. He seemed to realise what he was doing at the end, made sure I was going to be OK, got me up and walking back to town, and then left me there ashamedly watching his lights head down the gravel road. After the rage left, I did see regret in his eyes. And who knows: for all I know he was one of those in Yellowknife years later who ran to lay down his life. Maybe this flawed man was a hero?

I mean, I believe that the very act of becoming a police officer makes one a hero. You are taking on a thankless job and getting crapped on all of the time for it. I not only think you are a hero, but you are admired by me, every day in a variety of ways.

But I want body and cruiser cameras. I want your voice recorded when interacting with anyone in the public. I want every single decision you make to be reviewed and second guessed. I have seen the extremes of what the police are capable of. Part of your heroism is that you are held to an insanely higher standard than everyone else. That is why you deserve such honour.

So when I campaign for greater restrictions on your actions, or want body cameras, or second guess your actions please know that it is not because I think you a villain. I hold you to that standard because I think you a hero.

Dec
03

The Scope of the Problem

jesus-is-your-sanctificationThe central question of theology in and around the Reformation, in my opinion, was not the issue of Eschatology nor Ecclesiology nor even Justification. It was the issue of Original Sin.

It is a truism at this point that of the Reformation scholars, while Calvin and Zwingli were operating from the central principle of the Sovereignty of God, and the Anabaptists like Menno Simmons and Jacob Hutter were concerned principle with Holiness and Sanctification, and even the Romans as revealed in the Council of Trent were concerned with the Authority of the visible church, Luther was concerned primarily concerned with the question of Justification.

For Luther, the central question that Christianity surrounds is around the problem of how one is to be saved. All of Lutheran theology is viewed through that lens, and it is of whole cloth, there are no false systematic distinctions within his thought, and how it is developed by the primary Lutheran thinkers like Martin Chemnitz and Johann Gerhard. There are certainly theses around which thoughts and doctrine are gathered, particularly in the Confessional documents, but these serve to, well, confess rather than create an artificial system of theology. And no matter the topic, they are properly understood as they were written and accepted, as being seen and formulated through the lens of Justification.

So we are all clear.

However, the main battles I think were fought over the question of Original Sin. That is, each of the above listed theologians had dissimilar views on the nature of Original Sin, and that view and presumption manifested in how they approached everything else, including their central principle.

So it is, in my humble opinion today around the various factions and divisions within the Christian Church. Your understanding of the problem drives your understanding of the solution.

If you believe that by your own cooperation and action you become a significantly better person through some level of an act of your will, that is going to drive how you approach the Christian life.  You may believe that if only you had slick marketing, you could “increase the Kingdom.” You might believe that if only you followed the newest, most radical, evangelism program you could “reach the lost.” You may even believe that if only you taught everyone to become “Sacramental Entrepreneurs “ that this would finally usher in a time when your evangelism efforts would finally bear the fruit that you so desire.

However, if you confess what the Lutheran Confessions and the Scripture say about Original Sin you might believe that, as the Small Catechism puts it “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.”

If that is the case, only a radical act of God can change anything. Only He saves. Only He sanctifies. And thus, only His Word and His Sacraments can offer anything worth offering.

 

Nov
25

Monergistic Evangelism

JesusChurchDoesntSuckI never cease to be amazed at how misunderstood Evangelism is in the modern Church. I mean, I get why; the reasons are part of the socio-religious history of the North American Christian experience as well as very much a part and parcel of human nature as expressed in our fallen state.

What it is: The literal delivery of the “evangel” (Gospel) to people.

What it is not: A means by which through your work and techniques you can convince, cajole, argue, or manipulate people into the Kingdom.

This is basic. I don’t mean basic in that it is easy or un-profound. Rather, it is basic in that it is fundamental. It is foundational. It changes everything that is laid upon it. Prior to having any conversation about what evangelism is, one must know what one believes it to be. And in order to know that, one must know how one believes one is saved.

For example, if one believes that one is saved through the completely unearned action of Christ, without any merit of one’s own – that is -by grace alone, then everything in one’s approach should reflect that. So, if one believes that salvation comes completely freely, then one must ask how that salvation is communicated to people.

We call that the means of grace.

Therefore, where the means of grace are, there shall be salvation, and aside from them shall there not be salvation. Follow?

If the means of grace are, say, Word and Sacrament, then it is through Word and Sacrament that salvation is distributed. To seek it elsewhere is thus to confess that one does not actually believe it is there in the first place, or at the very least it is not only found there.

The Scriptures teach us that God is found where He promises to be, and He promises to be where God gathers His children to distribute Word and Sacrament. He does not promise to be elsewhere.

Can you see the massive implications for evangelism methodology? Can you see how different takes on these questions would necessarily lead to different approaches?

If one does not believe this, one might seek God anywhere. God is omnipresent, He is everywhere, but the question is truly “Is He there in that part of creation for you?”

It is through His active will that the world exists. He is surely present in His creation. But what does this mean for those that seek God “On a mountaintop, in nature, in the experience of serving an elderly woman, etc.?”

The God of the Bible is a God who works through means. He always interacts with His people through those means. He feeds us, secures us, and shelters us through the means of vocation as we serve eachother; He allows birth and growth through the means of the natural processes He has so ordered, and He provides for the salvation of His people through Word and Sacrament.

But what if I don’t believe that?

What if I believe in some other theology of justification and the means of grace?

Well, I might believe that if only I have the correct arguments against evolution, people might be saved. I might believe that if only I could get the youth engaged in a kicking youth group they might not lapse in their attendance once they went to college. I might believe that if only we had a “better” service, with cooler music that people would flock to Christ’s banner. I might even believe that if only we had a really well-developed “outreach” program that we could bring a great revival.

I might believe a great many things that focus on me and my work, in fact.

Nov
24

Weak on Sanctification

SanctificationAn accusation often levelled at Lutherans in general is that we are “Strong on justification and weak on sanctification.” What that seems to mean when you engage the people making that accusation is that Lutherans tend to constantly talk about Christ, and how He saved us, how that salvation is given to us, and then they perceive a lack. At that stage they will typically ask for “guidance,” want to focus on “discipleship,” or flat out ask, “Yeah, but now what?”

I get that, as a recovering Fundagelical Baptiscostal myself I remember saying and being taught that “Salvation is completely free through the work of Jesus, but afterwards, you have to get to work!” It was a poisoned view of the Christian life that is completely focused and based on the Law. And let me be perfectly clear: If your focus is ever, ever, on you and what you are doing, it isn’t on Christ.

This led me down the path that so many tread when it comes to North American Evangelicalism, I converted, got fired up to a lot of folk-y easy listening version of rock songs with Jesus kind of in the lyrics that were advocated in the congregation by grey haired baby boomers who honestly believed that music that sounded like it was written for a 70s folk fest was what the kids of the Millennium would really be into, and set out with all of my enthusiasm to be the very best Christian I could be. I set to work. I worked hard, and I watched all of those around me work hard. We accomplished a tonne, our congregation grew and grew, we built a huge new building, added extra worship bands, had amazing youth group with tonnes of “unchurched” kids, and I personally invited dozens of people to come to church with me, and was so successful in my personal evangelism efforts, that we built a Young Adult group that was led by me and basically only had people that had become Christians through my work. It was a heady time, a veritable bacchanal of “modern,” contemporary Christianity and nothing could stop us.

Except, it did stop. Our Law driven existence started to show cracks, even as we smiled and refused to believe them. Bad stuff started to happen. People started to hit the wall. The congregation started to split into factions, then camps, then open warfare. People started to stay home, and so many of them renounced Christianity completely, seeing it as the completely works ridden exercise we had taught them in word and example that it was. And once they had had this watered down version of Christianity, they seemed inoculated from any further outreach.

I fell into despair. At some stage, no matter how hard I worked at being an awesome Christian, I knew that I wasn’t measuring up, no matter how many “Life Principles” or “Tips for Daily Living” I heard or how many conferences that I went to that promised to teach me to unlock the “Spirit” in our congregations towards a great revival.

Then the church finally split.

As I looked around at the wreckage and division and human destruction we had wrought, all in the name of Jesus, I found solace in Scripture, and a few mentors that pointed me in the direction of the Gospel.

I recovered, slowly. And as I did, I spent thousands upon thousands of hours poring through the Scriptures and theological texts of all stripes searching for the answer. I found it, it was there all along. I had always believed that salvation was a free gift, but had never thought about it that deeply, or mused the implications of what a truly free salvation would have for my life.

I studied sanctification…a lot.

This is what I found: Lutherans aren’t weak on sanctification. We are as strong on it as on justification. We echo what the Bible teaches us, if our focus is truly on Christ, we won’t even be aware of the work that we are doing. The work will flow naturally a freely from us. We see this in Scripture over and over again. In the Gospel According to St. Matthew, for example, our Lord addressed this specific question. When speaking of the End of Days, He speaks about when He will separate the sheep from the goats. But the fascinating portion of this pericope (Matt 25:31-46) is that neither the sheep nor the goats; those that worked nor those that did not, realised what they had done.

The Scriptures teach us that God reveals Himself where we least expect it. It is a Theology of Glory, focused inward at our sinful selves, that looks at the work we are doing, or even have left to do and exclaim, “If this gets done, God will be pleased!” A Theology of the Cross simply looks to Christ and sees what is done already.

So what is the “practical application” of this? What does Lutheran sanctification look like?

On the ground it looks like two things: vocation and worship. The Holy Spirit acts in and through us always, as we “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess 5:16-18). You see, praying without ceasing is not something we are yet to do, Christians always do that. We are in constant communication with God. We couldn’t help it if we wanted to. As St. Paul writes in his Epistle to the Romans, “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26-27) We are called via the Holy Spirit to our vocations. And how do I know I have the vocation for something, is it whether I have the spiritual gift or am feeling led to that thing? No! If you are doing it already.

How do you know you are meant to be a Pastor? You are serving as a Pastor. How do you know you are meant to be a father? You are a father. A doctor? You are one. Up to the moment you are acting in that vocation, it is idle speculation that has little or nothing to do with the work of the Holy Spirit, God is happy to allow you to use the freedom of your will, such as it is, to exercise such decisions. But this work is the work of the Holy Spirit in your lives. This is sanctification. God has given you multiple vocations, do them well, take care with them, and by so doing, you are serving and pleasing God. Seeking after more “spiritual” works is a complete misunderstanding of the action of the Holy Spirit in vocation.

Further, and probably most importantly, sanctification looks like worship. It looks like the Divine Service. Remember why we call it the Divine Service, it is because it is where God through the Holy Spirit calls and gathers His people together so that He can serve them through Word and Sacrament. So sanctification looks like people gathering to hear the Word read publicly and proclaimed from the pulpit, it looks like the Pastor proclaiming that your sins are forgiven in Confession and Absolution, it looks like His children being Baptised, and also those same children receiving His Body and His Blood in Holy Communion.

If you look for sanctification apart from these things, remember that you are seeking Him apart from where He has promised to be. Remember that that is not only “unLutheran.” It is unChristian.

Oct
29

Bad Theology Hurts People or Why Joel Osteen Can Kiss My Ass

Surrender

I hate the theological Pablum and tripe that passes for quasi-inspirational Christian messaging in this meme-ridden Facebook age. I know someone out there is going to be offended by this. But take the example I have posted here.

This is not an outlier opinion, it represents mainstream Christian spirituality here in North America. But it is not only terrible theology, it actually does the exact opposite of everything it sets out to do.

First of all, it is meant to be inspirational. I can’t describe how much #FAIL is crammed into that little contention. What this is saying is that your life is not secure, it is your fault. Right? It’s not going to be God, because, that is too scary to behold, but things are pretty shitty right now, so if I am not secure, it must be that I haven’t sufficiently surrendered to God. Right? It is basically theological victim blaming. Raped? Your fault. Abused? Your fault. Starving? Your fault. Depressed? Your Fault. Facing death? Jesus take the wheel!

This is an application of Law to a people that desperately need the Gospel. As Martin Luther wrote in his 1518 Heidelberg Disputation, “The law says, “Do this,’ and it is never done. Grace says, ‘believe in this,’ and everything is already done.”

This kind of theology not only harms and brings unneeded suffering to the people it is directed at, but it establishes a doctrine wherein your sanctification and justification are made into the fruit of your works, rather than Christ’s.

If your view of the “victorious life” does not begin and end with a battered and humiliated Jew dying the death of a tortured criminal, it is not Christian.

Oct
24

We Will Not Be Intimidated

Vickers

Today my Parliament went on as planned. Our Prime Minister’s promise that “We will not be intimidated” was shown in action.

First, our duly elected Members of Parliament gathered in the House, and then reporters and staffers lined the Hall of Honour to await the hero of the day, Sergeant-at-Arms Vickers. As he processed in, wearing his traditional dress, he was met by applause in the Hall and then walked to the House doors, where he entered in under a thunderous standing ovation by our national representatives. Every Canadian is represented in that room, their applause was our applause.

Vickers walked in, placed the mace in its receptacle, bowed to the throne, and then walked to his traditional place. The applause never stopped.

The thing I was most taken aback by was that on his face was not the look of pride in a  job well done, not the look of a hero basking in his well-deserved praise, it was an emotional humility.

This is a man who throughout his entire career in law enforcement and security never fired his weapon, never took a life. Yesterday, he bore the sword in all of our defence, the very sword that he symbolically bears on his belt on our behalf. I am unaware of any example in the Commonwealth wherein the Sergeant-at-Arms was forced to take up arms personally to defend the House, and when he did it, it was done with surety and aplomb.

But he looked not proud, but a little sad at the attention. His little nods to acknowledge the praise were slow, as if weighted down with the burden of his actions.

We should pray for him. We should pray that he is able to come to terms with what he has done through his vocation.

Oct
23

True North, Strong and Free

Vickers

There has been an attack on the very heart of our democracy today. A gunman has killed, a gunman has engaged in a firefight in the Hall of Honour, and chaos reigned supreme for a large part of the day in our nation’s capital. It is difficult to process what has happened, and having just watched our Prime Minister address our country standing between two of our flags, I am simply struck by the symbolism of the event.

The first shooting was against a symbolic honour guard at our National War Memorial who was quite literally “Standing on Guard for Thee” with an unloaded rifle, keeping faith with our war fallen. What I love about this is that the first responder was a civilian that was just going by, a woman who just rushed to help her fellow citizen. That is what Canada is about.

And then when the shooter moved into the Centre Block, he was confronted and ultimately killed by Mr. Vickers, our Sergeant-at-Arms who to my knowledge is the first person to take up arms in defence of the House in a Commonwealth nation since it has been seen as a largely symbolic role. If that is not the case, please let me know. That heroism is Canada.

This attack was designed to scare us and drive us apart. It has not and will not. We are united in our resolve not to change what is good and right in us. Remembrance Day is coming soon and our national observance will occur on the very spot where the first shooting occurred, his all too real blood mixed with the symbolic blood of all of the others that have served and died for us.

But we remain the True North, Strong, and Free.

Oct
22

I Want to Create

Create

When I originally began this blog, I wanted to write about my passion, religion and politics. I started by trying to have the discipline of writing something, anything every night after work. Sadly, I started to slip right away. It was often too much of a hassle, and I got my communication fix mainly through Twitter and Facebook, where I could comment on quick news stories, begin conversations about topics I was passionate about, and micro-blog about whatever I wanted.

Now, however, I look at this blog and can’t help but notice that except for a small Crossfit related burst of writing that “sporadic” would be a massive upgrade from the amount that I am posting.

Part of it is because of the depression and burn-out that came with a long academic career and a journey towards the Pastoral Ministry that came to a sudden and disastrous end, for sure. But I want to do something now.

I want to create.

I don’t really know how I am going to do it, or what I am going to do, but I have to make something.

And I guess I want readers. I want feedback. I don’t know why, but I do.

I miss preaching in front of a congregation, and getting to create something that I thought was serviceable, possibly beautiful, and proclaim it. Homilies are, in the end, performance pieces. I did a tonne of work and then performed it, and in that moment of time I knew as I looked at faces what was happening.

This won’t be the same, writing sermons is such a unique craft and experience that I won’t get that particular feeling again, especially since a lot of it was carried by the weight of the importance of the task, the proclamation of the Gospel.

Well, back to watching an old movie that I love. See you again soon.