19.7.03

The Theologian Guy at Cruciform Chronicles is in good company this weekend. Today's edition of the Sydney Morning Herald tells of another pursuit of a supposedly copyright name. Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Enterprises has been pursuing "dozens of small businesses with virginal names." One of the latest to be hit with a letter from legal advisors is Virgin Sumo, a rock band which plays in pubs here and is therefore obviously a real threat to all other businesses run by Branson.

Like our BG, Virgin Sumo also changed their name. They are now known as Kusai a Japanese word which, according to the band, means "something stinks."

Virgin's legal advisors say that they do make some exceptions to their pursuit of the name. Oh? They decline to prosecute the Virgin Mary or those marketing virgin olive oil.

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Here's another instance of inappropriate behaviour by a Christian. I was reminded of it by Richard's post at looking back... looking forward.

Some years ago I was in a bus travelling to a leadership meeting of the church I attended. I was in a very despondent mood and not looking forward to the meeting at all. For a week I had known about the affair which the pastor, a friend and colleague of mine, had had with a member of the congregation who was also a student of his at a tertiary institution. His wife was my best friend. Now the rest of the team was to hear what only two of us had known for a week.

The bus was crowded and as we went past the University of NSW, it became even more so. All seats were taken and people were standing. I must have looked as bad as I felt. A young student leaned over to me and started to tell me that if I were a Christian I would be filled with joy and would be laughing out loud with joy as I faithfully read my bible and was obedient in "witnessing." I replied that I was a Christian but that my heart was heavy.

She began to loudly upbraid me because of my attitude. "What sort of a Christian was I ?" she asked. She went on loudly and it seemed all the bus was listening. The fact that I didn't answer only fuelled her rebukes. "Obedience to my superiors would change all that," she suggested strongly.

The penny dropped at that point. I suddenly realised where she was coming from. She was a member of the International Church of Christ: A Cult in Disguise, known here as the Sydney Church of Christ, an offshoot of the Boston discipling movement. Salvation lies with them alone and with their mode of baptism. According to them, nothing else is sufficient. They are heavily into discipling and shepherding. They live in group houses and stress obedience to a superior. I know of people who have managed to extricate themselves from this sect, but with great psychological damage.

I realise she was probably only fulfilling her quota of "souls witnessed to that day," and I actually felt quite sorry for her. However, what she was doing was entirely inappropriate behaviour in those surroundings. She should also have been able to see that it was inappropraite for me at the time. In the end, I had to be quite rude to her to get her to shut up.

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Read about Jamie's forced name change here at Cruciform Chronicle. He's now known as the Theologian Guy, in response to a letter he was sent. I have read his blog intermittently but will add to my blogroll as a mark of support. I hope his blog's traffic increases enormously through this silly action.

I found out about this through Weblog Entry - 07/18/2003: "The Bible Geek" at Richard's connexion, although many others have also linked to it.

As one who was threatened with legal action last year, I support our theologian.

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18.7.03

I was looking this mornng at the blocks so far that Rachel has put together. See them here. So far, over 60% involve words on the blocks. Mine is one of those. I was a bit taken aback at this at first, but shouldn't have been surprised.

This is a bloggers' quilt, after all. We have in our community those who write professionally as well as those who write just for the enjoyment of it. Words come naturally to most of us. I know I would far rather write an essay than attempt to put together something more visual. I appreciate the visual arts, but have little ability in this area myself. Nothing ever turns out quite how I envisaged it would. Not only that, but I do not have the ability to rectify my mistakes. I can still satisfy my very young grandchildren with my drawings of houses or a cat, but I'm not sure how long that will continue. Even photography is somewhat of a hit and miss affair. Cameras and I do not co-operate very well. I have seen beautiful photography on many blogs and I give thanks for the variety which does exist among us.

I'm calling on those of us who do have talents and gifts in this area. Can the imbalance be redressed?

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15.7.03

koinonia
Why koinonia? I was thinking about Rachel'sidea of a digital quilt of blogs.
even when I maintained a diary-x journal rather than a blog, I felt that there was fellowship in this group pf people. koinonia means such a lot. It's one of Paul's often used words, along with some related verbs, in the book of Philippians.

It is fellowship, participation, sharing. Some would maintain that this is impossible on the net. I disagree. There are many whom I have never met but whom I regard with joy as fellow Christians. They come from many different backgrounds and I am enriched by their viewpoints. They challenge me, support me, comfort me, encourage me. I enjoy the interaction of their comments sections.

Such fellowship is different to what I may have with other Christians with whom I gather locally. I do not consider however that it is not still "fellowship."

Thank you to my fellow bloggers and may we encourage each other.

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13.7.03

My tribe? Cosmopolitan Modernists. Thanks to Richard of looking back... looking forward for the link. While I wouldn't agree with all of this, much of it seems like me.

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