It was while descending from a hike up Elk Mountain in the eastern Fraser Valley of British Columbia that someone shared about his son, one of Canada’s finest trained élite soldiers, who had recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
His son said the movie Jarhead would be the closest to depicting accurately the kind of training our élite soldiers receive to fight for Western civilization and democracy in Afghanistan right now.
A friend and I that same night obligingly watched the 123-minute 2005
release based upon the true story of Anthony Swofford’s experience of
U.S. Marine life told in Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles,
published in 2003. The movie depicts the systematic brutalization,
bastardization, and “bellicosification” of the Marine recruit; the
choking out of every vestige of civilized attitude and behaviour. The
“jarhead”/Marine once emptied of all human decency (utter inversion of
“All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten”) becomes
receptacle for one all-pervasive value: to kill.
The name of Erasmus will never perish. -- John Colet
Erasmus has published volumes more full of wisdom than any which Europe has seen for ages. --Thomas More
What would the Christian Church be like today if the guidance and wisdom of Erasmus in the early 16th century had been followed rather than the reactionary protestant thinking of Luther or Calvin or the equally brittle response of the Roman Catholic stance at the Treaty of Trent? What is it about Erasmus that towers, Everest-like, above the lesser peaks on all sides?
A good two years ago, when God was walking me through a lot of my healing and restoring me back into his church, I always had a longing to be known and valued in a community. But I continually fought feelings of not being worthy or good enough. I had a ton of internal strife, wanting so much to be a part, an important part, but I felt so far from that and it left me thinking most of the time, why bother?
I know that my church has really stressed the "no hierarchy" thing and has been void of labels and the whole pedestal idea, inviting everyone to the table. But in truth I don't think you can avoid the fact that church leaders are seen as the ones who belong and who set the guage for belonging (especially through the eyes of a broken soul), even while they stress that all belong.
Bebb said, "That man knows his
history, Antonio. It's his special subject, and he knows it inside and out. He
reeled off a whole list of times and places where he said we'd met before. He
told about the days they had children eight, ten years old and up working in
mines like pack mules maybe twelve hours in a stretch till their pitiful little
bodies were nothing but skin and bones and they couldn't hardly se in the
daylight while people like me went on looking the other direction and preaching
they kingdom come. He told about the days they tore the living flesh off people
with red-hot tongs and broke their legs with hammers because they didn't believe
like they should about doctrine. He went on how those old-time crusaders used
religion for an excuse to rape women and raise hell and how back in slavery
times there was ministers of the Gospel owned slaves just like everybody else
and proved out of scripture it was the way things was meant to be. I don't
suppose there was a single miserable thing anybody ever did in the name of Jesus
that Roebuck didn't spell out chapter and verse before he was done. He enjoyed
it. You could tell from the way he worked his face what a good time he was
TEXT OF THE INTERVIEW WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY Source - NEDERLANDS DAGBLAD Aug. 12, 2006 / Wim Houtman - Editor
The Church is Not Inclusive
Since February 2003, Rowan Williams has been Archbishop of Canterbury, the
highest leader of the Anglican Church. He is unlikely to have expected to
preside over a split in the Church. He doesn't want that, but the controversies
seem to spiral out of his control. How does he see the future and what makes him
tick, what does he believe in?"
Gary Bauman, Bryan Ward and I left Abbotsford at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday August 20th, and we wound our way up the Sea-to-Sky and arrived at Whistler by 8:30. The lift did not open until 9:30, so we waited, swapped tales and anticipated the hike under the blue canopy and the heat of day star. We were, by 10:30, off the peak chair and on the wide dirt roadway. We dipped down into the valley, and it took us little time to bid adieu to the heights of Whistler and be on the trail. The older path took us up and over the Musical Bumps (Piccolo, Flute & Oboe), then down into Singing Pass. Many a pleasant ski run has been down in the powder of the Flute bowl.
Having read something inspiring this morning, I sit down once again to respond with my own thoughts. I seem to do this frequently, but my life is crammed with my four little kids all vying for my attention, so this probably won’t last too long. I will soon be called away and distracted and my thoughts lost with ‘more important’ – or at least ‘urgent’ things.
It has been an interesting summer for me. God has been speaking about embracing the suffering of others and ultimately of Christ. It’s not a pretty topic. It’s far from an easy topic. And it’s brought much conviction and many tears.
It started back in June. My husband was taking a course in the Gospels and his major assignment was to write a paper on the Passion Narrative in one of the Gospels. He chose Luke and thus began the journey.
My prophetic sense for the coming
year is in line with what many are saying and hearing: prepare the way for the
king is coming. Expectation and anticipation of the presence of the Kingdom is
appropriate for there will be an increase of the power of the Holy Spirit in our
midst. The whirlwind is coming; the wild goose is ready to begin running. The
Lord is teaching us about who he is and how he does things; he is teaching us
about the spiritual realities that surround us; he wants to give us wisdom and understanding so that
we are not people fascinated by power, but rather people who love Him first and
foremost. Then he can trust us with the deeper things of His Spirit.
COV&R PRESENTATION, May 31-June 4, 2006, Ottawa, ON Canada
by Wayne Northey
“The king asked the fellow, ‘What is your idea, in infesting the sea?’ And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, ‘The same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I’m called a pirate: because you have a mighty navy, you’re called an emperor.’ (Augustine, 1984, p. 139).”
It is fascinating that the inventor of the utterly non-Christian(1) Just War Tradition(2) in the West, one taken over wholesale from “pagan” Cicero and others, Saint Augustine of Hippo, should tell such a tale that not only gives the lie to all ethical state exceptionalism(3), but to any ethical difference between the collective called “Empire” or “sovereign state”, and the individual.
Excerpts from an open letter written by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam to Abbot Antony Bergen (addressing Emperor Maxmillian), 1514. Cited in Erasmus and our Struggle for Peace, by Jose Chapiro (Boston: Beacon Press, 1950).
Isee great movements arising. . . . May the favor of God calm this tempest in Christendom. . . . I often wonder what drives—I will not say Christians—but men to exterminate one another like madmen at the price of such effort, such expense, and such risks. What do we do all our life long but wage war? Not even all animals fight, except some wild species. And even they fight not among themselves but with animals of a different species. Besides, they fight with their natural weapons and not with machines in the invention of which we employ an ingenuity worthy of the devils. . . .