I don’t wanna sound proud and I do.
I’m building my own world right now.

A world without houses, but with homes.
A world without streets.
A world without passenger cars.
A world where 4-10 people live on 13m², with a living room of 148,939,100,000,000 m².
A world where one can work from anywhere in this living room.
A world with a space station moving in this spacy living room.
A world without furniture.
A world without DVD player, desktop PC, notebook, PDA, TV, alarm clock, mobile phone, landline phone, SIP phone, dictaphone, remote controls, MP3 player, stereo music equipment.
(That’s due to convergence.)

A world with brothers and sisters around, not just acquaintances or “just” family or just nobody.

A world where you know your Father and why you are around here.

If you are interested, keep tuned.

Some day, a HowTo will appear here which explains how you can build such a world. It has 90+ pages now and needs some more 🙂

Update as of 2011-05-09: The “HowTo” finally made it online and can be found at my “Documents: Main” page as the EarthOS document. Note that it’s called “idea pools” as I simply lack the time to finish and polish all that … . If you like the idea, check out Open Source Ecology, a group pursueing a similar approach, but they got practical already.

 

Just some minutes ago (on this 2007-09-30) I got the message that
somebody I knew for
some years before I moved to my current place … has
cancer.

This life is no fun, essentially. Morbidity is 100%. Whatever you or
I might be doing right now, it is for sure that it will end at our
death or even before. Whatever there might be, death renders it
senseless. So, face this: death is the most urgent problem in this
life. As it is the ultimate threat to all life, to our very existence.
So to deal appropriately with this life, our foremost activity is to
fight death. Find a way out of this senseless vanity!!! Even
sacrificing a “normal job career” for removing death is surely worth
the effort.

Now, is there any way out. People invented different religions to
imagine there is a solution, but it quiets our mind while our body
dies. People invented medicine but it prolongs time while our body
dies. If there is any hope here, than by Jesus. Who is said to have
died and resurrected, that is, to have conquered death.

Which makes the activity of fighting death to be concretely the
activity to check if Jesus is right, and how to overcome death by his
grace. Oh guys … I want soooo much to be absolutely, absolutely,
absolutely sure about Jesus conquering death, and my eternal life. How
to be? How to be? How to become sure? How? Jesus lived 2,000 years ago,
and I live 2,000 years later. How to overcome that distance? How to
overcome the problem of historic proof where it is even impossible to
know what exactly I did yesterday? Jesus is said to live in people’s
heart. But that is no proof as we even don’t know what “heart” is,
actually. And what is man, actually?

Sigh … . I remember all this fact based, truth based relating to
Jesus’ resurrection that I find in the four Gospels and the Letters of
Paul, John, Peter, James and Jude. What value have these reports it in
this time? I cannot refer myself or anybody else to any kind of
experience or recent report of it that could serve as
justification for a faith in the Gospel.

Sigh … . It seems that my life task will be to face death. And
find eternal life to be the present of God. And find how to be
justifiably and confessably sure about this and to tell other people
about this. We’ve gotta remember the severity of life, that is: it ends
by death (or worse, eternal death) unless you have eternal life for
sure. There’s only this one thing left to place into my life. Getting
assured of my eternal life, really and justifiably sure, perceiving
this to be the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth. Then, to
tell people about what I’ve found.

Folks!!!! You cannot expect people to convert to a God that is only
in your words!!!! You guys must be able to show God to them, make them
sure and let them experience that God exists and acts today. And forget
all these light, subjective, emotional and psychological “proofs” for
that. Real, “hard” works of God are needed here. Things he
does, not just your words. Things he does, not just
your words. What does it help you or the people around you if
God is in your thoughts, heart and mind, but not active in your life?
How can you discern such a God from a mere concept????

Our God, Father. How can I explain your Gospel to somebody without a
proof for it? How can people begin to search and respect you, how else
if not by tasting your reality?? So show us, please, Dad.


Start date: 2007-09-30
Post date: 2007-10-01
Version date: 2007-10-02 (for last meaningful change)


Today (on 2007-09-29) I was having supper here in my little room and was currently eating a slice of bread with gammons, seasoned with some salt. When it came on me that I wanted to know how many ions, placed next to each other, make up one edge of one of these little salt grains I was seeing. This question had bothered resp. interested me at some times before: how small are atoms, measured by everyday objects, so as to get a “feeling” for the size of atoms. This time I decided that I wanted to know … .

Some quick research in the Internet gave the first results: in the ion grid of a crystal, the grid distance is the result of summing up the ion radii of both ions … an ion radii are measured thus that the attractve and repulsive forces of two ions are in equilibrium when placed in the distance next to each other that is given by the sum of both ion radii. For Natrium Chloride (Na+Cl, i.e. salt), the sum of the ion radii is 0.276 nm [Ernst-Georg Beck: Chemiekurs 2002, Kap. 2.1 Ionenbindung]. So this is the distance from the center of one Na+ ion to the center of its neighbour Cl- ion, i.e. the grid distance.

So now let’s calculate how many ions make up the edge of a 0,5mm salt crystal cube:

0.5 mm / 0.276 nm = 0.0005 m /
0.000000000276 m = 1 811 594 ions

How to imagine that numer? Imagine a square with 1.8 kilometers edge length, partitioned into 1mm² small squares. Then each square resembles one ion, and the big square the face of the salt crytal with 0.5 mm edge length. In my imagination up to this calculation, I would have rather thought of a square with 100 m edge length as an analogy, i.e. I thought that atomic structured were about 10 times larger.

Now, thinking of the way our body is made up of structured where single molecules matter (e.g. DNA), I marvel at God’s awful excellence in fine mechanics. He really an deal with structures of that size, while we have a hard time to even find an analogy for them!

BTW, this is the authentic picture from the rest of the slice of bread I ate when thinking about this salt crystal thing 😉


Start date: 2007-09-29
Post date: 2007-10-01
Version date: 2007-10-01 (for last meaningful change)

Some things have changed in this vision since last re-vision … umh, ok. It will be cool and humiliating and enlightening to see the differences when posting new versions of this mindmap in future posts … this thing is never finished, I think. And, this is my first image on this blog, bringing some more colors to it 🙂 Note that you need to click the image to view it in original, readable size.


Start date: 2007-09-29
Post date: 2007-09-29
Version date: 2007-09-29 (for last meaningful change)

Since 2-3 months I am occupied with demystifying my faith in God,
that is, removing “religious elements”. This article is an interim
result statement, summing up the main findings for your and my reference.

Demystification proceedings so far

  1. The creator’s greatness. It was argued that there is no
    “24/7 immediate company with God”, see “What
    kinda company with God is possible?
    “, “The
    third way of life in this world
    ” and “The
    cream white area of contact with God
    “. This is an effect of God
    being a so much higher being than we. Another aspect of the creator’s
    greatness is that his creatures are expected to be conscious of their
    createdness and live that out (see “Createdness
    and creativeness
    “).
  2. Humbleness as the essence of faith. See “Createdness
    and creativeness
    ” but probably also “Weakness
    strengthens the church
    “.
  3. The natural nature of the congregation. See “Be
    your congregation
    ” and “Natural
    transformation in the church
    ” and “Weakness
    strengthens the church
    “.
  4. The (mostly) natural nature of communication with God.
    In most cases, God communicates with us indirectly by the truth already
    revealed (see “Is
    wisdom indirect?
    ” and “Natural
    transformation in the church
    “) and not directly, concretely,
    individually (see “What
    kinda company with God is possible?
    “, “The
    third way of life in this world
    “).
  5. The natural nature of human happiness. See “Autarky
    escape from the hedonic treadmill
    ” and “Please
    define happiness!
    “.
  6. The natural nature of transformation. See “Is
    wisdom indirect?
    ” and “Natural
    transformation in the church
    “.
  7. The meaning of visible elements in the gospel faith. See
    Formfehler
    in der Beziehung zu Gott?
    ” and “Learning
    the Lord’s supper anew
    “.

Demystification effects so far

I just can write from my own experiences here so far. First of all,
my faith got much more justifiable – I remember when I was once unable
to argue with someone why I thought character transformation in the
church would be a supernatural act of God and not just education. Now,
I’d say transformation
is indeed natural
, but that does not weaken my faith. Instead, I
got a much clearer view what I can expect for a conformation of my
faith by experience: the contemporary miracles of God, which I’d really
like to document in the “Second Acts” project. The clarity here comes
from a conscious division between explicitly supernatural elements of
faith (miracles and where God indeed speaks individually and directly
to us or guides us concretely) and “naturally implemented” elements of
faith like transformation, communication with God by truth, the freeing
effects of truth, the nature of happiness, the nature of faith
(humbleness), the essence of the congregation and the symbolic-only
meaning of visible elements like the Lord’s supper and baptism. The
naturally implemented elements of faith are real and belong to faith
but constituate no experiences that justifiably confirm our faith –
they need not either, as there are enough miracles out there yet to be
documented 🙂

I’d also say that my relationship to God got much more relaxed,
stress-free and liveable by demystification. The insight that this
world is “my universe” and God wants me to live in it by myself,
equipped with the truth he reveals, makes it easier to cope with
experiences of hardness and unrighteousness that would before have
shaken my faith in a “good” God. Now, they’re just what happens in a
fallen world; God did not intend them for me and will not concretely
remove these things out of this world (in some cases) as he’s sure I
can (learn to) handle because he equipped me with truth and with his
Spirit of Truth.

And by a stress-free relationship to God I also mean that I don’t
have to force myself into communion with God by reading the Bible or
something. Religious exercises are a myth that mostly comes from the
idea of “24/7 immediate communion with God”. Instead, in this mostly
“mediate relationship” to God, I hope I’ll emphasize loving my fellows
much more in the future, as this is how I can express obedience,
thankfulness, worship and appreciation for God. And Besides, a
relationship just has the quality it just has, and I simply (try to)
accept the relationship as it is, knowing that God will succeed in
making this relationship unfeigned and good some day.

Demystification issues not yet addressed

This list contains, to my current knowledge, the issues I need to
investigate further before I’d think that my practical living with God
is non-religious and sound. At this point of time I will hopefully be
able to proceed to put the “Second Acts” idea into practice, which is
to document critically and objectively the supernatural acts God does
today, to confirm my faith and the faith of others. I know that
succeeding here and even being able to start this whole thing is not
dependent on my own creative power (what is this, actually) but on
God’s grace. The good news is, God is full of grace, so I
justifiably hope that this “Second Acts” thing will once be done!! And,
dear readers: you’re really really welcome to join me for this, so if
you share the same desire for seeing and soberly documenting God’s
contemporary acts, please let me know!

Now, the list of issues with (my) faith where demystification is
still needed to some degree:

  1. Marriage demystification. What is marriage in God’s
    view, actually? And what is the taboo-loaden human conception of it?
  2. Prayer. How to thank God for a meal without religious
    catchphrases? Probably, prayer is more about transhipping sorrows to
    God than to expect answers as from a wishing machine.
  3. The Holy Spirit. How can I recognize the admittedly
    supernatural stuff he dos within me? He seems to be
    perceivable as an “undirected positive force” in a Christian, but how
    to prove scientifically that others don’t have this that way and that
    this force is supernatural?
  4. The Revelation of John. How to deal with the symbolism
    of this bible book without introducing religious meta-physics and
    unverifiable exegetic myths?
  5. Decision finding. How to deal adequately with the
    freedom God grants us regarding concrete decisions? How to know where
    God indeed wants us to be obedient to some concrete hint or command?
  6. Objective view on miracles. Most contemporary miracle
    reports carry some religious bias, as opposed to the sober style how
    the bible documents miracles. So sadly, many miracle reports today will
    probably turn out to document natural phenomena only.
  7. Conversion. Is it a naturally implemented phenomenon or
    is some naturally unexplainable miracle implied?
  8. Who belongs to God? What is really meant by being saved
    exclusively by Jesus?
  9. Has the Bible supernatural effects? Is it the
    “supernatural word of God with strength of its own”, or is e.g. dynamic
    understanding of bible passages (i.e. an understanding which changes
    over time) a natural phenomenon which can be observed with other texts
    also?
  10. The theodicy,
    demystified.
  11. The subtle acts of God. I don’t really know what this
    will be about, but it deems to me that the greatest part of what God
    does today is subtle in nature and difficult to recognize.
  12. What means that our supply comes from God?
  13. What is the nature of God’s promises? Where does God
    promise average results, and where individual concrete blessings he’ll
    give?
  14. What does the devil and the demons really do? And where
    do we only thing they do something, while it is a natural consequence
    of this world’s quality, e.g. a bad coincidence? And, what is the
    nature of how evil spirits work: do they do evil concrete deeds, or are
    they an undirected evil force in people’s mind?

Start date: 2007-09-29
Post date: 2007-09-29
Version date: 2007-09-29 (for last meaningful change)

Yesterday and the day before that I thought about some commercial
activities I wanna get myself into. And I had to think about if that
sorta planning and intending is alright in God’s sight or not. As I
knew of some verses which say something hereunto but I wouldn’t
understand. Me thinks I got some better conception now. Here are these
verses:

(13) Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go
to such and such a town, stay there a year, conduct business, and make
money.” (14) You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your
life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
(15) Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and
do this or that.” (16) But you boast about your proud intentions. All
such boasting is evil. [James
4:13-16 ISV
]

The Int’l Standard Version cited here preemptively takes you on the
right track. Until yesterday I had the following conception based on a
German translation [James
4:15 GerElb1905
]: it depends on the concrete will of God if we live
another day, and God might want that or the opposite for us; and
likewise for what God wants us to do concretely; so only in the
incident when God wants us to live another day and do what we
plan to it will come to pass. To me, this now smells like folk
religiousness. Let me explain why and then conclude with an alternative
(and grammatically justified) translation.

Men’s duality as a created creator

God created the human being to be “his image” [Genesis
1:26 ESV
]. According to the verse just quoted this means that man
should have dominion above all other things in this world – just as God
has dominion above all things in the whole known and unknown universe.
Man resembles God in that the world is his universe. So man can be
called the “god in this world”, perhaps see [Psalms
82:6 ESV
] for that.

So man is in a complex relationship: in the direction toward God he
is the creature, and in the direction towards this world he is the
creator. As the creator, man can work and build and reach and govern
something; as a creature, he should know that he lives because of the
goodwill and grace of his creator. Sadly, his creator is invisible
while the things he can create are visible; which serves as a steady
temptation to deem oneself as creator only. Which obviously would not
be appropriate to reality.

Nonetheless, Adam tried it, and every human being since him: we
wanted to be just as God, a creator only, not just a humble creature.
It deems us unjust that God demands us to be humble creatures while he
allows himself to be creator only. But he does not! God is Father and
Son (and Spirit), and as such Creator and Creature in “personal union”.
So the error begins with the misconception of God when we want to be
“just as God”. What we want is to break “free” from love … we wanna
be egoistic, wanna have all for ourselves. This is not just confined to
the love relationship to our creator only, but affects also the
relationships to our wife or husband, to our children and to nature. So
the deepest cause of all of man’s problems is his rebellion … against
love.

But: there is no way except love; where there is more than one
entity, there is society, and society without love does not work.
Between complimentary entities, love is respect in one direction and
care in the other; and every human being has part in many such
complimentary love relationships, so cannot complain that this is
unjust. Human beings are to respect God as their creator, yet care for
their fellows; husbands are to care for their wifes, while wifes are to
care for their children (here, in their natural, worthy role as mother,
which is being closest to the children). Children are to respect their
mother, and wifes are to respect their husband, and husbands are to
respect God. In Paul’s words:

Now I want you to realize that Christ is the head of every
man, and man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. [I
Corinthians 11:3 ISV
]

So man’s task is to live both things out at the same time, in love:
being creature and creator. In the directions towards God this demands
just obedience to love, and humbleness before God (in the most positive
sense of the word) [Micha
6:8 ESV
]. A lack of humbleness towards God might be expressed by
explicit rebellion. Or it might be expressed by a lifestyle that is
intended to convey complete independence from God, so as if we’d be
immortal by our own virtue. James denounces exactly this lifestyle in
the concerned passage [James
4:13-16 ISV
]. As an example of explicit rebellion against God
(hidden in all kinds of God-independent lifestyles) let’s have a look
at what is said about Nimrod and the Tower of Babylon after the deluge:

(2.) Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront
and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a
bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to
ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but
to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness.
He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other
way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a
constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on
God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he
would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! and
that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers!
(3.) Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of
Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and
they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree
negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands
employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect;
but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built,
that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it
really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar,
made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. [Flavius
Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, book 1, chapter. 4, paragraph. 2-3
]

There are many more interesting considerations about how to deal
with our createdness adequately. For example, James advises to express
an adequate, humble attitude towards our creator in some way [James
4:15 ISV
]. How can we do this today, without resenting to the
stereotypical religious expressions or the folk religiousness often
found in prayers before meals. Or, what the “tree of life” in paradise
means here: in my view, there is reason to think that only regular
eating from this tree’s fruit guaranteed eternal life and healing from
injuries and illnesses; thereby man was remembered of being dependent
(ultimately on God’s favor) and had no self-immanent eternal existence.
While by eating from the “tree of knowledge” man expressed the wish to
be independent “just like God” (with the misconception about God
implied that we discussed bove). Another thought: me thinks the book of
Ecclesiastes is a big advise how to live our createdness out adequately
… look for example at [Ecclesiastes
3:12-13 ESV
]. What do you think, guys 😉

James 4:15 re-understood

Now here’s how I would explain the verse I misunderstodd previously:

Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to live (as
he does, but it depends on that), we will live — will hopefully
do this or that.” [James 4:15 explained]

That’s because I conclude from context [James
4:14 ISV
] that John just wants people to recognize and live out
their createdness, i.e. our immanent transientness which is extended
day by day by the grace of our creator. James does not want to say that
God may want our death, but we must be conscient that God
wants our life [John
14:6 ISV
; I
John 5:11-12 ISV
; I
John 4:9 ISV
]. And that we live beauce God wants us to and not
because we want to. After all, we normally die not from God’s will but
from sin and a sinful world, that is, from our wish to be independent
of our creator’s sustaining grace. And he does not want to say that
what we can do concretely depends on what God wants us to: but the
freedom to be able to do “this or that” comes from God.


Start date: 2007-09-27
Version date: 2007-09-29 (for last meaningful change)

In this post, I take you on a journey to a fictional church you’ll
love and to one you’ll hate. Then I explain a paradox: to become the
spiritually strong church you love, it must be composed of weak people,
in human terms; and to become the spiritually weak church you hate,
strong people are enough. Hopefully you’ll feel encouraged to display
much more of your weakness in church. Dear folks: let’s get authentic
again!!

A weak church made of strong people (fictional story)

You might say I am on an odyssey through the various churches.
You’re wrong. I just found no church of sufficient quality. It started
with that little Methodist church in my home town. From age age 16 on,
I started to serve the LORD in the youth group of that church. I was
determined to kick all that old-fashioned stuff outa that church as it
deterred my youth group and the people we invited. So when we were
allowed to conduct the service at Christmas Eve we did it all
different, playing with e-guitars, bass, drums, and dancing before the
church, introducing our new style. The young people who’d been forced
in here (“It’s only once a year!”) started to rave, and some of the old
people left. We had some wrangling around the PA equipment when the
vice pastor tried to unplug the amplifier, but succeeded to praise the
LORD without any traditional ballast during the worship time. In the
end, I had to do some talk with the pastor who argued that our kind of
excessive music was unbearable here as it tended to provoke an
excessive, ungodly life. When I started to discuss the matter soberly,
I was deposed from my yout service. When I started to speak about the
matter with various church attendents after the service I was termed an
heretic and got barred from church.

So I decided that those people were too stubborn to hear the
truth.
The right faith is not the part of all people, the Bible comments on
such occasions. It was hard for me to find a new church in my town as
the pastor had written letters of “recommendation” to them, so I moved
home. Next station was a charismatic congregation. Sadly they had
already many prophets and teachers, so there was nothing to do for me
(as regards the gifts I received from my LORD), and they wouldn’t let
me either. Next I went to Bible college and met some people from a
quite cute church, but they had untolerable (I mean, really
untolerable) views on marriage, viewing it as the only sexual
relationship
allowed by God. To make things worse, it turned out that the Bible
teacher at my college thought that way, too. I couldn’t believe such
religious stubbornness in beginning third millenium, so far from
freedom.
Discussions did not help here, we only agreed that God was on our
(respective) side only. So I
nailed 95 theses (version 2.0) to the college and church door and left.

Now I’m in a really big church and I learned something: the right
people must exceed in number or cleverness, or they’re lost. We’ve here
several councils and boards to discuss every single question of the
church. And I learned that it is just as in politics: you need to
partnership with those people who think alike, to stuff the mouth of
all these trash-talkers out there (as the Apostle Paul said). Fighting
for the Gospel is a hard task (foremost, to fight those religious
people in our church who emphasize a “personal, humble relationship” to
Jesus so much and tend to not respect our leadership as the Bible
admonishes them to do). But I’d say that fighting for the Gospel is a
rewarding task also … at least if viewed from an eternal perpective.

A strong church made of weak people (fictional story)

I remember these feelings when I left work today … ‘t felt like
roaming about for some hours, bearing the weight of my thoughts to
avoid these quarrels in Hypogeon. From us 20 who met there regularly
only 8 were left. Exactly those who couldn’t go elsewhere ’cause we
lived there. I remember that I walked around somewhat, sitting down at
that little sea we called the “mirror lake”. Tried to pray somewhat as
the air was all-too-empty. Asked the Lord what’d be a good idea to do
now. No answer, as usual. “You cannot leave me that alone, Lord. I jus’
dunno how to deal with that stuff … at this thing I used to call
home.” No answer. Perhaps I need none.

Perhaps I need none, I thought. Mmh. Perhaps the Lord thinks I
know
what to do. Perhaps he teached me in times past. Ummh … ok, then,
give it a try. The usual thing to ask is, what’d Jesus do. Well,
perhaps he’d go the undermost way. He humbled himself … I read that
so often. I remember sitting there, knowing the true thing to do, and
knowing that I was goint to not do it. I’d lurk about here, get me some
food lateron, lurk “home”, in my bed, and go to work tomorrow as early
as possible. No solution, I knew it. I suddenly thought of Daryl and
the crazy way we made it up with each other after that story with
Kacie. This flirtation thing got our little community always into hot
water … that time, we were both courting for Kacie. Daryl had joined
the Hypogeon recently, so I expected him to respect the friendships
already there. He did not. We did not talk a word ’cause of that. It
contaminated the whole atmosphere, so that Kacie did not show up for
the meals any more, to not complicate stuff further. Some of the other
girls joined her. Haig advised me to accept Kacie’s decision whatever
that might be, but I did not want to lose her. Not at all.

Then some Monday eve’ after Daryl came from a walk with Kacie, he
was sorta thoughtful, coming straight up to me, saying we should
probably talk. Jus’ ignored him. He waited for me next morning, knowing
I’d breakfast and leave the house for work earlier than all the others.
He told me that he had changed his mind, realizing that there were more
possible wifes for him than Kacie, in a world of 6 billion people. He’d
quit courting for Kacie, even proposed to fully withdraw from
interfering by promising to never partnership with her. I’d need some
days to realize his noble-mindedness was real … and it took me a good
deal of courage and some hard prayer time to finally make my peace with
Daryl. We then would sit in the book pool room, praying together about
the whole thing, confessing our pride to each other and asking for
forgiveness, praising Jesus for making such reconciliation possible by
his Spirit, and I even was able to pray that he’d find another good
wife. Daryl and me had been best friends the last few months.

Something generated the question in me: why should my “home”
dissolve about the present quarrels when it was possible to get over
this much harder issue with Daryl and me? Our present issue was with
the common purse … we had taken in Reko, an ex-junkie, Cheyanne, a
deeply depressed girl who was mistreated at home and an unemployed
couple from Brazil (Damian and Natalee), and at the same time three of
us had lost their job. From then on, we had “lively discussions”: some
wanted to kick out the newly arrived members, some wanted to get Reko
and Cheyanne to search a job (without success), some wanted to make
everybody return to an own purse, some wanted to dissolve the whole
community thing due to our regular “financial disasters”.

Thinking back about all the character-curing acceptance I had
experiences in the Hypogeon I got motivated to stay, whatever that
might mean financially. That was a big step, as I was one of those who
wanted to get rid of Reko and Cheyanne. Which meant I had something to
sort out with brother Reko and sister Cheyanne … no easy job, as it
is never easy to confess that you’ve been such an ass. Back in Hypogeon
I met them in the living room and got that job done … praises, Lord.
That kinda relaxedness that creeped in now was awesome: we prayed for
each other, them guys forgiving me in the name of Jesus, and Cheyanne
would thank God for a brother like me who’d have such a courage. Then
Reko swooped for a guitar and we’d improvise some songs … mostly
about the beauty of forgiving, and of course, being so totally forgiven
by Jesus. I got this impression of being loved through and through by
my Lord … an impression I had lost (or, given up) in our financial
worries. It’s a feeling of being accepted in a way you cannot get rid
of, by a person who is for you absolutely, honestly, unfeigned and
forever. And exactly this feeling was fleshed out in the Hypogeon as I
got to know it when I joined. That kinda love has had a deep impact on
me, and now was probably the time to show what I’ve learned. The time
to accept those four new troubled persons the way I was accepted. I
knew that the ice of this whole conflict had been broken by the
reconciliation of Reko, Cheyanne and me, and felt this community
atmosphere of “brutally honest authenticity” arise again, this
flow-state like area where it was everyone’s enjoyed business to
actively stake our reputation daily by letting our fellow members see
our weaknesses and letting them know our failures, and at the same time
earning the relaxedness and intimacy of such really authentic
friendships.

Explain this: weak strength and strong weakness

In physics, forces are discerned by their results. The same in
church: a “strong” force must be present where lives change to be more
like Christ’s. What comes to our find first are “strong” human
qualities: being assertive enough to get one’s way, or cunning enough
to win arguments, or numb enough to fight through heated quarrels, or
adapted enough to survive in a hostile world. These change actions,
projects, customs, organizations, even societies, every aspect of the
outer world. But not characters, not the inner worlds, not even one’s
own. So they all do not qualify to be the strength in a church. So
human strength let a church remain weak.

Such manipulative forces cannot change characters because there’s a
stronghold around each character: nobody can maipulate my thoughts, my
will, my opinions. I myself am in total control here. So the only way
to change my characters is when I open up the stronghold, when I agree
to be changed. That’s to lose my pride, to acknowledge my poor
character quality, to admit that I’m not in control of my life, to see
there is need to change, to admit all this to others, to accept
encouragement and correction. Let’s summarize: these are the attributes
of  weakness (the human term). Exactly those weak people make up a
strong church, that is, a church where lives change. So human weakness
makes a church strong.

In the Bible, such human weakness is termed humbleness. When people
admit that Jesus is right and they are wrong, they become humble before
God. Then, Jesus’ truth can change their lives because they will allow
it. Sadly, we can lose this precious humbleness: betrayed confidence in
humany and misunderstanding God’s actions make us return to our
character’s stronghold, rendering it unchangeable again. Then, let’s
remember what holy church we desire to be a part of, let’s desire that
holy character that makes us part of it, and desire again these changes
that make us this character. Changing is risky, inconvenient and
renders us vulberable, but it’s surely worth the effort!!

Humbleness is what empowers God’s truth in our lives and in our
church. So a humble person and a humble church are highly dynamic: they
change
from glory to glory. But a proud person and a proud church are highly
static: they don’t change at all. Instead, they think they’re healthy
and refuse the doctor. Just as Jesus said: “Healthy people don’t need a
physician, but sick people do.”
[Jesus in Mt 9:12 ISV]. Humble people, those who acknowledge their
sickness, change without miracles: a humble person accepts
plain truth because it is true, and heals. Such truth can be read in
the Bible
since millenia … no need for Jesus to repeat this to us personally
… and audibly. This means transformation is a natural phenomenon, as
argued for in the previous blog post “Natural
transformation in the church
“. Also, this post gave some hints how
to live out the dynamics of the humble church – Sunday services are far
from enough here. You will realize that this needs much courage, much
breaking of social taboos. But, simply do this, it’s the way Jesus
intended his church to be! Be strong here 🙂

Humbleness, illustrated

If you have some breath left for reading, here’s a nice illustration
of humbleness as the essential part of sanctification and even revival.
It is from Roy Hession who was inspired by the east-African revival
movement.

Add the quotation about “Jesus the door” from Roy
Hession.

Before I end this post, I need to get rid of a bunch of cute names
that I researched for the fictional texts. It would be awfully sad if
they get lost, so here they go, use them as it seems fit to you: Hannah
(f), Yakira (f), Yana (f),
Yonina (f), Kanya (f), Kaylyn (f), Danya (f), Qiana (f),
Raciela (f), Rebeca (f), Rhett (m), Cécile (f), Celina (f), Tam (m),
Abelone (f), Abegail (f), Agrona (f). 🙂


Start date: 2007-09-23
Version date: 2007-09-24 (for last meaningful change)