Archive for June, 2004

Leaving

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Important note!

I’ve changed this entry quite a bit since I posted it, because I felt the tone I originally adopted didn’t accurately reflect what was actually going on, and that I was quite unfair on the church in question. I wrote it whilst I was feeling somewhat bitter about the decision I’d come to, and allowed this to affect what I’d written. I’ve now had time to think it through more, and spoken to an elder in the church about my decision; as such, I’ve revised parts of the article. Sadly, it’s not as sensationalist as it was before, but I think it’s more balanced and more accurate than my previous version :)

Firstly, I came across as saying I’d left because of policies and beliefs of the church contradicting with my own; while that’s true to a degree, that’s not the whole truth. I’ve known for a while that I was going to be leaving for entirely separate reasons, and I think this knowledge made me more sensitive to issues of doctrine and theology than I might otherwise have been. I’m never going to find a church which I agree with 100%, and anyway, that’s not the point of a church. It was time for me to move on anyway; it’s just my feelings about the direction of the church prompted me to make the decision to move sooner than I might otherwise have done.

After talking to a member of the leadership team this evening, too, I’ve changed the paragraph about other people leaving the church: they are very much aware of what is going on, and it has been the cause of much careful thought amongst the leadership. They believe, however, that as part of the changes the church is going through, some people – myself included – are inevitably going to not feel like they can be a part anymore; I understand what they’re saying, and so I feel what I originally wrote in that paragraph is probably a little unfair.

Anyway; now that’s out of the way, on with the entry:

End of important note

I don’t talk about religion or my (religious) beliefs very much here, because it tends to incite flame wars and namecalling – pearls and swine and all that sort of thing ;) But I’m going to now, so if seeing words like “God” and “Church” offends you or causes parts of your brain to short circuit and incites you to post things like “the crusades are all YOUR FAULT!!!!111″ in the comments, you might like to stop reading now.

I’ve been at my current church for about 6 years – since the end of my first year at University in Manchester. In that time, I’ve made many friends there, learnt a lot, and had my faith challenged and strengthened; but also, in that time, my church has changed a lot, and so have I. The differences in doctrinal belief between myself and my church became increasingly apparent, and that, combined with a number of other factors, has pushed me into making the decision to leave.

Over the last few months, a large number of other people have also left the church, including people who have been there for even longer than I have, whom I knew well and respected highly. This has been a further cause for me to reconsider my future in the church – whilst these people did not necessarily leave because they believed what the church was doing wrong, if the people who were important to me when I joined the church no longer feel a part of its future, it pressed home to me the fact I should be considering whether I should move on.

I’ve known for some time that my time at this church was coming to an end – my girlfriend attends a different church to me, and we’ve already established that it would be a good idea if we both went to the same place, and that that place was unlikely to be my church. But it is a shame that my departure should have been hastened by political issues – I’ve given to and received a lot from this church in my time there, and I’ll be sad to leave, but I really believe it’s time for me to move on.

One final point: Some of you reading this know which church it is I’m talking about here; if so, please don’t reveal the name – as I said, I’m not into mudslinging or trying to damage the church. It should hopefully be clear that I’m not saying that it is a bad church; simply that I am moving on, and that this has been hastened by the fact that I don’t believe I can bring myself to agree with its teachings and beliefs on a number of issues. I do not doubt that for a great many people it will continue to be a great source of inspiration and edification in their faith. It’s just that I won’t be one of them.

Things that are the same as themselves

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

This is a curiously interesting website for anyone with an interest in linguistics, mathematics and pretty pictures :)

Looncake

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Nayfnu invented a word. The purpose of this entry will be revealed once the experiment is over.

Stupidity

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

From “The Vault”, on ITV1, just now:

“Who preceded Tony Blair as the last elected leader of the Labour Party?”
“Iain Duncan-Smith?”

And this person is allowed to vote. Unbelievable.

Weather forecasting

Sunday, June 27th, 2004

Very few people get excited by weather forecasts; the English like very much to talk about weather, but only in order to complain about it. For the most part, someone actually telling us what’s the weather is going to do spoils all the fun of it. However, there are a small but select group of people for whom weather forecasts are a great source of interest and excitement: windsurfers. You might have gathered by now that I am part of this group; on a Friday afternoon, I can often be found trawling round weather websites, finding out whether (no pun intended) it’s going to be worth me strapping the board to the roof of the car.

So, courtesy of the latest issue of Boards magazine comes a link to theyr, which is possibly the most detailed and comprehensive weather forecasting site I’ve yet seen – apparently it’s the UKWA weather site of choice, too, and they ought to know.

Kaze Wo Atsumete

Saturday, June 26th, 2004

I finally got around to picking up the Lost In Translation soundtrack, using the HMV voucher which has been burning a hole in my wallet since my birthday. It’s just as haunting and beautiful as the film itself.

When I go to Tokyo to visit my brother later this year, I am going to put this album on my MP3 player and wander aimlessly around the streets listening to it, knowing that at any moment I am going to bump into Scarlett Johansson and that we’re going to go off and get lost and have crazy, beautiful adventures in a city we don’t know or understand.

It’s probably not a good idea to try and live your life inside movies, but sometimes I think it might be nice to just borrow a life on the other side of the screen once in a while.

There’s a speck in your eye

Thursday, June 24th, 2004

Irony, thy name is eBay

Quote: “I will also include instructions on how to spell even more words so that when you are attempting to punish your 13 year old son in a public forum, you don’t look like an ignorant redneck. [...] Proper grammar instruction, as well as sentence structure and paragraph formation, will have to be pursued through your local adult eduction classes.
Please, for your own sake and the sake of the English language, look into those adult education courses!!!”

“Anyone can benefit from this parenting CLUE, yes, even YOU!!!”

“Perhaps your child will find the prospect of getting up close & personal with Iraq, a little more sobering than the loss of his gameboy!!!”

Woke me up

Thursday, June 24th, 2004

Our house alarm went off for no discernable reason at about 7am today. There’s no-one else in the flat at the moment, ‘cos Jez is working out of Manchester at the moment; the door was locked, and the alarm wasn’t set. Just went off. I can live without it doing it again, I reckon.

“Oops”

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004

There’s something very wrong with this picture.

I’d love to write about something

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004

Work, home, sleep, repeat x5

I think I’m the only person left on the internet who doesn’t have a gmail address.