Archives For Advent

19th-december-2016-023Here’s how a committee meeting between Herod and his advisers might sound, if such a meeting were to take place in a Western context today.


This baby in a manger is a threat to us. By his very existence in this world, all the power structures that surround him stand unprotected. He is a threat to our safe spaces.

This whole nativity; the event of the Christ-child being born is a conservative conspiracy. It is violence against everything we stand for, which is justification enough for violent suppression. It stands as an outright repressive assault on everything we’ve built.

This is blasphemy. We’ve heard of the academics that cheated you. Wise cracks who refused to give up his location.

It’s their kind that hinders us from completely implementing our social programs. The structures we seek to replace with our own. The ones we want to tear down, the ones we’ve told everyone is “for the good of the people”, our erosion of those structures. All if it will all be brought into question.

Our collective’s survival rests in our ideas dominating these higher learning stations. Those who still have sway with the young, and yet betray us must be purged.

We must rally people to take up arms against this heteronormative oppression. The masculine he, the male Christ-child, the nativity scene itself, is an idea, constructed to further the chains of bigoted societal norms.

At its heart is a war against phobic misrepresentations empowering archaic social constructs, designed to unhinge us from progress. For the betterment of humanity; for our evolution, we must have control and influence of hearts and minds, which as we’ve agreed, has to happen first with our educational institutions.

That is why this strange birth; these chosen people; these breeders, are an assault on our humanity.

How dare this young woman choose to keep her unexpected pregnancy?  In doing so she stands opposed to our ideas of inequality and equality; of justice and injustice.

This must not go unpunished!

Their religious beliefs are phobic, sexist and irrational. So, we the committee applaud your decision.  We’ve even lined up celebrity endorsements to back us on how necessary and just this action is. This woman’s pregnancy and this prophecy is a farce, therefore this child’s life should be deemed not worthy of life.

If only she could’ve seen the freedom we offer her, the same freedom from the fetus we’ve given all women, you wouldn’t have had to act as you have. Mary is to wear the blame for forcing your hand, not you.

Therefore, let nothing sway you. You’re decision to wipe out males up to the age of two, will save us and make certain we have eliminated this threat to peace and our civil order. It is a surgical act of great compassion, liberating your people from imposters. We are the victims here.

Consider also that this woman’s choice disempowers women. If she gets away with it, what does our lack of response say about our pro-abortion policies and how will that negatively impact the millions in funding flowing into our feticide factories?

This nativity and its proclamation before everyday people is a threat to us. It will inspire ignorant non-conformists and counter cultural activists to disobedience.

Make no mistake, this child will work against us. He will stand as a threat to our factories, our causes, and he will take away our ability to convince the people about how necessary it is for them to have us in power.

This must not happen. The raising up of anyone against the glorious progressive collective must be met with ridicule, shaming, or gaol time.

We want our ideas to reign. We want a peaceful society in harmony with a peaceful religion. We want our people to be thankful for the live-life-our-way programs. We have no room for a Prince of peace; no room for a “King of Kings” who commands us to live life His way.

This is what real violence looks like! It is violence towards the collective. Violence against the state!

All who disagree with this are traitors, haters and infidels! Anyone not with us, is against us.

We’re told that the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled, that this child is a saviour.

The quiet proclamation announcing the birth of a Jew; a baby boy from Judea is ethnocentric; it’s offensive to other races. Yes, it propagates the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, but it threatens our power on the world stage.

This manger baby will lead a revolution. This Christ-child is a threat to us all.

Our leaders must not stop showing a unified stand against this blatant display of contempt for us.

Organise the outrage. Send out the murderous minions and shut down all this unlicensed good cheer. The party must not be seen to approve of this unsanctioned movement. Stop the early rumblings of this pathetic prophetic Christ movement.

You must act. Remember all who oppose you are as the tyrants of the past.

Long may our party, its leader and its ideas reign.


Notes:

This is a hypothetical response created for the purpose of highlighting how some in the West respond to Jesus Christ. How within that response rests a resistance to Him who still confronts us in our own positions of power.

For the recount of an historical response of someone in power to the birth of Jesus Christ, see Matthew 2:16-18

manger-with-yellow_jesusThe homeschool year has come to an official close. We’ve marked it for you by presenting our own arrangement of ‘Merry Merry Christmas’ from Colin Buchanan’s 2005 album, King of Christmas.

This song was a homeschooler pick. Consequently, they’re the acoustic guitarists heard in the mix. So, this arrangement was somewhat of a joint effort, and it shows some of our key learning outcomes achieved in 2016.

As for the quality of the vocals, forgive the not as-clear-as-could-be lyrics. I used an iphone to record the singing. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, though, because the song’s lyrics have been added to the video; and given the punk-esk lyrical vibe the words aren’t very difficult to pick up.

Like the other two songs we’ve done, I’ve added my own instrumentation including bass line, piano, percussion, lead and rhythm guitars. In no way is it a professional recording nor am I trying to claim it as such. The song is best heard through a headset or something with good speakers.

This for us is just pure fun; action directed towards the heart of God.

Feliz Navidad!

rl2016-christmas-letter-with-borderInstead of writing letters to Santa Clause, we write to the Grinch. The aim is to persuade the Grinch to give Christmas a second chance.

This is our second year of using such a brilliant, practical lesson in persuasive writing. [i]

It’s quirky and fits well with our homeschooling style.

I had another focus for craft last year around this time, which meant that I had to leave out the part where we get to make a Grinch face.  This year, however, I needed a craft-filler with some level of serious coolness, so it was full steam ahead.

If, like us, you haven’t sold your kids the line about Santa Claus “bringing nice things, only if you do nice things”, this is a real alternative to the Dear Santa petitioning.

Let me follow that up by saying that I have no issue with who the modern myth of Santa is based on. Nikolaos of Myra did exist. He stood by his convictions, made some mistakes, such as punching a heretic or two and gave to help those who couldn’t help themselves.  He’s my kind of Saint; the John McClane of all Christian forebears.

What I stand opposed to is teaching kids something that will cause them to question their trust in us as parents later on in life. If we manipulated them with the Santa line, it’s only right that they’d wonder whether there were other areas where their parents weren’t being completely honest with them.

This is as psychologically abusive as any Christian parent misrepresenting the fear of God in an attempt to encourage a child to behave.

Santa Claus isn’t the problem, the lie perpetuated by the modern myth of Santa is.It’s the packaging, not necessarily the content of that packaging.

For parents, teachers and homeschoolers, speaking the truth in love should be of paramount importance. Even when there are family members who might get angry with us for not wanting to become co-conspirators in what is, in all bluntness, an outright Westernised, excessively commercial, lie.

This may seem heartless. It does to some in my own family. I ask, though, isn’t it heartless to raise kids to believe in a lie; to abandon them to figure out the truth for themselves? Isn’t it heartless to misconstrue the truth and distort reality? Not just this, but then consciously employ that lie to manipulate a child’s behaviour?

Coming from a highly dysfunctional family, I’m more accustomed to the effects of this. I acknowledge that this has left me with a slight bias. For reasons other than Santa Claus, I’ve not only experienced it, I’ve also witnessed the harm done by parents who don’t tell their children the truth and instead lead them to believe a lie; the impact of which is made worse when that lie is used to control a person’s behaviour. It doesn’t end well for either the parent or the child. [ii]

If I am going to be teaching my children about faith and reason, these need to be taught with integrity. Believing in the modern myth of Santa Claus isn’t an example of what a faith that seeks understanding looks like.

There is nothing heartless in teaching our kids the truth about Christmas; teaching them about Jesus Christ and the fuller meaning of Christmas is part of a rounded holistic education. The nativity alone confronts our inhospitable tendencies, doubts, weariness and need for rest.

In answer to the charge that I’m simply swapping belief in Santa Claus for belief in Jesus Christ, I would say, no. The context is totally different.

To begin with, I’m not teaching my kids about Jesus Christ for personal gain. It’s a gift given to them to benefit them. It’s not something I’m taking from them to benefit me. Secondly, my sources come from authorised, written historical recounts about a real historical person. Thirdly, in contradistinction to neo-Pelagianism and some well documented bad theology, I’m not teaching them that they’ll get nice things, if they do nice things.

There is no anxiety about whether Santa is happy or sad because of their behavior. There is joy in a deeper learning about the immanence of God, in Christ, who is Immanuel [God with us]. One extended by the fact that on the 25th December every year, most countries in the Western World and the church in the majority world, join together to mark what is generally considered to be the birthday of Jesus Christ.

It unifies ethnicity and draws together cultures. It opens doors and hearts to the good news, has even prompted a ceasefire, brought respite to busy workers and seen both, rich, poor, king and queen bow equally before the one who is, and was, and is to come.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
– (Isaiah 9:6, ESV)

If choosing to do this makes me the Grinch or someone like a Dickensian Scrooge, so be it.

grinch-christmas-rl2016


Notes:

[i] How the Grinch Stole Christmas Persuasive Writing Project

[ii] Sir Walter Scott’s, ”O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive” from  ‘Marmion: The Battle‘ comes to mind.

Make It a Neon Navidad

December 24, 2015 — 1 Comment
 From my family to you and yours:

Merry Christmas drop shadow 2015 Rod Art NEWW_without drop shadow

In addition, here’s Toby Mac and Owl City’s, ‘Light of Christmas.’ As far as modern Christmas tunes  go, this is one of the best in that genre.

 

 

Christmas Cheer, 2015

‘We were once in darkness, in a kind of night, which was to be diminished by the growth of faith; that’s why, on the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the night begins to be encroached upon, and the day to grow longer. So, brothers and sisters, let us keep this day as a festival; not, like the unbelievers, because of that sun up there in the sky, but because of the one who made that sun.’
– Augustine, Sermon 190. 395 A.D

 


 

Source:

Augustine, Saint; Doyle, D & Hill, E  Essential Sermons New City Press. Kindle Ed. (p. 251).

Dear Mr.Grinch,

December 11, 2015 — 3 Comments

GrinchHere’s a pretty cool end-of-year activity for homeschool.

The general idea is to write a persuasive text trying to convince the Grinch that Christmas needn’t be dismal or not worth celebrating.

I only used the premise of this idea as a finisher for the day. There is, however, an activity packet available on Teachers Pay Teachers (link).

This is what our youngest came up with:

Border letter to Grinch Without name

“But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
(Jesus, Luke 18:16-17, ESV)

 

The Glow Of Holly

December 10, 2015 — Leave a comment

Holly_project_without sprayclip projectWHITEtagged

……………………………..In all the winter in our woods there is no tree in glow but the holly.’
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics 1905:50