Tag Archive: Judgment


The Halo Effect

I heard this term today on The Chase and decided to look it up, and I found this article on Wikipedia.  It’s quite extensive and I find it interesting.  It also talks about the reverse halo effect.  It’s a psychological phenomenon, it is claimed, in which a favourable or unfavourable judgment of the whole is based on one trait or aspect alone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect

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Dreaming

I keep dreaming about church, and they are always very vivid dreams.  Last night I dreamt about Talbot Street and David Shearman.  I dreamt he was having conversations for me to hear.  I wanted to ask him if he wanted to talk to me but I thought he might say no.  I dreamt about two little girls who looked exactly like Esther and Rebecca Shearman, but realised they might be their offspring or something like that.  I’m always really involved in the dreams and don’t like it if I am woken out of them by people banging doors or laughing or shouting.

There are a few ideas about dreams.  One is that dreams are symbolic.  Church is where most of my love and anxiety are.  I’m not sure what it can be symbolising.  Most of my actual anxiety at the moment is around finance and housing.  But church itself figures quite strongly in my thinking.  Sometimes I think I am going to hell.  Most of the time I think that, when I think about it.  My situation with church is so bad it burns.  At the end of my dream this morning I had some knitting and stitches were coming off the needle.  I asked my mother to get the needle and save the stitches, but she was getting it wrong.

My mum believes that the church is made up of people who love the Lord, to use her words, and that they don’t necessarily go to church, but they are the church.  For me it just burns and I feel as if hell has already started for me.  I’ve been told to stay away from the Shearmans, but Christianity is about forgiveness and that is inconsistent with forgiveness.  David Shearman was my pastor in my teens.  I think if I should be able to turn to anyone it should be him, regardless of the fact he has now stood down as senior pastor.  But he waved in my direction and said I wasn’t getting any of it.  I’m not sure why he felt he needed to do that.  It seems quite mean to me.  I find it frightening.

In a sermon called ‘Final Words’, David Shearman’s last sermon as the Senior Minister at the Christian Centre in Nottingham, David talked about a man who had come to Talbot Street several years before claiming to have a message from God that was to be delivered to the people and not run past the leaders first.  David would not let him speak without first telling him, and when he tried he was drowned out.  He left in anger shaking the dust off his shoes, literally, saying the Spirit had been quenched.  David or another leader said yes it had, but that it was his spirit, not God’s.  He went to another church where, apparently, he caused a stir, because he was allowed to speak without checking it out first.  Eventually the man came back to Talbot Street apologising and asking for forgiveness and David said of course he forgave him and said ‘let’s pray’.

What worried me was what David said next.  It worried everyone else as well, because it was followed by several seconds silence.  I don’t know that it worried everyone for the same reasons.  What he said was, ‘he didn’t live very long after that’.  It seemed to me that he was saying that God had judged him by ending his life early.  He didn’t say that, but the suggestion seems to have been there.  Someone said to him in the past that he had noticed that if anyone opposed David things didn’t go well for them after that, and David told him he had learnt a good thing or that he had done well to notice it.

The Bible has stories of people’s lives ending early in judgment, even in the New Testament, so it isn’t easy to oppose the idea of it happening today.  But I do think it is rather dark and unhealthy if David was putting that idea out in relation to himself, especially given that the man had come back to ask for forgiveness.  I also think it is dark and unhealthy to be trusting the church to new leaders with the impartation of such an idea as his parting gift and reassurance.

I’ve thought about this several times since hearing it.  It is only over the last day or so that I have thought I might have misunderstood, and read something in that wasn’t intended, but in light of what he said before it isn’t unlikely that I understood it right the first time.  And if that is what he is saying about a man’s death, it makes sense that that belief will translate also into how he treats the living.  Some of the living he treats as though they were dead, as do other ministers.  Faced with ministers who behave that way the ideas of love and forgiveness have become inadequate for resolving and mending relationships.  This has been my experience.

As well as this, I was in a meeting where he preached and talked about where God had said something like heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool, where is the house you will build for me?  He interpreted it as God challenging the hearer to build Him a house.  That didn’t make sense to me, although now I can see the possibility that that was the right interpretation, but I thought God was saying He didn’t need a house and trying to stop the would-be builder.  The only reason I am doubting my own interpretation is because we could be said to need a house in which to worship God in peace and safety.

Obviously, I would be the mad woman.

I just heard some of the talk going on in Parliament about nice despots.  That is the impression I got anyway. So I thought I had better say something in my defence before I am made to look a more complete idiot than I actually am.

Practically, despots are made, not born.  What has happened in this man’s life that kindness and respect, rather than censure and name-calling, just might put right?  Is an expression of love ever wrong or inappropriate?  After people fight me down over my anger, even if it is an appropriate feeling, I still end up loving them, even feeling I like them, but by that time so much has been said and done it is a much more embarrassing feeling for me.

But then there is the stalking of which I am constantly aware, so that obviously affects the way I relate to people.

Practically from my point of view, my softness on Gadaffi might be for two reasons.  I only say might, the only information I have is what is thrown at me, I don’t know him.

Reason 1.  I don’t know my history (even if I did I might want to approach it as a therapist, not a judge).

Reason 2. My life has been filled with despotic/insecure/silently-wounded authority figures that people have insisted I should love, respect, obey and be grateful for.  My father, my grandfather, some of my teachers, some of my Church leaders?, some of the police, some of my psychiatrists and other psychiatric staff, neighbours, landlords, employers, fellow employees, some media people.  Etc, etc.  To me, both verbal and physical abuse and assault have been involved, and slander and defamation, and I was still expected to live with it and told it was OK, that the law allowed it, or they didn’t mean it, or it was just the way they were, or to get over it because it was a long time ago, or no one cared to give me an answer anyway.  Much of this has affected my life in negative ways, some of them irrevocable.

So those feelings which I have been brainwashed and tortured into feeling, the rationalisations I have been forced to adopt, are transferred to world despots, and I feel sympathy for them.  Or a sense of duty towards them.  I suppose sympathy, if I feel in any way filial, or identify with them in their despotism and what might have shaped and railroaded them into that.

I can’t write anymore.  The woman in my personal torture-chamber upstairs is murdering my thoughts and emotions and leaving me feeling so desperate and like minced meat.  They are violent and invasive and disrespectful of my privacy and harassing. Am I a target of evangelism, or is it milk the Anglichanka, or what?  Here Anglichanka, me , Anglichanka, I’m a baby bird, feed me, I’m good.  Don’t know.  They are violent and very personally invasive.  And I can’t think straight.  They are grabbing at my life and emotions like children with toys, sticking needles in me and sucking out the nectar, and saying I have to go to them to get it back.  That is how it feels.  Enough already, they insinuate themselves into everything.

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