Tag Archive: Repentance


A Coward Dies A Thousand Deaths

I’ve been thinking that about myself in relation to going back to church.  I have had the same battle every Sunday for three weeks.  I wonder if anyone else can put their hands up to being a coward?  I hear the preaching style and its content and I don’t want to go back, in spite of its historical place in my life.  At the same time I do want to go back.  But if we approach each other the wrong way it could explode in our faces, again.

I;m writing this in a hotel restaurant at 22.27 09.12.2012 UK time.  In Bulgaria it has just tipped over to Monday 10.12.2012.  I was reading in the Times yesterday, which I bought with a coffee, that President Putin wants to rebuild the old Soviet Union under another name, but that the West wants to avoid that happening or slow it down.  I was wanting to go back to Bulgaria ad buy there, but I’m not sure now.  I have heard that Bulgaria, of all the old Soviet countries, is closer in sentiment and politics to Russia than any of the others.  A lot of Russians buy in the country.  When Bulgaria first entered the European Union a Russian official expressed the wish that Bulgaria would be Russia’s Trojan horse in Europe.  There is an anticipated change in Bulgaria’s relationship with the EU scheduled for 2014 which is supposed to bring property prices into line with the rest of Europe.  What we have at the moment, if that is true, is a window of opportunity.  Opportunity for what?  To exploit the average Bulgarian who is selling at the moment at around 10,000 euros?  I can’t see how someone with self respect and respect for the people of Bulgaria could do that to them.  It seems quite a ‘sharp’ thing to do, to me.  After 2014 they could sell for more.

So there, I’ve committed it to writing, that I think it is just sharp business practice.  I wonder how people will feel if this re-establishing of the Soviet Union becomes a reality, if those who have bought will quickly get out.  If I buy and that happens, I won’t be staying.  I suppose he would want to go towards being closed, like before.  What about all the murders under the old communist regime, would they come back, or have lessons been learned?

I’m just writing, for no particularly good reason.  I told myself on the way down here that if I was repentant I wouldn’t be heading for a hotel to drink wine and download stuff.  I imagine David Shearman being angry with me and believing that he shouldn’t talk to me until he sees evidence of repentance.  Do I really want to go back to seeing the rest of the world as Egypt and ruled by demons?  But that is what the Bible says, that Satan is the god of this world, the ruler of the powers of the air.  I have felt loved by some of these people, rightly or wrongly.  I can see myself sitting happily in a congregation and rejecting everything.  I can see myself doing it, happily, it isn’t even a hope or a fear.

Repentance makes amends and seeks reconciliation.  What about everything I’ve said about not being able to be in church because they validate the mental health system and sometimes use it as a weapon or offend by taking it for granted, apparently, that it is right and that the person judged as mentally ill is rightly so judged?

I feel both sombre and happy.  I’m very tired.  Because of where I am at as a woman, every time I feel I have made a breakthrough in understanding how best to handle myself ad my relationships it also hurts deeply that I didn’t know before and then I feel unable to maintain any feeling of having made progress in any solid way.

That will do for now.  A bit more self-display.  It would not be so bad if it didn’t get into the wrong hands as well as kind ones.  Where’s Tommy Boyd?  He’s disappeared off the planet, by the looks of it.  I can’t believe he’s finished broadcasting for good.  It’s only his 60th birthday this year.  I thought he was more professionally committed than that.  He’s just gone, and I feel bereft, as well as anything else.  That sounds stupid and pretentious.  I’m also a bit pleased he isn’t there so I am not constantly infuriated.  I wish he was around for me because I feel I need him.  He was there once, when I sat with him in his car.  I wasn’t, I said no.  He pointed to his chest and said ‘I’M in here’ and looking back I always remember that as very touching and tender.  He didn’t seem to be trying to pull any tricks.  Every time I phoned up he said something to remind me of that night and it was too late, perhaps, that I realised it was possibly an invitation to talk some more.  Although how I could have done I don’t know.  If it was an invitation I didn’t understand that at the time.

 

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There is a passage in the Old Testament I have been worried about for some time now, and my unease with it and my gut rejection of it as basic, primitive and misogynistic has grown.

I can’t remember where it is, but I hope church leader readers will know the part I’m talking about.  I think it might be Leviticus or one of the first 5 books.

It says if a woman is attacked or raped and she cries out for help it isn’t her fault, but if she doesn’t cry out for help it is.  Something like that.  I might be remembering it too black and white.  I can’t find it quickly because I can’t remember the wording.

I don’t think there is any provision for if she is being threatened in any other way and is afraid to shout for help.  If she is afraid to shout for help is it still her fault, and does the fact that she might also be afraid for her own life or someone else’s so doesn’t scream mean the man is not to blame for his actions?  If she feels too threatened or confused to scream or register objection outside of the situation, does that mean the man has not committed an offence?

Also, it seems to be allowing a provision that the woman might have ‘brought it on herself’ or that she deserves it in some way.  If there is that provision, people who think that of her or who want an excuse to not get involved would ignore her and judge her even if she did scream.

I might need to look it up to get a better understanding of the passage.  However, when it comes to the way people act and react and judge and reason I’ve got it right.

Edit note: I just found it and read it.  It’s Deuteronomy 22.  If it’s in a field only the man dies because there was no one to hear her scream.  If it’s in the city and she doesn’t scream, they both die because she should have screamed.  That is if she is married or engaged.  So according to the law the man should get it both ways.

Should I assume that rape and violent threat didn’t go together in those days as they do now?  Should I assume that, because of the death penalty, if the woman had screamed the man would have tried to escape?  Should I assume that these good, law-abiding people would always have obeyed the law to intervene and put a man like this to death?  The prophets are always telling them that they tolerate things they shouldn’t.  Would they have turned a blind eye like people do today?  Yes, they would, at least sometimes.  The existence of law has never been a guarantee that people are going to obey it and that wrongdoers will always be punished.  And the Bible recognises that there is lawbreaking among leaders as well, and that they also act corruptly and irresponsibly.

Sometimes Bible teachers teach this kind of passage as if the existence of the laws meant they were always kept without question.  That is bad teaching and poor understanding because it is just not true.

If she isn’t married or engaged, and a similar situation is discovered, the man has to pay the woman’s father for the offence and marry her.  They say in rape a woman’s feelings are mixed. This might seem like a monstrous rationalisation, but I wonder if this is a provision to help her deal with these feelings?  For the man it is a punishment for the offence and maybe an opportunity for expiation.  Hmm.  There is no mention of what should happen if the situation is not discovered.  I suppose it assumes consent from the woman.  At least if it isn’t discovered no one can do anything about it.  So it’s probably just a practical observation.

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