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koffie_03_txtLaat de buitenkant los

Singer/songwriter Roald Schaap maakt een cd, boek en spel in één. De aankomende twee maanden kunnen de lezers van CIP.nl door crowdsourcing en crowdfunding meeschrijven en investeren in ‘Kerk Binnenstebuiten’. Hoe zie jij de toekomst van je kerk? Volg en reageer op deze serie van 6 artikelen van Roald Schaap.

Vertrouwen in de kerk gedaald

In de afgelopen week schreven veel kranten over het SCP-onderzoek Geloven binnen en buiten verband: ‘Het vertrouwen in de kerk is sinds 20 jaar niet zo laag geweest’ en ‘jongeren zijn neo-fundamentalist’. Grote uitspraken waarvan we ons af kunnen vragen of ze correct zijn. Wat we ook van die uitspraken vinden, we herkennen in ieder gevallen dat de kerk kleiner en orthodoxer wordt.
Het vertrouwen in de kerk is intern gedaald, maar ook de kloof is te groot geworden. Is dat wat we willen? We zullen als kerk onze fundamenten moeten durven los te laten om in gesprek te blijven met onze omgeving.

Experiment

Ik denk dat het nodig is om ons niet af te sluiten van de samenleving, maar om juist naar buiten te bewegen. Er zijn al veel boeken geschreven over de naar buiten gerichte kerk. Wat we volgens mij nodig is hebben is niet nog meer theorieboeken, maar hebben we een plek nodig om in het klein te oefenen wat we in het groot terug willen zien. Iemand die niet oefent of probeert zal eerder terugvallen op oude manieren en er niet in slagen om een grote uitdaging aan te gaan. Maar iemand die met vallen en opstaan kleine uitdagingen aangaat, is in staat op den duur grotere uitdagingen aan te gaan.
In een recent artikel met René Erwich zegt hij: “Sommige kerken weten onvoldoende wat er in hun omgeving gaande is. Door zelfonderzoek kunnen gemeenten leren om zonder angst te experimenteren.” En dat is precies wat we volgens mij de afgelopen 60 jaren onvoldoende gedaan hebben. In gesprekken met theologen en organisaties merkte ik dat het schrijven van een boek ons niet het zetje gaat geven om actief te worden. Met ‘Kerk Binnenstebuiten’ hebben we een spel ontwikkelt dat je speelt met je kring of vriendengroep, om zo spelenderwijs te ontdekken welke mogelijkheden er zijn om je aan je omgeving te verbinden.
Kleine beproevingen die je als groep doet, vormen je op een veel effectievere manier dan wanneer je alleen iets leest. In een groep is er een vangnet, gesprek en een veilige plek om door het spelen verder te komen.

Sub-cultuur Jezus’ plan?

In Nederland zorgde de verzuiling dat elke levensbeschouwing een eigen beweging werd, met eigen scholen, eigen kerken, clubjes en verenigingen. Na de jaren 60 heeft de ontzuiling plaatsgevonden, maar het lijkt erop dat de christelijke zuil zich heeft doorontwikkeld tot een nieuwe eigen sub-cultuur. Maar was dat de bedoeling van Jezus toen hij zei dat we het zout der aarde en het licht der wereld zijn? Er liggen geweldig veel kansen nu de samenleving door de crisis weer verlegen zit om mensen die zich inzetten voor de zwakkeren. Stappen wij in dat gat als kerk? Als we als kerk niet gaan mengen met andere sub-culturen zullen we de aansluitinggaan missen. Kunnen wij als kerk in het café met dartende bouwvakkers optrekken, samen eten met vreemdelingen en koffieavonden hebben met moeders in achterstandswijken? Kan de kerk weer inspiratie vormen voor kunstenaars, muzikanten en modeontwerpers?

Als de kerk binnenstebuiten gaat, dan laten we onze veilige buitenkant los, zodat ons binnenste zichtbaar wordt.

Denk mee en reageer hieronder! Als reactie op jouw antwoorden volgende week op CIP.nl een vervolgartikel van Roald Schaap.
1 – Hoeveel vriendschappen heb je buiten je gelovige kring? 
2 – Wat zijn de redenen waarom we ons als kerk bewegen in een eigen sub-cultuur?
3 – In hoeverre zorgt het vasthouden aan onze eigen fundamenten ervoor dat we geen dialoog meer aangaan met andersdenkenden?
4 – Durven je de kerkstructuren op te geven als dat meer contact met de buitenwereld zou opleveren?
5 – Hoe zie jij de toekomst van je kerk in jouw woonplaats?

lucht

Singer/songwriter Roald Schaap kreeg het opnieuw voor elkaar om in contact te komen met alle burgemeesters van Nederland. De burgemeesters reageerden positief op het voorstel van Roald om 5 mei geen luchtalarm te luiden.

Lees het artikel op nrc.nl 😀

GFor the better part of a decade I suffered from a chronic mystery illness that was attacking me from the inside out. Countless doctors and specialists couldn’t diagnose me, couldn’t give me a name for what was happening. They told me it was all in my head — that I could pull myself out of it if I just tried harder.

After eight years of sickness, a doctor handed me a slip of paper. On the paper was the name of the disease I had been fighting; the disease that had been fighting me.
I wept with joy.

I had a name. The symptoms were real. I did have a medical condition. I was not doing it to myself.

Because of the name, I found out I was not alone; there were thousands of other people dealing with the very same condition. Because of the name, I discovered community, support, resources, and treatment. Because of the name, I recovered.
Because of the name, fatigue and pain are no longer a way of life for me.
Which is why I am giving a name to a spiritual condition that is even more real and more dangerous than the disease that robbed me of my physical health for many years:

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.

PTCS presents as a severe, negative — almost allergic — reaction to inflexible doctrine, outright abuse of spiritual power, dogma and (often) praise bands and preachers. Internal symptoms include but are not limited to: withdrawal from all things religious, failure to believe in anything, depression, anxiety, anger, grief, loss of identity, despair, moral confusion, and, most notably, the loss of desire/inability to darken the door of a place of worship.

The physical symptoms of PTCS — which may or may not be present — include: cold sweats, hives, nausea, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, rashes, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure — oh, to heck with it. The symptoms are as varied as the people who suffer them.

There are degrees of PTCS — maybe you can still walk into a church, maybe you can’t, maybe you take the long way on the highway to avoid the sight of a steeple, maybe you’re even standing in the pulpit. But the one thing we all have in common is that we crash into religion when we go looking for God.

And the crashing has left us with spiritual whiplash, broken bones, bruises, welts and lacerations. It has left us feeling alone and scared and suffering. It has left us with a boatload of internal and external symptoms the persons of spiritual authority tell us are all in our heads and would go away if we just had more faith.

Don’t believe them.

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is not in your head, and you are not alone.

When I tackled my own case of PTCS and blogged about it (http://thirtybythirty.com/), I received story after story — in person and via email and snail mail—from people who were suffering from PTCS. Our stories may be different, but the result is the same: we yearn for God without being bound by dogma and subject to spiritual abuse.

Though I wish I could give you an answer of how to recover from PTCS in 800 words or less, I can’t. (It took me a year and a crazy journey through thirty religions to recover from my own case of PTCS.) Each journey back to spiritual health is as unique as the person taking it.

But what I can do is hand you this virtual slip of paper stating the condition you’ve been fighting — the condition that’s been fighting you. I can tell you there are thousands, maybe even millions of us. I can tell you that I recovered, that healing is available, that God will meet you wherever you are or aren’t.

But most of all, I can tell you a name. Sometimes a name is halfway to healing.

Reba Riley is the author of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Humorous Memoir of Healing, Hope, and 30 Religions Before 30 (Chalice Press, Fall/Winter 2014). She may be reached for comment at rebecca@thirtybythirty.com. Join the PTCS group on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/groups/PTCSgroup/

Bron: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2014/03/its-called-post-traumatic-church-syndrome-and-yes-its-real/
Posted by: In: Algemeen, van alles 01 Mar 2014 0 comments Tags: , , , , ,

Elke dag zwaaide de 84 jarige Tinney Davidson vanuit haar stoel naar de kinderen die onderweg naar school waren, 7 jaar lang. Ookal reageren vele mensen niet op vreemden, zij zag ze staan niet alleen door een klein knikje. Elke passerende tiener krijgt een vrolijke zwaai en de grote glimlach van Mevr Davidson.

‘Ik hou gewoon van de kinderen’, zegt ze. ‘En ze kijken allemaal naar binnen, dus als ze toch kijken, kan ik net zo goed zwaaien. Zo is het begonnen.’

Nadat ze zich 7 jaar lang door eenvoudigweg vriendelijk heeft gezwaaid en gelachen, hebben de kinderen besloten om  een klein gebaar te maken naar haar…

Posted by: In: Algemeen, van alles 06 Feb 2014 0 comments Tags: , ,

Voor het nieuwe album ben ik op zoek naar de ultieme vervanger van cd, liefst wel een fysiek product!

Heb jij de creatieve oplossing? Een USB stick met muziek, een download code op kaart? Of zoiets creatiefs als deze knakker?

Ik ben heel benieuwd naar jullie ideeen. Moet het een pepermunt rolletje zijn met ingebouwde usb? Of gewoon een standaard cd hoes? Of vind je een download kaart net zo gemakkelijk?

Het vervolg op een oude blog van Michael Gungor, dat hij schreef in een opwelling, maar daarmee wel de spijker op de kop sloeg? Na het terugtrekken van het blog, bleef de blog steeds weer overal opduiken. Is de scherpe conclusie van Michael Gungor sinds 2011 nog steeds actueel? Lees hier de reactie van Gungor op het steeds weer oplevende blog en het stof dat het wederom op doet waaien.

The blog that won’t die

There is this blog that I wrote a couple years ago making its way around the internet again the last few days.  It’s a spicy little rant that I wrote on a plane as I was coming home from a long “Christian music” tour, and I was tired, cranky and sick of the copious loads of b.s. that I had continually encountered in the religious circles that I found myself in.

The blog was angry.  It wasn’t all that articulate or even very well thought through, but it did call a spade and some people appreciated that.  Of course, it made some people angry too.  Some said that I was arrogant and cynical, and maybe I was.

I ended up deleting the blog because, as I thought about it and discussed the issue through the next year, I realized some things. I realized that the issues I was upset about don’t just exist in the tiny bubble that I was living in.  They exist everywhere.  The issues I saw were just a small piece of fruit on a much larger tree planted within a much larger orchard.  I actually ended up writing an entire book about it called The Crowd, the Critic and the Muse.

So imagine my chagrin when my road manager told me a couple of days ago that people were texting him all day about that deleted blog that I wrote years ago…

Why is it that the CCM blog is by far my most “viral” blog ever?  Is it because it’s more true or honest than other blogs I have written?  I don’t think so..  Is it because the content was more informative than other blogs I have written?  No.  I think it is for the same reasons that football is more popular than the symphony.

Both a sports team and an orchestra are made up of highly skilled, highly trained, and highly rehearsed human beings working together for a common purpose. The great athlete and great musician have both put in countless hours of hard work and have achieved a level of mastery both mentally and physically of the ‘game’ that they are playing.  But symphonies don’t pack out stadiums…

So why is it that 50,000 people show up to the football game but only 500 show up to the performance of the Rachmaninoff concerto?

I think it has something to do with the fundamental difference between the nature of the goals of a football team and the goals of an orchestra.  An orchestra rehearses together to focus their talents into a single vision: the piece.  They work together to build something beautiful and grand.  A sports team also must learn to work together, but it is for the purpose of defeating the opposition.  The entire purpose of a sporting event is competition.  An orchestra is more like a construction team trying to build a beautiful piece of architecture together, while the sports team is more like an army trying to defeat an enemy.

When you’re team comes to my town, and my team crushes your team, I somehow feel powerful.  I am on the right side of the battle.  I am part of the winners and we are better than you.  You don’t get that at the symphony.  You don’t really walk away from listening to Bach feeling superior or powerful.  If anything, it is a humbling experience.  An experience of wonder and beauty, but not of conquest or tribal pride.

So, what does this have to do with my blog?

Well, what is it that made this particular blog get shared thousands of times and others get largely ignored?

In my opinion, the infamous CCM blog was not nearly as “beautiful” as other blogs that I actually spent time crafting and shaping.  It was an unedited rant.  Just guttural angst vomited onto a laptop keyboard.  Sure, I think there was truth in it, but I honestly don’t think it was the truth that made it spread.  It was the guts.  The blood.  The lines that could now be drawn in the sand.  Us. Them.  Those of us who feel justified in hating most mainstream Christian music.  Or those of us who love Christian music and see how much of an ass this Gungor guy is.  The battlefield was setup.  Now, go, kill!

I made the mistake of perusing some of the comments that were left on the reposted blog yesterday.  They get really mean.  Name calling and below-the-belt personal attacks on both sides.  Parental warning here.  Some of the comments below are not suitable for young audiences.

“I’ve never called you creative. A copy, yes. Clone, maybe.  Creative, no.”

“The real problem with the “Christian Music Industry” is that Michael Gungor is a part of it. Get a fucking life. Your are a joke just sitting around stirring up meaningless conversation. No one gives a shit about you or your opinions. Asshole.”

“You’re an idiot.”  

“Michael, without a doubt, from this post, you sound like an ignorant, stuck up oaf, attempting to veil your attempts at basin someone who violates a pet peeve of yours…”  

Where there is passionate blood shed, there is social media sharing.

My point here is that I think most human beings in our current mainstream level of consciousness are often drawn more to competition than cooperation, and the result of this is a world that gets divided up into camps of ‘us and them’, and the world is a worse place for it.  The reason that I deleted the blog was not because I was afraid of calling out the b.s. in the Christian music industry, but because I think the way I wrote it was a bit too emotional and narrow.

I say it was narrow because like I have said, the problem does not lie solely within the Christian music industry.  There are plenty of people and industries that wade behind the true innovators and pick up the crumbs to insert their messages into a previously alive creative medium.  There are plenty of TV shows, Disney movies, boy bands and pop albums that are every bit as soulless and zombie-like as the most generic Christian songs on the radio.  And there are songs that have been arguably been created within the somewhat imaginary “Christian music industry” that are full of life and innovation and soul.

So, in hindsight, I think this blog was too narrow and the emotion it was written in a way that lends itself to a fight rather than a discussion.  And for that I am sorry.

What I do stand by after the years that have passed since I wrote this blog is that there is too much fear in the world and we ought to create and behave from a place of passion, belief, and love rather than truing to homogenize, pander, and cater with our art. But while I enjoy making art with an edge that speaks against the things that ought to be spoken against and for the things that ought to be spoken for, I also want my art to be more like a symphony than a football game.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-competition.  Competition can be good fun and even helpful at times.  But here’s something that we sometimes don’t think about… Competition is not as effective in nature or in human history as cooperation is.

Human beings didn’t evolve to the top of the food chain because we are the biggest, strongest or fastest.  If competition were the highest rule of the universe, then wouldn’t you expect some sort of giant shark-dragon-monster at the top of the food chain that just easily defeats all of its prey with its venomous fire balls or something?  Instead, you have these relatively small, slow, and fragile creatures called human beings who can’t even survive a winter without fire, clothing and shelter.  Sure we can use our opposable thumbs to make weapons, but that’s not really what has made humanity thrive.  It is our developed ability to empathize, communicate, and cooperate with one another.

And this is not just about humans.  If you look at nature, there is love and cooperation everywhere.  Ants building cities together, whales forming families and clans that spend their whole lives together, parents sacrificing their own lives for their offspring, cells working together to keep life going… Cooperation towards a greater good can be found everywhere we look.  In some ways, the most “fit” are not the biggest, strongest and fastest but the the most empathetic and cooperative.

So why don’t we as a society value cooperation as highly as competition?  Why must there be a loser for us to be interested?  Why is the most boring part of American idol when all of the singers sing together?

Because we want blood!  

The result of this type of thinking are a world full of ‘us vs them’. A world plagued with things like concentration camps and bad religion and Roman arena games where thousands are slaughtered for the public’s amusement.  But is this really the kind of world we want to build?

Tribal, competitive thinking allowed for societies to develop certain helpful things through history.  But when these tribes start getting nuclear bombs, the world is in trouble.  I think we are at an important juncture of our development as a species. We either will learn to cooperate and empathize with the “other” or we will continue to try to conquer them.  And if it’s the latter, we are all in trouble.

You see this on a global scale, but you also see it down to a personal scale.  Down to a, “what should I post on my twitter feed?” scale.   The world we live in is built of small decisions. So what kind of world do we want to build?

I, for one, don’t want anything to do with drawing more lines in the sand between people.  I’d rather be a part of trying to erase them.

At this point in my life,  I have no desire to bash Christian music or anybody’s music really.  But I do still think we ought to be wary of the fear and b.s. that plagues not just the religious world but our

world as a whole.  My conclusion about the matter is this: spend your energy on things you believe in, and do them honestly and to the best of your ability.