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Sunday, May 30, 2004

stealing in the name of has an article on Christian music, and how that Christian teens steal music through downloads too.

As if that’s surprising. Why should those in the Christian music industry be surprised, after all the Contemporary Christian Music industry is run no differently to the secular music industry. Oh, that’s right, its owned by the secular music industry who bought CCM out to make a buck. Money is the main focus for record company executives within CCM.

John Styall, (former?) CCM Magazine editor and current Gospel Music Association president says, "We went into this study wanting to learn more about our young consumers and how their faith intersects with this vital issue. We were somewhat surprised to find that it does not."

Well, what he really meant was, "We are wondering whether we were being ripped off by teenage Christians, that's more important than what our comsumers believe".

I wonder how some of the CCM musicians faith and desire for ministry intersects with the issue of making money. Not that I think there is anything wrong with making lots of money, but when you say one thing on the stage - like " I really want to serve God" and another thing to reporters, like saying " I'm in it for the money" - as one famous CCM musician you have all heard of said to me a few years back. You’ve got to ask what is the motivation among some of the musicians, let alone the recording companies. Some of these guys are a bit like musical televangelists - give the audience an hour, take the money and then immediately take off to the airport.

Don’t get me wrong, most CCM musicians I have spoken with over the years - and that's many of the ones that have toured NZ over the past 10 years or so - are sincere and want to make a difference in people's lives, not just their own pay packet. But the number of artists raking in money in the name of God, whilst sidelining ministry is increasing. Cut the pay packet and then see how many would be touring to far off places like New Zealand.

Also, I got an email from amother blogger the other day after my comments on clergy abuse. I told him I was merely addressing some issues. He replied:

i don't think you're addressing issues, i think you're taking a cheap shop(sic) at an easy target...if you want to highlight issues in relation to ministry; then tackle some real issues- burnout; empire building; money

Well, I guess I have tackled money in ministry. One day I may even tackle gossip, or accountability. Those in pastoral or high profile ministries have a greater tendency to be publicly caught out if they sin. Fact. And if clergy and CCM artists were more accountable, they would be less likely to have affairs and get involved in sexual abuse.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I'm busy

I am still here. I am working, I am studying, I am writing assignments. I don`t have much spare time. I am tired. I have been catching up with other blogs and media outlets. I've been sick. I was asleep for 20 hours on the trot earlier this week, I am blogging, previewing tomorrow's budget.I went to a farewell party in the weekend. I am spending time with my family. I am spending time with my wife. I am running the pub music trivia evening tomorrow night at the pub. It will be 100% NZ Music. If you are in Wellington, come to the Ferrymans bar tomorrow night at 7pm. You may win a prize, a CD, a DVD, a bar tab. Say hi.

I must be busy. I will be back. I appreciate all your comments. You are valued.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Culture of the moral negative

I got emailed this article recently on how America has become the culture of the moral negative.
It points out that a moral negative exists when right and wrong - moral light and dark - are reversed. When this moral negative dominates thinking in a society, you have a culture of the moral negative.

It also points out that most of the 10 commandments are negative - "thou shalt not".

What happened to loving God and loving your neighbour, the two positive commandments. Is there anything wrong with that? Yet in New Zealand, loving God is seen as a bit irrelevant and loving your neighbour is seen as being tolerant of and accepting of diversity.

When Christians speak up about morals, it's normally in reaction to what they see as immorality of other people. Thats why you dont see to much clergy comment in the media on masturbation, peadophilia - unless there is a court appearence of some sort - and adultery. Many clergy are doing it too.

Let's highlight the positive rather than telling people what not to do.
After all if you spend all your time doing the dos, you wont have time to do the don'ts, so you won't because you can't, therefore you don't.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

this is just so worth reading

I found this post on a message board Scroll down to read a story written by a person honest about the church. Honest about its failings. He's gay. Talks about Church culture and tries to compare it with the gospel. Finds out that much of the culture does not match up with the gospel.

Read it. ONe person said "This is the best thread of discussion I've seen...on any message any time....for any reason". ANd I agree.

What happened to loving your neighbour - that's what I wanna know.

PM Blog

I mentioned the Prime Ministers blog a while back. It seems to have died. Perhaps it is as a result of being a "victim of her own success as a competent and popular Prime Minister"

However never fear - check out her new blog called Popular and Competent It's much better, but I get the feeling Helen Clark doesn't write that blog either.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

gay marriage

Is finally happened, and both gays and Christiansare celebrating. No bride, groom, husband, or wife, though. Too much has been written on same sex marriage. I`ll stop now.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Feeling lucky>

Here's something for you to do - type "Dave the Rave" in Google and hit "I`m feeling lucky" - see where you go.
Then type Dave the Rave in again, and enter.
I didn't know Google liked me so much.

Saturday, May 15, 2004


Met with my Member of Parliament today - who so happens to lead a political party.He opposes the Civil Unions Bill but will support much of the Omnibus Bill. Both bills are due late next month. MP's in most parties are uneasy about these bills. Both are being redrafted which is causing delays in getting these bills in the House. The vote will come right down to the wire, just as it did when prostitution was decriminalised.

However the majority of the Christian community does not understand the proposed legislation and many leaders are commenting on it before they've even seen it. Most are against relationship equality. It's annoying to see public comment based on complete ignorance.

We have a budget May 27, which will assist low and no income families like no other budget has done - but don’t expect it to happen at once, we have an election next year and much of the assistance will kick in then. I was fortunate to be filled in last week on the proposed changes. My lips are sealed, but my pocket is ready.

However what amazes me is that many Christian leaders will complain after controversial legislation is passed. But in New Zealand, they are so politically naïve and ignorant of proposed legislation, policy and political issues of concern. Is that the case in the States, in Aussie and in the UK?

They should really get informed or keep quiet.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

too busy...

Too busy to blog here at the moment, I`ll be back, but read this instead

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Prime Ministerial blogger

Hey, our PM has a weblog.Helen Clark is a blogger. Her site is here.

What I find interesting is that, if you don't use the "read more" buttons, it is remarkably similar to the dullest blog in the world

She must have had a hard month, she hasnt blogged for a while.

Friday, May 07, 2004

The H bomb

Justin and Dan have discussed gay marriage lately, with interesting comments from Christians and those in the gay community.

Hamo has also talked about relationships in relation to the church.

Keith asks on Justin's blog "Why is homosexuality the tipping point for the church? Matt. 23 talks against divorce, even stating that it can lead to adultry(sic). Where's the call for celibacy to those whose marriages fail? And where is the legislation to block people from divorce and remarriage, except in certain extreme circumstances?"

I`ll tell you why. Many church-goers who are actively against homosexuality don’t often have many homosexual friends, and don’t understand issues relating to homosexuality. Furthermore they see it as a greater sin than other moral issues like prostitution, adultery, and fornication. If the church wants promote celibacy as a good option for gay Christians, why doesn't it make it a good option for single unmarried heterosexual Christians? The reason, is that heterosexual couples can choose to marry, homosexual couples cannot.

And, where are the church leaders who criticize homosexuality in one breath but say nothing about divorce. Divorce is more of a sin than homosexuality. In fact, homosexual orientation is no more of a sin than heterosexual orientation, is it? Maybe homosexual practices can be seen as sin. Jesus said more about divorce than homosexuality. Are they keeping quiet about divorce as so many Christian leaders divorce, and homosexuality does not affect heterosexuals?

FWIW Guy Barnett wrote this in the Australian a while back, favouring the codifying of marriage as between a man and a woman,saying mariage is not a "fashion that is to be updated" ,and a couple of days later Rodney Croome responded in his article discussing "politics of prejudice and division".

Perhaps Christian leaders should promote marriage, then oppose divorce, then provide views on homosexuality, along with other sins instead of just focusing on homosexuality.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Old, single and gay - forgeddit!

Green flame posted this interesting article on recruiting for pastors a while back. Most people looking for a pastor want a young man, married to a wife who will be willing to go on church committees, and their kids will go to the Sunday school. And the more pastoral experience, the better.

Apparently if you are over 40, female, gay and unmarried, you`d find it tough to get a job in a church -well at least in the US. We have at least one such woman just down the road from where I live. And she's got kids and a partner. She goes to a church where sexual orientation is not an issue - nor is the lack of a fundamental theological belief.

If you want to be an evangelical pastor in the US, make sure you are male, married to a compliant submissive hard working stay- at- home-except-when -on -church-committees wife, have a couple of beautiful children and don’t have any undesirable hobbies, eg: clubbing, surfing or smoking.

Otherwise, make sure you are a Catholic, heterosexual, single and celibate, and you may get to be a priest. Age is irrelevant, most priests in New Zealand are older than 65.

This is not a hierarchy competition - this is blog; bloody blog.

On Friday April 30, I posted an entry about hierarchy, importance and pecking order in blogdom. I named Andrew Jones as one having humility. I wrote this post as there are many blogs that are perceived as "popular", and fit into one of the categories such as church leaders/missionaries, authors and theologians. I had a few people in mind that fitted into one or more of these categories, men and women.

It never occurred to me that this person fits into most categories, and apparently values his networks - until he wrote a comment in the blog entry,

i started a blog to express myself and build my own links ... not to engage in a hieararchy ( sic) competition. i encouraged you to blog …. cos you were articulate and i thought your voice should be heard. i thought this was about speaking, not climbing some sort of ladder?

He's right.
But I think I caused offence
That was not my intention.
Perhaps I should have reworded it differently - and included the church in general.
Perhaps I should have named women who I think are credible, humble and church leaders.
Perhaps I should have highlighted some of the very good blogs I have read from those who are not seen as "popular".
Perhaps I shouldn't have written the post at all.
Perhaps I have the potential to be misunderstood. To rub people the wrong way. A bit like the OT Prophets. A bit like Andrew Jones, except I wrote about pastors. not girls.
Perhaps that’s just a consequence of treading the jagged edge of truth - walking the barbed-wire fence between the church and the world.
Perhaps I should just concentrate on my other blog so Christians don’t get pissed off with me. Religion is more offensive than politics, it seems.

Then again…
Perhaps I should keep writing and challenging people from where I sit.
Should I stay or should I go now?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Read the Sunday Star Times this weekend

For those of you in New Zealand, we are to be interviewed for a follow-up to this story in last weeks Sunday Star Times. They`re gonna take our pic as well. The SST is the biggest weekly newspaper in the country.

It's the first time I've been approached - well for a major paper -and having done so many interviews, with associated pictures, in the past as a journalist, it would be interesting to see how it is from the interviewees perspective, and the other side of the camera..

For those offshore, you`ll probably be able to access it online, in which case I`ll blog it, if the story - and pic - is up to scratch.

Isn't it weird how this comes less than a week after my post where I implied - but not necessarily said - that the Christian media pretty much ignores me, but as for secular media.....

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

What a dickhead

Some people, who claim to be evanglical christians, and in ministry, can make real dickheads of themselves by being plain abusive.Check out TJ's blog for example. A person who runs this site, among others, abused TJ by email so much she's given up blogging. He did a google search, found her and gave her a hit. That sucks. It sucks so much that I feel like emailing the guy and giving him an earful - well, an e-mailful.

But that wouldn't be all that Christian , would it? So the least I could do is blog it, and link it, just in case you want to give some money to his "ministry" and support the costs of his Internet connection. After all, he is on the lookout for some support " if you are so inclined".

Saturday, May 01, 2004

This is so FUNNY

....well, its actually a bit least I thought it was. You have been warned, though...Thanks to David Hopkins for the link