Tag Archives: life

Copyrighting Truth is theft and a crime against humanity!


edit: since my post initially wasn’t that clear about what I meant, I expanded it heavily, the new part is put in [ ]-brackets…
edit2: thanks to Stefania for assisting me in the tracking down and removal of a whole truckload of typo’s…

The title already says it all, and I don’t mean to attack anyone, but it makes me wonder about our whole religious publishing and music industry:

Copyrighting Truth is theft and a crime against humanity!

Any Truth that gives life cannot be our own property, but should be shared with all of humanity! Every grain of truth we stumble upon is not our invention, but something the Almighty has given us. To not give it away freely is to steal from those who need it as much as we do!

Jesus tells his disciples to bring the Kingdom of God:

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Mat 10:7-8)

What shall we think then of all our religious publishing?

So how can we as Christians put a copyright on anything that proclaims the Kingdom of God? How can we claim to own Truth about the Kingdom of God, and only give it to those who pay? Do we then follow Jesus more, or Mammon, the false God of the dire money?

Isn’t this blasphemy? All Truth belongs to God! Shouldn’t it be given freely?

Or don’t we believe in the importance of the religous messages that we sell? All those Christian books that promise new insight in the bible, new truths about God and how to live our life to the fullest, and yadda yadda yadda. If it’s true that we have this information, is it Christlike to charge money for it??

Or don’t we really believe in the importance and trancendence of what we have to tell, and treat it like any other information that can be told. Do we believe that God is more important than the things of this fallen human society, or do we believe that Mammon and the ways of this world which are imprisoned by that false God are more real than the gospel we write about, than the Truth we proclaim, than the Kingdom of God? I would say that

All Truth that matters belongs to God and is not ours to make money of, but ours to share in all possible ways to those who are spiritually starving in this postmodern world!

[So what do I mean? I did say 'Truth' should not be copyrighted. I don't say our books are the perfect incarnation of Truth. I may not be a big fan of copyrights the way they exist in this world, but when you write down your own story, it's evident that you are the owner of that story, and no-one else should be using it as a product to make money of behind your back, that's just fair.

One of the things I was thinking about when writing this post is a story I once read about Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, being sued by some guy who claimed that Dan Brown had stolen his theories about I think Jesus and Mary Magdalene living in France. Now, let's assume for a moment that this story is true... (it's not) Then the guy claims to be the owner of the truth about Jesus. We have a serious problem if the Truth would be owned by someone, and it would be even worse if that guy doesn't even care about truth, but sees it as a product to be bought and sold.

Like I said, if it is Truth, it is of God. It cannot be owned or controlled by us, and our motivation should be to share it with everybody.

So if you as a Christian have something that (you believe) has the power to bring people closer to God, you should make that available for all. That does not mean you can't make money for a living selling your books, but if you really believe in the power of what you have to give, and then make people buy your book, and workbook, and series of teaching DVD's, and put copyright notices on all of them with warnings that violators will be prosecuted by federal law and stuff, something does not at all fly well with me. If your stuff is that good and essential and life-transforming and yadda yadda, and you're only willing to give it to those who pay you, you're robbing people and ripping of God. And the result is more like some kind of scientology-light than the Kingdom of God...

So make your books, sell them, make it available, but if you really believe that you have something that's important for everybody, you will not only sell it, but also prompt people to share it. You will applaud it if someone else finds a new way of commnucating what you were sharing building on your work.

Because in the end; the Truth in there is not ours, it's God's! We, and our works, are just vessels, jars of clay in, and the treasure inside of us is much more than Mammon. ]

What say you?

shalom

Bram

laughing at God?


some songes make you want to sit in silence

like this one

it’s only a girl with a piano…

Lyrics:

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When its gotten real late
And their kids not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No ones laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No ones laughing at God
When theres a famine or fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke,
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When theyve lost all theyve got
And they dont know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize
That the last sight they’ll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No ones laughing at God when they’re saying their goodbyes
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told hell give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in hospital
No one’s laughing at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God when theyre starving or freezing or so very
poor

No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God

pro-life


I am a Christian. I try to follow Jesus, and sometimes I feel like a great failure in that. But sometimes I also see things that are called christian that are far far far away from anything I see in the words of Jesus, the bible or the tradition of Christianity. Like the (mainly american) use of the term ‘pro-life’. I am not American, so there is a cultural gap, this I am aware of and I understand.  But if the term ‘pro-life’ means just anti-abortion, and mostly in combination with pro-war, pro death penalty, pro-guns and anti-environment, you loose me. And everything I know about Jesus… Ifail to see what’s so ‘pro-life’ about it then…

Oh yes, I am pro-life, and I want to be more and more pro-life. In a more consequent and holistic manner I guess. Yes unborn people are people too, I believe that unborn children have the right to live. That’s something christians of all denominations and times stood for. The first christian writing we have, the didache’, already writes against it.

But whether it’s the state’s job to make it illegal I don’t even know, and I think if we really would be serious about abortion as christian we’d have communities who were ready to adopt both mothers and children. And we should live out the conviction that every human being is of unmeasurable value. But to just vote for the candidate who is supposed to be against abortion (though none of these ever made abortion illegal or changed much about the situation in america) and to make that the definition of ‘pro-life’ is bad rhetoric as best.

Life doesn’t exactly stop at birth you know. No, au contraire, birth is the beginning of human life as a seperate being. So I’m all for the life of unborn peaple, and of children, adults and elderly people. And I think we as Christians should oppose things that are anti the life of any human being. All life should be protected .

That means we shouldn’t kill people, and we shouldn’t support the killing of people. War is not something that brings much good most of the time. The first Christians were ready to die themselves for their faith (or for their loved ones) but never to kill. We shouldn’t use weapons meant to kill fellow humans. I know the pacifism debate isn’t easy, and that not everybody can accept the position of people like John Howard Yoder who hold to complete pacifism. But every follower of Jesus should accept that violence is alays an evil, even if it’d be the lesser of 2 evils… And that we are called to love our neighbors and enemies. I think that means not killing our fellow humans. (like one of the 10 commandments already commanded…) Same with death penalty. Especially with all those stories of innocents being executed.

A side note: the oppression of women, blacks or native americans (the real americans, whose continent is violently stolen by us white people) is totally against Jesus too, and we should oppose that with everything we are.

And there’s more life on this planet than homo sapiens alone. As a christian who believes in God the Creator of heaven and earth, we should take care of creation. We should not be cruel to animals. We should not destroy ecosystems just to make money.

Wat I just cannot understand is creationistic anti-environmentalism. If you believe that God is creator, then we should take care of creation. Destroying the creation in name of the ammighty dollar is a big middle-finger to the Creator then… Every species we loose is a loss, wheter one believes in special creation or evolutionary creation. It’s bad stewardship. We should care for creation if we take the Creator seriously.

The only purpose of the State that can be justified from a Christian viewpoint is to make it possible for all the people in the country to live as good and peaceful as possibble. There are no acceptable higher goals. The economy should be for the people, and the people should not be consumers to keep the economy machine growing. The lie of the need of growth should be abandoned for the economy of enough. There is no higher goal in power. the goal should be all the people living together in the counrty, even the ones we don’t like. And taking care of the country, the nature and the animals. None of the possible higher goals in politics I can accept as a christian.

shalom

Bram

dry inside after being soaked for centuries…


Once when I was in the Himalayas, I was sitting upon the bank of a river. I drew out of the water a beautiful, hard, round stone and smashed it. The inside was quite dry. The stone had been lying a long time in the water, but the water had not penetrated the stone. It is just like that with the “Christian” people of the West. They have for centuries been surrounded by Christianity, entirely steeped in its blessings, but the Master’s truth has not penetrated them. Christianity is not at fault; the reason lies rather in the hardness of their hearts. Materialism and intellectualism have made their hearts hard. So I am not surprised that many people in the West do not understand what Christianity really is.

These words come from Sadhu Sundar Singh, a unique person in the rich history of Christianity. He lived around the year 1900 and was a indian Christian holy man, who possessed nothing but a new testament, and led a rea christlike life. And how true and relevant his word still are if I look to my de-christianised country, or to my own heart and life.

I am not really a man of prayer. I don’t exactly follow Jesus with all my life, and most of the time I don’t even know how I could follow. How can I say that I do love God with all my heart, mind and strength, and my neigbor as myself? Do I even love myself? I can read all the books by the church fathers, the contemporary evangelicals, the emerging  church, the medieval mystics, whatever. It wil not necessarily bring me closer to Jesus.

He is Truth, and Light, and Life. And all those books, even the bible, can be a distraction. The truths of man are incomplete, only very dim we see, an vague is our knowledge… They are a finger pointing to the moon, and I’ll never see the moon if I don’t stop staring at the freaking finger. And I loose my way when staring at all those fingers, and listening to all those people who tell me where the fingers point to.

Oh God open my eyes to see Thee…

More from the Sadhu:

I never advise anyone to consult theologians, because all too often they have completely lost all sense of spiritual reality. They can explain Greek words and all that, but they spend too much time among their books and not enough time with the Master in prayer. … You must stop examining spiritual truths like dry bones! You must break open the bones and take in the life-giving marrow.

Auch!!

Let me see with the eyes of the Spirit, Lord; and open my eyes.

My heart is restless, it needs to find rest in You…

God have mercy upon me, sinner

shalom

Bram

blast from the past 3: Love is the first Law!


One last old blogpost from myself, but I think it is an important one… As a soundstrack I would propose the half-handed cloud album ‘we haven’t just been told, we have been loved’, but that one is not listenable on the internet as far as I know… (so buy it, it’s defenitely worth it!!) or my song ‘feelings say nothing’, see the introducing paragraph to my first ‘blast from the past‘ post (including the warning), since the post was named after the other title of that song. Another proposed song is the beautiful  ‘words can’t’ by my friend AdiVa which can be heard at her myspace.

wednesday, december 06, 2006
title: Love is the first Law!!!
originally posted on http://www.myspace.com/bramc
Love is the first Law, the first law of everything, the one that should be obeyed above all, even the first law of the bible: Both Paul and Jesus do summarise the whole law in ‘love your neigbor as youself!! If you love God, and your fellow human and yourself, then the law is fulfilled! If you just try to keep any law but have no love then it’s all useless…
The only way to really live is to give up yourself and give yourself to the other, and the Other!! Self-satisfaction does not satisfy anyone… If you seek only yourself, you will find yourself empty, but if you give yourself, you will live!!
Love is not just a feeling. It is much deeper than our emotions, our feelings are just an expression of it… Love can be also a choice we have to rely on when our feelings do not want to co-operate…
The other forces of this world are seeking the self and will finally end up in emptiness, like power and money. Sex is a lie unless you truly give yourself to the other, and do not take yourself back as long as you’re both alive… Love is the only thing that matters!!!
love and peace
Bram