There is so much information thrown at you the minute you wake up. My husband at times dreams about living in a hippy commune, far removed from technology and crowded places. At this season of life, there is more chance for us ending up on the Moon, to be frank! Therefore,we have to continue with our extraordinaire, phenomenal, modern living.
And if Britons thought they were busy as it is, behold, the government threw a Referendum in! Can be a good thing, still… I don’t watch TV. Shocking, I know. My son feels blue at times that he can’t watch a football match, but then he picks up a football and goes out to the park. We are doing him a favor, won’t you agree?!
The first time I’ve heard about coming up Referendum was on the radio while driving. The conversation was heated,radio listeners are expressing their anger, intending to ‘put the government’s leaflet straight to the shredder’ as soon as it reached them. Suddenly it got interesting and held it’s interest for me ever since. What a emotional hysteria though (I haven’t even debated anyone publicly, not sure how they do it on a regular bases,well, some do end up with a mental break down) So, many citizens, such as myself, who were in the billabong of politics, got sacked into the main stream of it: multiple debates on national TV, if you do not have TV, you can catch up on the Internet or even while in a queue at the bank. You get the point – there is no escape! I can’t even begin to imagine how much time, energy and money had been spent on presenting the views, arguing about them and trying to persuade people one way or the other. It should be a simple thing to work out in our modern, information laden lives, should it? Except a small ‘if the politicians were …. feel free to express whatever seems right to you about them.
Here is my take on the referendum,from someone who is based in the kitchen, mostly cooking and cleaning, ‘a Proper and Proud’ housewife. I have to admit an easy access to the net of news had changed this role dramatically. You can also converse with someone as far as Australia or Indonesia between cooking a dinner and washing up. Some people you talk to are like-minded and it is so joyful,like finding 20 or 50 pounds on the ground( all depends how much they agree with you). Others, make you feel suddenly very small,insignificant and less intelligent. Sadly, I’m sure I have done it, if often not intentionally, nonetheless, at times I’m also guilty of that. Then I have to pause and pray. Repent. Such conversations are heated, achieving absolutely nothing for participants in those debates except leaving them hurt and angry and above all frustrated. Why did I just spent 2 days or so trying to present my point of view?! People of the net (especially friend’s of the friends you have no right talking in the first place) more often than not, are not open minded or willing to learn a thing or two. One, a rather ‘intelligent lady’, she said so herself,(I must agree with her there, if you don’t praise yourself, who will?!) pointed out that Christians are ‘brain washed’. All right, I ADMIT it. Yes, I have been brain washed…. by the TRUTH. Can’t imagine better deal, if you know of anything better going than Christianity, please get back to me, I’m willing to listen.
Let’s rewind to the very beginning. I’ve married a Briton. Prior to that I grew up in a Soviet republic of Georgia, Christian Orthodox since the 4th century; then spent six years in Christian Orthodox Russia. However, both places, politically were diverted towards utopian communism for seventy years after the 1917 revolution (you have to keep in mind someone from Morocco or Japan, for a example, doesn’t have similar historical background – I had many conversation with students from such places and at first I simply could not imagine that someone didn’t know who Moses was or what is 10 commandments?) three years in California in Bible college (a Christian bubble as it was called). So, in spite of socialism taking over and religious teaching, labeled ‘as opium for the masses’ by famous -you- know- who, I knew about the church and when the time was right God saved me right there in front of the crucifix, icons and candles. Truth that seventy years of socialism has done a lot of harm, and above all a thorough brainwashing. The conclusion is this – we are all brainwashed, but through different channels and means. But when you are brainwashed by lies, it can be undone. The truth-brain-washing always stays with you. Today I know that true and living God is at work, even in the darkest places such as communistic China or almost 100% Muslim country of Bangladesh!
But back to the politics! Before landing on British soil, naively, I knew absolutely nothing about it’s political parties or society at large (still don’t and the more I learn, the most I know what I do not know). Often Christians feel that the government is ungodly, so they tend to stay away from politics. It seems as a waste of time when you can be praying for the missionaries or being a missionary yourself. Rightly so, but it comes a point when you need to make a choice, for myself, I hate making ‘blind, being in the pitch black’ kind of decisions. So, at the last minute I try to squeeze tone of information and process it. Seriously, why did I laugh at my son when he said: ‘Mum, we have races tomorrow in school. Shall we go for a run today?’ I do exactly the same thing and I’m a grown up!
Recently, I had a few chats with a lovely Spanish girl, who became attracted to Buddhism. She is a theist, but to her divine power is just ‘a power’. She ‘feels it.’ I can’t imagine if God was just a power or a force. That’s why I think Christianity offers the best deal ever, it speaks of personal, approachable, friendly, all powerful, omnipresent being who longs for relationships with those He created. You can even dump all your frustration over politics onto Him in prayer. Hardly can do that to the ‘Power’ rather than a ‘Person’.
When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of Conan Doyle’s writings. During my teenage years I’ve watched all televised series of the Sherlock Holmes on Russian TV. Both of my parents had to go to work and built a ‘better future’, so I had a lot of spare time watching TV. It is still a fiction though, but gave me some idea of Victorian Britain: fog and men in top hats – ignorantly that was all I knew about Britain prior to my arrival there. God does display a sense of humor like that at times…I had a chance to fill a gap in my education for 16 years now! But when we finally arrived to UK,in my late 20’s, to this very small island (compare to Russia and America where I spend a few years living) in 2001, Sherlock looking men in hats weren’t walking around at the airport, not even his distant relatives who remotely looked alike! I might have been sitting in Indian airport with Hindu men and Sikhs walking about in pagri (turbans)!Thankfully, neither did the fog prevented the landing of the plane, for that we had to take a drive all the way down to the Sussex downs, our final destination. At the airport, while my husband was sorting out the language, I sat next to a Hindu lady with the red dot (meaning she had been recently to a Hindu temple). I was a more fired up believer back then, thinking ‘what a chance to wish her a happy Eater’, in her turn, she explained to me,that Easter is a celebration of Spring and new life, when bunnies hop around, so we get to eat a lot of chocolate. Little did I know that this was only a faint prelude to what yet was to come!
Every Sunday we took a fast train up to London for church. That’s where my eyes began to really open up. One Sunday,after a church service,my husband and I decided to visit Hyde Park. I was rather pregnant at that point, so getting away from the crowds sounded tempting. Except the crowd we fell in there was anything but peaceful. If you never been to Hyde Park before I will briefly explain what is happening there. In the park, there is a chunk of land intended for expressing opinions, where anybody and everybody can deliver, shout, proclaim – whatever your feel like on the day their views/political ideologies/religious ideas as long as you standing on some sort of stand, not bare ground! What a bizarre place if you ask, but, hey, that’s part of exercising ‘demos’, right?! The Muslim brotherhood was well represented there. (You have to bare in mind that this was 2001 and we didn’t have new computer with the connection to the Internet). I haven’t heard about individuals, such as Archbishop Carey and Melanie Phillips, who spoke about horrors of Islamism and pointing out that Britain being the hub of terrorism ( if this is of interest, read further Melanie Phillips, ‘Londonistan: how Britain is creating a terror state within’ where facts, numbers and events speak loud for themselves). We came alone with faith in Triune God. Standing there and listening to Muslim clergy boldly proclaiming about Allah and Mohamed, the only true prophet, being locked in that moment alone, you could hardly imagine Britain ever being Victorian with Christianity as a state religion. I guess time change things just as Russia was completely shaken up and thousand years of Christian Orthodoxy was wiped out in a matter of days…
However I was not prepared to just stand and listen. I was straight from the boat from Americas, if you ever came across American evangelicals, there is no one else like it under the sun. They will love you to ‘your death’ with the love of the Lord, they will tell you from the Bible as it is, they will smile the whole time and you have nothing left to do, but to surrender and receive all that they offer. True experience that is. So, I could not let them down, or more importantly the Lord who saw fit to bring us to this lovely, full or rain island.I’ve made a comment about my Christian beliefs to Muslim brothers. They weren’t prepared to listen or show respect, with a lot of noise and rude remarks,they shouted out insults and made me look like an idiot for even bringing up the name of Jesus. Of course, the fact that a woman was challenging them, only fueled their disgust. And the fact that I was heavily pregnant didn’t move them to be polite either!
Then, after I had my first child, I enrolled to Open University, an academic journey that lasted eight every long years. The ideology of ‘change and diversity’ penetrated through their textbooks every students mind. I could not understand then what I understand now it means, but it has made me suspicious I know that much. Sounded terribly familiar, I’ve heard it in my childhood, brainwashed by my teachers, ‘there is no God’. Really, for someone who doesn’t exist, you should do Him too much credit and energy disproving His existence!
What really was happening is clearly explained by Melanie Phillips in her bestseller ‘Londonistan’:
At a deeper level still, the underlying message in the classroom was that there was no historical truth at all,and whatever had happened in the past was merely a matter of opinion. Objectivity was bunk and so truth went out of the window – and with it went the ability to weed out lies. The educational system had been turned from the repository of disinterested knowledge to a vehicle for ‘anti racist’ and other propaganda. Instead of being taught how to think, children were now told what to think. The result was that, over a generation,Britain became less and less able to think at all.
At the heart of this unpicking of national identity lies a repudiation of Christianity, the founding faith of the nation and the fundamental source of its values, including its sturdy individualism and profound love of liberty. The majority of Britons still profess to be Christian…Yet Britain’s Christian identity is fast becoming notional. Few go to church;even fewer send their children to Sunday school. For the secular elite, Britain is now a ‘post-Christian’ society. It is so far not the case, but this elite is determined to make it so.’ Isn’t this prophetic, written in 2005, and now we have a ‘conservative’ Prime Minister who declared that ‘redefining marriage became the pinnacle of his career.’ Or no career in our government very soon, I do hope and pray.
Melanie Phillips words echo with truth for me when I look back to my time while with OU. My first year tutor denied any good that Christianity ever did for society; my second year tutor of English language that Tyndale’s Biblical language enriched every day speech, but he wasn’t too keen to discuss any further on the matter; for all of the rest of my tutors who criticized as ‘irrelevant’ when I’ve spiced up my assignments with quotes from the Bible or simply my opinion from the Christian point of view (perhaps I was a bit too zealous at times, not every time surely). It became very diverse and politically correct to the point that you can speak about anything at all, hmmm, as long as you do not bring Christianity in the view.
I’ve previewed what I wrote so far, it turned out to be mainly ‘a snippets of the personal opinion’ and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I really wished to say… But the bottom line is this, as believers are passing through this world, we are on our earthly exodus, it is like going camping, you can’t wait to get home in spite of beauty of the scenery and nice weather (definitely has to be in Corfu for that). While ‘ignorance is a bliss’,some knowledge of politics and our leaders is good, as long as it doesn’t drag us into insanity…. We must guard our heart. That what I find so very attractive about Jesus. Imagine, the one who created everything, turns up in a human body and His own subjects turn around and call Him ‘demon possessed’. What does He do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Doesn’t even answer them back. Wow! What a being, what self control! Plenty to learn from that….You will ever see that on the TV if you have one.
I will never forget how one homeless man changed my view about them. My husband asked the church what is the capital on Tanzania? He was about to travel there before his trip there. The answer was shout out: ‘Dar es Salaam.’ Did you know that?! Imagine, this came from a rough sleeper, who happened to be there that morning! I was proper ashamed cause I didn’t have a clue. After that incident, my interest and curiosity grew immensely towards the homeless. Turned out, that particular man was involved in politics, but had a mental break down. He cancelled his social security number, any benefits, perhaps didn’t even have an identification any more?! You also hear about doctors in the news who are, in vast numbers, committing suicides. Just yesterday heard a speaker who explained why people drink. He pointed that we are so depressed without knowledge ‘why am I here on this earth’ that we drink ourselves silly to forget this constantly present thought, trying to have a good time while it lasts. This sadly happens to a non believer who does not lean on the everlasting wisdom of our Creator and His victorious power in us for effectively productive life while in our exodus on earth…
In conclusion, back to the point on the referendum. We all can’t be right with our strong opinions and it is expected from everyone to have convictions. We just can’t be not always sure who is wrong and who is right and demand that our way is the only way.
I know in my heart, as a believer in Christ, that the saddest day in Britain ALREADY took place, the day Prime Minister, David Cameron made a decision (without any referendum or vote of the British population) to redefine marriage. I can hardly be shocked more… hold that thought, perhaps if a committed Muslim becomes our next Prime Minister, nah, you just can’t beat that wicked act by absolutely NOTHING. We know how God feels about that – marriage is for love and procreation just as much (let’s not omit that vital part only because men soon will be able to get pregnant).
Where are we? Ah ha, still at the referendum – isn’t your favorite word now… and my husband says I don’t understand sarcasm. I do, I just don’t like it
A good run, jumping on the trampoline or a cycle gets your bowls going.
Stagnation,in both a human and in an organization, both physical and moral, always leads to ‘cancer and death’. Any corrupt organization, such as EU need a good shake from time to time. If it was a mistake to leave EU, corrupted stagnation has been shaken when the whole nation went to exercise the right to vote. I just can’t call this NOTHING.
Some women wear very peculiar clothes. If you paid me, I would not wear it. But I absolutely love seeing them in it. I’m not sure why I wrote all this and in this style, but I KNOW I had to do it!