The philosophy, stories, poetry, social commentary, religion and Satanism of Michael Foord a Jewish, British, socialist, feminist, witch, middle aged, middle class, pansexual, ex-christian, ex-homeless, ex-prisoner, GenX, neurodiverse, cult survivor, body positive, sex positive, switch, gamer, raver, hippie, polyamarous, psychonaut, white, cis, mostly male identifying geek. A technomancer, an ordained Dudeist priest and a Rational Theistic Luciferian.
Notes for a group: Passion
These are notes from a young person's group I led. The group was a bunch of young Christian lads ranging in age from 9 to 16.
Let me tell you a
story, not about me, not about my father, but about my Grandfather.
My father was born just after world war 2. He still remembers food
rationing, which went on after the war ended. My father never knew
his father, his father died when he was very young. My grandfather
was a pilot in the pathfinder squadron.
The pathfinders flew
ahead of the bombers when they went on bombing raids. They dropped
flares on targets, making it easier for the bombers to see what they
were supposed to be dropping bombs on. I say “easier”, they still
weren't really very good at it. At the start of the war the average
bomb was four miles from its target. That's the average
bomb. Hitting the target you were aiming at was very rare. Bombing
raids were much better at killing and scaring ordinary people than
they were at destroying enemy targets. After the introduction of the
pathfinders the accuracy improved so that the average bomb was only
one mile away from its target.
in pathfinders was a very dangerous job, it involved flying low over
enemy targets to drop the flares. Many
of them died and my Grandmother spent the war convinced her husband
was going to die. He survived the war, and then three years later in
a reunion flight, the plane he was in (as copilot) clipped the ground
and he died. My Grandmother never really recovered.
One of the bombing raids the pathfinders would have been on was the
bombing of Dresden, something many people believe was a war crime
committed by the British. The war was nearly over and the Russians
were marching on Berlin. They asked the British bomber command to
suppress Dresden, which they said was in the way.
Bomber command had discovered a new bombing technique. They had
worked out that if they dropped tens of thousands of “incendiary
bombs” (bombs containing a mixture of explosives and highly
flammable fuel) then they could create fires in cities, with such a
force that the fires would whip up hurricane force winds that would
pull people into them. This is what they did to Dresden (nearly 4000
tonnes of bombs), which destroyed the city and killed about 25000
This shows the destructive force and power of fire.
We often talk, and more often sing, about the spirit of God being
like a fire. “My first love is a burning fire”, “Refiner's
fire”, “Burn fire of God”, and many more. How is the spirit of
God like fire?
needs fuel to burn, but when it gets
hold it's very hard to stop.
Anything that gets too close
catches fire as well. Fire
happens whenever you get great energy focussed in one place. Our
God is a burning fire. The
way a flame moves, is real but almost intangible, seems like a good
analogy for spirit. Our spirit is like that – capable of great
force and power.
Being on fire for God basically means being passionate about God. A
passion is something that grips you, takes hold of you, brings you
life and drives you forward. What are you passionate about?
world is full of bad advice, but one piece of advice that is
interesting is what is sometimes said to people wondering what to do
for a job: “find your passion”. Life
is much more interesting when you have a passion. You're not bored,
just drifting, not knowing what to do and worried that life is
passing you by. You have a purpose, a drive, a reason to live.
so much easier to do something you're interested in and
consumed by desire for. Learning, and doing become almost
effortless when you're
passionate, you *want* to do
things. You don't have to be
told to fight for something you're passionate about – you couldn't
do anything else!
We sang a song the
other day that included the line “I will serve no other gods”.
The bible often talks about the dangers of following other gods. That
was obviously directly real in the days of the old and new testament
when there were a lot more “gods” around. Do you think it's still
relevant today – what might be another god?
I think a “god”
is anything you let grip your heart and mind. When you're passionate
about something you give it your hopes and dreams and you draw life
from it. That's no different from worshipping a god. The trouble is,
what are you giving your dreams to – what are you serving?
Things people are
passionate about: football or sport, money, sex, technology, fame,
music. These all inspire great passion and devotion. But what can
they give you back, they don't care about you, they won't return your
love. They're false gods. It's ok to like things, it's ok to be
interested in things, it's ok to want to be good about things. But
don't give them your dreams, don't let them grip your soul.
You have to guard
your heart. This is a difficult lesson, and it's good to learn it as
early as poosible. There's a saying that a man is only as faithful as
his opportunities. That's depressing, but there's some truth in it.
What you have to do is recognise
that we're weak human beings, and when we start to sense danger and
see an opportunity to be unfaithful coming (whether to God or to our
wife) we need to turn away before
our heart is gripped. Once you're gripped it's much harder to escape
and takes a huge effort of will to pull away.
These false gods can seem very bright, they're very attractive. Fame
and music can seem like they will promise you a happy life and a
great deal. But I promise they will eat your dreams. They can't
change you, they can't make you happy.
flip side of this is that our God, the one true God, is utterly
faithful and completely worth giving your heart to him. If you can
find his light, if you can find “the way” and let a passion for
God grip your soul, then he will fill you with life. But like
anything worth having, you have to fight for it, search for it. The
more hungry and thirsty you are for the life of God the more you'll
And the best thing, if you're on fire for God, like a normal fire –
anyone who comes close will catch it too! But beware, it will consume
your life and you'll have to decide whether to let go of the things
it wants to burn up (like your other passions – this is dying to
self), or instead to cling onto them and let the fire of God burn out
keep seeking God, if that's what you really
A Christian understanding of homosexuality is a topic I've shied away from, although I obliquely address it in The Liberal Agenda , because it can be so divisive. That it is a divisive and difficult topic makes me deeply sad. A refusal to face a topic because it is difficult could reasonably be called cowardice, so here we are. People love to know the rules don't they. It's a fact of human nature that we want to be told what we're allowed to do and what we're not allowed to do. This is "the law" and the old testament of the bible is largely the story of humanity understanding God's nature and how to be right with God through a very detailed set of rules. In Jesus' time there was a group of religious people who particularly loved the rules. Read Matthew 23 for some of the choice things Jesus had to say to these men, the Pharisees: Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in
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