Monday 28 February 2011

A Conversation

This is an unedited - except for the names and the surroundings (and the pictures were not present) - of a Facebook chat between Rachel and me that launched from here and lasted for over an hour:

Re-vis.e Re-form: BBC piccies Clergy fashion

Comments were already present, likening Rachel's modelled clothing to Star Trek designs (I've now done my appropriate drawing), and I came in with:

Adrian John Worsfold Presumably if you see a cohabiting couple you can say, "Engage."

Rachel Marszalek :-)

Adrian John Worsfold 'The Lord be with you'
'And also be with you'
'Make it so.'

Rachel: :-) :-)

Adrian: The resurrected Jesus arrives at the point of his departure having said goodbye to his frends; he then said, "Beam me up Scotty." (Now you are not going to smile at that are you?)

Adrian: Or perhaps when you lead worship your opening word can be, "Energise."

Rachel: Is that not what they say during Unitarian worship? As opposed to 'Come Holy Spirit'

Adrian: No no. We say, "Relax."

Rachel: ahh - all a bit too calm for me...

Adrian: Well, you want to travel at many times the speed of light.

Rachel: you not ever miss that whole 'Holy Spirit falling on you thing'?

Adrian: Never fell on me.

Rachel: Are you sure?

Rachel: ...filled with the Spirit?

Adrian: Yes. I am one of those the neo-Calvinists and the Calvinists think were left out.

Rachel:'s never too late you know

Rachel: I was a Christian....and then a 'Spirit-filled Christian' and life is LIFE now!!!

Adrian: No, these things are for an eternity. They are in the Book.

Rachel: eh?

Adrian: The damned and the saved are prewritten.

Rachel: ...oh flip - how about God wanting to reconcile all ...etc etc

Rachel: you need to be filled with the Spirit and then...well God knows...

Adrian: No, there are those in and those out.

Rachel: No way...

Adrian: What are you? Even the Arminians believe that the Book has been written from the beginning of eternity. It's not universalism you know.

Rachel: ...what with your brains ...and then he fills your heart...and then you lead this supernatural life...and all fear is gone etc etc

Rachel: I am just talking about Jesus wanting to fill his children with his Holy Spirit...

Adrian: What fear? I'm not afraid. I am quite stoical. There are those in and those out. I am quite happy about that.

Rachel: I am praying for you right now...

Adrian: Oh I think you might be talking about a Jewish rabbi there. That's a little different.

Rachel: Holy Sp is falling on me

Adrian: People have prayed for me since before I was born.

Rachel: ...that 's great

Rachel: hold your hands out and receive....

Adrian: There's that song - he ain't heavy he's my brother.

Rachel: yeah....and

Adrian: What is there a dinner lady nearby?

Rachel: the H Sp right there

Adrian: I admit I'm feeling hungry and want me dinner.

Rachel: ...oh Jesus satisfies ...

Rachel: living bread etc etc

Adrian: I must admit, this is a first. Well there was one chap who wanted me to be with him while he opened his Bible...

Adrian: Fresh bread. I forgot to buy some.

Rachel: ...God has been calling you home for years...

Adrian: They've just provided one! It is a Unitarian linked charity!

Rachel: ...he's laughing with you, I reckon, loves your sense of humour but also knows it's a bit of a barrier you put up because you know he is near

Rachel: ...he's mighty powerful

Rachel: I am still praying ...all sorts of angel words...

Adrian: Am I sat in the psychologist's chair?

Rachel: good

Rachel: God's Holy Spirit flows through the internet too, of course

Adrian: People with white coats and white collars

Adrian: Rachel, you don't get it!

Rachel: white collars - could be good...

Rachel: ..go on - tell me

Adrian: Could be if I could clean them better.

Rachel: ..what do I not get?

Adrian: What to tell you? I don't believe it. It is something that has been constructed.

Rachel: Oh no oh no oh no

Rachel: God is very very real

Rachel: and life can be changed

Adrian: No, it doesn't stack up. It is cultural, created, made: what works is far more human centred. It is about us.

Rachel: and he has a plan for us all and it is very beautiful and there is this fulfillment like nothing else

Rachel: yes God makes it about us ...because he loves us so much ...wants us to be so happy ...dwell with with with us

Adrian: No, you are making a fantasy. Life has to be as it is, the value in it is what there is. It is about Nietzsche's Yes to life.

Adrian: God, if God is anything, is about truth, and truth is both hard, bitter and good. It is grounded in where we stand, were we find ourselves - in the actuality of our narrative if you like that sort of talk.

Rachel: Life life yes - in all it's abundance - forget the whole after-life thing - who cares? Eternal life begins multicolour...more than five sense...more than 3D, do you not want to live a life like that?

Adrian: I absolutely don't care about eternity or any such thing. I care about now, the now, the other people around me and further. I care about them. I'm a humanist after all.

Rachel: yes of course, gritty and broken times and suffering but sweetness and glory and a knowing deep inside that it's all alright

Adrian: Yes but they are together. It is not like fantasy island after a rough sea trip.

Rachel: Yes but God cares about this NOW, this LIFE, these people all around us but we can not help these people all around us like God can THROUGH us

Adrian: Well that's very good then.

Rachel: No - it's all mixed

Adrian: But we are the people who throw the leavers and pull the strings.

Rachel: ...but it's what you already think but more .... much more

Rachel: ...but we do not have to be

Adrian: Of course it is what I think? What do you think? I bet you think what you are saying.

Rachel: there is a supernatural energy...supernatural joy...supernatural love

Rachel: I know what I experience - call me a bit Schleiermachen...the bible then backs it up ...I became a Spirit-filled Christian all the other way around - things happened and then I checked the Bible ...and those things were there so i asked for more

Adrian: No - that's fantasy island again. Hand waving illusionism. I find value in what we are, where we are, as it is - in the narratives we have, and that function - not some vast escapism and emotion that adds not a bit to the reality.

Rachel: It's not escape - it's's what enables me to do stuff I could not do without God

Adrian: I've read all the same stuff as you, and done the same work, if in a different order. I've been in the Pentecostal, the Anglo-Catholic. I'm made of the stuff you more or less can see.

Rachel: minister to people whom I would otherwise be scared of.. a bit..take risks

Adrian: Well, good - some people get airborn by blasting out a lot of fuel.

Rachel: ...but it's not self-generated

Adrian: Well there are ministers and ministers with all sorts of approaches - and yes some people are scary.

Adrian: I think you'll find that biology and culture comes from us.

Rachel: it's all inside something bigger that we have come to call God

Adrian: Never done this before. There must be tens of comments now for the world to view.

Rachel: indeed - Holy Spirit inspired

Adrian: We have come to call it God. Reminds me of a hymn.

Rachel: ...beautiful

Adrian: Now you are turning it around again. See, I think we invented God.

Rachel: see, all this stuff in your head...

Rachel: there for a reason

Adrian: All the stuff in your head, and those Christians of whom you approve.

Rachel: you're fascination with all things spiritual...there for a reason...people centred...

Adrian: That's like that sign on the road coming back. 50 for a reason it said. But not what reason.

Rachel: approve eh? don't get it

Rachel: ...God just speaking to you through everything...

Adrian: Well it doesn't go unnoticed that your Christianity is rather different from some of your colleagues with whom I share blogging.

Rachel: ...the way he made wonder about him and the people who have given their lives to him

Adrian: I think I operate my own mouth. If God speaks through me he must be a bit confused.

Rachel: speaking To you -

Adrian: God didn't make me. I am the product of evolution, of several past human species too.

Rachel: indeed - they are compatible

Adrian: He's not on the phone.

Rachel: ...if only...

Rachel: I know and we learn how to listen and it's not easy

Adrian: What is compatible? A random environmental sifting process without plan and God making a human? Not really.

Adrian: You're talking! Listening is different.

Rachel: ..we are never going to 'get it' - not's way beyond us...we do not need to know

Rachel: yes God gave me a big mouth...

Adrian: I told you. I'm in the Book of the damned.

Rachel: you most certainly are not

Adrian: Now don't divert to drawing and painting, Rachel.

Rachel: God thinks you're fab

Adrian: For goodness sake, are you a universalist?

Adrian: I think God is fab. That's mutual. Are you a universalist?

Rachel: God's desire is to be in communication and communion with every single thing in this cosmos - I don;'t care for the theories...

Adrian: So God is universalist - it is only shorthand for a longer sentence.

Rachel: doesn't matter what you call it

Rachel: labels are destructive ...God is beyond and yet near

Rachel: ...through the Holy Spirit

Adrian: If God is universalist, then God is plural, and if God is plural, then it becomes like pantheistic, and panetheistic is like atheistic - theories about and reflective!

Adrian: You are theorising again (and we have been around this circuit - that's a theoretical circuit, not a Methodist one).

Rachel: It's just so simple- he wants to get to know us - doesn't matter where we have come from...

Adrian: It's not simple: you've been at college a long time now.

Rachel: but there's no clever theology here just relationship...with God through the spirit

Adrian: You can simplify it, but you are bagged with assumptions.

Adrian: No, it is very clever theology and packed with assumptions.

Rachel: but they are not assumptions...God is real..we can know him through his Spirit..end of...

Rachel: I picked up all the baggage later, the clever, academic stuff

Adrian: Then I disagree. Now would you be a Unitarian and agree to disagree? I rather doubt it. You want me to accept your version. I don't.

Adrian: I know you picked the bag up.

Rachel: God is God and no matter how long humanity tries to work him out it will all boil down to the simplicity of saying yes

Adrian: Yes to life.

Rachel:'s a crazy thing that happens - the Spirit and you just want everyone to know

Rachel: Yes to life - AGREED

Adrian: You are giving out a specific type of theology. You have colleagues who are very different. I am different in my outlook.

Rachel: Life in abundance - oh yes!

Adrian: Now we have found something we agree upon.

Rachel: I am simple

Adrian: Life as it is. I'm often regarded as simple, close up.

Rachel: I do not analyse the people I love, write books about them, argue about their character, I just get on with loving them

Adrian: That isn't agreement but close - that you are simple and I am simple.

Rachel: ...same with God

Rachel: Yes to life, yes to simplicity

Adrian: I like the direct approach too. But I also want people to develop where they are, and not to something else.

Rachel: but yes to the Holy Spirit and everything is maximised

Adrian: Well, so long as they are not doing harm to self or others.

Rachel: indeed - God wants us to be the very best versions of ourselves that is possible

Adrian: No, we disagree now. The Holy Spirit stuff can lead us off to fantasy land again.

Rachel: in some ways - yes, but there is still more to it than that...where does the power come from to not do harm to self and others

Rachel: fantasy...just an empowered life

Rachel: all those good plans and purposes but fueled

Adrian: I've no idea what God wants, if God wants anything or can. I want the best for people, but then I am not God. So that's only a small matter.

Adrian: I get power from eating.

Rachel: God wants you want the best for peope

Adrian: Fuel is like bunging something in my microwaves (I have two).

Rachel: of course ...but there's a different kind of eating - all those food images in the bible have got to be there for a reason

Adrian: I'm glad you've found out what God wants. I don't know.

Adrian: Oh yes, the symbolism of the meal - Judaism and Christianity.

Rachel: oh i only wonder ...I can not say I know

Rachel: I feel my way just like the rest of us

Rachel: ...but yes, the relationship - I know

Adrian: Oh Rachel, you are backtracking. I thought you were certain about what God wanted for me and others - all others I am now assuming.

Rachel: I can not actually know what God wants for sure just like I can not know what my best friend wants from one minute to the next

Rachel: but there are things that are in-keeping with his character...

Adrian: Don't tell me this conversation has been a waste of time?

Adrian: You don't know for sure what God is saying but you know his character?

Rachel: God wants you to know him better - this I know

Rachel: draw you closer...hang on - I am trying to listen and pray at the same time

Adrian: So you know so much then. Well I always like to get to know people better, when they talk to me. But I said about this at the beginning.

Rachel: ...

Adrian: Rachel, I admire you (some way it's a woman thing!) for multitasking

Rachel: trying to listen to God for you

Adrian: Was that a pause for your praying?

Rachel: I just have all these words

Rachel: no one here to interpret

Rachel: yes

Adrian: Now this is getting absurd. Do you think that God who won't speak to me directly will speak to you about me?

Adrian: So God is not speaking to you or is using a language you do not understand?

Rachel: I do not know - people have heard from God for me

Adrian: I did tell you.

Rachel: I saw a green garage door ...

Adrian: Personally I prefer direct communication. Second hand stuff usually is wrong somewhere.

Rachel: do not know what that is all about

Rachel: well it's all mixed

Adrian: A green garage door? Struth. Not this house then, or the last.

Rachel: two weeks ago I saw a vision of my future lounge

Adrian: Now this is getting interesting. Are you a medium?

Rachel: and then returning home - house in email inbox - was my lounge - future house

Adrian: I'm waiting with fascination.

Rachel: people said I would have a role - saw a synod thing - 24 hrs later phoned for indaba New York

Adrian: Well that must have been fascinating even frightening.

Rachel: it's glorious

Adrian: Yes, you be a high flyer. You do come across very clearly.

Rachel: ...did u not get involved in 'waiting on God' prayer, ministering in the power of the H Sp when you were at college or elsewhere?

Adrian: You do have to be careful with visions, don't you?

Rachel: of course - weigh and discern

Adrian: To your question, no.

Rachel: ...this is where it can all be different

Rachel: this is what there is for you

Adrian: I went to the chaplaincy. I was on that side of things. Others went to the Christian Union. They didn't meet.

Rachel: ...this is that LIFE thing we are both into

Adrian: Now you are being all certain again.

Rachel: yes - I know

Rachel: I did not know about these things before

Rachel: a few years ago

Adrian: Yes, life as it is. My approach is more Buddhist you see. It is what there is, what can be calmed, made clearer, cooler (not in the youth sense of cooler).

Rachel: God can literally knock me off my feet

Rachel: ...but all that awesome power

Adrian: Chaplaincy was in the 1980s for a short period.

Adrian: I said I get my power from eating.

Rachel: what about the whole Wimber thing kicking off

Rachel: ...charismatic renewal

Adrian: You see, I am naturalistic. Wimber? Fantasy Island again.

Rachel: ...rediscovering supernatural Christianity?

Rachel: ...that 's what I used to think

Adrian: They don't rediscover, they remake.

Rachel: ...but how could it be - this thing that happens ... it's real...that's why it happens

Adrian: This is what I do think.

Rachel: God moves in waves of outpouring

Adrian: No it doesn't. We have large crowd excitement in all sorts of places and it is no evidence of truth.

Rachel: ...but that's okay - it's what I thought too - but then I said yes

Adrian: Much of that stuff (God TV and the like) is rock music entertainment dressed up in religious garb. Middle class angst relieved once a night.

Rachel: ...but I have been perfectly calm...collected...nearly finished quiet prayers, no fuss, no emotionalism and then BOOM

Rachel: ...that 's what I used to think

Adrian: I don't say yes to that - I ask what is the evidence, what is the research?

Rachel: and people would say speaking in tongues is all emotional hype

Adrian: I go boom sometimes but not in that context.

Rachel: But it's just a normal part of my everyday relationship with God

Adrian: I think it is emotional hype, speaking in tongues.

Rachel: ...but it's just cool, calm - normal

Adrian: Oh you do that. Sorry, wouldn't wish to offend but I maintain my point.

Rachel: ...but I am not all-hyped up now

Rachel: and I pray that way for you

Adrian: Well it can be all sorts of wibbly wobblies, calm and ecstatic. But it is technique - even driving a car subconsciously is technique.

Rachel: I understand a bit of it

Rachel: no not at all

Adrian: Rachel, there must be a thousand more deserving cases for your prayer - you haven't the hours in the day. I recommend sleep.

Rachel: I always knew God could use people in internet church situations

Adrian: Of course if you must, you must, but your parish is quite peculiar and extended.

Rachel: ...some of this conversation has exalted him

Adrian: How do you know?

Rachel: ?

Rachel: oh ...internet evangelism...God told me

Rachel: ...

Rachel: wait up big burst of prayer

Rachel: joy

Rachel: that's how I know

Rachel: in part

Rachel: do you feel the Holy Spirit? Even if you close your eyes - try

Adrian: Phew. I clicked your name by accident and lost the thread. God told you quite a lot.

Rachel: yes

Adrian: No, I pray with my eyes open. I pray and think at the same time.

Adrian: I meditate with a more blank mind.

Rachel: yes eyes open - me too - a lot

Adrian: I have my own methods, you know.

Rachel: ah but God wants us not to clear our minds but just bring everything before him and talk it through with him

Rachel: ...every distraction

Rachel: ...every thought

Rachel: he 'gets' it

Adrian: I stand to sing, I sit to do the rest. Hang on, you know God so well you even know the stage directions?

Rachel: do you

Adrian: No I said, I'm more Buddhist. I believe in the clarity of the mind, if achievable.

Rachel: does he talk back

Rachel: not like talk but communicate

Adrian: God never talks back. I'm not on the phone.

Adrian: No.

Rachel: it's not achievable - not really but that's okay

Rachel: ...he will

Rachel: will feel it, know it

Adrian: Well he's had about twenty five years. Perhaps he was waiting for a telephone operator - you.

Rachel: find him where you expected..he'll talk through people in your life

Adrian: No I mustn't encourage you.

Adrian: He doesn't even talk about me to me never mind about others to me.

Rachel: ...there is something in you that wants to know him better

Adrian: I've been finding out.

Rachel: ...okay...but he will speak THROUGH others to you

Rachel: ...keep praying

Adrian: Well, I went to Great Hucklow. They talked to me. He might have used them. Or perhaps we are all in the Book of the Damned.

Rachel: books about pneumatology

Adrian: I don't pray in that sense.

Adrian: I know. I hate blowing up tyres, including religious ones.

Rachel: no - not in the book of the damned - give that thought to God

Adrian: He can have it. Well, presumably he knew it.

Rachel:'re funny - read Tozer

Rachel: and Ralph Martin

Rachel: Mark Stibbe

Adrian: What is Tozer? Hey, at least you and L*** F***s agree on something - that I am funny.

Rachel: yes...

Adrian: I can read so much.

Adrian: Yes what?

Rachel: she will not read my blog - never mind

Adrian: That's because it is yellow on black. She has perception problems. But she reads mine.

Adrian: And I read hers - a lot.

Rachel: Go back and read those parts of the Bible - like Acts - the filling with the Spirit

Rachel: indeed

Adrian: Are they yellow on black?

Rachel: heheh

Rachel: depends on your Bible

Adrian: I've read all that. You assume I haven't. Plus I attended C of E sometimes five occasions a week and they read out from that book every time.

Rachel: go somewhere where God is on the move...where the people are not so afraid of him

Adrian: They are not afraid of God in Barton - I thought people were supposed to be afraid?

Adrian: Does God move?

Rachel: ...awe, wonder...there are a lot of people who do not say 'yes' to the Holy Spirit though

Rachel: his Spirit does

Rachel: I have seen it

Adrian: It depends what the Holy Spirit is saying, if anything. I don't say yes because the Holy Spirit doesn't speak.

Adrian: You have visualised the Holy Spirit? Like the room of your manse?

Rachel: parting crowds and filling people up and changing them and knocking them over and blowing over them

Rachel: you will have seen it surely

Rachel: and making their faces red

Rachel: or making their faces shiny

Adrian: I've seen that as well, but I have other explanations. I gave one recently. Lot's of individualist angst.

Rachel: or making them laugh

Rachel: or cry

Adrian: Does the Holy Spirit have a flannel?

Rachel: not angst

Rachel: well sometimes

Adrian: Crumbs. I would hate to make someone cry (but I'm not God).

Rachel: coming out in healing

Adrian: I've come out in spots - I've never come out in healing.

Adrian: You get it that I don't believe it - or your explanation.

Rachel: but glory and peace and joy like nothing else and God wants us to have this - we are too PC all this 'oh no - I must not - it's all a bit indulgent- stuff because out of the overflow of all that love and glory the planet gets changed one person at a time and it all spills over to other people

Adrian: Have some fun, by the way - cut this lot out and bung it on your blog. I'll confirm it was all true.

Rachel: maybe

Adrian: I have a PC and it is far from peace and joy. Look, we always indulge. Indulge can be good. It adds to the fun of things.

Rachel: there is no waste in the God economy remember...

Adrian: It's only you and me. You have my permission if you even needed it (and didn't).

Rachel: God wants us to have fun, be happy, all true happiness resides in hik

Rachel: him

Adrian: I think there could be a lot of waste. For example, some people think God creates a lot of disaster to show what is good - that sounds like redundancy to me.

Rachel: Sarah Coakley is great on this front

Rachel: all happiness in God

Rachel: stuff gets messed up ...that's life

Adrian: I reside in my house. My energy comes from food. This is my world. I am a biological blob that eats to survive and then I shall die and be no more.

Adrian: Sarah Coakley is quite interesting.

Rachel: Oh Adrian - you can have eternal life now, NOW!!! :-D

Rachel: and do not worry about the rest - that will all get sorted...

Adrian: I don't want eternal life. I want life, as is, for as long as is, and then goodbye.

Adrian: I don't worry about the rest. I aim not to worry.

Rachel: but that's what eternal life is now...the LIFE but more than the life

Adrian: Life will do.

Rachel: with more beauty

Adrian: You know, this is like a chess match where you still have all your pieces at your end of the board and I have all mine at my end of the board.

Adrian: Life has beauty - the fractal cannot be beaten. The smallest of mathematical relationships produces incredible beauty.

Rachel: indeed - maybe we should call it a night - your Queen and King smiling at my King and Queen...

Rachel: indeed - beauty - God-given

Adrian: Yes, go and copy and paste and tell the world. And I shall go and eat.

Rachel: my prayers

Rachel: /\

Adrian: You are eating in your prayers?

Adrian: Shall I put this on my blog or would you rather I did not. I won't edit out the dialogue?

Rachel: ..probably - Jesus always provides a feast - you are prophetic

Adrian: I'm prophetic? I'm damned if I am!

Adrian: Shall I put this on my blog? Have you gone?

Rachel: I live for Jesus and I do not say anything I would not say in front of Jesus - he is right here in front of me (in a way) as I speak - so all is okay - he knows my motives

Adrian: Good - I'll bung it on mine then, and let's have some reaction.

Adrian: Enjoy your evening and your prayers.

Rachel: Enjoy your food

Adrian: I will. Good night.

Rachel: ...and your prayers - God almightily bless you

Adrian: And let me hope that your God blesses you.

Rachel: Yours too

Rachel: OURS

Adrian: Goodnight dear Rachel.

Rachel: bless you

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