So, what's with this site, and for that matter with me, always being dissatisfied? Some judgmental people would even use the word "bitter," here. "Bitter" is the go-to word for thoughtlessly dismissing any and all concerns about church stuff, isn't it? But why can't I either be fully Plymouth Brethren, or wholly something else entirely? Chirpy Christian or condescending atheist? Well, turns out it's not so simple for many us, despite what people line up in droves to tell us all.

I'll admit it. I used to be an angry young man. I'm not young anymore. And I'm not as angry, either, most days. I'm starting to really see the importance of connection. I hope people look at this site and connect and identify with bits of it. And I hope some of them reach out to me in return and let me know what they think.

I'm a Christian and all, but I'm really starting to not see the importance of everyone always needing to be right about absolutely everything, and the need to try to change the minds of anyone who is different in any way. And I can't seem to connect with people who want to edit out of existance any and all people who don't think and worship in their style. Since when did stumbling through and fumbling through, making mistakes on the way and learning better in one's own time become so anathema to people who claim to be growing, and living lives of liberty under grace?

I used to really get into going online and arguing heatedly with people over smaller and smaller distinctions of belief. Eventually though, it all seemed like chimps screeching, flinging their own crap all over the place and trying to dry-hump and otherwise symbolicly dominate each other. The worst part was that it was all supposed to be taken terribly seriously. And I could no longer take it seriously or keep a straight face anymore. I couldn't stop making fun of the whole thing. The language. The posturing. The people. So I suddenly stopped "taking positions" and arguing with people on the Internet, almost entirely. Which suddenly left me with a lot more time on my hands. (and less crap) People keep trying to force me to take "clear positions" on things, like that's what Christians do. I just don't, anymore. Not if I remember. Not unless tricked into it. Because I really don't think that's what I'm here to do.

I don't think we do what we are here to do, much. We split up, we divide, we take stands against (positions on and exceptions to) far too much stuff. We're not doing a big piece of the work that ought to be going on. The Jesus stuff. We focus on light/truth almost in order to negate or alleviate our awkwardness about the blatant fact that we're simply not willing to follow Jesus at all as to the loving/connecting/caring/identifying with people stuff. We just have no intention of even pretending to follow in his footsteps regarding that. And by "we," I mean people who consider themselves "serious Christians." We're in it to be separate. Above. Beyond. Better. More scriptural. More obedient. More dutiful. Hardcore. Greatest.

Of course there are Christians who pride themselves less on the light/truth end of things, and claim to be all about the unconditional love, acceptance and understanding end of things. They're pretty smug about it. Quick to contrast themselves. I don't find they accept me if I act like myself, though, or if I share any of my experiences with church and Christians. In fact, in terms of understanding people and situations, I don't generally find that they understand anything much. They seem to think "being positive" means not learning a thing from anything unpleasant. Seem to follow a practice of running from even talking about it, like they're on fire (and not for Jesus). And pretending everything works, if only we pretend hard enough. Like unpleasant things fade and melt away if we don't look directly at them. And this makes me doubt the rootedness and efficacy of their whole dealie, as it were. But then I'm very jaded.

Starting at the beginning: I was born into a middle-class Canadian family which was very involved in a fairly strict Plymouth Brethren church (Tunbridge Wells, closed/exclusive). No television, movies, Christmas, Halloween, pop music, dancing, alcohol, entertainment, gambling, voting or going to other churches for people in our house... And we weren't "not doing" that stuff, in order to do other stuff, really. We were just all about not doing it all. If you took away the "rules," and pride/shame parts of us, there'd be nothing much left. Did we know Jesus? It was more about not being like normal people. About being special and different, and keeping separate so as to remain special.

At church, there were no official leaders (elders, pastors or anything like that), no church decorations, and no intruments to lead the music. A capella singing only. There were leaders alright, but as no one had appointed them, no one could remove them, and there was nothing much on paper, either as to what their duties were, nor what exactly they'd been up to. Doctrinally, administratively, financially. Sexually. It wasn't like a young adult could, for example, ask for a year-end summary of assembly decisions. But if anyone questioned them, he or she got put "out."

I did everything I was supposed to, and believed everything that was being said. We were the only right church. In fact we weren't even just another church. We refused to put a name on the sign outside, or to take a name to ourselves. We were told that taking any name to ourselves was a clear denial of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, somehow. Because we weren't just a church. We were the Lord's People. The Gathered Saints. The People of God. Other Christians went to churches. Not us. We knew better. We were "Gathered by the Holy Spirit to the Lord's Table, with responsiblities to keep the Lord's Table clean from any defilement and to separate ourselves from those not going on well for Him."

And I believed all that. I believed that going into a movie theatre was wrong. I believed drinking a glass of wine was wrong. I believed my church elders had the spiritual power to actually put people away from the Lord's Table itself, just like they claimed. I read the King James Bible when I was 12. Abstained from everything I was supposed to. Found all this wasn't feeding my soul, but was killing me. The endless competitive piety pageant, the closed-minded, mean-spirited, competitive narrow-heartedness. The unceasing image-consciousness and lifestyle guidelines, enforced with shame. Trying to earn grace. Trying to achieve the positive simply by abtaining from "negative" things. A lack of genuine humanity. Appearance over reality. Light over love. An environment of continual corrections rather than human or Christian connections. The insincerity, fakeness and emptiness.

And in 1991, the "only right people in the only right church, worshipping the only true God in the only right way" split nastily into two factions, which tore our church apart, globally. Now there were two "only right" churches, who would go on to have no further dealings with one another, dividing families and friends forever. All over who got to claim to be right, and to have all the power. This made me question a lot of the claims.

Thinking and feeling and living more freely, and hanging out with other Brethren young people with a similar outlook eventually got me excommunicated for life. The pretense used was my writing this parody of a Brethren outreach pamphlet I found a bit unsuitable for handing out to nonBrethren people. I was branded a "wicked person," and no one was to eat with me in the room, nor was I allowed to attend any church social functions or gatherings. It soon became clear that they'd kicked me out to keep me out permanently, though this is contrary to orthodox Brethren methods.

I am going to be a "wicked person" in the eyes of my church globally, forever. So I re-spelled "wicked." Became an actual person. And wrote albums and poetry, stories, parodies and things. I started a blog. I made videos. All that stuff is on this web site.

Because, I had to leave church life behind to follow God. And I needed to talk and think and feel about it all. And so I did that. And generally I don't find I get understanding or support from most Christians. For one thing, I am fairly rigorously anti-church. I don't have a great deal of faith in any human systems, particularly religious ones. They all look like the Tower of Babel to me. Including no one being able to understand each other's language, or agree how to word anything.

But I want to meet Christians who can talk about the bible or Christ, instead of just their scripted church babble. I want to connect with people who aren't just supporting positions and taking "clear stances" for and against things. I want to meet people who know Christ. I don't care if they go to church, but I don't want them to try to recruit me, and tell me I'm wrong for not doing modern Western North American "church" on Sundays, rather than what I do. I don't want to talk about church. I don't want to suspect they worship their church, rather than worship in their church.

Anyway, that's me.