Make do and Mend

Less than 12 hrs after posting about Do the Green Thing, BBC news is telling me about how Grannies are going into school to show children how to “Make do and Mend” as a way of being All Consuming.  Apparantly there is a load of stuff on youtube too but I haven’t had time to look.


10 Responses

  1. Hi Robb,

    Popped over from Asbo for a chat. Nice site! And agree totally with the green sentiment on this and your last post.

    Scary times, huh? What do we do about it? Especially as so much of the Bible (apart from the ‘Love’ bit) is about increasing our population, occupying new land, and winning the argument.

    Well, here’s to the ‘Love’ bit. And to bold new open evangelical thinking, that really works with what the stories of Jesus reveal (and not what we think they do). And great to see that Grannies are back!

  2. Hey Steve, welcome!!

    I was talking with a Methodist friend who preached the sheep and goats on Sunday. He was keen to point out that if we are to take seriously the challenge in the west we need to radically rethink our ideas about global wealth and poverty.

    The whole issue of environmental damage again comes down to those who have inflicting upon those who have not. As temperate climates like us fear a 1-2 degree temperature rise globally we sit here in the cold winter contemplating better times. 1-2 degrees in an African climate is the difference between having a harvest and not. Already when I was in Uganda they were notable changes in the weather patterns. On the one day that it did rain when I was there I was told “this is English rain not Ugandan rain”. A light shower is not Ugandan rain!

    I suspect that the ‘love’ bit is not only the key to the Christian faith but also the key to these global issues. If the two greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbours as ourselves, then surely the only consequence of this is to look after Gods creation and those living in it…

    …isn’t it?

  3. With you there, Robb.

    I like the ‘sheep and the goats’ parable – I always think there’s the chance the ‘bad guy’ goat-host might throw a party to which nobody comes. That’s what I’m working towards, anyway. Loadsasheep. Or better, and mischieviously, Spiritually Modified (SM) Sheep-Goats?

    I do think the prophetic act of the Church now more than ever is to become ‘not-Church’ – to become indistinguishable from everything else – not so that we become less than ourselves, but so that we allow that everyone (ourselves included) gains what we are giving up. We become the goats. We become the have-nots. In 21st century real time, that means we identify with those who lose most through the impact of our consumer society.

    It’s a bugger aspiring to be a vicar when you’ve decided to take that ‘abandon the institution’ call seriously. I guess the consolation is that if you are doing it prophetically, you are still very much engaged with it all…

  4. But by radically engaging with the issues do we not become more differentiated and less indistinguishable?

  5. Train of thought, bear with me!

    The more we become differentiated, the more we need to question what that differentiatedness means to us.

    It’s (I think) what St John of the Cross was on about when he talked about two dark nights of the soul – the second of which he said was too terrible to write about.

    The first is where we realise that the culture of the world is deeply ingrained in us, and resort to aceticism to root it out. We end up differentiated, but then comes a second challenge: How do we wear this differentiation?

    If we use it to stay separate we risk creating a culture which is increasingly alien to those around us. We get stuck in a rut. We risk thinking we’re sorted (and others aren’t). Only if we put our cultural differentiation to death do we bring the Love of God – which transcends cultural definition – to bear on those who need it….This was terrible to St John, perhaps, because it meant that having given up all for the gospel, he was asked to give up his understanding of the gospel too.

    A practical example: If the non-Church world has a problem with the isolationism of the Church, and the Church goes Green without abandoning its ‘them and us’ mentality, the world won’t think ‘that’s alright then’, it’ll think ‘now they’re trying to muscle in on our Green movement too’.

    The differentiated Church’s response would then be, ‘They’re rejecting us, even when we go Green’. Both groups would end up polarised.

  6. I see what you are saying. Even when we decide to be prophetic and lead the way people criticise us for jumping on the band wagon. There was an article in the church times about a diocese making a conscious decision to go green and start installing solar panels on the vicarages. This isn’t something that is being done as common practice in even new build housing (well certainly not here in the north). I can imagine that it would be criticised by some outside of the church as jumping on a band wagon. However, those people tend to be critical of the church as a predisposition and look for something to criticise – as such there critique tends to be rather hollow and transparent.

    I wonder what Dawkins would say about it. Probably be negative as that is his predisposition. “Religion is evil and does bad things…. like green energy…”

  7. 🙂 Don’t get me started on Richard Dawkins! Having a tussle with Matt Stone on his Glocal Christianity blog about the whole debate. (I’m more sympathetic to Dawkins than is usually accepted in church – reckon that church should be more up front about sound reasons to doubt before it starts criticising Dawkins for not doubting enough.) So won’t go there here…

    The key is whether or not the church abandons its ‘them and us’ mindset before it goes Green, not whether or not it goes Green as such. If it abandons the whole ‘them and us’ thing, it has a fair chance of convincing even those predisposed to be critical of it – which, if we’re serious about the Great Commission, should be our priority – that it’s worth emulating when it comes to environmental and other issues of social justice.

    But the ‘them and us’ mentality goes very deep indeed. The only sure way I know how to cross the chasm is to step over to the other side yourself. I know it ‘cos I’ve done it. Long story and happy to share it.

  8. It’s odd, I have never really seen myself as becoming one of “them”. In fact, most of my friends (non church types) have said stuff like that.

    I think the key to being a success in relation to the great commission is remembering that being salt and light (talk about mixing your metaphors) means being complementary to the meal. Lets face it, when you have a little salt and a candle the meal is much more enjoyable. When someone pours 1/2 a lb of salt on your meal and turns a spotlight upon you without invitation the meal is much less enjoyable.

    We need to be distinctive and as Jesus works within us we will become someone who is a welcome guest within our communities.

    I hope that makes sense. I talk in metaphor quite a lot. I guess that is why Jesus speaks to me more clearly than Paul does…

  9. I like that very much: being complementary to the meal. That’s really good, really helpful 🙂

    And I used the ‘should’ word in my last comment. Next time I use the ‘should’ word, well, I just shouldn’t…

  10. Oh I think you should……


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