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(A Spirit Pilgrimage)

i have lived my years within

the overarching umbrella of Christendom

worn-down to the rusting wires by now

but still THERE as a controlling spirit

for close to a billion people


that taking of the bush-builder Jesus

and his raw Spirit-Story

reformulated as Christ Pantocrator (2)

making him the ghost-in-the-machine

of a remade and remade and remade grand Empire


Here then is my story

of a love-hate relationship

with this ancient oppression

still at work in the world-psyche

1700 years later


i am here as still something

of an ecclesiastical functionary

with my own epiphanies and revisionings

considerably squeezed into a bi-polar frame by these archaic creedal formulations created by the winners of an ancient life and death word-battle in which there is only one winner


And so —

these remnants of long-hidden wars

focussed-on intensely worked-over words

in a crass kind of numbers-dance


by an emperor seeking to give his empire a new integrating propaganda


And for the ongoing prisoners

of this Christendom way-of-being?

what of the questioning loyal opposition?


Here is the intense intimidation

to walk the orthodox tight-rope

in which neutered opposition

is presented through innuendo

and the use of word-hints

that say to the astute hearers

“There are other ways of looking at this”


And yet—

there is a freedom of sorts

that comes in bowing the knee

to the long-dead emperor

parroting the cultic credo

and getting on with living one’s heresy

as long as one is not too public about it!


Well that’s the way it was

i think — not “is”

— not QUITE anyway!!


But what of the NOW?

what of we who live in the awareness

of Constantine’s end?

an awareness that knows how strongly

his ghost still places a cold hand

upon our ongoing?


Ahhh — now — that is another story!!!

John Cranmer


(1) Contexting this Poem

Out of ongoing conversations with colleagues on issues of the nature of Christian Faith for our part of the 21st Century; this poem almost  “popped out”, not quite of it’s own accord but almost.  Yet it is the coming to fruition of a long Journey; still continuing.

It talks strongly of my commitment, loyalty (even love) for the “people of god”who walk a Christian journey.  Yet an almost equal disaffection (mixed with a strange kind of respect) towards the expression of Church that is an overblown and legislation-bound cum property-management organization.

As you read and reflect, please keep in mind that at its core is a call, initially to myself, for the breaking with the imperial models of church that still strongly lurk around us; seeking the continued discovery (rediscovery?) of “christian experiences”that offer again diverse intimacy with the “Holy-Other” who meets us in surprising ways; so often when least expected.


(2) the omnipotent lord of the universe



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