If I had any colours, I guess that this would be the time to nail them to the mast.

In the age of sail, during times of conflict it was considered legitimate for a ship to display a flag of a country other than its own, but only up until the point of engaging in battle. Then they had to declare their allegiance and hoist their own colours. If at any point they wished to surrender, all they had to do was lower their colours, and the enemy was obliged to order cease-fire. When their colours were fixed to the mast with nails, it indicated that their loyalty was unshakeable and the only options were then death or glory.

Perhaps such a stance is a little melodramatic for a blog, but nonetheless, in this my first one, it is perhaps not unreasonable to let you know where my allegiances lie.

I am, without question or apology, a follower of Jesus. I am not however, a follower of any particular group, denomination, stream, cult or expression of church (whether fresh or not quite so fresh). I would choose the option of death or glory for Jesus, but not for some movement or other. If at any point during future blogs, I veer toward a position that appears to show an adherence to a particular club, then I apologise in advance, and ask you to allow for the fact that it will be accidental rather than intended.

Having said that, I do not mean that I am necessarily against churches, denominations, streams or what have you. Indeed, some of my family and friends belong to such, and I am not averse to accompanying or supporting them as the occasion arises. But when there is any insistence that my loyalty to Jesus needs to be measured by my loyalty to any particular group, that is where I back off.

It is, at least in part, because of my reluctance to sign up for any specific group that I have taken to blogging. Since I drew back somewhat from clearly defined alliances and loyalties, I have not been quite so at home in the wider church scene, so I am exploring this new outlet online. Another reason I am doing this, is that the style of writing I have developed over some years leans toward the informal or conversational and, according to the Oxford Dictionary, that is one of the things that defines a blog.

The sort of people who are likely to enjoy (possibly even benefit from) my blogs, will be followers of Jesus who may be puzzled, bemused, disconcerted or disillusioned, by some of the things that are happening (or not happening) in the church today. Of course, I hope that the appeal may be wider than that, and I will aim to include items that verge on the serious theological side of things on the one hand, and others that lean toward the humorous on the other. Hopefully, both will be in an easy to read style which befits the blog definition above.

I will endeavour to be fair, accurate, well researched and above all, both sensible and spiritual. However, I rarely manage infallibility, and so cannot offer any guarantee that I will succeed.

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