Once a geek always a geek i guess. Since I was a kid I have always been (no matter how I tried to be cool) a real geek. When my friends in first grade liked James Bond and action heroes, I was all into Ivanhoe, knights and chivalry, they read comics, I read books, they played hardcore games of war, I wanted to save the maiden from the evil Dragon, get married and live happily ever after. I guess that is why I was always more popular with the girls, the boys games ended when hero bedded heroine, my games started with playing house. Then I started with Roleplaying games, computers and finally to top it all of I became a Christian. I guess I am a geek in all senses of the word.
Being a geek is not a bad thing though. I have good grades, a well paid job and a beautiful wife, that realized (as have many other beautiful women) that a geek is really just a great guy once you get past the book in is hand and the monitor in front of his face.
Paying it forward
I have suffered all kinds of ridicule that a geek can possibly meet. So in my pursuit of happiness I have tried to prove to the world that a nerd can indeed be cool, in that endeavor I have found that even though I am now a 2nd Dan blackbelt in KyoDoKan, have my own martial arts school called WSD and even though I have spent years arresting drug dealers, fighting violent street crime, dressing in overly baggy clothing and tried to break every bone in my body rollerblading, skateboarding, kitesurfing and snowboarding, there is nothing that can possibly make me cooler than being a child of God using the brains that God gave me to give as a gift what Ihave received as a gift.
From fundamentalist to mystic
I started out like many others who find the Christian faith and get saved or born again, completely passionate for evangelism and ready to bash my big black bible in the face of anyone who would listen and some who wouldn’t. I was a bible believing, charismatic young earth creationist reading every letter of the bible literally and skilfully avoiding the paradoxes and pitfalls of the sacred text with theological and verbal jiu jitsu. I converted anyone close to me and the ones I couldn’t convert mysteriously disappeared from my shrinking list of friends.
I followed the direct prompting of the spirit from my baptist cradle into the boisterous Swedish pentecostal youth movement and New Generation. A young Charismatic evangelist with a passion for street work (and real street smarts from working with gangs in London, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles) and delving deep into the bible. Just a little bit frustrated by the shallow glitz and glamour of the pentecostal movement I was drawn to the down to earth and radical ways of the Salvation Army. I cut my teeth working for the national youth project Generation and then became the national youth secretary for Latvia. Moving along the escalator of army advancement into officership, we where sent as a family to William Booth College in London. WBC being an accredited theological education, we started an academic journey that ended up deconstructing the fundamentals of our faith. It was hard and very disconcerting, like having the rug pulled out from under your feet only to realise that there is no solid ground underneath.
Slowly the very shallow and narrow scope of my faith deepened and matured into a completely different spirituality. Much of the contents of this blog attests to this journey. It’s a journey from dogmatic and legalistic Christianity into the mystical call of spirit to dance freely into the arms of divine love. It’s a journey of shedding religion and finding god. It’s a journey into love.
Stepping into the blue
As my faith deepened and my theology widened it became more and more uncomfortable and provocative for the Salvation Army leadership. In the end the situation became untenable both for us and for them and so we set out, into the unknown, on a new journey led by spirit and sharing love unconditionally without the restrictions of organised religion.