Saturday, September 09, 2006


My mates always slag me about this but I sometimes wonder if my life would have drifted in a different direction were it not for the music of U2. I really believe God has used their influence to bring me closer to Him in a way that feels real.

I remember when I was in my mid-teens and was totally disillusioned with church, other Christians, and the fire in my belly was having water thrown over it. For the first of many times I gained strength from a U2 song. Not because they contained answers but because they reflected my own questions. This was a greater comfort. From the song 'Acrobat':
I'd join the movement,
If there was one I could believe in,
I'd break bread and wine,
If there was a church I could receive in,
Cos I need it now,
To take the cup,
To fill it up,
To drink it slow,
I can't let you go.
I've had so many of these moments I could write a book on U2. Unfortunately Steve Stockman got there first! By the way, I'm grateful to God that in Emmanuel I now have found a church that I can believe, receive and give in.
P.S. There is an interesting conversation developing below in the comments section of my Summers End post. Feel free to add your voice!


Jen said...

see what one anon commenter can do !

Anonymous said...

john boy, i was lovin' the banter on your last blog there. hardcore pharisees! anyway, i'm away for a pintnand to listen to some worship music ... wiggy

Anonymous said...

wiggy you're a stirrer

Zico said...

lol at wiggy

Anonymous said...

typical at wiggy making a joke of it alcohol isnt a joke to people that find hard to stop and its from the pit, its the devils juice it ruins lives and why as a christian would you need it anyway.

Anonymous said...

i don't need it, it just helps me talk to girls ... wiggy

Anonymous said...

sure a good looking lad like you shouldnt need anything to help you talk to girls i hear your a smooth talker

Alain Emerson said...

Never got a chance to get involved in the last round of discussions because to be honest it took to long to read all the other ones and I had a busy week. As well as the fact that I have started to get tired of these kinds of conversations. I thought we had moved on. Difficult to understand some people's comments I must admit and when people seem to claim they know it all I just find it hard to muster up the energy now to challenge that. All I want to say is that if you knew John like I do you would become aware of a heart that longs to be filled with the light and love of Jesus; of a soul that has realised that gaining life is found in giving his away; eyes that are searching for traces of the beauty of Jesus in the dark places of the world and a mind that, while striving to understand God, is lost in the wonder of Him. Personally I think he has got something to say...

Anonymous said...

Was having a look at the last blog, seems to me that the issue was not so much John's character.
The issue i believe from reading all 50 comments was this, Is Jesus happy with the way christians are living their lives in the 21st century?
I also believe after looking on all the blogs on this site, it seems a lack of maturity is evident, in the sense that if something is said that is negetive it is censored or not printed, therefore constructive critisim and rubuke is seen as and evil which i belief is wrong.

Stefan McNally said...


have just spent the last half hour writing a comment for you, but lost it - gutted!!

anyway, i was waxing lyrical about the unbound christ, christ playing in a thousand places, and the unrestrained, eternally true, unlimitedly faithful, forever youthful, unfathomable, immanant yet transcendent, humble but dreadful spirit of God. omnipotence that can make itself so heavy so to speak worlds into existence, yet so light as to grant independence to the creature.

what a paradox, putting god in a box!

mate, havent heard from you in a while, thought i'd check out the world of J-mac as communicated through blog space - loving your work fella.

anyhow, as i was reading your blog it occured, or reoccured, that christ is more often than not found in the most unlikeliest of places, the most unlikeliest being a feeding trough surrounded by a most strange audience consisting of a young 14 year virgin who has just given birth, a carpenter, a few shepherds, and an assortment of farm yard animals!!

mate, keep exploring the borderlands of faith, the margins of our world, that is where christ is found.

and so, you can dream, so dream out loud...

...don't let them drag ya down


ps wiggy is an eejit, but love his posts.

Anonymous said...

Wiggy has got it right, he is so cool, mabey we should send out christian drug dealers you never know it may be through this margin we can shine or lights, this has got to be the borderland of faith.
And saying as Jesus went to parties, and was friendly with prostitutes, we could maybe have a christian on the game and hopeful through this sacrafice of sin someone will see the light.
Then after words we could go to the M club and get stonned or something.

Jane said...

What a sad church you have if even the pastor can't even be bothered to point his "flock" in the right direction! It's alright John, Alain's your mate so he must have stamped your ticket to heaven!!Keep going out into the world John doing as the world and sinning in the world because hey man you've got the whole love thing going on. Wiggy, when you go out on the pull, do you discuss God over your pint? Probably not. The same way that John doesn't go to rock concerts to preach the gospel, which is how this blog started.

Just because the pastor thinks you're a cool dude doesn't mean you're behaviour is godly. Even a non-believer commented on this and you John, who according to Alain Emmerson "has a heart that longs to be filled with the light and love of Jesus" - wouldn't let the gospel be preached to an unbeliever (no matter what manner the delivery), has "a soul that has realised that gaining life is found in giving his away", but still and is indeed encouraged by this church to continue to partake in wordly things for personal gratification and also according to Alain has "a mind that, while striving to understand God, is lost in the wonder of Him", yet has demonstrated rebellion in direction and a lack of wisdom pertaining to God's word! Brilliant, but meaningless words have been written about you as a person but despite all your mates in Emmanuel slapping your back and raising their pint glasses you have not throughout this blog demonstrated any evidence of christianity or a willingness to live according to God's word.

I agree with Pamela - maybe this was a rebuke. Maybe God doesn't want you to go to rock concerts and experience euphoria, maybe he wants you to read HIS word and let him work through you. But would you accept a rebuke or guidance from God, probably not.

Anonymous said...

I really feel some of the comments on this blog are going too far, becoming too personal, questioning the integrity and intentions of people you may not even know. Please let's keep a gracious spirit towards each other, before it gets out of hand and someone gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

ok ok ok, here it is ... i'll be serious for a second or two here. alcohol is dangerous in the wrong hands and i have witnessed a few people who's lives have been ruined by it. having said that, neither i nor any of my close friends have 'addictive' personalities and jane, yes, if we go for a pint, a lot of the time we do end up talking about Jesus and what we can do to reach people with his love! shock horror. if we go for a chinese or even a cup of tea, quite often that's what the conversation turns to also.

annonymous ... you're right tho, i am cool and i've got it going on but i have never taken or condoned anyone taking drugs (unless you're talking about caffine coz i love a good cup of tea and a bar of dairy milk!).

while we're on the subject, i have never 'pulled' a girl in a pub or club and have only had a couple of girlfriends and these have been in the committed and serious sense.

It's all very well coming on here and giving me a good slagging! i love it, you're making my day but to question my church, my pastor, my friends or even my own charachter is really sad and pisses me off as you don't know any of us.

We love Jesus, we live our lives to serve Him and shine His light in our town but i also believe that to worship Him means to enjoy the life in which he has given us, to be close in our relationships and to get involved in the world around us!

lots of love, wiggy xxxooo

indya said...

John 13:34-35

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

If we're all so concerned here about knowing our bibles and sticking to God's word, then perhaps it would do us good to read what we've written to each other in light of this verse from John.

William said...

I like U2. Always did since the day when my girlfriend took a pair of scissors to a white pillowcase and wrote "U2 - Boy" on it to make a tee shirt. Good times. She was great. Anyway, I'm off on a tangent. I don't know J-Mac and even if I did I wouldn't want to judge his relationship with the Lord. However, when one pens a blog they are fair game for a "conversation". The liberal po-mo's just love a good "conversation" up until the point where you disagree with them or take something that Jesus said literally. Off the point again! Sorry. Anyway, just wanted to say that God is a jealous God and he doesn't like us having any other god before him. It just doesn't work - it's all or nothing. Does that mean that we cannot go to a rock gig? No! Of course we can. But when we are there just who are we worshipping? Pull the idols down Lord - that includes Bono, the Edge etc....... Finally, in our quest to make the church more relevant to modern culture we need to be careful since much of what is written by man (i.e. almost the entire contents of Faith Mission Bookshop in Belfast), including song lyrics can lead us into error. We need to let the Holy Spirit guide into all truth through his inspired word. That indeed will set us free. May Jesus bless you all!!!

indya said...

Um, the link in my name in my last comment goes to 'Amazing Bible Studies' (ironic?) when it should go to my blog... Dunno how that happened, really.
Hope it doesn't do the same thing again!

J-Mac said...

Sorry but I won't be resorting to or replying to personal attacks.

I just wanted to reply to my latest 'anonymous' commenter by saying that I have no problem with constructive criticism or people disagreeing with my views. In fact the majority of the 50 comments were being critical and were not censored. I have given my reasons for the one comment I did delete.

William...thanks for the email. I appreciate the tone in which it was written and will reply when I get a chance.

Love one another.

Anonymous said...

wiggy has it going on, lets get it started baby.
Pride comes before a fall, but who cares, everybody loves everybody and thats all that matters.

Anonymous said...

I count three comments deleted.
And one of them the gospel.

Anonymous said...

i fear my sarcasim is wasted on mr annonymous ... for everyone else, i hope you enjoy it! (dunno how to spell sarcasim sorry) wiggs

Anonymous said...

just want to say i go to emmanuel and love it and just because a few people go out for pints and go to clubs and rock concerts and feel the presence of God (which i believe is nonsense and you couldnt witness at a rock concert either)also making Bono and the guys Gods doesnt mean emmanuel is all like that, i disagree with all these things drink,clubbing,rock concerts to so-called witness etc these are all worldly things which Godf has saved us and taken us from we should no longer strive after theses things but should be out telling the wortld about Jesus...thats just for the record that not everyone in emmanuel does these things only a minority that thinks its right when its clearly not...and by the way the pastor is brilliant he cant be with people 24/7 to see what theyre doing or where theyre going.

Anonymous said...

Indya was thinking on your scripture John 13 34-35.
What about John Ch 15 v 14 You are my friends if you do what i command you, and also John Ch 15 V 18 - 19.
And finally 1Tim Ch 5 v 20,
Those who continue in sin rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest will be fearful of sinning.
Not my words but God breathed scripture.
Please could someone address scripture on the blog inside of childish games. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Can I just say that reading this blog and hearing all the anonymous comments, fills me with sadness. I can't even bring myself to enter in to the debate. Other than to say that these people seem religious at best and self righteous at worst. RT Kendall describes self righteousness as: a feeling of well being that comes as a result of justifying ourselves.

The kind of comments that have been left on here are: Divisive, they come from the unteachable, the defensive and without wanting to sound like a prude, those who grieve the Holy Spirit.

Judge not less yee be judged.

If christians can not wake up to the fact that we are called to be light in darkness and that the only way we can be light in darkness is to go into it! then the church will dwindle.

I have seen God in a gay club, outside a strip joint, in many a bar and in wonderful bands such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Pink Floyd.

God spoke to me once through Bob Marley.

When we were converted it was because we climbed down from our self righteousness. This is the way we must continue to live - in all our dealings with people - until we get to heaven.

It isn't always easy but it is the best way to live.

Brian Heasley

dave wiggins said...

well put mr heasley

Anonymous said...

god is everywhere and can be found in every single person. if we dont go with our light to these dark places full of people who are addicted to drink, drugs and whatever else who will?!? these are the people the Jesus i know, came for! he was radical and sent for those whoe needed him the most. As god's people on earth we are God's hands and feet, his desire is for us is to bring love and hope for this hurting, broken generation. we need to get out of out christian cliques and start living for other people instead of outselves. we can be so quick to judge and condemn other christians, which actually just wastes time cause we should be putting all the time we have of this short life into seeing god's kingdom come by showing Jesus to people. we have two choices? to sit back and let some one else make a differece, or, be part of making the difference ourselves. the truth is guys, people are going to hell and what are we doing about it? surely if we go to a pub to build relationships with our non christian friends, how can this be condemned!? surely this is what god has called us to do!