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A Spirituality of Discipleship
By : Ash Barker (UNOH Director)
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Christian spirituality is tangibly different from magic. Magic attempts to manipulate spiritual forces so that the supplicant can get what they want. Christian spirituality is about surrendering all to God so that God can do through the supplicant what God wants. The struggle of Christian spirituality over magic is a crucial one today as in previous ages. I witness obvious attempts at magic most days here in Klong Toey slum. Some magic I understand as simple transactions such as the use of spirit houses. In most neighbourhoods here these little dolls house-like structures are set on poles and are complete with miniature furniture and people in them. Neighbours give fresh fruit and burn incense as a way of appeasing the local spirit and for good luck. While I obviously don't agree with this I can see the way it works in my neighbours minds. I don't understand some other attempts at magic here though. Down at the local market most nights, for example, you can see middle-aged men wandering around with magic belts. Variously sized phallic wooden carvings hang from these belts. I am told they are to help fertility and understand it as an ancient, magical form of Viagra. What I don’t understand is why they would advertise!

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