Is institutional Christianity the Stockholm Syndrome?

Just some Brain Breakfast if you’re up for it 🙂

Jim Palmer


Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them. Has institutional Christianity become this?

“Faced by someone promising to do them harm if they didn’t do as they say, most people would at least regard such a person as the enemy. Institutional Christianity, however, embraces this “person” as God. They praise and adore him, and even worship this God who has promised them eternal suffering if they don’t do as he says. They bow their heads in thanks, praising him for giving them a way out of the trap he has set for them.

Some expressions of religion bring Stockholm Syndrome to mind.

In the case of religion, God is the one in control of all things good or bad, including all human beings that he created. God is presented as perfect, righteous

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Caught in an endless swirl

Of love extinguishing cares of this world,

Relentlessly pursuing me.

Arriving and claiming victory

Over my calamities

Permeating this vessel with sweet serenity.

Softly speaking within me

Speaking waves of mercy

In dial tones unlike any service provider could offer me.

Offering mercy

Showing compassion toward me

Because though  I be a sinner

I’m white and stain free

Not guilty

Without a plea

Because the Judge of the world said that He loves me.

That is what  I see

A silent discrepancy

Eating away at the raging pains inside

Because His love abides

His glory shines.

He is here.

His presence overwhelming

Like a great wave swelling

To wash away fear.

To dry tears in oceans



Majestic purity

Sweet beauty

In silence.

Written by Garrick Beckles. Copyright © March, 2014.

Operation: Teamwork!!!!

As you all may (not) know, I do happen to enjoy me some video games. Recently, after a hiatus with the brink of a new school term, I’ve resumed playing League of Legends, a MOBA game from riot games. My summoner name is black ace 868 (in case you play too) so feel free to add me if you want… I do warn you that I’m only level 18, so don’t get all excited about playing ranked matches with me. I still have a life after all!


(photocredit to

For those of you who aren’t aware, league of legends pairs you up with four other players as you pit yourself in a 5v5 match to try and capture the other team’s base. Being the introverted, analytical man that I am, I’ve learnt quite a few things about teamwork during my exploits on the fields of justice:

1) No matter how hard you try on your own, there can always be that one guy (or gal) who messes up enough to offset your stock-photo-the-word-fail-in-the-style-of-a-stamp-55605202endeavours and cost you the game.
2) The internet isn’t perfect. People disconnect sometimes. Deal with it.
3) Not everyone is cut out to be a leader just like that. There often is someone with that choleric fuelled need to tell everyone else what to do. It’s nice to listen for some form of team congruence, but still trust experience and give your own input.
4) some people get a little too much in the game, and rage whenever things aren’t going their way. Don’t pay them any mind; it’s just a game!

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5) a lot of people are quick to give up… Just a little lag behind and they’re already pointing fingers and say the ever famous “surrender at 20” line.

So, inspired by her post (it’s her first post ever, so please go check it out and support her 🙂 ) one of my friends decided to ask a group of us what led us to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Each of us went in turn (I was second) and shared the details of our experiences, which was a blessing in itself to hear. I wish you could have been there! Nevertheless, it was a common theme that many of us had, at some point or another, thought that we were alone in this Christian walk as a youth. We were all awestruck when we realized that this was the furthest thing from the truth, and that there were quite a large number of us on this beautiful island we call home.

This “aloneness” was the source, and if not, a major contributor to many of our struggles growing up. I know for sure, that this couldn’t have been more accurate in my case, as in Secondary school (the middle-high school equivalent in where I live) I always felt alone. I questioned God about this on many occasions, and it was only in hindsight that I could truly appreciate the effect it had on being who I am today. As it stands, I am a strong advocate that Christians should stick together. What we call ‘fellowship’ is, for some people, a lifeline, a little shred of hope that keeps them going when they know that in their private time, countless mental ills and frightening circumstances haunt them.

First of all, Jesus had his 12 homies with ’em all the time. It is quintessential to recognise that despite him having his company, He still made the time and effort to spend alone, and alone with His Father at that. Never neglect God! They weren’t just His disciples; they were His friends. He ate with them, walked with them everywhere, talked to them and camped with them all over the place. Just about three years of their lives were spent together without reprieve. I’d like to think that to Him, they were family. Even when they worked Jesus advised them to go out in pairs; it was never a one-man show or a test of individual aptitude. He was culturing them to work as a team.

As a body.

When the disciples had issues, they talked to each other. For example, they thought Jesus was mad at them for not buying bread for him (for the locals, this could be taken as a hilarious Chutney reference) and they talked among themselves. They didn’t keep everything to themselves. Even after Jesus’s time here on Earth, we see evidence of community within the early church. When Peter was in prison, the church prayed for him, and he was out quite shortly after. It was said of those in acts that:

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” -Acts 4:32


We get a strong sense of the unity that they had. So, my question is, why do we try to keep it all to ourselves? When have we grown so ignorant of our brothers and sisters that we can’t even say hi when we see each other on the street? We could pray for one another and share our burdens, letting each help one another (James 5:16) . We have power in agreement (Matt 18:19) to help us to continue in righteousness,  and , not to forget, awesome people to enjoy good times with. There will be people around us to help us grow, and make sure that we keep ourselves in check if we go astray.

So, just like on the fields of justice, we ought to do our best to work well with others (despite how good or bad they are) towards our common goal: Showing the love of Christ to those around us. There may be leaders among us, and we’d do well to follow them, but always trust above all things the Holy Spirit. Some of us may get discouraged easily, but we must always band together and lift up one another. Most and best of all, don’t consider yourself better than anyone one else. God sees us as one bride, and so we should act like one. Don’t point fingers or say it’s unfair because he’s less of a Christian and doesn’t know better… Teach him! Once we band together in Christ, there is nothing we can’t do!

Have a blessed day folks! I hope you all were encouraged to fellowship! And in case you were wondering how to mingle, bring juice. Trust me, juice gets people talking! 😉

Love you guys 😀

Rushing Waters

Surging once
it grew
it spewed
rushing without warning,
flowing out into seas
of uncertainty.

Tides receded
leaving bare
a naked, sparkling shore
surges eased,
meandering till at ease.
flowing streams
into the sea.

Why question it?
it flows,
it goes!
rushing waters,
sediments of sentiments,
carried along,
thronging on.
settling upon tender hearts,
before being lost into the seas of time.


Written By: Garrick Beckles. Copyright ©  March, 2014

Real Talk: Do you Love me?

So I was talking to someone in Spanish today (which I haven’t studied since about 5 years ago I believe) and after interpreting, albeit with several checks to internet sources because of my lack of confidence in the field, and after finally freeing me from the torture of one word answers because I couldn’t muster up “la magica español” ( I can’t believe I actually checked to see if that was right, and still not sure that it is) to respond meaningfully, she said something pretty interesting to me. She said that she feels the same way, but she practised and it got easier… after all, it’s what she loves.


The statement is a very important one. If we take a step back and look at it, within those few words, we get a powerful message. If you love it, you’ll work on it. Anyone who’s ever had a crush or passionately liked doing anything would know what I’m talking about. I remember days of huddling behind an ancient desktop computer sweating so much beads that I could have sold necklaces for a living, all because of a passion for video games. You see, my parents were well aware of my fiery passions, and so banned me from playing during the school term. Of course, that was but mere paper before the wrath of my feelings, and so on Saturdays when my parents were out working, I’d stake all my chips in a gamble to get my gaming on while they were not home. My father would pop in now and then, so if at any point I heard a vehicle approaching, I’d sprint like a madman and peep through the window to see if it was him. I had quite a few brushes with death during my adventures, but I must say it was rather enjoyable. In fact, these moments were far better than during the holidays when I could play as I wish.

Nothing like a little adrenaline to make a good time great, eh?

When you love something, you work on it. You get to know it better, and try your best to spend time with it, even if it means overcoming a few “setbacks” as was my case. It doesn’t feel like work either; it consumes your time, but to you, it feels worth it. My man Jacob from the Bible knows what I’m talking about. He worked, and boy did he work. He was willing to work seven years for his future wife, Rachel, because he loved her. It said these seven years “seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her”. Even after all that, He still didn’t get exactly what he wanted, but had received the wrong wife! After being tricked and getting her older sister as wife first, he had to work even more for his precious Rachel. It is important to note that he received her as wife a week after marrying Leah, and not seven years after, as many have been led to believe. He still had to work another seven years, however, but his precious Rachel was with him, so it was all good. 🙂

God knows very well this principle, and that’s why His Word says in John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Now, for those of you who don’t know (which, as always, I assume is all) I am a Computer Science student. In my first year, we were taught a little something about logic, which is very important to the above. Say we had two statements, P and Q. Had I said if P is true, then Q is true, we say that P implies Q, which simplified to the logic P or not Q, or Q prime. Why is this important? It meant that if P is false, then Q is false. Obvious, right? However, if Q is true, it doesn’t mean that P is true. Q has no effect on P, but rather P has an effect on Q.

Back to English now.

If I love God, I will keep His commandments. However, if I keep His commandments, it doesn’t mean that I love Him. In other words, my keeping His commandments is NOT a proof of my love for Him. It is, however, a by-product of me loving Him, because, well, it’s only natural. If I love God, I’d want to make Him happy. I’d spend time with Him, get to know Him and make the effort. It won’t feel like work either, because of the love I have; it will simply be my natural reaction. I said this because many a Christian use this scripture to condemn others, saying that if I disobey Him, I don’t love Him, when really God wants not our obedience, but our love. the obedience will come naturally, so don’t try to force it on others!


This doesn’t apply God-ward only, but to relationships as well. I love my girlfriend. She’s a little piece of Jesus to me everyday, and the more I get to know her, the more I want to know Him. I want to spend time with her, get to know not just about her, but to experience her in her purest form. I want to experience her music, her passions, her pains… just about everything that I could get my hands on that would help me understand the wonder in which God has made her. I want to make her happy! it’s only natural. If she wants something, I’d bend over sideways (because backwards looks kind of odd) to get it for her, even if it’s a bit out of my way. She’d do the same for me, because she loves me too! It never was a matter of obedience, but a matter of love.

So friends, do you love God? Are you willing to work for Him, and make it work with Him? Do you love your job, or your course of study? Stop trying to force compliance, or force results. Try to love what you do, and it will come! I love you all, and I realise more and more everyday that I love talking to you all, and so I’m trying to make the effort too… for you guys 🙂

God Bless you!

    (photocredit to: and