08
Dec
16

“literalist” Christianity growing in Canada

…Why is literalist Christianity growing in North America? (Canada!)

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/why-is-literalist-christianity-growing-in-n/8099310

In Canada, a new study shows that the churches that are growing across North America are, indeed, conservative.

If you attended one of these churches, you wouldn’t necessarily hear a fire-and-brimstone sermon. Nor would you be swept up in a gale of rock music and waving arms and preachers speaking in tongues.

But you would notice a literal reading of the Bible on one key point – the bodily resurrection of Christ. According to the authors of the study, it’s the reason for the success of these churches.

An interesting point: Conservative in theology, not necessarily politically.

I also find it “strange” but not unexpected that believing in the “bodily resurrection of Christ” seems to be considered as being unusual in some way. But without the “bodily resurrection of Christ” there can be no genuine Christianity – any expression of faith in Christ would be worthless.

…if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. (1 Cor 15)

 

08
Dec
16

Religion and Politics This Year and Next.

What role will religion play in global politics next year?

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/what-role-will-religion-play-in-global-politics-next-year/8099012

07
Dec
16

Are You In The Market For Deception?

There are a lot of warnings in scripture about false teachers, false prophets and false Christ’s that would all be totally redundant if there wasn’t a need to alert people to the possibility of being turned from the truth to accept something contrary to the truth.

But not only are there warnings about deceivers, there are warnings about people who follow them. In Jeremiah a commentary on false prophets also turns an accusing finger upon those who welcome their messages: “My people love to have it so”; and Paul writes about people who collect teachers to appeal to their itching ears.

Without a “market” for deception, no deceiver would survive.

It seems today there is little difference between attitudes to theological ideas and the consumption of news. Does it really matter if the source is reliable as long as its message supports a desired stance?

Often it takes only a very cursory (honest) look into a teaching or news source to assess its truthfulness, but unless there is a genuine desire FOR the truth, it is easy to dismiss clear evidence if it contradicts what we WANT to believe.

Likewise it’s easy to ignore serious flaws in a teaching or news source if it’s PROMOTING what we want to believe.

It’s sad fact that many (even professing Christians) really have no love of the truth, preferring to mould a more appealing (to them) version of “reality” to live by.

06
Dec
16

The “News” of Bias and Hatred

“Pizzagate is a lie.  But what it says about our society is real”  by Ijeoma Oluo.

 

 

Americans who believe fake news aren’t duped. They willingly decide to accept whatever outrageous story fits their bias and hatred

 

In any other year, a story like “Pizzagate” would get you laughed out of the room. The conspiracy theory claiming that Hillary Clinton was part of an underground child-sex trafficking ring run out of a pizza shop, is bizarre and disturbing from start to finish. But in 2016 – a year where nothing seems to make sense anymore – a story like that can be cited as a motive for a crime.

full article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/05/pizzagate-lie-what-it-says-about-society-real

 

 

Also see related article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/05/gunman-detained-at-comet-pizza-restaurant-was-self-investigating-fake-news-reports

excerpt:

A fake news story was even tweeted by General Mike Flynn, Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser. In the 3 November tweet he linked to a discredited story that suggested Hillary Clinton and her “crew” were involved in child abuse and added the comment “U decide.”

05
Dec
16

The Post Truth Generation by Tricia Tillin

A very timely and insightful article from Tricia Tillin at:

https://bannerministries.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/the-post-truth-generation/

 

No matter the actual facts, people will believe what they want to, and TRUTH IS IRRELEVANT.

What better explanation of “post-truth” can we find?

The change in the world’s way of thinking, demonstrated by the Oxford Dictionary amongst others, is a reality that is and will impact us all. In particular, it opens the door to massive global deception on a scale never before experienced.

The phenomenon seems especially alive in Christian circles, perhaps because Christians are more likely to believe in the supernatural or apocalyptic predictions that non believers would dismiss out of hand.

02
Dec
16

Your Father?

onog

I’m possibly just slow of mind – but yesterday evening a thought eventually hit me, that if true,  would reveal a disturbing aspect of the increasing evangelical leaning towards patriotism.

What is the root of the words patriot and patriotism?

The answer suddenly seemed obvious – but I wanted to check. And that’s what I did this morning.

(found here: http://science.jrank.org/pages/10609/Patriotism-Origins.html )

“The deep roots of the word patriot lie in Roman antiquity, particularly in terms such as patria and patrius, which indicate fatherland, city, native, or familiar place. Familiar has links with the word family (familia). This also has ties with the term father or paternal (pater, père, Vater, padre), or what is implied by the “role of the father” within a family. In terms of the “role of father,” ”

And

“The state was, in a sense, paternal authority “writ large.”

And from here: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/patriot

“The word patriot comes from patrios (Greek, not Latin for once), which means ‘of one’s father.’”

And from here: http://www.freedictionarydefinitions.com/search.htm?word=patriot

“Origin of patriot
Middle French patriote compatriot, from Late Latin patriota, from Greek patriōtēs, from patria lineage, from patr-, patēr father”

BUT from here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23:9&version=NKJV

Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

 

 

30
Nov
16

All Things Work Towards God’s Agenda

The following is a slightly amended version of an email I recently sent to my American friend and brother, Steve.

* * *

 

I think one of my most important realisations came out of my reading into WWI:  that nothing happens in isolation from God’s purposes.

All of history has been working towards the future that God has planned. It’s not always clearly seen – but God works through man’s actions, even man’s evils, to bring about His purposes.

Unlike Calvinists I don’t believe God plans, causes or intends man’s evils to take place, but I believe He “deflects” or manoeuvres the outcomes of man’s evil actions into a direction that furthers His agenda and takes us towards His ultimate purpose: A new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells and all unrighteousness is excluded.

Nothing, whether it is history, politics, art, or any other aspect of human life has an importance or relevance separated from spirituality and God’s ultimate intention for His creation.

We can easily get caught up in the politics, the facts of history or mankind’s creativity, but if we make those things the central focus we miss the point.

And if I may make a statement that some will find controversial  – the same can be said of the bible, of prayer, and any other “spiritual” matter – if we make THEM the focus rather than God and our relationship with Him, we miss the point. Those things are just a necessary “means to an end” – and that “end” is God Himself.

___________________________________

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.




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