Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

17
Aug
17

Out of Church?

Questions that deserve to be revisited when believers continue to be accused of “Forsaking the Body of Christ” after  they can’t find a suitable “church” to attend. (A repost from June 2012)

Onesimus Files

 What makes a church a church?

A building?

A seminary trained minister?

 Organised meetings – especially on Sunday?

A history?

Community recognition that THIS is a church?

Or is it any group of believers meeting any place they can at any time they can as long as their focus is relationship with God through Jesus: whether others recognise it as “church” or not.

I suspect many recognised, respectable “churches” would not fulfil that last definition.

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16
Apr
17

Easter – a quick sketch revisited.

bunny.png

Originally posted in 2013

16
Mar
17

Making [ your nation ] Great Again. The Sequel

What are the priorities and practices of man’s nationalistic politics and where does YOUR heart lie?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

(Isaiah 5)

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

(James 1)

Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?  But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

(James 2)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

(Matthew 6)

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

(1 Tim 6)

_____________

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

06
Mar
17

Lies, Hypocrisy and Deja Vu. (from the Evangelicals’ choice): Addendum

Fact check: what did Trump’s tweets about Obama’s ‘wiretaps’ mean?

Trump accuses former president of illegal wiretapping – claims that appear to be based on rumors circulating in rightwing media about a ‘silent coup’

 

On Saturday morning, without presenting evidence, Donald Trump
accused former president Barack Obama of illegal wiretapping.

Using Twitter, the president also mounted a defense of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions and his meetings with the Russian ambassador.

The six tweets appeared to originate with rumors circulating in rightwing media, especially talk radio and Breitbart News – recently run by Steve Bannon, now the president’s chief strategist – about a “silent coup” against Trump, by members of the Obama administration.

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/04/fact-check-trump-obama-wiretap-tweets-rumors

25
Dec
16

What if…

“…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Australia, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”

When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Australia, and was detained there indefinitely to deter others who might be desperate enough to seek asylum in that country.”

family

Drawing by child refugee imprisoned in Australian detention centre.

.

(drawing from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/asylum-seekers-and-refugees/national-inquiry-children-immigration-detention-2014 )

detention-centre

(drawing from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2711408/Drawings-asylum-seeker-refugee-children-held-Australian-detention-centres.html )

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.

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)

 

16
Nov
16

Obtuse, Obsessive and Splitting Hairs

My correspondence about the nature of some recent political campaign material has been an eye-opener.

In response to what I’ve written I’ve been told by various people that I’m obtuse, obsessive and I’m splitting hairs; and I’ve been accused of playing silly games, of wilful stupidity and of defending the killing of babies.

How discouraging it could be to see how truth can be treated with so much disdain by professing Christians if Jesus hadn’t warned that such falsehoods would become prominent in the latter days.

 

If this ongoing matter was merely about different political opinions I’d have no problem stepping back and agreeing to disagree – but politics isn’t at the heart of it, at least not on my part.

But I’m not so sure whether that is the case on all sides, considering the kind of things Christians have been willing to accept and promote to advance a particular political outcome.

 

Personally I was never in favour of either of the presidential candidates.

On the one hand I saw that Clinton would continue a “more of the same” path with little immediate upheaval in the US and around the world, but she probably wouldn’t address things that seriously needed change.

A Clinton win would also probably mean a continuation of the “evangelical” hostility shown to Obama as well as the continuing stalemate enforced by a republican congress that made it difficult for Obama to get anything to be done in the US during his presidency.

 

On the other hand Trump seemed likely to shake everything up but not necessarily in the beneficial way his supporters expected. A Trump win would give “evangelicals” the kind of leader their behaviour showed they wanted after their 8 years of hostility and lies directed at Obama. I see their favoured leader perfectly mirrors that “evangelical” behaviour towards the outgoing president.

I  can see that a Trump presidency could be God’s way of shaking American evangelicals, opening their eyes and giving them the opportunity to repent of their trust in their Nation and its secular political system.

However, the opening of eyes requires a willingness to see and recognise the truth. Sadly, my recent experiences and observations don’t make me optimistic about the likelihood of many of those Christians/evangelicals being able and willing to take advantage of that opportunity.

______________________________

In the latest email I’ve received from Bill Randles he said: “The issue is not the video, but the words of Hillary telling us that we would have to alter our religious beliefs”
However, the issue IS the video, which projects extremist meaning onto “the words of Hillary” to proclaim that she’s demanding things like: “Kneel and deny your Christian faith”. (I’ve already addressed Clinton’s actual words elsewhere).

I’m sure someone with ill intent could easily trawl through Bills recorded sermons and find something that could be twisted to give it an unintended sinister meaning, and could do so successfully if it was presented in the unscrupulous manner of that video to an audience as undiscerning and hostile as those who find the anti-Clinton video to be truthful.

 

[If anyone reading this doesn’t usually refer to the comments section of a post, I recommend that you do so this time. I think there are some important additions to the ongoing issues mentioned above]




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