Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Worshipping Doubters

'And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came to them and said...'

This is a fascinating verse in Scripture that invites us to doubt.

What is interesting is that Jesus comes to worshippers/doubters/worshipping doubters and sends them all into a world of certainty with the Gospel.

Worshipping doubters are sent by God to those who are certain and secure in all that they believe and to declare that they have witnessed something that they do not quite know how to explain or put into words. Oh they will use words, at times with great confidence, yet those words do not quite portray everything that they have seen and heard. Worshipping doubters declare to a world of certainty that all that they are certain of may need to be re-examined. The Resurrection calls us to question everything we know, invites us to doubt and thus to find faith.


Worshipping doubters smash the god idols of certainty that call us to mindlessly adhere to the way the world is. The certainty gods do not want you to think, perceive and see that you've been lied to.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

'This is the end, for me the beginning of life'

On April 9th 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazi's.



When he was summoned to go with the guards it is reported that he turned to one of his friends and said,

"This is the end, for me the beginning of life."

In one of the last letters he wrote whilst in prison he said,

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Life Together


When Christianity becomes a code of morality, an ethic of 'right or wrong' then you can be sure that we have ceased following Jesus faithfully. The Way of life with God is not about 'not breaking the rules' but about how we might live lives that ever more reflect the Light and Life of Jesus; how might we become more human.
A morality code Christianity inevitably leads to individualism and how 'I' am saved through right living and how 'my' salvation is the most important element of my existence. A life like this is not the abundant life that Jesus calls us into, it is not the life of communion with the Trinitarian Life. Living through a lens of 'not breaking the rules' leads to a spirit of judgement and condemnation or perpetual guilt and shame, sometimes both.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Palestine, Politics and Power

I have a picture of Jesus depicted as a wanted criminal on a poster with an offer of a reward for his capture. It is implied that he is a dangerous rebel whom the powerful are trying to capture because of his criminal activities on behalf of the poor.

I showed this to someone not long ago and they were confused by it. They asked why Jesus was being portrayed in this way. They couldn't understand why politicians or the powerful would see Jesus as an enemy and what relevance Jesus would have in these areas of life.

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In April 2002 am Israeli bulldozer - a bulldozer made and sold by Caterpiller Inc., an American company - destroyed a Palestinian home in the West Bank. The home was destroyed in the middle of the night killing Mahmoud Omar Al Sho’bi's father Umar, his sisters Fatima and Abir, his brother Samir, pregnant sister-in-law Nabila and their three children, ages 4, 7, and 9. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus (otherwise you might fall down a well)


Hippolytus writes, 'It is said that Thales of Miletus...looking towards the heaven, alleging that he was carefully examining supernal objects, fell into a well; and a certain maid, by name Thratta, remarked of him derisively, that while intent on beholding things in heaven, he did not know what was at his feet.'
Jesus calls us to be aware, to 'see', the reality of the world around us. To 'fix your eyes on Jesus' is not to gaze into the heavens longing to be set free from this world; it is to walk with Jesus in the muck and mire, to eat at the table of strangers who become friends, to laugh with Jesus at the joy and the wonder of relationship with God and each other. It is an earthly, gritty and liberating way of 'seeing'.
If our eyes are looking up at the heavens we will miss the beauty and pain of today.
If our eyes are looking to the stars we will miss God with us in the gutter.
If our eyes are fixed on life after death we will miss the beauty of the life of God today and the hope of the Kingdom tomorrow.
If our eyes are fixed on 'supernal objects' we will miss the suffering of our fellow human and the ways Jesus is good news to the poor, oppressed and captive.
How can we walk faithfully with the Risen Jesus if we are stuck down the bottom of a well?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Christianity

'Christianity entered history as a new social order, or rather a new social dimension. From the very beginning Christianity was not primarily a 'doctrine', but exactly a 'community'. There was not only a 'Message' to be proclaimed and delivered, and 'Good News' to be declared. There was precisely a New Community, distinct and peculiar, in the process of growth and formation, to which members were called and recruited. Indeed, 'fellowship' (koinonia) was the basic category of Christian existence. Primitive Christians felt themselves to be closely knit and bound together in a unity that radically transcended all human boundaries - of race, of culture, of social rank, and indeed the whole dimension of "this world"'. 

Fr Georges Florovsky, Empire and Desert 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Are We the gods Now?


Christian faith from its very beginnings has declared that God is able (Jude 24). Early Christian witness was to a God who, not only was able but who was wholly other and supreme to all things. Irenaeus declared that God 'is not as men are...the Father of all is...a simple, uncompounded Being, without diverse members, and altogether like, and equal to himself, since he is wholly understanding, and wholly spirit, and wholly thought, and wholly intelligence, and wholly reason, and wholly hearing, and wholly seeing, and wholly light, and the whole source of all that is good.' (Against Heresies, II.XIII.III) God's supremacy over all things and his Lordship over the whole cosmos (Colossians 1:15-18) was powerfully witnessed to and affirmed by the early church in face of fierce persecution and demands upon them to swear their allegiance to Caesar, something that they refused to do; God is able was their ringing testimony.

However we live in a time when many would seek to convince us that humanity is able on its own without any need for God. Certainly this is not a new concept with history littered with human desire to 'go it alone', be masters of their own lives and discover a perceived freedom from religious conviction and faith in God. Many have come to believe that God is an unnecessary part of human life, that our own advancement's and achievements have made God an irrelevance and that there is no need for God.
Without doubt our continued discoveries in the sciences, anthropology and cultural hermeneutics, amongst other things, has enabled many exciting and revolutionary changes to take place within our societies. Yet as advanced as we appear to be, as able as we think we are, we are left with the reality that, compared to God, we simply are not able;

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Do Not Conform

When does our conformity serve, enable and bring blessing to majority thinking, even when such thinking is oppressive, abusive and anti-Gospel?

Jesus calls out a people who will oppose the oppressors, shine the light of truth and expose the abusers and be guardians of a love ethic that reveals and crucifies hatred and fear.

Conformity can be a means through which we find ourselves on the side of hatred and fear, guardians of violence and greed, a willing yet ignorant cog in a system that turns and controls us.

Martin Luther King Jr spoke of the three evils, racism, poverty and war. He often spoke powerfully and boldly to the Church about how complicit it had become in promoting and promulgating these evils but that a time had come to no longer conform but to be transformed non-conformists. He called the Church to remember her roots and the 'gospel glow' of the early Christians who though 'quantitatively small' were 'qualitatively giants'. Such was their commitment to the non-violent Way of Jesus and his love ethic they revealed to a world the truest and most powerful sense of what it means and looks like to love God and neighbour. Orphanages and adoption, feeding the poor, caring for the sick, loving the loveless and refusing to bow to Caesar and the violent demands of the Roman Empire saw the Church flourish.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 4th February 1906 - 9th April 1945

'It is not for us to predict the day - but the day will come - when people will once more be called to speak the word of God in such a way that the world is changed and renewed. It will be like a new language, perhaps quite nonreligious language, but liberating and redeeming like Jesus' language, so people will be alarmed, but overcome by its power - the language of new righteousness and truth, a language proclaiming that God makes peace with humankind and that God's kingdom is drawing near...Until then, the Christian cause will be a quiet and hidden one; but there will be people who pray and do justice and wait for God's own time.'





'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.'


Monday, 20 January 2014

What If...?

Do you go to church?  If you do, I have a few questions to ask.

How far away from where you live is the church that you go?

What are the reasons you go to said church?  Is it the preaching? The music? The kids work?

If you travel out of your local community to a church in another community why have you not tried to go to a church in your local community?

I don't mean go for a month or even a year but for a few years and really give it a go. And why not invite others who live locally and travel out to another church to go to a local church too. Why not together look for how you can GIVE to this local church, use your gifts in this church, GIVE energy, encouragement, support, ideas, prayer and most importantly, love and relationship.

'The church is too traditional'

'The church's worship is really poor'