Thursday, 30 July 2009

Wise words for those who wish to do biblical studies.

"In the past I have suggested that pursuing biblical studies is akin to taking the red pill in the movie The Matrix: once you do you will never be able to return to the blissful, idyllic world of blind faith. Nope, once you take that pill you’re going to have to deal with tough, tough questions that reject pat answers, and sometimes presents answers quite unpalatable to those who have developed a taste for theories straight from the Sunday School."

from 'Do You Really Want To Study The Bible?', Scotteriology

Monday, 27 July 2009

You fool! Tonight you die.

Anyone else watch 'Song of praise' on Sunday (26/07/09)? No, I thought not but I think you may want to watch this weeks (here).

The reason I feel its worth a watch is because of its interview with Duncan Bannatyne, from "Dragons' Den".((You can find the interview at 10.24 mins). According to my *cough* reliable *cough* source his wealth was estimated at £320 million by the Sunday Times Rich List in 2009.

Duncan tells a story of when he was in Romania doing charity work in an orphanage. He describes the awful condition he saw the children in and so funded an orphanage himself, now called 'Casa Bannatyne'. He states that he still takes a great interest in them over the 13 years past and is indeed going to a wedding of one of the orphans soon. Sounds like he's doing great work, but he then goes on.

He describes how at one time he was there and feeling quite emotional so he went around the back of the orphanage by himself. Whilst he was sat there God came to him! He describes it himself as an apparition. He tells us that God said, "It's time you joined us and became a good Christian." (Not sure if the 'us' was a divine revelation of God's Trinitarian nature or a Scottish abuse of the English language, either way still cool.) It's even more exciting as he is later asked whether he had ever though about religion and he said 'no'.

All very exciting so far but please hold your horses!
Duncan then says, verbatim:
"I thought about it for a few minutes and I said 'No, I'm not ready'."

I thought to myself, 'Ok, so he was a bit scared at the time but in a minute he'll say how God met him again, or how he realised what a fool he had been and ran to God.' Unfortunately not. He merely describes how he think God knows who he is and that's it, and say that he thinks it's a relationship with God. Even he doesn't sound too convinced by it.

It reminded me of a story Jesus told, which I'm sure you are all to aware:

Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."

14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."

16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

21 "This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God."
Luke 12:13-21 (TNIV)

Now I know one can argue the this doesn't apply to Duncan as he is a Philanthropist but I believe it does. What is he not ready for? Now perhaps he's happy to give up his money but there is something he is not ready to give up. "What good will it be for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul? Or what can you give in exchange for your soul?" (Matt 16:26 TNIV). Lets pray for Duncan as ask that his heart may be softened and that our brothers and sisters around him will reach out to him and spur him on. What if it is tonight that he dies? Can we really say we wept that he was lost? That we tried our best to bring him into the Kingdom?

Till next time!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

And how would you like your wafer, sir?

Reading in the times today (25/07/09) there was an article entitled "Worshippers who oppose women priests receive 'untainted' bread". It seems that at Blackburn Cathedral (Anglican), where there is a women presiding over the Eucharist 'reserved sacrament'(which has been consecrated by a man earlier) is provided for those who object to a women consecrating their wafer and see it as 'tainted'.

According to the article Blackburn Cathedral has been a seat of opposition for decades and there at half a dozen (that's right, 6!) people out of their 200 strong Sunday morning congregation who refuse to receive the sacrament from a women. This has, as you probably expected, rather large opposition from all sides. The Cathedrals Canon, Andrew Hindley has said in defence, "It was agreed by all the clergy and the Cathedral chapter that this was the best way to handle what we call a mixed economy."

It seems rather strange to me. Pick you position and stick to it. Is it really worth alienating the whole community over 6 people? The Times even reports that Stephen Parkinson from 'Forward in Faith', "the churches traditionalist lobby group", has said, "I've never come across this before. It's pretty extraordinary. I can't understand why the women priest put up with it". Here, Here! I think they need to stick to their guns and, in love of course, explain to the 6 to learn to agree or go elsewhere in the fellowship of believers.

Till next time!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts!

Hi all!
I think it's probably quite obvious what this post is about!
Sorry for the lack of posts. It's been a busy few weeks but I am back on form and will be posting more of my thoughts during the next few days.
As the french say "Pardon je suis en retard!"
Honestly it never gets old. Always funny.
Till next time!

P.S. I would post now but its 1am (GMT) and I ramble at the best of times. Also, I meant to have an early night but got carried away online. Oooops!

Gay Jesus?

Well its been a while since my last post so lets start with something controversial! No, I don't mean happy Jesus I do indeed mean homosexual. Let me try to explain where all this has come from. My old house-mate from Uni, Dan Cruse and his now wife, Jo (was Warren) got married recently. Anyway, the night before the wedding I was sleeping in the lounge with another of my old uni house-mates and a uni friend who, if I'm honest, slept over so oven he basically lived there too. I got chatting with one of them about whether Jesus could have been gay. We had a nice chat about it and it later dawned on me just how controversial a thought this was, hence why I'm putting it here for all to see.

Now I must get a few things straight (pun not intended) before we look any further.
1) I believe that practicing homosexuality is a sin equal (if you like to talk in these terms) to sex before marriage, lust, etc.
2) In reference to Jesus being gay I mean orientation, not practicing.

It has since become all the more apt a topic after the revelation the the Anglican communion in America (Episcopalians) have agreed on ordaining homosexually active peoples in all ministries.

So, getting to the point the question is this:
Could Jesus have been homosexually orientated?

It struck me that for so may conservative Christians (of which I place myself) if you asked them this they would out-rightly say "NO!", yet is you asked them if a Christian is sinning in being attracted to the same sex, yet not practicing they would also say "no". Just seems hypocritical to me. Perhaps I'm just going of my concepts rather then truth but I still think it's worth a thought.

For what it's worth I think it's possible, rather unlikely, but possible. My reasoning behind it is this. Homosexuality (which you may disagree with me) seems to be a mix of both genetic and cultural factors. If Jesus was indeed fully human as we claim then he would be open to both of these.

Just my thoughts.
Looking forward to any CONSTRUCTIVE comments and discussion from you all.
In Christ,
Till next time!