Showing Up – Turning From Idols

In the last chapter, I identified a number of redemptive offers, alternative hope offered from religious, political, social or economic perspectives.  At the end of the chapter I observed that these alternative solutions have several things in common. They encourage people to assume a victim identity. The world is then divided between a powerful minorityContinue reading “Showing Up – Turning From Idols”

Gifting, discernment and abuse

This is the sermon mentioned in my article about spiritual abuse Worship is about                Glorifying and praising God                Encouraging one another up /being a witness                Hearing God speak to us? How do we know that it is God speaking? By Knowing our own limitations (v 1-2) A question about Spiritual things –Continue reading “Gifting, discernment and abuse”

Idolatry and Abuse

I am republishing this article from 2016 in the light of recent challenging news stories How can we be alert to the risk of abuse, manipulation and control in church life?  Sometime back, I  preached on 1 Corinthians 12:1-3. I talked about how the devil wants us to stop hearing God and instead turn toContinue reading “Idolatry and Abuse”

Do we worship freedom?

When he wrote Escape from Reason, Francis Schaeffer talked about how we have divided the word in half, below the line is the natural world and above it is the supernatural, what we look to for meaning, what in effect we worship. Once we remove from God from above the line we replace him withContinue reading “Do we worship freedom?”

Racism, social justice, crime, sin and idolatry

This is a follow up article to my most recent article on #BlackLivesMatter and specifically to some comments, questions and interaction.  One notable comment was to the affect that Justice was being done in the George Floyd case because the policeman was standing trial Christians should stick to preaching the Gospel and not spend timeContinue reading “Racism, social justice, crime, sin and idolatry”

Resisting Tyranny – Two case studies

In response to my articles on obeying Government and civil disobedience, I saw this comment on twitter. So, I thought it might be worth working through the two case studies.  First of all Daniel.  I want you to notice a few things about Daniel’s account because it is in fact important to our thinking. FirstContinue reading “Resisting Tyranny – Two case studies”

Why attempting to control COVID is not an idolatrous attempt to conquer death

A narrative is emerging from some quarters of the church that measures to deal with the pandemic represent state and societal hubris, a humanistic confidence in our ability to defeat death. If this was the case, then we would be dealing with idolatry. Of course, as Christians we should not be surprised to see evidenceContinue reading “Why attempting to control COVID is not an idolatrous attempt to conquer death”

When a community has a blind spot

I want to pick up on a brilliant question that was raised by one of our church family on the Zoom discussion last Sunday. We had listened to James preach on Matthew 7:1-6 and then one of the members asked “is it possible for these verses to talk about a whole community, church or institution?”Continue reading “When a community has a blind spot”

Seduced (Proverbs 7)

“You want business?” It was a persistent question walking back to my flat after work. I’d managed to rent a place in  one of the less desirably parts of town and along the road I had to walk along was where the local prostitutes operated. I have to say they hadn’t made much of anContinue reading “Seduced (Proverbs 7)”

Adultery and the forbidden woman

There is nothing more devastating than adultery. The discovery that the person you trusted your life to was living a lie, the  fear, guilt and shame that it was in fact failure on your part, the destruction that comes as a dad or mum walks out refusing to heed the pitiful cry of their childrenContinue reading “Adultery and the forbidden woman”