“Have a bath and change your clothes” (Ephesians 4:17 -32)

It has been vital during the pandemic to take off clothes as soon as you get home and have a shower or bath. It would be ridiculous to put the old contaminated clothes back on again. Similarly, the imagery of Christian faith is a bath (baptism), don’t put your old clothes back on again!

When your pastor gets depressed (3) Is it sin?

You may remember that a few weeks back I wrote about being offered Biblical Counselling when depressed and the implication behind that approach to counselling that the cause of depression is some buried sin from the past. There is a real danger when dealing with the problem of depression that we immediately assume that theContinue reading “When your pastor gets depressed (3) Is it sin?”

When the pagans call us to prayer

Steve Kneale has written here with a typically robust response to the Archbishop of York’s call for a national day of prayer. In his article Steve rightly highlights the problems with such calls, that there is something peculiar about calling people to pray to a God that you do not believe in and that whenContinue reading “When the pagans call us to prayer”

Unrepentant (Matthew 11:20-24)

What will it take to get you to repent?  That’s quite a blunt way to start an article isn’t it?  Repent of what exactly? And who am I to ask that of you? Isn’t the concept of repentance itself all a bit judgemental? Yet at the heart of the Bible’s good news message is aContinue reading “Unrepentant (Matthew 11:20-24)”

Complicity and saying sorry

In my article about the EHCR report on anti-Semitism I started to raise the issue of complicity. There is a level at which we all as a society (perhaps with one or two exceptions) have to recognise a level of complicity in the way that this toxic evil was allowed to get to the heartContinue reading “Complicity and saying sorry”

When you want to prevent others from receiving forgiveness

It only really struck me with force when I was actually preaching on Sunday. I guess it was because I was preaching specifically on this incident for the first time from Matthew’s Gospel, I’ve spoken on it many times from Luke’s Gospel but not from here. Matthew really brings out the hard hearted merciless waysContinue reading “When you want to prevent others from receiving forgiveness”

Does forgiveness need to be expressed to the other person?

RT Kendall’s book used to be considered the classic textbook for Christians on forgiveness.  One of his main arguments was that forgiveness was primarily about the heart attitude of the offended.  One of his key bits of advice was that if someone had offended you and you had truly forgiven them then you would notContinue reading “Does forgiveness need to be expressed to the other person?”

Does forgiveness remove the need for church discipline?

In my ten years at Bearwood Chapel, we’ve only felt the need to pursue full church discipline in line with 1 Corinthians 5 on one occasion. However the need to remove membership due to persistent, unrepentant and serious sin will sadly arise from time to time in church life. We’ve been talking about the importanceContinue reading “Does forgiveness remove the need for church discipline?”

Exploring Forgiveness and Repentance

I’ve been writing a little recently about forgiveness. It arises out of our recent studies from the Sermon on the Mount. It also relates to some other things I have written recently about our pastoral responsibilities to victims of abuse and to those accused. So, I was interested to see the other day that myContinue reading “Exploring Forgiveness and Repentance”