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”

Grace Culture – the importance of swift repentance and forgiveness

I believe that a grace culture is one where we are quick to seek forgiveness, express sorrow and repentance, to offer forgiveness and to seek reconciliation.  This reflects the teaching in the Sermon on the Mount which is all about what it means to be saturated in God’s love and grace so that we enjoyContinue reading “Grace Culture – the importance of swift repentance and forgiveness”

Racism is a sin of omission not just comission

One of the things that has been concerning for white church pastors like me in response to some of the discussion about racism has been the level of defensiveness. We want to say that we are not racist and so we get very defensive when people talk about systemic racism going on in our churchesContinue reading “Racism is a sin of omission not just comission”

Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)

On our After Eight slot for Bearwood Chapel we were talking about the bit where Jesus says to take out the log in your own eye before attempting to remove your brother’s speck the other day. I asked Sarah, in the context of this, what she thought was our primary responsibility in a dispute. SheContinue reading “Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)”

It was the Russians

Finally we have had the report about Russian interference in elections. If I understand things right, there’s some evidence of attempted interference in some campaigns and none or little for others. However where there is no evidence of interference that proved that there must have been interference and the government have intentionally looked the otherContinue reading “It was the Russians”

Happy people – those who mourn

Our second beatitude promises blessing or happiness for those who mourn.  In Matthew, the reason that they are happy, or blessed is because they will be comforted. Luke 6:21 sets an even strong contrast “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” Jesus here is picking up on an important Old Testament themeContinue reading “Happy people – those who mourn”