Three anxieties

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Is it a sin to be anxious  or is it simply a mental health condition that you don’t have control over? I’ve heard both extremes.  In the church we often emphasis the former whilst it is increasingly the norm to hear people saying “I have anxiety” and using that as a reason not to be… Continue reading Three anxieties

On wishing politicians dead

On wishing someone else dead “We should rejoice that this dictator is dead” said the preacher, to audible gasps from the congregation.  “My daughter prayed that he would die at our family prayer time yesterday, and it has happened.”  He then went on to explain his reasoning. The dictator could either die to himself and… Continue reading On wishing politicians dead

The narrow gate

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13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few[1] We have been thinking about what it means to be part… Continue reading The narrow gate

The Golden Rule

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“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” I must admit, I am not that great a fan of the way that Matthew 7:12 has become known as “The Golden Rule.”  It sounds like one of those mechanistic laws for life.  Almost as… Continue reading The Golden Rule

Was Billy Graham right? Is it just my job to love?

This is one of those quotes that sounds brilliant at first but after a little bit of reflection leaves one feeling uneasy. I guess that when Billy Graham said it, he had Matthew 7:1-6 in mind. In that sense the quote should warn us against the harsh judgementalism that we too often see -especially on… Continue reading Was Billy Graham right? Is it just my job to love?

What kind of gift?

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When we were younger, my sister wanted a Wendy house for her birthday. My dad kept insisting that she was getting a tin of baked beans, much to her annoyance and his amusement.  Well, the day of her birthday came and she went downstairs. To her joy, there was the Wendy House ready assembled …… Continue reading What kind of gift?

Stones and Serpents

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I don’t want to make too big a deal out of this but I was fascinated when looking at Jesus teaching on prayer to spot one of those little but intriguing connections. In Matthew 4, Jesus goes into the Wilderness where he fasts for 40 days and nights and experiences testing from Satan.  Satan basically… Continue reading Stones and Serpents

More on logs and specks: What is the heartbeat of our church?

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The other day, I began exploring the question about applying Jesus’ teaching on logs and specks corporately to churches and communities.  Steve Kneale has helpfully developed the conversation here. At this stage I am struck by two very helpful things Steve asks us to think about. The first one is that only true heart change… Continue reading More on logs and specks: What is the heartbeat of our church?

On judging

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Matthew 7:1-6 warns against the rush to judgement. Given that Jesus himself does make judgements, gives the keys of the kingdom to the disciples and encourages church discipline, it seems unlikely that this is a blanket ban on exercising justice or discernment. However, what we have seen throughout the Sermon on the Mount is that… Continue reading On judging