Skin Deep? Going Further

The point of the “Lex Talionis” or the eye for an eye rule was not that it was meant to encourage harsh vengeance but that it was meant to limit and constrain revenge and keep it within the boundaries of justice. The alternative was for blood feuds that would run and run  with ever escalatingContinue reading “Skin Deep? Going Further”

Skin Deep? Trustworthy?

When we bought our house, we took out a mortgage. Like many home owners up and down the country, we were making a promise, a commitment that over the next 25 years, we would pay back the money we had borrowed with interest. How could our Building Society be sure that we would repay theContinue reading “Skin Deep? Trustworthy?”

Skin Deep? Sexual Immorality

Pornography is a poisonous cancer, designed to be addictive, it seeps into minds and emotions. Pornography is a killer, it gives a false, idolatrous view of sex, including often violent relationships that kills passion and intimacy within marriage. Pornography says that infidelity is okay. So, what should you do if addicted to porn? Following Jesus’Continue reading “Skin Deep? Sexual Immorality”

Skin Deep? Anger and Murder

Have you ever called anyone a fool or an idiot? I would probably do better to ask if anyone has not called someone that!  So, we probably should take Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:21-26 seriously. But doesn’t the Bible, Paul and even Jesus himself refer to people as fools and foolish?  So, what exactly isContinue reading “Skin Deep? Anger and Murder”

Skin Deep? (Matthew 5:17-48)

“It doesn’t apply to me though.”  That seems to be the general attitude of British people to laws we don’t like. If you need to pop up to Durham for a few days and the lockdown rules say no, then you can probably find an exception. Rules about unnecessary journeys don’t apply to me ifContinue reading “Skin Deep? (Matthew 5:17-48)”

Be Salty, submit to the authorities, love your neighbour

For my birthday this year, Boris Johnson has changed the law and imposed a new restriction to do with Coronavirus. From today, it will be a legal requirement for people to wear face-masks in shops. Now, whilst some people have been wearing face-masks already and want to know why it hasn’t  been made law sooner,Continue reading “Be Salty, submit to the authorities, love your neighbour”

Being Salty – Taste and See

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?”[1] “Taste and see that the Lord is good;”[2] Salt has a number of qualities, with regards to food, it acts as a preservative, but it also acts to enhance flavour.  I think it is helpful to think ofContinue reading “Being Salty – Taste and See”

Happy People – The persecuted

Our final beatitude talks about those who are persecuted. Paul tells us that:  12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived[1] Now remember two things here. First, that the blessing is for those who are persecuted forContinue reading “Happy People – The persecuted”

Happy People – The Peacemakers

What is a peacemaker? We actually have an award for people whom we recognise as peacemakers, the Noble Peace prize. I am not sure however that the prize fully functions effectively.  How do we decide who is a peacemaker? For example, should President Trump be considered a peacemaker? After all he went to meet theContinue reading “Happy People – The Peacemakers”

Happy people The pure in heart

One of the good things about lockdown easing has been that we can start to see people face to face again.  Facebook and Zoom calls have helped us stay in touch but even they are not the same as actually getting to see and spend time with people and in some cases we have notContinue reading “Happy people The pure in heart”