RSS

Tag Archives: Faith

Christian values in the UK today…

Every so often there is a call in some of the press about the UK being a Christian nation, and that we should have Christian values. But then again there is also the saying to be careful for what you wish because you might just get it.

So at the end of a week when there is what I can only see as a created controversy over the inclusion or not of “Easter” in the name of some events. We have on the one hand those who say that it is all bad because some lumps of chocolate (wrapped in foil with pirates, robots and princesses on) that are hunted for don’t have the name Easter associated with them. As Mark Steel puts it “Theresa May is right: if we let someone drop ‘Easter’ off an egg hunt, we may as well hand Britain to the jihadis

But of course this is in the same week that the Churches raised the issues of child poverty and the effects changes in the benefits system on this. Of course this is not new, as the the item from the Joint Public Issues Team highlights, there have been a number of reports and items raised on this. Going back to 2015 there was the Enough campaign. And even further back the church has been raising such issues. What also surfaced for me this week was a piece in the Guardian where (the then) Victoria Coren defended the Bishops of the Church of England for standing up for children in the befits system – and this was back in 2012.

 

So what are Christian values, to me the latter set of standing up for the poor, the oppressed, being a voice for the voiceless. As it is put in the letter of James

26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

and then there is continual call in Deuteronomy about how we care for the widow, orphan and stranger, with just two examples below.

1018 who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing.

2417 You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge.

So for me once we have sorted out what can be seen as core Christian values; as come from Jesus him self, and of course he then goes on to explain who a neighbour is

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27 He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ 28 And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ (Luke 10:25-28)

And for who is my neighbour – Luke 10:25-37

 

Then we can try for the minor things like chocolate eggs…

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

The political but not partisan

With all that’s going on at the moment, it is difficult to not just let my own views take over what I say in the pulpit. At times yes I need to give my own views and opinions… however these view need to be rooted in scripture and faith, and when preaching, when I

interpret those sacred stories of our community, so that they speak a word to people today [Ordinations service of the Singapore Methodist Church]

It is my place to let me get in the way of the message, but at times it can be hard. This thinking has been kicked off by others having similar issues, in this case David over at Beloved Spear, and how he is dealing with things in the US.

So now we wait and see, but keep in mind the teaching of Christ and ways of God.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Ministry

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Time, and it’s use

First apologies for the lack of updates of late, but here is one.

So about a month ago, I heard on the radio about a new nutrient pill, that meant one didn’t have to “waste time” eating. On the radio program “A Point of View” John Gray spoke about the fact that people want to be busy all the time, and have our time filled. Now about the same time on Seedbed they had something about Why Worship is a Royal Waste of Time. Now this spoke about worship being there for its own sake, and not to generally do other things.

Now looking at these two things together, first that people want their lives to be filled and with no space in them, but then worship is not a “productive” use of time. I ponder if the filling of time is a good thing, should all be measured in how many time units are allocated to things, or do some things have a different measure on them.

But also is this one of the ways that the church is counter-cultural?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Ministry, Spiritual Vocab

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hear the words

One of the things that I find helpful in worship is to listen. Now some may say, yes but that is what we all do. But for me it is a case of listening to readings and other long sections of text, to listen and take in the words. And to not be reading them. Now I know different people engage with information and so forth differently, however I do like listening to readings in church. I find that I will often hear things that I may never of noticed when reading (this even happens during services, that in hearing the words something new to come to light).

However I do wonder if we lose something when everyone has their head in a book as the person up front reads out what they are also reading. I’d also say that I like worship that uses set texts – in fact I raised on it. A Greek Orthodox Priest on this topic spoke of the words being learnt from childhood, that they become part of us and we don’t need to follow them in a book. And to this I say Amen.

Christian say we follow the living Word, so let us have to words dwell in us.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Mystery, Spiritual Vocab

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Beingness

This is based in part upon Genesis 18 and Luke 1 and a few other bits in the mix.

 

Beingness

Laughter as an aside
to shade what’s going on.
In shadows cast by images
held up by others.
Moulds that are confining
and constraining.
That simply try to conform
with others expectations.
 
For freedom a yearning
to share in joyful song.
Of a future life
there’s much discerning.
Looking through the lens
at the division by others.
All subsumed beneath a
quiet and calm exterior.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , ,

To what are we called?

This was inspired by the melding together of the addresses to the Methodist Conference of the President and Vice-President of the Conference.

To what are we called?

To what are we called?
To famine or feast
to good or bad years
To what are we called?
To city or wilderness
to multitude or hermitage
To what are we called?
To be in season and out of it
to highs and lows
To what are we called?
To word and sacrament
to be unheard or empty
To what are we called?
To witness and service
to be unseen or unknown
To what are we called?
To mission or holiness
to a scriptureless dichotomy
To what are we called?
To be in or of the world
to be in ways set aside
To what are we called?
To core and rule
to inspiration or spontaneity
To what are we called?
To many, to all and more
to be done by the grace of God.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Ministry, Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

THE LIGHT OF THE WORD

A poem about the views of the Old Testament as seen in the New Testament.

 

THE LIGHT OF THE WORD

Among us, with
us, word, illuminated
and illuminating.
Visions of past
and echo’s of future.
Directing us onward
from far behind.
What is to come before
now formed and
seen. Only through
what yet occurs.
 
Records received
to show and to tell.
with purpose and
clarity. Seen afresh
in the light of
what may and
could be. Pointers
and signs. Prophecy
received, heard, given
written. Shadows cast
behind and before
by all that surrounds
the light of the Word.
 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , , ,