[First published in the monthly congregational “Notes” for March, 2017.]
In the space of less than a generation standards of public morality have tumbled in ways that no-one would have imagined. The Australia many of us have known since birth has gone and apart from a mighty work of God (for which we always pray) is not likely to return in our time. It is as if we have been invaded and taken over by a foreign power because the public space in our nation is now very much under the control of an ideology hostile to the gospel with its own thought police and spies to report all ideas opposed to the new secularism. Anything highlighting the exclusivity of Christ is frowned upon, or shouted down in the name of anti-discrimination. We have been subject to an intellectual coup, (mostly bloodless apart from the wicked bloodshed of abortion) and…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational Notes, for February, 2017.]
I have been somewhat surprised at the sudden energy devoted to American politics in the Christian blog-o-sphere and on social media, even from within Australia. In some comments Trump seems the epitome of evil and [amazingly] Mrs Clinton the personification of virtue and dignity!! Yes, Trump can present as coarse and megalomaniacal but the danger is that our culture has deceived us into thinking that sin is worse when it is crude or impolite! Sinful people will do sinful things (despite Trump saying he has no need to ask forgiveness!) but we must not forget that “suave” sins are no less heinous and some-times even more so than those which are “in your face”. All sins, even those we consider polite and understandable, are “in the face” of God.
Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) or Xerxes I as he is known…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational Notes, for January, 2017.]
Perhaps you have heard the joke about the generous, but none-too-bright, fisherman. After years of patient failure, he finally struck success, pulling in fish after fish! Being a generous fellow, he quickly motored back to the shore to share the good news with his friends. “Are you sure you will be able to get back to the same spot?” they asked. “Easy,” he said, smiling. “I’ve marked the spot with a big marker.” And with that, he showed his friends a large freshly-painted white ‘X’ on the side of his boat! We smile, confident that no-one would be so stupid, but in many ways that is what happens when a Christian measures one’s growth and maturity by anything other than the objective measure of the Word of God.
The early Corinthian Church had that problem: at least, they…continue reading