Faithorama Archives

Page:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10 

ANTI SHALOM - Isaiah 9

11 March, 2003 3:55 PM

Once again this passage in Isaiah 9:1-7 gives us a glimpse of the way God desires things to be. Its a messianic picture where the main theme seems to be that of Peace.

In that day of peace, battle gear will no longer be issued. Never again will uniforms be bloodstained by war. All such equipment will be burned.

Again I can help but contrast this picture of what God seems to be working towards - a picture of wholeness of Shalom - to what is happening in our world today.

I close my eyes to try to visualise the desires of God - the Shalom, the Peace, the wholeness that this passage talks about - but all I see in my head are the instruments of war being amassed in the middle east.

It all seems so destructive - so Anti-Shalom. I know the stated aims of the western leaders (including my own prime minister) is to bring peace to our world with this war - however it all seems so horribly the wrong way to go about it to me.

What if we were to put the billions of dollars being spent on weaponry into purchases that will build our enemies up rather than shoot them down. Simplictic I know - maybe I'm too simple - it all just seems so terribly at odds to these Scriptures I keep reading....

Once again I'm left asking - if these passages in Isaiah are glimpses of Gods purposes for humanity - then why do we continue to work towards other seemingly opposite purposes by our actions!?

Pray for Hirarc

10 March, 2003 11:38 PM

This weekend V and I looked after our young friend Andy again. For new readers - he's a 20 year old guy that we have come visit once per month for a weekend to give his family a break - he's got Downs Syndrome and they need a bit of respite once in a while. I've blogged about my mate Andy before here.

Anyway - Andy has 'a way' about him - he's amazingly perceptive at times.

I was putting him to be on Friday night and we had our normal prayer time. I asked him what he wanted me to pray for. He thought long and hard about it and eventually answered by saying - 'pray for Hirarc'. Its not unusual for me not to understand some of what Andy says - so I asked him to explain. Again he said 'pray for Hirarc'. Again I looked quizzically at him and he elaborated by saying - pray for the war in Hirarc.' He went on to say 'if you pray for Hirarc the war will stop'.

What faith Andy has - challenges me every time!

Out of Context - Isaiah 8

10 March, 2003 4:53 PM

Strange how some words leap off the page at you when you're reading the bible. The words that ring in my ear this afternoon still after reading Isaiah 8 this morning I'm sure were not the 'main message' that the original writer of this passage was trying to convey. I'm also sure I'm reading them totally out of context - however as I read them and now reflect upon them they 'fit' - they made me go 'ah haa'. I won't analyse or explain them here exept to say that today as I read them they gave me real strength, confirmation and peace. They came from verse 11:

'Do not think like everyone else does.'

God is With US? - Isaiah 7

8 March, 2003 1:48 PM

'The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel — God is with us.'

'God is with us'

I wonder if my faith actually reflects this some times — do I live a life that reflects that God is with us? Do I live a life where it is evident that God is with ME? I know that there are bits of my life where God feels 'with me' — like times in creation, times in prayer, times in deep and significant conversation with others. But I wonder if I actually live a pretty segmented life. I'm not so sure I live as though God were with me all day every day! Maybe Immanuel should mean 'God is with me — sometimes.'

But to just look at God being with ME — is to probably miss the point. Its US that he's with! Or is he? I wonder if the way we live as his people in community reflects his presence? Is the way I look at, treat and relate to those around me reflecting that God is with US. Its perhaps easier to grasp that he's with ME — of course he is, why wouldn't he be? I'm a pretty special guy if I do say so myself — but to acknowledge that he's with US means to acknowledge that the OTHER had God with THEM too! Heaven forbid — I've seen some of THEM! I've seen how some of THEM pray, I've heard some of THEIR politics, I've read THEIR blogs and I've heard some of THEIR worship songs!

'Immanuel - God is with us.' It is a beautiful name — but its so much more. In a rich and complex way it pulls together what Jesus was on about. In his very name we see summed up the two greatest commandments of Love. Firstly to an intimate connection and relationship with a God who desires to permeate every crevasse of our existence and secondly to community with the diversity of neighbouring travellers.

Cleansing and Calling - Isaiah 6

7 March, 2003 1:47 PM

Interesting to see how closely connected Isaiah's 'Calling' was to his 'Cleansing' in Isaiah 6. He is forgiven and cleansed in one breath and in the next is given a calling. Almost seems a stark contrast to the way we work in church sometimes. A person almost has to prove their faith before they are given any responsibility or role in the church. I can understand why in one sense, however perhaps it would be better to take this approach. It reminds me of the approach of Jesus who in one breath calls his disciples into relationship with him with the words 'Come follow me' and who in the next breath calls them to action with the words 'and I will make you fishers of men'.

Often new Christians have a sense of wonder, energy and openness to sharing their faith — I wonder if we stifle the impact they could have by making them have a year of 'spiritual formation' before they are given opportunity to take up a role within the Church or do any sort of mission.

This chapter is also a great reminder at how linked our personal faith is to our calling or ministry. As a minister I'm always tempted to spend my time doing - but need to remember to continue to 'be' with God and allow the 'cleansing' and connection with God to take place.

Me, Myself and I(saiah 5)

6 March, 2003 4:23 PM

Today's passage in Isaiah 5 picks up the familiar themes of Justice and Righteousness. Again the imagery is rich - that of a vineyard that has the potential to produce a great crop but instead produces wild and sour grapes. The consequences are dire.

Its interesting to take a look at the 'sin' of the people in these chapters - I can't recall one mention of sexual sin yet. SO FAR the things that displease God are pride, arrogance, self obsession, oppression, greed, piety and selfishness.

The society of the time seems to be a 'me' focused place. In my reading of the passages - this is what is peeving God off the most. Reminds me so much of today where life is so often about getting oneself ahead - accumulating My own fortune - making sure that I am happy.

I wonder if we in Church sometimes only add to this I-centric attitude? Most of the worship songs we sing are as much about ME as they are about God. Often the preaching resembles a SELF help seminar. I wonder what would a Church that was less in tune with our self obsessed culture and more in tune with God's other obsessed paradigm look like?

Contrasting Imagery - Isaiah 3-4

5 March, 2003 10:05 AM

2 chapters today - both filled with contrasting rich imagery.

Isaiah 3 is filled with anarchy and self centeredness. Children leaders, people taking advantage of one another, fighting, shortages of food and clothing, ruins, guilt, foul stenches, shame, ugliness and destruction are just some of the pictures.

Isaiah 4 is a more hopeful picture of the grace of God. It contains pictures of Shalom — of wholeness. I love this imagery — fruit, lushness, beauty, washing of filth, cleansing, shade, shelter from heat, hiding place from storms and rain.

The contrast between the two is stunning - the question in my mind is - which is more descriptive of the state of our world (and even the Church) today?

Lastly the image that leaves me pondering today is that in chapter 3 of God as 'the great prosecuting attorney - presenting his case against his people.' This is not a portrayal of God that I've ever seen before and has left me surprised. Why is it that we generally only talk about the biblical images of God that are not confronting? We hear about a nurturing, comforting, shepherding God on a weekly basis in most churches - but where is the confronting, judging and sometimes angry God of Isaiah?

War - Isaiah 2

4 March, 2003 4:01 PM

Today I read Isaiah 2 and was confronted by many things again. So far my main personal challenge has been to catch a glimpse of the purposes of God and to compare them with the purposes and ways of his people. (both in OT times and today - including my purposes)

Interesting to read verses 1-5 in light of what is currently happening in the world.

In the last days 'the Lord will settle international disputes. All the nations will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. All wars will stop, and military training will come to an end.'

Again in this passage we get a glimpse of the heart of God. Peace seems to be fairly important to him. The transformation of implements of war into objects of provision and life is a beautiful image. Just imagine the missiles, bombs etc being transformed into things that could feed the starving in our world....

If these are Gods purposes - and we are the 'body of Christ' - how should we be living them out today?

False Worship - Isaiah 1

3 March, 2003 4:56 PM

I've decided to take a walk through Isaiah the next few weeks. Today started in logical place of Isaiah 1. I was struck by the words in verse 17.

'LEARN TO DO GOOD. SEEK JUSTICE. HELP THE OPPRESSED. DEFEND THE ORPHAN. FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF WIDOWS.'

In context they stand in stark contrast to what the people of God have been doing. God describes their efforts at connecting with him as sinful, empty and false. Their actions are described as 'worthless slag' and 'watered down wine'. The tone of Gods words is of frustration, disgust and anger. It is confronting.

God says he's even at the point of not listening to or seeing their prayers because of the emptiness and hypocrisy of the peoples behaviour! This doesn't sound like the God we hear about most Sundays - a God of love, patience, acceptance of us just the way we are...This God is confronting at the emptiness and futility of his people's faith!

Makes me wonder what God thinks about what we do as his Church today! How seriously do we take the call to justice? How central is defending, helping and fighting for the rights of the less fortunate to our faith? Have we lost sight of some of the central purposes of God? Do our worship services seem empty and even 'false' in the eyes of God when we fail to grapple with the things that seem to be fairly and squarely upon his heart?

The Silence is Deathening

28 February, 2003 8:32 AM

shhh.jpgWhile we are talking about issues that the Church (and the world at large) has been a little too silent on...

The UN on Wednesday released a revision of its forecasted population figures. The good news is that they have revised the forecasted population in 2050 from 9.3billion to 8.9billion. Population growth is slowing which is good as far as overcrowding issues goes.

But wait - lets dig into the report a little deeper and find out WHY we have such results. I urge you to not skim over these findings, allow them to sit with you for a while today.

'About half of the 0.4 billion difference in these projected populations results from an increase in the number of projected deaths, the majority stemming from higher projected levels of HIV prevalence.'

' Over the current decade, the number of excess deaths because of AIDS among the 53 most affected countries (largely African and Asian countries) is estimated at 46 million and that figure is projected to ascend to 278 million by 2050.'

I was stunned when I read these figures on page 7, in a little and probably largely unnoticed article, in yesterdays paper.

278,000,000 people to lose their life in the next 47 years, within my lifetime, from one cause and its page 7 news! What kind of twisted priorities do we have? Why don't we hear these types of reports mentioned in church? Why is there not some major response coming from the Body of Christ? Yes efforts are being made and they are valuable - but largely they come from individuals or organisations who we give our loose change to to 'fix it'.

I wonder what the response from Church, World and Media would be if 278,000,000 people were projected to die in the West in the next 50 years?

Didn't he say something like - 'Love your neighbour as your self'....and 'Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me'?

When the Church is Silent

27 February, 2003 10:59 PM

sh.jpg
I have been thinking a lot today about the topics that we as church choose talk about and what we seem to avoid.

It strikes me that the church at times talks a lot about issues of personal morality. Sexuality for instance is an issue that most Churches have no problem in preaching about, confronting individuals (and the world) on and defining what is right and wrong in.

However there seem to be a number of other issues that often get left out. Consumerism, Individualism, Elitism and Materialism (to name a few) are issues that in my reading of the gospel that Jesus had things to say about. They are also things that permeate our culture in the West yet which we tend to sweep under the carpet.

Just last week I heard of a church attendee who was asked not to come back to their church of 9 years because their struggle with their homosexuality had become public. The leadership of this church was quick to act on this issue - in their eyes it was a clear cut call and they felt compelled to confront. I've heard similar such tales on numerous occasions in the past few years.

However I'm yet to hear of a church where the leadership confronted an individual member on the way they spend their money. I'm yet to hear a tale where someone was asked to leave a church because in their job they made decisions which exploited or oppressed the poor. I've never heard of a church sitting down a member out of a concern for their workaholic tendencies.

Why do some parts of our life seem to be impacted by faith while others are kept separate? Why are some 'compartments' of ones life open to the church's scrutiny and comment while others are largely ignored?

Burning Bush

26 February, 2003 5:41 PM

No I'm not talking about burning any world leaders - rather I'm talking about Exodus 3:1-12, the passage I'm preaching on this Sunday.

I've been thinking alot about this passage where Moses is confronted by God through the burning bush - and I wondered if anyone out there might want to contribute to my thinking/preparation process!? Any ideas?

Have been thinking about drawings the similarities out between the calling of Moses and the calling of us. Moses was a man whose people were in chaos. God desired to do something about the mess they were in and chose to come to their aid - through Moses.

I wonder if there is a parallel to the place we find ourselves in today - our world is in chaos - I think God sees our plight and perhaps desires to make a difference through people.

The question is, have we seen our burning bushes??

Done lots more thinking, but interested in others thoughts!?!

Stormy Times

24 February, 2003 7:23 PM

Was reading through Acts 27 this afternoon and thinking about the situation that Paul found himself in on a boat in a violent storm that lasted 14 days. The chaos of that situation must have been amazing. There was almost a mutiny, people couldn't bring themselves to eat and they must have lost hope of survival.

Yet Paul was able to influence and even lead in the situation despite him being a prisoner and therefore relatively powerless.

Made me think of the times we are living in - some days when I watch the news or look at the paper it seems like the violent storm we find ourselves in is almost overwhelming. The gloomy skies of war, poverty, terrorism and the rampant fear that so many have - life is chaotic. Its easy to get swept along with it all, to be overwhelmed and to loose hope.

Our world needs 'Pauls' right now. People willing to stand firm on the rocking boat. People that can make some sense of the situation and point to solutions. People that are able to encourage the world to move onwards and to have hope and people willing to help people catch glimpses of a God who desires to bring life.

John 3:What?

21 February, 2003 3:08 PM

Rachel's latest post about a Christian Billboard with the reference to John 3:16 got me thinking about the whole John 3:16 phenomena. Yep - the verse that was drummed into all of us who went to church from year dot that we were told sums up the whole gospel in a nutshell. I can remember saying it over and over again before Sunday School one week in the hope that I'd be chosen to resite it for the class and get my reward (chocolate)!

Recently someone asked me why this verse was so popular - why it was chosen to sum up the whole gospel? Does it sum up the whole gospel? The more I began to think about it the more I began to wonder if perhaps we've got it all wrong! What single verse would Jesus leave with us to sum up the gospel message if he had a say in it?

Now before I continue I will say that I think Jn 3:16 is pretty good - it says a profound thing. I will also say its pretty hard to sum up something so profound as the gospel with just a few simple words. However i want to put forward an alternative verse and want to ask you to put forward yours!

The suggestion I have is that we keep Jn 3:16, but we don't go to the Gospel of John, but rather the first letter of John. Yes - 1 John 3:16. For those of you with memories like mine it says:

We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

To me this not only encapsulates what Christ did, but points us onwards to what our response should be. The call of Jesus is not simply to get people saved - it encompassed that, but it was so much more. It was (is) a call to a life of making a difference in our world, in the lives of those around us. Its a call to love. If the gospel stops with God's love for us then its only half the picture - its an incomplete gospel.

Interested in your opinion - what verse would you suggest that sums it all up?

The biggest threat to the Church?

20 February, 2003 7:53 AM


In class today Tom said something that struck me. He was talking about the challenges that the Church of today faces as we move into this new century. We got on to talking about the competitors of church. Some would say that the biggest threat is coming from Islam or other religions. He said he thought the biggest competitor was not another religion, but rather marketers who are subtly creating a new religion of consumption.

Of course there is not an international conspiracy, there is not a competitive group of marketing types out there planning ways to get rid of the church — they are just doing their job. However in reality the Consumption mentality is gradually growing and growing.

Tom quoted many interesting stats from both Australia and the US that illustrated the point. One that stays in my mind this evening was that in the US per capita income increased 95% between 1968 and 1998 — but in that time giving in churches decreased by 20%. In the same period average levels of savings have plummeted and the level of the average persons debt have sky rocketed.

Some of this can be explained perhaps by increased costs of living — housing costs — health insurance etc However I suspect its more to do with a consumption mentality that has crept into many churches as it has crept into society at large. I agree with Tom in his assertion that this is something that the church needs to address — and something we need to address fast. It is something that I think that gospel has something to say about and therefore it is something that the church should be taking a critical stand on also.

Sadly though, after a recent trip to a Christian book shop, I wonder if the church may have actually done the opposite and bought into the whole consumption thing themselves.

Intense - ive

18 February, 2003 10:02 PM


This week I'm participating in a 10 day intensive subject at college studying under guest lecturers from the US - Tom and Christine Sine. Tom is the writer of 'Mustard Seed vs McWorld' (and numerous other books) and he and Christine wrote 'Living On Purpose' (the title of the subject I'm studying). After two days I'm finding it pretty good. I have probably covered most of what we've done previously in my study with FORGE - however its good to have the lessons previously learnt confirmed by someone outside our context.

The premise of todays lectures was that as Christian leaders we need to be looking at future trends in order to be effective in producing good discipleship in our churches and communities. Its a simple and logical idea really, one which businesses and corporations generally do pretty well and one which most churches and church leaders would agree with in theory. However when it comes to practice I'm not so sure that most of us do too good a job of it.

Often as leaders we are so busy in maintaining the status quo in the present and dealing with the past that we don't have a spare moment to think about or plan for the future.

I guess we need to be balanced in this - we could go to the other extreme too and spend so much time reflecting upon future possibilities and strategising for them eventuating that we never think about the here and now.

The challenge I felt today was to spend some more time doing some discerning about the place where we live and are planting the Living Room. I've done a lot of personal observation over the past few months but will spend some time in the next couple of weeks seeking out more information from others. I actually sent an email to our local Council member requesting information - I wasn't sure about getting a response from her, but within a few hours I had a reply - she is willing to meet and talk about the opportunities and needs of our local community. She has already indicated one or two possible areas that we might be able to make contributions to some local issues. I guess its all a part of the discerning process - all part of spotting what God is up to in the neighborhood and discerning how we are to join him in it.

Lectio Divina

16 February, 2003 3:45 PM

Last week I mentioned a passage that God spoke to me through when I did a Lectio Divina on it. A few people emailed me asking what Lectio was or asking for information on how to do it. Personally I've always struggled a bit with my own personal prayer life - particularly with the idea of a quiet time - maybe its my personality type, maybe my temperament or maybe I just drink too much caffine - I've found always found quiet times a struggle - that is until I was introduced to Lectio.

Lectio Divina is an ancient monastic method of reading the Scriptures. Latin for 'Divine Reading' or 'Praying the Scriptures', Lectio Divina is a quiet and contemplative way of coming to Gods Word in which the participant allows the rhythm of Scripture to wash over them as they meditate upon the passage.

There is no one way to do it - I'm sure there as are many versions as their are people using it - but I'll post here the way I've written it up for my community to use. We've done it from time to time as individuals, in small groups and even a few times in groups of up to 200! (although it obviously has to be adapted) I've written it up as follows - feel free to take it or leave it...

The method (NB ? there is no one way of doing this - you may wish to put on some quiet music, use some images of Christ or other art/photos, or get out in creation and work through the following steps.)

1 - Stop/Relax/Connect with God. - Calm your body. Concentrate on some slow breathing - try to clear your mind of the busyness of life and your day. Simply call out to God - ask for him to touch you as you pray.

2 - Scripture Reading 1 - read the passage you've chosen twice. Read the Scripture slowly. Allow its words to wash over and sink into your consciousness as you become familiar with the passage. Don't try to interpret it or understand it. Picture and even enter the scene, watch and interact with the characters. Listen for words that catch your attention, when they do, savor them, toss them around in your mind. In the silence that follows the reading meditate upon what you have heard, let the verses begin to stir up memories, thoughts or ideas as they come. If a word/s or phrase/s from the passage strikes you say it out loud or write it down - don't embellish or explain it.

3 - Scripture Reading 2 - read twice more. As you read the Scripture again, continue to allow it to wash over you. Let its rhythm and repetition flow. In the silence that follows continue to enter into and engage with the scene and the authors words. What theme/s emerge for you? How do you and your experience connect with what is being read? What is Christ speaking to you at this time? Write in a sentence the theme that you feel God is speaking to you through the text.

4 - Scripture Reading 3 - read twice more slowly. Continue to interact with and meditate upon the Scripture as previously. What action might God be calling you to through these verses? Let your meditation lead you to silent prayer, thanksgiving, petition, confession etc. Interact with God on what you are thinking, communicate with your thoughts and ideas. Journal your thoughts and prayers if this is helpful. Write to God as if writing to a friend. Go with the flow, let your mind be taken in whatever direction you find it goes.

Make note of any action that you feel God is leading you to.

When you feel comfortable ending your time, thank God for interacting with you ? pray about any other issues that you may have on your heart.

Divine Encounter

13 February, 2003 4:25 PM


This morning I encountered the divine in a simple way.

I met for the first time with the local baptist ministers here in the inner north of Melbourne. Just four of us. We talked about how things were going for each of us, planned a couple of things and then went in the chapel to pray. It was very different to what I'm used to in that the prayers were largely read - they were simple - they related to real life and in a very beautiful way I felt that through them I went very deeply into the presence of God in a way I could almost feel.

I realised while I was there that is was something I'd not been fostering as much lately - it was a very peaceful experience and one that made me felt not only connected to God but to the others in the team. I came away with energy and motivation that had been lacking earlier.

Navel Gazers Anon.

11 February, 2003 7:15 PM


Kevin was doing Lectio on Mark 1:29-39. It grabbed my attention because I did a Lectio on it last week.

The verses that particularly got my attention were 35-39 as follows: "The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. They said, "Everyone is asking for you." But he replied, "we must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too, because that is why I cam." So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and expelling demons from many people."

I've always been challenged by the way Jesus took time out to spend time alone with God. I guess what has struck me for a long time is that if JESUS - divine - Son of God! - needed to take some time to connect with his father - then how much do I need to as a broken, fallen mere mortal!

But this week as I read this passage I was drawn less to the fact that Jesus took the opportunity for such a time, but rather I was drawn to the result of this time.

Out of this inimate few hours with his Father Jesus propelled himself into his mission, into the world. Out of this time where he perhaps caught a glimpse of the heartbeat of God he seems to urgently desire to spend time with the people God's heart breaks for. He didn't sit the disciples down and teach his inner core team, he didn't send his disciples away and stay contentedly in his own little relationship with his father - he straight away was propelled into action.

I'm not sure that on those all to infrequent occassions when I do stop to spend some intimate time with the Father that the same thing happens. I fear that too often I come out of these times in my own little world, thinking my own little thoughts, largely unchanged and unwilling to let what I've just experienced impact those around me. Basically I felt convicted that I'm a bit of a navel gazer - can't get my eyes off me...

I guess to extend it to a corporate level I wonder if what most churches do Sundays would follow the pattern we see here of Jesus either? I suspect that too often services end up focusing those attending upon themselves and the church and not enough on the world we live in and our response to it. Imagine if people came out of church every week propelled into mission, propelled into relationships with their neighbors, propelled into making a difference in the world they lived.

Imagine....

::?Sacred?:: - OR - ::?Secular?::

6 February, 2003 2:28 PM






I have been interacting online with a great group of young Aussie Christians the past year or so on a discussion forums site - they really get me thinking about my own journey and theology.

One of the recurring themes seems to be questions like - 'Should Christians watch TV?' or 'Should we be going to movies?' or 'should Christians go to the pub?' or 'Should we be reading Harry Potter?' or 'should we go to parties where there are the more dubious types of people and activities?' I guess in many ways these are good questions and ones that many young Christians typically ask - questions that as I grew up I asked.

What alot of these questions seem to be asking is 'how as Christians should we be interacting with our world?' and 'do we run the risk of being influenced negatively by this world if we do interact with it?'

My fear is that as Christians we often write certain spaces, people and aspects of the world we live in off as 'secular' or 'unholy'. They are places that we should not go, people we should not speak to etc because they may have a 'bad influence' on us. By inference I wonder if we are really saying that these are places where God is not present.

As I read the bible I don't meet a God who is not present in certain places. I meet a God who is working in some very unlikely ('unholy' even) characters lives. I meet a God who parties with the Tax Collector, interacts with prostitutes and touches the leper. I meet a God who is bringing the whole of creation to himself and who calls his people to join him in this task.

I was reminded at the Forge Intensive today by another Darren that Jesus said in John 5:17 'My Father never stops working, so why should I?' and then in v19 'the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does'.

Jesus looked for what his Father was already doing in the world - in the 'unholy' places and people and then he joined him in those places. God is at work on the fringes of our society as much as he is at work in the centre. He is at work as much in the local pub or movie theatre as he is in the local church.

As Darren shared today - ' the question is not whether it is ok for me to be in the pub - the question is whether it is ok if I'm NOT in the pub?!'

Yes we do need to be balanced in our thinking - we do need to be accountable when we go to the fringes and to look at our motivations. We need to evaluate our own limitations and weaknesses and to discern where God is calling us to join him. However I think it might be more 'sinful' to write of such places and people as 'unholy' than for us to actually go to them and find what God is doing there and join him in it.

Page:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10