Monday, 30 July 2012

Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll

Great song by the mighty Ian Dury, but onto the subject at hand.

1) I no longer believe the resurrection is a fact of my faith, it may just be a story to help us along the way.

2) Jesus was not special in anyway, held no divine power and was just a good man who talked a good show.

3) He was no different than any other religious leader or icon.

4) The bible is a good story book and does not hold the information about will help you out in anyway

5) All paths lead to god, and repentance and forgiveness are nice ideals, but actually it does not matter at all if you want to.

6) Because i cannot comprehend the issue, the virgin birth is not real, because my intellect does not allow me to believe in a supernatural God.

7) Miracles do not happen, if i pray for someone and they get well, it's pure fluke and nothing to do with God in anyway.

8) My faith is not important enough to be solid. So i'm going to change what i believe to appease society and make sure i do not offend anyone.

9) It's not possible to have absolutes, because that means i may have to stand by something, and i have decided being popular is more important than telling the truth.

10) It's okay to believe what you want as long as you are sincere.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Can we have absolutes?, Absolutely

There is a theory that as time moves on and society changes, the church should change. Change to make it's message more palatable to society, to make it trendy, to make it less offensive, to ultimately water it down. I'm a Methodist not by theology or birth, but because it's where i choose to worship, because that is where my relationships with some great people are, people who help me grow and help me to understand God. My background is within Pentecostalism and i'm very grateful for that, and with my hand on my heart after lots of souls searching, i have come to a conclusion I'M A FUNDAMENTALIST. Stupidly i believe what the bible tells me about my God is the truth, that when it tells me he was born of a virgin it's true, that when it says he rose from the dead it's true. That when Jesus says" i am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but through me" it's true. I'm not a liberal with regards to my faith, but my politics tend to be.

The war of words rages on, and on and on and on, and the church seems to have forgotten or worse still pushed to the back burner one of it's main responsibilities, that duty to make disciples. That is what we are called to do as church, to make disciples, not clones, Lord knows there does not need to be another Andy Richardson running around the place.
Have we lost our flavour, have we become dulled to the call of people to the foot of the cross, do we even bother. Yesterday i led a service in our circuit. During that service i made an appeal for people to get saved ( i still use that term) and led a prayer towards that effect. At the end of the service a gentleman told me in no uncertain terms, that "what you did is fine for other churches but in ours we do not make appeals". My initial response was gobsmacked, but once i had gathered my thoughts i thanked him for his input and left it at that, i'm an evangelist at heart and by ministry.

My concern for the church is that we have adapted to what the world want's instead of what Christ calls us to do, we have conformed to the world and it's practises and forgotten that we were told "not to be conformed to the world any longer, but conform to Christ". Personally i have no problem with so called Liberal christians, if it floats your boat great. But for me i need those absolutes, i need to know it's not a case of ifs and ands and pots and pans. Boundaries work in my life, they enable me to function, absolutes for my faith are essential for me to function in it. without those absolutes, it's too easy to be tossed on the winds of change, going where ever the popular opinion takes us, yes we grow, yes we adapt to a degree. But when we water down the very life giving water, to be popular, we fail.

This may cop me a load of flack, which seems to be the norm lately, but hey ho.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Who is John Wayne

On Saturday i attended another wedding (seems to be the year for them) especially as Pam and i are getting married in October this year. This wedding was very nice, a bit posh and they still let me in. But while i was stood in the grounds of the hotel some kids were playing Cowboys and indians, using sticks as guns and whooping and hollering. At one stage a boy ran unto his dad and said look after my guns, and handed him the sticks. His dad said "are you being John Wayne?" the boys reply was "who is John Wayne?" This got me thinking about my own son and what he knows of me, my heroes, my faults, those things i like. If i mentioned John Wayne to Jacob he would in all probability ask "who", but if i mention Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, David Coverdale or any host of bands he is right there explaining to me why they were so good or are so good. music has always played a big part in our lives, he regularly "borrows" dvd's cd's etc and sometimes they do get returned (hint hint) you still have my Whitesnake dvd.

But what does he really know about his dad, my hopes, my dreams for myself and for him. In all honesty very little, our relationship was formed in the furnace and turmoil of my divorce from his mother, his ideals especially when younger were shaped by what he was told about me by other people, and most of that was bad, well bad is a fairly inadequate word to describe how i was, but it will do for this purpose. He has seen me drunk, seen me stoned seen all that was bad about the old man, and if truth be known i still feel bad and guilty about it. He on the other hand never stopped believing i would come good, that i would rediscover my faith, and as he puts it, get back with Jesus and start kicking the devil in the head.

Our relationship is now very different, he sees me as a friend, i view him as one of my best friends, we laugh we joke, we share a lot of the same tastes, he never fell far from the tree. I see how he is growing in God and i'm amazed at it, amazed that again this year he is going on his second mission trip to the former eastern block.

God is a God of the supernatural, a God of healing, not just illness, but also hurt, anger and pain. Jacob and i rarely discuss the bad old days, we are both philosophical about it. But we do discuss what God is doing in both of our lives, he rides me for being in a Methodist church i ride him for being Pentecostal. But we have a bond forged in fire, and built in love. What do you see when you look at God? is it a big stick wielding ogre, or can you see the love he has for each and every one of us. Your view of God will impact on your walk with him, will stop you coming into a full relationship with him. The fathers heart is leaning towards you, and is aching for you, hurting for you. Maybe it's time to shut up and listen to that heartbeat and see what can be accomplished