Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2015

Lekter meets Jesus

Lekter Welcome to my table Jesus. I have been looking forward to this conversation for some time. Would you like some Chianti? Or, do you prefer Middle Eastern wines?
Jesus No, grazie. I enjoy the Italian wines, not least of which from those Tuscan grapes. But – if you’ll remember those final words I spoke to my disciples – I will not drink wine again until my kingdom has fully come in power.
Lekter  Of course, how could I have forgotten? Speaking of power, I see that your Father dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshipers last Wednesday night in Texas, while they sang a hymn. Did that make you both feel powerful?
Jesus Making life - and taking life back – is done by the word of God. But to remake a morally corrupted life – that will take something more.
Lekter  Morality doesn’t exist. Only morale. The powerful take what they are hungry for.
Jesus The powerful take – but not what they are ultimately hungry for. They eat, but they get hungry again.
Lekter  And what is it that you’re hungry for?

Rael and his GoTopless Day - Some Sane Thoughts

Yesterday was Go-Topless Day in many cities throughout the USA. Though organisers have tried to make it an international event, it is still mostly Americans who celebrate it big. It involves parades where women march topless and men wear bikini tops or bras. The event was started in 2007 by a funny (and false) prophet named ‘Rael’ who started a UFO religion. I was asked for a Biblical response to the event. So, I have racked my brains trying to bust out some ideas... I have two thoughts.
First of all, try to find them as they may, the moralists won’t find exact modesty codes in the Bible. Nowhere does it say how much make-up a woman should or shouldn’t wear, how long a skirt should be or what is proper bathing attire in mixed company. We do not have strict rules here so let’s not add to God’s word by inventing some and thus bring a curse on ourselves (Rev. 22).
But secondly, the Bible does hold out the idea of modesty as an attitude - but it may not be for the Amish-esque reason you’ve …

Is 'Forgiving Ourselves' a Christian Concept?

When I hear people use the line, 'You need to forgive yourself', I usually respond like a negligent zoo keeper who watches a baby penguin step on ice for the first time – I just let it slide. 
But perhaps my coffee was especially strong earlier this week when I read the comment yet again. I felt stirred to have a closer look at this turn of phrase. Over the last few decades, these words have worked their way into our pop-culture and are frequently given to people struggling with chronic guilt and shame. Perhaps you have come across many who testify personally to the power of ‘forgiving yourself’ – both Christians and non-Christians. Though many speak well of the practice, I have one lingering concern about the phrase and the paradigm it helps create:
It’s not actually in the Bible.
Nowhere in Scripture are we exhorted to ‘forgive ourselves’. It’s simply not there. Not only that, I can’t find any Christian leader from Church history even mentioning it until the late 20th Century. …

Should Christian Dating Couples Holiday Together?

Hey Joshua,
A lot of dating couples in our church go away on trips and holidays together. [My boyfriend] and I were wondering about doing the same but are unsure if it’s wrong to do so. What do you think? X

Hey X,
Thanks for messaging me your question. I want to respond to you about holidays and vacations specifically, but I also want to write to you about the bigger question of dating in a way that pleases God. To society at large, your question is laughable. But our answer here is nuanced, as the Christian understanding of sex and romance is different from that of popular culture.
There is nothing in the Bible that directly says that Holidays together are wrong – and it is not for me to tighten the protestant strings of your conscience till they vibrate wildly like some spectral zither. There's nothing sinful in itself of a getaway together.

But you are probably asking about something more. You are probaly asking me about that little talked about F-word: fornication. Adultery is a mar…

Go Set a Watchman: A Pastoral Review

Harper Lee - that Southern mistress of wordsmithery – has unveiled Go Set a Watchman fifty-five years after her wildly successful To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper wrote the sequel first - even though the events described in the book occur nearly twenty years after the trial described in Mockingbird – just so we could be confused as well as impatient. The title is taken from the Bible,
For thus the Lord said to me: “Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees. -Isaiah 26.11
I enjoyed this book. Of course, there are the charming turns of phrases and the delectable word choices - that are all but clich̩ - that come with, well, reading a genius. But it was more than just the verbal bonbons that caused me to relish the book Рit was the actual narrative.
The story is that of the spiritual journey of Scout - now a young woman in her mid-twenties. She is visiting Maycomb from her new home in NYC and is (debatably) in love with a man – in that complex, feminine way that my gender will never full…

What does the Bible say about Homosexuality?

Homosexual acts (sodomy, etc) are portrayed by Christian Scripture as sinful. They are listed alongside the many heterosexual sins that people commit: adultery, fornication, etc. Those who commit homosexual acts are loved by God and can be forgiven by Jesus - just like all of those who sin in other ways - when those acts are confessed and repented of. Christians are to practice repentance for their own sin and then to preach a message of repentance to the world. 

'This message of repentance and forgiveness of sins  shall be preached among the nations' -Luke 24
The Act
The Bible doesn’t speak about ‘homosexuality’ - that is a new and abstract term that could refer to a person, a desire or an action. The Bible is more precise. It speaks about the action - it doesn't condemn one for having a sexual temptation be it homo or heterosexual in nature.
When Scripture does speak of homo-sex, it is never positive. This holds true in both the Old and the New Testaments. I will give two exam…

On Stephen Fry, Blasphemy and Abortion

In January of this year, the internet was infected by a virus in the form of a cheeky Stephen Fry video clip that proved quite popular among the infidels. In the clip, Fry rails against the idea of God saying,
Yes, the world is very splendid but it also has in it insects whose whole lifecycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. They eat outwards from the eyes. Why? Why did you do that to us? You could easily have made a creation in which that didn’t exist. It is simply not acceptable. It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous. Utterly monstrous and deserves no respect whatsoever.
‘Bone cancer in children!? Insects that destroy the eyes of children!? God, shame on you,’ Fry scolds a divinity which he claims doesn’t exist with all the moral indignation of  a Hebrew prophet. 

He may have the mind of an atheist, but his heart would be well placed in a Puritan. (You're welcome Mr.Fry)
The amateur philosopher in all of us may be amused at Fry’s pontificating blasp…

Should we Fear God?

Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  -Jesus


“The Fear of the Lord” is the outstanding enigma in mainstream Christian culture as we plod on into the 21st century.  It is a subject of teaching largely ignored by our spiritual pezzonovantes on their blogs, videos and in their bestselling books.  Revelations of God’s holiness causes you tremble - and trembling is messy with a caramel macchiato in your hand.
What is “The Fear of the Lord”?  I hardly know.  At least I know when it is - and when it is not - on my soul.  It is not nightmarish.  Demonic fear is confusing and paralyzing.  Godly fear is sobering and liberating.  To fear him is to be in awe of him.
We fear God not because he is cruel and evil but rather because he is good and holy. Fearing him causes us to run to the cross to find his limitless mercy when we sin. Having the Fear of the Lord is standing in the place of holy fire but …

What is 'Gospel'?

You’ve probably heard the term ‘gospel’ in conversation or advertising. ‘Gospel’ is a popular genre of music – especially in the African American community. You may also have heard the term ‘gospel preacher’ and in your mind you associate it with a guy in a suit who is particularly excited about ‘Jeez-us!’  Maybe if you’ve lived in or seen a film set in the deep south of USA, you’ve heard someone swear, ‘And that’s the gospel truth!’ Perhaps you’re learning the principles of a particular field and they use the word to sum up the teaching: The Gospel of Market Economics.
You’ve heard the term. You are aware it has some vague association with Christianity. But could you explain it if put on the spot? Or, would attempting to define it make you sweat like Mike Tyson at a spelling bee?
First, the technical bits. ‘Gospel’ comes from the two old English words ‘god’ + ‘spel’ (good + story or news). Literally it means Good News. This is consistent with the ancient Greek language that the Christ…