Sunday, October 23, 2016


I know that following popular US churchianity, we like to call our singing in church congregations "worship", despite Romans 12:1, but here's a thought, from Robert Heinlein's book Stranger in a Strange Land:

Of course, he omits the Scriptures on our connection with God as a familial one, but then, few Christians bother to proclaim this as the core of the gospel: created in love, fallen, redeemed...for? Eternal joy in fellowship with our Creator; and so the circle closes neatly.


I've only called this post 'accountability' because it might be a word searched for, and, who knows, this post might turn up.

We are into the final chapter of Frosts book on the magic 5, and the topic of 'accountabilty' is taken out for a run in this chapter.

My hope is that it runs away.

'Accountability' is an idea that belongs in business and formal organisation structures. Not in the church (aside from formal roles where one having taken a role is accountable to the church as a whole or the nominating committee on the basis of what one has promised to do, but that's another matter).

It is also an idea that finds a home in legalism and flourishes in cults.

But how do Christians relate to each other?

I don't get a flavour of 'accountable' anywhere here!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Christian Education

I am rather excited by the prospect of  a meeting next week of our church to discuss the curriculum for children and young people's Christian education.

The convenor of this ministry wants to ensure that parents are involved in the design of the curriculum.


I'll be there promoting my thoughts.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Religion? Optional?

I saw a sign at my local shopping centre about our recent census debacle (brought to you by debacle central - the Australian Public Service - with assistance from IBM.

The census invited us to tell which of about a dozen 'religions' we adhered to. It was optional to answer.

The sign urged those with no express religious affiliation to mark 'no religion', rather than repeat a remembered family or parental affiliation.

Fair enough.

Then I reflected on my own answer on the by then operative website. First I marked an affiliation. Then pondered. Heck, I don't want the government knowing something so personal and so irrelevant to government about  me. I want to un click the box I'd clicked. No could do. I had to now click something else. So I did 'other' and described my 'other' as 'optional'.

Worked for me, and none of their business.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Prayer points

One of the odd parts of any evangelical home group is the gathering (sharing?) of 'prayer points' prior to praying about (some...most) of them. It has liturgical dimensions; but its the pop-liturgy of the business meeting. There, instead of 'prayer points' we have 'action items'. The latter has been much lampooned. Oh that the former were as well.

My recent experience of this pop-liturgy is scary, and I've felt judged, criticised, embarrassed and discouraged. Hardly any of the outcomes  Paul would have thought could come from praying together in love, support and encouragement.

I divulged some matters that were pressing on may family and I: one pray-er thought that our Father in heaven should help us to 'repent'. Thanks Francine: so you know our internal state, our circumstances and history? At this point I wished I was given to profanity.

More recently, on Frost's enjoining us to eat with others thrice a week, and I protested that I could barely do thrice a year, one of the group members decided it was her turn to cross examine me, my family and suggest 'solutions' to what she saw as the problem.

Neither of these women seemed to think that they should believe and trust my requests or statements, but dive in and undo them according to their shallow, prejudiced and misjudged insight.

This is not what group pray should be: people talk about what they want prayed and expect to be given the benefit of the doubt, not a detailed haughty inquisition pre-pray or in-prayer. Rubbish. Why would I join a home group if this is the treatment?

The first rule of Christian interaction: be kind.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Looking over a nephew's school poem: all about aliens and the sun burning out, I wondered at the Christian teaching the paid Christian at school was giving...and even wondered at same at his youth group: the poem was gravid with philosophical materialism.

How would he align this with the philsophical personalism of the Bible? Would he be equipped to deal with it through any Christian education he received, or would this merely take the tenor of our times as a given and completely fail to equip him to critically overturn it on understanding that comes from the word of God?

Knowing how most churches work: at the trival level of Bible stories, and if not, then philosophically disconnected from the ideas of the world, allowing its 'world view' to swallow thus subsume the truth of the Bible.

Witless, we perish.