Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Naff things that Christians say

Things I've heard Christians say to others (naffities: this is likely to be a long series)

To someone who is ill (this is the richest picking field for naffities):

"we must have coffee, I'll try to squeeze you in..." [I must do and be seen by you to do my duty to you. This is about me, not you!] Better: "When would you be free and I'll check my diary"

"don't worry, God's in control..." [God as puppetteer theology. God will work all things together for good Roms 8:28, but that's not the conversation a sick person wants] Better: "I'm sorry to hear of your illness. How are you feeling?"

"it's just the fall playing out in our lives..." [this is not the time for creation theology] Better: "That sounds really tough. How do you feel?" If you've been told, don't compare pains, just thank them for their confidence and ask what you can do?

To someone bereaved:

"at least he/she is in a better place now..." [The point of bereavement is that you have lost a friend or loved one. This can have a calamitous effect on one's life. This is not the time for eschatology] Better: I'm sorry to hear of your loss. If you want to chat, I can drop around in about a week or so. Then just listen, do not offer advice if unasked, do not compare pain, do not play the deceased's faults...normal people don't and neither should you.

To a newbie in your group (astonishingly I heard this from an experienced youth leader...cringe-worthy):

"Hi everyone, this is Digby...he's joining us this weekend because he's a bit lonely..." [WHAT??? Never judge or demean a person in such a humiliating manner. Everyone has the dignity of being in the family of God]. Better: "Hi everyone, this is Digby, I'm really glad he was able to come along this weekend." But, even better, don't introduce to a group before a couple of one to one introductions if possible.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Praise! Why bother?

Throughout the scriptures there is a close relationship between God's being creator, and our praise of him.

A great example is Isaiah 42:5, 8.

Why does God seek, indeed, require, our praise, to the excusion of idols?

Is it because he is needy, lacking in affirmation, has an ego problem?

No, nah, nada!

He does it because it is good for US! It connects us to who we are (made in his image: his image-bearers, Gen 1:27), and is encouraging, gives us pleasure; its part of worship, and worship expressed rightly (in prayer, song, acts of service, Roms 12:1)is moving,  profoundly exciting, and allows a step, for just a moment, a tiny step, into heaven!

Praise connects us to the one praised, and there is nothing better than being connected to our creator, lover and redeemer. He says so himself!

In similar vein, praise of your spouse deepens the  connection between the two. Praise of your pre-spouse friend is good, but not as good, because you are not yet 'one-flesh' (Gen 2:24), praise in a 'one-flesh' state encourages both deeply, builds up both and grows both: it is a form of giving of self: to spouse, and how much better, to our creator God?

Lack of praise, or mis-directed praise damages the relationship, cuts us off from the source of our being (God, and in this life, spouse if we have one).

Saturday, April 14, 2018

One sarx (just to show off)

One of the things that I think was missed in the same-sex marriage 'debate' (there was no debate, just invective from the pro side) was Gen 2:24. The two become one flesh.

I recal some talk of the complementarity of the sexes, and that the relationship of marriage resulting from the dynamic between the sexes, between man and woman (who together are in the image of God...that wasn't ever in the media, of course).

The complimentarity runs deep: men and women are just different, different in ways that make each important to the other, and that 'interlock'. The physical union expresses and demonstrates this.

By comparison two women or two men do not 'interlock', they stand side by side. The 'interlock' metaphor runs through the BCP/AAPB marriage service and is demonstrated in society: one's relationship with one's spouse is more important than any other. The two share their lives as one: thus sexual loyalty is imperative. This is the building block of civilisation (or the tribe, in generations past).

There are deeper things here too both psychologically and socialogically for the couple, their children, their wider families and communities. It would take a good length book to explore them! The spiritual dimension would be another book.

None of this surfaced in the debate...because there was no debate, mere ranting from the side-by-siders.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bibleworks 10

It's arrived! Yippee. My BibleWorks upgrade.

I've been using BW since version 3. Now we are at 10. The package has improved with each upgrade and the distance between 3 and 10 is vast.

Even if I didn't use it, I'd buy it because of this inscription on the Quick-Start Guide:
Thank you for using BibleWorks. May the Lord prosper your work for His greater glory and the eternal good of lost souls.

Friday, April 6, 2018

The spiritual has become utilitarian!

No question about the motive for this, but oh, what a down-grade for the spiritual life!

Scanned from a recent edition of Australian Men's Health magazine. I read it in a hospital waiting room...good exercises and recipies in it!