Thursday, 27 February 2014

Are We the gods Now?

Christian faith from its very beginnings has declared that God is able (Jude 24). Early Christian witness was to a God who, not only was able but who was wholly other and supreme to all things. Irenaeus declared that God 'is not as men are...the Father of all is...a simple, uncompounded Being, without diverse members, and altogether like, and equal to himself, since he is wholly understanding, and wholly spirit, and wholly thought, and wholly intelligence, and wholly reason, and wholly hearing, and wholly seeing, and wholly light, and the whole source of all that is good.' (Against Heresies, II.XIII.III) God's supremacy over all things and his Lordship over the whole cosmos (Colossians 1:15-18) was powerfully witnessed to and affirmed by the early church in face of fierce persecution and demands upon them to swear their allegiance to Caesar, something that they refused to do; God is able was their ringing testimony.

However we live in a time when many would seek to convince us that humanity is able on its own without any need for God. Certainly this is not a new concept with history littered with human desire to 'go it alone', be masters of their own lives and discover a perceived freedom from religious conviction and faith in God. Many have come to believe that God is an unnecessary part of human life, that our own advancement's and achievements have made God an irrelevance and that there is no need for God.
Without doubt our continued discoveries in the sciences, anthropology and cultural hermeneutics, amongst other things, has enabled many exciting and revolutionary changes to take place within our societies. Yet as advanced as we appear to be, as able as we think we are, we are left with the reality that, compared to God, we simply are not able;

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Do Not Conform

When does our conformity serve, enable and bring blessing to majority thinking, even when such thinking is oppressive, abusive and anti-Gospel?

Jesus calls out a people who will oppose the oppressors, shine the light of truth and expose the abusers and be guardians of a love ethic that reveals and crucifies hatred and fear.

Conformity can be a means through which we find ourselves on the side of hatred and fear, guardians of violence and greed, a willing yet ignorant cog in a system that turns and controls us.

Martin Luther King Jr spoke of the three evils, racism, poverty and war. He often spoke powerfully and boldly to the Church about how complicit it had become in promoting and promulgating these evils but that a time had come to no longer conform but to be transformed non-conformists. He called the Church to remember her roots and the 'gospel glow' of the early Christians who though 'quantitatively small' were 'qualitatively giants'. Such was their commitment to the non-violent Way of Jesus and his love ethic they revealed to a world the truest and most powerful sense of what it means and looks like to love God and neighbour. Orphanages and adoption, feeding the poor, caring for the sick, loving the loveless and refusing to bow to Caesar and the violent demands of the Roman Empire saw the Church flourish.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 4th February 1906 - 9th April 1945

'It is not for us to predict the day - but the day will come - when people will once more be called to speak the word of God in such a way that the world is changed and renewed. It will be like a new language, perhaps quite nonreligious language, but liberating and redeeming like Jesus' language, so people will be alarmed, but overcome by its power - the language of new righteousness and truth, a language proclaiming that God makes peace with humankind and that God's kingdom is drawing near...Until then, the Christian cause will be a quiet and hidden one; but there will be people who pray and do justice and wait for God's own time.'

'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.'