I am often enthralled and disgusted at the sight of self-declared weak faith waved about as a weapon to fight change. It is akin to the simultaneous wonder and horror of watching a python engulf a favourite pet. With nothing short of pure astonishment, I have witnessed church leaders brandish it like a katana, Continue reading
“You’ll be back,” says the haunting thought. It mocks as you swear you’ll never dial that number again, even though you leave it in your phonebook or when you clear your browser’s history but leave that hidden folder (for next time?). Maybe it rolls its eyes at you when you quit smoking for the sixth time that month or when you pour that drink into the sink but keep it for deposit.
It is incredible that God figured he couldn’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah without telling Abraham first. In fact, He let the two angels go into the city to carry out an independent investigation while He strolled with Abraham and bargained with Him. This is incredible, not only because the Almighty condescended to eat, stroll and discuss His plans with humanity, but because God was willing Continue reading
Web 2.0 with it’s user generated content has made just about every form of knowledge available. Everything is on the web. Everything! Rote memory belongs right next to dinosaurs in museums: why bother memorising anything when we have search engines? In depth learning is out on the trash heap too: why bother learning about fundamental principles when typing “How to” on a search engine yields the information needed right here and right now? Tragically, we treat the Bible in the same way.
Genesis 1 is no longer a creation narrative but a creation doctrine. Proverbs’ poetry is now a field pocket guide, it’s panoramic view is now a bullet list of daily survival tips. Daniel’s ever deepening experience with God, leading to a theophany has become a PowerPoint presentation of predictions. We are only interested in immediate gratification and thus, a book meant to point us to God is reduced to a religious search engine. Don’t open your mouth too wide in shock when you find that a lot of Bible thumpers know very little of it’s content.
1 Peter is not a “How to survive persecution” guide, it is a heartfelt letter encouraging the faithful to draw from Jesus’ resurrection, encouragement to live on purpose for God in the very fire of persecution. It is a letter pointing the believers not to religious escapism, or militance but to Christ infused humble perseverance. We are not to called to be cowering doormats but neither are we called to put on bandoleers and light the fires of revolution. We are called to spread the vivifying fire of the gospel to those around us, being careful to not lose sight of the Source.
2 Peter is not a white paper on heresy but an exhortation to hold to the Truth and Blessed Hope by calmly weighing the evidence of Scripture instead of mindlessly following heresies. God didn’t start the universe and leave it running while He went off to play a round of celestial golf, He is actively involved in leading us to a glorious existence. This glorious future is not a distant utopia that we dream of when life gets hard but a reality that we can begin enjoying here. Heaven is for those who have it in their hearts. Only those who walk daily with Christ can bear to live with Him in eternity. If Jesus bores you now, there is no future magic wand that will turn you to Him… You must choose Him, every day.
A “How to…” approach to the Bible can be helpful but it can never bring the same benefit as soaking in it and letting it reach every nook and cranny of your soul can. Jesus is more than a handyman, He is our resurrected Lord and He has availed all we need to live full lives and a whole lot more.
photo credit: perzonseo Woman using her iphone at home office via photopin (license)
The idea of Jesus delaying His return to Earth is uncomfortable because we associate delay with either reluctance or inability. How can a loving omnipotent Jesus be reluctant to save His people or be unable to? Could there be another reason?
Jesus wants to save as many people as possible. He isn’t waiting around a prophetic corner just so He can see how many He can catch unawares; Christ is not in the business of excluding people. If any reluctance is involved in his delay, it is His reluctance to leave any unsaved. If any inability is involved, it is His inability to remain aloof to the plight of floundering humanity. God is neither hostile to us nor a dispassionate cosmic force, He is a loving Father with inestimable longing for His children.
Too many people sitting in a church pew next to you are exasperated by the delay because they have an escapist attitude. Like a group of mercenaries huddling in a bush, they are waiting for extraction from this war zone of a planet. This is a case of “my Jesus and not yours.” Unable to look beyond their troubles and desires, they just want Jesus to come now! Unwilling to step outside their comfort zones, they choose to turn the church into an incestuous huddle; an enclave of those lucky enough to be saved.
If we the church, claim to have hearts fused with Christ’s, should we not share in His longing for the lost? Should “Jesus is coming back for me,” not become, “Jesus is coming back for us?” If we shared just a smidgeon of this longing, the incestuous huddles would fall in the face of churches too full of heaven to not share it. Heaven belongs to those so filled with it that it overflows and spreads to all around.
The choice lies with you… Will you sit around wondering if God is reluctant or unable or will you share in His longing for His children?
Dipping Marie biscuits into over sweetened tea, the cannibals savoured the flavour of their feast. It was not the biscuits nor the steaming rooibos that tantalised their tastebuds but the flesh of Continue reading
Here’s the challenge: collapse the whole book of Galatians into one bite-sized sentence. How would you go about it? A lot of people (especially Seventh-day Adventists) steer clear of this book for various reasons, not least of which would be the disparaging comments it makes about the Law. Continue reading