Mike Frost was recently in Texas and preached the following sermon. http://vimeo.com/51452260 In it he tells the story of a pastor he met in the Philippines who works in a ghetto / slum area, and took him for a tour of the ministry there.
In his talk, he asks the hard hitting question of the church he was preaching in. If you were to shut your doors today, would your community grieve you doing so? Would your community even notice you were gone?
The question I ask today is, “Does your local community know you exist?
I pinched this from a friends face book status…
A black man walks to a bar. a white man says: “coloured people are not allowed in here.” the black man says: “when I’m born I’m black; when I’m cold I’m black; when I’m sick I’m black & when I’m dead I’m black! but when you’re born you’re pink; when you’re cold you’re blue; when you’re sick you’re green & when you’re dead you’re purple! yet you have the nerve to call me coloured?!”
Puts a different perspective on things…. I watched the movie “Australia” the other night. I am glad that I didn’t live in the 40’s. Where segregation was taken for granted and even enforced. I certainly enjoy the fruit and the freedom that we have today which stems from the hard work and effort that many put into changing the status quo.
Yet the question is still asked of me and its asked of all of us… what within our society today needs change. Where does injustice exist? If you can answer this question; then the next question is…” What are you doing about it?”
Most of my readers will know that I tend to emphasise the New Testament over the Old Testament. Having said that, one of my goals this year is to re-read the Bible through in its historical ordering of the books and using a translation that hasn’t any chapter and verse headings.
I’m in Exodus around chapters 22-23 and reading some of the various laws and principals for living that God has set for them….with the charge to Listen and be careful to do ALL I tell you to do…..
So far I have read stuff about how God would be against you if you didn’t care for the widow and orphan. How he would be against you if you oppressed and mistreated the foreigners amongst you. Then there is stuff about not charging interest to the poor, paying and accepting bribes. Don’t gossip, slander and tell lies about others. How to care for the poor amongst you and how the Sabbath day of rest was to bring about refreshment to both the working animals; servants / slaves and foreign workers. Don’t blaspheme the rulers of your people etc. Then there are the verses that deal with crime, sorcery and immorality.
In reading this I have reflected on how it seems many concentrate on a few verses against sexual immorality, sorcery and tithing and yet ignore the former…. Perhaps we truly need to stop and pay attention to what Jesus said…
Mat 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others….
I find it interesting that Jesus says that the weightier matters of the law are to do with Justice, Mercy and Faithfulness…… May mercy and justice be our catch cry…
In Australia we take a lot for granted within society regarding equality for all and possibly many don’t know much about Dr Martin Luther King. Today he is honoured and remembered throughout America and hence the thrust of this post.
There are a number of worthy articles to read about him and here are a few you might like to look at.
Our modern western society, owes a lot to this civil rights movement; which was spearheaded by a man who truly believed the Gospel message. That in Christ; there is no distinction between gender, race and social class. And in keeping with my previous articles message about actively listening… he went about doing something about it….
While this newspaper article is dated in 2004 it shows an interesting proposal to stop suicide bombing of buses in Israel.
The proposal was to put bags of pig fat on every bus; with the idea that any would be bomber would be sprayed with the fat residue in any explosion and thus invalidating his / her entry into heaven
I have no idea if this proposal was carried out and how successful this strategy was if it was implemented. I have heard calls and reports on various blog’s that a pig head should be buried on the ground zero site in New York to invalidate any potential mosque being built there or nearby. It’s an action that I have problems in sanctioning; though I am also miles away and have no real right to speak into the pro’s and con’s of any mosque being built there…
On this site many people from all religions and nations were killed; including Muslims who were going about their daily business. For many of the deceased; and not just the Islamic dead, the very idea of a pigs head buried there would be offensive and so I ask the ethical question if this really is the way to go?
It is no secret that in the Western World there is much talk about equality between the sex’s. And indeed we should push for gender equality and accept it. However I am continually shocked that in the newspapers of today they continue to push the same old barrow that its only women and children who are abused within heterosexual relationships.
In the Sydney Sunday Telegraph 28th November on page 13 there is a interview with the Sex Discrimination Commissioner; Elizabeth Broderick. . .This paper over the last few weeks have been consistently reporting on the issue of Domestic Violence against women and children in the community.. .yet not once have they raised the issue that men are also victims of abuse from their wives …In it she rebukes the federal government for not fulfilling its promises to reduce attacks on women and children..
This is the Sex Discrimination Commissioner herself who is discriminating against men in society who also are victims of abuse within the society in which we live. I am a man. I am a heterosexual man. I was abused by my wife. If I did to my wife what she did to me…I would have been locked up in goal.
Why, why, why can’t they make a genderless statement and say.. We want to stamp out abuse of every kind within Australia. And in doing so help prevent abuse for all in Australia?
I get increasingly frustrated at the level of work and rewards theology that is increasing within the western world. In Australia one such theology is much propagated about how God is blessing our nation because of what the Light Horsemen did in releasing Jerusalem from the Turks in World War 1.
What do you think of it?