What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st century? Is there a difference between being a Christian and a follower of Jesus? Do we have to reach a particular standard before we can be a disciple? How can we literally follow him when we can’t actually see him? [Read more…]
Having run a charity for 25 years, I am constantly amazed at the generosity of normal people. When confronted with needs, the normal reaction is to respond to those needs. The only thing which stops us giving is the nature of money itself. We live in an economy which encourages us to be selfish rather than generous, to accumulate wealth rather than circulate our resources through giving to others. [Read more…]
Pessimists and scare-mongerers like to say that the world is getting worse and worse. The opposite is true. Television news and newspapers make us more aware of problems throughout the world but statistics paint a very different picture. As Harold Macmillan said back in 1957, “Most of our people have never had it so good”. Extreme poverty is reducing, diseases are being eliminated, fewer people are dying because of war and life expectancy is improving. If you want a fuller picture, read on. [Read more…]
Apparently, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have decided to cut benefits to people of working age. This will include tax credits payable to people in work and which support families on a very low income. They claim this is a part of, “making work pay“! Many of those affected will be on the minimum wage. It seems crazy to me that the government (or the taxpayer, you and me) should subsidise companies which do not pay enough to their staff to enable them to look after their families. The answer must be to increase the minimum wage sufficiently to make work really pay.
Christians are often accused of being judgemental, and unfortunately, this is often true. On last Sunday’s, “Song of Praise”, BBC programme I heard a song which really emphasises how we should not be so quick to judge other people and show “a little grace”.
God shows an immense amount of grace towards us. I cannot find better words to express how we could us “a little grace” towards our fellow human beings.
Some 3,000 Vietnamese children are enslaved by criminal gangs in the UK to work in brutal conditions in the European country, a report says.
“By our calculations there are around 3,000 Vietnamese children in the UK who are being used for profit by criminal gangs,” said Philip Ishola, the former head of the UK’s Counter Human Trafficking Bureau, the Guardian reported on Saturday.
What we think God is like, affects not only our theology, but our relationship with him and the quality of our life. In the Middle Ages, he was pictured as an old man sitting on a cloud. According to how we interpret the Old Testament, we could see God as being jealous, angry and vengeful. Some picture God setting up the universe, creating the laws of morality and physics, and leaving us alone to face the consequences of our actions. None of us can fully grasp the nature of God, but if we are to have a more accurate view we must look at the life and teachings of Jesus. [Read more…]