Who is my Neighbour?

Elderly lady from Peru
Elderly lady from Peru

A religious lawyer asked this question, “Who is my neighbour?”  This was part of a question and answer dialogue with Jesus. The man had first come to Jesus with a question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” and Jesus challenged the lawyer to summarise the Jewish law.

  • “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and
  • “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Jesus said that he had summed up the Continue reading “Who is my Neighbour?”

Pure Religion

Orphans in Uganda
Orphans in Uganda

Religion suffers from a bad press. People often see religion as a negative influence in the development of mankind!  As followers of Jesus Christ we are fond of saying, “This is not a religion, it is about following Jesus and knowing God”. But the fact is, although we may not regard ourselves as religious, people still label us as religious.

But there is, according to James, a form of religion which is pure, faultless, good and acceptable to God. Pure religion is to look after the disadvantaged in society, and to be involved with our communities without being corrupted by them.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”.
(James 1:27 New International Version)

The bible does not write off religion but redefines it. Pure religion, it says, is Continue reading “Pure Religion”

“I’m not a racist, but …”

No Blacks, no Dogs, no IrishHow many times have we heard somebody say, “I’m not a racist, but…”? Calling somebody a racist can be a term of abuse in itself. It is an insult. The trouble is, that there are obviously degrees of racism, but the term “racist” is an absolute term. If we call a dog, “a dog” then that creature is either a dog or not at – there is no in between. Calling another a racist implies that the person is 100% racist. But it may just mean we consider their racism is worse than our own. And so, I will not call anybody a racist, but I will explore some of the aspects of racism.

Continue reading ““I’m not a racist, but …””

Selfishness or Compassionate Giving

Illustration from below book
(Photo credit Wikapedia)

Why should we give our money to other people  or to a charity? We live in a world largely based on selfishness and greed. The theory behind capitalism is that if we all look after our own interests then we will all prosper. Is there a future for altruism based on compassion and justice?

But a system based on selfishness simply does not work. The poor stay poor. Those who are less able, physically or mentally, get ignored and fall by the wayside. In practice, society has to intervene in some way. The community, church, government or the charitable sector has to care for those left behind in the mad scramble to obtain wealth.

We have all been sickened by hearing of the super-rich avoiding tax and therefore stealing from ordinary people who have no choice in paying tax on their income. We hear of politicians fiddling their expenses. Continue reading “Selfishness or Compassionate Giving”

Modern Slavery

Slavery has existed throughout human history and still exists in the world today in various forms. Estimates of people living in slavery vary, but it is probably between 12 million and 27 million. But in most countries of the world, slavery is illegal. So how come it is still tolerated? Continue reading “Modern Slavery”

Causes and Results of Poverty

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Children in Uganda

As we think about the causes of poverty we also need to think about the results, the effects and the symptoms of poverty. In many cases the result of poverty is to cause yet more poverty. So in practice it is difficult to distinguish between the causes and the symptoms of poverty.

Continue reading “Causes and Results of Poverty”

Subdue the Earth

We live in an amazing world. A world of enormous potential. But we also live in a world full of dangers such as natural disasters and diseases. God’s first commandment to mankind was to multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. We will look at what it means to subdue the earth and look at some of the pitfalls along the way. Continue reading “Subdue the Earth”

Joel’s Dream by George Dowdell

NewImage

Joel woke up one day and said to himself, “Today I will visit the doctor”. He set out to walk to the doctor’s surgery full of hope that the symptoms he had would not be serious.

“I’m afraid I have bad news for you”, said the doctor, “You probably only have another year to live. There is a new drug which would ease the suffering and probably give you at least 10 years more life”. Continue reading “Joel’s Dream by George Dowdell”

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