How 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.
To someone who does not believe in God, or to someone who is undecided, it would seem that believing in God is like taking a leap into the unknown – “the blind leap of faith“. People require proof. Without proof it may seem foolish to stake all on something without evidence. But is that really true that faith is a blind leap?
- Can we, who have put our trust in God, prove to others that we are right?
- Can we prove to ourselves that what we believe is true?
- Does an atheist need faith to stake all on his belief that there is no God?
- Is there more to human existence than what we can experience through our 5 senses?
- Continue reading “Is Faith a blind leap?”
Why is it that most charities are suffering a reduction in giving from the public? We are living through the worst recession for many years. The future is uncertain. Some have lost their jobs, but the majority are still in employment. Many people have had their wages or salaries frozen so that, because of inflation, they suffer a reduction in what they can spend.
There is a biblical principle that states that we reap what we sow. Unless a farmer sows seed into the ground there will be no harvest. If things are hard, and his family are hungry, the worst thing that they can do is to eat their seed. Without a harvest they may then starve to death. Continue reading “Sowing in Recession”
Is extreme poverty inevitable? Is it possible to eliminate it? Will we always have the poor among us or will people eventually say, “it is no longer acceptable to have others living this way”?
Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper. A woman came with a jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. Judas Iscariot objected and said the perfume, worth a years wages, could have been sold and the money given to the poor.
Jesus replied with a verse that is often misquoted, or quoted out of context.
“You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me”
(John 12 verse 8) Continue reading “Will we always have the poor among us?”
About 30 years ago, at the height of the “Cold War” between the West and the Soviet Union, there was a possibility that mankind could be wiped out by a nuclear war. Those fears proved groundless (well at least for now). I remember writing an article in which I said, that basing our defense on a policy of revenge, was unethical, and the evil of that policy corrupted as all. A Christian friend of mine said that as the world was going to be destroyed by God, being concerned about the state of the world was like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
- Is the future of our world dependent on us, or is it all predestined by God?
- Is the world we know Continue reading “Can we hope for a better world?”
In the Olympic Games that have just finished we saw an outpouring of patriotism hopefully channelled in the right direction. In the United Kingdom, we cheered as our athletes achieved success and won medals of gold, silver and bronze. Because I have always held a worldview, I thought that I was not particularly patriotic, but I found myself screaming at the television set when Mo won the 5000 metre race after having already been awarded a gold medal for the 10,000 metre race.
But patriotism can have a negative effect. It divides people into “us and them”. It can cause us to consider other people as less important, or even inferior, to us. In crying out, “British Jobs First”, what seems like patriotism looks more like selfishness and racism. Continue reading “Patriotism, Curse or Blessing?”
I am very aware that we live in a world full of suffering, hardship and poverty. Yet there is hope, there is room for optimism. We live in a truly wonderful world. I have a passion to eliminate poverty and so there is a tendency to be pessimistic about a world with almost insurmountable problems. And yet when I look at God’s creation and understand that He has a plan for this world, hope and optimism bubble up. I declare myself an optimist with dreams of a better future, but with my feet realistically standing in the present. Continue reading “What a Wonderful World”
To eliminate extreme poverty there is no magic bullet. The causes of poverty are many, varied and interdependent. Education is a key to lifting people out of the cycle of extreme poverty and preventing one poor generation producing another poor generation.
Of course, education alone is not enough. Childhood diseases prevent children attending school and undernourishment of infants can cause brain damage which prevents them achieving their full potential. Continue reading “Reducing poverty by Education”
It was a hot, humid day. We were standing in the headmistress’ office in a primary school in Uganda. She was explaining how many of the poor families who sent their children to the school would not be able to afford to send their children to secondary school. I looked into the eyes of many of these children and saw that they were intelligent and willing to learn. The tragedy struck me then. These boys and girls could not progress further with their education which will mean that they would not get decent jobs and so one poor generation Continue reading “A School in Kampala”
Extreme poverty exists when people lack the basic requirements for life.
- Lack of income means that the family suffer from malnutrition
- Lack of capital means there is no buffer when disaster strikes
- Lack of medicines to deal with preventable and curable diseases
- Lack of clean drinking water
- Lack of even primary education
- Hopelessness, with no possibility of getting out of the situation.