Is the Bible God’s final word?

The Bible is not a rule book. It says very little about lots of  issues which affect us today.  If we look hard we may find ‘proof texts’ to support a particular moral stance but they might be reliant on the Old Testament and maybe contradicted elsewhere.  Even Jesus contradicted or brought new light on an old saying. (For example ‘eye for an eye’ in Matthew 5.) Here are some examples of current issues in a somewhat random order.

  • Slavery – in it’s institutionalised and modern forms
  • The death penalty or capital punishment
  • Global warming or looking after the earth

… and …
[Read more…]

Compassion or Justice

love and justice 2As we look at the world around us, we see so much suffering, and so much injustice. There are a number of ways we can react to this suffering. We can get involved in a charity which seeks to address the problem. Alternatively we may choose to join an action group which seeks to resolve the problem directly through campaigning for justice. Which is the best way? Sometimes we hear someone say that we need to get to the root the problem not just apply sticking plasters. Someone else will say that this is all very well, but until the problem is eliminated, we must meet the needs through compassion and love. I the rest of this blog I will say that we need both approaches. [Read more…]

Personal Cross-Roads

At the Cross RoadsAs I start to write this, my weekly blog, I sense that I am at one of those crossroads we come across on our journey through life. I started writing my blog in March, last year and have so far written 70 articles on a wide range of subjects. [Read more…]

Giving in the Bible

Sowing seed in India

A farmer giving seed to the soil. What a temptation to eat his seed! But by sacrificially sowing, he will reap with joy.

Giving is a way of life, not just an optional extra to make us feel better. These verses from the Bible show that giving enriches our lives as well as enriching the lives of those we give to. It is a win-win situation. I am not promising you cars and yachts  but I am saying that having a generous heart will make you a better and happier (or in biblical language, blessed) person.

Giving, is the way of love, compassion and justice and can set us apart from a world system so often based on self-interest and greed. Because we are made in the image of God, all human beings have, deep down, a desire to give and to love. Let us rediscover the joy of giving, and together change this sad old world of ours!

Quotations from Old Testament

Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10 [Read more…]

God’s chosen fast

English: Homeless woman in Toronto.

Homeless woman in Toronto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do we please God? Do we please God by religious observances or is God more interested in how we treat our fellow human beings? This is not a rhetorical question. God loves each man, woman and child on the earth – and he wants us to do the same.

The Bible makes it very plain that unless our actions match up to our words, we can deny ourselves, beat ourselves, and starve ourselves to no avail. The way we treat our neighbours, our communities and people throughout the world is vitally important. Unless we stand up for justice, treat our workers correctly and feed the hungry we cannot hope to please my creator, God. Unless we show compassion to, and love those around us, who we can see, we cannot claim to love God. [Read more…]

Happier giving than getting

Flour distribution in Kenya by karuna Action

Flour distribution in Kenya by karuna Action

In the Message version of  the Bible, Jesus is reported to have said, “You’re far happier giving than getting” (Acts 20:35). The NIV version says the more familiar words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive“. When I was young, and heard this quotation something within me said, “Oh yeah!” in a sceptical way. Although I acknowledged that it must be true if it said so in the Bible, I didn’t really believe it. But as I grew older the words became so obviously true, in my experience, and in my observation of other people.

A study in Canada, showed that even toddlers, who you expect to be selfish, were demonstrably happy giving treats to other youngsters, even when that treat belonged to the giver.  [Read more…]

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