Why am I writing this blog? I hope it is because the heart of God has touched my heart and I write with a passion which comes from Him. Or is it just one big ego-trip? Am I just motivated by a desire to make myself heard in a world with so many confusing voices?
I have travelled to many countries and seen poverty wherever I have been. Even in ‘developed’ countries like the United States or the United Kingdom the curse of poverty still blights the human race. Poverty is often unseen and definitely not photogenic. A tourist in Sri Lanka for instance may not see real poverty at all: but look along the river banks and other places and you will see people living a marginal existence.
There is no simple answer to the question, “What causes poverty?” 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 “The Causes and Results of Poverty”
I write this at a very pertinent time in the United Kingdom. A British soldier walking the streets has been brutally murdered by two young men claiming that the killing was in the name of Allah. They wanted notoriety, and they certainly achieved it with their faces plastered all over the newspapers and our television screens. Tension is high and fear is causing many to say things against Muslims that they would not normally say. Some people have a vested interest in situations like this and the English Defence League and others were quick to promote riots.
It seems as though extremists on both sides had a great opportunity to exploit the situation and polarise views stirring up fear and hatred. But in the noise and clamour there are moderates, Christian, Muslim and Secular speaking out and seeking to produce peace. These are the peacemakers that Jesus said were blessed and called the sons of God. Continue reading “Blessed are the Peacemakers”
Do we need to defend our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we need to defend our moral standards? Does God need defending against those who don’t believe in him, or is God perfectly able to defend Himself?
We are called to let the Kingdom of God rule in our own lives and extend his Kingdom in the world around us until, “The earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea”. In seeking to bring more of God’s kingdom in the society in which we live we are meant to put our faith into action and lead by example rather than seek to impose our moral standards on our fellow human beings.
As he came near to the end of his time on earth, Jesus told his disciples that they would do what he did and “greater works” than him. This is quite an amazing statement. What are the “greater works’ for us to do. Signs and Miracles are an obvious contender, but are there other things for us to do which qualify? What about the abolition of slavery? What about fighting against injustice? What about feeding the hungry? Do these things qualify?
In this article I do not intend to negate a more conventional interpretation, but to add to it. Continue reading “Greater Works”
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?”