Should we bomb in Syria

isis-execution-peshmerga-forces

21 Kurds executed, from an IS video

The terrorist group known as ISIS, ISIL, IS or DAESH is obviously a major threat to peace in the Middle East and to a lesser extent to Western nations who oppose its aims. They have executed (murdered) at least 10,000 men, women and children between June 2014 and September 2015 — in Iraq (7,000 plus) and Syria (about 3,000).[1] [Read more…]

Does God love everyone?

God loves everyone

Mumbai slum street scene

In my last blog, I stated that God loves everyone, unconditionally and that love is the very nature of God. I believe that with all of my heart, but it is good to be challenged now and again. After publishing last week’s blog, a long-term friend came round to see us. She had just read a book about God and natural disasters and was disturbed by what she had read.

Accepting the challenge, I downloaded the book to my kindle and read it all in a day. The book was written by a well-known bible scholar. (I will not mention his name because I don’t want to attack him publicly.) The book addressed the age-old problem of “If God is a God of love, why does he allow natural disasters”. [Read more…]

Jesus: Responding to Violence

NONVIOLENCEWas Jesus a pacifist? Does he expect his followers to be pacifists? Is it right to defend ourselves, or our loved ones, from violent attack? Is non-violent protest the only way to change the world? Should we use military means to prevent the excesses of violent dictators in the world. These are difficult questions, but if we want to follow Jesus we must take his teaching seriously.

As I look at this world, I am convinced that the only way evil will ever be overcome is by love and forgiveness. Non-violence is proactive and not cowardice. Turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, involves bravery and being convinced that in the end, love wins.

Jesus very plainly said that we were not to resist an evil person using force. There are no qualifiers to his statement, no get-out clauses and no exceptions. [Read more…]

Hating our enemy or loving our enemy

mlk enemy to friendI was asked recently to speak at one of a series of meetings with a general theme of “War and Peace”. This article is an expansion of my notes.

What did Jesus say about war? What did he say about patriotism? Did he encourage his followers to be pacifists? Jesus did not address these issues directly at all, but his teaching does give us some principles which can totally change our attitude to war and our attitude towards our enemies.

[Read more…]

Remember with humility and sorrow

We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 – a terrible and unnecessary conflict involving 30 different countries. It was a war dreamt up by the elite in Britain, Germany, France, Russia and other countries, but a war fought between ordinary people who died in their millions. We must remember those who died, but with a deep shame. We dare not ‘celebrate’ the war or glorify or glamourise it in any way.

[Read more…]

Can I really love my enemies?

love-your-enemiesJesus certainly knew how to be controversial. He taught that love knows no bounds. We are not only to love God, our creator, but to love our neighbours as ourselves. But it doesn’t stop there. We are even to love our enemies, people who treat us badly and certainly do not love us. This is probably one of the hardest things to do and challenges us all. [Read more…]

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