Snippets from the interweb (30th September 2018)

Don’t assume that your assumptions are true

‘Never assume assumptions are safe. If you spend most of your time building your positions and beliefs based on assumptions, you will be a very shallow and misguided person. If you’re a preacher, well, you will be a very shallow and misguided preacher. Consider how easy it is for the devil to get into the details of assumptions. Below are a few dangerous assumptions that seem to be popular in our day.’

Tragedy, sexuality and speaking the truth

Sad events in Manchester have led to this debate rearing its head again. Peter Ould offers some helpful thoughts. ‘If we are going to have a discussion about sexuality and sexual practice in the church, we have to be open and honest when doing so. It is not good enough to just give one side of the story – we owe it to every single person in our pews struggling with reconciling their faith and sexuality to see the whole picture, warts and all.’

The better question believers should ask about God’s will

‘God does not hide his will from his children. As an earthly parent, I do not tell my kids, “There is a way to please me. Let’s see if you can figure out what it is.” If I do not conceal my will from my earthly children, how much more our heavenly Father? His will does not need discovering. It is in plain sight. To see it we need to start asking the question that deals with his primary concern.’

What qualifies God to judge?

Good question. Helpful answer.

Shake on it

I really liked this account of a day of recording at the BBC by David Robertson. He had been invited to speak on gender issues and was not to be told who he would be speaking with until he got there. Here is what happened.

Help a pastor stay in ministry

I appreciated this very much. My wife sent it to me with the comment, ‘John Chapman was your “kind elder”.’ My situation wasn’t the same as the one outlined in the post, but without John and his wife Beth being excellent friends, keeping their hand in with us, it is highly likely I still wouldn’t be in post today. So this resonated a great deal.

From the archive: Sean Hughes and why I empathise with not belonging

‘It was interesting to me that a link was made between Sean Hughes’ lack of belonging and the almost constitutional inability to ingratiate oneself with others. It is very hard to cultivate relationships when your life has been a series of either leaving them behind or being told from the front-end you don’t belong so don’t bother trying. If one is continually told you don’t fit in, you can’t be surprised if those same people then appear to make little effort to fit in with you; you have as good as told them not to bother.’