In this provocative one, Brendan O’Neill notes the shift from a focus on liberty (i.e. just let me be) to an insistence on affirmation (you must celebrate me). He highlights how the moral majority has shifted to being pro-gay and coerces affirmation, going well beyond matters of civil liberty.
‘There is a good chance that you aren’t rightly loving your unbelieving community if you aren’t deeply loving your believing community. We can talk much about “reaching the lost” and focusing our attention there, and that is right and good. But that can also be a ploy to keep us from truly loving the real people that God has already brought into our fellowship. It’s easy to love imaginary “prospects” who are “out there” it’s quite another to love a real person right in front of your face.’
‘In our context, people spend their evenings in the Malt Shovel, the Commercial, and the Rose and Crown. And retired people spend their days in Wetherspoons. And that means I drink a few more than 4 pints a week (along with a decent amount of refillable coffee!) My friend might think I’m in danger of turning into a drunkard. I’m confident I’m not, and I certainly don’t drink to excess (as my wife and Elders will testify as they hold me accountable). But I’m willing for people to call me a drunkard if they want. Because I am building more and more relationships with the regulars in the pubs I go in. They’re slowly starting to accept me as one of the regulars too. And fairly often, we have discussions about what I do for a living, and why I want to follow this Jesus fella. Sometimes that morphs into fully orbed opportunities to clearly explain the gospel, sometimes it doesn’t. But I passionately believe, and am praying, that one day I’ll be baptising someone from Cleck who starts their testimony with, “So I was sat in the Malt Shovel one night…”‘
Carl Trueman makes offers some comments about restoring fallen pastors to office.
Obviously it doesn’t. But it does change things. Here’s RC Sproul doing what RC Sproul does best.
I spent my teens in an Oxfordshire village. So, This Country felt very familiar as a programme that lovingly nailed its target with precision. One of its stars died last week but I was particularly surprised to see his clear Christian testimony make its way into some papers (though, unsurprisingly, it was cut out of others).
‘We are, by nature, proud people. We think too highly of ourselves and we believe others don’t think of us highly enough. We discuss the foibles of others, assuming that nobody would do the same to us. We plot and scheme, all in a bid to make much of ourselves. We either build ourselves up or tear others down all in the desperate hope that it will make us seem big in the eyes of others. We can even convince ourselves that God’s glory is tied up inextricably with our own. We may not know why Euodia and Syntyche fell out, but we can have a guess at how their feud continued to such a degree that word got back to Paul about it.’