‘Lockdown has vastly accelerated social trends and as churches we need to recognise this and the impact it may have. And think carefully about how we respond to them. Here are a few where I think the last year will have vastly accelerated social trends.’
I think this suggestion by Eddie Arthur has some merit. Labels do matter. Here, he points out some of the problems with using terms like ‘the West’ or ‘Western Church’ and offers a suggestion as to what else we might call ourselves instead. Whether he’s landed on the right term or not (and I think it is better than what we have), he is absolutely right that we need something better than we are currently using.
I think there is something in this one from Dave Williams.
‘I have several friends in ministry who recently unplugged from social media. When a particular flashbulb, social media incident precipitated angst and outrage on “Christian twitter,” my friends remained calm and steady. When I asked if they had heard about such and such an occurrence, they nonchalantly shrugged it off. I was envious of the freedom they were evidently experiencing. They were not carrying burdens they did not need to carry. They were proving something I have thought about for years. If Neil Postman was right when he warned that we are “amusing ourselves to death,” I am concerned that we are “burdening ourselves to death.” We are carrying burdens that we were never meant to bear.’
‘While we don’t have a special person in the church who is the priest and we don’t have people who dress in funny ways to show they are special, we do have priests – everyone who is following Jesus.’ So says my ex-Anglican friend who used to dress in funny ways and was referred to (by some) as a priest.
If you have spent any time with Arminians, you will probably have come across this question. Many of them answer it by saying, effectively, that you can’t. When pushed, however, they agree with Reformed believers that the Bible does command other things too. So, how do we reckon with the urgency and seriousness of Hell whilst faithfully doing the other things the Lord also expects of us? I think this short conversation between Jared Wilson and Afshin Ziafat.
‘The question is whether those in the public eye should be considered role models, and have certain expectations placed upon their behaviour, simply by virtue of the fact that they happen to be in the public eye? Can parents (or anybody else) expect celebrities – and make no mistake, that is essentially all football players are – to be good role models for their children? Few of us seem to view other random celebrities as role models, so why especially pick out footballers?’