This was a helpful one. It can be tempting to walk away from the Lord because of his people. When we are let down by Christians, this provides some helpful responses.
‘If we were to put together ten rules for constructing a moral society, it is doubtful that many would emphasize parental respect. Why then does God bother to put in a commandment about honoring your parents? What’s the big deal?’
I could not agree more with this one: ‘The worst thing that could happen to us as a church is if we would let our circumstances provide us an excuse to disobey the clear commands of your Bible. O God, please forgive us for where we have failed to love and properly care for each other. Forgive us for wishing ill on people who see things differently from us. Forgive us for retreating into little like-minded cells where we can grumble about those we disagree with.’
This is a two-parter. I have linked to the second part as there is a link back to the first in it. But Diotrephes made it into the Bible because of his spiritual pride and we do well to watch out for such people in our churches and, just as importantly, to kill any sign of these things in ourselves.
Andrew Bunt suggests we should respond to a recently released government consultation on conversion therapy. He provides helpful inks and offers his perspective on some of the issues as a same-sex attracted Christian seeking to live faithfully to the teachings of Jesus.
This is a good question. Here is a possible answer.
‘In many ways, it doesn’t matter whether we think Britain is characterised by racism and xenophobia or not. What does matter is how the people coming into our churches perceive things. If their perception of Britain is that the country is xenophobic and racist, and potentially our churches by extension, then we need to take that seriously. Simply rebuffing their perception, or offering figures to suggest they have it wrong, is perhaps not going to incline them to the gospel. If they are faced by majority white, middle class churches with exclusively white middle class leadership teams, we are inevitably going to be starting from behind on this issue irrespective of how woke and right on we are trying to be. It doesn’t matter whether our church is racist and xenophobic (I trust it isn’t), we have to be prepared for the fact that we might be perceived that way based on our culture, style of music, leadership teams and any number of other measures.’