Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Temptations.


Rather than the traditional idea that temptation is all about sex I would suggest that the most damaging temptations are about power and cruelty.

The temptation of religious people to take the law into their own hands and execute judgements and punishments on those they disapprove of is perhaps the greatest temptation of all.

And the violence and torture which follow upon their judgements are great sins.

But the temptation of those in authority to implement the carrot and stick religion of heaven and hell is equally damaging to humanity and religion alike.

To deflect disapproval of these great sins onto sexual behavior is a temptation in itself.  And ignoring other transgressions like corruption and exploitation is tantamount to collusion.

So don't accept the idea that temptation is all about sex there are greater temptations that keep our world in darkness.


Photo Credit: Olivier Roux Flickr via Compfight cc

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

A Father's Love.


The rich say: "What can we do to please God?"

Pay your taxes.

Do not oppress your workers.

Have compassion and consideration for them like sons and daughters.

Do not plot against your brothers and sisters.

Let no evil thought enter your minds.

Provide for others as God has provided for you.

But above all open your hearts!

Love your workers as the Father loves you.

Then you will please God.


Photo Credit: f2 photografia Flickr via Compfight cc

Monday, 14 January 2019

Broken.


Christians often refer to the world as broken.

It refers to the imperfect nature of life on Earth.

It does not refer to God breaking our wills as some commentators have suggested.

So what does broken mean?

I believe that because love is the source and purpose of life that broken refers to our broken hearts.

And the world is the vale of the broken-hearted.

But God mends our broken hearts.

If we love God and love our neighbor God returns our love abundantly.

And it is this that makes us whole.


Photo Credit: alanwordguy Flickr via Compfight cc

Sunday, 13 January 2019

White Privilege.


Western white privilege is supported by a network of social conventions which hide the perpetrators of injustice while whitewashing the beneficiaries.

This has solidified into what we call the System.

Business and legal conventions combine to protect the System at every turn.

This System was established by violence and is maintained by fear.

It is now global.

Solid barriers distance us from the consequences of our actions.

Bargains do not tell you about the slave labor that created them.

Corporations subcontract to companies using slave labor and ask no questions.

If it is discovered they merely say they knew nothing about it and no one is charged.

But we benefit from the cheap goods they produce.

And we ask no questions.

We are all implicated.

But who can challenge this Behemoth?

Corporate activism is emerging. 

Shareholder activism is beginning.

But it is yet to be seen whether these moves can challenge the giants of corporate ownership.

Media moguls use the media to hide corruption and sanitize the privileged.

And anyone who dares to challenge them is hit with a beat-up hate campaign.

So we are stuck with the System.

We can only pray for change.


Photo Credit: Flickinpicks Flickr via Compfight cc

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Risk.


In order to grow spiritually we must be prepared to take risks.

And in order to take risks we must have courage.

So have the courage of your convictions and strengthen your integrity.

If you do this there may be consequences.

A backlash of fear, threats, even violence may follow.

But our course is set.

It is better to follow your heart than to be imprisoned by fear.


Photo Credit: flattop341 Flickr via Compfight cc

Friday, 11 January 2019

Our Father.


God will not judge even His own wayward priests and ministers.

God is faithful.

And He knows that evil is inspired by fear.

Fear which has been handed down from generation to generation as tradition.

So do not judge those who have threatened us.

Like Judas and the Pharisees they will be forgiven.

For God is their Father also.


Photo Credit: campra Flickr via Compfight cc

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Threats.


Many people in the Church will act in a threatening way if you challenge their integrity or their theology.

This is because, as children, their parents enforced their ethics with threats.

And fear begets fear.

But fear is not a good motivation - conscious or otherwise.

We see this in the words of the Bible.

But there is no fear in God.

God does not threaten us.

His goodness and love are free gifts.

This is Grace.

So let go of your fear and give love. 


Photo Credit: Tojosan Flickr via Compfight cc