Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sick societies

I read a book a while ago called Sick Societies, by Robert Edgerton. It dispelled the myth of the 'noble savage' by illustrating many tribal societies which were both savage and ignoble.

Now we live in a country that has been pumped up by Al Grasby (a past politician) to the undefined and tendentious idea of 'multi-culturalism'. Undefined, because 'culture' is not defined.

Most people have a positive view of the 'decorative' aspect of culture: art, dress, cuisine, dance, etc. Decorative because these are innocuous observables, and we all love (mostly) variations in art, dress, cuisine, dance, etc. or at least, don't find them objectionable, and if so are able to avoid them.

On this basis, many support multi-culturalism, because it is not really multi-cultural, it is multi-racial with mixed entertainment.

Culture is initially hard to pin down, but I pin it down this way: it is the shared assumtions a group has about mutual rights, responsibilities and roles. This is the last place that 'multiple' works. For example, how does a society work where one group believes that the males of the extended family determine the choice of husband of the females, and feel obliged to murder any females that reject  this, when most of the society believes that females are able to make their own choices and murder of them is criminal? Merely two different cultures at work...but now harmony; instead warfare!

Once cultures are so disparate, common behaviour mores cease to exist and society fractures.

On to the sermon of the day, on Colossians 3:9, where acceptance of disparate cultures was espoused. I don't think it was thought through. How does a culture that seeks to conform to Pauline ethics co-exist with those that reject them?

Paul knew the issue, because this was resolved IN CHRIST! Outside Christ, there is no resolution; the moral community, the spritual community does not exist and society thus remains fractured. But in Christ, we are brought together. This is the gospel, not some empty adulation of 'multi-culturalism.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A cracker!

Today church was a cracker!

We met in the smaller auditorium, while another congregation met in the larger auditorium for 7 (yes, 7!) baptisms.

S. gave a sermon on Colossians 3:8, illustrated amusingly by wearing a pair of ragged old jeans: the practicalities of our faith opened up.

And, two great hymns: How Great thou Art, and 10,000 Reasons. Not just great, but amoung my favourites. The former takes me back to a happy Christian childhood surrounded by Christian family (cousins, aunt and uncle, parents, brother and grandparents), and at the same time prospectively to being in the presence of our Lord for all eternity.

This led me to browsing hymns on YouTube, so I leave you with this selection:

10,000 Reasons

How Great Thou Art

In  Christ Alone

and from Fountainview Academy (and, no, I'm not SDA)

To God be the Glory

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Crown Him with Many Crowns

and, lastly

How Great Thou Art

Saturday, August 4, 2018

What people are interested in.

Recent research by McCrindle Research indicated the following:

Percent of people finding the following attractors to religion:

16% seeing people display genuine life faith
13% people experiencing traumatic life events
12% stories from people who have changed due to their faith.

Things that repel people from religion:

19% philopsophical discussion, debates about ideas
26% miraculous stories (I'm thinking the Roman Catholic type random miracles)
27% hearing from public figures and celebrities about their belief.

On the upside, of people with no religion:

10% have an interest in or are quite open to religious conversation
13% would consider consider religion
8% don't know any Christians
3% have not heard the name of Jesus in a Christian context.

Leadership Forum

I attended this at a friend's church. It was only an afternoon long, so I won't be too critical, but I was taken by the fact that the word 'servant' was only mentioned once.

Leadership, of course, was never defined, but we were treated to a sermon on 2 Timothy 1:1-14.

It was good for what it was. But it wasn't about leadership. The starting point for this topic is 1 Corinthians 12.