The (unintentional) battle royal

A few days ago, I posted what I thought was an innocent status update on Facebook.  The update has created more heat and debate than all my other Facebook posts together.  I was even accused of racism.

I thought I should try to clarify my comments.

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WWJD is probably the wrong question to ask

You may remember the WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do”) bracelet phase.  The bracelets were a very well-intentioned movement to get Christians to think about their actions and responses.  How would Jesus react in any given situation?

Would Jesus get angry? Would Jesus be generous? Would Jesus pray for the sick?

Great questions to ask.

However, I think those bracelets got it a little wrong.

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The titanic struggle for church planting

I was greatly challenged at our Gospel DNA National Ministry Conference with Richard Coekin.

Richard emphasised many things, but mostly the need for church planting and church rejuvenation.

Richard compared the lack of church planting to the tragedy surrounding the Titanic’s sinking.

The luxury steamship RMS Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic after sideswiping an iceberg during its maiden voyage. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 lost their lives in the disaster.

Several factors made the tragedy so much worse than it could have been.

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A POW’s most significant Christmas

 

On 3 February, 1966, Captain Gerald Coffee was flying a reconnaissance jet over Vietnam to photograph ammunition sites.

The mission went like clockwork, but on the way back over the coast they were hit by enemy fire.  The plane spiralled down and Captain Coffee ejected.  He landed in the ocean where he was found by enemy forces, almost killed, then taken prisoner.

He was 31 yrs old, a prisoner of war among people his country had been bombing, and a Christian.

For 7 years he endured horrendous torture, squalid condition and ill-health – until he was released at the end of the Vietnam War.

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The inevitable decline of society

In 2013, shortly before taking her last breath, raped Bredasdorp teenager, Anene Booysen, said she was tired and was going to go to sleep.

Anene’s biological mother had died when she was very young and she was taken in by another family who raised her as their own, despite serious financial problems. Anene had to leave school in Grade 7 to help support the family.   One Friday night, Anene had gone to a pub, about six blocks from her home.

The next morning, she was found at a building site brutally raped, and abused and injured.   Anene’s fingers and legs were broken, and besides other heinous injuries, she was disemboweled.  A horrific crime.

Gender-based violence is a huge scourge in our country, especially considering that men are called to respect, love, care for and protect women, not rape, abuse, neglect and kill them.

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Why I am not a Roman Catholic #REACH500

This year, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that started in Germany in 1517.

There are a couple of things we take for granted in our church services:

  • It is in an understandable language
  • We have Bibles
  • The Bible is read and explained
  • We pray together, sing together and take part in some way
  • The gospel is explained

If we were attending a church 500 years ago in Europe, none of these would have happened.  Europe in Medieval times was a spiritually dark, superstitious place. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) ruled supreme.  All roads led to Rome where the Pope ruled over all things religious.  The Pope was (and still is) believed to be the spiritual successor to the Apostle Peter and the Vicar of Christ i.e. Christ’s representative on earth.  Without Father Pope there could be no church, without Mother Church there could be no salvation.

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