7 Truths about the Gospel we proclaim

“Fake news” is a newish term that’s in circulation today.

Fake news is a type of journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes.

Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically. Often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false statements.

Many people think that the gospel about Jesus is fake news.

Those who believe the gospel are considered at best naïve, or at worst: extremists. The gospel about Jesus is considered to be a fabrication intended to deceive.

Are Christians propagators of fake news?

The New Testament book of 2 Thessalonians says, “no”.

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Why did Jesus die?

Jesus’ death was not a tragic accident.  Jesus’ death was not like the suicide bomber whose vest accidentally explodes.  It was not the case, as many think, “If only Jesus had lived longer, imagine how much more good he could have done.” It was not the case that Jesus found himself caught up in circumstances beyond his control that unfortunately lead to his premature death.

No.

The New Testament says that Jesus died at exactly the right time (Galatians 4:4) according to the definite plan of God (Acts 2:23).

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The scandal of Jesus

scandalIn contrast to the speeches of Pope Francis, that everyone applauds and welcomes, Jesus’ words often upset and offended people, particularly religious people.  The account of Jesus’ healing of the Roman centurion’s servant is just such an outrageous occasion.  At our church’s official opening service on Sunday Bishop Glenn Lyons reminded us of two provocative, scandalous statements Jesus made.

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He did evil in the eyes of the Lord

kingKing Manasseh is a conundrum.  He was the most evil king Judah ever had and yet he was the longest reigning king. (cf. 2 Chronicles 33)  In the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles every king’s life is summed up either by, “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” or “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”  No matter what the king’s military gains, political accomplishments, feats of bravery or economic successes, in the end it boiled down to this one thing.

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Why do we believe in the resurrection of the body?

resurrectionA Swiss company has taken a fascinating and unexpected approach to memorializing our loved ones who have passed.  The company will compress and super-heat your loved one’s cremated ashes and turn them into a man-made diamond that can be worn and cherished.  It all begins with a chemical process that extracts the carbon from the departed’s ashes. This carbon is then heated to convert it into graphite. The graphite is then heated to as many as 1500 degrees Celsius and subjected to forces as high as 400 000 kg per square inch.  Prices begin at R50 000 for a small diamond.  This company is capitalizing on our desire to want to remember our loved ones and to keep them with us in some way.

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The gospel according to Pi

PiRecently I watched the move, “The Life of Pi”. I immensely enjoyed it and found it very thought-provoking. It says a lot about what people think about religion today. In the movie there is a shipwreck and a boy survives in a life raft accompanied by a tiger named Richard Parker. By the end of the movie there are two different stories, two versions of the truth, about how the boy named Pi survived. The older Pi, recounting the events, asks the interested journalist: “Which story do you prefer?” The journalist replies, “The story with the animals”. And the older Pi says, “And so it goes with God.”

In other words, you choose which story about God you prefer. Do you prefer the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita or the latest book on spirituality at Exclusive books? The ending is the same, you simply need to choose the story.

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