The worst enemy ever

toy-1551382_640A couple of months ago, a man with a severe peanut allergy died after eating a curry from a restaurant whose owner repeatedly ignored warnings that he could be putting customers’ lives at risk.   

Paul Wilson was found dead after buying a takeaway containing peanuts from a Indian restaurant.  The restaurant owner is on trial for manslaughter after he took a “reckless and cavalier attitude to risk” and “put profit before safety”. The owner received repeated and numerous warnings that he was putting his customers’ health, and potentially their lives, at risk by not labelling his meals correctly. 

The prosecuting attorney told the court that tragically for Paul Wilson, the owner took none of those opportunities and ignored all of the warnings he was given.  Now he is facing criminal prosecution.

This brings us to Lamentations chapter 2.

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The self-sufficiency of God

universeBy the self-sufficiency of God we mean that God is unique, solitary and self-sufficient in all his excellency.

Exodus 5:11 says,

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?  Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”

The answer is that there is no-one like God.  The first four words in the Bible, “In the beginning God”.  God was there in the beginning.  God was there in eternity past and will be there in eternity future.  Before there was anything, God was.  During a past eternity, God was alone, self-contained, self-sufficient and self-satisfied; God was in need of no one or no thing. God did not need heaven, or angels, or a universe, or an earth, or human beings, or you.  God was not lonely, or sad, or lacking anything.  God was under no constraint, or obligation, or necessity to create anything; God was and will always be self-sufficient.

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God and government

Coat of Arms of South Africa
Coat of Arms of South Africa

Sunday 27 April 2014 was Freedom Day in South Africa and we remembered our first democratic election 20 years ago.   The question as to how the Christian community should respond to the civil authorities has always been a burning question.   In South Africa, while an immense amount of good has been done,  we hear a lot about corruption in government, wasteful spending and the unwise, even illegal, use of state resources.   What should our attitude be towards the governing authorities?  Many Christians make fun of the government on Facebook, post defamatory pictures of the State President and ridicule the cabinet ministers in typical conversation with others.  Is this right?

Romans 13:1-7 is a very controversial passage as it says that Christians should be subject to the governing authorities.   This very passage has been abused in our own country.   In the 1980’s Michael Cassidy, a fine Christian man committed to racial integration, had a meeting with the then president of SA, PW Botha.  Michael Cassidy was representing the National Initiative for Reconciliation.   PW Botha began the meeting by reading this part of Romans – meaning to imply that any criticism of the government was unchristian and unbiblical.

During the 1930’s and 1940’s the Nazi Regime came to power in Germany and it was their official policy to oppress and kill Jewish people and other minority groups.   What were Christians to do?  Sadly, a large portion of the church did nothing.  Yet a minority stood up against the Nazis and many were imprisoned and executed for their opposition.   Where they right in opposing the government?

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Why I am not a Jehovah’s Witness

Over the last few weeks Sphelo (our church’s ministry apprentice) and myself have been targeted (yes, I think we have been targeted) by a group of enthusiastic and persistent Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They probably believe that converting a pastor will earn them extra brownie points. Continue reading Why I am not a Jehovah’s Witness