Categories
Holy Spirit

De-spiritualising spiritual gifts

One man in the choir could not sing to save his life. The choir director suggested that he should leave the choir and several choir members hinted that he would make an excellent sidesman. The choir director and some members of the choir then decided to go to the pastor and complain. “You’ve got to get that man out of the choir people will start resigning and our Xmas cantata will be ruined. Please do something!” So the pastor went to the man and said to him, “Perhaps you should leave the choir.”

“Why should I leave the choir?” the man asked. “Well,” said the pastor, “I hate to say this because I don’t have an ear for music, but four or five people have told me you can’t sing.” “So!” the man snorted, “That’s nothing, 25 people have told me you can’t preach.”

Categories
Christian Worldview

The true art of love

loveThe top question asked of Google last year was, “What is love?” That’s telling – perhaps people are a little confused about what love ought to be!  I read a very interesting article on the BBC website called “Down with romantic love”.  The author, who is not a Christian, speculates that our idealised notion of romantic love is actually the biggest enemy of long-lasting relationships.  I think he has a point.

Categories
Christian Worldview

A Christian response to Crime

crimeA few years ago a family in our church was robbed at gunpoint.  Three armed man confronted the husband in his own garage.  The gunmen entered the home and made the family sit down as they rummaged through the house taking anything of value.  Thankfully they left the family physically unharmed as they made off with their car – packed full with stolen goods. What are we to think as Christians?  Where was God?  Doesn’t God protect his people?  Should we think about immigrating? Why doesn’t God just vapourise all criminals? Should we remain positive about the future of South Africa?

Categories
Ephesians

A praise-song for Africa

praise singer
Praise singer for Jacob Zuma

A key figure in the Xhosa tradition is the imbongi or praise singer. The praise singers traditionally live close to the chief’s “great place” (the cultural and political focus of his activity); they accompany the chief on important occasions – a praise singer preceded Nelson Mandela at his Presidential inauguration in 1994. The praise songs generally give tribute to and acclaim to the actions and adventures of chiefs and ancestors. The apostle Paul ended his prayer in Ephesians chapter one with a kind of praise-song.
  

Categories
Crime

Rape and the Bible

stop rapeReports state that more than 64 000 women are raped and sexually abused in South Africa every year. About 25 000 children are raped and abused annually. Our country was deeply shocked by the violent gang rape and mutilation of Anene Booysen a few weeks ago, who subsequently died of her injuries. What’s even more traumatizing is that this is not an isolated incident – rape and gang rape are common occurrences in South Africa.

The rise of dysfunctional homes, absent parents, drug abuse, pornography and drunkenness obviously plays a huge role in creating a social environment where sexual violence is common and familiar. The question our country is asking at the moments is, How do we stop rape? This of course is a complex question that must have an integrated approach that must include social cohesion, family relationships, good sex educational, strategic interventions, and creating a culture of respect for others, especially women and children.