Isaiah 45 is a very difficult passage for those who have a small view of God. Yet this same chapter is of great value to Christians. Isaiah teaches in this chapter that God is sovereign over all of nature and history, and nothing happens except as ordained by God.
A South African cardinal on Monday apologized for offending victims of child abuse when he described paedophilia as an illness and not a crime. While we can agree that those who have themselves been abused (as some priests were) are perhaps more susceptible to becoming abusers themselves, we cannot excuse such deliberate, evil behaviour as simply “illness” or “syndrome”.
Priests know, sometimes even better than most, what is right and wrong. If we go down the illness-path, one day we will be reading of “drunk-driving” syndrome, “hijacking-with-assault” syndrome and “toddler-beating” syndrome.
One of the reasons there is so much sexual exploitation and scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is that priests are burning with lust.
A lot is said about power these days. Power evangelism. “Powerful” church services. There is even a power-Bible. Is praying for power wrong for Christians? Does it conjure up images of witches and warlocks mixing potions and reciting spells, while requesting power from some evil, occultic being? Is prayer for power legitimate and biblical?
I often get very discouraged by the racist views expressed on so many news and social media sites. It seems that some (sad) people are hell-bent in making any and every issue about the amount of pigmentation of another’s skin. Sadly racism is also sometimes seen in the church; this was especially true of the apartheid years in South Africa. The Bible teaches that there is only one race, the human race. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve.
Within this “brotherhood” of humanity, we have different languages, and cultures, and ethnicities; but only one race. The New Testament tells us that God has acted in Jesus to call people from all nations to be part of His kingdom. The church, being the geographical outposts of the kingdom all around the world, must be demonstrating to the physical and spiritual world the death of racism. The apostle Paul reminds us of this in last half of Ephesians 2 and makes a startling statement in 3:10.
In South Africa today a judge sentenced Nolan Schoeman to 13 years and his former girlfriend Marissa Rudman to 10 years’ imprisonment for the April 2009 murder of their two month old baby son, Wade.
According doctors reports, Wade had such extensive brain injuries that the swelling had pushed his skull apart. He had lung contusions caused by a hard blow to the body, injuries to both of his feet, bruises on his face and body and two broken forearms and 22 broken ribs.
The social media is up in arms that the estranged couple got off too lightly. I agree.
Here is the conundrum I face.