Categories
Ten Commandments

How do we take God’s name in vain?

Names generally are generally speaking significant.  

We named our first child Amelie because my wife and I both love that name.

Our second child, Jacob Johan (Jake) is named after our fathers.

Our third child came as a big surprise so we named him Nathan, which means “gift of God”.

Names have significance and meaning. Names can demonstrate family heritage or my values.

When we refer to someone’s name: it’s more that to just a word. We think of the person and who they are and what they are like.

This is even more true for the name of God.

We don’t like it if our name is slandered, misused or associated with something we don’t like.

We don’t like it if our name is associated with (or tagged on Social Media) something we don’t agree with.

This is even more true for the name of God.

Categories
Ten Commandments

9 truths about the Ten Commandments

Until the age of 21 I had no idea how to use a washing machine. I knew you had to somehow use washing powder, but I was clueless as to where it went, which powder to use or which buttons to press.

Fortunately, after the dirty clothes had piled up for a week, I found the washing machine manual. I studied the manual and ended my quest with a successful outcome – clean clothes.

The instruction manual, published by the makers of the washing machine, made all the difference between success and failure.

The Bible is God’s Instruction Manual for life and makes all the difference to our success or failure. Not laundry or financial success, but real success: living a life that honours God, loves others and continues into the next world with great joy.

When God created Adam and Eve, our original parents, the 10 Commandments were written on their hearts.  But since they disobeyed God, God had to write the Law down on stone so that we can know what pleases him.

The 10 Commandments are therefore a summary of what pleases God and always relevant, applicable and necessary – especially in our day and age.

Here are, at least, 9 truths about the 10 Commandments.

Categories
Racism

Gospel and Race 2: confronting injustice

 In my previous post, we saw how in Genesis 3 human beings disobeyed God and now sin and selfishness has been our reality ever since. Things in our world are not as they ought to be.

Sin, death, disease, racism, anger and immorality taint our world and our history.

We’ve seen the terrible effects of racism all over the world and tragically in our own country under Apartheid. For example,

  • The Population Registration Act that required that every South African to be classified into a race group.
  • The Group Areas Act that divided urban areas into “group areas” that was restricted to certain race groups.
  • The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act which made public premises, vehicles and services to be segregated by race.
  • The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act which forbade marriages between white people and people of other “races”.
  • And a host of other formal legislation and informal bias that was designed to prop up and favour people from one people group.

The Bible does not use the word “racism”, but it uses the words “pride”, “partiality” and “favouritism”, all of which is sin.

 “Race” as a category is artificial, unscientific and unbiblical.  “Race” is usually used to alienate, oppress and dominate people.

The Bible does not use the word “race” either, but the term “nations”, referring to various people or ethnic groups with their own culture, traditions and dialect.

Categories
Racism

Gospel and race: one humanity

I don’t know why, but every time I go shopping I always choose the trolley with the dodgy, squeaky, sticky wheel that keeps veering to the right or to the left. It’s quite a job to keep the trolley moving forward in a straight line.

In a similar way, it’s tough to keep having a correct, biblical worldview about life with all its many areas.

Our own in, the world’s systems, and Satan keep pulling us to the right or left, especially in our thinking about race.

We constantly need to check ourselves that we are keeping a straight line with what the Bible says.

May I humbly add that if you were raised in South Africa, particularly as a white person, you (and I) probably have a dodgy, sticky wheel in our worldview that pulls our thinking towards racial prejudice – without us even realizing it.

What does the Bible say about race?

Categories
Christian Worldview

Jesus said we should judge others

Many good things are happening in the midst of all the pain and heartache of the pandemic. 

People and churches are helping the less fortunate, communities are rallying together, Christians are praying more with their Bibles open, and the good news about Jesus is reaching many more households than ever before via online sermons and social media.

God can and does use even the toughest times for good. 

Unfortunately, together with a lot of good online teaching out there, there is also a lot of bad, unbiblical teaching being streamed.   

Some celebrity, prosperity teachers have banished COVID-19 back to hell, while others are praying for deliverance from the Coronavirus demon. Really bad theology. 

As soon as you raise a question mark, others may tell you, “Judge not!”