I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Supporting someone and respecting someone aren’t the same thing.
Dipping My Toe in the Political Pool.
So, today I visited Starbucks waiting for Specsavers to re-glaze my glasses with the bottom of milk bottles (for all the ‘bucks haters: I’m sorry. I don’t quite know what for - I have remained naive towards current affairs, but I understand there’s been a rumble over taxes? Or something?).
Feel Good Cafe.
Bath City Church welcomes sceptics to challenge the reality of God as a real-life/fully-functioning/fully-living thing .
So much so, that they have the audacity to invade Costa Coffee (by the Roman Baths) with prophetic speakers and dream interpreters on the first Thursday of every month at 7pm.
I went for the the first time last night, and I literally cannot stop telling people about it (hence this blog).
They offer three things: Insight, Massage and Dream Interpretation. So I was expecting Costa to have become a religious-ridden coffee shop for the crazies.
But what I encountered was weirdly normal (bar the tables screened off for massages - that was a slightly odd concept).
It wasn’t overtly church-y: there was live music and people there to have coffee with friends etc. so it felt like a typical coffee-house.
I simply got a hot chocolate (thank you Holly Hunt!) and signed up for an insight reading which is basically receiving prophetic words from God. Someone who can tune into what God is saying about your life makes it audible for you. The aim is to understand your life from God’s angle - and who would turn that down?- me, I’ve done it for 7 years :P
Now, it’s not a new concept to me - I go to BCC and have been to events like Soul Survivor - but I’ve never personally experienced it.
But after going to Feel Good I can testify that a woman who I’d never met before spoke to me for 5 minutes about issues in my life that only I was aware of. Magic? She didn’t ask me any questions, she didn’t stop to ask me if she was saying the right things. I literally sat down and she spoke - not with me, but to me. It was a one way conversation and she did all the talking.
So I’ve come to this conclusion: she was either Dynamo or very well acquainted with what God can do.
Of course, it could be a coincidence. It could be a very very big coincidence. But only you can determine that for yourself.
So sceptics, Christians and those who are intrigued, I seriously recommend you drop by. Even if it is to prove it wrong - it’s an excuse for coffee.
Question: Women leaders in church - Yey or Ney?
So I’ve just read an article which is headed: Bristol University Christian Union bars women from teaching (no, they haven’t).
What they have said is:
women will only be able to teach as principal speakers at away weekends and during its mission weeks if they do so with a husband.
Now, this post isn’t about me illustrating my own views on women leaders in church but more about me illustrating my opinion on BUCU being slandered left, right and centre by the press for the above statement.
[For those of you who weren’t aware of the ongoing debate re: women leaders in church, there’s two sides to the argument. Both sides are considered Christian views, both sides have male and female supporters, both sides are claiming to be ‘biblically correct’. It’s a very big grey area]
What people are failing to recognise is:
women had not been allowed to teach for at least seven years
at the CU.
And so for those who are all for equality in the church, Matt Oliver has ‘allowed’ women to preach of the first time in BUCU. And for those who are in uproar about the idea of a woman having the responsibility of telling people about God etc on her own he’s said that they can only do so with their husbands at their side.
Despite this middle ground Matt is being targeted for discrimination (let’s remember that before Matt there were no women teaching in BUCU).
From where I’m stood when he became president of the CU he was getting into a difficult debate:
It appears that the Christian Union was considering letting women teach at all meetings but after one of its senior members resigned in protest decided that they should only be allowed to do so in certain settings and so put out the controversial memo laying out the position
So, understandably, Matt tried to find a happy medium - pleasing to those in favour for women leaders and those against.
This follows the Church of England’s vote against women bishops. I say vote against - in reality 324/446 of the people who voted were for the motion. Which confuses me because despite the majority being for women leaders in the church women can’t lead the Church of England. And there is no happy medium.
And so I’m left with question, if both sides are claiming to be right then what do you do?
- Do what Matt did: Try and please everyone and get caught in the firing line of secular correctness?
- Do what the CofE did: Ignore the problem for another few years to then bring it up again and ignore it again for another few years to then bring it up again…?
If we knew what people had been through, their sorrow and suffering, we would not be so quick to judge.
Whoever doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.
Self-preservation, power, greed, corruption, prejudice.
It can be dressed up with scripture but if it’s not whole-hearted love then it’s the antithesis of Christianity.
Hard work isn’t synonymous with financial security or success.
But there’s less of a guarantee on either of the two if your plan is to wait for them to arrive in the post.
Of course if Mum and Dad can afford to pay for postage and packaging then (in some cases) the story is different.
But I wouldn’t deem that to be your own success or your own financial security.
It’s a gift that, too often, is heavily taken for granted.