Showing posts from May, 2009

Is it just me?

Time to off load a few things:
1. Is Melissa Lee the worst potential major party candidate in terms of foot in mouth disease that you have ever seen? She is astonishing. Her capacity to make a twit of herself leaves me breathless. Any chance national had in that seat have gone up with her hopes of being a long-term MP. Is it just me?
2. What is National doing appointing a woman to the Family's Commission who is on her fourth marriage and the last one shrouded in controversy. Can we separate personal and public lives like this? I don't like judgementalism and Christine Rankin may deserve a break, but surely! Is it just me, but this is a mess.
3. Is the failure of America to vote for Adam Lambert the biggest boil over in Reality TV history? To me it is. While I don't actually love his voice that much or get into his style which at times is OTT, he is by far the best singer to have ever performed on the show. America got this one wrong! Is it just me?
4. Can anyone stop the Bulls…

Is the Church that Bad 5

George, your comments on church seating arrangement has set me off on another tangent.

The early church started in the homes of people and they sat around in big lounges (atriums) and shared. In the old Roman houses there was also a central area for reclining around a table, this was probably where they broke bread eating meals and sharing the Lord's Supper. Initially I think they were like big home groups. 1 Cor 14:26 represents one example of this; a giant sharing time. We have to remember though that the reason that they did this was not so much choice, but because they were forced to through persecution. If they had been able to, they would have met in larger gatherings I am sure. So we have to be careful not to deify such gatherings as if they are the only way to do church. On the other hand, such church gatherings had strengths over ours. Two come to mind in particular. First, the whole body participated with the gifts more evenly (e.g. 1 Cor 14:26). Secondly, they could get …

Is the Church That Bad 4?

Just to hammer home my point, let's go further into NT churches. The Jerusalem church was pretty awesome in its first few years; huge numbers, growth, outpourings of the Spirit, evangelism, radical sharing of resources, worship daily, great teaching, prayer, focussed on the Triune God. They were full on for Jesus. For many of us, this is the 'NT church' we yearn for. I think God in his wisdom and providence gave us this church to give us a sense of hope for what the church could be. They got in a real bind a couple of times though. First, the distribution of food for the needy widows was favouring the Jewish Hebrew speaking widows over the Jewish Greek speaking widows. They got through that by appointing Hellenistic Jews and proselytes to leadership, a bold move. Then there was the circumcision controversy which rocked the church until they had the Jerusalem Council to sort it out (Acts 15). But it was not a bed of roses from there with Judaisers and pneumatics affecting t…

Is the Church that Bad 3?

Great conversations are now being had. George you said 'you know it really bugs me how hard it is to find a church whose doors are open during the week when you might want to spend a quiet moment.' On the one hand I agree, it would be nice to find one. I am sure there are churches (often Anglican and Catholic) that open in this way. However, I know from experience that I have been in churches with open door policies and they simply had to close the doors for two reasons. One is that people came in and stole stuff! Second, because that meant we needed the church 'manned' (or womanned') at all times! There was no one to do this. So it fell down.

On the other hand I question the theology of church implied in the comment. What is the church? It is not a place? It is not about geography. Church is the gathering of people in the name of Christ. Jesus said something about 'where two or three are gathered.' As such, what does i mean to find a church open. If we go w…

Is the Church That Bad 2?

I see there are a few responses to my blog the other day. Thanks to you all.

One of you said,'Yes there is a lot of criticism of the church, and perhaps that is bad, as it is easy to get hurt,cynical and overly critical. However I think that we also need as communities to be open to change and can't just accept the status quo as the only way to be. Many of us church drop outs have found that there is no place for challenge in the church, and no modelling of how to be a prophetic and helpful voice in bringing about change.'

I am interested in this quote of the notion of 'church drop out.' I accept that there are many who for good reason, walk away from a church. Churches are full of the imperfect, including leaders who fall short of the ideals the Scriptures give us of church leadership. However, I simply have never heard of the category in biblical and Christian thought of church 'drop out' in the sense of leaving behind all the church i.e. a post-church Chri…

World Youth Athletic Champs

Check this out from the IAAF website... Note the bit about Esther Keown... she is one to watch... but I am biased. You go girl!

Is the church that bad?

I hear a lot of criticism of the NZ church. I myself give some of it? Too much consumerism, no community, money money money, rubbish pop preaching, shallow repetitive me centred worship, bums on seats is what matters... and so on. Some say, 'we need to get back to the NT church.' I have one for us to get back to, the Corinthians! Check them out. Obsessed with status, divided, esteeming leaders and putting others down, harshly critical of their founder Paul, sexually immoral with one man having it off with his father-in-law's wife and others hanging with prostitutes, taking each other to court, some men opting out of sexual relationships with their wives to be more spiritual, going to idol feasts in the pagan temples, women coming to worship dressed as hookers, divided at the Lord's Supper with some (probably the wealthy and those of status) eating ahead of the others (prob. the poor) and so divided at the meal that unites, obsessed with tongues at the expense of the gr…

Cricketers, IPL, Money and Country

A recent survey of 86 NZ cricketers has brought out some interesting stats. 45% consider securing a contract in the Indian Premier T20 league as the highest achievement in the sport, above playing for their nation. 61% said that if they had their time again, they would have developed their careers in the direction of T20 for the purpose of making the big bucks in the lucrative tournaments. The result surprised Heath Mills, who organised the survey. Playing for NZ was still important to many (77%). But most of them see playing for NZ as important so as to win a contract to the big bucks.

I am not sure why Heath Mills is surprised. I thought there might be even more who felt this way about T20. For me test cricket is the ultimate test of the game, but T20 is very attractive. It is a great game. It is fast, challenging and in your face. If you make it to the Indian league, you are a star, as close to a rock star as you can be as a cricketer. Test cricket is gruelling, tough on the body. I…

He and we

Been thinking some more. I think from God's point of view it is all about us and me. He looks upon us his created people and yearns for us. He desires with all his eternal and omnipotent being to pour out on us blessing, to see us become who we were created to be, to walk in relationship with us. He longs to chat to us, to hear our voice, to hang out with us. He wants us to know unity as he knows unity within himself as Father, Son and Spirit. He has chosen even though he is utterly self-sufficient to create us that he and we in all our me's to be together with him. Nothing seems to thrill him more than us drawing near to him for a chat, to hang, to be with him. He awaits our call, he loves to be with us.

From our point of the view however, the right response is to make his glory the goal of our existence. It is all about God and him. The right response is worship of him and love for him. That is the greatest command; to love him with everything we have got. 'To the praise …