Monthly Archives: June 2015

How the Church Should Treat Gay People

In the book I’m reading at the moment, ‘Disarming Scripture’ by Derek Flood, the author asserts that the correct way to read Scripture is to focus on the loving interpretation. If your interpretation of a passage results in doing harm rather than good, the chances are you’re not interpreting it as God intended. Essentially this is a way of interpreting ‘By their fruits you shall know them’ – (Matthew 7:16 – “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act” (NLT))

In few areas today is this more important than that of how the Church treat homosexual people and other folks with ‘different’ sexualities. I’ve previously posted on this matter here. And in this post I keep it simple by referring to people in the LGBTQ ‘community’ as ‘gay’. I know this is incorrect, but it’s simpler for me. My apologies.

Another bit of background before going over to Flood’s piece: Flood asserts that when modern discoveries find evidence for certain effects, such as the terrible effects of treating homosexual people badly, we should not be concerned that we are challenging the Bible. When the Bible was written, humanity simply did not have the same knowledge we have these days. To claim that the Bible holds all the answers is simply incorrect; it is simply not big enough! We need to interpret the Bible not only through the ‘lens of Love’, but also in the light of modern discoveries, both scientific and sociological. To do otherwise is to remain stuck in an unchanging past, much as many Christians accuse Islam of doing.

Right. Over to Derek Flood:

“I would argue that it would be more important to observe the effects that same-sex relationships have in life today, than it would be to ask what the respective views of past cultures may have been. Do we find evidence that same-sex relationships lead to harm or that they lead to flourishing? The overwhelming majority of social scientists and mental health practitioners today would maintain that there is simply no evidence that same-sex relationships are destructive or harmful in and of themselves.

“Conversely, what we can observe, as far as harm is concerned, is that statistically the LGBT community has a higher rate of drug abuse, mental illness, and suicide than the larger population—alarmingly higher in fact. The reason is quite clear: the rejection they experience.

“Being kicked out of their homes, hiding who they are, being threatened and hated, etc. can easily make a person sick, depressed, broken, and even drive them to suicide. As their voices have begun to be heard, we have seen story after story of how gay and transgender kids have felt hated, at times even hating themselves.

“That really should be a wakeup call for us. While there is no evidence that same-sex relationships are themselves harmful, there is a considerable amount of evidence that the condemnation and rejection the LGBT community faces is profoundly harmful.

“Regardless of whether we believe homosexuality is right or wrong, none of that matters much when people are dying. If we truly care about people, then the practical question straight Christians need to be asking is: Are we helping or hurting with the way we are responding to gays? Are we promoting grace or promoting harm? If it turns out that a moral stance in opposition to homosexuality is having the unintended affect of fueling this kind of rejection, leading to self-hatred and even suicide among gays, then we need to seriously re-think our priorities and focus.

“We can of course argue over what the Bible says about homosexuality, but one thing is utterly clear: Jesus teaches us to love people, not to hate them, not to make them feel hated, and not to stand by while that is happening. From the perspective of the New Testament there simply is no room for doubt on this. We know exactly where Jesus stands in this regard. He stands on the side of the least, the condemned, the vulnerable.

“Looking at Jesus, we can clearly observe in the Gospels that his priority was on caring for the welfare of people, in contrast to the Pharisees who instead prioritized the maintenance of their moral standards. We need to get our priorities straight and prioritize compassion in our witness towards gays—even if that means, like Jesus, having the reputation among the Pharisees of today of being a ‘friend of sinners.’

“Again, as stated above, if we recognize that our particular interpretation and application of Scripture is leading to observable harm, this necessarily means that we need to stop and reassess our course. Scripture, as Jesus read it, needs to lead us to love God, others, and ourselves. If we find that it is leading instead to causing harm then we are getting it wrong.”

And I would also add that surely the requirement to ‘do as you would be done by’ (Matthew 7:12 – “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (NIV)) must occur to some. Would you, if you were convinced of the rightness of your cause, appreciate it if someone came along and told you how ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful’ you were? Certainly this is no way to open a dialogue that will bear any useful fruit! But it is a dialogue that must be opened; Christians need to discuss this rationally and with a non-confrontational mindset. And do it soon. (Thanks to Rob, one of my Men of Honour, for discussing that with me this evening!)

And for those who would say, ‘Ah, but isn’t it more loving to try to correct gay people in their error?’, firstly I would say that it is by no means certain that the Bible actually condemns homosexuality, or, indeed, any form of ‘non-standard’ sexuality. Therefore we should default to ‘Love’ while we get our interpretations sorted out (see this post). Secondly, unless you are in an already existing, good relationship with that person, you should not attempt to correct them at all. See my post, ‘confrontation’, for more thoughts on this important matter.

How to treat gay people? It’s really simple: you treat them like you would anyone else. They’re normal people. We shouldn’t even have to be talking about this, but I’m writing this piece because for some Christians this is a really huge issue. Take a step back and look at yourself, study the contexts, read opinions and scholarly articles….there is reasonable doubt that Christians have been wrong all this time! God has given you a mind – use it!

In the meantime, Love. That’s Jesus’s number one commandment.

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How not to cause others to stumble

My regular readers will know that I am a great advocate of personal freedom; that “it was for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1)

On the back of my recent post linking to Jeremy Myers’ great (and controversially titled!) article, ‘Since Grace is free, Yes, you can go and sin all you want‘, I would like to write a little on what happens when other people see your freedom. Specifically, if your freedom ’causes your brother to stumble’ (Romans 14:13) then it could become a problem. I’ve written a little bit about this already, in the middle of this article.

Equally, we still need to be free from the Rules that dictate what is ‘religiously acceptable’ and what is not. The need to protect the weaker brother exists – Romans 14:15 says “If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love” – but at the same time you don’t want to be constantly worrying about what is ‘sin’ and what is not. 1 Cor 10:23 says, ” ‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ – but not everything is constructive.  No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

So, what to do? Do I let my brother’s weaker faith restrict my freedom? Or do I plough on regardless of my brother’s feelings?

Well, here’s what I think. There is a huge difference between someone who has problems of conscience, and would thus be hurt if he saw you exercising certain freedoms, and another who would try to impose his rules and laws on you because he wants you to come back ‘under Law’.

For instance, there is a rather risqué printed comic on the British market that is absolutely hilarious and at the same time is a superb analyst of the human condition. But in places it is, shall we say, somewhat smutty. Now, I love reading parts of that comic because I find it funny and entertaining, and I avoid the bits I don’t like; quite simply I don’t find smutty humour funny. But that’s just me. But my brother might not have the freedom to read it because he would feel maybe ‘dirty’ for having read from the same comic as contains all that ‘smut’. Now that’s what Paul is talking about in Romans 14:15. I would therefore not advertise to that brother that I read that comic. It’s between me, God and others who also find it funny. Sure, the brother may know that I read that comic, but as long as I don’t read it when he’s there, that’s fine. What I do with my personal freedom when he’s not there is not his concern.

Now, if someone – that brother or someone else – were to come across and say that they thought that my reading that comic is maybe ‘sinful’ for some reason, and that I should stop doing it, then that’s where it becomes a point of going back under Law. Because my conscience is clear, and at the end of the day that’s what concerns me and my relationship with Father God, I do not need to be answerable to that person in that instance. It’s outside his remit, and, furthermore, he needs to respect my freedom in places which don’t concern him. It works both ways, you know!

This is not to say that I do not place myself ‘under’ my spiritual brothers in the Church; men (and some women) whom I trust and who know me. I want to voluntarily place myself under their covering, under their correction if necessary, so that they can safeguard me from gross error. But even then, the final choice is mine, and I know they would respect that. This is what freedom means. In the group I am part of, we have many differing opinions on most matters – often polar opposites! – but we respect each other’s opinions. We call ourselves the ‘Men of Honour’ partially for that reason.

The other thing is this. I may not realise that a particular activity is ‘causing my brother to stumble’. If something is perfectly permissible for me, but not for him, how am I to know? Should I deliberately try to ‘avoid all semblance of evil’ (1 Thess 5:22) in order to avoid inadvertently offending my brother? (Actually it means to ‘avoid every kind of evil’….but that’s another matter)

Anyway, No. I should not. While I would be in the wrong were I to deliberately flaunt my freedom with that comic in front of my brother, if I didn’t know he found it offensive, then I would be innocent. I did not hurt him deliberately. So in that instance the burden is on my brother to let me know he has a problem with it – not, you understand, to make me stop it, but just so I don’t read the comic when he’s there. This simple courtesy of communication is, as always, the way forward. You can’t assume I’ll ‘just know’ that something is offending you. For me, it isn’t an issue until you’ve told me. How else am I supposed to know?!

The main reason why I should not constantly be on the lookout for ‘sin’ and ‘causing offence’ is that Christ died to set me free from sin, and the effects of sin – including having constantly to be looking over my shoulder to see if I’m doing something wrong. That’s not freedom – that’s Law. Sin was nailed to the Cross, and I’m going to leave it there, where it belongs!

It is my hope that you can do that too.

[Edit] – Since this post was published, I have had an additional thought. If you are part of a ministry to people with addictive tendencies (for example our Church works with the homeless, drug addicts etc.) then you actually do need to be vigilant that you don’t let your freedom injure these people. This is because something that’s perfectly ok for you – say going out for a beer – may be injurious to someone who struggles with alcohol addiction if they see you doing it. ‘Well’, thinks the guy who has only just gone dry, ‘He’s ok with it; it won’t do me any harm’, and before they know it, they’re back into addiction again. In this case you may need to keep your ministry to these people completely separate from your home life. Ask God for the wisdom on what to do in these circumstances – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” – James 1:5 (NIV)

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God Will Make a Way

A few times recently, I’ve heard the phrase, “God can’t”.

I disagree. God can. God can do anything! Unless it’s intrinsically impossible – say like a ‘square circle’ – then God can.

One of the people, however, qualified their “God can’t” by saying that “without faith, God can’t”. Fair enough, but again, this is incorrect, because as far as I know, nobody was around when the Universe began (however you believe it happened), to provide the faith for the ‘God Can’ of creation. Faith is not needed for God to be able.

So this is just to encourage someone out there – God can! God will make a way, where there seems to be no way! I’ll end this post by presenting to you a (very young!) Don Moen playing his iconic song, ‘God will make a way’. Enjoy:

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God likes you!

Years ago, a well-known Christian songwriter, Dave Bryant, published an album entitled ‘God Likes Me!’. He’d clearly got a handle on this!

But why declare it? Surely God loves everybody, doesn’t He? ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes on Him may have eternal life’ – John 3:16

That may be, but it has been my experience in some churches (not my home Church here in Devon) that they believe that god spends most of his time feeling really radgy about people in general, and that he just simply doesn’t like people very much at all. They’re just too bad, too lowly, too rotten, too beneath him for god to love. And so it goes on.

God is angry, they say. God wants to punish the wicked, strike down the heathen, and as for GAYS, well!!… I wouldn’t have wanted to be gay after I found out what’s in store for them lot!! God simply does not like people, they say. It’s only, and I mean only, because of what Jesus did, that makes him reluctantly love us, never mind actually to like us!

Well I call BS on that. This isn’t the God I know. I feel He’s been unfairly represented as an ‘angry god’ by a church who have been over-heavy on the Wrath stuff and over-easy on the Mercy. The Bible is constantly in tension between Law and Mercy…. but remember the Scripture above – God so loved the world that He sent His Son. He did it in that order because He loved us first! We didn’t have to be good or deserving for God to send Jesus…He did it anyway.

And He likes you. Let’s put that more personally: He likes you. You, the person reading this, and He likes you right now, right where you are, exactly as you are. You don’t need to change for Him to love you – God’s love is not conditional on that; in fact, it’s not conditional on anything. It starts with Him, because He likes you enough to care. It starts with Him; sure, your response is key to just what He can do with you – God respects free will and always gives us the choice – but He’s made the first step.

So if you have addictions you want to be free of, He’s your answer. If you have aspects of your character you don’t like – maybe bad temper, maybe you’re a gossip – He’s your answer. If you don’t feel like there’s much needs changed right now, that’s fine too. He will transform you in His own way and in His own time into the person He wants you to be, and the person you want to be too. It doesn’t mean that He does not accept you just as you are, when I say He wants to change you. He’s actually happy with you just as you are; He likes you as you are. But He’s wanting your permission to make you even better.

The difference, when He has your permission, is that you get to walk with Him. You get to walk with God in your everyday life. How cool is that? You get to experience His Kingdom right here on earth – that’s what the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ verse means when it says ‘Your Kingdom come….on earth as it is in Heaven’. Jesus came to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God, and He showed what that meant by that by healing the sick and generally being good  to people. He came to change people’s view of God as portrayed by ‘Religion’  – a nasty, mean god that needs to be appeased because he’s angry all the time. He came to show what God is like by His own example, serving people, healing people, liking people, and ultimately showing just how much He liked us by dying for us too. That’s the real picture of God, made apparent and exemplified by Jesus.

Because He likes you. He really does like you.

For more on the Church misrepresenting God, take a look at this link.

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On the Interpretation of Scripture

I’ve recently been reading an excellent book on reading the Bible the way that Jesus would have done in His time with the Hebrew Scriptures – more or less what we now know as the Old Testament. It’s called ‘Disarming Scripture’, by Derek Flood. There’s a link to a review and a summary of the book here. You can also click the image below to be taken to the Amazon page for the book in all its versions (Kindle, hardback etc.)

disarming_scripture

When studying the Bible, there are several factors which most studious readers consider.

There’s the context, in which the passage is considered in its setting within the book it is part of. So, a passage from, say, one of Paul’s letters, must be read a) remembering that this is a letter to real people, and b) taking into account the surrounding verses.

Then there’s hermeneutics and exegesis, which are related terms concerning the philosphy,  interpretation and drawing out the meaning of the text.

It can get quite complex, actually. How do I know that I’m getting the ‘meaning’ I’m supposed to be getting from the Bible passage I’m reading? What if I’m reading this and getting the ‘wrong’ meaning?

I know people who have a simple faith. They don’t need deep study; they know Jesus intimately, they read their Bibles and they live their lives for him and bear fruit. They don’t need hermeneutics or anything like that; they do very well just reading their Bibles just ‘lightly’, if you see what I mean. No deep meaning, no years at Bible college. It’s simple. It’s called ‘common plain meaning’, or ‘plain reading’. You simply take in what the English (or whatever language you have) words mean as written in your copy of the Bible, and God speaks to you.

This is perfectly ok for personal faith and personal study. Simply let the Holy Spirit let you know what He wants you to get from a passage. Jesus says in John 16:13 that, “when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth.” And, in John 14:26 He says, “But … the Holy Spirit …  will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”. You know that burning sensation you get in your chest when the Spirit is speaking to you? Or maybe you feel Him differently; either way, you know that feeling you get when He’s speaking, and then the things He says to you come to pass…anyway if you get that feeling when reading a particular passage, then that’s a good sign that He’s telling you something. Listen. Take in what He’s saying. No problem.

As long as what you believe from the Bible affects only you, internally and spiritually, that’s fine. When it impacts on others, though – the minute your Scripture reading affects the way you relate to others, the way you treat others – that’s when you need to be absolutely sure that you know what that Scripture means.

So, when you formulate doctrine, or use the Bible to set rules (not that you should), customs, standards of behaviour, then that’s where the second level of interpretation comes in. That’s when you really need the hermeneutics and all the other fancy words. So many Christians take what God has spoken to them and assume He means it for all – but that’s not always the case; in fact, the things that God speaks to you in your personal time with Him are almost always for you and you alone. And remember that the Scripture was never intended to be a book of rules…the times when the Bible was written were very different from the time in which we live. It did not fall from the sky as a timeless document of rules that should apply at all times and to all people everywhere and everywhen!

To try to apply the Bible as a moral map today is therefore inviting disaster if the original passages are not properly understood, taking into account the original language, the hermeneutics, exegesis and cultural and historical context, and even then we should hesitate to formulate rules or behavioural standards from it, and try to apply them to the people under our care…and especially not to the people who are not under our care.

The way to apply the Bible in a moral sense today is to take its trajectory – that is, the way it points us; its general direction – and apply the sense of it and not the letter of the law as we see it. In fact, the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, is written in such a way that the Law is in constant tension with God’s Mercy. It is actually assumed that we are supposed to wrestle with the things of God; we are supposed to grab hold of the difficult questions and thrash them out until we get God’s take on them. This is why the Bible is so full of anger and violence, and yet also of love and mercy. This is why the Bible appears to contradict itself. And, because it was written by real humans who had a different yet particular views of God, and were trying to make sense of everything they saw around them in those primitive times of violence and tribal warfare.

Over the centuries, so many atrocities have been done in God’s name precisely because what it says in English is applied as authoritative, and ignoring the hermeneutics of the passage in question. We need to apply what is called ‘faithful questioning’. Feel free to wrestle with God’s word with a clear conscience!

We must also always read Scripture through the lens of God’s love. If you feel the Bible is suggesting a particular course of action that is not also loving, then chances are it’s not what God wants. It is the responsibility of every reader of the Bible to weigh the passage in a moral sense. That way lies proper balance; that way is the way of peace – the way of Jesus.

Let me leave you with a quotation from ‘Disarming Scripture’:

The true beauty of the Hebrew Bible is that it welcomes and makes room for diversity, and for the marginal voices to be heard. We honor this by entering ourselves into an ethical reading and critical engagement with the text.

“This involves our questioning and challenging the Bible, but it equally involves allowing ourselves to be challenged and stretched by it as well. It demonstrates that truth is found in the struggle together – that questioning is the mark of a healthy faith, and the reflection of a robust character. To honour this in Scripture, we need to learn to approach the Bible not as passive readers, but as morally engaged and thinking readers. That is the hermeneutic of faithful questioning.”

 

 

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The Greatest Heresy of All….

Now this is an interesting one. People like myself, who explore and probe the boundaries of our faith, often get labelled as heretics – although thankfully not burned at the stake anymore! This article by Jeremy Myers, though, exposes the biggest heresy of all time – and it may surprise you! Read and enjoy – and if you hear the Spirit speaking to you, then please listen to what He says, and act on it. Click the logo below to go to the link.

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‘Ex-batt Christians’

My family has a flock of rescued chickens. At present, there’s four birds in the flock, and most of them are ‘retired’ caged chickens.

Caged chickens are what used to be referred to as ‘battery hens’; hens that right from the day they were hatched have never known freedom. From before the time they begin laying, until they are about a year old, they spend all their time in a cage. Then they are either sent off for slaughter or they are rehomed as ‘ex-battery’ hens, or ‘ex-batt’ for short. Three of our girls are ex-batt hens; the fourth was a stray whom we adopted.

Now, about six weeks ago, our two newest hens arrived. Apart from being all bedraggled and nearly bald (we thought they actually looked ‘oven-ready!’), they simply didn’t know what to do with their new freedom. They spent the first couple of days huddled together in the (open) chicken cage, while the hens we already had were roaming about their large pen, pecking at this and that like chickens do. Then, after a couple of days, they dared to come out of the cage a couple of feet; after that, they came right out but hid in the bushes for most of the day.  All the time, they felt they had to be near the ‘safety’ of their cage, so they could bolt back to their place of security. Only after about four weeks with us did they realise that they had choices, they had freedom, and it was up to them how they spent their day. Stay in the chicken coop? No problem. Sit in the shade? Mmmhmm, and have a dust-bath while you’re there. Want to wander round the chicken pen and explore? Go right ahead, it’s perfectly safe. And occasionally they even get let out of the pen and into the whole garden, on what we call ‘rampage’. And they love the freedom!

I’m sure you can see the analogy. I feel that there are many Christians who are still in the chicken coop. They have been set free from the kingdom of darkness, but they are not enjoying the ‘glorious freedom of the Children of God’ (Romans 8:21)

Much of the time, they find it hard to emerge from the ‘safety’ of the coop. Sure, it’s safe in there, but it’s not freedom. Even once they emerge, they are ready at a moment’s notice to bolt back in there.

Jesus was castigated by the religious authorities of His day, for associating with ‘sinners’. He was admonished most severely for partying and having a great time with His friends. Mark 2:18 – “Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?” These people – even John the Baptist’s disciples, who were effectively part of a ‘new’ movement – felt that religious observance meant being dull, dry, and having a straight face all the time. No fun is allowed, folks, and certainly no laughing!

But Jesus was having none of that. When the Bridegroom (Jesus) is with us, we don’t need to ‘do’ all these religious rules and observances. We just need to live our lives in the glorious freedom of the Children of God. We can live lavishly, we can live in extravagant, outrageous freedom – freedom that will appear to the ‘religious’ (and those who think they know how ‘religious’ people should behave) to be outrageous. “What? These people believe in God and they’re happy??

Like when I fly, my home base airfield is near a huge reservoir lake with a dam at one end. So, of course, we do low-level ‘Dambuster’ runs over it. A shallow dive, picking up speed, race across the water at high speed only 200 feet up….and then call ‘bombs away’ and a sharp, high-‘g‘ pull-up into the climb away. Tremendous fun, perfectly legal and perfectly safe. But people hear the stories of that sort of thing and they say, ‘You do, like, what??‘ And to be perfectly honest, it takes a good few days for the grin to disappear from my face after a Dambuster run…. but you see the thing is that we enjoy it. Really enjoy it. It’s part of our freedom. ‘Pilots shouldn’t do things like that’ is only said by those who have not experienced the freedom of flight – and who have not spent all those years of hard training; British pilot training is the most thorough in the world of civilian aviation and we produce the safest private pilots in the world. And yet still we do Dambuster runs, because it’s perfectly safe – because we have trained for it. It’s what we are equipped and free to do.

And so it is with the things of faith, the things of God. Those who live in freedom appear to those on the outside to be completely irreligious. They laugh and joke. They appear to be filled with an inexpressible joy. They party (in whatever way suits them), they dance, they’re free. They associate with all different types of people, including those who society sees as outcasts. They do kind things. They do daft things. And those outside – both believer and non-believer alike – look in and say, ‘No way they’re Christians. They aren’t behaving at all like a Christian should behave’. ‘How can you call yourself a Christian and still do that?’ Y’see, they just don’t ‘get’ it. The thing is that most of these unwritten expectations of behaviour are completely founded in others’ opinions and not in Scripture. Even if they were founded in Scripture, it’s not there to restrict us; rather to set us free.

People of faith who discover this new-found freedom also sometimes feel insecure in that freedom. They are emerging from the chrysalis of rules and regulations, of unwritten behavioural ‘standards’, and are exploring the pen near the cage. They’ re ready to scuttle back into the cage if they feel too unsafe. But you know, God made us for freedom, and ‘it is for freedom that Christ has set us free’ (Gal 5:1). It’s what we were made for! But don’t worry if at first you feel insecure. You no longer have the ‘rules’ as a backstop. But you don’t need rules anymore. Heb 10:16 – “I will write My laws upon their hearts”. Holy Spirit is your backstop and He will not let you fall. In any event, your salvation is secure even if/when you do make mistakes. This is the freedom we possess! Once saved, always saved. Click here for my blog posting on that truth.

So, can you see then that these ‘ex-batt Christians’ really need to come out of their cage and enjoy the freedom of the pen. That’s what they were rescued for! That’s what they were adopted for!

Life in all its fulness! Come on out of the cage and into the pen – or better yet, out into the garden. The freedom out here is wonderful!

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Our chickens on ‘rampage’, having fun 😉
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‘Speaking in Tongues’ – an overview by David Matthew

I love the writings of David Matthew, a godly man whose scholarly works I have shared on this blog before. In this piece, he talks about the spiritual gift of ‘tongues’;  the private prayer language given by Holy Spirit to build up the believer.

Personally, I don’t like the term ‘tongues’; I prefer to call the gift the ‘Spirit language’ – the word ‘tongues’, after all, just means ‘languages’ at the end of the day. But most people know it as ‘tongues’ and it’s still brilliant no matter what you call it.

Anyway, in this piece, David talks about the use of ‘tongues’ and its proper place in public worship. Definitely worth a look!

Here’s the link

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5 Steps Toward Making Friends With Enemies

Shared from the ‘Formerly Fundie’ blog, this is a great lesson in humility and maturity, with an emphasis on peacemaking. Click the picture to go to the blog posting.Dollarphotoclub_81742656-1024x682

Just one caveat: in the blog entry, the writer may be interpreted to infer that making friends with enemies is a condition of sonship. It’s not. See my post Loving your enemies is not a condition of sonship for further reassurance.

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