Judgement, discernment, the heart and the Gospel – updated

In my article “When things get nasty” I commented on the reaction to David Robertson’s article “An open letter to Vicky Beeching.” One particularly controversial part of his article was this bit: Continue reading

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Undivided – Some links on the question of sexuality and same sex attraction (Responding to Vicky Beeching part 3

In response to Vicky Beeching’s book “Undivided: Coming Out, Being Whole and Living free from shame”, here are some resources that I hope will be helpful for anyone trying to work through the question of sexuality, specifically in relation to same-sex attraction.

The subject is controversial because the church and the Bible are standing at odds with the views of wider culture. Christians are regarded as bigoted and intolerant because they insist that marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman. Now, here are some Christians saying that it is possible to reconcile faith in God with our culture.  

It is also emotive. I realise that some readers may have found their way here because you are yourself wrestling with the issue. This is not mere intellectual theory, you don’t want answers so that you can defend a position. You want to know what God has to say to you personally. Can you find love and acceptance by God or is being gay a block to this?

I hope that you will find the following links helpful Continue reading

Undivided: Guilt & Shame or grace & forgiveness and sex & sexuality (Responding to Vicky Beeching part 2)

Two years ago I wrote and spoke quite a bit about the problem of guilt and shame and especially the Guilt Driven Life. This came to my mind when I saw the full title of Vicky Beeching’s book “Undivided: Coming Out, Being Whole and living free from shame.”

Vicky’s book is essentially about trying to escape from shame. Sadly, I believe that she turns in the wrong direction so that the story continues to be one of running and hiding rather than discovering what it means to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness and truly free from guilt and shame. This is because she has experimented with the three dangers that I argued led to guilt/shame driven lives and churches:

–        Legalism

–        Magic/Supersition

–        Licence

Let me show how she tries each of those Continue reading

“I am not a criminal” Guilt, shame and decriminalisation

There were some notable moments of passion in the House of Commons emergency debate on abortion in Northern Ireland last Tuesday.[1] Notably these included the contributions from Sammy Wilson and Maria Caulfield who challenged MPs to focus exactly where they did not on the life of the unborn baby.

There were also passionate and moving speeches by supporters of the motion including Heidi Allen and Jess Phillips who both spoke as women who had been through abortions. From their point of view, access to abortion was part of a woman’s right to control her own body, a right they had been able to benefit from but denied to women in Northern Ireland. Continue reading

You’ve got me there (Sorry seems to be the hardest word)

One of the reasons why I think the Jordan Peterson interview is not the all out unmitigated disaster for Cathy Newman that a few people think it is, is the point where she says “You’ve got me there…” I think that statement actually puts her and her approach into a whole new light. Continue reading

Welcome to the Mess: “My hands are dirty” … “He doesn’t mind”

Glen Scrivener has put together a beautiful little set of short films imagining the scene where a time portal opens between a 21st century British home and Bethlehem on the first Christmas night.

In the story so far,Will and Claire have gone to stay with Claire’s parents for Christmas. It’s not been an easy time for Will the awkward boyfriend but he has been the first to “meet the Nativity~” whilst the rest of the family head off to the midnight service.  On Christmas Day , he shows Claire too. Continue reading

Faithful Servants and #Churchtoo #MeToo

When I first wrote about handling the difficult Bible passages in 2 Samuel about David, Bathsheba, Amnon, Absalom and Tamar, I identified 3 types of person in the narrative. The first two are

Culprits – who are causing harm to others through their sin and carry specific guilt.

Victims – who are hurt by the sin of others often subjected to shame and a sense of defilement.

However, I don’t want us to lose sight of the third category. There are those we identified as faithful servants.  These are people seeking to be obedient to God and faithful to his word and promises even in the face of intense provocation. Continue reading