Offence and being offended (part 5) When offence masks other emotional responses

Here’s the next challenge to consider when thinking about the “being offended”(or subjective response) side of  offence.   Continue reading

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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

#HomeForChristmas – No Room?

I was at the airport in good time, ready for the long-haul flight to Hong Kong.  There was just one snag. I got to the front of the queue only to be told “You’re not on this flight.”  That was strange because I had my ticket ready and everything. But you see, the airline had over-booked the flight.  So I had to wait around to see if there was a spare seat if someone didn’t show up. 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

Sin Treats Silence as permission – the #churchtoo problem

In the light of the recent sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, the hashtag #metoo began to trend on twitter as people began to share their own stories of experiencing unwanted attention, persistent harassment and physical abuse. 

Sadly, very quickly in the wake of this another hashtag began to trend, #churchtoo. Now it may be tempting to sit back and say “This is just people with an axe to grind jumping on the bandwagon” and maybe some are but if even just a small percentage of the stories are true then this should disturb and sadden us. It should move us to sorrowful prayer and to action. Continue reading

Sin Seeks out friends

As I said in the talk on Sunday, we are so good at finding people to support and confirm what we want to do.

I usually have a good feeling for the type of advice people will give me.  I know who will tell me just to get on with something and who will tell me to wait patiently. I know who will be over harsh and who will be maybe too gentle.  So the comments a wise friend once made resonate with me. Continue reading

Sin starts in the heart and the mind

In my talk on “Scandal” from 2 Samuel 13 I highlighted 7 reasons why sin is serious and deadly.  In our next few posts I want to pick up on a few of these in a little more detail.

First of all, we said that Sin starts in the mind and the heart.  It starts here because this is the first response to temptation. We entertain the idea. Continue reading