On Sunday I stated that the church should not be a place where people are made vulnerable because of harassment and abuse from others (often though not exclusively men) who use power to manipulate and control for their own personal gratification. Continue reading
What is power?
Q asked at 21 CD youthclub last week
-Power = strength, might, force, dynamic. It’s to do with authority. It’s often linked to money.
-Power at play – Westminster, Hollywood
-Sin and power – who is in control …what kind of authority?
“God’s power is very different” – place your life within his power, authority and care.
Why? Continue reading
Why we need to talk about Sin
We need to talk about sin. It’s the last thing we want to talk about, especially in church. Church is where we sing happy songs and talk about how God is love and we are saved by grace. Sin encroaches on our safe space. Continue reading
We’re about to teach through a section of 2 Samuel that includes
– The humiliation of David’s ambassadors by foreign ruler
– David’s affair with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah
– David’s son Amnon raping his half-sister Tamar
– Absalom’s coup and public taking of his father’s concubines to have sex with
A common theme throughout this story of men exercising their power through sex, controlling and harming others for their own satisfaction. They do that with the knowledge and implicit support of others who use this knowledge for their own gain.
This series has been planned for a long time, so God’s timing is perfect. Here we are with sex scandals in Hollywood and Westminster, with men standing accused of using power to exercise control over others, tales of harassment and sexual violence whilst people in the know kept their mouths shut. Particularly in Westminster, the suspicion is that party whips, journalists and rival politicians may be tempted when scandal comes to their attention to stay silent and use the knowledge for their own advantage. Continue reading
Two Sundays ago, I preached on the Great Commission and said that Discipleship will mean challenging people about things they don’t want to be challenged about. I said
“Teaching people to obey Christ will mean being willing to challenge and correct. You will not always be popular. In fact, you will often be unpopular for it. You will have to say deeply uncomfortable things to people
‘No, you cannot date a non-Christian’
‘I know you will find this hard but God calls you to stay with your husband/wife through good times and bad and not give up on your marriage.’
‘You must wait until you are married before you share a bed together.’
‘What you are doing/saying is dishonest. You need to fess up and tell the truth even if it will make life awkward for you.’
‘What you just told those three people in your small group ‘in confidence for prayer’ was in fact gossip and it has to stop.’
And we could go on. Each time, you will be challenging people about difficult things. You will be concerned about the danger of legalism, that they just try to follow some rules. They will be overwhelmed thinking that it is impossible to change…”
I thought it would be useful to pick up on a couple of those statements and explain a bit more about why they are important to discipleship. As soon as we challenge believers about things like dating, sex and relationships, we are going to be accused of “laying down the Law” and if we are challenged on those things then we are going to feel like we are being subject to Legalism.
Here I want to deal with the whole question of dating and sex. Continue reading
The big talking point this week (both sides of the Atlantic) has been some recorded comments made by Donald Trump in 2005 about women and sex. Continue reading