Saturday, 29 May 2010

Dating: Problem # 1

I am not sure if Harris' order is significant. Anyway, this is the one he highlights first. 
Dating tends to skip the friendship stage of a relationship
CS Lewis describes friendship as two people walking side by side towards a common goal. Harris suggests that dating, due to its focus on physical attraction, on the fact that you are now (in some sense) 'an item' or 'a couple',  can so easily lead to superficiality and to a stifling of the growth of the friendship. There is not that freeing aspect of being able to be yourself and do things together because you enjoy them because you are focusing too much on looks, the 'feelings' you have for each other etc.  (I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p38-39)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dating: Problem # 2

Dating often mistakes a physical relationship for love. 
'many people believe that going out with someone means physical involvement' (you 'mark out' that you are 'dating' as opposed to being 'just friends' through things like kissing, cuddling, holding hands at least!) 
This physical involvement can make two people feel close and feel in love. But this doesn't equate to love. 
I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p40)

After all: what does it mean to be 'in love'? 'Love' can, as a result, become a pretty weak idea, if you think about it .... downgraded to mean something like ... 'I feel sexually excited  and emotionally satisfied by you at this current moment in time'. If we were honest and said this rather than 'I love you' would our 'dating' last long do you think?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Promptly and Sincerely

Dating: Problem # 3

'While Garreth and Jenny were dating, they didn't need anyone else. Since it meant spending time with Jenny, Garreth had no problem giving up Wednesday night Bible study with the guys. Jenny didn't think twice about how little she talked to her younger sister and mother now that she was dating Garreth. Nor did she realize that when she did talk to them, she was always saying something like ' Garreth this ...' and 'Garreth said such and such ...' Without intending to, both had foolishly and selfishly cut themselves off from other relationships. ( I Kissed Dating Goodbye)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Dating: Problem # 4

One of the saddest tendencies of dating is to distract young adults from developing their God-given abilities and skills. Instead of serving in their local church, instead of equipping themselves with the character, education, and experience necessary to succeed in life, many allow themselves to be consumed by the present needs that dating emphasizes. 
Harris then gives an example of a couple who start dating when they are 15. They never get involved physically but they break up two years later. Surely a model of godly purity in dating? Surely a good thing for them? Well, there must be good things. But there are costs too. Maintaining and growing a relationship takes a lot of time, energy, prayer ... there are countless hours spent thinking, talking, texting! And that time and energy is not being poured into study, service, the family, sport, music ... we'll you can imagine all the things. And so at the end of the day, what has been gained? 
Dating may help you practice being a good boyfriend or girlfriend, but are these the skills we need for marriage? Even if you're going out with the person you will one day marry, a preoccupation with being the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend now can actually hinder you from being the future husband or wife that person needs one day.   
 (I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p43)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sex in heaven?

Dating: Problem # 5

Dating can cause discontentment with God's good gift and good gifts in singleness: 
God gives us singleness - a season in our lives unmatched in its boundless opportunities for growth, learning, and service - and we view it as a chance to get bogged down in finding and keeping boyfriends and girlfriends. ( I Kissed Dating Goodbye p44)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Dating: Problem # 6

Joshua Harris has a chapter titled 'The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating'. This is number 6:
 'dating creates an artificial environment that doesn't require a person to accurately portray his or her positive and negative characteristics. On a date, a person can charm his or her way into a date's heart. He drives a nice car and pays for everything; she looks great. But who cares? Being fun on a date doesn't say anything about a person's character or ability to be a good husband or wife.' ( I Kissed Dating Goodbye p45)

Monday, 17 May 2010

World Cup Winners!

Short snippets here of the shortened form of the great game. 
TMS it is NOT! 
But we won!
Well done England! (and our resident South Africans too!!)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Positive about Sunday

The Taste of Sabbath:
How to Delight in God's Rest

Notes on Ch 2 From Sabbath to Lord's Day
Bryan introduces the following distinction: 

Moral law (sometimes called natural law) describes those scriptural commands which proceed from the very nature of God and can never be changed. Positive law describes laws that proceed from the will of God (such as circumcision) and can be changed 

In making such a distinction I sense we quickly enter into deep water, and should proceed with caution and probably some further distinctions! But with that acknowledged Bryan says that the Sabbath is positive law not moral law. Given the context of the chapter (concerning the change of day from Saturday to Sunday) and given the content of Ch 1, I am certain he only means this with regard to the when of it: 

Worship on a specific day is not intimately intertwined with the nature of God any more than circumcision. God commanded His people to observe Saturday as the seventh day of the week -as the day or rest and the Sabbath - and so it became obligatory. He could have chosen a different day in seven or even created the world in a different number of days. 

And this means: 
There is nothing incongruent, therefore, in some changes or modifications being made to the Sabbath commandment. The form of the command can be altered without implying any change in God's character or in the heart of the command. 
That this change of day is likely is demonstrated when we consider the OT Sabbath. 

The OT Sabbath is linked to Creation [Exodus 20:8-11, esp v11]
  • Isaiah 51:16; 65:17-19; 66:22-23 make it clear that the return from exile accomplished by the Servant of the Lord will be a re-creation of the world
  • Mark 1:1-3 picks up Isaiah’s language (Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 40:3) and declares that God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus.
The OT Sabbath is also linked to Redemption [Deuteronomy 5:12-15]
  • Isaiah 43:14-21; 49:7-12 makes it clear that the return from exile accomplished by the Servant of the Lord is a new exodus.
  • Mark (and the whole NT) declares that this redemption has come to fruition
So, two questions emerge from this:

Since Exodus associates the 7th day Sabbath with the old creation, is the Sabbath transformed by the dawn of this new creation?

What happens to the Sabbath with the arrival of the new redemption?

Well, when we turn to the New Testament we find:
-    Jesus rose on the first day of the week: Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19
-    Jesus appeared to the disciples as a group on a Sunday (John 20:26)
-    Jesus pours out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost, a Sunday (Acts 2)
-    The disciples began meeting on the 1st Day of the week:
-          upholding concern for the poor (Galatians 2:10; 1 Cor 16:1-2)
-          establishing a regular time for corporate worship (Acts 20:7)
-    John says in Revelation 1:10  ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.’

And here is a tit-bit Bryan throws in for good measure. Look at Psalm 118:22-24 in the light of all this we see in the NT.
v22-23 happened on the 1st Day of the week when Jesus rose, vindicated, from the dead. In other words, on Sunday.
So what? Well now read v24
Mmmm. Interesting, isn't it? 

True, we find Paul saying that no day is inherently superior to another (Romans 14) and that we are to let no-one stand as our judge regarding a new moon, or a festival or Sabbaths (Colossians 2:16).
But Romans 14 seems to be about all the feasts and festivals in addition to the Sabbath. With the coming of Christ these are not obligatory, but neither are they banned. Jewish Christians who have celebrated them all their lives are free to continue that practice provided that they didn’t require their Gentile brothers to do the same.  BUT even if Paul were addressing the weekly Sabbath, he is certainly addressing it’s abuse. So in Colossians Paul argument is with those who want to add rituals and experiences to Jesus Christ FOR SALVATION. Since only Christ can reconcile us to the Father, all such stuff, including the Sabbath, is useless when we try and use it that way. Which isn’t the same as saying we can’t use it rightly as those God has approved and delivered only through Jesus Christ.  BUT in any case, Christians don’t observe the Jewish Sabbath but the Lord’s Day or Christian Sabbath. 

Through Christ the new heavens and the new earth, as well as the new redemption have come. There is a New Creation and a New Exodus, and it is this we celebrate every Lord’s Day. 
The Taste of Sabbath: How to Delight in God's Rest

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Depths to love

..romance has the same function as the curtains of a house - it cannot serve as the concrete poured for the foundation. What establishes the foundation for any godly marriage is covenantal faithfulness to the God who gives us marriage. He gave us the principles, the rules, the laws that govern marriage, and we serve God with a whole heart as we take these things to heart, and then treat our spouse obediently and lawfully with a good will, dependent entirely upon the grace of God in Christ. With the whole heart a man should ask what the Bible requires of him in his treatment of his wife. A wife must ask the same concerning the treatment of her husband. When Christians enter into the covenant of marriage this way, they are blessed with wonderful marriages. Not suprisingly, an obedient man and wife have strong emotional and romantic attachments to one another. But when romance is the foundation, the house does not take very long at all before it starts to crumble.    
p23 Her Hand in Marriage

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Wakey wakey

A state that controls the waking lives of the rising generations can in fact erase faith by the use of relentless stength and consistency. 
(The Rage Against God: Why Faith is the Foundation of Civilisation p131)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Princes End Community Fun

Simeon and I ventured down for a spot of lunch in the hail!
Here are few photos: 
Yvonne struck gold - Terry's All Gold in the BB Chocolate raffle!
I think these guys were from the New Testament Church of God. 
Sandwell Crime Prevention were guarding their wares too effectively I felt!
Tipton Christian Centre were there. 
And a big red fire engine too.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

CY this is exciting

We are about to start using the new CY course at eXcel this term. 
We are just waiting for it to come out in fact!
13th May is the date given to us.

The 'blurb' says:
CY is a seven-stage journey through Mark’s Gospel for young people. All seven sessions are designed to bring young people to a clear understanding of the gospel with the aid of specially written talks, Bible studies, games and activities, and the optional use of the Soul DVD.
CY is the youth version of the popular Christianity Explored evangelistic course. This substantially revised and enhanced second edition of the CY course is the result of considerable feedback from the thousands who have used the course worldwide since it was first produced.

The Good Book Company will sell the soul dvd to you for £20 here

10 of those do it for £17.50