Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Goo or Genesis

An excellent little article on why the debate about marriage is at heart a theological one (for those on both sides of the isle) and why Christians must begin with Genesis and NOT with 'traditional' values. Here are some nuggets:
Marriage is a political act, and not an individual choice. How you marry is a way of testifying to what city you belong to. Who defines marriage? The difficulty we are having in our generation in answering this question shows how theology shapes and drives everything.

If God created the world, and put one man and one woman in it, married them to each other, and established that as a pattern for the rest of human history, then marriage should be defined in accordance with that reality. If He did nothing of the kind, and we actually evolved out of the primordial goo, then we get to shape and define it however we would like it to go.
One other item of Christian theology has to be taken into account, and that is the reality of the fall into sin. The Christian approach to marriage in the context of mere Christendom deals with both of these realities -- the creational given of male and female, and the sinful propensity we have to hump the world. Creational sexuality and sinful sexuality are both factors.
Our laws about marriage must therefore do two things, not just one. They must honor what God has established in the first place, and they must restrain (by not honoring with the recognition of marriage) any of the other forms of sexual congress that sinful men have come up with... 

... The marriage debates are a prime illustration of why governmental neutrality on basic religious issues is an impossibility. He who says A must eventually say B, and now that we are getting to the end of this seamy chain of syllogisms, we are confronted with the demand to allow homosexuals to marry. But this is not the end of it, and shows why it is so important to get down to first principles.
The secularists want to say that in addition to straights, we have a range of options with the fetching label of GLBTQ. Anybody who thinks that list of letters won't grow just isn't paying attention. Pederasty, bestiality, hetero-polygamy, hetero-polyandry, and bisexual-polyoptions are all waiting in the wings.
The reason why homosexual marriage won't end the debates (and the hate crimes of those who take up the wrong side of the debate) is that these marriage "reforms" clearly have not solved the problems of the bisexuals. With our arbitrary limitation of marital status to two and only two people, we are plainly telling the bisexual that he must choose between a heterosexual marriage or a homosexual marriage, but that he can't do both. "But I am both!" he wails . . . suppose this poor little buster wants to express all of his sexual yearnings within the holy bonds of matrimony, and the clerk down at the county courthouse, just seething with hate, won't give him a license with a place on it for three signatures. And then the Muslim guy, next in line, wants one with a place for four signatures... 
... Christians can't fight this on the basis of "traditional values." The sexual traditions of humanity, considered apart from God's Word, have contained way too many child brides, harems, serial polygamists, and concubines to provide us with the appropriate guidance here. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

God and Bob

The Problem with God is that He thinks He's Bob Geldoff
A provocative title for a very good (and quite provocative) article about foreign aid. 
Here is it's pithy summary: 
Trade, good. Free markets, good. Aid, bad. Tax, bad.
But don't settle for that. Read the whole thing! 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Jubilee Joy

At the 1 minute mark in the Telegraph video BELOW the Queen meets a row of ladies in aprons. 
And a knitted 4 ft high grenadier guard! 
The Queen stops to admire it, have a joke and say how good it is.
That is the handy work of my Mum! 
Well done Mum!   [Proverbs 22:29]

Breakfast like a ....

We were given an interesting snapshot of the breakfasting habits of the 'youth' in Sandwell at eXcel last night: 
4 had a sausage roll yesterday
1 had nothing 
1 had coco pops (I think my memory is right on that ...)
1 had toast 
1 had a packet of crisps 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Guilt within

Though we have abandoned the ancient categories, we still have a profound, inescapable sense that if we were examined we'd be rejected. We have a deep sense that we've got to hide our true self or at least control what people know about us. Secretly we feel that we aren't acceptable, that we have to prove to ourselves and other people that we're worthy, loveable, valuable...
...You may psychologize it: I have a complex, my parents didn't love me enough. I'm a victim, I have self-esteem issues. But there's no escaping the fact that we all have a sense we're unclean. 

[p73-74 King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus]

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Death is ...

I was born into the Carnival. I've done all my living, sleeping, playing, growing, and throwing up at the Carnival. When I die, I won't escape it - not that I'd want to. Death is that black stripe above my head on the measuring board. When I've reached it, then I can go on the gnarly rides. 
(p1-2 Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World)

Brushed your heart today?

Mark 7:1-23:
... the washings and efforts to stay clean and free from dirt and disease that were used by religious people in Jesus's day were a kind of visual aid that enabled them to recognise that they were spiritually and morally unclean and couldn't enter the presence of God unless there was some kind of spiritual purification. 
If you're going to meet up with somebody who is particularly important to you - for that big date or important job interview - you wash, you brush your teeth, you comb your hair. What are you doing? Getting rid of the uncleanness, of course. You don't want a speck or stain on you. ... The cleanliness laws were the same idea. Spiritually, morally, unless you're clean you can't be in the presence of a perfect and holy God. 
Jesus couldn't have agreed more with the religious leaders of his day about the fact that we are unclean before God, until for the presence of God. But he disagreed with them about the source of the uncleanness, and about how to address it.
[p 71-72 King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus]