Tuesday, July 12, 2011
"His cause" - the preacher's cause, not necessarily to the Lord. You see, I don't know where any of them stood with the Lord. Many of them would start off with enthusiasm and then drift away. Many of them were hurt when they saw the human failings of the preacher and his team. Many felt used.
It did not seem to worry the preacher because he could always enlist more followers - such was his charisma, his magnetism to people.
This got me thinking about why I am turned off by that style of preaching and wondering whether or not I am over-reacting. Preaching that incites a knee-jerk emotional response is not the ideal. It is not an example that comes from the Bible. In fact emotional responses are not to be trusted according to my Bible. The heart is deceitful Jeremiah says in chapter 17, verse 9. The knee-jerk reaction is like the seed that falls in rocky places. It springs up quickly, because the soil is shallow. But when the sun comes up, the plants are scorched, and they wither because they have no root. That is Jesus' parable, not mine.
He should know. The crowd welcoming him to Jerusalem were an emotional lot. It was a great day with lots of cheers and hosannas. Within days, where were they? Were they the same ones who yelled "Crucify him!" and who would rather have the murderer, Barabbas, released than Jesus? Emotional backflips don't get worse than that.
Emotions are great. They are part of what makes us human.
We just have to be careful about how and when we trust them, especially when someone else has something to gain from our emotional response.
Have you regretted some decisions you've made in a knee-jerk, emotional reaction?
I think we all have those sort of regrets.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Click on the link to listen to the lovely old hymn, The Ninety and Nine.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I have now added links to some of my favourite music and you can click on the appropriate tune on the RH side to hear it for yourself. Enjoy!
Monday, February 16, 2009
With the arrest of an arsonist responsible for one of the fatal fires, anger and hatred seem to be the over riding emotions. That is human nature. People in grief experience anger as well as depression, denial, shock, bargaining and even physical symptoms.
For those who have suffered loss these things are normal and will eventually fade.
I have a problem with the fact that so many who have not suffered personally, and particularly the media, get on the band wagon and incite more anger and more hatred.
- They don't have the excuse of personal loss to justify their emotive outbursts.
- It's really a bit selfish too, because it distracts attention from those who need it - the real victims.
- Instead, those shouting the loudest with the most hateful invective become the focus of attention.
- And it's counter productive because it gives the perpetrators more fame and attention, even if it is in a negative way.
- It doesn't help the victims move on either, but keeps pulling them back to the anger stage of their grief.
Doesn't our human dignity mean that, no matter what is done to us, we are not beasts? We don't repay in kind, because that would cause all humanity to degenerate to the lowest level.
We don't treat criminals with sadistic torture (even if we think they deserve it), because to do so lowers us to their level or worse. We are made in God's image, even though a bit tarnished. To act with violence and hatred would be a disgrace to that image, wouldn't it? It would also be to take authority away from God. Vengeance is his prerogative alone. I prefer it that way because only he knows the whole story. Only he is entirely just.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Floods explanation here
Droughts explanation here
Crocodiles explanation here
Disease explanation here
This is all happening here in one country, Australia, and only on the east coast. If we look further, there are ice storms and blizzards in the USA, earthquakes in China and Japan, volcanoes in the Philippines, famine in Ethiopia and wars all over the place.
I can't answer why God has not answered the prayers of many in relation to these tragedies and yet he does answer prayer. Why some and not others? I don't know. All I know is that (according to the Bible) :
God does not cause or allow needless suffering;
Satan is the prince of this world;
this world is not our home;
our earthly life is only temporary and we will all die one day and (unless we opt for suicide)
we do not choose the manner of our death.
Suffering in this life is not proof that there is no God
Turn the clock back 2000 years and some of Jesus larger group of disciples (not the 12) left him when the going got tough. Jesus and Peter are talking about the loss of faith of these disciples:
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
His song, Home Free, has probably been the most successful of his career. I've used it when I've taken memorial services inside prison. Recently I used it for the background to a power point slide show (Experience Jesus in the the good times, the bad times and beyond the GPS) at a women's camp. I always get asked - Who sings it? Where can I buy it? What is the title of the CD?
At memorial services there was never a dry eye left after I'd played it. The tune is great too. Go and buy it or just listen to it at your Christian bookstore. He has recorded it on a couple of his Cd's. You won't regret it.
Here it is.