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Church Response to Physical and Sexual Abuse

This topic is not something that we would normally address on this blog but having been involved in Christian ministry for over 35 years, now retired, we feel that it is pertinent to express an opinion. There has been a great deal of recent coverage through ABC media, both in News streams and perhaps more notably the 7.30 Report.

People who use Facebook and Twitter have been able to express themselves very strongly through these social media outlets as well and a considerable amount of heat and angst has been generated. Last Sunday night 60 Minutes also ran a segment concerning a wife who had been repeatedly raped by her husband who happened to be a Christian Pastor. The over-riding media consensus strongly suggests that the mainstream Church response to these matters is profoundly inadequate. However the ABC did subsequently publish a full report from the various participating denominations where they each outlined their respective strategies to combat this evil which they are aware d…
Recent posts

50th ANNIVERSARY - Trevor's Story

On the occasion of our 50th wedding anniversary we both had the thought of writing a post about our journey from our own perspective. Liz has covered a good deal of that in her post and I had written a post too but before mine could be published the computer somehow confused the two and mine disappeared? Have had several goes at finding it but it looks as though I am going to have to revisit my thoughts and write the whole post again.

I think that the key thing to the longevity of our relationship has been its genesis. We had both decided before God that we would not enter into a relationship, on a dating basis, unless we were sure that God was in it, or had orchestrated it. For Liz this came about when she was in her mid teens, so she busied herself in work and church life waiting for God to bring someone of his choosing along. For me it was a little different. I was in the Royal Australian Navy and for a time was a typical sailor with a girl in every Port. My Christian life and convi…

50th ANNIVERSARY YEAR - Liz's Story

As we approach our 50th Wedding Anniversary, we continually marvel at how God brought us together and has kept us loving life and each other through all the ups and downs of life which now includes 4 sons and 8 grandchildren.

God organised for a sailor from Adelaide to arrive at a church in Perth where a bank officer was happily involved in many facets of a large thriving community of believers. With only a short time together including Trevor accompanying Liz to the wedding of a Christian friend and a handful of meetings, there began a lifelong friendship. Not long after  their meeting, Trevor embarked on a trip away and the prayer group led by Liz prayed for this sailor who was isolated in his Christian faith. On his return, he was drafted to a base in NSW and the letter-writing began. Over 4 months and much correspondence (some 20 pages long) they realised that God had brought them together for more than Christian fellowship and so Trevor made a short trip back to WA to spend a prec…

ON THE COMING OF JESUS TO THE WORLD

It is interesting to observe that 'in the fullness of time' (when God had planned) Jesus humbled himself and came to earth as a baby; conceived in a miraculous way and born in unusual circumstances far from his parents' home. When the time came for God to send the angel Gabriel to advise of the way Jesus would arrive in this world, Mary was the one who received the message. Even though it was a terrifying thing to see the angel and the news was so astounding, Mary was able to question Gabriel about the circumstance of her having a baby and after hearing the explanation she accepted the word from God and affirmed that she was the Lord's servant. The Jewish scholars and pious priests had been reading about the coming Messiah for such a long time and had formed their own ideas about how this would be accomplished and what Messiah would do once he arrived. God chose to reveal his plan to a humble unmarried woman and some time later, Joseph had confirmation of what was to ha…

Wives, 'Respect' Your Husbands.

From time to time we hear of the responsibilities outlined in Ephesians 5 verses 22 - 33 concerning husbands and wives respectively. Often the language gets reduced to a catch phrase like, "women want to be loved and men need respect." It is as if this phrase defines all women and all men for all time. It is as if this phrase sums up all that is required by all women and all men. It is assumed that for men, love is not an issue, all that they require to be completed as men is respect. Equally, for women it is suggested that love, of the emotional, 'touchy feely' variety is all that women crave. While this may be true for some men and women it does not hold that it is true for all, as many writers would have us believe. Indeed most writers who claim such are of the opinion that men and women are designed this way and that all we need to  do is accept this and act out the roles to which we have been assigned by virtue of our gender. To reduce this profound passage to …

Biblical Love should not be determined by gender.

Our pastor is beginning a new ministry series for the new year. He feels constrained by the Spirit to speak on the love of God and how our being loved by God should impact upon our ability to genuinely love others.In the introductory message he touched on some texts that really got me thinking about how it is that the Biblical injunction to love should not be determined by our gender.One of the passages that he referred to was Ephesians 4:1-3, which, in the TNIV reads:

"As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

As these verses were being read it occurred to me that our tendency would be to immediately translate those verses to incorporate gender. The Biblical imperative, as encouraged by the Apostle Paul in verse 2 is, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patie…

Additional Modern Marriage Concerns

I would like make some additional observations on the topic of Modern Marriage Concerns by taking up a statement that I made in the closing paragraphs of a previous post on this subject.

"I for one do not want to go back to gender hierarchy but I can readily understand it if my complementarian friends are quick to say that this 'individualism' is where egalitarianism takes us and is the very reason why they are so against it. Egalitarianism is not meant to manifest itself in rampant individualism. In fact it is meant to do the opposite, that is to work against individualism, especially as it related to a male privileged environment. It would be a tragedy if the empowering of women led to the neglect of the men in their lives." 

While I may not want to go back to hierarchy myself that is precisely where young marrieds, who are intent on pleasing God in their marriages, are inclined to go. There are a significant number of well respected Bible teachers who advoc…