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Welcome to Rome – Again

The Roman Empire was a religiously pluralistic society much like most of the western world today. This meant that people were free to worship the ‘god’ or ‘gods’ of their choice, it was up to each individual. There was one restriction however. This was that no matter what other ‘gods’ were worshipped, one that each … Continue reading Welcome to Rome – Again

A Deeper Kind of Sadness

In the last few weeks we have celebrated and commemorated both the Easter and ANZAC Day holidays (ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand being the equivalent of Remembrance Day held on November the 11th in Europe). During this period one topic has regularly come up in conversations in various contexts with friends and family … Continue reading A Deeper Kind of Sadness

The Easter Mirage and the Missional Malaise

So Easter has passed once more. The most important time in the Christian calendar as we rehearse what has been described as the ‘greatest story ever told, about the greatest offer ever made by the greatest person who ever lived’. The media reported thousands filling Easter services supported by pictures of crowded churches, as would … Continue reading The Easter Mirage and the Missional Malaise

Hot Fish Buns – The Bun Strikes Back

For centuries the traditional Hot Cross Bun was originally limited in its production to Easter as a sign of the central meaning of that most important Christian festival. However, it is now greatly reduced in its symbolism because it is available everywhere throughout the year, starting the day after Christmas! My local baker told me … Continue reading Hot Fish Buns – The Bun Strikes Back

The ‘Behind The Scenes’ God

There are times when we can feel very alone in our faith. Where we may be the only Christian in a family who may give us a hard time over what we believe and practice. Or we may be the only Christian in our workplace which can create difficulties too, and in this increasingly Christianity-hostile … Continue reading The ‘Behind The Scenes’ God

Will We Die Before We Wake?

                  'Now I lay me down to sleep,                                  I pray the Lord my Soul to keep,                               … Continue reading Will We Die Before We Wake?

‘Hope’ Where Hope Dies

In the well know Greek mythological story, a young woman named Pandora is given a box by the ‘gods’ which she opens and in doing so releases all the evils into the world. However, one thing remains in the box, and that is ‘Hope’. There are various interpretations of this story, but one thing that … Continue reading ‘Hope’ Where Hope Dies

Dead Horses, Opportunity Costs and the Un-harvest

“I chose you . . . . . that you should go and bear fruit and                   that your fruit should last.” ********** Probably like most people, now and again I get random thoughts come into my head. One of which recently floated into my mind when I … Continue reading Dead Horses, Opportunity Costs and the Un-harvest

The Atheist’s Bible Delight

                   ‘Blessed is the man . . . . . . . . . .                 whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.             … Continue reading The Atheist’s Bible Delight

Fiddling While Souls Burn

Again in the last few months a couple of people I know (one a close friend, another who I meet fairly regularly) have been diagnosed with terminal, or probably terminal cancer. This caused me to focus again on the issues in this previous post, concerns so serious in regard to the church and its ever decreasing missional effectiveness to those who have the Damoclean Sword of being without Christ hanging over their heads, that I thought it worth re-posting.

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In recent weeks I have learned that two long-time friends, both younger than me, have received a diagnosis of Cancer. Either too late to be effectively treated or of a type of Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years.

These events have sharply highlighted the ‘Damoclean Sword’ of death that constantly hangs over all of our heads, whatever form it takes- sickness, a road accident or just the inevitable falling night of old age. For all of us this is the end of that brief mist between eternity and eternity we call life, the inevitable prelude to the swinging open of the gate of death. Then what?

Jesus answer to that question is that every human is journeying along one of two roads – the wide road that leads to destruction or the narrow road that leads to (eternal) life (Matthew 7:13,14).

This ‘Damoclean Sword’ meditation caused me to think which of those two roads are my friends on. For one I am sure it is the narrow road, for the other, a very nominal church member I am not so sure. Bigger than that-what about my family and other friends? What about the millions of Australians who are stumbling in darkness along the wide road that leads to the horror of an eternity without God.

With this terrible horizon waiting to greet the millions around us without Christ, should not our love from God and our love for God drive us to put all our efforts into gospel mission, so that with the Apostle Paul we “May possibly save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22)?

But what do we actually see? We see the Church ‘fiddling’. Fiddling with issues of varying importance such as women bishops, ‘same sex’ marriage, the preservation of old buildings and rituals but which are actually secondary to our Gospel mandate. This while millions of souls journey towards the, no doubt metaphorical but no less terrible, ‘burning’ of the ‘Second death” and “the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8).

We see the church fiddling with missionally ineffective strategies of yesteryear, ever fiddling in a bondage to idolatries of form and ritual, of ‘comfortable’ Christianity which refuses to pay the cost of the discipleship that Jesus calls us to- while the ‘Rome’ of western society ‘burns’.

There is an urgency for the church to be ‘Unbound’, set free from its current captivities, to turn its still considerable resources to the mission into the pagan darkness of the lost. To let go of our beloved forms and traditions for the sake of the lost, to pay the price that the King made clear is His demand, without which we “Cannot be His disciple”. To show love for all those blissfully unaware of the ‘Sword of Damocles’ hanging over their head.

This is actually what ‘loving our neighbour is’.

unbounded church

In recent weeks I have learned that two long-time friends, both younger than me, have received a diagnosis of Cancer. Either too late to be effectively treated or of a type of Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years.

These events have sharply highlighted the ‘Damoclean Sword’ of death that constantly hangs over all of our heads, whatever form it takes- sickness, a road accident or just the inevitable falling night of old age. For all of us this is the end of that brief mist between eternity and eternity we call life, the inevitable prelude to the swinging open of the gate of death. Then what?

Jesus answer to that question is that every human is journeying along one of two roads – the wide road that leads to destruction or the narrow road that leads to (eternal) life (Matthew 7:13,14).

This ‘Damoclean Sword’ meditation…

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