The Thread of Pain

‘Let me sing for my beloved, A love song concerning His vineyard,                         My beloved had a vineyard, On a very fertile hill,             He dug it and cleared it of stones,                     and planted it with the choicest of vines . . . . … Continue reading The Thread of Pain

Connecting With Ron – An Encouragement

The first stage of the Missional Community Process (See the Toolbox Tab on the home page) is ‘Connecting’. Clearly this is essential, because if we don’t ‘Connect’ with the ‘Unchurched/De- Churched’, now an increasing majority of members of society, then there is no possibility of entering into a gospel conversation. Thus the Unbounded Church strategy … Continue reading Connecting With Ron – An Encouragement

The Cockle-Picking Tragedy

‘Wake up the church and . . . encourage it to strengthen itself, while there is still time’                                                                           … Continue reading The Cockle-Picking Tragedy

Something Rotten In the State of the West

“You may get what you want, but you won’t like what you get!” ***** History is normally written with the benefit of hindsight. That is, historians describe events that have occurred years, decades or often centuries in the past. However, I wonder if today by using a biblical lens we are actually in a position … Continue reading Something Rotten In the State of the West

Encountering Tragedy in the Abbey

On a recent holiday trip we stayed overnight in a small English village. The next morning, as walked around I came across an old Abbey, which I entered and explored with visitor’s eyes. It is an ancient building, large and cavernous, with a history going back over 1400 years and which currently also serves as … Continue reading Encountering Tragedy in the Abbey

Mary’s Tale

Mary was well into her eighties when I was asked to make a pastoral visit by the minister of the church I was attached to at the time. She had been attending the same church ever since her parents took her along to be baptised as a baby. It was there that she had met … Continue reading Mary’s Tale

The Future is Not Behind Us

2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, ‘If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be … Continue reading The Future is Not Behind Us

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 ‘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

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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