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

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 ‘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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Notice – A ‘SEEK’ Day – Missional Community Gathering

For Support, Encouragement, Equipping, Knowledge Sharing- 13th April, 2019 For all those who are already involved in, or interested in developing, Missional Communities and Networks. Looking at some of the (perhaps new) skills for the creation and development of MCs in the 'Live, Work and Play' cultural universes where unchurched people spend their time. For … Continue reading Notice – A ‘SEEK’ Day – Missional Community Gathering

A Forest of Kingdom Outbreaks

In 'The Man Who Planted Trees, Jean Giono describes his experiences that flowed from a chance encounter with a Shepherd when he was on a walking holiday in the French Alps. He recounts how after about three days of walking he came to a barren and colourless stretch of land where almost nothing grew and … Continue reading A Forest of Kingdom Outbreaks

Ten New Year Suggestions for Missional Fruit

In the light of the now well documented general and longstanding failure of the church to produce significant missional fruit, the ‘Unbounded Church’ concept is driven by the belief that there is an urgent need to do ‘Something Completely Different’. Suggested below are 10 New Year’s resolutions that may be helpful in creating a missionally … Continue reading Ten New Year Suggestions for Missional Fruit

The Gate of the Year–A Reflective Re-Post

Once again we have stepped through the gate of the new year. The blank canvas of 2019 lies before us. What will we paint on it? What tapestry will we weave as we journey through that space of time? Every year at this time, I am reminded of the poem written by British poet Minnie … Continue reading The Gate of the Year–A Reflective Re-Post