Archive for April, 2012

Find out what the Foreign Office did to tackle religious persecution in 2011

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Gillan has the info here.

And it’s worth noting that Charles Reed has commented on this also.

The Forest of Dean: What a Boar!

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Managed to slip out for a quick walk in the forest (Dean) during lunch and was blessed to run into these little chaps:

There were nine babies all told and two mummies. Here is one of the mummies up close and personal!

I can’t tell you how rare it is to see wild boar, especially at such close range and with babies in tow.

This is actually my second experience of them and some folk go their whole lives living around here without ever catching sight of them.

Last time I was charged by a baby boar, a much maturer baby than the ones pictured here, and I can tell you it was pretty terrifying; I just froze and thankfully the Boar stopped short.


A few good links

Monday, April 30th, 2012

A few links I found interesting for one reason or another:

Outside In – There may be trouble ahead… And on the same topic – Crooked as Corkscrews – The Coming Storm in the Faith School Sector

Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion – The Nun’s Non-Story

Canterbury Tales – Becoming Catholic Isn’t Easy (Part 1 of Becoming Catholic)

Bloggerheads – Dennis Rice and the @TabloidTroll Twitter account

iBenedictines – We are moving

UK Human Rights Blog – More Brighton analysis, tweeting in court, and vulnerable defendants – The Human Rights Roundup

Leanne Penny – Depression = no faith

Quote of the Day

Monday, April 30th, 2012

No Christian is perfect in either doctrine or practice, and disagreement is an inevitable consequence of imperfect people having to live and work together. We should not be surprised about it, but rather expect it. Our own doctrine and practice may be strongly influenced by selfish desires, pride or other temptations and sins to which we have surrendered. If a person adamantly sticks to a wrong position despite being shown the error of their ways, there will usually be a personal reason for it. This is why it is so important that disagreement is handled with patience, love and care.


UK Christians are using social media to share their faith online

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

In a survey on attitudes to online mission, the majority (84%) of respondents agreed that the online space is a huge mission field, with 65% revealing that they use social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share their faith in an intentional way. 71% post links to Christian sites or content with missional values, while 73% intentionally post or link to content in order to share their faith.

Interestingly, social media activity is prolific across the age spectrum and is not just a preserve of young people as is widely thought. However, younger people are more likely to have a larger proportion of non-Christian friends, and are more active in sharing their faith online: 87% of 16-18 year-olds said they do so intentionally. Older people are less confident to share their faith online than they are offline, but recognise the opportunity to do so: 92% of 35-44 year-olds agree that online is a huge mission field. Altogether 79% of the sample agreed that the best way to evangelise is through relationships.

Church leaders are more engaged than average in social media activity and welcome the use of the medium for ministry and evangelism. However, of all respondents only 25% said their church encourages online mission, with 78% saying churches should be more active in online mission.



Quote of the Day

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Christianity did not begin in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed the famous Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Palace Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It was not perfected a few years later when John Calvin began to teach in Geneva, or during the revivals of nineteenth century America, as many Protestant Evangelical publications on the history of the Christian Church imply. The Church grew and flourished for almost fifteen hundred years before the Protestant Reformation. The Church did not sink into spiritual darkness immediately after the completion of the New Testament only to reemerge following Luther and Calvin. It is not reasonable to assume that God allowed His people to live captive to spiritual darkness from the death of the last Apostle until the Protestant Reformation fourteen centuries later. The Church was alive and well and produced great Saints and theologians for hundreds of years before Luther or the revivals of the American frontier.

Fr John Morris, “The Historic Church: An Orthodox View of Christian History”


Social Media Pastoral Exam Paper

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Our Saturday blast of playful observational brilliance from Archdruid Eileen.

Eileen has put together a Social Media Pastoral Course, and the following are my favourite questions taken from tomorrow’s ‘exam’ paper:

CAVEAT: If you’re sitting this paper tomorrow, don’t let Eileen know you’ve seen these questions in advance ;-)

3. When giving advice on-line, if someone gives the opposite advice what should you do?
A) Follow up with the church authorities who agree with you, quoting as appropriate St Paul, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley or that Bono from U2.
B) Engage in a flame-war with the other person who has chipped in with their ill-considered, rash and probably heretical suggestions. If necessary, block/unfriend the person who originally had a question/problem as their needy bleatings aren’t gonna help anybody once battle’s commenced.
C) Reflect that someone’s struggle with doubt and loss, combined with their partner’s unexpected announcement about their sexuality, is probably not best discussed on their Wall.

6. Your online friend has “come out”. Via the medium of Twitter, either explain (a) why s/he is going to burn if s/he doesn’t repent or (b) that we have a loving God who made him/her that way. Do not attempt both in 140 characters.

7. “Trolls are made in God’s image too.” Try to think of some justification for why this may not be right.

10. One of your congregation’s relationship status has gone from “married” to “it’s complicated. Why on earth would you want to keep out of it?

15. “If I start a blog I might become a Famous Christian and people will come to me for advice and I might get invited on speaking tours”. Is this a bad motive? And what are the chances?

Go on, hop over and read the rest.

Let me know which questions you liked best!

Quote of the Day

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Insanity – a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.

R. D. Lang

A few good links

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A few links I found interesting for one reason or another:

PhilippaB witters on – The Sin of Pride

Lisa Graas – Finding Your Identity in Disorder is an Impediment to Good Health

A Reader’s Guide to Orthodox Icons – Saint George and the Dragon in Iconography

Gentle Wisdom – To Cure Cancer, “Cleanse me with Hyssop”, or Pizza!

Fr Z – A shift in the cyber meaning of “pro-life”?

Jerusalem Post – Christians in and out of the Holy Land

Melanie Phillips – The new intolerance

David Lindsay – Poison

Scottish Gay Police Association and UNISON urge rejection of Gideons free Bible offer

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Ahead of the amalgamation of police forces in Scotland, Gideons International have offered the Scottish police force free commemorative editions of the New Testament and Psalms, which come complete with each force’s badge.

It would seem that the Gay Police Association in Scotland (GPA) have urged a rejection of this offer on the grounds that this is “a book containing text which condemns homosexuality”.

I find this somewhat ironic as if you engage with liberal and gay Christians as I do, one of the first lines of argument used supporting the practice of homosexuality, is that the New Testament does not if fact condemn homosexuality.

The GPA obviously don’t read the same blogs as I.

Another unusual factor to this story is that UNISON have joined the GPA in calling for a rejection of the offer on the grounds of:

“It is not the role of a Police Force either to provide official endorsement of any religion or foist religious views on its staff.

OK, so religion is out of bounds, what about ‘foisting’ views on sexuality?

If you conduct a search on Google using the keywords “police force rainbow flag” you will find a plethora of reports on police forces across the UK hoisting the rainbow flag in solidarity with the gay community.

So it’s not OK to “foist” any particular religion, but perfectly acceptable to “foist” a particular sexuality.

Perhaps this quote from Unison:

“Police forces exist to serve people of all religions and none. As employers they should be aware that their staff are drawn from people of all religious outlooks and none.”

Should be re-written as:

“Police forces exist to serve people of all sexualities and none. As employers they should be aware that their staff are drawn from people of all sexual outlooks and none.

Or this quote from the GPA:

The GPA does not feel that a public service, such as the police, should be seen to be endorsing, by their active involvement, any particular religion over and above any other religion or non-religion

Should be re-written as:

The GPA does not feel that a public service, such as the police, should be seen to be endorsing, by their active involvement, any particular sexuality over and above any other sexuality or non-sexuality.

On an aside, it would appear the GPA have ‘form’ in their intense dislike of the Bible.

I’m not sure how much of this is driven by palpable hatred of Scripture, or perhaps fear.

I really don’t get it to be honest with you……..

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