Hey folks, just a short update today, encouraging you to have a gander at the newly added ‘Do Something’ page, an ever-expanding list of ideas and suggestions of ways to live like Jesus. I know in my life I far too often focus on knowing about God rather than actually knowing Him; my theology can be empty and shallow when it should be bursting through me and spilling over into every part of my life. How often I sit and chat doctrine when I should be out there living it… This is God we’re talking about. God. How can a true knowledge of Him not lead us to action? How can His immeasurable grace not cause us to go? They’re only suggestions, but I hope you’ll add to them as I do (just leave a comment on this post) and try with me to live that bit more like Jesus. We are His body in the world. We are what people think of when they think of Him. Scary.
But we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
The world’s an absolute mess, it’s true, but there are some problems which we can help to fix. We can tackle homelessness by volunteering at shelters, for example, or petition companies for fairer trade.
Some global issues, however, require a bit more knowledge, way beyond the scope of the average human being. Anyone have a clue how to develop ‘flu medication to tackle drug resistant strains? Because hundreds of thousands of people are dying from it every year. When faced with huge problems as life-threatening as this, can we, as complete non-experts, do anything to aid scientists as they push towards a solution?
Firstly, to my parents, I’m still alive, don’t worry.
Secondly, to the legion of avid readers pining over this blogging drought, I am truly sorry. I realise true wit, humour and insight are hard to come by on the internet, and I was wrong to deprive you of this most-excellent fount. It won’t happen again.
Thirdly, to the overwhelming majority of people for whom this blog is just an irrelevant annoyance, constantly clogging up their Facebook newsfeed, I apologise the most. You’ll have to live with yet another post, this time on the mind-numbingly dull topic of what’s been kicking off since Wednesday. Just bear with it.
The more you look into it, the more charity shops and expressly ethical stores seem like the only option. Another handy and cheap clothing store bites the dust, this time ASDA’s George range (this is a .pdf by the way, so you’ll have to download it):
To anyone who knows me it should come as no surprise that I think animals are brilliant. An ideal day for me could consist of anything from clambering over rock pools in N. Ireland to being in the middle of the Kruger in South Africa; as long as there’s animals there, I’m in my element. They’re just great.
Going to Singapore Zoo on Saturday, then, was very good fun. The manatees and giant tortoises sent shivers down my spine, the ring-tailed lemurs were so soft to stroke, and sitting for a good half hour in front of the chimpanzee enclosure was thought-provoking, to say the least (There go I, but by the grace of God. We’re made of the same stuff, share most of our genes, and are, quite simply, just animals, except God breathed His spirit into us and made us in His image. Quite humbling!).
The other day I watched an interesting, but slightly distressing YouTube video featuring Brian McLaren, pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church (a short clip can be found below). He was talking about Hell and Jesus’ substitutionary death (ie. that he died instead of us), and he seemed to think they were both a load of rubbish! This post, then, is sort of a response that he’ll never read, a corner of cyberspace where I can work out my own attitudes to the arguments he was giving.
In this audio clip he argues that in asking us to forgive unconditionally, without retribution, God is asking us to do something that He himself can’t do; in the words of McLaren, God doesn’t ask you to ‘forgive your wife and then go kick the dog to vent your anger’, so why can He only forgive if His wrath is poured out on a third party?