Welcome again to Sunday Stuff. As always, posting here doesn’t mean I agree with every word written but that there is something within to make me think. The first article in particular made me angry and desperately sad.
Articles and blogs of the week
Hatred against those receiving benefits is out of control in Cameron’s Britain. The Tories transformed a crisis of capitalism into a crisis of public spending, and determined that the most vulnerable would make the biggest sacrifices. But taking away support from the disabled, the unemployed and the working poor is not straightforward. It can only be achieved by a campaign of demonisation – to crush any potential sympathy. Benefit recipients must only appear as feckless, workshy scroungers, living in opulent quasi-mansions with wall-to-wall widescreen TVs, rampaging around the Canary Islands courtesy of handouts from the squeezed taxpayer. Benefit fraud does exist – according to Government estimates, it is worth less than 1 per cent of welfare spending – but the most extreme examples are passed off as representative, or as the “tip of the iceberg”. The reality is all but airbrushed out of existence.
Many times, dropping anchor with Jesus is the most appropriate response to relational woes. Unfortunately, with this response sometimes came a phrase that still bothers me today: “I’m just dating Jesus now. He’s my only boyfriend.” The danger of this approach to Jesus is that it quickly becomes an emotional fix by focusing only on attaching romantic feelings to experiences with Christ. This sort of faith quickly becomes consumed with one’s heart, filling the romantic void within, in spite of a lack of external intimate companionship. Jesus easily is used as an emotional coping mechanism until the next incarnated significant other comes along to set a new love-boat afloat. What is lacking externally is compensated for via a metaphorical fling with the King.
Tweets of the week:
@SallyHitchiner : Jesus said “Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted”
@FloydMcClung : Discipleship is intentional relationship by mentoring people to hear God speak to them in the Bible, before they come to faith.
@JonAcuff : Dear good writing, please stop hiding in the jungle of bad writing. It takes forever to hack my way in and rescue you. P.S. I know you won’t
@markbailey_ : Approval addicts are destined for a life of mediocrity because they always have to follow the herd – the opposite of what Christ calls us to
Bite sized chunks from the Holy Trinity Brompton Leadership Conference I attended this week, along with 4300 other church leaders from almost 1000 churches from 54 countries. The line up of speakers was amazing and some talks are already available online.
“There’s no such thing as Christian music. There are Christian lyrics, but not music.”
“I made you to be fishers of men, not to swap fish from aquarium to aquarium.”
“Anyone who says ‘I like Jesus but not the church’ is an incredibly immature person”
Bishop of London:
“Great spitirual growth comes from discipline, silence and stillness.”
“Being a servant of Jesus and of God’s Word is the biggest thrill possible”
“A Benedictine monk, the Bishop of London , a raving Pentecostal and a woman on one stage united by Christ. It’s a great time to be alive.”
“So many leaders today want to START at the front, at the top, snatching the microphone/baton too early”
DarrellGB (Darrell Tunningley):
“Feed ppl cos they’re hungry, home them cos they’re homeless. Don’t hide motive as ppl will see thru it.”
“Be prepared for disappointment because our job is to serve, not to succeed.” Ed Walker on radical hospitality
Leaders who love leading more than loving people will not last.
High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge:
‘I have had enough .I am determind to do something about it.” [on family breakdown in the UK]
“If we don’t take Social Media seriously, we’ll be answerable to God for not reaching this generation.”
@algordontv (Al Gordon):
“In medieval times we used art to spread the gospel. We build churches in shapes of crosses. Media shapes ecclesiology.”
“7million reg churchgoers in UK, 30m ppl use Facebook every day”
“How much Christian baggage do we have, masquerading as Christian culture?”
“Christians can appear or be so backward, no wonder there’s no forward.”
Rt Hon. Tony Blair:
“Faith gives humanity an essential obligation of humility,keeps us from idolatry&processes that allow us to treat ppl poorly.”
“Faith isn’t our dogma and ritual, it’s something we believe in our hearts and has enriched our lives”
‘Cynicism is the opposite of everything that gets something done in the world’
“You often start at your most popular and least capable and end at your least popular and most capable.”
“Criticism comes with the job but so does doing new things,breaking new ground+showing ppl the way.”
“Faith gives you strength to make decisions you think are right. You might not be but you have strength.”