Browsing "Reflections"
Jun 4, 2012 - General, Reflections    3 Comments

Muslims are liars.

Al-Takeyya: I’d never heard about it until I heard it mentioned last night. It’s an intriguing concept that includes the provision to lie if it is in your own, or Islam’s best interest.

A couple of summaries of this teaching I found informative are here and here.

The biggest lie currently on the agenda?  “Islam is a religion of peace”.  As an example, following the September 11 2001 Terrorist attacks, The Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Judicial Council made a statement.  The statement included the following:

“[Islam] forbids killing of civilians even during times of war”

and

“Muslims have to deal in good faith with those who live beside them in all societies, since Islam does not discriminate between humans: for they are all brothers.”

Now, it’s possible we’re reading a different Koran, but I thought that Surah 9.5 was pretty clear: “fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”  Kill or convert pagans, none of this “brothers” business.

I really want to give Muslim people the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe some of them truly do believe that Islam is a religion of peace.  Maybe some of them aren’t setting out to purposefully lie for their own gain and benefit.  Maybe.  But the truth is, Muslims are liars.

May 31, 2012 - General, Reflections    2 Comments

I have a problem with Anglicanism.

I preached on Christians and the law a few weeks ago. Based largely on Brian Rosner’s work in the AMCL last year, I suggested that Christians are in no way bound by the law as law (legal code). Rather, Christians live by the law of Christ, which is the work of the Spirit in us, propelling us to love God and one another.

In this context, I have two problems with Anglicanism. Firstly, Article VII: EVERY Christian is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.

Secondly, those orders of service in which Christians are called to reflect on the 10 commandments, and then to confess their sin in light of not keeping the law: Christians are free from the law. It no longer condemns us!

Disclamer: I thing anglicanism is a great platform, especially in Sydney (the last 3 churches I’ve attended and been a part of the leadership at have been Anglican) – I just don’t agree with all it’s doctrinal points.

May 29, 2012 - General, Reflections    1 Comment

Pretty girl said hi – I smiled and walked on by.

So I was walking back to Redfern station yesterday, when a pretty young girl smiled at me and said “Hi, how are you?”. I smiled politely and kept walking right on by.

While it could be that as a happily married man I’m not in the habit of chatting up ladies, in this case, there’s no such righteous reason. Quite simply, in the space of 2 seconds I evaluated her as a salesperson of some sort and rejected her product.

It only took 3 or 4 steps before the incongruity of this struck me. I had no knowledge whatsoever of what she wanted or was offering. Maybe it was a product she was selling, but maybe she was trying to save whales or something. Without a clue what she wanted, I made a snap judgement for the worse, and moved right along.

Furthermore (and perhaps more importantly), my response to her made me reflect upon Christian cold-contact strategies (walk-up, door knocking, etc). I usually get quite nervous when engaging in them. Could it be because I expect to receive the same reaction I give? What sort of ambassador for Jesus am I, if when someone else wants to spend some time talking with me, I brush them off and walk on by.

I walk past salespeople of some sort quite regularly (through Sydney Uni). Will my response to them change? I want to say yes, but it makes me anxious.