Thursday, 27 August 2009

Enjoying Your Bible

Tricky Bible Prophecies Can Be Confusing


Fathers' day is soon upon us. it will be a time when families gather. But family gatherings can be tense!
Colossians 3:18-21Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Family members tend to say things to each other that they would never dare say to an acquaintance (even if they think it). This can create problems. But so does not saying something that needs to be said a family member. Other problems that families might face include -

  • Parents who neglect their children (if you are parent, do you know the names of your child school teachers? Parents, do you hug your child?)

  • Children who disrespect the parents (if you are a child, do you answer your parents back? Do you ignore your parents' requests and boundaries?)

  • Husbands and wives (Husbands, do you tell your wife regularly that you love her and in addition say it with words? Wives, do you give yourself freely to your husband? Husbands, do you make time to talk and spend time with your wife? Wives, do you hold bitterness toward your husband?)

The family unit is the place where we can be ourselves. Someone has once said-
To like someone we must know their strengths,
but to love someone we must know their weaknesses

Perhaps no-one else knows us better than our own family. This kind of knowledge comes from living with each other. When you share a bathroom with someone you learn a lot about them! But the bathroom is not the usual place where family bonds are strengthened most. If done correctly, that's the place Dining Table is the place of deep bonding.

In his book, BRANDING FAITH, Dr. Phil Cooke makes an interesting if not ironic observation. He observes that churches are built today to look 'non-religious'. In fact, he seems to suggest that church buildings being built today lack imagination and are actually rather bland - especially compared to the type of church buildings that were built with an artistic interpretation in generations gone by. But then he asks, but where are we more likely to see a modern cathederal ceiling today? In a family home! Cooke makes the point that churches are being built today with little thought about their message, whereas, churches of the past were often built to be an integral part of the message of a church. They were built as sacred places. Cooke seems to be saying that people are created to enter into a sacred place. He wonders whether the change in church architecture has had any affect on family-home architecture. He says that homes are now being built with an altar (TV/computer), choir stall (sound system), cathederal ceiling, stained-glass windows, a nave (where the people congregate), and a pulpit. The family-home is now being deiberately designed as a sacred space.

While Cooke is only discussing architecture and its message in that portion of his book, it got me wondering about not just the home being a sacred place, but the family itself being a sacred gathering. It is the ultimate home-group!

The family gathering is the place where the father acts as the pastor (elder) and the mother acts as the deacon (minister) and the children serve and contribute with their gifts and abilities. It is the place where Christ is ministered to each other through each other. It is the place of confession - where we learn to seek and give forgiveness. It is the place where the Word is read and pondered. It is where bread is continually broken together. It is the place of prayer. It is one of the best expressions of pastoral care.

This idea should cause fathers especially to feel inadequate. As the pastor of their family, a father has a responsibility to guide, shepherd (feed, nurture, and protect), minister the Word of God to, pray for, love, and develop his wife and children. Every father should recognise their inadequacy and therefore their need for God's help to do his job. Children, pray for your Dad - he needs it!

As tricky as being in a family can be, they're still worth it. As followers of Christ we are all called into a local church to be a church family. We should, of all people, therefore, know how to function as a healthy family. Paul stresses the importance of being a member of a healthy and functioning family by setting it as the standard for any church leader to have already demonstrated their spiritual leadership within their own family.
First Timothy 3:1-5, ¶ If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. He must know what he’s talking about not be overfond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry. He must handle his own affairs [home] well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? [THE MESSAGE]

While we as a church provide pastoral care through our Bible study and small groups (where we are cared for, prayed for, and ministered to) and in crisis intervention and counselling through our elders, we must strive to ensure that each family in our church is a sacred gathering where pastoral care is maximised.

Today I heard that there has been a dramatic rise in clinical depression rates among Australians. I think I heard on the same news-cast that around 1 in 5 Australian adults have sought help for depression from their GP. I just wondered whether there was a corelation between the breakdown of the family unit and the rise in depression rates?

As the head of a house, a father has the priestly duty to shepherd his wife and children in and by prayer. He gathers his family to the dinner table and leads them in a prayer of thanks for the meal and other things. He encourages his family to share their souls ("How was your day?" "What happened in your day today?" "What have you been thinking lately?" "If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three small things you would want to be stranded with?" "What have you read in your Bible today?"). A father kneels with his children beside their bed as he prays with them and shares Scripture with them. A father runs his hands through the souls of his children and wife and offers a sympathetic listening ear and a caring word with them.

As we approach Fathers' Day, I wonder how different families would be today if dads took their spiritual responsibilities more seriously?

If you are blessed with a loving family- especially if you are blessed with a loving mother and father and brothers and sisters, then thank God! If you need to be reconciled to your family, do it! It's worth the effort. If you are a young mum or dad, lay a strong spiritual foundation in your new family. Perhaps all this can be best summed up by the words of Paul to the Colossians-
Colossians 3:18-21Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Yes, families can be tricky. But they are worth the effort because they are the place where we can be ourselves; know that we are cared for; and where we know we are encouraged to grow in the grace of God. Yes, families can be tricky, but God has enabled dads in particular to be able to make it happen well.

Friday, 21 August 2009


Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.

Sharing an FW Boreham illustration in a Nursing Home todayI'm reading F.W. Boreham's, "The Uttermost Star", which he wrote shortly after he had been pastoring the Hobart Baptist church. He opens this classic book with an essay about Majorie. She was an elderly lady that FWB was asked to visit. Prior to meeting her he wondered how he would make conversation with her. But when he met her and introduced himself he soon found that the conversation flowed so naturally that he felt that he had nothing to do with it. Marjorie was now blind in her old age. Yet FWB found her witty, bright, and engaging. As she spoke, Boreham was struck by her breadth of vocabulary. (People who read widely invariably develop such a broad vocabulary.) He asked her about her conversion. Her answer soon enchanted him.

She described her conversion as finding "the sweetness of religion". Boreham had never heard anyone describe their conversion in this way. As he invited her to share about her life's journey with Christ Marjorie implied that the rest of her walk with Christ could not be described as "sweet". Boreham picked up on this. "Well" she explained, "life got hard." Marjorie described life after she got married and together she and her husband had children. There wasn't time for the sweetness of religion then, she offered. Especially, she went on, when in one week they buried one son on Tuesday and the other on Thursday and then her husband died shortly after! Life could indeed be hard. Boreham interjected, Did you lose the sweetness of religion during these times Marjorie? She replied that it was during this time that she experienced not the sweetness of religion, but the power of religion that sustained her through such heart-ache. Did you ever lose faith Marjorie? She put her face momentarily in her hands as the pain of the answer uneasily came forward.

Yes there was a time, she said. I despaired. I went to my usual place of prayer beside my bed and once again put my knees into the well-worn spots on the carpet, but I couldn't pray. I looked to heaven but there was too much disappointment in my heart toward God. It was then that I felt His hand. Literally. I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder and heard the comforting words of the Saviour telling me that He would never abandon me. This is the power of religion that Marjorie referred to earlier. From this point, Marjorie continued, I remained steadfast to the Lord in the security of His unfailing presence in my life.

FWB thanked Marjorie for her time and also for her inspiration. Inspiration? Yes, said Boreham, you've given me my sermon for Sunday! I shall preach on the Lord the Rock. I shall base this on Deuteronomy 32 where the Rock is described as guiding Israel to its Promised Land and then suckling them with honey. This is the sweetness that Marjorie had referred to. But it is also the power that Marjorie referred to- a Rock of immovable steadfastness and protective security.
Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.

As I read this opening chapter in THE UTTERMOST STAR, I also pondered Marjorie's story and FWB's reflection upon it. Boreham explained to Marjorie that he had just read an article about Palestinian bees and how they often hive their honey in rocks- especially the rocks of cliffs. To retrieve their prized honey, the hunter would sometimes have to scale a cliff-face where he could literally suck the honey out of the rocks. Boreham's analogy made me think about the statement that if you want leaves you use a rake and just scratch the surface; but if you want gold you use a shovel and dig a little deeper. I also considered the most common description of the Promised Land as a land that flowed with "milk and honey". But it appears that although God had provided the honey, he sometimes expected people to climb cliffs to retrieve it! Yes Marjorie, life can be hard! I considered how lazy I sometimes am when it comes to enjoying the sweet things of Jesus. Sometimes the Word of God is like a cliff that requires time and effort to scale for its sweet treasures. But there are also other seasons of life, as Marjorie found, when you need a Rock underneath your feet, and cleft in that Rock to keep you safe. It's sometimes during those times when we are most worn down, and even worn out, that Jesus becomes our Rock from whom we can suckle honey and have oil proceed to soothe our injured souls.
Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.

It is my pastoral prayer that we may enjoy the sweetness of the Lord Jesus, the security of the Lord Jesus' presence, and the oil of His Holy Spirit to soothe and heal our wounded hearts. If you have Jesus in your soul, you have Treasure incomparable, worth more than honey suckled from a rock.

Ps. Andrew

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Why We Care

Gravelly Beach, Tasmania
Luke 10:33-34 ¶ But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

What must I do to be saved? This is the question that Jesus was asked several times. In one instance, He was asked this by a lawyer. Jesus put the question back onto the lawyer who responded by saying that salvation was a matter of loving God and your neighbour. Jesus affirmed this answer. "Do this and you shall live." But then the lawyer seeking to justify himself asked the Christ who his neighbour was. This was the occasion that led Christ to tell the story of the Good Samaritan. The amazing thing about this response is that Jesus focussed more on the evidence, or, fruit, of those who were saved. In the instance of the Good Samaritan, the fruit of the Good Samaritan was his care for others. But this was the kind of care that was completely unreasonable! The Good Samaritan cared for others outside of his world.

Kings Park, Launceston, TasmaniaAs a church, I hope that we are known for two things. Firstly, that we love God with all our minds and exercise our intellectual faculties to do so. Secondly, that we care, and that we care for those outside of our world- people that could never pay us back, or join our church, or tell our friends what we have done for them. This is why we care about those in our Valley, even if they never come to our church. This is why we care about legislation that our State Government proposes, even though it may never affect us directly. This is why we send out people on short-term missions trips to help in foreign countries, this is why we send out preaching and ministry teams to other churches (around 16 churches so far this year).

Romans 12:2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I hope that we can love and care for people just like the Good Samaritan did.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

From Anguish To Peace

Josie was dying. She was deeply distraught and in intolerable anguish. Her family didn't know what to do. Despite the best efforts of the Hospital's medical staff, nothing more could be done for Josie. Her pain was more than just the pain of what happens when cancer invades and conquers a body. Her shrieks, moaning and writhing was making her family feel even more helpless. Finally, her husband called for her pastor. Then things took a dramatic turn.

Pastor Gordon MacDonald arrived at the hospital twenty minutes later. He saw the family and medical team around Josie's bed. He said to himself, "Be a Pastor."
"Josie!" I said as I approached. I said her name firmly, as if to establish my presence with some authority.

"Pastor Mac!" she responded. The circle broke as everyone stepped back to make room for me.

When Gordon MacDonald spoke to Josie, he recognised that her pain and anguish was not due to problems with the medication or care she had been given. It was spiritual. Spiritual anguish affects your mind. It then manifests in your body. People who carry guilt can experience a tightening in the neck and shoulders and a heaviness in their chest. They see a doctor but find no relief. Then one day a pastor guides them through confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation and their neck, shoulders and chest immediately feel different. Josie's anguish was spiritual. She felt guilty that she was dying and would no longer be able to love, care for, and look after her husband and daughters. Pastor Mac empathised with her. He then reassured her. He then put his hands on her tense and agitated shoulders and gently but firmly pushed her writhing shoulders back onto the bed. He then asked Josie to look at him. With her eyes attentive to him, he recited Psalm 23 to her. And then he said-

You are one who is in God's care. You've been a wonderful wife and mother. You've been a good friend. And now it may be time to go and live in God's house for ever and ever and ever. Some day we're going to join you. Each of us." I named Josie's husband and their daughter. They're going to be there with you."

"Are you sure?" she asked.

"I'm sure," I said. "And I want you to know that everyone here loves you and is thankful to you. I want you to rest now and let God take you where he wants to lead you. Josie, don't be afraid."

"Are you sure it's okay to go, Pastor Mac?"

"Yes, I'm sure, Josie."

Then Josie did something I'll never forget. She looked away from me and spoke to her husband: "Thank you for being such a good husband to me." And to her daughter: "I love you; I'm so proud to be your mother." And then to the medical people: "Thank you for taking such good care of me." After a few words to each friend in the circle, she thanked me. Then Josie closed her eyes, sank into a calm sleep and, about an hour later, left our presence.

Josie went from anguish to peace by having her true condition attended to. She experienced in the last what I suspect we all crave, to die with the greatest dignity that comes from having a soul at peace with God and thereby at peace with others. Because of this her family at her bedside experienced a moment they would treasure for the rest of their lives.

Do you have a Pastor? Do you have peace for your soul?

Friday, 7 August 2009

Kingdom Summit Forum Interview

Today I was interviewed on stage during the Australian Christian Lobby's Kingdom Summit in Tasmania. Here's a transcript of the interview-

Australian Christian Lobby: In addition to pastoring a local church, you are a theologian and researcher who is very connected with contemporary issues in Australian life. What do you regard is the most pressing issue that the Church should be focusing on today?

Andrew Corbett: We could point to the declining influence of the Church in general society through declining church attendances. We could point to the spiralling marriage and family breakdown. We could look at the widening gap between rich and poor and the growing numbers of working poor. We could analyse some of the trends in the church toward super-relevant mega churches, the “Emergent Church” experiment (which deconstructs all of the traditional aspects of church including leadership structures and prepared services), or the surprising rise of aggressively evangelistic Neo-Calvinistic churches such as Sovereign Grace, Mars Hill, and John Piper entrance into Australia (who are now easily the top Christian podcasters in Australia (surpassing the likes of former #1 podcasters Hillsong or Joel Houston).

We could look at how the Church is responding to the digital revolution with the demise of the mass-media and the explosion of digital niche media provision which now sees the average teenager over a 12 month period receiving the equivalent of 5 months worth of continual text messages, emails, YouTube clips, tweets, facebook interchanges, and Google references and how these messages are viewed on pocket digital devices. We now live in a time when we have never had more information, yet we perhaps have never had so much trouble deciding which information is truly relevant. Herbert Simon said- “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” ("Branding Faith", Phil Cooke, 2008:174)

And it is this pursuit of relevance that has become the primary focus of many churches around Australia. It was Os Guinness who recently said that- “Never have Christians pursued relevance more strenuously; never have Christians been more irrelevant.” (Cooke, 2008:177)

And I think this is the most pressing need in the Australian Church today: relevance, but relevance toward God! We now have churches that have cancelled their prayer meetings, transformed their Home Bible Study Groups into “Connect Groups” where the Bible is not used, and pulpits that espouse lifestyle messages rather than opening or explaining the Word of God! In the pursuit of relevance, perhaps it could be argued that Os Guinness is correct because we have tried to make following Christ “convenient”, our church services “hip” and “cool”, replacing the living dynamic guidance of the Holy Spirit with highly orchestrated time-sheeted programs. None of these things have increased our relevance in society- in fact, it could be argued that more we have become like the world and its programs, the less relevant we have become.

Our relevance toward God must be grounded in an increase in Biblical literacy. If we want to love and care for our society it doesn’t start with social or political programs, it starts when Christians know the heart of God from the pages of Scripture and live out His mission. Thus, the greatest need we have as the Church in Australia is for preachers to preach the Word, for believers to believe, for followers of Christ to follow Christ especially in their homes and to raise a generation of God-fearing fearless followers of Christ! In other words, our great need is to be relevant toward God so that we can be relevant to society.

Australian Christian Lobby: Many business people speak to me about the issue of balancing responsibilities in their business and in their local church. The 2 main issues seem to be that they either feel undervalued by their church Pastor because they are not recognized for their unique skills and strengths, or conversely they are only regarded by their Pastor as a source of revenue for supporting church activities.

Andrew Corbett: I think these issues are resolved if pastors know how to pastor their business people. Business people need to be discipled. They are often very lonely. Wise pastors will take the initiative to take their business people out for a coffee or lunch – and will pay! Shame on pastors who only think of their business people as cash cows. By spending time with their business people they will discover a depth of wisdom and talent that will help them with planning, organisation, budgeting, staffing, and management. Sometimes a business person just wants to be kept in the loop with what their pastor is doing and thinking. Pastors shouldn’t feel threatened by this.
But business people need to be careful as well. They sometimes are the largest financial contributors to their church and this can lead to an attitude that the pastor “owes him”. It can lead to a sense of power over the pastor, which if left unchecked, can become manipulative. So business people need to give as the Lord leads and without strings attached. Pastors need to pastor business people by taking them out for a coffee or lunch and build their relationship with them.

Australian Christian Lobby: What would you say to encourage business leaders who know they are called to advance the Kingdom through their marketplace ministry?

Andrew Corbett: Make sure you get your priorities right! Love your wife. Love your children. Love your children. Don’t make your business your idol or your altar upon which you sacrifice your family or church. Invite your pastor to pray for your business and your witness. And then finally remember, you are the Christian – not your business! You will advance the Kingdom, not your business!

Australian Christian Lobby: As leaders, managing staff is a challenge that goes with the territory. In business we expect staff to meet productivity targets and produce outcomes that support the vision and mission of the business. Does this apply in the local church setting as well?

Andrew Corbett: In business it is often easier to measure “success”: projects completed, on time, within budget, profits achieved, and inventory levels maintained. In a church, it is sometimes a little bit more difficult to measure “success”. Churches must take the time to think through what a “church” is and then what “success” looks like. Then, once this is done it is possible to develop staff job descriptions that have “performance” criteria built into them with mechanism for reviewing this performance. Ultimately, though, the Church is Christ’s and He manages it by raising up and removing leaders and ministers.

Australian Christian Lobby: As a Kingdom leader with a calling to the commercial world, I am strongly committed to the view that the local church is successful when it equips God’s people to go out into the workplace and let Christ live out His life in them. This contrasts with many church pastors and leaders who expect business leaders to introduce strategies and provide financial support to enable the local church to be more effective and more appealing to the people.

Andrew Corbett: Leonard Sweet says that churches need to be GOOD – that is, Get Out Of Doors! Pastors should be pastoring to be good employees who serve their employers as if they were Christ (Col. 3:23-24). Employers should treat staff as Christ would (Col. 4:1). Pastors also need to be very clear about their vision, or rather their church’s vision so that any person, not just business people, can choose to support that vision. Business people should not be reluctant to support their church’s vision. If they are, they perhaps need to reconsider what “church” means.

Australian Christian Lobby: How do you see the local church functioning in the marketplace and in the workforce?

Andrew Corbett: I think there is a desperate need for people to be pastored. Every believer can pastor: talk with, listen to, pray for and with, teach the Scriptures, and visit people in their trials, celebrate with people as they have birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. Jesus looked out over the masses and sighed, “They are like sheep without a shepherd.” There are plenty of lost sheep out there who need a searching shepherd rather than a crusading evangelist.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dispensational Disappointment

Dispensationalism comes in various forms. A "dispensation" is a period of time. An era. In its most extreme form it regards God as having multiple plans of salvation depending on the particular dispensation. These dispensations generally commence with the Dispensation of Innocence and include other Dispensations such as the Dispensations of Works, Law, and Grace. This is contrasted by the orthodox Christian view of regarding God only ever having one means of salvation: the work of Jesus of Nazareth, especially His suffering, death and resurrection. But Dispensationalism is most notably distinguished from orthodox Christianity in the way it regards Israel. Dispensationalism says that God has a distinct plan and salvation for Israel. The roof of Dispensationalism is then supported by the walls of a novel form of end-times teaching. This includes such things as a rapture of the Church, a two-part Tribulation period, the global rule of an Anti-Christ, the reconstruction of a Temple in Jerusalem, the Battle of Armageddon, and then the Return of Christ. Dispensationalist Bible Prophecy teachers have gone to great lengths in their predictions of what the future holds based on their interpretation of the Bible. I have written a separate article on some of these predictions. But there's a problem. A big problem.
[Read full article]

A Christian Response To Climate Change

It seems that the Christian response to the claim of rapid climate change is polarised between the extremes of outright denial on the one hand and apocalyptic alarm on the other. And these responses often have more to do with theological biases rather than real science...


There are a large number of Evangelical Christians who simply reject the claim that the Globe is unusually warming. Their denials often downplay the cries of scientists alarmed about the current global warming trends. These Christians scoff at such alarmism and dismiss these weather patterns as merely normal cyclical trends that have carried on this way for centuries if not millennia.

Already there a groups within the Evangelical Community who are widely publishing books and DVDs to counter the idea of global warming by claiming that the data used by scientists is built entirely upon a false premise (which we'll examine later).
[Read full article]

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Jesus Should Make A Difference

Romans 12:1So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (THE MESSAGE)
If Christianity was made illegal, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty? According to Phil Cooke, in his book Branding Faith, the latest research comparing the values, morals, habits of Christians is now indistinguishable from non-Christians! But Romans 12:1 calls those of us who follow Christ to live an entirely different kind of life to those who don't know Christ. We are to have different values- we are to prize God's Word, talking to God in prayer, fellowshiping with other Jesus-followers, loving our closest family members, we watch different TV, read different magazines, listen to different music, have different morals- we understand that life is not just about the here-and-now but that everything we do will be accounted for to a holy God who is going to judge us on The Day of Judgment. We have different habits - we treat people with undue respect - we start every day by reading God's Word, when we have a problem we commit it to God, the first thing we do with our weekly income is to present an offering to God, and we make sure that everyday Sunday is set aside for worship in church.
Romans 12:2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

This is one of the reasons why it has been so important for us as a church to focus on the remainder of Romans 12, especially the portion between verses 9-21. We have been focussing on this vitally important in our Bible Study Groups (you can download those studies here), our Sunday evening services, and other pulpit time. The major reason for this is that we want to follow Christ and bring the most glory to Him. These 27 imperatives in this passage can only cause followers of Christ to be noticeably different to those who do not live for Christ. But perhaps the most important aspect of this passage is that it requires followers of Christ to live in community as the church. When believers live in community with their brothers and sisters they can't help but stand out from the crowd. This is why meeting together each Sunday for expressing worship, expounding the Word, and experiencing fellowship is critically important for us.
Romans 12:3I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. (THE MESSAGE)

In John 17:15-16, Jesus prayed that His followers would be "in" the world (living with, playing with, working with, talking to, helping out, non-Christians), but not "of" the world (acting like, thinking like, believing like, those who do not follow Christ and honour His Father). Christians are different. And we should be careful to be different for the right reason: to show the glory of Christ to the world. The good news is, as Romans 12:3 points out, that it is God who enables His people to live differently. When we fail God though, we have the knowledge that God will hear our prayer for forgiveness, heal us and restore us into loving fellowship with Himself. May God help us to be different. The world is waiting to know if Jesus really does make a difference.


Saturday, 1 August 2009


Why Marriage Is Between A Man & Woman

By Dr Andrew Corbett, Author of "What Is A Family?", 1st August 2009

Arguing against same-gender couple “marriage” feels like arguing against square-circles. Yet this is what we are being asked to do. This can be done in three ways. Firstly, we can reiterate why marriage is between a man and a woman. This is like being asked to defend the roundness of circles. Secondly, we can argue from nature that marriage is naturally between a man and a woman. This is like arguing that round things are circular. Thirdly, we can argue that two people of the same gender cannot ever be considered “married”. This is like arguing that even though a square claims to be a circle its claims are hampered because it has four sides.


The purpose of marriage has always been to unite a man and a woman (to the exclusion of all others) so that they can have and raise children in the most natural and secure way. Thus marriage has occurred since the beginning of time and in every culture. The welfare of children has to be one of the highest values for a society. Raising children in a safe, secure, nurturing, and wholesome way is the best way to ensure that these children grow into upstanding, community-minded, contributing members of society.

Therefore, marriage between a man and a woman is biologically necessary to produce children. It is also biologically necessary for the raising of children. In my book, What Is A Family? I give the research to support this premise that children are best raised by their own biological mum and dad. The next best is where they are raised by a mum and a dad.

Biology does matter when it comes to marriage. Therefore, it is not bigotry to restrict marriage to a man and woman – it’s biology!

[read the full article] Printable Edition