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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

When did we forget?

When did we forget how to smile and say thank you?
When did we forget how to help an old lady across the street?
When did we forget how to give?
When did we forget selflessness and consideration?

When did we forget what our ancestors fought for?
When did we forget the value of hard work and the concept of an honest day’s wage?
When did we forget those who fought for and served us in wars?
When did we forget the sacrifices of life, limb and family made?

When did we forget the value of a life?
When did we forget the pain of childbirth?
When did we forget care and compassion?
When did we forget how to forgive and show mercy?

When did we forget the value of a kind word and gentle smile?
When did we forget how to keep our promises/ vows?
When did we forget decency, modesty and respect?
When did we forget how to love unconditionally?

When did we forget true friendship and loyalty?
When did we forget how to be good neighbours?
When did we forget how to be a community?
When did we forget how to do right?

Surely, it’s not too late to remember,
Our history, our past, our heritage,
If only we could begin to remember
I wager the world would be better.
                                                             - Ngozi Ozemela

Monday, 26 August 2013

Of Truth, Scandal and the Church...

So the whole internet-sphere, blogosphere and social media sphere has been awash with the confession of one Ese Walter. For those who somehow haven’t read it yet, it’s here. This is the most recent of all the scandals that the ‘church’ (by this I mean the entirety of Christendom not a particular church or denomination) of recent has been plagued with and it seems to be getting more and more common sadly.

What’s my take on the issue? I think the first question on everybody’s mind is: Is it true? At first glance, I am inclined to believe the lady’s story. I mean no sane human being knowing the sort of backlash that would likely ensue especially given the society and culture and environment she is in, knowing the condemnation sure to follow will release such a tale and go so far as to publicly identify HERSELF even have her account publicly accessible and her photo shared. Ese would know the names she would be called and the curses coming her way yet she still went ahead. That alone is enough to make me think she is telling the truth. Of course, in UK there have been cases of women accusing men of rape and going so far as to have these men arrested only to be proven false, so this is not conclusive enough.  And let’s not forget the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife’s false accusation.

Now, assuming Ese Walter is speaking the truth, the next question is: Did she handle the issue the right way? Is publishing a story publicly ‘naming and shaming’ (so to speak) the right thing? Before I comment let’s see what Jesus prescribed. Matthew 18:15-17

1       1. Private discussion. Vs 15: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his     fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
2    2. Witnesses. Vs 16: “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the         mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
      3. Calling Out. Vs 17: “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” It is worth noting that the original Greek word used for church in this verse is ekklÄ“sia, from a compound of ek ex and a derivative of kaleo; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly, church. (just for the record according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, calling out means To cause to assemble or to challenge to a duel. In essence the entire Church (in essence the entire body of Christ is entitled to know the truth... the heads can decide whatever action to take)

If, therefore, Ese is telling the truth in her confession, I am convinced she has gone about it the right way using Jesus’ words above.

Next question:  To respond or not? Some have said the accused should respond. Well, let’s remember the in Bible…and in life… everyone is different. That one person responds immediately doesn’t mean another should. I mean Jesus responded to the Pharisees a lot, and yet when he was about to be crucified, he refused to respond to the same Pharisees and to Pontius Pilate. Mind you, in this instance, I don’t believe he needs to consult an oracle to know that he needs to respond if the story is false. Then again, I am not God so…..

I think a very crucial issue for Christians is how do you as an impartial observer respond? No, I don’t believe in the ‘Pastor X for life propaganda and he can do no wrong and she is a sl**, she is bringing curse on herself, all those accusing are cursing themselves’ but I don’t support the ‘good for him, ehen the truth is out, I’m not surprised, that XChurch sef’ crusaders who seem to be almost gleeful in their response. SO what then should our response be? The Bible says this:

Proverbs 24:17 - “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,”
Matthew 7:1 - “Judge not, that you be not judged           “
1 Corinthians 13:6 - “It [love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”

I believe the appropriate response should be to wait for a response from the accused to be furnished in due course. If necessary all facts pro and against should be shown. As for me, I hope it is not true, not because I worship at COZA, I don’t, but because whether we like it or not, we are all part of the body of Christ and when one part fails, the rest feel it. 1 Cor 12:26-27: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

If it turns out to be true, I am still sad and hope that the pastor in question gets help and settles it with God until then I don’t feel it appropriate for him to have a leadership position in church. If proven true, the response should be along the lines of ‘it’s sad but it is helpful that the truth is out lest others be led astray.’

Whatever the case, I don’t believe anyone should automatically decide to condemn a church or stop attending unless God specifically convicts you too, after all one man does not a church make. Whatever the truth let’s remember that the Bible says there is nothing done in secret that will not be revealed. Until then, whatever we do, whatever church we attend we should always make sure we cross-reference whatsoever words a pastor speaks with the word of God. No man is above reproof and no, not one of us is above sin; we are all guilty one way or another.

Ultimately, rather than use this as a chance to advance an anti-church agenda or play the blame game, this should be a reminder to each of us to look inward and ask God for the grace to keep ourselves until we are called home. Remember 1 Cor 10:12, ' Therefore let he who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.' 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

SANTA who?

So today, I decided I wouldn't be teaching my children to ‘believe’ in ‘Satan Lucas a.k.a. Santa Claus’. Nice rearranging of letters, don’t you think?
You see since the beginning of time, satan has been looking for ways to upstage God. In fact that was what got him in trouble in the first place. Isaiah 14:13-14
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

The greatest fallacy he wanted to perpetuate and still wants to ‘being like the Most High.’ There is only one Most High and no-one else. Notice that in his arrogance he still acknowledged that there was only one Most High. Thus he didn't say I will become THE Most High, just that he would BE LIKE the Most High.

Even the Bible in 1 Peter 5:8 refers to him as ‘like a roaring lion...’. Remember that Jesus is THE LION of the tribe of Judah. In the Garden of Eden, he tried to upstage God’s creation and make them become his. That didn't really work and didn't sit well with God. So he changed tactics. Let’s ruin the bloodline. He sent the ‘sons of God’ otherwise referred to as the fallen angels (there’s a whole bunch of Bible theology discussing that which I won’t go into) to mate with human beings and thus defile human blood. Gen 6:2-4. Vs 4 says ‘There were Giants...’, as a result of satan’s meddling there were Giants. Let’s take a closer look. The Hebrew word for Giant as used in Gen 6 vs 4 is ‘nephı̂yl’ or ‘nephil’ (nef-eel). I believe this is where the discussion about the ‘nephilim’ originates. But I digress. The word is nephil, and it means ‘a feller, that is a bully or tyrant. So these ‘nephil’ may or may not have been giants stature-wise, but they were bullies, this we can be certain on. So as a result of satan’s work, bullies were born. So what did God do? Sent a flood and wiped every last one of them out!

So with all these and I'm sure many more examples of satan’s attempts to upstage God it was inconceivable that he would let the birth of Jesus go unsullied. Nope that opportunity was too good to pass up. Hence the birth of ‘Santa Claus’ aka ‘Satan Lucas’. All I have done is rearrange the letters in the names. So ‘Santa Claus’ that everyone including me alludes to when we celebrate Christmas, we are actually without realizing it celebrating satan himself.

I was reading an article about a ‘man of God’ and I came across a comment that said santa and satan, now for the life of me I cannot seem to find said comment, however, it got me thinking. And I started looking at my Bible, it can’t be a coincidence that the names can be rearranged. You see, first Christmas became commercialised, gifts galore etc. Then it became X-Mas. A mass not celebrating any known entity (Christmas i.e Christ’s Mass). Then it became be good or Santa Claus won’t give you any gift etc.

Now, why did I get ‘Lucas’in the mix. Lucas means bringer of light. Lucifer means, yup, you guessed it ‘bringer of light’. Lucas is a variation of Lucius which is a variation of, again you guessed it Lucifer. It would have been too obvious if he rearranged Lucifer, so he had to do it a little subtly. For those who choose name their children Lucas or Lucius or Lucia or Lucy etc, this is no way a commentary on their names. However, I think I’ll steer clear of using that name on mine. So Santa Claus, actually means, Satan Lucas, that is the accuser (Satan) and bringer of light (Lucas). What do you know Santa brings gifts for kids that have been good and canes for kids that have been bad. Hmm...coincidence? Me think not. Now these days more people know about Santa during Christmas than about Jesus or should I say more people acknowledge Santa than Jesus. Yup, the deceiver at work, trying to take away attention from the word of God. As always, the Lord will always bring to light the machinations of the evil one and expose to those who ask God for wisdom and his (the deceiver, devil) plan always fails.

All I am saying, people, is if you do not know and are not entirely certain of the origin of anything, be careful. Anything that takes away the meaning of Christmas and draws away from the birth of Christ CANNOT BE GOOD, I do not care what you say. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against celebrating Christmas as the birth of Christ, neither am I against gift-giving, (if you are taking notes, I would prefer a deep purple Lamborghini with purple upholstery and silver lining PLEASE); what I am against is replacing the celebration of Jesus during Christmas with celebrating ‘Santa’(visiting Santa at grottos etc). When did it become acceptable to sing ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ at Christmas instead of ‘A child is born in Bethlehem’ or ‘Noel Noel born is the King of Israel’?

#Just my thoughts and study. Please feel free to disagree and provide biblical proof. Have a blessed new year all!