Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Why Western governments are keen to destroy the family

If . . . marriage is transformed into a temporary arrangement for the satisfaction of the sexual impulse and for mutual companionship, which is not intended to create a permanent social unit, it is clear that the family loses its social and economic importance and that the state will take its place as the guardian and educator of the children. . . . Hence it is easy to understand the reasons for the hostility of the Communist, and even the milder type of Socialist, represented by Mr. Bernard Shaw, to the traditional code of sexual morality and to the old form of marriage, since the destruction of these is an indispensable condition for the realization of their social ideals.

Christopher Dawson
“Christianity and Sex” (1933)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

How secondary issues are connected to the gospel

Take manners, for example. Manners can be described as love in trifles, love at the periphery. The collapse of manners in our society — a peripheral thing, surely! — represents a true downgrade. But here is Chesterton: “Love of humanity is the commonest and most natural of the feelings of a fresh nature, and almost everyone has felt it alight capriciously upon him when looking at a crowded park or on a room full of dancers.” Those activities are out at the edges, but by looking at the edges we can see the centre. You give the last piece of pie to God, who doesn’t eat pie, by giving it to your neighbour, who does. That is the point of courtesy, manners, etiquette — consider 1 Pet. 2:17; 3:7; 1 Tim. 5:17; 6:1; Eph. 6:2; Rom. 12:10; 13:7.
For more examples and some lucid thinking on this important subject, read the rest of Doug's post here

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Parliament of Whores

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

From P J O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores, a humourist's account of the perversity of bloated government spending and the questionable competence of democratically elected leaders. 

Monday, 31 March 2014

How well should pastors be paid?

I am very blessed to be ministering in a denomination that cares well for her clergy (in terms of how much it pays and the numerous generous provisions it accords such as a big vicarage which is maintained and repaired at hardly any cost to me, the paying of council tax, paying for moving costs, mileage allowance, etc, etc). That said, I found R CSproul Jr's article on how well ministers should be paid, a very helpful piece (and it would become even more relevant if ever I embarked on church planting!), Here is a taster:
I'd encourage a church to aspire to these goals, in this order. First, give freely and joyfully. The pastor is not spending the church's money when he is paid. Tithers are not buying stock in the man and do not become a board of directors managing his household budget. Don't determine where and how he should give by paying him little. Second, aspire to free your pastor from financial pressure. A shepherd should not be spending his time and energy worrying about how he will pay the electric bill. Third, give the man some dignity. He has studied long. He works hard. "Worthy of double honour" (I Timothy 5:17) may be difficult to define precisely but it should at least mean that the pastor is paid well enough that he can pick up a check from time to time, and is not always dependent, like a servant, on the occasional, unexpected generosity of his friends. Fourth, pay him well enough that he is able to give with great generosity.
Read the full thing here

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tolkien on Sundays being special

From his poem The Prancing Pony:
And O! the rows of silver dishes
and the store of silver spoons!
For Sunday there's a special pair,
And these they polish up with care
on Saturday afternoons.
There's a lot I like about that, not least of which is the intimation that Sundays are different given that this Day has it's own special cutlery. In addition to different cutlery + crockery, our household also allows the children special drinks, we usually have a special meal (as it's Mothering Sunday today, I'm cooking the family some lamb J) and the children are allowed extra chocolate. All that in addition to meeting with the Lord in His people earlier in the day. What's not to like about Sunday?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

God is easily pleased

“Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise. You can wash dishes, repair a machine, sell a product, write a computer program, grow a crop, and raise a family for the glory of God.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, page 79