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Showing posts from October, 2019

Reflection on Blasphemy

I think blasphemy is often misunderstood. Most people understand blasphemy in terms of: Not taking the Lord's name in vain. In English - Blasphemy: the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk. The English definition speaks more about how people are offended than about how God might be offended.  The great concern is about how people use the name of God and thus Jews will write G-d instead of God or speak of HaShem - the name; without daring to pronounce the name denoted by YHWH. In the Old Testament there are a few occasions where people insult God and the community stones them; in the case of Jezebel and Naboth; Jezebel employs scoundrels to accuse Naboth of cursing God's name and he is killed as a result.  In this case we see an abuse and misunderstanding of the law - Jezebel blasphemes the Lord all the time but gets away with it most of the time because she is royalty. In the New Testament Blasphemy is more

Table View Methodist 2019-10-27

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The internet and Whatsapp got very excited this week when a pastor posted his feelings about a Matric art exhibition in Richard’s Bay.  It prompted a lot of discussion with people taking sides about how Christ should be depicted and asking the question:  What if another religion’s gods were depicted in this way? Christians are not offended by any depiction of God because we believe in Christ who was crucified: In response to the concern expressed I wrote the following: The devil would love you to think that skulls and torn up Bibles are evil. The worst thing that could ever happen. They're not. Evil looks like a world in which the rich can get / buy a decent education and the poor are stuffed 50 in a class with pit toilets and no water. Evil looks like the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. Spooky creepy people with kudu horns on their heads aren't evil. They're just creepy. Skulls aren't evil. They remind us of mortality. If Jesus were to wal

Pastoral Note 2019-10-20

Minister’s Blog Hi Table View Methodist Family, As we reflect on the Apostle’s Creed we’ve spoken about how believe changes the way we see things.  CS Lewis writes: I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. To believe changes the way we see everything.  The way we prioritize our lives; the way we understand our own existence.  Because we believe that God created the world we believe it has a purpose that turns toward the good.  Despite the difficulty of the times we experience we put our trust in God for a hopeful future. Believing in Jesus means we trust in the nature of who God is - Jesus who heals.  The leper who returned to Jesus to give thanks recognized that Jesus was the true mediator of life and healing; and when he gave thanks he was made ‘well’; more than just cleansed. This Sunday as we continue to explore the creed we reach some difficult points; things that we oft

Pastoral Note 2019-10-20

Minister’s Blog Hi Table View Methodist Family, This is the Apostle’s Creed as used by the Methodist Church: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. Over the next few weeks as I preach and teach I will be reflecting on what it means to declare this faith.   Of interest is the fact that the Apostle’s Creed was not meant to be a ‘summary of the faith’ it was really a response to some fal

Pastoral Letter - 2019-10-6

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Minister’s Blog Hi Table View Methodist Family, I’m looking forward to sharing communion with you this Sunday at 845 and 11am.   I missed you last week as I travelled to the Vredenberg part of our circuit to baptise Rev Masoabi’s daughter Babalwa at the Witteklip Society just outside Vredenberg.   I also conducted the Sunday Service at the Velddrif Society.   As a family we took advantage of the trip to stay in Paternoster for the weekend so I had a lovely working holiday :) Thank you. From Tuesday through to Thursday the ministers of the Cape of Good Hope Synod met at the Manyano Center in Paarl where we had excellent input from the South African Faith and Family Institute about Gender Based Violence.   And a presentation about Gang Violence on the Cape Flats and what the church can do.   The problems we face in our communities are sometimes so big that they seem impossible to confront.   But as we sing: “God is big!” we remember that with God’