Much of religion is focused on what we shouldn’t do and why we shouldn’t do it. Undoubtedly there are things that we do to ourselves and others that cause pain and hurt. But is living in the constant fear of messing up and what that might mean, a good and free way of living for a Christian. There is a difference between not doing A so that B won’t happen (fear driven behavior) and choosing to live in another way, so that this will happen (Love driven behavior).
When it comes to addressing issues like porn addiction a more helpful approach is to move away from highlighting the shame that it might cause you and your community and instead focusing on how bringing it to light will bring life and joy and fullness instead.
Love always trumps shame.
So as a compliment to a recent blog post I read by Tim Challies on why you should stop looking at porn I want to offer some thoughts on how we should think about sin and 7 alternative reasons to not look at porn. Continue reading
….If it is it’s not a very good one. Sure we have the 10 commandments, but then we have King David, a relative of Jesus who cheats, lies, kills people to get to their wives, causes wars and altogether gets up to no good.
And God considers David a man “after his own heart”? Continue reading
If you’ve been keeping track of the latest season of Louie, you will have seen the show take a slightly different route than previous seasons. For a couple of recent episodes most of the comedic noir take on life of a divorced, stand up comic Dad with his two daughters in New York has been exchanged for a more poignant perspective on Fatherhood. Especially coping with the challenges of facing up to the same mistakes you made as a kid coming back to haunt you through your own kids. Continue reading
In the world we live in today it is easier to put your voice out there than in anytime in history before. Anyone can publish their opinions as a blog or as a tweet. We can share pictures instantly with anyone, anywhere around the world. It is pretty amazing when you think about it.
One of the ways that social media has been particularly beneficial is through the spreading of ideas. More so, the spreading of ideas that can change people’s lives for the better. Sometimes, something comes along that goes viral. Not since the invention of the television have we seen anything with quite the same effect as the internet has had on news and media.
You may remember two years ago when Invisible Children launched their Kony 2012 campaign. Continue reading
The bigger your audience becomes or the more comments your received on your last post or the more retweets your tweets got, the more people will disagree with you.
You’ll get more haters too and people who never seemed interested in your work before will come out of the woodwork and tell you every single thing you are doing wrong. They’ll probably not be very nice about it either.
You have two choices as I see it. Continue reading
If a group of local people were to make a man from a racial minority feel intimidated and discriminated by erecting signs reading “local housing, 4 local people” outside the home he was about to move into; most people would assume this was a racist attack.
Most people in this case it would seem, do not include the Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson.
For the DUP leader, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a goose. Continue reading
There is a well known saying in Christian circles that the church is not a building but the people.
A few years ago when we were part of a new church plant in Belfast that met in a pub, people gave us weird looks when we told them where we gathered. Before that, when we met in a house, people who came to check it out would ask me “so what Church do you belong to?”… “Eh, this one” I would reply kind of confused.
Ensue awkward silence. Continue reading
There are times when you want to hide under a rock in life and for a good proportion of mine that was Father’s Day. I know friends who for them it is Mother’s Day or Christmas or Birthdays or anytime England play in the World Cup. Continue reading
Shame and guilt are one of the ways that many people have been put down and controlled by others and sometimes by themselves. We’re told constantly that as a Christian you can let go of guilt and shame. For some people this is extremely difficult to do. I mess up and it’s there greeting me with a snarky smug smile. Almost in a strange inevitable way I knew it would be there. Continue reading
At times it strikes me so obviously and clear, that I try to bring it to words but it’s as if the words are a fish in my hands. I can see it, I can feel and even smell it, but I never have a full grasp on it. Every time I think I have it, is the very moment that I don’t.
This is faith. Continue reading