Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Bridge Too Far

April 23, 2018

“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
2 Tim 2:19

Leaving a church is a sad thing, and should never be done lightly. However, if Motion 29 is passed at the forthcoming Anglican General Synod in early May, this will likely be our path.

What is “motion 29” and why would we break fellowship over it? Motion 29 will be discussed at Anglican General Synod 2018, May 4-11 2018. Motion 29 has two components:

  1. allowing bishops to authorise individual clergy to conduct services blessing same gender relationships … where the minister has satisfied him or herself that the relationship is loving, monogamous, faithful and the couple are committed to a life-long relationship.
  2. providing immunity from complaint for bishops and clergy for exercising their discretion on whether or not to authorise or conduct services of same gender blessings.

The idea is to provide a structure within the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, that allows same gender blessings, at the discretion of the local Bishop, and exempts these services from disciplinary action. The benefit of this is that it removes the “danger” from the topic. Bishops in favour of same gender blessings need not worry about being disciplined for holding services, and Bishops against likewise.

The problem here in my mind is: does this neat sidestep avoid an issue that actually needs to be addressed? The innovation here is the church “blessing same gender relationships”. Is the blessing of the church rightly to be applied here?

To determine the mind of God on a subject the first port of call for the church has always been the Bible. Fortunately for the enquirer, the direct scriptures regarding homosexuality are few, and surveying these we find that homosexuality is:

  • an Old Testament abomination, receiving the death penalty under Israelite law.
  • listed in the New Testament in the midst of a catalog of sins.
  • cited in the New Testament as a vile punishment from God on those who abandon Him for idolatry

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
Lev 18:22

If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 20:13

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Cor 6:9-10

The law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.
1 Tim 1:9-10

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Romans 1:22-27

Should the church bless that which is described in such terms? Homosexuality is not special, it is just one of many expressions of “sexual immorality” which deviate from God’s design of monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24

The teaching of the leadership at our Anglican church of St John’s is that “motion 29” is a gospel issue. The salvation of people is in danger if the Church affirms them in any practice of immorality.

So “motion 29” seems a bridge too far for me. I believe it is not being true to God, or a true witness to the world, to avoid making a decision over this issue by “providing immunity from complaint for bishops and clergy for exercising their discretion on whether or not to authorise or conduct services of same gender blessings.”

I believe that homosexuality truly does fall into the realm of “sexual immorality”, and that the church has been provided teaching in the Bible on how to deal with it. What the Anglican church should be doing is working out the process of church discipline, not exempting this particular example of immorality from discipline.

1 Corinthians 5 provides a perfect example of how immorality within the church should be handled:

For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
1 Cor 5:12-13

This episode involved a church that did not exercise internal discipline, but instead was proud of it’s inclusiveness of an unrepentant brother. Note that it is not just sexual immorality that is in view here.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!  And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
1 Cor 5:1-11

As a church we at St Johns continue to pray that the wider Anglican church in New Zealand would choose to NOT affirm “motion 29”. I think this would be a blessing and a shining light to our stumbling nation.

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
2 Cor 7:8-10

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Submission on End of Life Choice Bill

February 11, 2018

I am opposed to the “End of life” bill for the following reasons:

  1. The Hippocratic oath which guides the medical profession states in part “I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.” This bill is in direct contravention of this guiding principle of medicine.
    1. The World Medical Association states: “Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical“. ” The World Medical Association reaffirms its strong belief that euthanasia is in conflict with basic ethical principles of medical practice, and the World Medical Association strongly encourages all National Medical Associations and physicians to refrain from participating in euthanasia, even if national law allows it or decriminalizes it under certain conditions.
    2. The New Zealand Medical Association  is opposed to both the concept and practice of euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide. Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical. Doctor-assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical.
  2. This bill seeks to allow the practice of “assisted suicide” whereas the law of New Zealand has never before allowed this. The witness of previous generations is against this bill.
  3. Suicide is an action that is currently never recommended in New Zealand. Anyone contemplating suicide regardless of their situation is always directed to other actions by society and medical professionals. This ensures that situational factors, including the views of the individual, are always secondary to the value of the life of the individual. This ensures that the focus of treatment for suffering individuals is on their inalienable positive value to society, not on the negative forces they are experiencing. Suicide should never be provided as an option to anyone, particularly to those traumatized in experiencing extreme pain from physical and or mental causes. Rather, as it is today, society should always say “We love and need you. We will help to heal your pain.”
  4. Suicide in New Zealand is currently only an option for individuals who must perform this action alone contrary to the law, advice and practice of society. This provides a powerful deterrent to a deleterious practice that should be as rare as we can make it.

Points 1.1 and 1.2 above were not in my submission to the select committee.

The witness of God in the Holy Bible does not condemn suicide explicitly, but the following points can be taken:

    1. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man” – Genesis 9:6
    2. There are only two suicides recorded outside of time of war: Judas, the betrayer of Jesus Christ, and Ahithophel the betrayer of King David.
    3. Two leaders of Israel, Saul and Abimelech, both sought “assisted suicide” in war. Saul to avoid capture in defeat, and Abimelech to avoid the dishonor of being killed by a woman. In the case of Saul, the man who killed him was judicially executed:
      So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died. So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
      – 2 Samuel 1:14-16

A modern parable

June 16, 2014

“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”

– Jesus the Son of God

A King went away on a long journey leaving his three servants in charge of his country. Many years passed, and a message with the King’s seal came to his three servants. The message was read in their presence. “Prepare for my return on the third day”.

The first servant hated the King. He had been enjoying life without reference to the King’s wishes. Further he had received many reports that the King had been killed in battle years ago. The first servant laughed. “The King will not return! The King is dead! He has been proclaimed dead in this very court! This message is not from the King.”

The second servant loved the King and had never accepted the report of the King’s death. The reports readily accepted by the first servant had come from the King’s enemies. The second servant examined the message and verified the King’s seal upon it. “This message is from the King! The King returns!” he exclaimed. “We must ready ourselves!” The first servant looked with disdain on the second servant. “You fool! Your King is dead!”

Then the third servant stood and took up the message. The third servant loved some of the King’s laws, but had accepted the many reports of the King’s death. “Wait friends” he called. He stared intently at the message for some time. Finally he spoke: “This message is undoubtedly from the King, as it has his seal”. The first servant began to rise angrily from his throne. “However, this message does not herald the return of our King!” The second servant began to rise as the first servant subsided. “Hold brothers!” said the third servant. “The King is dead as most of us are aware, so this message must mean something else. I propose we hand this message to our finest scholars to determine its true meaning.”

“The King is dead” said the first servant, “but do as you wish.” The second servant said “It is the King’s seal, I at least will prepare for him”. The third servant retorted “Why? You fool!” “It cannot mean what you believe. The King is dead”.

Item on 3 News, Christchurch’s Forgotten Residents

July 25, 2012

http://www.3news.co.nz/Christchurchs-forgotten-residents/tabid/423/articleID/262058/Default.aspx

Freeview HD Channels in Christchurch

February 20, 2010

TVNZ 682000 (UHF channel 47, range 678Mhz to 686Mhz)

  • TV ONE (720p Upscaled)
  • TV TWO (720p Upscaled)
  • TVNZ 6 (576i SD)
  • TVNZ 7 (576i SD)
  • TVNZ Sports extra (576i SD)

Mediaworks 698000 (UHF channel 49, range 694Mhz to 702Mhz)

  • TV 3 (1080i)
  • C4 (576i SD)
  • TV3 PLUS 1

Kordia 706000 (UHF channel 50, range 702Mhz to 710Mhz)

  • PRIME (576i SD)
  • Parliament Tv (576i SD)
  • Maori Tv 4:3 with 16:9 flags (576i SD)
  • 3KSD
  • 4KSD
  • 5KSD
  • 6KSD
  • Tv Central
  • Radio NZ Concert
  • Radio NZ National
  • Freeview | HD

Technical Details

New Zealand DVB-T, DTT service operates in Bands IV/V between 502-806 MHz in 8 MHz channels. It uses the 8k FFT mode with 64 QAM modulation, a guard interval of 1/16 and an FEC of 3/4.  http://www.dvb.org

Britney I’m sorry

August 2, 2008

What a great song by Bebo Norman. I remember when Britney really lost it with Justin Timberlake. Her external beauty mirrors the real beauty that God sees in her. It is a real horror that she is so broken, but Bebo puts it so well. Wouldn’t it be great if Britney came back?

Britney im sorry for the lies we told
we took you into our arms and then left you cold
britney im sorry for this cruel cruel world
we sell the beauty but destroy the girl
britney im sorry for your broken heart
we stood aside and watched you fall apart
im sorry we told you fame would fill you up
and money moves the man so drink the cup

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back for you
yes coming back for you

britney im sorry for the stones we throw
we tear you down just so we can watch the show
britney im sorry for the words we say
we point the finger as you fall from grace

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
and i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back for you

yeah, its coming back for you, yeah, its coming back for you, yeah, its coming back for you, yeah

britney i do believe that love has come
here for the broken
here for the ones like us

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
and i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
i can see it coming back for you

its coming back for you… yeah