Showing posts from September, 2015

Future Church of England: A Surprising Clarity?

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV)

20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:20-21 ESV)

The convulsions of the Church of England and for that matter much of the Christian church in the west over the issue of same-sex relationships is pretty disastrous in terms of faithfulness, witness and pastoral care. There may, however, be something of a silver lining because of the surprising clarity it gives.

In short, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (amongst …

Don't be a scribe!

38 And in his teaching he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at feasts, 40 who devour widows' houses and for a pretence make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." (Mark 12:38-40 ESV)

As someone who quite often wears long robes for services, has people call him reverend and father fairly often and has a job that at least used to have a certain standing in society, when I was preaching on these verses in Mark recently I felt a little uncomfortable. I don't think I've devoured widows houses, but I'm pretty sure I've prayed for effect sometimes!

It's part of the section in Mark where the clash between old Israel and its leaders and new Israel and its leader is becoming so intense that it will lead to crucifixion and so the end of old Israel. The challenge in these verses is to see the hypocrisy …