Tag Archives: Christian Journeying Sharing

Truth & simplicity

I am reading a book by the Anglican Bishop Tom Wright called ‘Simply Christian’. The title intrigued me as I don’t find being a Christian simple at all  but staying faithful to the teachings of Jesus a hard path to follow at times . I wanted to discover why Bishop Tom sees it so simply. The book outlines the relevance of the Bible and the Christian story for the contemporary world and in explaining God’s plan, reveals the central importance of Jesus and what it means to follow him. From time to time I get a little over excited about the concept of truth, and found Bishop Tom’s description (below) very helpful, so I wanted to share it on this blog:

” The quest for truth. for reality, for what we can be sure of, is infinitely more complicated than simple yes-and-no questions will allow. There is appropriate  complexity and appropriate simplicity. The more we learn, the more we discover that we humans are fantastically complicated creatures. Yet on the other hand, human life is full of moments when we know that things are also very, very, simple…We honour and celebrate our complexity and our simplicity by continually doing 5 things. We tell stories. We act out rituals. We create beauty. We work in communities. We think out beliefs. ..In and through all these things run the threads of love and pain, of fear and faith, of worship and doubt, of the quest for justice, the thirst for spirituality, and the promise and problem of human relationships. And if there is such a thing as ‘truth’, in some absolute sense, it must relate to, and make sense of, all this and more.”

Ah, so the God’s honest truth is as simple as that mate!

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Carry on nurse…what’s all the fuss for?

Praying nurse Caroline

Praying nurse Caroline

So nurse Caroline Petrie who was suspended for offering to pray for a patient has now been reinstated. The media is full of  the rights and wrongs of Christians vs political correctness and the language of triumph and victory pervades it all. After the  defeat of the Christian BA worker who wasn’t allowed to wear her cross – the Evangelical Christians have their victory with Caroline’s reinstatement and are really milking it. Whoever you think are the good guys and the bad guys in this case,  let’s explore what is at the heart of this story.

As far as I can see it’s no more than a question. Ok, so it wasn’t “can I get you a drink?, or “would you like a takeaway?”, or “what football team do you support?”, but simply would you like prayer? As we now  know, the patient politely declined but wasn’t in any way offended or upset by the question.

Now it’s not for me to go into research studies which prove or disprove the power of prayer, or go on at length about people I have seen healed as a result of prayer, but honestly, what harm could that question do? Have we found anyone who would be seriously upset or offended by it?

We seem to get so concerned about anything around faith being misconstrued we decide to play it safe with our over zealous political correctness- could we have got this wrong?  I have spoken to  ardent atheists who have no problem being asked that question, indeed one person I know has valued the approach of Christian medical staff and their prayers and remains a firm athesist. If you believe there is nothing to pray to then why would you be  worried and what harm can it do? She did not feel threatened or upset- in fact just the opposite. Many of us want to believe in miracles even if we don’t.

If a Muslim or Jewish nurse offered to pray for me I would graciously accept ther prayer even though I do not share their faith- I’d like to take all the help I could get.

So how about this prayer for the weekend:

Dear God (if you are there)

Help those in need (if you can) and give us the faith (if we’re capable) to do what it takes (if we can be bothered) to help each other (without meaning or taking offence) in any way we can.

Amen (or fingers crossed)

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Whose thought is it anyway?

BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day remains closed to secularists and some non-religious figures are getting a bit hot under the collar. Today’s Guardian newspaper and website has the secularist case put by author and broadcaster Claire Rayner with Giles Fraser arguing that the current slot should be left as it is.

Over the last few weeks or so we’ve had argument around evolution, praying nurses, atheist bus adverts and that old church and state chestnut wheeled out by those who feel that the best way to champion the case for secularism or faith is to embarrass, bash, argue and undermind those who don’t see things quite their way.  We van use up all the newsprint and TV and radio airtime on these issues and we will probably find that those doing the talking are the very worse people to engage the wider public in an open and honest debate. The people who write, blog and broadcast on these matters have usually made up their mind and just use their platform telling  you  why you should see things their way.

Well I’m going to make you a promise right here and right now. On this blog I will tell you what I feel, what I experience and  even what I believe but I will not tell you what to think. I wouldn’t presume to insult your intelligence.

I believe in  a God who  gave you a brain to use it for yourself and think things through; the Bible even suggests the need to work out your own salvation. So, it’s not their thought for the day but yours which counts in my book. What you think is important and interesting to me with all your loves,doubts, fears, joys, and hopes. So go on, make my day and let me have your thought for the day.

 

You can listen to Thought for the Day by following this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/thought/

You can follow the Guardian debate at this link http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/06/religion-another-thought-for-the-day1

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More unfinisheds than I realised

I wondered if I’d be the only one out in blog land to describe myself as an unfinished Christian – how wrong could I be. I came across the blog of Rev Dr John Montgomery from Canada. John’s passion is to encourage people to ask and live the question of faith and accept that there are different ways to be a Christian- Amen to that!

John writes “I see the journey of faith as a pilgrimage that needs to be walked daily no matter where it will take you.”

Does two of us constitute a movement and should I start to have T-shirts made up?

Read about John’s journey at http://www.peopleoftheway.blogspot.com/

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Well here I go!

I know, I know, everyone is blogging so why me and why now? Well, I don’t know if I will be able to keep this up, or even if it’s really my thing  (being English), but  as I journey along in life as an incomplete and unfinished Christian, I thought it would be good to share some musings as I go.  From time to time I guess I will give some personal thoughts and views on a whole range of things and ask you for your views. So, if you also  consider yourself an unfinished Christian and think we can share together, pray together and learn together then get in touch via this blog and let’s see where we can go together.

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