Monday, 24 February 2014

Jonah Part IV ……

I was listening to the sermon on Part IV of Jonah (yes, I did not attend church for Parts II and III) and something the preacher said struck a note with the recent TEDx talk I watched on YouTube by a 13 yo in the US. I was a bit irritated by the whole TEDx shebang and the boy's premise: School does not teach you how to be happy, it should. In the sermon, the preacher said the opposite. I am going to post the two videos for you to explore. First up the TEDx talk:

Now Jonah Part IV (esp at around 4:49ff):

23-02-14.m4v from Barneys Broadway on Vimeo.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Ruminations after Sunday Sermon: The Book of Jonah ......

It is 2014 and my resolution is to be more active blogging on matter on faith and theology. After a longish holiday, we attended our first Sunday Service in 2014 (in February!!) (see here for our church). The pastor started a new series on the Book of Jonah (see here for a vidcast). Was a bit disappointed he did not develop the sermon to a sufficient depth. Usually he is pretty good but not this Sunday.

One thing stuck in my head and I have decided to blog more actively using the sunday sermons as a launching pad for ruminations and peregrinations.

Hayden (the pastor) introduced the Book of Jonah and jumped straight into the story, which he called the hiding and proceeded to the seeking (mainly by God) (Hide and Seek). On dealing with the hiding and running away by Jonah, disobeying God's orders to preach to the Ninevites, I thought Hayden could have paused here and observed Jonah's frame of mind and motivation, especially in the light of one of the points of his sermon which is the call to share/preach the gospel. There is a lesson here and I will call it the temptation to judge or make a judgment.

It seems Jonah judged the city of Nineveh as not being "worthy" of salvation (admittedly Hayden pointed this out by referencing Jonah's words from the end of the Book where he exclaimed: "I told you so!" Jonah knew that god will be swayed by the repentance of the Ninevites and spare the city).

So my thots: How often we rush to judge, either without sufficient information, knowledge or wisdom? How often we are "blinded" by our prejudices against certain groups of people?

The short answer to these attitudes/motivations/frame of mind is if we fast forward a few centuries to Paul's exhortation: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Two examples of when I/we am/are quick to judge "wrongly" it seems:
1) we see a parent in the supermarket with a child throwing a tantrum and we think "that parent should get the child under control." What is your response? What is/should be a better response?
2) we see a person behaving in a certain manner or believing a certain teaching/doctrine/truth, and conclude that he/she is not/cannot be a christian 'cos he/she does not behave in the appropriate christian-like manner.

If to make an adequate judgment requires sufficient knowledge and wisdom, then by definition, us humans are not qualified. In matters of more eternal nature, ie, who is/is not a christian, the imperative not to judge is even more critical. I am of the persuasion that we just do not know and only God knows.

Perhaps this will be the topic of a future blog, ie, on the indicia of belief/belonging and the so-called fruits of discipleship.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Parenting, Children and Making a living

One of the most difficult question to be faced by parents of a newly-born child is employment. One or two? Full-time or part-time? Employment or self-employment?

I don't have the answer but here is a report of how not to get the answer because the question is wrong ! (BTW, I am very big on the concept of asking the correct/relevant question, a legacy of my reading of Martin Heidegger - I will blog on this in a future blogpost).

Which of the following question is wrong?
“In your opinion, what is the ideal situation for young CHILDREN: mothers working full-time, mothers working part-time, or mothers not working at all outside the home?”

“In your opinion, what is the ideal situation for young CHILDREN in two-parent homes: both parents working full-time, one parent working part-time, or one parent not working at all outside the home?”