Monday, 28 February 2011

The irony of tyranny

In the first chapters of Job, we are provided with a celestial backdrop to human adversity. The rest of the book is characterised by dramatic irony.

In real life today, there is the same dramatic irony, but we can see little of the backdrop by unaided insight. We are much like Job's 'comforters', only more inclined to blame God, rather than our tragic heroes, the poor, for sudden or sustained misfortune.

The truth is that even poor men, like Job, fail to see their latent capacity for self-righteous self-deception. How does Cromwell overthrow Royalists, only to accept £100,000 a year as Lord Protector and accept the customary address of 'Your Highness'?

Poverty in itself is not virtue, nor is it retribution. It is temporal, it can be largely undone by the blessing of human fairness and decency. It can even be viewed as a blessing by those who see the deception of worldly wealth and the potential for tyranny in the humblest human soul.

Of course, this does not exonerate the classes and nations that ignore the poverty that they impose on their neighbours, nor should victims of poverty endure it interminably without any relief that we can provide.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Gospel of God!

It started 2000 years ago, with the miraculous healing and forgiveness ministry of Jesus Christ. At that time, God began a bold new initiative (that continues to this day) to exercise His love towards Man and His limitless supremacy over natural hardships and supernatural evil, overturning every imaginable kind of harm. Salvation is God's great and final rescue mission: eternal amnesty and healing through His Son, the Messiah Jesus. I don't care how big the problem is: whether health, money, or most of all your own conscience, God can fix it when you rely upon His Son, Jesus to guide your thoughts to the answer.

Jesus described His Father's loving outreach towards you, me and a largely thankless world saying, ''the Kingdom of God is at hand'. God, graciously looking beyond our failure to live by the rule of loving equality: the LAW OF EVERY CONSCIENCE. God: confronting and overcoming the resulting corruption of our health, morality and social fabric, the world as we know it. God: exercising extraordinary power through ordinary messengers, like me, to transform lives, one soul at a time. God: supernaturally empowering us to reach a new and higher personal relationship with Him and each other. The goal: to restore us and bestow eternal greatness on our complete humanity (body, mind and spirit), saved at last from the finality of mortal destruction.

This higher Father-Son relationship with God will transform and captivate your life forever. It gives a new beginning to those who might, like you, be open to change, undoing all the fear and despair that confront our fragile humanity.

I'm sure that the numerous miracles of Jesus challenged the assumptions of his contemporaries (as they do, ours) about the remoteness of an angry, distant God who we might think has abandoned man to the misery of  depravity and destruction.

The good news is that the whole of mankind's destiny isn’t total annihilation. The good news is that we can be saved from destruction. When an alcoholic turns from bottle to bible, it's good news! When a prostitute turns from perversion to the Prince of Peace, it’s good news! When a prideful churchman is humbled enough to abandon empty rituals for a relationship with God, it’s good news! When those who are largely thoughtless of God begin to think about Him again, it’s good news!

Most of all, the gospel proves that mankind is wrong about the character of the true and living God. We have accepted the twisted notions that God is either too soft to impose exact justice, or only angry and waiting for us to mess up. However, the true and living God is really only waiting for us to despair of our relentless desire to plunder HIs providence for selfish gain and to rule without His guidance. He waits for us to ask in prayer for the chance to come back under His protection. He's never stopped loving us.

That is every true prophet's cry: Come to your senses and realise that God wants a restored relationship in your thoughts and actions. He wants to overturn and surpass our frail human circumstances forever. It's an immense opportunity. Seize the moment to make things right with God: to wipe the slate clean and clear your conscience.

Look at the rich and powerful and ask yourself whether they are truly secure. They are panicked by anything that affects the state of the economy. They fear their own mortality. They fear the envious. They fear dispossession. Worldly ambition is fragile and futile at best. Only further inevitable harm and total deprivation lies in that direction. Surely, you can see how this works at cross-purposes to God's desire for loving equality among us all.

If your desire is to free your conscience, join God's family in the rite of baptism, calling upon Jesus, who opened the door to God for you through the amnesty of His sinless blood. As you pray through Jesus, admit those selfish wrongs that have weighed down your conscience. Restore anything you’ve taken from others. In so doing, you will find moral cleansing, empowerment to do right and eternal peace with God.