Money to burn? (very brief thought!)

_77539301_86531200Some countries (like the USA) have a law banning the burning of money. One wonders why this might be an offence, which might lead to a fine or jail, especially if you subscribe to the philosophy that ‘my money is my own, to do with as I wish’ and so burning it would be entirely within your rights.

Might it be that a government does not wish for money to go ‘out of circulation’? In order for any economy to work and thrive, money must be exchanged between buyers and sellers, from employer to employee, between consumers and the providers of goods and services. Yes? It needs to flow through the pockets of society like a river flows through a city, giving life and power to everything. That makes sense to me.

So… why then would it not be an offence to take money and place it ‘offshore’? Is that not placing it ‘out of circulation’ from the society in which it was created? May as well just burn it, if you ask me!

Grace be with you.

21st Century Paraphrase: James 1:27 (true religion)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 NIV)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the rich and those who already have all they need and to keep oneself from being put off trying to emulate them by the bleeding hearts. (James 1:27 21CP)

21st Century Paraphrase: Matthew 7:6 (casting pearls before swine)

I shall undertake to do an occasional series of my own paraphrases of well-known verses from scripture, stylised and updated to reflect our modern culture.

‘Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matt.7:6 NIV)

‘Do not post online to trolls what is sacred; do not get embroiled in arguments on social media with imbeciles. If you do, they may trash your holy words with their politico-religious mantras, and turn again and again and troll you to death. (Matt.7:6 21CP)

Grace be with you.

I WORSHIP GOD! NOT G-d!!

Brief rant here! I’m getting sick and tired of seeing my Lord referred to all across social media as G-d! This must only come from the same superstition that led to the loss of the real pronunciation of YHWH! Yes, it was folk superstition, borne from the belief that God’s name was not to be taken in vain. Leaving aside all that that entails, it became a fear that if one were to mention the name of God out loud, one just might do something bad with it, so… let’s just ban anyone from actually saying it. Once the Hebrew language started dying, Masorete scribes began inserting vowel diacritics into the scriptures, but they deliberately put the wrong vowels into YHWH to prevent it being pronounced. Now, nobody really knows the exact pronunciation.

It’s nothing but fearful superstition, and now the modern marriage of our faith with just about everything Jewish, as if Judaism has wonderful holy insights into the gospel that we mere Gentiles are unworthy to really comprehend; it has led us to this nonsense! I understand my faith far better than anyone from the religion left behind by those who couldn’t see who he was, thank you!

How would we worship? “Oh Lord, our G-d…”??? Or pray? Stop it NOW! Before you lose out to common sense.

And his real name is Jesus. Wonderful, beautiful Jesus. Who calms my raging storm. Rant subsiding… thank you, Lord Jesus.

Grace be with you.

Quick thought for this day:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’

Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ (Matt.16:21-23)

Peter loved his Lord, Jesus, his teacher, master and friend. He acted in love in trying to protect him, to stand between him and a violent fate. We know of Jesus’ love for Peter too: despite the awful triple denial Peter shouted in fear, Jesus later displayed a beautiful, tearjerking act of restoration of their friendship and confirmed his loyalty to his disciple as he evoked Peter’s loyalty to him.

However, in this case, despite Peter’s motivation and good intentions, he uttered something that Jesus did not wish to hear. Our Lord’s response was one of utter condemnation, in no uncertain terms. He loved Peter, but would not condone what he said.

Grace be with you.

Spending what?

So there are promises that the costs of the floods here will be met? With what? I thought there wasn’t any money to go around! Funny how it can be found when needed… No, let’s rephrase that: Wanted! The Millennium Dome? London 2012? And has anyone seen Camp Bastion in Afghanistan? It’s a new city, with 5000 very expensive military vehicles!

So this money? To buy your votes?

Grace be with you.

Standing for our faith?

Probably my last blog until I finish my Masters. The birth of the royal baby last night has brought out the British republican in me! All my friends know my anti-royalist feelings, but I have to be careful to state ‘British republican’ since the very word ‘republican’ invokes loathing and fear among many Ulster Protestants. I’m NOT an Irish republican!

Or am I? Hmmmm, when I look around the world and see the church in countries where it is in a minority, or worse, facing genuine persecution (even to death!), I see a strong, vital core of true believers who put us to shame for their dedication and commitment. Contrast that with here, where evangelicals are a very large, vocal group, and the Protestants are a clear majority; are we not guilty of being a little too proud of who we are?

Surely ‘Christian pride’ is an oxymoron!? It’s the very ‘Protestant Pride’ thing that repels me from the 12th July. Ask yourself this: had the border never been drawn across Ireland, how would evangelical Protestants be faring now? What would we be like? Politically weaker? Spiritually stronger? Is our strength not to be found in our faith and his grace, rather than our representatives at Stormont?

Just something to mull over.

Grace be with you.