Posts Tagged ‘Adam’

Ok this is a pet hate of mine and it’s getting worse.

Social media has become the crowd of people shouting “crucify”. The amount of Amen’s I see to things that are either unbiblical or slightly dodgy but sound good is amazing, shockingly I have joined the fray, till I had a big wake up call.

Let me give you an example from yesterday.

“You should boycott Starbucks not because some crass fundamentalist dislikes their cups, but because they are serial tax evaders.”.

Sounds good doesn’t it? Boycotting, social justice etc etc. But I started asking questions. The person making the statement was a member of the Anglican Clergy, a Bishop (and someone who I actually really respect, he is a brilliant Christian, although in a high place in the church he is really down to earth).

Terrible Starbucks. But wait a second… Tax Evaders? Well technically they just have clever accountants, what they are doing is not illegal and in fact they have committed to paying more tax but they don’t legally have to. But what did boycotting really do?

  • It put low paid staff out of jobs (can you hear them saying “thanks for boycotting Starbucks, now I don’t have a job”)
  • it did the job of the UK Governments HMRC, they should have been the ones dealing with the tax not us
  • it told Starbucks that we think they should pay more tax, even though they are not legally required to do so

The problem is, in my view, boycotting Starbucks was the wrong way to do it, we should have gone after the Tax man (that makes a change, he’s normally after us!), we should have lobbied the government to take action to get in all the money large corporations legally use to avoid paying tax. In my view, boycotting Starbucks was simply fighting the wrong battle. Change needs to happen at the highest level. Then when we levy tax from the big corporations we GIVE IT TO THE LOWEST PAID in the form of tax credits.

What if we had lobbied Starbucks to give loads of money to charities? Wouldn’t that have been better? How much of our tax is wasted on needless bureaucracy, on expensive lunches or quangos writing huge reports no one is interested in?

Now to carry on beating up Starbucks I thought I would turn my attention to the Church of England. The Church of England is ofcourse a charity, that means that things we call profits in business are called surplus in charities, charities pay no tax (sorry Starbucks you should have set up as a charity). But wait. The church of England has  a massive property portfolio, they also have some huge investments which they make a tidy 65 million pounds from. But ofcourse this is not profit this is surplus. The legal structure is different.

So maybe if the Church of England want to wave the paying tax finger at Starbucks first they should pay tax themselves. “Ah”, you say, “But they don’t have to, they are  a charity”. To which I reply. Neither does Starbucks because they have a structure that ALLOWS them to legally not pay tax. Starbucks however have recently said they will pay more tax, even though they don’t legally have to.

Take the plank out of your own eye before you take the speck of wood out of someone else’s? If you want Starbucks to pay more tax than they are LEGALLY BOUND TO PAY, you have to do it first. If you want Starbucks to have Christian themed cups for Christmas, make sure every mug or cup in your home has a Christian theme. It’s basic Christianity. Don’t be a plank head.

Today, I saw someone post something about how it was better being Holy than Happy. So I asked the question, what do you think it means to be Holy? ofcourse people carry on going Amen often without a real understanding of what it means.

The time has come to stop saying “Amen” to things and start questioning those who post them. Be the one in the crowd who does not shout Crucify, but instead asks the question “What has he ACTUALLY done wrong, and am I doing exactly the same thing?”, “What do you mean by Holiness?”, “Why can’t I be happy and holy?”.

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I have for some time been thinking about the whole Communion thing. Not only Communion but Marriage, priesthood etc. and I am about to say something shocking…. but when you get a handle on it it gives us freedom.

Communion

In the church of England a Priest has to bless the bread and wine (consecrate it), ofcourse this has caused a bit of a problem where you don’t have a Vicar. Now ofcourse this would cause a bit of a problem for Jesus, ofcourse he was not ordained, or the disciples, or apostles.

The Breaking of Bread belongs to the Church world wide, but we could actually drop the ritual and make it much simpler, we could lose the “requirements” of hundreds of years of history that are not only, not in the Bible or practiced by Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the ritual sometimes, but we must not be bound by it, Communion belongs to Christians, not to ritual.

The Priesthood

Ok  given there are elders, and priests in the Bible, but these people did not dress differently from the common man, in fact the original purpose of robes was so that the priest looked like the common man, but it somehow got lost. Ofcourse, we are all priests, Jesus created the priesthood of all believers, the priesthood belongs to every Christian.

Now, we do need elders and apostles. We need people to manage the church. That’s very important.

Marriage

Marriage was around LONG before there was church, and Christians to make rules about it. Gay Marriage, sorry to say for those who think it is quite a modern thing was practiced well before the church was established, a number of Roman Emperors married Men, marriage has had many many forms over the years and to think that the Church some how has a right to define what it is sadly leaves a lot to be desired.

Money

Why on earth does some organisation think it has a right to demand 10% of the income of those who are probably struggling themselves. While Bishops live in palaces it is immoral to demand a tithe from the poor.

Jesus wouldn’t do it, even Paul the Apostle was a tent maker and welcomed gifts, everyone gave “as he was able”. Making people feel second class because they can’t give is wrong.

A fixed percentage is unfair on the poor.

Someone who earns £1000 a month but gives £100 to the church will find life much harder than someone who earns £10000 a month and gives £1000.

Remember the woman who through the small coin into the offering and Jesus said how she gave more than all the others.

I often see TV adverts for charities and I’ve got to the point where I say to myself, if you can afford that TV ad. you don’t need my money.

(I’m such a rebel)

Baptism

Here’s something else that the churches love to  take over. Baptism, it doesn’t belong to the church but every believer. Many many baptisms are performed in rivers and lakes, all you need is Water, a confession of faith and believers.

I do love church though….

I grew up believing that you chose to be gay. Ofcourse, I wanted so much to obey God and I thought that God wanted me to be straight. But despite my best efforts I was unable to change my sexuality.

This is, an incredibly important question. Because by it’s nature it brings us to a point where we say, it is natural, I am naturally gay, you may be naturally straight, and my responsibility before God, and before you, is to live an honest, truthful life as I am.

If I meet someone who I love and want to be with, then I will live truthfully, and honestly, before God in that relationship.

The father seeks worshippers that worship him in spirit and in truth. Being in truth means being in the Light, Light shows up darkness, it bathes it, it pushes it away, darkness cannot fight it. So, this question is more about living in truth than making a life decision.