Thought Leaders Series: 2017

The World of Work 

When Jesus asserted that we cannot serve God and money (Luke 16), he was advancing an argument against the world of commerce. His ideas were centred around the early forms of capitalism.

By way of context, with centralised governments the burden of taxation had increased significantly. For instance, colonial masters charged their subjects for central and local administration, and a percentage of this revenue is returned to the State’s treasury. The impact of this policy is a massive economic gulf between the rich and poor. Most of the elites will offer their services to their colonial masters in one capacity or another. They serve as tax collectors, magistrates, administrators etc. The funds they made might be used to acquire lands, which the poor cultivated. 
There was always competition among these poor farmers as a result of pressure from landowners for yield, thereby creating a toxic environment within their social class. Community spirit is broken, cooperation eroded, and social capital diminishes. People are left behind. The sick, disabled, and vulnerable ones are seen as liabilities. 

We fast forward to the 21st century, and Jesus’ indictment still holds. We have a broken system. The world of work is competitive, aggressive, selfish and very tribal. Marx argues that the reason we are largely unhappy with work is because we no longer do what we enjoy, but rather, we are producing things which gives us little or no benefit directly. As such work becomes a burden. 

So, many argue that our world of work is responsible for much of our social ills today. Workers are stressed, people are fearful about going to work, people are living on pain killers and stimulants. Relationships suffer and our communities collapse. Even worse, as we are slowly loosing what is left of work to machines, the rate of suicide is rising fast. 
Added to this is the fact that without being involved in these dehumanising activities one can hardly survive in this world. Our basic needs like food, shelter, clothing; depends on this system. But in every sector: government, charities (sadly even churches), social enterprise, private; the world of work offers little or no value to our general well being. It is either heavily bureaucratic, dangerous, or serving the interest of a few. 
Therefore, it is not the configuration, but the overarching idea. What Marx calls the Superstructure.

This system enslaves humanity, and it stops us from harnessing our true potentials. Jesus saw it, hence he called for reordering. In similar vein David Platt argues:

“A materialistic world will not be won to Christ by a materialistic church.” 

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

The incarnation provided the platform for the inauguration of God’s Kingdom by Jesus.

Through his modelling of God’s Kingdom, Jesus provides ideas for the work of the Church, till the fullness of His Kingdom is manifested in His Second Coming.
As we study, meditate and extrapolate from his teaching, and model his lifestyle, we in turn become shapers of our communities and world at large, through our various vocations. Hence we are co-labourers with him (1 Cor.3:9).
This is what Paul meant when he stated that we spread the fragrance of the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 2:14).
Join us this Sunday for: I and the Father are One (John 10:30), as we draw inspiration from The Beatitudes.
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

Unlike the patchy images of God we get from the Old Testament, Jesus’ life and ministry gives us unique insight into God. Hence Paul describes him as the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), and for John he is the Word made flesh (John 1).

Jesus exposes knowledge gaps in scriptures as he corrects wrong ideas, teaching and traditions. As a health warning, this position puts to question the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy. Hence he is the last interpreter of the Scriptures. 
To this end, Jesus becomes the lenses from which we read, understand and interpret the Bible, and the motivation in our lives. He shapes our ideas, world view, actions, and ultimately, our contribution in the creation story.
As members of his body his character is reflected through our individual lives, as we spread the fragrance of his knowledge through every facet of our lives (2 Cor. 2:14)

Therefore, in a bid to make that connection between his divine nature and their everyday life, Paul urges the church in Philippi to emulate Christ’s self-emptying (Phil. 2).
Join us this Sunday for: I and the Father are One (John 10:30), as we draw inspiration from The Beatitudes.
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series 2017

In my studies last week I came across an interesting twist to the Golden Rule, which I believe is profound in relation to Kingdom business. It reads: 

“Whoever Has the Gold Makes the Rules.”

The brain behind this thought is unknown, however, while musing over it I got a deeper understanding of what Amos meant when he declared: 
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion” – Amos 6:1
Or Jesus’ warning to his disciples, 
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.” – Matthew 11:12
Dear friends for there to be a reorientation of society, and a spiritual emancipation of the masses, the existing power structures are to be addressed and scrutinised until we see,
“justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos 5:24
The problem with the Church is that we have become fat cats, and a part of the problem, rather than the solution to this corrupt system. 
History warns us that this struggle is never easy, but it’s worth starting. Because in the end – good will always triumph over evil.

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Foundations: Birth Pains

Over the last couple of weeks I have been describing an ecosystem which serves as an instrument of change in sustaining and expanding God’s kingdom here on earth. It consists of: Scriptures, Interpreters, and Audiences.
Last week I explored the original intent of the Church as a vehicle for change, through the reorientation of our World, and the role we play in the process. I also touched on this unique relationship between both sets of God-bearers (preachers, teachers and the churched), in the shape of the Church.
That said, Jesus warned his disciples of the struggles of emancipation when he posits: 
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.” – Matthew 11:12
Therefore, in crystallising this series, I will explore Resistance to Change between the Power Structures and the Prophets, and, the Prophets and the Oppressed, in line with our Scriptural Focus for this year: Nahum 2:2. 
Join us as we set foundations for 2017
We march in the light of Nahum’s assertions: 
(For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their branches.) – Nahum 2:2
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover
http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Foundations: God Bearers

Over the course of history Jewish leaders (priests, prophets, rabbis) have seen Scriptures as their foundation and most valuable asset. For instance, the study of the text was the only reason for a man to forego marriage once he has reached the age of responsibility.
With this in mind, we can understand the continuos reference of words like: “and God said…” in the creation story in Genesis, the power of the God’s word bringing to an abrupt halt the construction of the Tower of Babel, the admonition in Deuteronomy 8: “man shall not leave by bread alone, but by God’s decree”, etc. This cross cutting theme is also reflected in different guises in every book in the Old and New Testament. 
So, dear friends if words are powerful, then Divine Words are super powerful. Destinies can be shaped by right teaching, and derailed by misguided or short sighted teaching, more or less what Jesus termed “old wine, in new wine skin”
This Sunday I will make the connection between God and the bearers of his Word. It is important to note that since God spoke through people, to be an oracle of God was the most noble of vocation. As such Priests, Prophets, and much later Rabbis were held in very high esteem, as they laid and sustained the foundations on which all that lasts are nurtured and established.
The destiny of the people and the nation at large rested on the shoulders of these people, therefore in return, their welfare was the responsibility of the people.
Join us as we set foundations for 2017
We march in the light of Nahum’s assertions: 
(For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their branches.) – Nahum 2:2
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

Living On Purpose

LIVING ON PURPOSE: Rightly Diving the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15)
In 1744, Alexander Webster and Robert Wallace (both Presbyterian Clergymen in Scotland), decided to set up a life-insurance fund for the widows and orphans of dead clergymen. 

So they proposed that each church minister contribute a portion of their income into an investment fund, and if a minister died, his widow would receive dividends from the funds, thereby allowing her to live comfortably for the rest of her life.

But in order to determine how much can be paid-in to keep their obligations, these men had to be able to provide answers to the following questions:

  • how many ministers are likely to die each year?
  • how many widows and orphans are these ministers likely to leave behind?

  • and by how many years are the widows likely to outlive their husbands?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY DID?

First, let us see what they did not do. They did not:

● hold prayer meetings, perhaps to ‘bind the demon of death’

● hold theological debates on poverty 

● embark on a research on the work of ancient theologians

WHAT THEY DID…

  1. They contacted Colin Maclaurin (Professor of mathematics, University of Edinburgh)
  • They collected data on ages at which people died and used it to calculate how many ministers are likely to pass away in any given year

  • They applied recent breakthrough in statistics

  • Using mathematical modelling, they realised that:

    • on average there were 930 living Scots clergymen at any given moment
  • 27 ministers are likely to die each year,

  • 18 of them would be survived by a widow,

  • 5 of them who had no widow – would leave orphaned children,

  • 2 of those survived by widows would be outlived by children from previous marriages who had not yet reached the age of 16

  • And most importantly, how much time a widow is likely to draw dividends before passing away or remarrying.

    Dear friends, these were the early days of the investment instrument known today as SCOTTISH WIDOWS.

    Biblical reflection:
    – 1 Samuel 13:19-22

    • 2 Peter 1:3

    To a blessed week!