Corrupt Communication

On May 31, 2011 The Age broke a story about the latest instalment of Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu’s crackdown on crime. In a story entitled, “Big fines for those who cry foul,” Josh Gordon highlighted the plan “to slap potty-mouthed perpetrators with on-the-spot fines of up to $240 for using language deemed to be indecent, disorderly, offensive or threatening.” Anti-swearing legislation has apparently been on the books since 1966, but formerly was only enforceable through the court system. As of July 1, the on-the-spot fines (which have been trialled over the past 3 years) will become law.

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Dangers Facing The Church

According to most statistical data, the universal church of Christ is dying. While some individual congregations of the Lord’s church are increasing in number, the trend (particularly in western and first world societies) is not increase but decrease. The decrease is attributable to three problems – the Lord’s church is aging (i.e. the average age of her members is getting older), the Lord’s church is not successfully evangelising, and several congregations are apostatising and losing their “candlesticks” – their ability to be identified as Christ’s church (Revelation 2:5). The first problem is directly attributable to the latter two.

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Can He Hear Me Now?

 

One of the things I was happy to escape when I left the US is Verizon Wireless commercials. I have no way of knowing whether or not they still use the same marketing campaign, but it seemed like every other ad break for the last three or four years prior to my moving I was greeted by a dark rimmed glasses wearing man saying, “Can you hear me now? Good,” in a variety of scenarios and environments. I have no way of knowing if he was actually talking to someone else on the other line, as I never got to hear that person’s voice. I sometimes doubt there was one, as the question sometimes seemed to be followed too closely by, “Good,” on more than one occasion. Further, I can’t imagine that anyone would have enjoyed being called a thousand times a day to be asked if the caller could be heard.

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Children Obey Your Parents

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

There was no trial, no due process; no hearing before a jury of peers or even a hearing before a judge. Though parents and Bible class teachers are perhaps too quick to cite it, total rebellion against parents under the Law of Moses was a capital offense. Opponents of the Bible just as quite to cite what appears to be an apparent barbarism forget that “the extreme and irresponsible power of life and death, conceded by the law of Rome and other pagan nations [to fathers], is withheld from the Israelite father” (Barnes, Electronic Database). Further, though it appears that the Israelite elders did little but to serve as enforcers, the power to take life was not directly in the hands of the parents. Even more telling of the reasonableness and application of this code is the language of the hypothetical parents concerning their child – “he is a glutton, and a drunkard” can hardly be said of any child who has not yet reached the age of accountability (v. 20). Still, the question must be asked – what prompted God to introduce a code that gave the same fate to rebellious children that was given to Molech-worshippers, blasphemers, Sabbath breakers, and other idolaters (Leviticus 20:2, 24:23; Numbers 15:32-36; Deuteronomy 13:6-11)?

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Celibacy and Scripture

 

In case you are not familiar with the term, celibacy as it is used in religious circles refers to a decision that a person makes to remain unmarried with the goal/idea of being fully devoted to God. It is not to be confused with abstinence, which is the conscious decision one makes to avoid sexual relations until being able to enjoy them in marriage. Abstinence is commanded of all Christians – but what about celibacy? Is celibacy – the idea of avoiding marriage to serve God – a good thing? What about churches/ faiths that bind it on their members, or certain of their members (such as the Catholic Church practices towards its priests)?

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