bad news

FIVE REALITIES

(January 14, 2022) Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge…

Many times Jesus spoke about truth: the classic scripture is that precious one of John 8:32, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ – relating to the gospel message.

And when He was before Pilate, His inquisitor asked Him emphatically, ‘What is truth?’ (John 18:38). Well, the Greek word here is aletheia – and as Dr Jim McClure pointed out in his November 2017 Words of Life (#G7), ‘can be translated as either “truth” or “reality.”’ (Link: Truth and Reality-Aletheia)

Ah… reality. A dictionary meaning of this word is ‘the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.’

There’s been times when I (Robert) have been able to work in two particular incidents to sermons to get a reality, not a notional point across. One is kind of humorous yet serious, the other clearly serious. In fact, they’re both quite serious! I’ll share the humorous one first…

A guy is running very late for church… let’s call him Kristian Kristianson. As he reaches the door, he stops abruptly because he finds the devil standing outside crying his eyes out. Astounded, but with concern, he thoughtfully asks, ‘Why, what’s wrong, Mr Satan?’

Between tears, the devil sobs, ‘Why it’s those Christians in there! They blame me for everything!

(more…)

BAD NEWS OR GOOD NEWS!

(June 26, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, reminds us of scriptural bad news – and scriptural good news…

Nobody likes bad news!

But sometimes we need to hear the bad news if it urges or provokes us to do something that may correct a tragedy or help us avoid disastrous consequences.

In Australia each year bush fires cause heartbreaking devastation to trees, animals, towns and, of course, people. How hard it is to watch the horrendous and frightening images of out-of-control fires raging through trees and homes, destroying livelihoods, creating havoc, causing death, pain, sorrow and financial devastation.

Fortunately many lives are saved each year when advance warning is given that enables people to vacate their properties, perhaps save their animals and leave with some treasured possessions. The tragedies would be significantly worse if warnings were withheld because they represented ‘bad news.’ Therefore, sometimes we do need to hear ‘bad news’ in order to avoid even worse consequences.

Angry response
However, the fact remains that no one likes to be on the receiving end of bad news. Some people deal with it by denying it. Others respond by anger at the person who delivers it.

There is an old saying that states, ‘If you don’t like the message, don’t kill the messenger.’  This advice has been around for a long time. For example, in the middle of the 5th century BC, Sophocles, a Greek poet and playwright, wrote, ‘No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.’

However, in recent days we have seen a ‘messenger’ being savaged by the media and social media. Israel Folau, who quoted from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, has not only lost his employment as a rugby player but has also been roundly condemned as bigoted, intolerant, homophobic and so on.

But the bottom line is that what he tweeted is wholly in line with scripture. He was sharing a message that was not his and if the warning it contained was not to the liking of those who read it, he cannot be blamed for its content! (more…)