so-called friends

MINISTRY HICCUPS

(December 20, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan encourages a troubled pastoral couple …

Dear Dr Robert

I apologise that this is going to be a long letter.

My wife and I are ministers, like you and Maureen. We’ve always enjoyed this calling, despite challenges that are involved – many of which we can’t or won’t share with our church. I’m sure you too have found that some church members can be very unkind and unthoughtful when they learn their ministers have needs. I don’t mean financial ones, although to be honest sometimes we can be disappointed when we hear some members don’t contribute to our church, but donate heavily to ‘prosperity doctrine’ preachers.

No, I’m particularly thinking of other concerns – we’re not as young as we used to be and both seem to get attacked by sicknesses we never thought about before. In fact we used to pray for people going through similar sicknesses and God would gloriously answer our prayers. Now we find ourselves not wanting to mention our needs in case we’re accused of losing our faith!

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GOD THE FATHER OR FAIRY GODMOTHER

(January 15, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, challenges us to think outside the proverbial box…

‘Happy New Year!’

How often have we said that this year? And we truly hope that all the people to whom we have given this greeting will indeed have a happy year. However we know that for some this year will not be happy. Regardless of how committed to God we may be, the vagaries of life often present us with unwelcome problems, unrelenting sickness, unexpected sorrow or overwhelming disaster and no one is immune from such events.

The reality is that some quite evil people in the world prosper and some truly godly people suffer. So there is no correlation between Godliness and a trouble-free life.

Yet some Christians try to give the impression that everything is always well in their world – and they maintain this façade until some problem is encountered which often causes them to fall apart.  As we live in a fallen world, inevitably we all struggle at some stage with disturbing and destructive experiences regardless committed we may be in our discipleship or how pious we may present ourselves.   Only self-delusion can maintain the myth that all is always well in our world.

Fairy Godmothers aren’t real!
Recently I have been reflecting on two alternative ideas that Christians have concerning God – God the Father or God the Fairy Godmother.  If we think of God as some kind of ‘fairy godmother’ our conception of God will be one in which he always acts by solving all our problems and ensuring that good things always happen to us.

This is not, however, the character of Lord God Almighty who is revealed in the Bible. We know that fairy godmothers are not real! Nor is such a God real!

The book of Job gives us some telling pointers on which we should reflect. (more…)