Singing Lies, Fake Generosity & Hearing Voices
A regular Friday round-up of articles which I have found interesting / thought-provoking / challenging / amusing during the week, pointing you in the direction of some stuff you might have otherwise missed.
This week: thinking about what we’re singing in worship; a new piece of research: ‘The World On Our Doorstep’; a challenge to be genuinely generous with our offers of help; and how you can tell if that voice in your head is God’s.
“If you look at the psalms, even the short psalms are very substantial. We have all the hymns from the beginning of the Old Testament were not written to stir ecstasy in people, they were written to remind people of the character of God and the goodness of God.”
The research shows a fascinating picture of trends and concerns about the worldwide Church. While it is encouraging to see how many people pray for and donate to other Christians around the world, especially when there is persecution, war or famine, there is limited evidence of deeper, practical engagement such as political lobbying or missionary service. There are also signs that younger evangelicals may not be as committed to supporting world mission as the older generation.
Stuff Christians Like: Feeling slightly disappointed when someone accepts our fake offer of generosity
Christians find it nice to tell someone, “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Anything at all.” Especially if that person recently experienced a tragedy or is about to set out on some big adventure that will clearly require the help of others. It feels good to write that blank check of support. Plus, as a Christian, we’re probably supposed to say that. I don’t know if the exact phrase is in the Bible, but I’m sure there’s something close to that in the New Testament. But what if someone calls your bluff? What if in the middle of enjoying that really warm feeling of fictional support, someone tries to take you up on the offer?
The Peace Pastor: How can you tell if that voice in your head is God’s?
An idea, vision, or question forms in your mind. You feel compelled to do something or say something you might not naturally do. Like run for President, buy a BMW, fight for abolition of Human Trafficking . . . But God’s voice is not the only sound clamoring for attention in our head, so how do you know if it is from God?
According to Alan Kreider, a highly committed Christian youth may have logged 750 hours of Christian formation by the time they are 18 years of age. This, in contrast to the 11,000 hours spent being formed in a school setting, and another 15,000 hours watching TV. Today’s youth are exposed to other media between 10,000-30,000 additional hours. Which do you suppose is stronger: 750 hours, or 56,000?
Khushi Feet: (Fri 13 – Sun 15 July) Weekend Programme
Faversham will enjoy three packed days of exciting events with something for everyone. From a charity gig showcasing local bands on Friday evening to the headline Concert for Kolkata on Sunday, a feast of Indian culture is promised. Some of the events have limited places available, and pre-booking is advised.