Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Abstinence hurts??

Sometimes I feel like a liberal but I guess my upbringing in religious N.I. has resulted in me being quite conservative in reality.

Therefore I found the article I was reading today uncomfortable. I used to volunteer with Christian Aid. As it is World Aids Day this Saturday I wanted to read up on the current issues. I found an article on the C.A. website quite shocking.

They are basically saying that Christians should not teach abstinence as it is causing people to catch HIV. They claim that (according to their partners) the teaching of abstinence is fueling the AIDS pandemic.

Here are some quotes that Christian Aid have included in their article:

In the US, the much-publicised True Love Waits programme, under which teenagers vow to keep their virginity until marriage, has left young people vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections.

'Abstaining is not realistic. The church says to abstain, but it is a lie. It is better to tell the truth and use a condom.’

'I stand on the side of comprehensive programmes. Abstinence alone does not work; we have to face reality. Abstinence preaching is unrealistic, and it is not Christian.

‘Those who preach abstinence are running away from responsibility, not facing life.’

I am passionate about the world finding a way to end the spread of HIV/AIDS. I understand where they're coming from but find it really hard to accept. Firstly in the light of scripture and secondly in my own experience of 27 years, in which I have found that abstinence is difficult but definitely possible.

You can find article here.

I would love to be better informed by those with more knowledge. Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sheep and Goats

(from asbo Jesus)

This week Tearfund are trying to mobilise local churches into a global week of prayer for poverty.

There are 2.2 million children in the world today. One million of these (EVERY SECOND CHILD!) are living in poverty.

The statistics are head wrecking and unfortunately often mind-numbing. However in the gospel I read we aren't left with much of an option but to do something. To pray and then be ready to be the answer to our prayers.

I've been really challenged by Matthew 23 where we are basically told how God will decide who spends eternity with him. I don't need to blog about it because my brother has just done it beautifully. Check out davymull. Brilliant!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Saints and Sinners

Some of my favourite worship songs are-
- Amazing Grace
- Be Thou my Vision
- Gloria- U2
- Our God Reigns- Delirious
- Indescribable- Chris Tomlin
- 40- U2
- Anything by REEDSTAR!

I went to see Shane Claibourne speak last week. He was talking about how the world needs to see Christians as being broken, screwed-up sinners just like them. Not the pious, holier-than-thou image that is often portrayed.

I saw a song on TV today that reflected this. Unfortunately it wasn't on a Christian channel. Rather it was MTV2 and a flippin teeny-bopper goth band. A song called 'The River' by Good Charlotte.

Good Charlotte for goodness sake and yet the lyrics seem to reflect the gospel message more than many of the white-washed vacuous 'artists' that you would find in a CCM magazine. Here's the chorus, watch the video below:

They say that evil comes disguised
Like a city of angels
I'm walking towards the light

Baptized in the river
I've seen a vision of my life
And I wanna be delivered
In the city was a sinner
I've done a lot of things wrong
But I swear I'm a believer
Like the prodigal son
I was out on my own
Now I'm trying to find my way back home
Baptized in the river
I'm delivered
I'm delivered

I confess I'm a sinner
I've seen a vision of my life
And I wanna be delivered