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Recently people have been talking a lot about Anne Rice, noted vampire expert and converted then deconverted Christian author. Her public announcement that she is “quiting Christianity” was taken personally by many modern pharisees and church watch dogs.

To be fair, many called for restraint and described the event as an “opportunity” for the church to reveal what we’re made of. Would we crucify her? No, we must pray for her as a prodigal daughter!

Why did she do it?

Well, in her own words, she couldn’t be “anti-gay and anti-feminist” any more. Me neither. She said that she still loved Christ, but not Chrisitianity. Well… sometimes… me too. Let’s just be honest and call the church what it is: a bunch of bigotted, hurting, power-hungry, guilt-ridden pharisees, desperately trying to work out what Jesus did for us and what we should be doing in response. Mostly we get it wrong. This is not new.

The Church got it wrong when they tried Luther for publishing his 95 theses in 1517.
The Church got it wrong when they insisted that Galileo recant on his stance on geocentricism in 1633.
The Church got it wrong when they called Darwin the antichrist in 1859 (some continue to do so!).
The Church got it wrong when they declared the great commission a job well-done in the 70’s (much to the chagrine of Mr Billy Graham and the framers of the Lausanne Covenant).

Anne Rice is not a prodigal. The Church is. Her Facebook declaration of independence from the Church SHOULD be taken personally. She has insulted us. And she is right. And we should applaud her for her bravery.

These little revolutions are the substance of church history. In ten years, we may look back at the dear lady and say thank you for calling us on our crap. Like Darwin. And Luther. And Billy Graham.

So I’m getting a head start: Thanks.

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‘Sanctified materialism’ is invading the Church in Africa. Not just the rich white congregations in South Africa, but in the poorest black communities in the poorest countries. It appeals to the the African Worldview because it speaks of a God active in the world, and shatters the sacred/secular boundary. It appeals to the hopeless, suffering Church because it promises a relationship with God that is as predictable as a business contract. Hopeless people bleed their hopelessness into ‘faith’ prayers of positive confession. They shout, ‘I cannot be overcome! I will not be devoured!’ All the while, the prosperity preachers stalk the stage like devouring lions, stealing money, hope and finally faith.

It’s disgusting.

Watch the video at this link:

Do not let people speak like this in your Church. If prosperity gospel statements are made from the pulpit, I urge you to speak as soon as possible to the eldership and to challenge them to show the theological foundation for this heresy. If we sit back and smile knowingly, but laugh it off, this thing will grow. Especially here in Africa. Especially here, where it can do the most damage.

“Blogging”.

It’s a strangely distasteful word. Like something you might accuse someone of in a heated argument when you’re just running out of ammunition. Your wife reminds of the time you had too much champaigne at your best friend’s wedding and embarressed yourself and everyone else by telling an inappropriate joke about shotgun weddings and redneck inlaws, and you reply: “WELL YOU’RE A BLOGGER!”

I confess to my shame that I always thought of blogging as the hobby of the sort of sad, lonely people who used to write “Murphy Rocks!” or “Foxy Sasha Wuz Here!” on the inner walls of the high school toilets. I believed that because nobody listens to these people in real life, their verbal constipation eventually explodes in hours of cyberspace scrawling, filling the airwaves with innane whinging that will never be read, much less appreciated. I was wrong.

My beautiful wife, Leane (in characteristicly unnassuming wisdom and innocence) introduced me to some truly amazing blogs, written by very talented and entertaining writers. These people write for the love of expression and don’t care if anyone reads… and inevitably, many people do.

Reading their blogs has inspired me to jealousy. I also want to write something other than theology assignments and learner assessments! I also want a clarity of thinking about the direction of my life! I also want to tell the jokes that I can never remember in person, and the poetry that is too beautiful for me to share without blushing!

And so I begin my little escapade in the comforting knowledge that few people will ever read these ramblings, and fewer still will feel the need to burst my little bubble of contentment by reminding me in heated arguments that I have become “A BLOGGER!”

About Me

Ecstatically married to Leane. Studying Theology and Teaching. Working as a worship leader, teacher, coach, guitar teacher. Living in the Mighty City of Mkondo in the sunny province of Mpumalanga, in the blessed country of South Africa.

Favourite Thoughts – Outbox

Religion is to be defended - not by putting to death - but by dying. Not by cruelty, but by patient endurance. - Lactantius (c.304-313).
What is essential Christianity? From first to last it is scandal, the divine scandal. Every time someone risks scandal of high order there is joy in heaven. - Soren Keirkegaard.
Where there are two Christians, there are three opinions... [Actually a Jewish saying, but at least as true for Christians]

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