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Showing posts from September, 2015

Confronted by the things I've lost

The other day we drove to my parents' place (about 25 minutes across town) to stay with my parents for a week over my birthday.  As we went along the motorway, I became more and more sad.  Seeing people briskly going about their business, seeing how expansive the world was, confronted me and filled me with sadness.  I can't interact with that big world: it's too fast and too overwhelming to me.  But once upon a time I was part of it.  Mostly, I manage to kind of forget that it exists.  Seeing it yesterday (and perhaps seeing it when I'm run down, dealing with a cold and perforated eardrum) somehow made me have to face that it's still there but it's no longer something I can be part of.

I think I mostly manage to 'pass' as normal.  I've constructed my life such that, when people see me, I have enough energy to interact with them.  I think few people realise how little energy I have.  I've filled my life with fun things and useful work - so I gues…

Spring has sprung!

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Marriage in the context of 'calling'

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of marriage.

New Zealand has recently allowed marriage between same-sex couples.  This has led to the national body of my Christian denomination, the Baptist Union, to establish a working party to determine whether or not Baptist pastors should be permitted to perform such marriages.  Our church has also been running a sermon series on relationships recently, with last Sunday's sermon being on marriage.

The debate I've heard has mainly centred on who Christians/churches believe should be permitted to marry.  However, a blog post by Tim Bulkeley made me think about the broader question of 'what is marriage for'.

Tim is an Old Testament theologian and former lecturer at Carey College, the institution that trains most Kiwi Baptist pastors.  His blog post explores his concern that we 'lack a theology of marriage and sex' and thus fall back to tradition when questions (such as the current ones on gay marriage)…

Supporting refugees ourselves

There's been a lot of calls recently for New Zealand to increase its refugee quota in response to the crisis in Syria.

I'm all for that, but I can understand the government getting antsy about the additional cost.  But what if we took on that cost ourselves?

In Canada, people can sponsor extra refugees in addition to the quota.  Refugees coming in this way don't have access to state benefits or housing for the first year: the sponsor(s) have to house them and pay their living expenses for that time.  Presumably the assumption is, after they've been around for a year, chances are they'll be in a fit state to provide for themselves and so will never have needed state assistance.

Someone has started a petition calling for a similar thing to be instituted here.  You can sign it here.

I think it's a really good idea.  I'm pretty sure my church, which has around 80 adult members, could pay the rent on a three-bedroom unit for a year, and could probably stump up $…

Parliamentary inquiry into assisted dying

A couple of days ago on Radio New Zealand National I heard this interview with Simon O'Connor.  He's chairing a Parliamentary Select Committee which is canvassing public attitudes on medically assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or irreversible condition which makes life unbearable.

If you'd like your personal attitude to be included in the mix, you can make an online submission here.  Submissions are open until February 1st but, if you don't want to end up leaving it until it's too late, you might like to make a submission soon :-)  Also, they're hearing oral submissions as they go along, so if you want to make such a submission, you shouldn't have to wait too long for that after you put the written one in.