Thursday, 27 January 2011

FREEDOM TO SAY WHAT YOU THINK

Victory for Margaret Forrester, a Christian mental health worker who was told today that she would be restored to work and even offered a better job, following her suspension for expressing her private views on abortion to colleagues.

Margaret Forrester was suspended by her NHS employers after she mentioned privately to colleagues her concerns about the information women were given prior to having an abortion. She shared with colleagues, not members of the public, a booklet containing stories of women who have struggled with post-abortion syndrome in order that they might have the full picture when advising women discussing their unexpected pregnancy.

Soon afterwards, Ms Forrester was suspended from work for 'distributing materials some people may find offensive'. Today, after the intervention of the Christian Legal Centre, she has been offered, and accepted, an even better position at another location.

http://christianconcern.com/our-concerns/religious-freedom/victory-as-christian-health-worker-restored-to-work-and-offered-a-bet

At last common sense can prevails – the woman was suspended for 'distributing materials some people may find offensive', please grow up people. Both secularists and Christians will be faced sometime in their lives with something they find offensive; the truth can hurt and can be offensive to some peoples sensibilities and ideologies. For goodness sake, both groups, religious and secular, grow up.

The Law is preventing people from saying what they think about a certain issue, rightly or wrongly, the State is not and should not, take on the role of making sure people sensibilities are not hurt. We are adults now and it is time to behave like adults and not cry those nasty people are hurting my feelings. Feelings will get hurt – but better to debate, hopefully with facts and not just with ideologies, than to supress information or even a different way of thinking about an issue.

We have got to move away from the notion of “it might offend…”. It might but that’s life. Get over it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Were you born in the 1940’s, 1950’s or 1960’s

I got sent this via an email.  Thought you would appreciate it :)
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE
1940's, 50's and 60's !

First, we survived being born to mothers who drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air
bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the
corner store and buy  Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.

We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no video/dvd  films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no   Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had try-outs and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine
that!! Getting into the team was based on...
MERIT

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully's always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like
'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Hope you enjoyed this, I did Smile

Happy New Year 2011 to you All.

A reply and my response

Evangelicals who believe that the bible is the word of God you would expect churches that follow the biblical pattern to buck the trend. In the USA where conservative evangelicals are a much bigger part of the church, it is much easier to see the results of holding on to a biblical worldview. In churches like Mark Driscoll's in Seattle, probably the most secular city in the USA, they have slightly over 50% men. So yes it can be done. And we know how.

Yes I agree with you that certain ‘conservative’ churches have a slightly higher ratio for men at church than the normal 2:1 or dismally 3:1.

When you consider the gender ratio for the USA population at approx. 50:9 Female to 49:1 Male, I think the church gender ratio complies with the stats; more women all round :)

http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/a_gender.html

Even Seattle, where Mars Hill Church is based, has a percentage ratio much the same as the national average:

Total Population: 563374

Total of Sex Male: 280973Total of Sex Female: 282401

Percentage of Sex Male: 49.9%

Percentage of Sex Female: 50.1%

http://www.maps-n-stats.com/us_wa/us_wa_seattle_a.html

A slightly different ratio from http://www.city-data.com/city/Mars-Hill-Maine.html gives the % at 52.7% Female 47.3% Male

Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church only slightly bucks the stats - I could not find the gender ratio for Mars Hill Church – obviously not asking the right ‘search’ questions.  So yes it can be done, but are we asking for the ratio to change 60:40 in favour of men, 70:30 in favour of men, or are we asking 50:50? 

A gender stat. I did find however was interesting:  http://www.thisischurch.net/church-news/the-churchs-deadly-ratio-part-i-the-problem/

Of course it is good if more men and women attend church, be it conservative or not, as that would be good,; good for them.  Maybe it is a case of men, and women, need to fight of the falsehood of secular media led society - have you watch any of the UK soaps lately, EastEnders, Coronation Street, or the popular Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives drama-soaps?  Chills me to the bone.  So banal and degrading to men and women; huge viewing figures though.

However, from what I've read, Mars Hill Church is male impassioned, which is nice because it gives power to men who maybe do not know where they are at in relation to their gender; if you are told you are the important one it boosts your moral and confidence.  Maybe that is what men really need.  To be told they are the important ones, the leaders... Who knows, but I do hope it is the Word of God they are listening to and not ‘the Man?  I have seen that happen a few times.  Sad but true.  So obsessed with themselves, and yes, their gender, those male leaders and sadly church members, forgot to reach out to others as Christ did.  Personalities lead the way, biblical men and women or not, and a kind of idolatry follows. 

See the following for my reason for some of my comments:

http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/time-to-give-mark-driscoll-a-sabbatical/

http://lklouise.com/392/driscoll-misogyny-masculinity/

I personally veer towards Billy Graham, his daughter Anne Graham Lotz, Joyce Meyers, David Pawson, N T Wright and Nicky Gumble biblical teachings. 

Anyway, all-in-all any church based in biblical doctrine, however flawed or warped it may be, not the doctrine or the Word, but the way it is implemented, and I believe the Holy Spirit will deal with such churches accordingly in time, is better than a church that relies on tradition and cultural patterns to exist and hold on to its power, which is a very Pharisee mentality, think the Catholic Church as in Roman and Eastern, Church of the Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses.  Good doctrines/theology badly used, with the Message of Christ being substituted for ‘we rule ok?’; excuse the disdain, but I do wonder sometimes what book some preachers are reading from.

Any church that can bring in both more men and women if spiritually led is a good thing.  If men, or women, need empowering to feel important again then that may be a good thing.  Personally I think cultural attitudes do play a part, and I would prefer a system of teaching that had a division of the sexes, maybe my single sex schooling has something to do with this, as when my school went co-ed both the male and the female grades dropped, as well as co-ed sessions as I have found, in both my working and advisory experience, that it is important for men and women to have an outlet and a safe environment to be taught and to be encouraged to express themselves without fear of being seen as foolish, feministic, machoistic, and being intimidated by such.

I think you would say the problem might be the feminisation of the church and education system, “that treat the decline of men in the church as the outworking of a process of feminisation”…. “the same process [that] has been happening in society with the decline in boys performance in education".

Two schools of thought about feminism: (A) the right to be treated as an equal with equal pay for the same work, access to the means of provisions, education and life chances through reversal of discriminatory ‘rules’ and the implementation of ‘positive discrimination’ to level the ‘playing field’ of life chances and aspirations; role playing, who does what, and the subverting of, is not on the agenda.  (B) the expectation of women to behave and take on all role models of men, and visa-versa, though this is often frowned upon and ignored by ‘evangelists’ of feministic views, they see all men oppressing all women through the structures of society – home, education, work-place, religious - and there is therefore a call to either de-masculine society structures and power bases, or to coerce women to ape the masculine behaviour, which leads, in my view, to confusion and conflict for both sexes.

Both hard-line views, the (B) feminisation of society,  and the re-masculinisation of society, which in order to correct the (A & B) feminisation of society, could come about, which ideologically could end up a subversive truism if not looked at and amended seriously, are bad for both the church and society.  Disastrous for Men and Women.