Maureen Greaves Comments on God.

The fantastic godandpoliticsuk.org blog, has commented on the lack of mention from the BBC on the place of God within the news story of Maureen Greaves, the widow of Alan Greaves, the church organist who was brutally murdered on his way to a Christmas Eve service last December.

Some particularly comments from Maureen Greaves:

“In the midst of our deep grief, I was sitting in the [hospital] waiting room and a lady came in, and it irritated me, because I wanted to be by myself.

“And I suddenly looked at her and thought, ‘she’s grieving like me’. And so I went over to her, and I said ‘what’s wrong?’ And she said ‘My husband’s got a brain tumour’.

“And I said ‘how are you feeling about that?’

“And she said ‘I don’t believe in a God at all that could allow this to happen’.

“And God gave to me a wonderful moment, when I was able to say that ‘I believe in a God because at Christmas time he sent us a saviour and he can be your saviour too through all of the grief you’re going through’.

“Later on she got her results for her husband and it was a benign tumour and she came to me and she hugged me. And she said ‘I’ll leave this place thinking about the fact that there’s a saviour of this world’.

“And for me that was a great joy in the midst of my pain, because Alan only died a few hours later.”

Read the rest over at godandpoliticsuk.org

Facebook gay wedding comment man wins demotion case

Interesting article on BBC News:

A Christian who was demoted in his job for a comment he wrote on Facebook about gay marriages has won a breach of contract action against his employers.

Adrian Smith, 55, lost his managerial position and had a 40% salary cut after saying a gay wedding held in a church was an “equality too far”.

Mr Smith, from Bolton, claimed Trafford Housing Trust (THT) acted unlawfully in demoting him.

He also alleged that the trust had breached his human rights.

Disciplinary action was launched against Mr Smith when he wrote “an equality too far” next to a BBC News Online story, written in February 2011, with the headline, “Gay church ‘marriage’ set to get the go-ahead”.

The father-of-two’s comments were not visible to the general public, and were posted outside work time, but the trust argued he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers.

Read further on the BBC website.

Part of me wonders if there’s a little more to this story then what the BBC is reporting, or maybe I’ve read one two many conspiracy theories?

How social media could swing the vote for women bishops

Vicky Beeching has taken a look at “How social media could swing the vote for women bishops” in The Guardian, which includes the following gem:

Social media is a strange animal. It sometimes appears as a winged horse, enabling our aspirations for free speech and people power to take flight, and sometimes as a hyena, sniffing out the worst of human nature, devouring our manners and vomiting up banal content. Scepticism about its value to campaigns is understandable; after all, millions of Twitter accounts lie abandoned and unchecked. Much energy can be spent lobbying in cyberspace, speaking to avatars that may be listening or may simply be the ghosts of people long gone. Yet despite their Schrödinger-esque limitations, these digital channels still possess the potential to rattle top-down institutions and give the masses a megaphone.

One institution ripe for some grassroots disruption is the Church of England. The voices of those in the pews are not always reflected in the policies made, and the election of leaders happens very indirectly. The decision about women bishops lies in the hands of the General Synod, so the rest of us are left waiting, wondering whether our wishes will be represented. For this reason we felt the Yes2WomenBishops campaign was vital. Our hope is to create an upward flow of information in a very top-down institution; to send a message from the grassroots to the leadership.

Worth taking a look at the whole article, not just for the comments on women bishops, but on the use of social media in communicating between people who make the church decisions  and people in the pews.

guardian.co.uk

No More Page 3.

logo_the_sun

logo_the_sunCarl Beech from CVMen has had a look at The Sun and Page 3 over at threadsuk.com :

I suppose I’m a fairly typical guy. I love Top Gear, sport and action movies. I love extreme(ish) endurance challenges, prog rock (can’t believe I just admitted that) and nothing more than a banter-filled evening with my mates. I’m also madly and deeply in love with my wife of 19 years and I totally adore and love to bits my two daughters Emily and Annie who are 12 and very nearly 14.

I also have a sex drive. I’m a red- blooded male, so what do you expect? The fact we don’t talk about it much in churches doesn’t mean that we don’t have one. However, there’s a problem. The world outside the Church is highly sexually driven but they do talk about it…

You can read the strong case that Carl puts against Page 3 over at ThreadsUK.

Agree with what Carl is talking about? Then you can do far worse then checking out the petition for The Sun to remove bare boobs from page 3, which can be found at change.org, theres also a twitter feed you can follow.

Debate Tuesday – Teachers ‘face sack’ for refusing to endorse gay marriage?

An interesting piece on telegraph.co.uk

Teachers ‘face sack’ for refusing to endorse gay marriage

Teachers could be sacked for refusing to follow books on gay marriage, according to legal advice commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage.

Schools will be within their statutory rights to dismiss staff that wilfully fail to use stories or textbooks promoting same-sex weddings, it is claimed.

Aidan O’Neill, a senior QC and expert on religious freedom and human rights, also warned that parents who object to gay marriage being taught to their children will have no right to withdraw their child from lessons.

In a report, he said that any decision to redefine marriage would have far-reaching consequences for schools, hospitals, foster carers and public buildings.

The most serious impact is likely to be felt in the church where vicars and priests conducting religious marriage ceremonies could be taken to court for refusing to carry out a gay wedding, he said.

The conclusions – in legal advice commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage – comes amid continuing fall-out over Government plans to tear up the centuries-old law on marriage.

Read More

Now. Isn’t this all a little messy? Basically we have legal advice gathered for the Coalition for Marriage saying that teachers could be sacked for failing to talk up gay marriage, with comments later in the telegraph report suggesting the types of activity that could be promoted for use in schools:

He outlined a fictional scenario in which a Christian teacher is asked to use a book called King & King, a story of a prince who marries a man, and produce a play based on the tale.

The QC suggested that any refusal to comply would be “grounds for her dismissal from employment” because of a legal ruling that religious belief cannot be used by employees “to demand changes in their conditions of their employment”.

So could we have situations where teachers have to teach something they are not comfortable with? Whose issue is that anyway? Wheres the love? Is this just a Christian issue? What do people outside the church think?

So many questions.

What do you think about all of this?

From bad to God – the gangster vicar

Some good news from The Sun newspaper:

 

From bad to God – the gangster who became a vicar

Mark Rowan outside of the Braunton Coastal Community Church, Devon. Mark has swapped a life of crime and prison sentences to become a reverend.

A HEAVILY TATTOOED former ‘gangster’ has gone from bad to God and become a VICAR.

Reverend Mark Rowan, 41, was a junkie who spent more than 17 years in and out of jail for drugs, theft and violent offences.

But he found religion during one of his prison terms – and decided to reform to help others do the same.

Mark, who said he had only gone to church before to steal lead from the roof, underwent five years’ training at theological college before being ordained.

He said: “I have full reverend status. This was the first exam I’ve ever taken and it’s a huge achievement for me.

“The only time I wasn’t committing crime was when I was sleeping. I carried knives and was involved with gangs.

“I used heroin, cocaine and cannabis and lived a crazy life. A lot of my friends are either dead or serving life sentences in prison.

“The only time I went to church was for the lead on the roof. I had no respect for Jesus and never thought about being a Christian.”

Yorkshire-born Mark settled down and married wife Andrea, a clinical pyschologist, after being released from Channings Wood prison in Devon…

 

If you can stomach it, you can read more on The Sun website

What Do You And Your Church Stand For?

What Do You And Your Church Stand For?If you introduced yourself to someone who had heard of you before, what would you say to them?

They may know what you do, but the chances are they dont know you, what you are like, and what you stand for. If you read my bio online, I could tell you what I look like, what I do as a living, I could even tell you what I’ve got up to in the past, but information like that wouldn’t tell you what I’m really like, what I stand for, what my attitude is on… well… anything.

To be able to get a handle on anything like that you’ll probably need to get past the immediate information, and spend sometime following me on Twitter, Google Plus, or a number of other social networks.

Newspapers use headlines to make an impression immediately. Now if you wondered into any newsagents over last week it would have been hard to have avoided headlines like the one pictured.

Question. If all you know about the Church and Christianity is based on what you see and hear in media headlines, what would you think based on headlines like these?

The Message translation of the Bible puts an interesting slant on John 1:14:

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

With 100 million active users on Google Plus, and 530 million on Facebook*, I can’t help but wonder: Where is our real neighbourhood?

Are individual churches doing enough to make sure people know they exists? It possibly harder then it sounds if you don’t have a nice obvious Church building. If people do know that your church exists, then how do they know what you stand for?

*According to “Google Plus v Facebook” infographic from pardot.com

Man Claims Church Ruined Football Career

Church ruined my chance to play for Man Utd
Jack Rivlin
2 Mar 2012Arquimedes Nganga

A retired semi-professional footballer who claims his faith ruined his chances of playing for Manchester United is suing the Baptist Church for £10?million.

In a case reminiscent of the 2001 Billy Connolly film The Man Who Sued God, Arquimedes Nganga accused religious leaders of deceiving him “into following false beliefs”.

Mr Nganga, 46, from Forest Hill, said he could have earned £20,000 a week, despite never making more than £200 a month in his home country Portugal’s Third Division. He quit the sport aged 25 when he converted to the Baptist faith.

He said: “I could definitely have had a long career in the Premiership. I see many players playing today who I am not inferior to – and perhaps even better than. Most midfielders are either defensive or attacking but I was both. I had something new.”

After converting in 1989, Mr Nganga spent 19 years as a “fervent evangelist”, devoting his life to the Bible and abstaining from sex. Now he is suing the leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, who, he says, “conspired to defraud me of my finances, time and my life”.

 

Read More Here.

(h/t @theChurchMouse )

Now there are many points that people could make about this, and what he’s trying to do; but I cant help but wonder why no one else in the article has commented on this guys footballing abilities..?