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Pastoral

This category contains 260 posts

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‘Let no one who is not eager for truth and peace enter here’ (Plato)

Articles on this site express varying points of view, to encourage mature thinking on serious issues. The assumption is that you will want to study a controversial topic from various angles before you arrive at a conclusion, rather than simply believe what someone told you when you were impressionable! (So some stuff here is ‘hot’. Proceed at your own risk!). See the Statement of Faith for John Mark Ministries' theological stance.

Gay Religious Suicide

Today – September 10 –  is World Suicide Prevention Day . Did you know that more LGBT people from faith backgrounds take their own lives than from those from non-faith backgrounds? In the article below I give 7 reasons why this horrific toll can never actually be counted. Please forward this newsletter on to create […]

Resources for Christians Under Pressure May 2014

 A good list: thanks Vaughan!   Allender, W. Leading With A Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness 2008 Waterbook Press.   Anderson, F. Running on Empty Contemplative Spirituality for Achievers 2004 WaterBrook Press.   Austin, B. When God Has Put You On Hold. 1986 Tyndale House.   Beach, S. The Silent Seduction […]

Clergy as professional revolutionaries

by George Clifford Recently, I read Edward Dreyer’s history of wars in China during the first half of the twentieth century, China at War: 1901-1949 (London: Longman, 1995). Unless you have a particular interest in, and background knowledge of, those wars I do not recommend that you make the effort to read this specialist volume. What drew […]

Hillsong pastor baptizes Justin Bieber in a bathtub

Justin Bieber gets baptised in a bathtub The Murdochs did it in the Jordan, Celine Dion did it at Las Vegas, but now the celebrity baptism has moved to the bathroom • Brian McFadden picks the man he’d like to play him in a movie of his life Washing their troubles away? The celebrities who have […]

C.S.Lewis’ Marriage and the Gay Marriage Controversy

March 31, 2014 What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy Why “welcome and wanted” is a biblical response to gay and lesbian couples in evangelical churches. by Ken Wilson Note: There’s a problem with the word-wrap below. Until I can fix it the original article is here: http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/03/31/what-c-s-lewis-marriage-can-tell-us-about-the-gay-marriage-controversy/31512 ~~ I’m […]

Confession must be subject to mandatory reporting

March 26, 2014 Bryan Keon-Cohen, Joseph Poznanski The absolute confidentiality of the Catholic Church’s confessional puts vulnerable children at risk. Illustration: Andrew Dyson. While the Catholic Church appears willing to accept the Victorian parliamentary committee’s recommendations in its report Betrayal of Trust, the church hierarchy rejects the application of a mandatory reporting regime to the sacrament […]

Child Sponsorship: pros and cons…

OUTSIDE ONLINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2014 My 13-Year Effort to Save a Boy in Haiti As a teenager, I began sponsoring a poverty-stricken boy in the Caribbean. Twelve years and thousands of dollars later I flew down to meet him—and to learn if my efforts did any good at all. By: JONAH OGLES    A young […]

Pope faces moral dilemma catering to a divided flock

February 15, 2014 William Saletan Pope Francis plays the middle man. Photo: Reuters It’s not easy being Pope. You have 2000 years of tradition to defend. You have piles of doctrine and an ecclesiastical bureaucracy. Meanwhile, you have liberals clamouring for change. And then there’s your boss. To navigate these difficulties, Pope Francis recently instructed bishops […]

Church shouldnt be this hard

By Tom Ehrich | Religion News Service, Published: January 8 After 36 years of serving churches as a pastor and consultant, I came to a startling conclusion the other day. Not startling to you, perhaps. I might be the last person to get the memo. But the conclusion drew me up short. My conclusion: Religion shouldn’t be this […]

New Year Prayer (Karl Barth)

KARL BARTH’S PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR O Lord, our Father! We have gathered here at the turn of the year because we do not want to be alone but want to be with each other, and together be united with you. Our hearts are filled with somber thoughts as we reflect on our misdeeds […]