Category Archives: Social Justice

ALLin Podcast: Ep13: 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1 and ‘arsenokoites’

In his letters to Corinth and Timothy, the senior pastor at Ephesus, Paul lists a number of sins that will keep people out of the Kingdom of God. Included in these lists is a word that Paul made up. Why did he make this word up, what does it mean, and how should we understand it today?

NOTES:
See here for the table of vice lists referred to in the podcast.

What churches can do to support parents and students during the Covid-19 disruption

The Covid-19 disruption has had a huge impact on schools, and they are not going to be able to go “back to normal” anytime in 2020, or possibly even 2021. Parents are struggling to “home school”. Parents might be able to go back to work before children go back to school.

Here is a suggestion for churches, religious organisations, sports clubs and other community societies to help parents and children who are struggling right now.

Please listen and share this idea in your community. We all need to help each other deal with this Covid disruption.

SERMON: Resurrection, Sabbath and Exodus (in a time of Covid-19)

It was my turn to preach at our church this morning. My sermon is about Ressurection, Sabbath and Exodus, and can be watched at https://www.facebook.com/MelroseChurchJhbZA/posts/153826419456676

I talked about how the Resurrection of Jesus is deliberately linked back to two big themes in the Old Testament:

1. the Creation Sabbath, which reminds us that the world is meant to be a place where we all have work and rest in a natural rhythm, and

2. the Exodus Passover, which reminds us that we are not meant to be in slavery to our work.

Jesus did not come to merely save us from this world and give us a hope of life after death, he came to save us from incorrect and oppressive systems in this world. Maybe Covid-19 is the reset the world needed to move us towards this picture of what the world is meant to be.

Lockdown Reflections: It’s the hope that nearly killed me

A Reflection during Lockdown on Good Friday, 10 April 2020:

It’s the hope that nearly killed me…

That’s a line from the amazing documentary, “Touching the Void”. Joe Simpson and his mountaineering partner Simon Yates were caught in a snowstorm on the Siula Grande in Peru. Joe broke his leg and in a failed attempt at a self rescue, was then left for dead on the mountain. He managed to get himself down the mountain, only to discover he was far away from any civilisation and had to drag himself across glaciers and rocks for a few days becoming dehydrated and frost bitten, before finally being rescued.

Having managed to get himself to the bottom of the mountain, he says that it was the dashing of his hopes of rescue at that point that was the lowest moment of the experience for him. Dashed hopes can kill you.
Continue reading Lockdown Reflections: It’s the hope that nearly killed me

ALLin Podcast Episode 12: A Community of Radical Inclusion

A Community of Radical Inclusion is a sermon preached by Graeme Codrington at the Melrose Campus of Gracepoint Methodist church in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016. It lays out both a Biblical and historical case for including LGBTQI in our churches, and affirming them as made in God’s image. 

Resources:

ALLin Podcast: Episode 11: Gender and Sport

Sport is about finding the fastest and strongest human. Almost always, this turns out to be a man. In order to allow women to compete in elite sports, we created a category for “women”, and have excluded men from competing in this category. But for over 100 years, we’ve battled to define who a woman is in sport. Back in 1936, for example, both the gold and silver winners of the 100m accused each other of being men. A “nude parade” was required for all elite women athletes – to literally stand naked in front of a panel of judges to prove they were women. This was changed in the 1960s and 70s to a “female passport”. It then shifted to chromosome testing, and today a court has confirmed it relates to hormone levels. But none of these are adequate, and all have been flawed.

This bonus episode of the ALLin podcast looks at the fascinating history of how sport has tried to define who a woman is, and what it means for us that they have essentially failed to do so in over a century.

Of course, sport is merely an example. This also applies to how we might define who can go to a girls school, or who gets counted as a woman on your Board or Executive leadership team if your country requires a specific quota of women in those positions.

This bonus episode concludes the mini-series on “Are there only two genders?”. The answer, it is clear, is NO.

Resources:

ALLin Podcast: Episode 07: Leviticus 18 & 20

The ALLin podcast provides resources and insights for Christians who affirm the LGBTQI community. In this episode we look at the two Old Testament Laws that talk about male gay sexual activity. We look at the context, the Holiness Code and ancient Israel’s sexual ethics.

Summary: The commands against gay sex in Leviticus 18 and 20 were given to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land, and they were about the people who already lived there. Look at the first few verses of Lev 18 and 20 and you’ll see clearly that these Laws were about what the pagan nations did in their temples. These temple rituals included tattooing your body, shaving your head and having gay sex with teenage boys. They also included child sacrifice. And God said to the Israelites: don’t do any of these things in MY temple. These chapters in Leviticus are not meant to be a code of sexual ethics for all time, but a specific set of restrictions related to temple Worship in the pagan nations that surrounded Israel. They do NOT apply to gay people today. And they have nothing to say about gay marriage.

Resources:

The Reason God Creates LGBTQI people

Back in 2016, James O’Keefe presented a TEDx talk entitled “Homosexuality: It’s about survival – not sex“. It has since had more than 2.5 million views.

The reason for the interest in this video is that James presents a compelling theory of why we need LGBTQI people in the world.

James presents his theory from the basis of evolution. As a Christian, if you prefer to refer to Creation and God’s choice rather than nature’s choice, it doesn’t change James’ theory. He suggests that at first glance it might seem strange that LGBTQI people exist – they don’t appear to make sense for evolution (or creation and God’s command to reproduce).

Continue reading The Reason God Creates LGBTQI people

ALLin Podcast Episode 5: Ten Affirming Scriptures

The Bible is not meant to be used as a legal textbook. On many issues, we are required to look for principles in the Bible, rather than direct instructions. This includes issues such as slavery, women leaders, and democracy. On these issues, we need to identify principles from the Bible that help us understand how God would have us live. In this episode of the ALLin podcast, we look at ten passages in the Bible that provide principles for affirming gay marriage and LGBTQI people.

Or listen and subscribe on your favourite podcast platform.

Resource and recommended reading:
* https://sojo.net/articles/10-bible-passages-teach-christian-perspective-homosexuality