Church Society Podcast: Priscilla students
Posted by Ros Clarke, 22 Jul 2019
Two current students on the Priscilla Programme share their experiences from the first year.
More information about the Priscilla Programme.
Application form and fees.
God’s judgment on spiritual abuse
Posted by Ros Clarke, 18 Jul 2019
Ros Clarke examines three Bible passages containing examples of spiritual abuse and showing God's judgment on those who do it.
Spiritual abuse may be a relatively new term and one that is not always well-defined or well-understood, but it is not a new concept. The Bible gives us multiple examples showing clearly how it is possible for people to manipulate, bully, use, coerce, control and abuse others in a spiritual context. And it leaves us in no doubt about God’s views of those who do such things.
1 Samuel 2
Two kinds of abuse are mentioned here: priests claiming for themselves that which should have been God’s, and the use of shrine prostitutes.
Preventing others from worshipping God
In the first case, the priests are preventing the Israelites from making their offering of meat to the Lord by insisting on claiming their share first. If the Israelites refused, the priests instructed their servants to threaten to take it by force. This is clearly coercive behaviour, using force or threatened force, to compel the Israelites to give up their offering. It is spiritual abuse because it denies the Israelites their freedom to make their offering, and because it is the spiritual authority of the priests which is being abused in order to coerce.
God’s judgment on this specific abuse is given in v17: “This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.”
Posted by George Crowder, 16 Jul 2019
George Crowder gives us some ideas for summer evangelism - and explains why he's started smoking!
It’s barbecue season - piquant aromas carry on the warm evening breeze making our mouths water and our tummies rumble. This week our church hosted an evangelistic barbecue; I suspect we were not the only ones.
Positively, though it is a well-worn formula, it gets a reasonable turn out and is at least an enjoyable experience. Negatively, I can’t help feeling that, in a similar vein to barbecued meat, the church barbecue so often promises much more than it delivers.
While pondering the purpose of events like this, I was inspired by the whole barbecuing concept. Are we unwittingly wedded to ‘barbecue evangelism’ - a short hot blast of gospel leaving people burnt on the outside but raw in the middle?
Photo by Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels