All posts tagged: culture

What Does Inclusive Mean?

What does INCLUSIVE mean? Yes, I just asked you a really simple question that isn’t the least bit simple to answer. It seems we do all these well-meaning things to be a more inclusive society, but are they working? Last week there was yet another call to remove The Lord’s Prayer from Tasmanian parliament so that it’s a more “inclusive” space. It’s an interesting thought – excluding something that is meaningful to a part of the population to keep the rest happy. Exclusion to maintain inclusion? Elsewhere, we’re busy adding to the Australian cultural space to become more inclusive. Adding prayer rooms for Muslims, adding acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land, adding the Safe Schools program to the curriculum for greater understanding of LGBTI people. We’re adding this and subtracting that, all to achieve the holy grail of inclusivity. My son has an allergy to dairy foods. Often he will go to parties and not be able to eat a lot of the food. He’s cool with it – he understands that dairy products …

What’s so Offensive about Christianity?

There’s a verse in the Bible that says this: “A person with discretion is not easily angered; he gains respect by overlooking an offence.” I quote from Proverbs 19, verse 11 of The Voice.  Not the talent show, mind, but a modern translation of the Bible. A good Christian (a good anyone for that matter) is not easily offended.  There’s a certain tension about this statement because being a follower of Christ is an offensive ‘occupation’ in progressive, post-Christian Australia.  Perhaps I should rephrase that.  Being a follower of Christ is interpreted or conjured as an offensive pastime. We are black and white in a shades-of-grey culture. So what is it exactly that’s so offensive about Christianity?  Perhaps it’s that the Bible states unequivocally what is right and what is wrong.  People don’t enjoy being told how to live their lives. Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) That is, there is only one way to heaven.  Christians believe …

Holy Switch Points to Tough Truth of the Gospel

“I saw the truth,” said Launceston woman Kim Grainger. She had just participated in Holy Switch, a documentary that took young people from six different observant religious families and swapped their lives for a week. Anglican Christian Kim went to stay with Hindu Aakash Tolani’s family in Sydney. The ABC series began last week and we saw a Kim enchanted by the mix of Hindu and Indian culture in her wealthy host family. I was intrigued to know how the switcheroo had impacted her, if it had rattled her faith. “At first, I was completely thrown by just how similar these faiths are on the surface,” Kim shared with me, “they identify and live by all the same Christian values that I live by, it just looked a little more glamorous!” It certainly did. Especially when contrasted with the chilly scenes of Tasmania that met Aakash as he stepped from his taxi in the dark of night to traipse to the door of a modest weatherboard home. Kim’s arrival was by boat to the family’s private jetty, …