All posts tagged: forgiveness

Inaction of the Church in the Past Requires Apology, Love, Compassion Now

I am sorry. I am so desperately sorry that fellow Christians have at times misrepresented Jesus by protecting people who sexually abused children. People who should have faced immediate investigation. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is revealing a disgraceful culture of cover-ups in the Church and other institutions. The victims, often nameless to protect identity, have shared stories from many decades past with the clarity and emotional wrench as if it happened yesterday. Such is the impact of sexual abuse on a child. Confronted with such stories, I have grieved their suffering and the way my Lord Jesus has been so seriously misrepresented. Jesus was a passionate advocate for children. If you would like to know what Jesus’ thoughts are on child sex abuse, in no uncertain terms, read no further than Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the …

Philomena: a Story of Freedom Through Forgiveness

A cricket bat is not an inherently evil object.  You might argue otherwise when it is wielded by a 6-foot-something lunkhead with murderous intent.  Nor is a cricket bat an inherently holy object.  Again, some might have argued otherwise when it was in the hands of cricketing legends like our beloved Ricky Ponting or the great Sir Donald Bradman. Cricket bats are designed, crafted and sold for what is considered a good purpose; sport and enjoyment.  But it’s the intent in the mind of the man or woman holding the bat that determines whether that purpose is realised. Religion is a lot like a cricket bat. There is no more powerful illustration of this than in the film Philomena.  Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith), the film traverses a familiar true story of forced adoption in Ireland.  Finding herself pregnant out of wedlock, teenager Philomena Lee is deposited at an Irish-Catholic convent where nuns shamed and manipulated young women into relinquishing their babies for …

Maybe, Just Maybe, the Lord’s Prayer no Longer has a Place in Parliament

Perhaps the Lord’s Prayer should be scrapped from parliament.  This issue rears its head with as much regularity, it seems, as the debate around changing the date of Australia Day.  Acting Greens Leader, Senator Richard de Natale is responsible for the latest call. Personally, I’d like to see the Lord’s Prayer remain. But is the greater evil that a bunch of pollies are paying lip service only to the lines of a prayer that the Christian faith community upholds as a holy blueprint for communication with our Heavenly Father?  Words like sacrilege, hypocrisy and disrespect have been used for lesser offences. And, as author, historian and Centre for Public Christianity director John Dickson wrote recently in an article for ABC’s The Drum, “The Christian love of prayer is more than matched by the Bible’s aversion to hypocrisy” (Letting go of the Lord’s Prayer in Parliament, January 19). The prayer in question goes like this – and I quote from a modern version, the Good News Translation. “Our Father in heaven: 
 May your holy name be honoured; …

Do it Again! Do it Again!

“A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough… It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again,’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again,’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” G.K. Chesterton I feel like putting my pen down and just saying “amen” to what Chesterton said up there. It’s a big chunk of words that eats well into my word limit, …