Tag: sin

Finding a cure for cancer

Published March 2019

CANCER is everywhere. My father died of brain cancer, my mother survived breast cancer, my brother had skin cancer removed and my grandmother died of bowel cancer. I myself have a suspected slow-growing lung cancer and can think of six people off the top of my head whom I know are currently fighting or have recently battled the disease.

I’m sure most of you can too.

Now comes an astounding announcement from a team of Israeli scientists that they have discovered the first true cure for all types of cancer! One of them told The Jerusalem Post, “We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer.”

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Facing up to failure

Published October 2017

IN the last issue Challenge led with the Christian testimony of actor Chris Pratt. The same month, just after we went to press, the story broke that Chris and his wife, Anna Farris are splitting up. Rumour has it Jennifer Lawrence may be involved. While it is a credit to the pair that their spilt does not seem to be acrimonious, and they haven’t actually said they are divorcing yet, it is disappointing news.
Disappointing because as soon as someone “comes out” as a Christian, people expect perfection and are intolerant of any moral failure on their part.

However, as I heard expressed recently, if we expect to find sick people in a hospital, we should expect to find broken people in a church – it is a place where those who have acknowledged their own failures and their need for a higher power, are able to go to find forgiveness and healing. Church is not a place for perfect people and anyone who has had anything to do with Christians will admit that most of them are far from it.

So then, what is the good of faith? Well, it may not make us perfect (this side of eternity) to become followers of Jesus, but it certainly makes us better than we would be relying on our own resources. Many people CAN testify how turning their lives over to God has set them free from addictions, restored relationships, mended marriages and broken chains of the past. However, for most people these things do not happen instantly and each Christian is on a journey called sanctification that is taking us towards perfection and will continue our whole lives.

For those outside the church the failure of Christians to live up to their doctrines should be a powerful reminder that it is not Christians who should be idolised and worshipped, no matter how saintly or successful they may seem, but it is their God who should be worshipped … because the God of the Bible is indeed perfect, unchanging, completely reliable, absolutely trustworthy and morally incorruptible.

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Why does “bad” feel so good?

ISN’T it strange that we display bumper stickers that say things like “Bad to the Bone”, “10% nice, 90% naughty” and have skulls on them, but it wouldn’t be considered nearly so cool to have a sticker that said “Good guy”, “Noble and honest” or “I love my spouse”?

Good is “wicked” or “sick” and icons of evil, like demons, devils, witches and the grim reaper are put on our T-shirts and backpacks.Continue reading

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Yin Yang

The Eastern symbol of Yin Yang, with its equal swirls of black and white, has become ubiquitous on clothing brands, computer games and in popular culture generally. This idea of a balance between good and evil, of an eternal struggle between the two, is played out in comics and TV shows, and is very appealing. We can identify that tug of war in the world around us and we feel the struggle within ourselves.

The concept of equal but opposing forces in an epic duel has even crept into Christian thinking. However, Biblical Christianity teaches a far different and more encouraging power balance than that good causes and is dependent upon evil, just holding its own in the struggle.

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Trauma cleaning

I am reading a fascinating book at the moment about someone whose job it is to “trauma clean” – she is the cleaner who goes in after a murder, suicide or bad tenant; the person whom the council gets to clean up for hoarders and wash down former methadone labs.

What an interesting, disgusting, daunting and slightly terrifying job!Continue reading

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Imagine a world without theft

Can you imagine a world in which there was no theft? I find it is almost impossible to do. Imagine not needing locks on doors, or cars? No security guards in stores, no pick pocketing or phone scams. We wouldn’t need safety deposit boxes or passwords because no one would steal online either.

If everything was paid for, stores wouldn’t have to pad their prices and the cost of everything would be lower. Insurance companies would lose a lot of work. If no one stole from the tax man, the government would have lots more money to make improvements on infrastructure and amenities.

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The power of apology (Sorry Day 26 May)

National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country’s Aboriginal population. I imagine many Australians might feel the whole idea is just a hollow attempt by “the white fella” to soothe his conscience about the past, and that an apology is just empty words.Continue reading

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The sin-eater

Written March 2019

In season three of Netflix’s “The Blacklist” FBI agent Elizabeth Keen remembers something horrific she did in her past and finally understands why the mysterious Raymond Reddington (Red) was trying to keep it from her.

“I was trying to be your sin-eater,” he tells her.

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