Watching Daily At Wisdom's Gates

A Yorkshireman's take on life, death, and eternity

Month: Nov, 2019

Disagreeing with Islam isn’t Islamophobia

I know I occasionally write this kind of post, but I think it’s an important point.

I don’t want to make light of what happened in London yesterday, I just think we have to talk about these things.

I pray for everyone affected yesterday, for comfort and healing.

Disclaimer: I’m not a Muslim, and I disagree with Islam.

That doesn’t make me Islamophobic!

Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean to say you necessarily fear them or hate them. You might just think they’re wrong.

It’s possible to love someone and still have a difference of opinion to them. You might not even want to affirm their opinion, if it’s violent for example. But it’s still possible to love them.

Islam was founded by a warlord who spread it by violence, and so it has been ever since.

Just because I hate the violent ideology of Islam, doesn’t mean to say I hate Muslims, the vast majority of whom don’t practice what their founder preached and practiced. I don’t even hate violent terrorists, whatever their ideology, but long that they should come to repentance and faith.

A terrorist was crucified with Jesus. He knew he was getting what he deserved, but that Jesus had done no wrong. He said “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom”. Jesus replied “Today, you will be with me in paradise!” That’s radical!

In a world that condemns people for Islamophobia, but seeks to give terrorists a second chance, that forgiveness and transformation that Jesus offers is powerful stuff!

Do we believe in the effectiveness of Jesus’ blood? Maybe we do for ourselves, but we don’t want to believe it for the terrorists! Truly, as Jesus said, if you’re forgiven a bit, you’ll love a bit; if you’re forgiven a lot you’ll love a lot.

I pray for my nation, for peace and reconciliation- with God first and foremost, and with one another.

Psalm 53: Atheism

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Psalm 52: Boast

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Psalm 51: Repentance

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Psalm 50: Thanksgiving

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For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,

2 Thessalonians 3:7 ESV

We ought to be the kind of people that people ought to imitate. Paul & Co. were those kinds of people. No one could accuse them of being lazy.

When Paul first came to Thessalonica, he was so concerned to not burden the Thessalonians that he worked night and day so he could support himself, buy his daily bread, and preach the gospel. Nowadays, people tend to look down on “tent making” or “part time” ministry. But Paul was determined not to put a price on the gospel.

How would it have looked if Paul had preached God’s free grace, and then handed round the offering plate to charge people to hear him? It wouldn’t have seemed so free after all. How would it have looked if Paul had relied on the hospitality and generosity of the Thessalonians while he was trying to convert them? He was determined not to put the gospel in a bad light.

Of course, gospel workers have a right to earn a living from the gospel. But as Paul says elsewhere, he wasn’t going to insist on his rights and put a price on the gospel. The Thessalonians, tempted to idleness as they awaited the day of the Lord, did well to heed Paul’s conscientious, diligent example.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for the gospel which comes freely to us in Your Son. Don’t let us put a price on it, but may we work hard to imitate Him and to make Your good news of salvation known, for Your honour and praise, amen”

“Here we go a-wassailing”: an evangelistic idea

I’ve been a bit ambivalent about Christmas for a few years. I think I’ve been a bit legalistic though, and as long as we’re celebrating Jesus rather than Mammon, I think it’s probably okay. I know we could debate pagan origins, but hey, even the names for the days of the week have that!

A great way to get our Mammon worshipping neighbours to think about Immanuel is through some good old fashioned wassailing, in the Christmas carolling understanding of the word!

We did it last year. We had a mixed response: most seemed to think we were raising money for charity! Most seemed to enjoy it though, although there’s a couple of doors we might miss out if we get round to it this year!

An Englishman’s home is his castle. Yes, we tend to be polite as well, but once we get home we tend to draw up the drawbridge and be, to put it uncharitably, rather inhospitable! Carolling is a disarmingly pleasant way to lay siege to the walls of an Englishman’s heart and melt his heart with the warmth of the gospel.

We gave out Christmassy gospel leaflets and invites to church.

Would wassailing work in your whereabouts? πŸ™‚

I would certainly recommend it if you want to give it a go. You’ll most likely get a mixed response but it should be worth it πŸ™‚

You want to consider your carol. You won’t need a massive playlist- just one verse and if applicable chorus should be fine. You want the gospel in a nutshell in whatever lyrics you choose. I chose “Oh come all you faithful” which has the lyric “born the King” which helps people hopefully to see the significance of Christ’s birth- “Oh come let us adore Him: Christ the Lord”.

If we manage to organise it this year I think we’ll have the first verse of “Joy to the world” πŸ™‚

Let me know how it goes if you go for it!

Psalm 49: Death

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Psalm 48: City

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Psalm 47: Clap!

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