Who owns your body?

My body is mine, no one’s but mine. That belief is at the heart of Western culture today.

It’s the heart of many culture clashes too:

  • Fair employment hinges on this issue. A slave driver says, ‘I own you, so you do as I say.” Unionized employees say, “I’ll present myself to work on condition of just pay, for agreed hours, in a safe setting.”
  • Abortion hinges on this issue. Pro-choice advocates say, “It’s my body; no one else decides.” Pro-life advocates say, “Not if you’re harming another life.”
  • Gay rights hinge on this issue. Is your body your own so you can do as you like? Or do you answer to an authority who decides what you can do with your body?
  • Gender identity hinges on this issue. Am I whatever I define myself to be? Or am I whatever body I was given?
  • Faith hinges on this issue. You will live differently if you believe “God owns my body” or “I own my body.” How you relate to God is at the heart of how you practice your faith.

So, this is a confronting claim:

1 Corinthians 6:19b–20 (NIV)
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.

That really needs some explanation.

Continue reading “Who owns your body?”

The church’s role in the world

What does it look like to be human?

What is our role in the world? In a word, to be human.

That doesn’t work if the church holds a negative view of what it means to be human.

God doesn’t. He addressed Ezekiel as son of man — literally human descendant. Jesus called himself the son of man more than any other term. God is restoring humanity in Christ. That’s why our role in the world is to be human.

What could be more fulfilling? Being human is what we were designed to be.

So, what’s the problem? Humans have chosen another path, wanting to be superhuman. It makes us subhuman, for seeking power over each other destroys our humanity.

That’s the reason Ezekiel was in Babylon. That’s why Jesus was crucified. That’s the problem all the way back to Cain and Abel. It is challenging to live as a humans when others are being beasts.

This podcast (23 minutes) was recorded at Riverview Joondalup 2022-06-19.

Continue reading “The church’s role in the world”

Who is “the Servant of the Lord”? (Matthew 12:17-21)

What Isaiah said about Israel, Matthew says about Jesus. How can he do that?

Open Matthew 12:17-21.

Years ago, I ordered the plans to build a 2-seater kit plane. It was fun pouring over the plans, but I didn’t really have the time or resources to commit to such a project. I took on pastoring instead.

Building community is nothing like building an aircraft. You only get one chance to get the critical things right in a plane, but you can stress-test the parts and be mathematically sure it’s good to fly.

Human beings are nothing like that. They decouple mid-flight and fly off in their own direction. There can be no blueprints for building community: the “parts” are living and constantly changing. A leader is always adapting the plans, reshaping and redesigning. Mid-flight!

Continue reading “Who is “the Servant of the Lord”? (Matthew 12:17-21)”

What’s your view of humans?

How could Jesus be human? Surely he’s not like us!

What’s your opinion of people?

  1. Humans are wonderful. They’re born with so much potential. They have the capacity to make the world a better place by fulfilling that potential.
  2. Humans are flawed. They’re depraved by nature. They’re incapable of doing good without external help.
  3. Humans are both wonderful and flawed. They have the capacity for both good and evil.
  4. Humans are neither wonderful nor flawed. They’re not uniquely different to the other animals with whom they share the earth.

You might want to hone the wording, but which is nearest to your belief? Continue reading “What’s your view of humans?”

Who are we? (Genesis 1:20-31)

We saw that Genesis 1 reveals our sovereign establishing two realms: heaven and earth. The first half of this narrative (Days 1-3) culminated with the sovereign placing lights in the sky as signs that earth is under heaven’s rule. The second half (Days 4-6) also culminates with the sovereign installing images of his reign.
Continue reading “Who are we? (Genesis 1:20-31)”