Archive for February, 2010


Just in case you don’t regularly inhale great gobs of the BBC news site here’s a comparison on the damage caused there compared to that caused by China’s recent quake, and one that occurred in Italy.  Well worth the read.


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Spiritual Realities

I’ve been engaging in dialogue with a kindly professor of comparative religion who espouses Universal Unitarianism with a Buddhist flavour.    All on the road to “the divine” are moving forward and we should celebrate both the places where we concur and our differences.  However espousing this view trivializes the unique claims of each faith- in particular, though not exclusively, the distinctives of monotheistic faiths: the five pillars of Islam, observance of the Torah, the merit of the sacrificial blood of Christ.  There is no need to embrace Christ’s sacrifice, or observe the Law of Moses, or the Five Pillars, because any of the three, not to mention a whole lot of other options, will do just as well to ease us through this life.

To the post-modern mind it becomes an anathema to set one belief system  above it’s fellows as having unique merits, or worse to claim it is THE TRUTH. Dichotomous thought-  particularly, endorsing the idea that there are black and white distinctions between right and wrong and not just shaded grays, is also heavily frowned on.  Your opinion is valid for you alone and should not be splashed into someone else’s personal belief space.

This kind of fuzziness doesn’t hold much water in some places.  I found a news story from Uganda that seemed to make spiritual choices starker.  It didn’t stay on the active news very long so you might have missed this.

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The School Choir

The Sunday before it had been in the announcements, with a picture  up on the video screen- the choir from our denominational Bible School would be putting on a concert Saturday night.  I tabled the information, but not much more, the picture looked like other similar choirs on the backs of some of my parents’ record collection: a collection, unplayed for years, which still graces my living room.

Sunday morning, a friend mentioned that she had attended the concert. She has, on the past been on its board. I believe.  She said that the audience, drawn from our church of nearly two thousand, might have reached fifty- they can’t have out-numbered the choir.

I felt a pang of guilt.  And I remembered the times that such choirs visited our church in my youth.  It was an occasion in our  small southern Alberta town.  A couple of weeks ahead the call would go out for billets and my mother would be sure to take in a couple of these fresh-faced enthusiastic students.  They would take over the Sunday service with their music and testimonies.  Afterward there would be a potluck of delicious home cooked casseroles, and a wide-selection of salads and desserts, and mingling in the church basement.

In those days any young person with a claim to a committed faith expected to spend a year or three in Bible School before going on to other endeavors. I did myself.

(Another pang of guilt that I had not pushed my own offspring to attend.)

Has the world just moved on, or taken over?  Have we lost something vital?

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