Te Rongopai DVD
Dr Stuart Lange presents a five-part series documenting the story of the Gospel in New Zealand from Samuel Marsden forwards – its impact, the complications, and the way Christianity has had a significant impact in shaping New Zealand society both then and now.
DVD: 65 mins in 5 chapters and can be played in any zone
Price includes postage and packaging within New Zealand
Click to read the post on Facebook
NZ Herald social issues reporter Simon Collins posted a story on his Facebook page (June 27) about community backlash when a sex offender was relocated into their community.
His comment finished with the words …
I hope one day a school that is told about a child molester in its community will offer love instead of hatred; bring in the local churches and psychologists and counsellors instead of vigilantes; find the man a job with a good boss and supportive workmates and invite him for dinner instead of shunning him. Will it ever happen?
I’ve met Simon Collins. In my opinion he’s a good man and a balanced journalist, who does his best to present issues fairly. I am certain that like all of us he understands the need to consider issues of safety when relocating sex offenders into the community.
But his question about when will we offer love instead of hatred, and his hope that things would change, struck a chord with me, and prompted me to add this comment …
“I hope so too Simon. But we do need to start asking the really deep questions including the awkward ones about the relevance of God. I was talking one time with a lecturer at Vic Uni (the discussion was about 3 strikes legislation) and he said something that has stuck with me. He said: “If God is love, and love casts out fear (quoting from the Bible), then when a society moves away from God, what this *means* is that it is moving away from love and towards fear. So (he said) we should not be surprised that there is an increasingly punitive attitude in society in the area of criminal justice.
“I think your article illustrates another example of this. People get upset about the failings of Christians and the church, and rightly so. There are many, and we (Christians) have to take responsibility for them. But the picture is not as bad as it is often painted. Most Christians genuinely strive to live by faith as God wants. We know we’re flawed, but churches are still places where people are taught and challenged to love our neighbours, and even to love our enemies, just as Jesus instructed. If we want society’s response to such issues to be more loving, maybe we need to look to where love comes from?”
Our post prompted the following response from another person …
As someone who is no longer a Christian, I find these words strangely uplifting
As I ponder this exchange, a few points stand out to me which I offer for your consideration.
There’s plenty of other questions that could be raised. How about you?
Does your church talk about social issues? Do you talk to others about God, or is this something you find difficult?
Let us know what you think. If you want ideas about resources, or help in any area, please send us an email.
Glyn Carpenter was National Director of New Zealand Christian Network from March 2003 to 2017. He attends Northcote Baptist Church in Auckland, is married to Christine (married in 1981), and they have three sons – two working as doctors and one in computer science.
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