February 21, 2015

Repentance Is the Doorway To Heaven (Lent 1 Readings)

The Gospel message (Mark 1.9-15) is that the Kingdom of Heaven is not a remote, faraway place, but a place that is near. In Jesus the Heavenly Kingdom has historically broken into our physical world. These divine interventions go back to Creation. In the Noah story God seems almost sorry for the mass destruction of life in the great Flood. God seems to be searching for a better way to bring humanity back into a relationship of love. In Jesus we see that this has happened. In the new Covenant of Jesus God has created a way - the way of repentance in Faith, to bring people back into a relationship of forgiveness and love.

1. The Good News is that there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ
Lent is a time of deep personal self-examination and repentance as we prepare to celebrate the Good News of Jesus Resurrection at Easter. Many people have confused ideas about what this Good News is:

February 12, 2015

Transfiguration Was the Ultimate Epiphany Experience (Transfiguration)

An Epiphany moment is when we see something in a dramatic new way. In this case Peter, James and John see Jesus with his body and cloths changed in a dramatic, visible way; talking to Elijah and Moses (Mark 9.2-13). This is not a dream. There are three very awake and frightened witnesses. The witnesses are having the epiphany moment of their lives. They are seeing Jesus as part of another eternal spiritual dimension. This is nothing less than the heavenly kingdom in visible form intruding on our physical world.

 1. We have trouble with the Biblical supernatural worldview
We have been raised in a culture based on science and reason. The Age of Reason and Enlightenment rejected as Biblical myths. Modern Theological Liberals reject the supernatural as superstition

February 7, 2015

Baptism, Experience and Faith

Sundre Baptism 2015.jpgSeveral people have asked me if I noticed the dramatic difference between my January (Anglican ) Sower article on the “Battle Belongs to the Lord” Conference at St. Peter’s, Okatokes; and the opposite facing article “Understanding Aspects of Christian Faith” (which questioned both sin and spiritual evil). I did, and believe this has given us an opportunity to reflect on how differences in our teaching and experiences of God can lead to very different interpretations of our Baptismal Faith. This points to a need to listen to those who have different experiences of spiritual life - as opposed to dismissing them as misguided. Allan Miller has done us a great service by raising basic questions about the Nature of God,  sin and evil and the meaning of Baptism which are on the minds of many modern people. It is not just theological ignorance, but differences in our personal experience of the spiritual dimension that affect our interpretation of Faith and understanding of Baptism.

  1. The Nature of God

Jesus Has Given Us Authority To Heal (Epiphany 5)

The Gospel story of Jesus healing a sick woman AND casting out a demon (Mark 1.29-39) opens our eyes to the supernatural world of the healing ministry in the Bible. This is an Epiphany moment. Many people in our time have been told the healing miracles of Jesus are exaggerations, from a pre-scientific and superstitious culture; or that healing only happened in the time of Jesus. This is wrong information. Those of us in the healing ministry have personal experience that people in our time can be healed from both physical illness and spiritual oppression – just like it says in the Bible. The Healing Ministry is scientific and reasonable because it is based on observable evidence in our time.

Our words have power in the spiritual realm
A very long time ago Lucille and I were reading John and Paula Sanford’s books on the Healing Ministry. This couple have been writing books, leading conferences and doing prayer ministry for over 50 years.