Wednesday, 18 July 2007
It was said of Lindsay that he urges us to remember and tell of the acts of God to the glory of God. We prayed may the name of Jesus be lifted higher than the name of Lindsay, or of IFES. But we are thankful that God uses other people to help us lift up the name of Jesus - and that Lindsay has been one servant helping us hold up that banner. All glory to the Lamb who was slain. Before addressing us, Lindsay paid tribute to his wife, who sadly hates flying so wasn't with us: "The best 55% is left at home". He took the words attributed to John Newton at the end of his life: "I'm a great sinner and I have a great Saviour." And addressed us from Acts 20.16-24
1) Remember your roots
(Have a historical perspective.) We tell stories of what God is doing, testifying to his grace. "If you don't know anything of your past, you won't understand your present and you certainly won't see clearly your future." Our faith is rooted in a story in time and space and history. This is the key to stimulating worship (memory leads to praise), to strengthening our identity (knowing we're in a long line of servants, keeping us humble), and to standing in the future (if God can use them in their weakness, he can use me!) Lindsay reminded us of what we stand for - e.g. creative Bible study, commitment to evangelism in university as the heartbeat of IFES, growing the Christian mind with an attempt to apply Christ's Lordship to every area of society, and the centrality of the Word of God.
2. Recognise that hardship's inevitable
See vv.19 &23. Most great work of God is accompanied by severe testing. Lindsay reminded us of some of the movements we have just affiliated, and other testing in other countries. All who are godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The gospel is true and worth living for. And if need be, worth dying for. He warned us of the destructive nature of infighting as we lose vision. We withstand by the grace of God standing on the truth of God.
3. Retain your focus
Paul mentions that he was with them teaching and preaching, continuously. Evangelism depends on good teaching to ensure it's the gospel that is preached and that graduates are equipped for the pressures of employment. We need to make sure in our expanding work that we don't become loose theologically. And we need preaching. The content was repentance towards God and of faith in our Lord Jesus (v.21), and the gospel of the grace of God (v.24). We must preach repentance, grace & faith. All the evangelistic sermons in the NT have 3 things (I think Lindsay made reference to a book by Green)
- there is only one God who created us and to whom we're accountable
- that God raised Jesus from the dead
- repent: there is judgement we must face
Evangelism, mission & dialogue: these are needed but there is much confusion about them. Lindsay defines them as follows -
Evangelism is about the evangel. The message of good news. He warned us that for all we can help people, we can help them and leave them eternally lost.
Mission is all we're called to do in all the earth. Taking the gospel to all the earth and applying Christ's Lordship to all areas. Not like the disciples at the feeding of the 5000 ("Tell them all to go away and buy bread.")
Dialogue is not just listening to people. Listen and seek to understand in order to explain and appropriately respond with the gospel. (Drawing on Packer.)
4) Run to the end
v.24 Finish the task. Church history is full of wonderful believers who've finished the task. We're called to continue to the end - we've only finished when we reach heaven! There is pressure to give up in severe testing of insurmountable difficulty. How is it possible to keep going? What keeps us from becoming hardened? It is understanding and experiencing the depth and profundity of God's grace. "To testify to the gospel of the grace of God." The wonder, the glory, the majesty, the profundity, the greatness, the magnitude of God's grace. He is the God of all grace. Are our hearts still gripped by the wonder of the grace of God? That is what will keep us going. Offer Christ to the people; offer grace to the people: that is our calling. IFES is just the means.
Remember your roots. Recognise that hardship is inevitable. Retain your focus. Run to the end. By being consumed by, living by, and wondering at the light of the God of all grace who sent his Son to live and die that we might have eternal life.
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Le Seigneur envoi ses serviteur d’aller « devant sa face », en grec, et la sienne, c’était durci d’aller à Jérusalem.
Qui sont ses 70 ? Ils étaient autres que les 12, pour préparer le chemin de Jésus « devant sa face » vers Jérusalem. Les 12 sont les nouveaux chefs des tribus d’Israël, et les 70 les nouveaux anciens de l’Exode, sous Moïse (Ex.24.9-11, Nombres 11.16-17 & 24-25). L’Exode d’Egypt est la mega-histoire selon laquelle Jésus se comprend – il s’interprète, il se place dans cette histoire.
Dans la transfiguration, il parla avec Moïse à propos de son « exode » à Jérusalem. Cet exode serait hors du péché, hors de la mort. Parmi les Israélites du temps il y avait des gens qui se considéraient comme en exode (Qumram). Mais, pas comme eux, Jésus n’encourage pas ses disciples de se séparer du peuple mais d’aller parmi eux – comme pour une récolte. 10.4 – ne portez rien (comme à l’Exode) et v.5ff – la conquête d’Exode. Pour désigner cette conquête Jésus utilise l’idée de la moisson. La moisson du Seigneur – de lui. Nous sommes les co-ouvriers de Dieu. Ouvriers ensemble, au service de Dieu.
C’est une image du salut, et du jugement (vv.5-6, 8, 10-11). Le reste fidèle, croyant. Par les 70, le Seigneur de la moisson juge le peuple. C’est ce que tout les prophètes ont voulu voir (23-24). La fin des temps est là. L’Exode. La conquête.
Pourquoi Jésus a t’il voulu rassembler le 12 ? Pourquoi ce thème de l’Exode ? C’est parce que Jésus à Jérusalem pour sa mort et sa résurrection va être l’agneau de l’Exode et en lui, nous sommes rachetés, libérés. L’Israël apostolique des 12 formera 1 seul peuple de Dieu. Le reste sera exclu – le jugement de Pentecôte.
Ce n’est pas surprenant que dans notre texte il y ait tellement de joie. Les 70 (v.17), Jésus (v.21-22). Voilà un moment unique (dans les synoptiques) : le seul où Jésus se dévoile si pleinement. Pour la première fois, bouleversé de joie, Jésus se nomme comme Fils de Dieu devant les disciples. Cet homme voit que son peuple rassemble, que ceux pour qui il va mourir croient ! Et cela lui bouleverse de joie !
Notez, l’histoire ne finit pas à Jérusalem. Les Actes des apôtres… Parce que l’Exode que Jésus a commencé à Nazareth avec le texte d’Esaïe 60, qui passe par le 12 et le 70, qui passe par Jérusalem où Jésus meure pour l’Israël de la foi, va redémarrer vers Rome ! Pour nous rassembler aussi. Nous sommes en exode. Notre patri c’est la Jérusalem célèste. Matt.24.40ff. Qui sera pris ? Dans les jours de Noé, les « pris » étaient les uns détruits – ainsi, les « pris » ici sont détruits et c’est les laissés qui hériteront la terre. Ce n’est pas la résurrection vers le ciel mais la nouvelle Jérusalem qui vient à la terre. Nous ne sommes pas ici pour fuir le monde mais pour rassembler Son peuple. Quelle joie !
I appreciate that not many of you read French: I'll translate this sometime but have recorded it here for the timebeing in French for the sake of speed. Many of us greatly appreciated M.Buchhold's exposition of this passage, and that today which follows.
Luc 9.51 nous donne un moment clé du ministère de Jésus : « Jésus décida résolument d’aller à Jérusalem. » Après ce point-là, la reste de l’évangile c’est en route à Jérusalem pour sa mort. Ces passages ici sont alors consacrés aux préparatifs pour aller à Jérusalem. Ils nous parlent de l’exigence de suivre Jésus. Alors comment comprendre ses textes ? Jésus définit la « suivance » (Jacques invente ce mot !) face à 3 hommes qui veulent lui suivre.
3 faits concernant la « suivance » de Jésus en Luc : c’est fréquent (il listait bcp de versets), frappant (ex. 9.57-62 – NB v.60 qui s’oppose à toute pensée de l’époque) et unique. Unique parce que ce terme (suivre Jésus) n’est pas utilisé après les évangiles dans le NT, sauf qu’une fois en apocalypse. En fait, Jésus n’était pas une sorte d’extra-terrestre, qui est arrivé en Palestine et on ne sait pas bien comment ! Non, il prenait un modèle bien connu – celui d’un théologue de son temps.
Suivre le rabbi Jésus
Rabbi. Mon maître. Ils enseignaient dans une maison qui en servait de l’école – et les disciples faisaient les courses, etc. Mais souvent aussi ils se promenaient, comme pelegrinage. Et les disciples suivaient toujours. Jamais à côté du maître.
Ici les 2e et 3e interlocuteurs lui appellent Rabbi (seigneur) et qqn d’autre, Docteur – alors c’est que Jésus apparaîtrait comme maître d’une fac de théologie ! On lui demande alors des questions à propos le divorce, la résurrection, le sabbat – les questions de l’époque. C’est en ce contexte qu’il faut comprendre ce texte. V.57
C’est une demande d’être disciple. C’est pourquoi il faut laisser femme, enfant, maison. Ca explique aussi la disparition du thème dans le NT – Jésus ne peut pas être suivi physiquement maintenant. Alors est-ce que c’est plus que ça ?
L’appelle vient du maître et c’est l’obédience immédiate qui en résulte. Ce ne sont pas les disciples qui s’inscrivent dans un institut de théologie. Jésus les choisit. Et des personnes bizarres en plus ! Jésus ne se content pas de la manière bénévole superficielle de ses hommes qui lui demande d’être disciple. C’est LUI qui définit les conditions de « suivance ». Une telle exigence s’échappe le modèle rabbinique. Il est plus qu’un rabbi. Il s’incarne dans ce modèle mais il en est plus.
Suivre le prophète Jésus
Il est plus qu’un prophète. Bcp de choses ici ressemblent l’appel d’Elisée. C’est à ça que Jésus pense en v.62. Elisée brûlait son attelage en sacrifice. Il savait qu’après, il n’en aura pas besoin ! Ce n’est pas par la chance que tout ceci fait partie du marche vers Jérusalem. Jésus connaît ce que ça veut dire, prendre cette démarche. Il ne rentra pas. Jésus ne se laissait pas être encadré du modèle – ni de rabbi, ni d’Éli.
Jésus – suivre le serviteur
C’est plus que suivre un prophète. Jésus ne serait pas élevé au ciel comme Élie mais élevé sur une croix. Il venait comme serviteur. V.51 Jésus « durci sa face » - expression semetique, pas grec – Esaïe 50.4ff. Il savait qu’il était Le Serviteur. Ces hommes pensaient lui suivre à Jérusalem participer dans la victoire de Jésus ! Mais lui, il durci sa face pour aller mourir. Prendre sa croix n’est pas un appel « évangelique » mais un appel à ceux qui ont voulu lui suivre à Jérusalem. Ce serviteur qui est plus qu’un rabbi, qu’un prophète – qui est-il pour qu’il exige une telle « suivance » ?
C’est un fou ? Suivre Jésus a des dimensions plus profonds que l’éthique. Amour, appartenance, identité,... C’est une question de vie ou de mort. La bonne nouvelle – nous ne sommes plus appelés à marcher derrière Jésus. Nous sommes en Jésus. Pas dans l’école mais dans la famille. Pas serviteurs mais amis. Jésus est devenu notre identité. Il nous a arraché de notre statut en Adam, libéré du régime de la loi en régime de la grâce et du Saint-Esprit. Plus en Adam. La suivance à laissé la place à la foi en Jésus – l’obéissance est par l’Esprit. Maintenant que je prie Dieu, c’est de lui tutoyer, et c’est un homme qui écoute – et il reviendra.
Nous avons bien plus que les 12 disciples. Nous sommes en Jésus et nous avons l’Esprit.
Application de la « suivance » de Jésus
1) Principe d’incarnation dans le monde (le modèle du rabbi). (NB le modèle de Jésus n’est pas absolu, ex. Paul ne l’a pas utilisé comme exemple d’être célibataire !)
2) Obéissance exclusive – formé par la parôle de Dieu (prophète).
3) Mais, suivre Jésus en ceci - il existe un élément qui est rappelé dans le NT. C’est l’acceptation du rejet du monde. Nous sommes appelés à accepter le chemin de la croix.
Monday, 16 July 2007
It was also good today to have Mike (NIFES) join my small group - he'd visited a Relay conference when I was doing Relay!
Sunday, 15 July 2007
With some I have differences of opinion. Much of the style here could irritate most of us in some way! We face different situations and cultures. With some I have differences of theology and emphasis. Yet I can learn from all, and am humbled by the testimony of so many who continue to serve Christ through war, persecution, exile, prison, rejection, and much else. And I rejoice in the true unity that we have in Christ.
A fake religion can try to ape that. But all they can really achieve is uniformity. We have no uniformity here whatsoever! So much so that some aspects are difficult for some of us. But we have unity in Christ. In Christ, into the world. And that is the theme of the conference. And no matter how hard the differences are, our unity is sweet.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the
interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in
Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a
servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in
heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Peter started with some preliminary comments about preaching the word after the model of the incarnation of Christ. We come to a holy text - inspired Word of God. The ministry of this word doesn't take place in a vacuum. God didn't bring the word to us from a safe distance a long way away. There is a continuous 2-way journey between the test and the context. If we ignore the world we actually betray the word - subculture does not communicate the word. But if we ignore the word like our liberal friends do, you've nothing to bring to the world. It's a transformation message. Here (as God's people) we represent the world under the word. We return to our contexts and the perpetual quesetions of how to be faithful to the word and relevant to the world. The written word is not an end in itself, but leads us to the Word Christ. Jesus didn't just take up a megaphone on a platform somewhere above the earth to shout down, "Repent!" He took up human flesh. Spoke our language and walked our roads.
1. Unique announcement (1.26-38)
The incarnation was not as we'd have arranged it. A despised town, a peasant girl. Peter commented on Mary - how she is the recipient of grace, not the source of it, and how she is devoted, obedient, Scripturally well-informed and humble. In v.33 we get the announcement of Jesus' master-thought: the Kingdom of God is coming. And note this is not just something personal and private: Mary's song involves social and ethical revolution.
In thinking about the kingdom, and this announcement, Peter warned us of being too private in our mentality about the coming King. Don't buy into the end-time industry, whether Hal Lindsay or Tim La Haye - or any other aspect! It serves as an evangelical substitute for astrology. Go back to the Scriptures - because of the gospel we can trust the coming King. Trust to him the details. He is Alpha and Omega, the first and last. The final word in human history is his. The great commission is rooted in this: in Jesus' person and absolute power. Russia doesn't have the final word, as some predicted. Nor does China. Nor does North Korea. Nor Washington. The final word in human history belongs to Christ! (There is a hilarious amount of applause at this conference - but this is one of the points I actually felt like applauding! Our King is coming and he has the final word.)
2. The Revolutionary hymn (1.46-56)
There are three revolutions here:
- moral revolution - pride put to death
- social revolution - the mighty humbled, an end to social labels
- economic revolution - the hungry rich (cf. the early church)
The announcement of a great reversal. Not only eschatological.
Note in vv.46-49 Mary's personal testimony - 5 times she says me / my - what an evangelical! But she doesn't stop there - she goes social (my note - as she's quoting / referencing psalms, this is a thoroughly Biblical view of what God's kingdom will be like inaugurated by the Messiah she bears). Materialism and individualism, which we're inclined to the West, can be poisonous for the Christian faith - we need to know we aren't gods! It is a personal gospel because it addresses us as persons and calls us to metanoia. It is a social gospel because it's the gospel of the Kingdom.
Peter noted the difference between God's kingdom revolution and secular revolutions. Secular revolutions rejoice in revenge over the rich. God's revolution is grace and covenant. Memory and mercy. Victory but not revenge. Justice but not self-righteous triumphalism. Cf. Ephesians 2 - presented with two peoples, Jesus didn't kill the enemy but killed the emnity! On the cross he is the king of peace. In Christ, the "Other" doesn't belong to the enemy but to the King.
Lastly Peter noted how the hymn of the angels is programmatic: there will be peace on earth in proportion to the glory given to God.
What makes a simple act a historic event? As a student Ziel said this was always being discussed, but they ignored the routine and small things.
1) At the table: inclusion of sinners in the salvation community
Jesus is in a routine situation - a meal. But Jesus throughout his life used meals to express God's mission. Looking ahead to the fulness of the kingdom - including sinners in the community of salvation. Eating together is a serious business. He ate with marginalised, with religiously unaccepted. Luke 7.34, 47-5; ch 14, ch 19. Jesus walks these 2 emphases together - hospitality & salvation. Be hospitable to those who can't repay and be recompensed in heaven. We can continue to practise Jesus' work in daily routine. Meals are natural settings for communicating the social implications of the gospel. Separating evangelism and hospitality damages our evangelism, in a world which hungers for community.
There are expressions of hostility in our world, which lead to segregation. Our missionary initiatives should show a community of salvatoin looking out to include the lost. The language and scene should correspond. Christ also lived in a hostile world but without sin and without relativising his demands.
2. At the table: eschatological meals, anticipating celebration (vv.14-27)
Passover meal - he'd given his disciples much teaching, but here he gives them a ritual to live it by, to see what's happening. Allows me to live it although its beyond my understanding, and although perhaps my emotions aren't consistent with it.
So Jesus looks to undergo his exodus and undertakes our liberationfrom darkness. We have a connection between sacrifice and divine covenant. Link forward to kingdom of God also, and its fulfilment in kingdom of God. Bigger liberation, from sin and death.
This project of God for salvation is presented to us with particular and universal elements. Jesus is the Saviour for all in all times and places. Some are invited to the table and we await the full thing. In our evangelism when we come to this Lord's Supper, should we not have been at other tables first?
3. At the table: an expression of the mission and message of Jesus.
The disciples' concern, "Who is greatest?" doesn't fit with this table. We're at table, not at desk. Community in Jesus with with solidarity, fellowship. But around a desk we're using the logic of merit, power - not service. Logic of power generates intrigue, inhibitibg our obedience. Moved by merit we're disconnected from the logic of the kingdom of God. The table demands the conversion of power into service - Jesus says, "May it not be so among you." Being at table with Jesus is the proclamation of the time of salvation.
How much is my missionary practice marked by hospitality like Jesus?
Are our tables all evangelical subculture, or inviting different people?
Friday, 13 July 2007
We're called in this psalm and as IFES at our 60th anniversary to
1. Look back and give glory to God (v.1)
"The doors are not quite open yet; but GOd has opened the windows and we're climbing through them." - IFES staff. We have 5 new member movements across the Middle East. Lindsay reported on more exciting happenings with mission. It's important to be reminded of God's acts through human beings - as Luther said, "There is nothing so short as a Christian's memory."
2. Look around and assess the challenges we face (vv.2-3)
Devastating exposé of idolatry in these verses. In the universities we face challenges similarly. It's right to look around at the opposition but remind ourselves: Our God is in the heavens - all that he pleases, he does. (That means that during the Assembly, we'll consider some key challenges.)
3. Look up and trust the Lord (vv.9-15, esp.11)
We can look up because we're not alone in the world: there is a God who is in heaven, who is our help and shield.
4. Look forward and seize the opportunities (vv.16-18)
God is Lord of heaven and earth and holds it in his hands but in his grace has called us to apply Biblical truth to every culture and society, to call all to his Christ, to steward his creation and proclaim the name of Christ to all. The Psalmist gives a reminder of the shortness of life: engage while we have opportunity.
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
I hope to post notes on some of the sessions after the conference - or, if I can borrow someone's laptop, during it.
Monday, 9 July 2007
That is, after all, one thing on which we can agree as far as living in Britain goes, if not being British. The weather. Living in Britain is... on a lovely sunny morning, with a pleasant breeze, hanging our your washing on the line in the back garden: with that lovely sunny feeling that accompanies the warmth of the sun on your back, the smell of newly laundered clothes and the gentle touch of the breeze. Getting to the end of the line, and the last item of clothing, and feeling the light drops of rain starting to grace your upturned face. Taking down all the washing again, and setting it up inside instead. Looking out the window and seeing that the sun has come out stronger and the rain has not delivered on its promise: and putting the washing back out again. Sitting back down inside, and after a while, hearing the cracking roar of thunder across the sky: look out the window - sky black - dashing back out and taking the washing in. The heavens opening: rainstorm. I look out the window now, with washing safely inside. It's gloriously sunny, with a pleasant breeze.
Living in Britain, talking about the weather is not such a monotopical thing as it might appear. Yesterday I chatted to Canadians and Iranians, all recently come to England. What did they want to talk about? The weather.
* Visit IFES' rather good new website, with exciting interactive map!
Friday, 6 July 2007
"When we walk with the Lord, in the light of his word, what a glory he sheds on our way!
When we do his good will, he delights in us still, and with all who will trust and obey!"
This expression and this song always get me rather depressed. Is it really true that when we walk in the light of God's word, the way seems glorious? That not a shadow will rise, not a tear in our eyes, but his smile quickly drives it away? Could it not be that we're afflicted in every way, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, with death at work in us? Could it be that the glory isn't lighting up the path exactly, but hidden in our easily-broken clay-pot bodies as the life of Christ so that we're not quite crushed, or despairing, or forsaken, or destroyed? Could it be that we're fighting a battle against unbelief and despair, against distrust and disobedience, against inordinate desires and misplaced hopes, and that the glory is not so much in the present walk of complete obedience as in the fact that the life of Christ is at work in us so that we haven't surrendered yet to the world, the flesh & the devil? Could it be that he delights in us anyway, because of the perfect, glorious righteousness of Christ!
This glory, this walk with the Lord, is not measured by a sunlit feeling of cosiness in his presence. This is a battle. A battle to knock down idols and replace them with the desire for knowing and enjoying God. A battle to be controlled by the Spirit, not by the flesh. A battle for joy in Christ.
It's rather paradoxical, admittedly. But I find it encouraging to remember. It spurs me on. It's not odd that I'm not strolling along a sunlit seashore with nothing but an occasional swot at a fly or outcrop of rock to negotiate. If I'm on a beach it's because I'm fighting on the beaches, in the war against unbelief, and inordinate desires, and by God's grace I haven't surrendered to the enemy. Praise him!
I come into Your presence
With nothing in my hands
I only bring thanksgiving
For Jesus, God and Man
I cast myself on mercy
I cast myself on love
I trust Your gracious promise
To wash me with Your blood
I will not fear Your judgment
For me, no wrath I dread
For it was spent on Jesus
Poured out upon His head
When Satan’s accusations
Make my poor heart afraid
I hear my King declaring,
“Father, that debt is paid”
Jesus my only hope, my only plea
My righteousness, my Great High Priest
Who intercedes for me before the throne
Jesus, I trust in You alone
© 2002 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).
Listen to a snippet.
Thursday, 5 July 2007
Serving the Church, reaching the World.
BOOKING NOW OPEN! http://www.newwordalive.org/
We are delighted to invite you to New Word Alive 2008. We are praying for a great conference where we will:
Listen to the speaking God
We will hear great Bible teaching from Don Carson, John Piper and Terry Virgo. There will be a wonderful blend of different styles of teaching with expository Bible readings, Bible overviews, Hitch-Hiker’s Guides, and, of course, our main evening celebrations. A full children’s and youth programme with age-related teaching and activities will be provided. We hope to build on all that was good in the old Word Alive, and make it even better!
Rejoice in the living God
Passionate and heartfelt praise led by Stuart Townend.
Serve the missionary God
Engaging seminars and training tracks designed to equip and empower us to use our God given gifts.
Enjoy the creator God
Situated on the beautiful Welsh coastline there will be plenty to do for all the family, on and off site. You can have fun in the indoor swimming pool complex, on the boating lake, playing crazy golf or bowling. There will also be some organised sport for those who enjoy that, or simply a gentle stroll along the beach.
New Word Alive promises to be a life-changing week as we encounter God in his Word, rejoice in the living Christ and are renewed by his Holy Spirit. We look forward to seeing you there.
Hugh Palmer Chair of New Word Alive
Well, I'm looking forward to it! See more on the website, and get your churches, CUs, youth groups and grandparents booked!
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Protection money works as follows: terrorist side A kindly offer a service, "Pay us £X p.a. and we'll make sure terrorist side B don't bomb you." Which being translated, means, "Pay us £X p.a. or we'll bomb you. We're serious. We need the money, to bomb other more strategic targets. Oh, and because you should be terrified of us anyway."
It feeds on our want of security for the future. We've accumulated certain assets, and we want to protect them against future uncertainty.
Which is the insurance business. It feeds on our want of security for the future. We've accumulated certain assets, and we want to protect them against future uncertainty. Now, the insurance business aren't threatening to take away your assets unless you pay them - slight difference there. But they're reminding you that others will. They're reminding you that moth and rust (and land subsidence, and flooding) destroy, and thieves break in and steal. They're feeding on our want of security for the future.
"Pay us each month, and we'll make sure you're eternally secure*."
[*Terms & conditions apply - see here for details.]
Is it not the case that we seem to spend half our lives accumulating stuff, and the other half worrying about or catering for losing it? How liberating, yet challenging, is Luke 12. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." The KINGDOM! You cater for the concern that in the future you might lose your clothes, your music, your furniture, your library, your house, your car, your health. Your Father is standing with a smile holding out to you his kingdom!
O you of little faith! ...do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Insurance for present possessions against future uncertainty? Christ is our present possession, and we are his, and he is our future inheritance, and great reward. We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken! Hallelujah!