Posts Tagged ‘social issues’

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Article: Churches Adopt Adoption

July 8, 2010

I just read this article in Christianity Today, “Churches Adopt Adoption“. It’s such an exciting thought that people are seeking positive change to impact the lives children. How heartbreaking, then, was the thought of an adoptive mother putting her 8 year old boy on a plane because she, quote, “I no longer wish to parent this child.” As the mother of an 8 year old, I can’t even imagine what hardship a mother would have gone through to feel that the only solution would be to send her little boy on a plane back to his home country. However, at the risk of saying too much on a topic I don’t know enough about, I’ll just leave it at that.

Here’s the link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/july/11.23.html?start=1

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Female Genital Mutilation – Article

May 7, 2010

http://iinformedparenting.blogspot.com/2010/05/american-academy-of-pediatrics-devolves.html

This article is worth reading.

As an Australian, I am not particularly familiar with circumcision of any form – it’s not common here (on boys and definitely not on girls), and my understanding is that male circumcision is only really practised in specific religious and ethno-cultural contexts.

I find the concept of surgically altering a child’s body in this form distressing and disturbing, and I think it’s really sad that some Westerners would actually demand the “right” to force violence of any form on infants. I certainly hope it doesn’t become accepted in Australia.

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A few websites and books on parenting

April 6, 2010

*Reading this on facebook? Please click on ‘view original post’ to make comments.*

On Parenting, scheduled feeding vs demand feeding, breastfeeding etc.

As a mother, with a preference for finding natural (as possible) “methods” of raising my children, it surprised me that many women head in the opposite direction. The key word is not natural but control. The mother makes the rules. While I agree that parents do need to set a standard of behaviour and self-control for their children, I can’t understand why it seems necessary to punish newborns for their natural behaviours.

In the Christian sense, the Bible in itself does not point to any one method of parenting as being particularly correct. Where oh where did our Lord use the phrase “demand feeding”, because I’ve read the Bible cover-to-cover more than once and I haven’t seen it in there yet. It would seem that some parents ascribe to a fairly rigid set of beliefs when it comes to parenting. I must say that I fully believe that parents should have freedom in raising their kids, but some parenting methods do trouble me.

With that in mind, I wanted to share this link that a friend sent me recently. It explores controversies surrounding a particularly popular “Christian” method of parenting (a method which I do not use). My personal philosophy is that people should have a good overview of the different sides to an argument before settling on a particular position. In this case, I have heard very little in the way of informed critique of this method. Surely everything should be scrutinised.

Here’s the link:

http://www.ezzo.info/babywise.htm

The testimonies of people who have used this method are interesting, and would be useful reading for a Christian parent trying to assess both the pros and cons of this parenting method.

Christian books from which I have personally gleaned a lot of encouragement and positive ideas include Boundaries With Children, Bringing Up Boys, Setting the Stage for your Child’s Faith, and The Five Love Languages. (Look them up at bookstores like Word or Koorong.)

The hospital in which I gave birth promoted demand feeding, long-term breastfeeding and flexible parenting schedules. They spent a lot of time explaining the importance of flexibility in breastfeeding, as a baby’s needs change throughout infancy. Sometimes a baby will need a lot more milk, especially in hot weather and growth spurts, and this will mean more frequent feeds. As I successfully breastfed both my children for almost 2 years each, can personally attest to the effectiveness of demand feeding. When my children were very young, my philosophy was simple: I will sacrifice the time and energy necessary to raise them in a healthy, natural way as far as I am able.

Have a look at websites like the Australian Breastfeeding Association to find out more on breastfeeding.

Is there a parenting website that you use and find helpful? Feel free to mention it here in the comments. Just keep in mind that comments with two or more links will be automatically filtered as spam!

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Slavery

November 21, 2009

At church this evening, they spent some time exploring the issue of modern day slavery. I guess it’s one of those things that sits in the back of my mind. It’s a surprise that slavery is still a very real, very common practise. Surely, in this day and age, we would think ourselves enlightened enough to completely abolish such evils. So, when I learnt that slavery is most certainly extant across most of the world, it was really quite troubling.

Not having the knowledge nor expertise to formulate a commentary, I simply list here a couple of links that might prove useful for the reader who wants to learn more.

http://www.worldvision.com.au/ourwork/Solutions/DontTradeLives.aspx

http://www.fairtrade.com.au/

http://www.myspace.com/lc2lc

http://www.joyfulheart.com/misc/newton.htm

http://www.melbourne.anglican.com.au/main.php?pg=news&news_id=18665&s=1470

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/abolition/slavery_business_gallery_05.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/wilberforce_william.shtml

(All links accessed 21 November 2009.)

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Following Jesus – 4 – The Name

October 5, 2009

Jesus – what image comes to mind at His name? In my childhood, it meant that white guy hanging on the cross statue in our Church. I knew He was a miracle worker and that He taught people a highly moral lifestyle. I knew He was called the Son of God and that He was part of a Trinity. Still, it was merely head knowledge. In my teen years, He became symbolic of what I thought was a dead religion that persisted despite ‘scientific evidence’ to the contrary… a religion that was authoritarian and legalistic. In my early years as a university student, He once again became a good moral teacher. I knew a few people who called themselves His followers; and they managed to demonstrate this in their words and actions. Their lifestyle intrigued me – I wanted to know what made them so different. Their example drew me in. Of course, I tried to deflect their influence – I had hundreds of questions, many I thought would be devastating to their Christian faith, but they patiently gave answers (1 Peter 3) and treated me with a kindness I knew I did not deserve.

Maybe, when we hear Jesus’ name, the image that comes to mind too often is that of His followers. And not the ‘good’ ones. It’s the weird ones who go a bit ultra-mystical. Or the sort who seem to think the Good News of the Gospel is all about making more money. Or the types who seem to take delight in their moral superiority and use it to attack non-Christians. Maybe it’s the type who think Christianity is an excuse to judge someone else, ask people to ‘pray for that bad person,’ and then tell that person that they’re praying that they’ll escape God’s judgement. Or perhaps it’s the ‘Christian’ whose outlook seems to be fairly racist, bloodthirsty and committed to their own culture’s version of ‘success.’

Still, I don’t want to be negative, and I don’t want to pretend that somehow my own Christian walk has been exemplary. See, the thing that scares me is that maybe, for the many people in my life who do not believe in Jesus, when they hear the name ‘Jesus,’ they’re going to think of me. My life. My example. My words and actions. How have I treated them? Have I come across as narrow and judgemental? Or materialistic? Or moralistic and legalistic?

One scary thing about being a follower of Jesus is that my own life and example could have an impact – whether positive or negative – on the people around me. When some social issue comes into a conversation – some political thing, or maybe a moral issue like abortion – how are they going to interpret my response? Will I be loving and merciful, like my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or will I be the hellfire and brimstone Bible thumper that leaves them wishing they hadn’t asked?

I don’t know how right it is, but I like to point people to Jesus Himself. As He is described in the Bible. Perhaps not enough people have read the Four Gospels these days for me to assume that people know the records of His life. The Bible records that, as a child, He and His family had to flee the violent ruler of their nation and seek refuge in Egypt (Matthew 2). As an adult, He worked at the family trade – carpentry (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) – before beginning His ministry; which was marked by miracles (Matthew 11:20; Mark 6:2; Luke 19:37; John 10:25), astounding teachings (Matthew 7:28; Matthew 13:54; Matthew 22:33; Luke 4:36);and violent persecution (Matthew 26:4; Mark 14:1; John 7:25). He was murdered, but He rose again to life (Luke Chapters 23-24). Then, shortly after His resurrection, He ascended to Heaven (Acts Chapter 1). He then sent the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, to Earth to inhabit His followers and empower them to live their lives for God (Mark 1:8; Luke 11:13; John 14:26).

One of the most astounding things Jesus said about Himself was this:

John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I used to think that rather offensive a statement. In my early Christian walk, I then tried to provide elaborate reasons and explanations for it. Lately I’ve been more inclined to suggest that there’s only a couple of ways to take this statement:

If Jesus is truly God Incarnate, the Creator, Sustainer, Saviour, and Redeemer of all Creation, then He is well within His rights to make a statement that, coming from a mere mortal, would be ridiculous – or a sign of insanity. That is, God is well within His right to be the decider of issues of eternity and salvation.

If He is insane, then one must wonder how He also managed to revolutionise the way that humans treat each other. We may well take for granted His teachings on justice, mercy, kindness, charity, forgiveness and goodness – but these values are not particularly intrinsic to humans, are they? Look at the broken down world, where one side of the world is dying from starvation and the other is dying from diseases resulting from overeating; where racism and war and hatred are daily occurrences; where the elderly are beaten and the young are abused and the unborn are routinely murdered; where people engage in incredible acts of cruelty towards our fellow creatures; where the wilderness is butchered for profits; where we know the right way to live but choose the selfish, hedonistic options instead.

With more than a little hint of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, I am convinced that Jesus is either Lord, Liar or Lunatic. His amazing lifestyle, teachings, and descriptions of Himself don’t leave room for much else.

Following Jesus

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Intelligent Censorship

February 15, 2008

Here’s a link to an interesting article I read today. It concerns the issue of an apparent lack of freedom amongst academics to truly and freely express their perspectives and research – especially when it goes against the popularly accepted status quo.

 http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5626/

“Expelled: new movie exposes persecution of anti-Darwinists,” by Andrew Halloway.

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