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What makes your blood boil? June 30, 2009

Posted by Richard in Justice, Youth Work.
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My favourite sporting event is nearly over, in fact it is as good as finished. I have the shirt, I have watched nearly all the matches even having to sneak off to watch some of them. I am now going to have to wait 4 years for it to come around again.

When the final whistle blew on Saturday I was furious and I can feel this emotion rising upeverytime some one wants to talk to me about it. Lions lose series in last gasp penalty explains why. Of course losing hurts and missed tackles and giving away stupid penalties in the dying seconds is deeply irritating. But it is more than that. Since when was eye-gouging part of any sport. To only get a yellow card, then only an 8 week suspension and have a coach who initially was totally unapologetic makes me angry… it makes me more than angry. To hear certain ex-players say rugby is ‘a mans sport’ does not help my blood pressure either. Men do not insert fingers into other people’s eyes

Not wishing to sound like a child but it is not fair and justice seems to be lacking. As I begin to calm down I still make no apologies for caring about sport and being angry. However I wonder if this sense of injustice is matched in other areas of my life. Does noticing injustice motivate me in my life and faith? Does it affect the places I choose to go and young people I choose to work with? Are we just too interested in being comfortable?

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Does God get angry? May 11, 2009

Posted by Andrew in Youth Work.
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I’ve noticed a bit of a trend amongst some youth workers I mix with. They are so keen to present God as always loving, always gracious, always forgiving, always pleased with us, always affirming us that the end result can be a rather benign passive God – the old man in the sky smiling at us idea.

Now I know that many of these people talk about God’s anger at injustice , poverty the environment and other big global issues. But what about on a personal level. Does God sometimes get angry or upset with his children when they sin? Does he discipline his children and ‘prune them’ to produce better fruit? Or are these images of God that are a bit too uncomfortable to our western mindset?

I don’t want a return to preaching a fire and brimstone God who just wants to punish us and has to restrain himself . But as often happens in the church we seem to swing from one extreme to the other. God’s either always angry with us or never. Is that really the best way for us to teach the next generation?

So how would the young people you work with describe God, and what might that say about the balance of teaching they get?