Monday, 31 October 2011

Africans also have human rights

  The British Prime Minister, David Cameron last weekend took his gay rights crusade to the Commonwealth Summit held in Perth, Australia, where according to him he lectured a number of African countries that Britain will block aid payments to countries which fail to over turn bans on homosexuality.I'll cut aid to countries that have ban on homosexuality He said Britain want to see countries that receive aid “adhering to proper human rights.” Is David Cameron really saying there are despicable human right abuses in Africa than in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia?

  So why has Africa become the target for David Cameron’s threat? Is it because African countries have weaker leadership? Is because African countries are so poor that they rely on donor aid to balance their budgets? People are quick to quote figures of how much Britain gives to African countries as aid, but no one cares to know how much Britain gain from Africa.

  If in the books of David Cameron legalising gay is “adhering to proper human rights” in Africa then the man has misplaced priority. I don’t know what kind of agreement he had signed with the gay right groups but he should be told that he will be wasting his time and energy with his gay right crusade in Africa. David Cameron should be told that Africans too have human right which includes the right to have cultural values, norms and belief systems. To say that countries should let go of their cultural values in exchange for some donor aid is an insult to the Africans. Britain caused a lot of damage to African cultural values and norms in the past under the colonial rule but that cannot be allowed any more. Africans have now woken up from their slumber.

  If David Cameron really cares about human right in African then these are some of the things he should be concerned about: child labour, malnutrition, environmental degradation, lack of access to education.

  I will end with some response from Ghana to Cameron’s threat. Christian leaders condemn UK gov't tying gay rights to aid

Monday, 10 October 2011

David Cameron's gay rights crusade hit Africa

Having announced at his Party Conference this year that his coalition government would legalise gay marriages, David Cameron  is now seeking to persuade those African countries where homosexuality is still a taboo to follow his lead, or else he would reduce aid to such countriesOne country which has already suffered the cut in aid is Malawi, and the report mentions Ghana as likely to be the next to suffer the cut in aid. As usual the weaker ones have been targeted. 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Come just as you are

As we ponder over the wedding banquet this week, I'm wondering whether all the people who turned down the invitation did it solely on the usual mantra, I'm busy? Of course some refused to attend because the timing was wrong, or the place was wrong. But could it possibly also be that others refused to honour the invitation because they thought they don't deserve to be invited to such a prestigious banquet? 

The Excuse
Is yours the usual mantra, I'm busy? Many of us believe we already have too much on our plate and can’t accept any more responsibility, not God’s work. We should be guided by the disciples; they were full time fishermen, not some gap year students on holiday to kill time or some couple on retirement having a nice time in some sun city. It is said that if you want a job done, give it someone who is busy. It is the busy people whom Jesus want.

Is your excuse I'l love to do it but the timing is wrong? I've just got this job and I need to be on top of the game to move up the promotional ladder. Or just got married or have got a young family? Nothing wrong with coming with the family; wife/husband and children. Those disciples were with their families when they accepted the invitation to follow Christ.  

Is your past haunting you? I think some of us by looking at our past mistakes, upbringing, stature, educational background, class, place of abode, etc. we've arrived at a conclusion that we have no use for Christ. And if that is ever true then Christ wouldn't have chosen those Twelve with varying characters. "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many might, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence". 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. 

When Jesus chose the Twelve to be His official representatives, and to carry His message, not a single of them was a Rabbi. He didn't choose a Scribe. He didn't choose a Pharisee. He didn't choose a Sadducee. He selected twelve simple, ordinary working-class men. Worthless nobodies are just the kind of people God uses. So I say to you, come just as you are. The transformation is in the hands of the Potter. 

O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Local Preachers' Meeting Agenda

In my few years as a local preacher I have attended about 98% of the Circuit Local Preachers’ Meeting. I have always resisted the temptation to allow the agenda for the day to influence my decision to go or not to go. Honestly, I regret attending about 60% of the meetings. When I once suggested that more items be added to the agenda to make the meeting more educative and informative I was told there was nothing wrong with the agenda as it always follows the Connexional guidelines.

 I’ve always felt that something is missing in the conduct of the local preachers’ meeting. I haven’t really benefited much from all those meetings I’ve attended, and recently I over heard another preacher agreeing with me when he said “that’s why I rarely come, it’s always the same”

Why must I spend a maximum of 2 hours in a meeting when the very thing we must focus on i.e. preaching very little is talked about? Of course it’s important to hear reports on preachers on note and on trial, but its unfortunate when the greater per cent of the time is spent on just that. After all a very small number of those present have made inputs or have observed the services conducted by those on trial and on-note. What am I supposed to say when I haven’t observed the service or haven’t received the reports in advance? In this case many of members present at the meeting become mere observers.

 There’s so much happening in the world today which we must discuss and see its implications for worship and preaching. Are there new ideas, initiatives, concerns, fears, anxieties in local churches, the circuit and the larger society which affects our work? Are there news articles in the local media outlets worth noting and may be responding to them? It’s very OK to hear reports and review those on note and on-trial but what about the continuing development of the accredited preachers? One study day in a year is simply not enough to nourish, equip and challenge us for the very important task we've taken.

 Continuing development activities must be encouraged and discussed at all meetings. One must come out of the local preachers’ meeting and feel learned, nourished, encouraged, motivated and challenged.