Posted in Commentary, culture, Faith, Religion

Celebrating the Bigger Picture in Benny Hinn’s Shift on Prosperity Gospel

When I first came across a YouTube clip circulating on social media that Benny Hinn had renounced the prosperity gospel and that he will no longer “ask people for money”, I was reluctant to celebrate.

First, being the skeptic that I am, I thought the clip was had been edited to fit a certain narrative, so I wanted to watch the entire message before forming an opinion. So I looked for the original message. I found it tucked inside a 3-hour long Facebook Live video on Benny Hinn’s page. I even posted the full, unedited transcript on this blog.

The more I listened to his original words, the more I felt my reservations fade.

More questions than answers

However, many questions quickly followed this initial excitement. Does this mean that Benny Hinn is on the path to affirming and preaching the true gospel? What about Benny Hinn’s views on other teachings of the Bible?

Wait, it sounds like he renounced the prosperity gospel, but did he say what the true gospel is? Was he always preaching the true gospel and then adding the prosperity stuff on top or is he now changing his entire understanding of what the gospel is?

Come to think of it, Benny Hinn doesn’t use the phrase “Prosperity Gospel” anywhere in his message. He uses the word “prosperity” a lot, and rebukes those who try to peddle the gospel as a means to prosperity. Is this the same thing we mean when we speak about the prosperity gospel? Are we putting words in Benny Hinn’s mouth?

As far as I know, prosperity gospel is the teaching that Jesus died to make us healthy, wealthy and happy. But the true gospel is about Jesus dying to save us from our sins and restore our broken fellowship with God. Did Benny Hinn make this distinction? Is he even aware of the nuance? What exactly is the gospel according to Benny Hinn?

These are just a few questions that led me back to my previous reluctance to celebrate what many have lauded as a significant shift in Benny Hinn’s theology.

But I am a communications specialist, and I like to think I understand the power of context and environment in determining the effect someone’s words have on another. It is why echo-chambers continue to thrive on the internet and why confirmation bias tends to rule our convictions.

When you’ve already decided that a person is against you and doesn’t want you to succeed in life, you develop filters for whatever positive thing they say. You never associate with them or give them a willing audience, and when you are forced to listen to them, you always expect them to speak against you and you grow suspicious when they say anything positive about you.

This is why, no matter how good your arguments and how compelling your evidence, you will never convince a Jubilee party die-hard to vote for the opposition party.

Bigger picture

This brings me to the point I refer to as the “bigger picture” in Benny Hinn’s latest words. I am celebrating Benny Hinn’s words, not because it says anything about the overall change in his theology (or even a change in the trajectory of his theology), I am celebrating his words because of the people who got to hear them and, for the first time, consider the truth of those words and possibly believe them.

The “bigger picture” is not the man who claimed to renounce the prosperity gospel, the bigger picture is the masses who heard, listened, and believed him.

There are those who have faithfully followed Benny Hinn Ministries who will struggle with this question. Probably for the first time in their life, they will feel the instinct to disagree with their teacher and like the Bereans, they will go back to their Bibles to confirm the truth of these new and strange claims.

Some of these people will share the clip with their friends in the same prosperity and Word of Faith circles. Hopefully, the anouncement will be subject of discussion in Bible Study groups and Whatsapp groups and after-church conversations in those circles.

“Did you hear what Benny Hinn said? What do you think it means? Do you agree? What do we do with this new shift?”

Listening again, for the first time

And in the process, many will Google their questions and they will encounter other people speaking about the same topic. Probably for the first time in their lives, they will dare to examine the words of those “enemies of the church” who have always spoken ill of their pastor and movements.

They will wonder how what these people knew that their pastor did not; what they said that caused their pastor to change his mind and announce it so publicly and so brazenly. Then they will listen to these enemies again, for the first time.

The more I consider all these possibilities, the more I realize that Benny Hinn’s public renouncing of “prosperity” is not about Benny Hinn. It is not about expecting Benny Hinn to go out and sell all he has and give to the poor. It is not about expecting Benny Hinn to now change his circle of friends and denomination and join the “true-gospel” movement.

It is not even about whether Benny Hinn should now apologize and make amends for all the people he ostracized for calling him out when he preached the prosperity gospel; or whether he should now begin a ministry of calling out those he once walked alongside.

For all we know, this may be the last time we hear about it. He will probably do an interview or two about it and then quickly fade back into the movement that he has led and been a part of for decades.

For all we know, he was probably using even this supposed recanting as another opportunity to make himself look good and honorable before human beings. Only God knows what is in Benny Hinn’s heart — It is possible to confess that you used to be a people-pleaser and still do it as another act of people-pleasing.

Of course I want and pray that Benny Hinn will fully embrace and preach and live out the true Gospel. As far as I know, what he has said is worth celebrating. But it is simply to early and we know too little to tell whether this is indeed what it happening. We celebrate the teaser, even as we await the rest of the story.

Yet despite this, I see a bigger and a more immediate cause for celebration. In just 5 minutes Benny Hinn has planted a seed of (or at least a curiosity for) the true gospel in millions of hearts that may never have considered listening to someone who wasn’t Benny Hinn.

Whatever we think of Benny Hinn in this season and afterwards, we cannot deny the fact that God has, in this moment, used him as His instrument. And this is definitely worth celebrating.

For the fame of His name.

Posted in Commentary, culture, The 4th Dimension

Why we should fundraise for weddings

A good friend of mine turned 30 the other day. So her fiance and friends decided to throw her a surprise party. Those who could chipped in to make the day a success. We also bought gifts to take to the party and did our best to keep the secret until the big day.

Nothing strange with this arrangement. Makes perfect sense. We also held a similar surprise party for another friend who was leaving the country to study abroad. People raised some money and organized the party. Totally normal affair.

So how come the topic of raising funds to celebrate the permanent union of two friends evokes so much emotion and debate today? Why has it become anathema for a couple to raise funds for their wedding?

The wedding fundraiser controversy

For the longest time, I’ve been on the never-raise-funds-for-wedding camp.  I was easily among the people who, in principle, thought that it is inappropriate to ask people to give you money to have a lavish wedding. People should learn to live within their means, especially now that they were getting into marriage. Furthermore, a wedding, unlike a funeral, is not an emergency, right?

The logic seemed pretty clear… until it wasn’t any more. I realized that the reason we find it so controversial that people raise money for their weddings is not because something is wrong with the couple, but because something is wrong with our understanding of what a community is.

“The reason we find it so controversial that people raise money for their weddings is not because something is wrong with the couple, but because something is wrong with our understanding of what a community is.”

I used to silently agree with those who spoke against raising funds for a wedding. We believed that those who did so to have an extravagant wedding were “idolizing the wedding”. This aversion to such actions was further confirmed by people who would borrow loans to fund a wedding.

“A wedding is about the couple, it is their marriage after all,” we would argue. “The people you are killing yourself to impress with your big wedding will not be there when your marriage is in a storm”

We would applaud and admire the couple that went super scrappy on their wedding day and never borrowed a dime. Even more noble was the couple that resisted the peer pressure and the force of society and walked into the AG’s (Attorney General’s) office to get it over and done with.

However, even though I saw the logic of that line of thinking, I secretly and silently worried that I would not be able to fund the kind of wedding my fiance and I desired — nothing fancy, but even a normal wedding was a costly affair. I was reluctant to ask people to help me fund my wedding (though standing on this side of the wedding, it hits me that I was only able to have the wedding I did by the grace of God and the generosity of others).

A radically different view

Today, I hold a radically different (and hopefully obvious) view, though not entirely so. Nowadays I believe that the scrappy wedding is the anomaly. The AG-visit-no-wedding is the aberration. And this is where the analogy of the birthday party comes in to help.

Although I now fully support fundraising for a wedding, I disagree with the insistence that the couple should be the one to take out loans or ask people to give them money for a wedding. It is sad that we have pushed marrying couples into this corner. Like the birthday party, a wedding ceremony should be the initiative and responsibility of the family and friends of the couple.

I disagree with the insistence that the couple should be the one to take out loans or ask people to give them money for a wedding. It is sad that we have pushed marrying couples into this corner. Like the birthday party, funding a wedding ceremony should be the initiative and responsibility of the family and friends of the couple.

If a wedding is indeed about the parents and the community, as we like to say, then the parents and the community should come together to make it a reality for the couple. The couple should only be consulted on their preferences for the wedding, and even these are not hard conditions as the family and community should tell them what they can or cannot afford.

So how come we seldom think of weddings the same way we think of birthdays and work anniversaries and other parties that we throw for our family members and friends? I can think of two reasons:

1. We live in an overly individualistic age

Even though we understand weddings to be merely ceremonial, we still think of them as the couple’s affair. This is partly an overreaction from the now outmoded practice of arranged marriages. In the past, when parents would choose marriage partners for their children, the parents were also responsible for the wedding.

The young man and woman never spent a dime. Weddings were community affairs. The two families invited and worked together with relatives and friends to celebrate (and fund the celebration) of the union between the two families. Today, we want the superficial image of a community (the wedding guests) without the responsibilities of the community (owning the wedding).

This is not entirely the fault of the community. It is also the fault of the couple planning to get married. We have become islands. People don’t even know we are about to get married, or if they do, we make the wedding a personal affair and bride/groom-zilla our way through every detail.

Marriage is no longer seen as a rite of passage worth celebrating, but a business contract between two people with zero accountability/submission to the larger community. You might as well fund it yourself.

2. The commercialization of weddings

Since we believe that our marriage is no one else’s business, we end up making our weddings a spectacle, tweaked to impress and gain social capital. We may not want people to contribute towards our wedding, but we will definitely make sure they are impressed by our wedding.

So we find ourselves in this precarious position where we want to host 500 guests at a fancy venue and feed them all and make sure we do it without asking for a dime.

No wonder weddings have become commercialized. They are now one of the ways we make our mark in society instead of being one of the ways the society makes its mark on us by acknowledging that we have taken a step worth celebrating.

What makes a marriage covenant significant was not always the signature in the government document, it was the family and friends who gathered together to say “we acknowledge this step, we celebrate this union, and we are doing this to show you that we are for this marriage and not against it. We support you and we will always be on your team.

A celebration

We like to say that a wedding is a celebration. If a wedding is a celebration of marriage and a celebration of the couple, then it makes sense that the family and friends of the couple take responsibility for the wedding. Why should a birthday inspire such a meaningful and thoughtful community participation when a wedding doesn’t?

Finally, on that popular funeral comparison. We always like to say how a funeral is an emergency but a wedding is not. This is how we justify raising funds for a funeral but not for a wedding. What we miss in the process is that the dead person is not the one raising the funds. They can’t do it, duh. It is their family and friends who come together to do it.

Sadly, even this sad aspect of life has been tainted by our atomized society and we now see funeral fundraisers as about the person/friend/colleague who has lost a loved one. We see our contributions to funerals as being about the person who is raising the funds rather than being about the dead person. If a funeral is indeed a “celebration of life” or a “send off” party as some of us like to call it, then the family and friends are coming together to plan and fund the party, without the invitation of the dead person

Similar thinking should apply to a wedding ceremony. The couple, having declared their love for one another and their intention to get married, the community should take over. The couple should only avail themselves to the witnesses of their wedding and (hopefully) their marriage.

Yet I am afraid this may all be wishful thinking, considering the rate at which meaningful communities are dwindling in our current society. It is worth thinking about though. For the Christians, I propose the local church as a good place to start this shift in thinking.

Posted in Book Reviews, culture, Faith

Book Review: Unashamed by Lecrae

I enjoyed reading (or rather, listening to Lecrae read) this book. It is a deeply personal account of the rapper’s journey to faith and his journey through faith. It is an autobiography of sorts, mostly focusing on how Lecrae came to faith and why he does “ministry” the way he does.

The book finally (hopefully) puts to rest why the rapper insists on being referred to as “a rapper who happens to be a Christian” instead of “Christian rapper.” You see, Lecrae’s relationship with rap and hip hop predates his conversion. What happened at his conversion, he explains, was a change of worldview, not a change of trade (or talent).

The best way he knew to express himself was through rap, and just because he became a Christian doesn’t mean he raps because he is a Christian. He raps despite being a Christian. It is a subtle difference, and many might miss it.

I admit that I am one of those people who miss that difference, because I don’t classify music (with lyrics) alongside other neutral vocations such as driving a bus. I believe that with music, unlike driving a bus, your faith is not just expressed in the kind of person you are while you do your work, it is also expressed in what you talk about (or sing/rap about). That’s why there is such a thing as “Christian rap” and no such thing as “Christian driving.”

Being a personal account, Lecrae does not shy from revealing gory details about his past failures. What stood out is the fact that his sinful life does not just precede his conversion, but includes his life after conversion. I was comforted by this, especially considering the many times I have found myself “sinning more” after my conversion than before. I relate to this one, Lecrae.

Even so, I couldn’t help but feel like Lecrae was defending himself in this book. He was succumbing to the pressure to “explain himself” and why he is the way he is. I am no judge of whether this was warranted, but I am grateful he did it.

I also couldn’t help but feel that, for someone whose mantra in life is about not living for people’s acceptance, by writing this book he seemed to still want us to “get” him, and, in a way, accept him.

The only significant doctrinal qualm I had with the book is in Chapter 10: Kicking Down Hell’s Door. Lecrae uses Matthew 16:18 to segue into why he feels called to reach the culture. He infers from Jesus’ words… “upon this rock I will build my church” that this is speaking about Jesus building the church “upon the rock of the culture”. Well, that’s quite a stretch and I didn’t buy it.

I believe the “rock” that Jesus is referring to is either the confession of Peter (you are the Christ, son of the living God) or Peter himself (what he symbolizes as an Apostle who confesses the Lordship of Jesus over and against the claims that Jesus was merely a prophet).

All things considered, this was a good read. I recommend it.

Posted in Book Reviews, culture, Faith

Book Review: How the Bible Actually Works

I regularly listen to Pete Enns and Jared Byas’ podcast The Bible for Normal People. The two hosts have carved out a helpful niche focusing on why Christians need to put off their overly mystical lenses when approaching the Bible. They acknowledge the difficulties that many Christians encounter when reading they Bible, and they do their best to respect the reservations many people have with the Scriptures.

enns_howbibleactuallyworks_hc_3d-1.pngOne may say that Pete Enns’ book How the Bible Actually Works: How An Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Great News is more or less a transcript of the entire podcast. In this book, Enns acknowledges that many people, Christians included, often find the Bible difficult to apply in their lives because it is “ancient, ambiguous, and diverse”.

Enns writes: “The spiritual disconnection many feel today stems precisely from expecting (or being told to expect) the Bible to be holy, perfect, and clear, when in fact after reading it they find it to be morally suspect, out of touch, confusing, and just plain weird.”

The author does not seek to defend the Bible against these apparent accusations. In fact, Enns himself finds and describes the Bible in the same manner. He acknowledges that it is an ancient book depicting an ancient and unfamiliar culture.

He also describes the Bible as ambiguous, with many Christians finding themselves unsure about what to do with some of its commands; and he also finds it diverse, meaning that there are apparent and “actual” contradictions between different parts of the Bible. Enns believes that the ambiguity and contradictions are not reasons to invalidate the Bible, they are a cue for us to take a different approach to how we read the book.

Enns believes that the way of Wisdom was always followed by the people who wrote and read the Bible in ancient times. He uses several “contradictions” in the Bible to show how wisdom dictated different commands for different situations, even making room for commands that contradict one another (e.g. Proverbs 26:4 & 5).

According to Enns, all this ambiguity and diversity should discourage us from the reading the Bible as a rule book set in stone; and we should be willing to adapt and sometimes abandon passages that no longer serve the purposes of Wisdom.

“The Bible becomes a confusing mess when we expect it to function as a rule book for faith. But when we allow the Bible to determine our expectations, we see that Wisdom, not answers, is the Bible’s true subject matter,” he writes.

I agree with the author’s exhortation to Christians that they should apply Wisdom when reading the Bible. Indeed, the Bible is not a mere rule-book. Neither is it an instruction manual. The Bible is an ancient book and I personally find some of its commands ambiguous, confusing and even contradictory. The Bible may be a light to our path, but it is useless to us if we read it with our eyes closed. We should indeed apply Wisdom when reading the Scripture.

The main thing I struggled with while reading this book is Enns’ definition of this “Wisdom” that we are to apply when reading the Bible. The closest he comes to explaining this “Wisdom” is when he says we are not only to read the Bible, but also to read the culture, read the present moment and then discern how best to adopt, adapt or abandon a given Biblical passage.

The problem I find with this approach is that it is no different from any reasonable approach to any other work of literature.

When I read a book such as The Chronicles of Narnia, common wisdom (and just general reasonability) tells me that lions can’t speak and there are no magical mirrors at the back of wardrobes. Common wisdom tells me that it is bad to judge people by their race or size; it is better to share; and it is sometimes good to give others the benefit of the doubt. These are aspects of wisdom that life and experience teaches all of us — though we are not always attentive students.

So what, then, is the point of the Bible if what is written there is no more trustworthy or authoritative than the limits of my own judgment and Wise reading? And what does the Bible even mean when it distinguishes the “Wisdom of God” from the “wisdom of man” (James 3:13-18)?

When I say that Biblical passages about slavery are no longer applicable today because society has evolved and we now understand that it is wrong to own another human being, isn’t that just the common wisdom of the age? Am I not just aligning with the times? What role has the Bible played in showing me how to think about slavery if the only lesson is that the Biblical writers were slightly more progressive than the surrounding cultures?

After all, there were many other ancient thinkers who didn’t ascribe to the Judeo-Christian teachings and yet proved to be more progressive than their surrounding cultures.

While I appreciate the author’s effort in bringing the Scriptures down to earth and encouraging a more thoughtful and authentic approach to the Bible, I feel he has done little to make a case for why I should give the Bible any more attention than other works of literature. The author has brought the Bible down to earth and left it there.

If “how the Bible actually works”  is how any reasonable person would work in any given situation, then what is the point of ascribing to Scripture? If the Bible is no more than a case study on how to apply the wisdom that we already possess, why should anyone opt to be a Christian instead of simply being a humanist?

By reading this book, I found myself less confident in the faith I have in Christianity, even as my approach to the Bible became more enlightened. I am not sure whether this is ultimately a good or bad thing for someone who confesses to be a Christian and strives to be faithful to the God revealed in the Bible. Wisdom leads me to believe that it is not.

Posted in culture, Media, Public Relations, Writing

Well said…

Every now and then I would post something on Facebook, share a tweet or write a blog post and a reader would comment with only two words: “Well said.”

This response would often bother me — a lot.

You see, we live in a society where people talk too much but do very little to translate their words into action. Social media platforms have made us armchair activists. For many of us, the only time we lift a finger to help another human being is when typing about it on a keyboard.

Yet, despite this overwhelming evidence of inaction, we all claim to value action; we celebrate and applaud real, tangible, service over mere lip service. Even the Bible says that true Christians will be known, not by the doctrines they profess, but by the fruit they display.

“You will know them by their fruit,” said Jesus. “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead,” adds James, the brother of Jesus.

So, whenever someone would applaud me for writing a good story or expressing an idea well, my insecurities would bubble up and I would receive such affirmation with a sense of skepticism and guilt. My anxiety would lead me to dark thoughts of: “Was that a jab at the fact that I am all bark and no bite?”

This would lead me into a spiral of self-doubt, especially when I thought about how little I do to make this world a better place. I was sold on the idea that the only way to help someone was to do the more glamorous, tangible work of (especially) giving money. Put your money where your mouth is, they say.

This is despite the fact that the reason I wasn’t giving much was because I didn’t have much to give. The world had established the standard, and I either met that standard or I was a hypocrite for claiming to help humanity through my words.

But I have come to learn that words are necessary. They are powerful and often effective. If the history of the publishing industry is anything to go by, words are worth unimaginable amounts of money. People would pay a lot of money to read and listen to a motivational speaker. Words can change the world, and words well said are potent.

Yes, kind words are a type of fruit.

The more tangible, practical types of help are also significant, but we are only responsible to help according to our capacity. Let those with money give their dollars. But we should not silence or belittle the help of those without money because they are offering the only gift they have, the only gift they are equipped best to give.

If anything, I would not be able to offer the financial help that I can offer today if it wasn’t for the fact that I kept writing until someone decided to pay me to do it.

It is ironic that even though Jesus taught “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” I was more worried that “man shall not live on words alone, but especially on bread.”

So now I am learning to write without fear, guilt or reservation. I want to write and I want to write well. I am learning to gift the world and help humanity with the one tool I have been gifted and trained to wield well — words.

This is also to all the fellow writers and “communicators” that feel guilty for not being able to “do” much other than write. Go ahead and give it your best shot. Write your help and write it well.

And when you receive that once dreaded comment of “well said”, may you also hear it as “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Posted in Commentary, culture, Features

Black is not beautiful

While attending an event recognizing persons living with disability in his constituency, Kibra Member of Parliament Ken Okoth recently tweeted:

“Celebrating the International Day of Persons Living with Disability. Inability is not Disability (sic).”

This example illustrates an important point about many of our attempts to “normalize” what the prevailing culture otherwise finds abnormal.

Chances are you have heard the popular phrase “black is beautiful” used in a conversation or you read it in a piece of writing. The context is usually in the attempt to fight against the popular (false) assumption that light skinned people are more beautiful simply because their skin is lighter.

However, many who respond with “black is beautiful” seldom take the time to think through the implications of their well meaning response.

If I am not mistaken, I assume that what they intend to communicate is that beauty is not skin deep and what ultimately distinguishes beautiful from ugly is not the color of one’s skin but something else along the lines of what Dr Martin Luther King, Jr called “the content of their character”.

But how does simply stating “black is beautiful” (often as a caption to a picture of a black woman) communicate this message? It sounds more like a desperate attempt to force a “truth” that the audience simply doesn’t find convincing.

It is almost like walking into a jewelry shop and shouting “iron is precious too!” It is very close to what we are often doing (albeit unconsciously) when we insist “black is beautiful” in an atmosphere that seems to elevate lightness of skin as a measure of beauty.

To stretch the analogy further, if someone was to approach the shouting person in the jewelry shop and asked them “why do you say iron is precious?” the person will most likely start listing all the major feats that iron helped human beings accomplish in history.

However, in doing so, the conversation will no longer be about the chemical composition of iron but about something entirely different. You see, if the preciousness of iron is determined by its ability to serve as a tool, then diamonds should be at the top of the list and gold at the bottom. Clearly, the parameters for determining the preciousness of metal were never located in the hardness of metal.

In the same way, the cultural standards of beauty are not in the color of one’s skin but in a combination of factors that can never be simply reduced to skin color.

Black isn’t beautiful, and neither is whiteness or lightness.

But the sad reality is that if you grew up associating whiteness with wealth, privilege and beauty; then you will always struggle to disentangle blackness from poverty, disadvantage and ugliness. White is civilized, black is not.

Instead of maintaining “black is beautiful” or “black is beautiful too”, perhaps we should spend more time investigating how come white is beautiful in the first place, and why that seems to be a given. By pursuing this line of inquiry, we may just realize that what is needed to see black as beautiful is not to give black the things that white has (clearly, that isn’t working), but to take apart our entire value system and anchor it on something less superficial than health, wealth and the pursuit of privilege.

This won’t be easy. It will mean questioning almost everything we have always believed about how the world works. It is going to be a messy process. Many of these cultural biases are so ingrained that we act on them mindlessly. Even more troubling is that even when we attempt to fight against these biases, we still do it along contours defined by a worldview that privileges white over black.

This is what I mean; we have dark skinned models who are skinny and wearing make-up and strutting on stages in exactly the same way that white models used to do in the time when all models were white. The only thing that has changed is that we now have black models on events that previously only had white models. This is not progress.

As long as we fail to see that the system that came up with beauty pageants and skinniness and make-up and stage-strutting is the same system that made white beautiful, we have not accomplished anything, not even if all the models became black.

A culture is deeper than its symbols. A culture is also about values, and it is ultimately about worldviews — the lens through which we view and interpret all of life. This is why I don’t believe the way to change a culture is to chip away at each symbol, one symbol at a time until we finally change the underlying worldview.

The only thing this will achieve is a regressive series of “campaigns” that never seem to address the heart of the matter; one day “black is beautiful”, the next day “plump is beautiful”, the following day “burkas are beautiful” and after that “kinky hair is beautiful”… and so on. While such campaigns give us a sense of motion, they are not marks of any meaningful progress, they will never get us to the change we desire.

The change we desire and instinctively crave for when we shout “black is beautiful” is a more radical (radical as in root) change. It is not a change that is color-blind, but a change that sees color through the right lenses and appreciates the diversity of the world without needing to flatten it in order to please or accommodate everyone.

Do you have some ideas on where we can begin in our quest for this kind of cultural change? Or is it a lost cause? Are we just re-arranging furniture on the Titanic? And is there even a point trying to work towards such a cultural reformation?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Apart from Jesus, the people in the Bible are no more worthy of being our examples than the people outside the Bible. A person is not worth emulating simply because they had the “privilege” of being a character in Scripture.

There’s nothing special about having a “Christian” or “Biblical” name.

God has surrounded us with relatives, friends and neighbours far more worthy of emulating than most Biblical characters could ever be. So look around. Pay more attention to your fellow church members, not just as peers but also as inspirations.

You may just discover that Dave from Accounting is just as holy as King David

Be like Dave from Accounting