The church of Jesus Christ from its earliest days was known for its impact on the surrounding culture. Wherever the new believers went, they stirred up trouble, made a huge impact, and greatly influenced the world around them. Indeed, so much so, that we read this about the early believers: “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6 KJV).
I have always liked that idea of turning the world upside down – or perhaps more accurately, turning it right side up. And much of church history testifies to this world-transforming nature of the gospel being proclaimed by men and women sold out to Jesus Christ.
It was always the intent of Jesus Christ that we be salt and light influencers in the surrounding culture. However this has not always been the case. Today especially the church is not so much being an influencer as it is being influenced by the world around it.
The title states the question posed by many on the pro-abortion side, should men actually get a say in the abortion debate? Should they have a voice? Or is it only women who have the right to say anything about whether abortions should be legal or not?
In the first instance this argument (posed as a question) is faulty. It is faulty because procreation requires two people, a man and a woman. Pregnancy does not happen with a woman in a vacuum. And if it takes more than a woman to create life surely it is undermining the role of the male by terminating the pregnancy without him having a say.
According to Tom Waterhouse's mum he is receiving unfair criticism by the press, politicians and some celebrities. Horse trainer Gai Waterhouse believes everyone should stop criticising her boy. This criticism and scepticism is on the back of Tom being barred from commentating on sporting events because he has “blurr[ed] the lines between bookmaker and commentator”.
I must confess for feeling very little sympathy for Tom Waterhouse at the moment. He has set up a betting agency, making himself as the figurehead, in a way that I can't recall ever having been done in Australia. Sure there has been other betting agencies for a long, long time but this is the first one that is centred around an actual identity. Now I work at the races and bookmakers are a reality in the industry. But I must confess that my heart drops every time I go past them. Now I don't think I am better than these men. I am just disappointed that we have slick processes in place to encourage everyday people to risk their money in exchange for money that others have lost. Gambling is the pure epitome of greediness and we have men and women who believe there is legitimate business to be had by pocketing these people's money.
Tom Waterhouse, as slick as his advertisements might be, is just a glorified bookie. But now, presumably, he runs a company of bookmakers, whose sole task it is to earn money for the company from people gambling against the odds at sporting events. Now I love football and I have a great affinity to horse racing as well. But the integrity of the industry is tarnished by the very existence of a betting culture that functions so succinctly with the governing corporate bodies. No wonder Racing Victoria is having such problems with dishonesty and transparency. There exists large incentives for people who should not be gambling to do just that.
There is a key scene in the lead up to Jesus' crucifixion. Jesus has been captured and tried by the High Priests and sent to the governor's office.
Now Pilate is faced with a situation that he really doesn't want to deal with. From all accounts he believes Jesus to be innocent yet there is a mob outside baying for His blood. In their exchanges he tries to ascertain whether Jesus claims to be some kind of king. Instead Jesus tells him that he has come to bear witness to the truth.
In this comment Jesus established where His kingship lies. And we can see that with His follow-up comment “[e]veryone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37 ESV). Jesus' subjects are the people who dwell in the truth. Who are convicted by it. They hear Jesus' voice and they recognise the truth.