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Christian ethics

Do we really have to decide?


Christian faith is a way of understanding what is right and what is wrong and offers insights into how we make moral decisions about what to do as individuals, in groups together and as whole societies. For a long time a problem was seen in the fact that if God knew everything and could do anything, the existence of evil meant God either couldnt solve evil or didnt care enough to solve it. Is God as caring as Christians say, and as powerful as they believe? Alvin Plantinga developed a way of thinking about this which help us us see that the decisions we each make have a part to play.

God and us
Christian faith is a journey finding out what God is like, what God has to do with humans, and how thinking about our relationship to God influences or helps us to think about how we relate to other people.

Serving Gods kingdom


Whats our picture of God?
Proving or showing that there is a God is a dead-end. All you can do is live as though there is a God; Or of course live as though there isnt. Its a cop-out to live maybe as if there might be a God. In practice, thats often living as though there isnt one. If you do live as if there is a God, how you live depends on what you think God is like. Even living as if is a big step, one that Ben Elton finds almost impossibly difficult: I'm only an atheist insomuch as... Traditional religion seems to me extraordinarily banal. It is self-evident that the universe is a glorious mystery, because even the greatness of science comes back to: 'What came before the Big Bang? Nothing.' But that humanity has been able to convince itself that it can take the glories of the universe and then imagine a God that looks like us, imagine its personality, imagine the communications we're having with it - directly - strikes me as, at the very best, arrogance beyond belief. So, you know, I'm an atheist when it comes to a God with a human personality with whom we can personally communicate, describe, look at the history of and consider the future of. Obviously, if you want to define 'God' as the mystery of the universe before which we should have some real sense of our own smallness and take some view of our actions based on that, then I'm all for it; but the one who listens to prayers - I don't believe in that. Ben Elton in Third Way magazine Christian faith invites people to give their time and resources, and use their skills, to promote the kinds of things we understand God wants (healing, learning, faith, and others).

What about you?


Christ at the centre Among each other
Good and godly relations, unity, seeking justice for all, encouraging deeper faith, caring as Christians

We think that church is about giving and taking Receiving Were aiming to provide meaningful, enjoyable and at times challenging worship services on Sundays and at other times for church members and people we serve in our community. We are trying to create a place of welcome and peace where friends may be found and God discerned. To this end we offer a range of activities to help people think and reflect on Christian faith and to nourish their spiritual life. Giving We believe that it is in giving that we really receive, so through the church there are opportunities to serve God and other people. We have quite a bit going on ourselves and we welcome interested and enthusiastic people who would like to get involved in a range of ways. We think that service is for Gods kingdom and not solely our congregation and so we are very pleased when we are able to allow members of our congregation serve more broadly in other projects across Kilmarnock. As part of the Church of Scotland we try to keep in touch with some bigger issues and get involved in these where possible. We encourage our members to consider serving themselves in one of the many Christian ministries currently around, including formal ones for which selection, training and review are required. We think that financial giving is an important part of worship and service and encourage members to reflect on their giving to God through St Kentigerns.

Can we decide well enough?


Reformed thinking (thats what our church goes by) takes the view that no human being is perfect. That idea is technically called total depravity but it doesnt mean that everyone in church or outside is totally depraved! It does mean that we cant be sure in any situation that we are making the absolutely correct moral decision. We might not know enough, we might have an interest which makes us biased, or we just might not be able to decide among a number of options. So there needs to be a way of deciding how to decide. Deciding right & wrong Evil ... and God Does God exist?

A statement of belief

Another picture of God?

Not everyone finds it so hard. Gene Robinson suggests a way of living as if so that you can discover its true. If someone came to you and asked, What must I do to be saved?, how would you respond? I would say, probably: Believe that God loves you beyond your wildest imagining, and begin to live your life as if that were true. I think it transforms your life dramatically if you believe that. ... I would go on to say that I believe that Jesus is the perfect revelation of God and of Gods will for us. Take a look at what he said, what he did and how he lived his life and thats the way you will discover most clearly what Gods attitude is toward you and what Gods will is for you. Doesnt that circumvent repentance and the cross? No, I dont think so. It is painfully obvious to all of us that we are sinful, we dont live up to what God would have us do and be. The cross represents the lengths to which God was willing to go to save us from a life that is captive to sin and death. Jesus accomplished something on the cross that changed the world completely. Gene Robinson in

Over to you...
We all do a little of each of these three things. Maybe, though, its good to step back and think. How much of each suits you - and is it down to what suits you, anyway? What are Gods principles, how do you understand them and what weight do you give them?

Over to you...
You probably wouldnt be around church if you believed there was no God. However what you think of God is probably pretty important. What do you think God is like, and how does that influence how you think you might discover more about Reasons for thinking God exists

We decide for ourselves


We have an internal sense of right and wrong, so why not just use that? However, how do you know thats right, or youre not being influenced by other things. And how do we operate if people have different senses of right and wrong?

Our culture decides


Instead of trusting ourselves, we could trust our upbringing, culture and society. People as a group know whats right and wrong. Or do they? Have we made such a good job of things? Is there really one view which holds good all the time?

Look to God
If God told us, we would be more sure it was right, and we would all at least have the same source. But would we understand it the same way, and would we be committed enough to obey when it was difficult?

The Church of Scotland, as part of the holy catholic or universal Church, worshipping one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, affirms anew its belief in the Gospel of the sovereign grace and love of God, wherein through Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, incarnate, crucified, and risen, he freely offers to all upon repentance and faith, the forgiveness of sins, renewal by the Holy Spirit, and eternal life, and calls them to labour in the fellowship of faith for the advancement of the kingdom of God throughout the world. The Church of Scotland acknowledges the Word of God, contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, to be the supreme rule of faith and life.
Serving Jesus

The Church of Scotland is part of the Church round the world; all the followers of Jesus together. Catholic means universal and does not mean the Church of Scotland is a Roman Catholic Church (which, though the largest part, is only a part of the Church of Jesus). The Church worships God who is Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit together are known as the Trinity. This is what the Church understands the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus is. It is based on the love of God which is greater than anyone can control. Central to the Good News is that Jesus really lived, died and rose again. Everyone who admits their life isnt the way God wants, and who wants to live Gods way, can be sure their separation from God has been taken away, can be sure they have been given new spiritual life by God and be sure that they shall always belong to God for ever. These people have a job: to work for Jesus so that the Good News is made alive here and across the world so that other people come to know Jesus as Lord. Gods message is contained in the Bible, which is why we read it. It tells us what God is like, it tells us who Jesus is and why he came, and it tells us what principles to live by. Reading, understanding and living by the teaching of the Bible is very important. There is another document, the Westminster Confession, which is an orderly account of the things some Christians believe. However, not all of it is now acceptable to many people in church, so only those parts which are at the core of the faith still apply. There is anyway a freedom to believe things which are not at the core of Christian faith.

Making a difference
Action in our lives, in our families, working in our communities, contributing to our society, praying for and supporting and enabling change world-wide to push Christs kingdom forward along with many other Christians everywhere.

Ethics and Jesus What did Jesus say?


Christian faith is a way of understanding what is right and what is wrong and offers insights into how we make moral decisions about what to do as individuals, in groups together and as whole societies. Some of Jesus teaching about right and wrong ranks amongst the most famous things anyone has said. Here are some of

Sermon on the Mount Matthew chapter 5

Serving Jesus by being a part of his people together God, Jesus and us What happened to Jesus?
Journeys need signposts. Christianity looks to Jesus as the principal signpost about God. Some journeys have guides who travel with you. Christianity understands Jesus as God and as present with us by his Spirit, who can be perceived by faith to be with us always. The central fact of Christianity and the early Church was the resurrection of Jesus. Whether you believe that might depend on what you think about God and how God connects to our world. Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, explains in this video clip what the effect of the resurrection of Jesus had on the people who first followed him. The question for us is: what do you do about the death and resurrection of Jesus? Do you believe it? Living faith is directed at following Jesus. Its not just about holding beliefs in common or joining an organisation with others. Theres a strong sense of following a person, someone we cannot directly see but can sense.

Vows of membership

Within ourselves
A lively faith, a strangely warmed heart, a personal relationship / friendship with Jesus Christ.

When you join the church you make certain promises. These are the goals we want to reach and ways we get there. Theyre what we aspire to, not what we fall away from. They are mainly about you saying publicly: that you believe and trust in God and accept his forgiveness and new life; and that you promise to make your faith stronger and follow Jesus in the world. Do you believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and do you confess Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord? If Jesus is a Saviour, we must need to be saved from something. Were saved from godlessness and distance from God which is called sin. Were also pardoned all the things weve done which are sinful. So Jesus is a Saviour. But he is also someone we trust and obey. So he is also Lord. Do you promise to join regularly with your fellow Christians in worship on the Lord's day? Coming together regularly to worship is important service to God. Do you promise to be faithful in reading the Bible and in prayer? These are things we learn by doing, so theres no time like the present to start. Do you promise to give a fitting proportion of your time, talents and money for the church's work in the world? How much is Jesus, and sharing Jesus values, worth to you?

The Beatitudes

Parable of Good Samaritan Luke chapter 10 A Theory of Christian ethics (or, what principles do Christians use to decide whats right?)
Some moral laws matter more (Jesus speaks of the greatest commandment). Sometimes you cant obey all moral laws simultaneously; disobeying lesser ones is okay. Theres no blame in having to make difficult moral decisions if you keep the most important one(s). Moral guidance comes from God through the Bible - if its interpreted well. Good Samaritan

The resurrection of Jesus Connected with God and others through Holy Spirit Jesus: human and divine

Live Life. Follow Jesus


Exploring Christian spirituality together and individually

Parable of sheep & goats Luke chapter 10

Sheep & Goats Keith Green

Jesus at the centre


Its not only Jesus death, but his life that deeply influences Christians. What he taught is still thought very important by many people today. His miracles of healing people and exorcising demons seem strange to us, but they caused many people to follow him. The discussions, sometimes arguments, he had with people at the Temple and the conversations he had with his friends and people he met on the way have become part of our culture. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are central to Christian faith.

Over to you...
Christian ethics website Do you know what the Bible says about important ethical issues? Have you come across Christians applying the Bibles message to modern ethical issues? Are you comfortable that people in good conscience can have different views? Are you part of a community where people are trying to live ethically?

Christian social policy think-tank Church of Scotland Church & Society Council

Deciding and living together


This isnt just about theory, but about life. Do you think it might be better to belong with people who are trying to live the same way? What would a community like that look like? How might it help you?

Christianity - in three minutes!

Contemplative The Prayer-Filled Life: intimacy with God and depth of spirituality. Charismatic The Spirit-Empowered Life: the charisms of the Spirit and worship. Evangelical The Word-Centred Life: proclaiming the good news Social Justice The Compassionate Life: justice and shalom in society Holiness The Virtuous Life: personal moral transformation Incarnational The Sacramental Life: making visible the life of the spirit

Over to you...
What do you think of Jesus? And what do you think is the relationship between Jesus and you, and between you and other followers of Jesus? And what difference do you plan this shall make in your life?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like stuff worth nothing. ... Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing.... Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. ... In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ye were bought at a price, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of Radical discipleship God.

Being involved gives us access to loads of resources to help our spiritual lives to grow and flourish. Services, small groups, personal study and other church events help our faith.

Gaining this sense of belonging and growing in faith, knowing more about Jesus and Christianity and past followers all helps us to give our lives to serve God, often by serving others.

Making a difference
Action in our lives, in our families, working in our communities, contributing to our society, praying for and supporting and enabling change world-wide to push Christs kingdom forward along with many other Christians everywhere.

Do you promise, depending on the grace of God, to confess Christ before all people, to serve him in your daily work, and to walk in his ways all the days of your life? Faith in Jesus isnt only for Sundays! Its for all of life! At the service when you take these vows, you answer I do to each of them. Youre also encouraged to write out beforehand and to say in front of the congregation why you are taking this step of faith and commitment in following Christ. This is a big ask, but it can be helpful for you and other people.

A square metre introducing

St Kentigerns Church
people together following Jesus stkentigern.org.uk
Scottish Charity SC001324

Christian faith: a big picture


Heres my attempt to show the really big picture of Christian faith on one page. The central aim, I think, is to be closer to Christ at the centre, both within ourselves and among each other What do you think of this? Whats missing? What would you say differently? Does this help you think about faith?

Making a difference God and us


Christian faith is a journey finding out what God is like, what God has to do with humans, and how thinking about our relationship to God influences or helps us to think about how we relate to other people. Action in our lives, in our families, working in our communities, contributing to our society, praying for and supporting and enabling change world-wide to push Christs kingdom forward along with many other Christians everywhere.

Want to find out more?

These resources will help you discover more about Christian faith Visit Amazons website by clicking each image.

Thinking and discovering

Christian faith

Ethics
Christian faith is a way of understanding what is right and what is wrong and offers insights into how we make moral decisions about what to do as individuals, in groups together and as whole societies.

d an
Within ourselves
A lively faith, a strangely warmed heart, a personal relationship / friendship with Jesus Christ.

t ds lea is h

Serving Gods kingdom

This introduction is best read on-screen with an internet connection so you can watch the video clips which go along with each section. Watch if you print it out - the full size is a square metre! Youre encouraged to read, watch and consider the six key areas of faith which are connected at the centre then get in touch with Grant Barclay to talk through your thoughts and ideas. This is not to check your answers are right, but to help you put in your own words what you think about what youre read and watched.

Christian faith invites people to give their time and resources, and use their skills, to promote the kinds of things we understand God wants (healing, learning, faith, and others).

Christ at the centre

Behaving and acting

Among each other Gathering together


One Christian is no Christian, for we were meant to be together. Faith grows and is acted out with other people (otherwise its only beliefs) in worship and groups for thinking or action. Good and godly relations, unity, seeking justice for all, encouraging deeper faith, caring as Christians

Start here!
Gathering together
Christians gather to learn
One Christian is no Christian, for we were meant to be together. Faith grows and is acted out with other people (otherwise its only beliefs) in worship and groups for thinking or action. Everyone learns alongside other people and church is no different. It can be daunting, at first you can feel a bit out of it or unsure, and at times its hard work. Its also really rewarding, challenging and it warms your heart to think about God and what other people think about important issues of faith and life. Question Mark This is a series of six or seven meetings where we get together and ask honest questions and try to work out some honest answers. Live life. Follow Jesus We offer a series of meetings exploring Christian spirituality together and individually. Bible Study Groups We run two streams of Bible studies on alternate weeks to allow you to learn in a traditional setting or explore faith from a more contemporary perspective. We also partner with other churches, for example to be involved with Alpha Courses. Stepping Forward From time to time we run groups where people can explore together films theyve seen or books theyve read, or discuss current issues from a Christian point of view. Praise, prayer and Study Gatherings There are chances to meet others for conferences, prayer meetings at bigger events locally in Kilmarnock, or in Glasgow, or sometimes tapping into national organisations.

Prayerful reflection
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come to give life in all its fullness. Making the effort regularly to be open to God, stepping back to think about life in the light of Gods Word and Spirit.

New Living Translation Study Bible This is a brilliant Bible full of explanatory notes, a mini concordance, and dictionary as well as background into each book you're reading and the main characters. It really makes the Bible come alive and enhances your understanding. Whether it's to study, read or a companion for meditating on the word, this is it. There's also the added bonus of the daily Bible reading plan.

NT Wright: Simply Christian Why is justice fair? Why are so many people pursuing spirituality? Why do we crave relationship? And why is beauty so beautiful? N. T. Wright argues that each of these questions takes us into the mystery of who God is and what he wants from us. For two thousand years Christianity has claimed to answer these mysteries, and this renowned biblical scholar and Anglican bishop shows that it still does today.

Bonhoeffer: The Cost of discipleship The real substance of this book is in Bonhoeffer's own words. Cheap grace was the deadly enemy of the church then, and it remains a dangerous foe to this day.

A History of Christianity 6-DVD set MacCullocht explains how what started as a small Jewish sect that preached humility became the biggest religion in the world. So much of our modern world, its societies, conflicts and customs are intertwined with the development of Christianity that I found each programme to be extremely interesting and of direct relevance to modern life, regardless of any individual's religious opinions.

Reading the Bible


Your word is a light for my feet and a lamp for my path. The key source of knowing God and Gods intentions and hopes for humanity. Its rich, complex and open to different interpretations whose application may change.

Reid: Outside Verdict An outsiders view of the modern Church of Scotland. Helps you get to grips with the practices and criticisms of the modern Church.

Whats this diagram showing?


Each oval itself is a big area, explained in the other panels, but this gives a really broad view, I think. The three upper ovals are maybe where were heading. The three lower ovals are the main church-based ways we are helped to get there.

Reading the Bible


Your word is a light for my feet and a lamp for my path. The key source of knowing God and Gods intentions and hopes for humanity. Its rich, complex and open to different interpretations whose application may change.

Prayerful reflection
What is it?
A collection of 66 different short books. Big split between Old and New Testaments. Written over period of about 800-1000 years. Set almost completely in Israel/Palestine Contains history of Jewish people, songs, challenges to faith, story of Jesus and letters from his followers. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come to give life in all its fullness. Making the effort regularly to be open to God, stepping back to think about life in the light of Gods Word and Spirit.

Prayer is...
Affirming the presence of God in our midst. Being honest to God about our hopes, dreams and fears. Faith, hope, love and joy in realising more deeply Gods concern for our concerns. Doing what Jesus and his disciples did.

Prayer isnt...
Looking or feeling smart, or holier, or more spiritual. Twisting Gods arm. Making our conscience feel better (or less bad). Doing something because were forced to do it. Getting involved in weird, wacky or outlandish stuff.

Christians gather to serve


Its so much easier to serve others when youre doing it as part of a team. Working with others bring challenges about getting on, and how we each do things, but on the whole its really enriching. Many people have found serving Christ by serving others through church has enriched their lives.

Can we trust the ancient Bible?

Christians gather to worship


Theres something together about being a Christian. Its not possible to be truly Christian alone. Christians worship God together. You dont go to church simply for what you get out of it, but what you give to others and to God together with others. Its completely different from a selfservice culture. Freshchurch Some Sundays we have informal times of sharing in small groups, exploring a whole range of ideas and activities associated with Christian faith. The Morning Service The service at 11.15 is traditional worship in the Church of Scotland fashion. Our praise is mixed, there is usually a sermon and we celebrate the sacrament of the Lords Supper formally three times a year. Tuesday Afternoon Worship We hold a service on Tuesday afternoons once each month at 1.45pm especially for those who find it harder to get out and about. Start the Day with God On Tuesday mornings we have half hour times of quiet reflection and either spoken or quiet prayer. Banner Group Our banner Group meets regularly to design and create new banners which enrich the worship in our church. Local schools We are involved with all the non-denominational schools in New Farm Loch. The Minister leads assemblies in Silverwood and New Farm Primaries and leads the chaplaincy team at James Hamilton Academy. Messy Church We run times for mums and preschool children on Tuesday afternoons which include a chance to learn choruses and hear a Bible story. Other groups We allow other groups within our community to use our premises for the good of the neighbourhood and everyone who lives here. Coffee and Company The Library is open every Wednesday afternoon from 2 until 3.30 for members of our community to pop in, have tea and coffee and a chat. The Howard Centre Many people from our congregation help with a wide range of events at the Howard Centre, a new outreach to the whole of Kilmarnock. Weddings and funerals The congregation pays the Minister who conducts services for weddings, funerals and at other times. Our Town videos Two local ministers made some videos of things people in Kilmarnock are doing to help others.

How is it used?
Its read directly and its talked about It makes you think: conversation between you & it. Some people read it straight off the page. Others see it just as illustrating truth. Many Christians think truth from God can be discerned from studying it.

Why is it important?
Enables us to understand God. Its principal way of accessing Jesus life & teaching. The storys complex but engrossing. It reflects much real life. It has hugely influenced our culture. Whats the Bibles significance to (Australian) culture?

Different ways to pray


If prayers like breathing, there are different ways to pray like there are different ways to inhale. Some of the more frequently used ways are these...

Praying is varied
Prayings not just about asking God for things. Generally, praying includes: Prayers of adoration and worship Its good to tell of Gods greatness, perhaps by using words from the Psalms, or from hymns both old and new.

Quiet reflection
Usually alone, people make themselves available to God as they read passages from the Bible, or hymns, or spiritual poems. Sometimes this starts with quietly saying a prayer, seeking discernment for Gods presence and leading. Prayers of confession Theres a place for saying that we have gone wrong, though there is a danger we circle down into a spiral of weakness and despondency. Its maybe also not a great idea to identify the weaknesses of others, or to be excessively personal in a group prayer setting. Prayers of thanksgiving I think God is probably pleased when were pleased, and especially delighted when his children stop to recognise and revel in Gods goodness. Its good to count our blessings, and a prayer time is a place to name those blessings one by one.

Different approaches
What the Bible says (scripture) is thought about alongside how people think (reason) and what people in church have thought for a long time (tradition). This paper helps explain how these three things sit together - and how, sometimes, they dont!

How can I do it?


Theres tons of stuff- good and bad! Here are some suggestions which you can access to help you get to grips with understanding the bible so you can read it with understanding.

Ignatian spirituality

Led prayer
Often in worship services someone speaks as everyone prays. This is usually something prepared, it might follow a structure, and might include everyone saying the Lords Prayer.

Praying in church is varied!

How do you see it? by Savitri Hensman

Reading the Bible: a Guide by Grant Barclay


New Testament literature course at Yale University

Open prayer
In informal small groups people may pray together for issues as they arise or as people feel they should pray about them. Its less structured than led prayer, but still done in a group.

Kilmarnock: our town

Praying together

Gathering and Jesus


One Christian is no Christian, for we were meant to be together. Jesus wants his people to be together, and promises to be together with them. These are important for our Christian faith.

Jesus started the church


Jesus called people together to follow him. He didnt ask individuals to believe alone. This pattern of believing and belonging is a strong and long-lasting pattern which continues with congregations and denominations. By joining the church, you are saying to the world that youre part of Jesus people today.

The Bible and Jesus


For Christians, Jesus is the central figure of faith and therefore the central figure of Scripture. However, that doesnt mean the answer to every question has to be Jesus. Knowing how our understanding of Jesus relates to the whole Bible is important.

Where is Jesus?
Jesus was born after the Old Testament, but he is the eternal second Person of the Trinity. Some people see Jesus implicitly in the Old Testament, others see predictions about him, and others see the Old Testament, which Jesus knew very well, as providing a background for Jesus teaching.

Jesus in OT
The world was created as God spoke (words) so the world was created through the eternal Christ. The three visitors Abraham spoke with are sometimes thought the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Prayer and Jesus


What can we learn from Jesus about praying?

Prayer is for individuals


Jesus encourages private prayer thats not boasted about. This is personal, regular, prayer in secret where we open ourselves up to a God who already knows us better than we imagine and cares for us more than we can tell.

Teaching on prayer Matthew chapter 6

People serve through Jesus


The work Christians do for others means they take part in the ministry of Christ in the world. Not only is Jesus with them, but their work is in Jesus name and so theyre taking part in Jesus ministry in his world today. This includes all kinds of service including all sorts of practical and faithbased things.

Jesus promises his presence


Jesus promised that where two or three were gathered in his name, he would be present with them. Gathering in his name probably means for the purpose of worshipping or serving him. Christs promised presence is separate from any sense of being good, clever or successful.

What or Who is the Word?


The term the Word of God (sometimes without a capital at word) is used loads in our church tradition. It can mean two slightly different things, and its sometimes not clear which one is being meant. Church of Scotland website

Jesus is central
Jesus teaching makes little sense without the background of OT history and beliefs. The rest of the Bible hinges on the life of Jesus. The Acts and letters of the New Testament describe the earliest followers of the Jesus of the Gospels. Jesus makes the Bible hang together.

Jesus foretold in Old Testament


The Gospel writers frequently make connections between Jesus teaching or actions and OT events. Bibles often have this in footnotes. Isaiah 53 is often applied to Jesus.

Praying as Jesus taught


The chances are the Lords Prayer started as short prayers Jesus regularly used with his disciples. They learned, remembered, and joined these together. We repeat the Lords Prayer in worship; people say it privately and its themes can inform how we pray more generally.

Prayer is a team event


Jesus prayed with his disciples, in his church, and in front of thousands. So his followers meet together to pray in all sorts of places - and discover that God answers prayers!

The Lords Prayer Matthew chapter 6

Pathfinders This is an organisation for boys in primaries 1 to 3, aimed at helping boys to know Jesus and to follow him in their lives. Pathfinders+ is a similar format for boys in the remainder of primary school. Girls Brigade The Company attached to St Kentigern's is part of the much larger, world-wide organisation which aims to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a structured programme of activities and events within and outside the church. Woman's Hour This provides fellowship and interesting meetings for ladies, usually on Monday evenings with other events throughout the year. Women of Worship Meeting on the first Sunday evening of the month, this time of worship and fellowship allows us to address issues of particular relevance to women in the congregation. Frendz! Along with other local churches we offer a once a month Saturday-morning Christian club for young people of primary and early secondary age. Young People's Group This aims to develop the spiritual lives of young people 12-17 by meeting on Sunday evenings. to talk and think through important questions about life.

Early Christians praying Acts chapter 4

Jesus uses OT Jesus as the Word AND


Johns Gospel starts by saying that the Word was made flesh and lived among us. Word here means that in Jesus, and in Jesus alone, God perfectly shows people all that God has always been and all that God feels for humanity and all that God wants for people. Jesus is Gods Word. Jesus quotes the OT and accepts it but challenges the strict, literal interpretation used by religious leaders in his day. Sometimes he broadens or extends it. The end of the Word? We start by focusing on God. Our prayers are for what God wishes, not what we want. We pray and work and look for Gods kingdom coming. Heavenly life is a pattern for earthly living. We look for God to meet our present needs. We seek Gods forgiveness and let go of all we hold against others. We seek protection and strength against enemies of all sorts We remember who is on control, now and always!

Jesus is present Matthew chapter 18

St Kentigerns website

Sermon on the Mount Matthew chapter 5 The Bible as the Word


The Bibles understood as communicating, in words, truths about God and from God. So the Bible is Gods Word (Gods communication) but given through peoples words in particular times and places. The weight you give this idea of setting affects how you interpret the Bible as Gods communication

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, For ever. Amen.

Jesus is part of the team


Christians understand their prayers arent perfect, but are able to be heard by God through what Jesus has done. So prayers are often offered through Jesus or in Jesus name to remind us that Jesus makes praying to God possible.

What is the Church?

Debate is very much alive! Spong on terrible texts in Bible.

What is clean and unclean? Matthew chapter 15

Amen
This is Hebrew for so be it. Its a way of emphasising our being sincere when we pray, or lending our support when others pray, and it comes at the end of prayers.