Archive for July, 2006

Measuring ourselves by each other

Measuring ourselves by each other

2Cor 10:12 NRSV We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense.

Last weekend I was up at the lake. Each day I had the opportunity to escape to the older RV trailer in behind the cabin and spend a few hours reading and writing. Such good times. I came across this verse in my readings. Paul is defending his himself against other Christian leaders who were very good at boasting about themselves.

I’ve been thinking about this statement: “when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense.” It seems very natural for people compare themselves with each other. We even do it collectively.

There are probably a couple of reasons why it doesn’t make good sense. If we all we do is peer comparison what happens if we are all doing poorly? Imagine if an entire class of students failed an exam but only knew their score in relation to each other. They would never realize how poorly they did. The person who did the best might feel very proud of their accomplishments while never realizing he or she received 46% and a failing grade.

I’ve been thinking about that in relation to the church.. In a class everyone gets their marks so they are all measured up against a common standard. In our personal lives and organizations there is no one standing outside of our context giving us a grade. We end up comparing ourselves with others and our church with the one down the road. What if we are all doing poorly but we don’t realize it?

One might think that scripture is a standard we can use to evaluate ourselves. I think that is possible but we tend to read our own assumptions in the text. We look to scripture to reinforce what already believe.

There are times in our lives and in the history of the church where something clicks. For Luther it was when he compared his life to “the just shall live by faith.” We clue in to a sharp difference between what scripture says and what we see around us. It creates a willingness to examine our old assumptions.

All this leads me to some other questions. Are we as the church in the western world doing poorly? What would it take for us to see ourselves as we really are?

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Choice in childcare?

Choice in childcare

In the last election the Conservatives managed to convince a lot of voters they needed “choice in childcare.” The Liberal plan was to create more licensed day care spots. The Conservative plan was to give everyone with a child under 6 $25 a week to help pay for childcare. They also planned to create more day care spaces through tax credits for businesses that build them (didn’t see that promise in the budget). The whole “choice in childcare” is a misnomer. It isn’t as if people didn’t have choice before and now they do because Harper throws them a $25 a week. It isn’t as if the government doesn’t already give families a significant amount of cash each month for families with children.

There are people who don’t have a lot of “choice in childcare.” Those families that actually need a daycare spot.

Nearly every major city in Canada is dealing with a considerable shortage of licensed day care spaces, according to a new national study.

The report, entitled “Learning from Each Other: Early Learning and Child Care Experiences in Canadian Cities,” examines the local provision of children’s services in Canadian cities, including child care, kindergarten, and out-of-school-hours care for six- to 12-year-olds.

It concludes that in most cities there are licensed day care spaces for only 15 per cent of children.

Janet Libbey, acting director of the Mothercraft Day Care Centre in Ottawa said the lack of space has led to an increase in waiting list times.

“Well, it can be a minimum of a year’s waiting list,” said Libbey. “And sometimes with the full-time program, 18 months is not unrealistic. And there’s still many families we never get to.”

From the CBC

I think the Conservatives masterfully changed the question rather than come up with a better answer. The real problem is a lack of day care spots. They convinced their base it was about Liberals wanting to raise your kids because they think you are unfit to do so.

BTW I heard Labatts and Molson are preparing for huge surge in beer and popcorn sales. 😉


Some questions about the bible and church

Some questions about the bible and church

I’ve been mulling over the following questions.

  • We examine the bible with great precision to determine our theology or ethics. Why do disregard so much of the New Testament when determining how to structure church?
  • We look to the example of Jesus to support the practice of preaching. If Jesus’ example is so important why don’t we do most of the other stuff He did?
  • If we reconstructed church in a way to accomplish univeral New Testament objectives would we come up with what we have now?