General Synod Discuss Sexuality, Marriage and Gambling

The General Synod (the Church of England’s ruling body) will today vote on the recent report which upheld the Church’s view that marriage in church should only be between a man and a woman, and services should not be held to bless same-sex relationships. Protesters have been gathering outside the Church’s headquarters to make their voices heard that they don’t agree with Church supported discrimination.

Mr Tatchell a rights campaigner for decades said the Report “Denies the right of same-sex couples to be blessed in church, even though it will bless cats and dogs, and it gives a very clear message that clergy who are in same-sex marriages which are lawful will be denied promotion.”

Numerous LGBT+ groups have come together and asked their supporters to write letters to representatives in the Synod stating they should vote against taking note of the report.  “We are looking for a substantial vote against this dangerous and inadequate report”, the letter says.

Already this month’s Synod has unanimously passed a motion urging the government to bring forward proposals to reduce the amount gamblers can stake on on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2. This desire of the Synod to push forward legislation to stop people wasting their money to ensure a better quality of life won’t surprise students of Religious Studies.

proverbs  speak-up

The Book of Proverbs in the Bible where both of these quotes come from provides deep insights and wisdom on how to live a happy and peaceful life by honouring an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God. The guiding principle of the Book of Proverbs is: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart'(Proverbs 3:5).

camel-quote

The well remembered by students camel quote can be found in the Synoptic gospels of Matthew 19:23, Mark 10:24,  and Luke 18:24. The Synoptic gospels meaning are those of Matthew, Mark and Luke because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar wording. They are very different from the gospel of John whose content is comparatively distinct.

 

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“No point going to Church” if you don’t really believe in it, says the Pope

Pope Francis has said that there is no point going to Church if you don’t really believe in it and don’t do kind deeds.

“If I say I am Catholic and go to mass, but then don’t speak with my parents, help my grandparents or the poor, go and see those who are sick, this does not prove my faith, there’s no point,” he told young residents of Guidonia, a village near Rome. He is basically backing up the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats which we learn in Year 8 and also for the new AQA GCSE. The Pope (leader of the Catholic church) continued: “Christian faith is expressed with three things: words, the heart, and the hands.”

sheep

The Pope also discussed how difficult it might be to truly forgive and forget saying that it could be difficult to forgive people when they have hurt you, or even, in some cases, committed crimes against you. “It’s difficult, I knew an old woman who was strong, bright, whose husband used to hit her. You should always forgive but sometimes to forget is difficult,” he said, according to La Stampa.

Black Sabbath founder’s song for Birmingham Cathedral

You may have heard of Black Sabbath’s front man Ozzy Osbourne who is married to Sharon Osbourne a TV personality who’s acted as judge on the X-Factor:

et_ozzymistreswsd_1280

That’s Ozzy centre left and Sharon centre right. Their daughter Kelly and son Jack have also been TV personalities for the last ten years since the TV show chronicling the family’s life.

Well Ozzy Osbourne’s bandmate, and founder of the band Tony Iommi has just written some choral music for Birmingham Cathedral based on Psalm 133 called How Good It Is. The music is about how people live together in unity which Tony reckons perfectly summarises what Birmingham, in central England, represents. Tony worked with his friend the Dean of Birmingham the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle on the music. You cna listen to it on YouTube. Just so you understand what a Dean is, they are the chief religious leader (priest or vicar in the Christian church) resident at a Cathedral.

Psalm 133 from the Bible:

   How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

  It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

 

It would be a useful quote in an RS exam when explaining what some Christians might think about prejudice and discrimination, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133).

Pope says God is not a magician with a magic wand

The Pope (leader of the Catholic Church) has said that scientific theories such as Big Bang Theory and Evolution are not incompatible with God but in fact they require God. “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said.“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

big-bang_infographic

Giovanni Bignami, a professor, said: “The pope’s statement is significant. We are the direct descendents from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.”

Evolutionary Tree original

Below is an attempt at allying Big Bang Theory and the story of creation from the Book of Genesis in the Bible:

bible-big-bang-compared

Common Ground between Abrahamic Faiths

Two friends, a Muslim and Christian, have written a new translation of the Qur’an to show the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The book has a split page format and shows some 3,000 similarities between the two faiths. Jesus, know as Esa in the Qur’an, is mentioned 400 times.

bridges1-1

The book is available on Amazon at £17 for a Kindle copy and £32 for a paperback. The Amazon page reads: Drs. Kaskas’ and Hungerford’s underlying motivation for the translation and inclusion of the extensive footnotes are not intended to promote a particular school of Islam or Christian apologetics. These exist in abundance. Their goal is to build bridges of better understanding, undermine radicalism and enlighten ignorance. This powerful instrument offers Muslims and Christians a fresh insight on the “straight path” to reconciling with God and man; sorely needed and missing from other translations. 

The two authors are part of an organisation called Bridges To Common Ground which promote faith comparisons and work towards a world of better understanding.