Saturday, September 27, 2008

To hit or not to hit

The other day, actually the other week, there were too really interesting items on the front in the local newspaper. The first article was about a man who had been convicted for assault. He had thrown a bad of nappies at his partner. He was given home detention for this crime. Fair enough. Violence of any kind is not acceptable.

Just below that article was another. It celebrated the fact that enough signatures had been collected a referendum about the so called “Anti-smacking” Act which removed the right of parents to smack children as a defence in the Crimes Act. This came about because New Zealand juries had thought it alright for parents to use horse whips, planks and hose pipe on their children. According to some people, these people are good parents and as such they should not be punished. Hmmm…

I wonder if many people noticed the irony of those two articles. It is not alright to throw nappies at adults. It is alright to hit children.

At times in the neighbourhood I live it, the last thing that some of my neighbours needed to hear was that it is alright to hit children. In fact to hit children is to be a good parent. As I listen to the yelling, and the sole use of hitting as discipline, I wonder what damage those who advocate smacking are doing to those families and to those children. It sickens me that so many of those who advocate smacking do so in the name of Christ.
It also appals me that so much damage is done simply to uphold a principle based on one or two verses in the Bible. It appals me that middle class people are doing this with so little thought to the consequences in neighbourhoods around the country. If they really did care about children, then they would be working hard to advocate for parenting methods that did not resort to violence, and to build families so that the levels of violence did not build to the point where violence becomes an accepted outlet.

But no, in the name of Christ, throwing nappies at adults is bad, hitting children is good. Yeah right!

Monday, September 08, 2008

the function of liturgy? - what is mission

Annika helpfully left this comment on my post "the function of liturgy?":

"Can you define 'mission' - I think it would help being very clear in what that would mean in today's world. Only once that is clear we can then move on and talk about liturgy's function in sending 'people out to join with God in mission.'"

Well, that is a good question. Here is my very anglican answer:

So what is mission? The Anglican Church uses these five marks or strands to describe what mission is all about. Here are the Five Strands of Mission:
• To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
• To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
• To respond to human need by loving service
• To seek to transform unjust structures of society
• To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
(Bonds of Affection-1984 ACC-6 p49, Mission in a Broken World-1990 ACC-8 p101)

Mission can be described as a rope, and these are the five strands of that rope. Together they describe mission. Some will argue that the first statement is what mission is all about (for example on http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm) Others will argue that the no brainer in all this is the transforming of unjust structures (Because God really does not like it when people are treated unjustly, just read the bible) But really all of these are needed.