Teen Time: The importance of knowing the Bible (September 26th)

Throwing Bible verses around does not mean you know the Bible. To know the Bible means studying what the writers were trying to say 2000+ years ago. Only from there can we understand the message in today’s world.

When we know what was happening in the 1st century Palestine and before, we can start to understand Jesus’ teachings better, and most people will be pleasantly surprised to learn some of the negative passages might not be that negative after all.

Teen Time: God, service and power dynamics (September 19th)

The word ‘submit’ is misused by many on the rightwing of Christianity. Serving or submitting to others is a choice, not a role to place based on gender or ethnicity.

The scripture for Kids Korner and the Reflection for today is Mark 9:30-37. In that story Jesus tells his followers that the first must put themselves last, while the last will be first. When we choose to serve others, we make a difference and can see some of the new world God is creating.

But it has to be our choice. If we are in a position with no power, we do not have the ability to make a choice. Submitting or serving when we have no power can be exploitation.

Teen Time: Forgiveness is a repetitive action (September 12th)

Forgiveness is not a ‘one-and-done’ action, it’s something we have to return to again and again, depending on the level of hurt.

Think of forgiveness as doing exercises, curls or crunches: We would never do only one rep and think we were now in top shape. That’s how forgiveness works. It’s not about the other person, it’s about us and making sure we don’t hang on to bitterness which can rot our hearts and souls and makes us miserable people.

The scripture reference today is Matthew 18:21-35.

Teen Time: Jesus and modern healthcare (September 5th)

Jesus would have supported vaccines and a woman’s right to choose.

Too many people are using the Bible as a reason to deny the use of vaccines and a woman’s right to make choices about her body. This is the wrong use of the Bible.

How would Jesus deal with vaccines? He healed everyone who asked, using prayer, dust, even his own spit. If he had had vaccines, he would have used that too.

How would Jesus deal with abortion? Abortion was known at the time of Jesus and he said nothing about it, so it’s safe to accept that Jesus didn’t think he had the right to interfere with a woman’s choices.

If we really want to follow Jesus, we can’t just decide we don’t like something or someone and then throw the Bible around as the reason.