Pastor's Message for July
‘How safe are you’? There is a lot of talk these days about issues of security. We now have security alarm systems installed in our homes; our cars are computer locked such that if they are tampered with a siren sounds; some businesses and gated communities have regular security patrols; and the government continues to roll out so called security cameras in some of our busier streets. With all this focus on security, ‘How safe do you feel?’
For quite some time I have been very concerned about the issues of domestic violence and street violence in our communities. For a time, the brutal murder of Ms Jill Meagher in September 2012, raised the issue of community violence in our consciousness, however, are we slowly becoming conditioned to accept or ignore it, because it keeps on happening? It would seem to me that many people, especially younger women, are simply not safe in our community. Some may argue that they shouldn’t put themselves in a position where they could be attacked. To me, this is a rather simplistic solution. To me, the issue goes much deeper to what motivates and leads people to acts of violence in the first place. It goes to people’s core values and sense of morality, of what is right and wrong, of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behaviour. As long as we teach our children and young people that they are an accident of nature, having randomly evolved from a single cell being; that life is simply a matter of looking after No.1 (ie. ourselves) and about survival of the fittest; that life is all about money, pleasure and experiences, we will continue to have people who see no real value or worth in themselves or in the wider community. Add to this the preoccupation that many younger people have with violent military style computer games and movies filled with gratuitous violence; we have to ask the question, ‘Where is society heading in the future?’
An alternative to this slow decline into fearfulness, and a desire to secure ourselves into cocoons for protection, is found in what the Lord Jesus taught in the Bible. He taught that when people learn to see themselves as a ‘child’ of a loving and caring God, and learn to live the values He taught, the whole community benefits and grows to be a place where kindness, respect, generosity and trust become the new normal. Consider the following words from the New Testament and ask yourself in which community you would like to live. The decision is yours!
Mark 12:30-31 Jesus said, ‘.. love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.’
Galatians 5:22-23 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.’
Colossians 3:12-13 ‘.. put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another ..’
Pastor Bruce Roberts
The home of the Bulleen Baptist Church and the SonLife Community Church.
While we maintain our individual identities and ministries, our two congregations work and grow together in shared fellowship and ministry to our community. For more information regarding SonLife Community Church click on the image on the left to go to their website.