Mormons, Muslims and Lazy Christians

Posted: 10 April 2016

Bored, overweight man sits on the sofa

Australia’s mostly widely read weekend newspaper recently carried a front page story in which we were informed that a popular Rugby League player would no longer play or train on Sundays so that he could attend his weekly church service. Canterbury Bulldogs star Will Hopoate negotiated the clause into his contract due to what the newspaper called his “staunch devotion to his Mormon faith”. The article went on to quote the 23-year-old who spoke about his desire that Sunday be maintained as a day set apart for rest, worship and charitable work.­ The coverage not only spoke about Hopoate, but carried positive information about the Mormon religion and other high profile Mormon Athletes.

I have no problem with the young man wanting to have a sacrosanct day in his week dedicated to prayer and refection. The world would be a far better place if each one of us, religious or otherwise, also took a day each week to stop and reflect. What I found most interesting in the article though was the obvious novelty seen in what Hopoate was doing. Actually perhaps ‘interesting’ is the wrong word, maybe I should have chosen ‘disappointing’, and for two reasons. First, only two generations ago a newspaper article would have been more likely commenting on the novelty of professional sport actually taking place on a Sunday. Second, it’s disappointing because mainstream Christianity has basically sold out on what were once its core values and that has been left to be picked up by groups such as the Mormons. How many Catholics, Anglicans or Orthodox do you notice standing up for the value of Sunday? How many are instead spending Sunday worshipping at the Cathedral of Saint Westfield or singing the joyful praises of Macy’s?

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Why I Decided Not to Move In With My Girlfriend

Posted: 2 May 2012

I have been going out with my girlfriend for almost three months and thankfully all is going very well. I was filling in a friend on this news the other day and at the end of the conversation the person asked me, with a face of anticipated excitement, “Will you be moving in together”? I was initially surprised by the question as I imagined it was obvious to most people I know where I would stand on such an issue. However I guess that it is no longer ‘obvious’ why a young dating couple would decide not to pack their bags and find a place together. Let me explain then why I have decided not to share a bed with my girlfriend.

Cohabitation prior to marriage is well and truly the most popular path for young couples. Just over 75% of couples now live together prior to marriage and for many of them it is something they slide into rather than necessarily consciously deciding upon. When he or she begins to spend more nights at the other person’s house than their own, eventually it seems natural to stop paying two lots of rent. Read the rest of this entry »

Winning at the Dating Game

Posted: 27 November 2011

Dating someone is tricky business. It is a bit like playing poker, we do not want to reveal our cards too quickly, yet if we hold onto them for too long the correct moment can pass and the game might be lost. In both dating and poker there is always a risk factor involved. If you never sit down to play a game of poker it is absolutely guaranteed that you will never lose a game of poker, however, it also means you will never win a game of poker. Similarly if you never allow yourself to enter into a relationship with another person it is absolutely guaranteed that you will never be hurt by the other person, but of course it is also guaranteed you will never share in the joys of a relationship.

While there is always the risk of getting hurt in a relationship it is possible to live out a relationship in a way that both minimises the risk of hurt and increases the likelihood of discerning whether or not it is a relationship that might be a keeper. Everything really comes down to prudence, which in modern times has sadly been reduced to being overly cautious. However, prudence is the pivotal virtue which gives us the ability to know what actions are appropriate for us in a particular time and place. Prudence is very much ‘practical wisdom’ for daily living. Read the rest of this entry »

When Life is Like an iPod

Posted: 22 September 2011

As I write this I am sitting on a train and the girl next to me is listening to her iPod. She is flicking through her playlist to find a song that she likes, however it seems that just because she starts a song does not mean she will finish it. Some songs get ten seconds of play time, some get a minute, but it seems she is not satisfied with the level of enjoyment she is receiving from her playlist (which I assume is made up of songs she herself selected).

This inability to be satisfied is not limited to this young lady, nor is it limited to iPods. This is an age which has a general inability to commit, but perhaps more to the point; this is an age that must be continually entertained.

Commercial radio believes that any piece of music needs to be three minutes or less for fear that we will not ‘commit’ to the song; one day cricket is becoming increasingly popular at the expense of test matches which require several days of investment; the TV remote control reminds us that there might always be something better on the next channel. The problem is that when the highest value in one’s life is immediate gratification, we lose the ability to persevere. After all, why spend the afternoon cooking over a hot stove when we can simply reheat a frozen meal in the microwave? Life, however, is not a microwave, nor is it an iPod or a remote control. Life will not always entertain. There will be times that are joyous and there will be times that are difficult. Life will not always give, so that we can simply lie back and receive. Read the rest of this entry »