I DON'T know what Bible Russell Smith reads (The Herald September 5) but I invite your readers to check out some of the texts he quotes, viz. Mark 7.9. This passage far from "criticising parents for not killing their disobedient children", condemns the "traditions" that carried out such barbaric practices, as Jesus went on to say, "Making the word of God of none effect, Through your traditions".
Then he quotes Ephesians 6. verse 5. as "giving the thumbs up to beating slaves". Allow me to quote " "Servants obey your masters"... as if you were working for me; and He then goes on to say the very opposite of the appalling misrepresentation by Mr Russell Smith; verse 9 reads, "Masters, forbear threatening". Do please read the whole passage, it declares the very opposite of Mr. Russell's diatribe. As for Matthew 11. 20 to 30, Jesus was warning those cities of the consequences of their behaviour, not threatening them; just like any parent would warn their children of the consequences of playing with fire.And this is precisely the message of Luke 12. 47. It is all about consequences; about reaping what you sow.......an undeniable principle of nature, and of life; and one which we ignore at our peril. Far too many can bear testimony to this principle today "!
I confess I am not at all happy with well meaning Christians, who "threaten" unbelievers with eternal damnation, and maybe, on another occasion I will be allowed to tell your readership why. Sufficient for the moment for me to say, that if the likes of Gareth Jones want to emphasise such a teaching at the expense of proclaiming the amazing love of God, then perhaps he and his ilk will consider this. Somewhere in the world two people die every second; that's over 7,000 souls in an hour and over 160,000 souls in a day. May I ask how you spend your time Gareth Jones, for it is safe to assume that the majority of those souls are unbelievers, and in the time that you, sir, spend watching an hour long TV programme, 7,200 souls have passed into eternity.
Finally, the only basis for a true and meaningful relationship, has to be love. There can be no element of threat or coercion. But more, much more on that subject on another occasion, perhaps.
JOHN J JONES