Rob Buckingham's Blog

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Bayside Church’s 40-Days of Prayer and Fasting.  It is also the name given to the first day of the season of Lent, in which the Pastor (in traditional churches) applies ashes to the foreheads of Christians to signify an inner repentance. But what is the history and the meaning of this Christian holy day?

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Feed Yourself

One of Bayside Church’s initiatives for 2013 is to teach and encourage everyone in our church community to feed themselves daily on God’s Word.  This is so important in the age of the consumer-driven church where people attend and seek to be fed.  Where the catch cry is “meet my needs or I’ll shop for a better offer.”

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Malnutrition and Overeating

World hunger is still a problem, but new research shows that the threat of too much food may be even worse. According to a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, deaths due to obesity now occur at three times the rate of deaths due to malnutrition. Globally, obesity is a bigger threat than malnutrition in every region aside from sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the Red Cross, there were 1.5 billion dangerously overweight people worldwide last year, while 925 million were underfed.  They have called it a ‘double-edged’ scandal that fewer people died of starvation than were being killed by ‘excess nutrition’.

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The summer the climate alarmists needed!

After a couple of cooler summers, the current one really is the summer the climate alarmists needed.  It’s a hot summer which proves that the earth really is warming after all – and of course, along with the hot summer come all sorts of scary predictions of our future doom.

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The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree has a strong Christian tradition attached to it. Early Christians in the Northern Hemisphere decorated their homes with evergreens during winter as a reminder that, even though everything else dies in the cruel, cold months, evergreens live on. For those Christians, evergreen decorations represented the steadfastness of faith and symbolized life in the midst of death.

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Don’t Be Home Alone This Christmas

For some, Christmas is a lonely and sad time of the year. Bayside Church’s Community Christmas Lunch on Christmas Day is an open invitation for people of all ages and walks of life to gather and enjoy a traditional three […]

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End of the World

Will the world end in 2012?  There are many predictions that say it will, not least the Mayan forecast states the end date would be 21st December this year.  Think of all the money you’ll save on Christmas presents!

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Technology Addiction

It’s official – Australians are addicted to technology (and I’m sure this applies to other nations too).  According to digital research agency eMarketer, adults spend about 8.5 hours a day on the Internet, watching videos or using mobile gadgets.  Psychologist Gary Small, the author of iBrain, says: “The problem is that we get glued to our devices and forget that we have a life offline.”

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Storm caused by gays

As I write this blog on Wednesday 31st October 2012, Hurricane Sandy (dubbed “Frankenstorm”) has smashed into the American northeast, leaving 16 dead, millions without power and parts of Manhattan underwater.  Conditions remain dangerous as this one-of-a-kind storm moves inland […]

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Sexual abuse by Catholic priests

One of the hot topics in the news right now – and, sadly for many years – is the accusation of Catholic priests for sexually abusing children.  The state inquiry into the churches' handling of sex abuse was told this week that “at least” one in 20 Catholic priests in Melbourne is a child sex abuser, although the real figure is probably one in 15.  What a dreadful indictment this is on the Catholic Church.

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Religion: True or False

I used to love true or false questions at school.  Even if I didn’t know the answer I could still take a guess and have a 50% chance of being right!  But, when it comes to religion, it doesn’t appear to be that easy.

In research that Bayside Church conducted last year, those that were outside of the church saw the word “religion” as a mixture of positive and negative.  Some used positive words such as “faith, diversity, hope, community and strength” to describe how they felt about religion, while others saw things differently: “strictness, fanatical, divisiveness, war and politicised.” 

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Gluttony: Our favorite sin

One observation I’ve had over the duration of my Christian life (over 30 years) is the ability that many people have to categorise sins.  We’re probably all guilty of this to some extent.  There are the things that are REALLY wrong, you know; murder, adultery, stealing and the like.  Then there are the things that are tolerated – the okay sins; the “surely that’s not really wrong” sins.

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Another Hit For Religious Education

Over the past couple of years there seems to have been an all-out attack on Christian Religious Education (CRE) in schools.  Some of the problems have come because of unfortunate use of language by Access Ministries Chief Executive Evonne Paddison at a church conference in 2008 where she said:   "In Australia, we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples.”  

Access Ministries Chairman Bishop Stephen Hale said “despite Dr Paddison's comments, Access Ministries was not proselytising students to the Christian faith.”

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People Before Theology

Theology comes from two Greek words – theos meaning “God” and logos meaning “word” or “message.”  So theology in its purest form is the message about God.  In a broader sense it is the study of all the major truths of the Christian faith – truth about Jesus, salvation, the church, the future and more.

I want to state right at the outset that I am theologically conservative.  I cling strongly to the central beliefs of the Christian faith which are outlined on our website

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Born Believers

What I have believed and taught for years has been backed up by research – children are born believers!

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The Purpose of the Law

The danger with truth is that when you push a truth too far it slips into error.  That is true when it comes to the belief that Martin Luther reinforced through the Reformation – that faith alone, apart from the law, was necessary for salvation.

During Luther’s time there were those who pushed this truth too far by teaching that the law was unnecessary and all one had to do was believe in Jesus.  The way a person lived didn’t matter; it was unnecessary they said, to hold to any moral law.  In response to this, Luther coined the term “antinomianism” (taken from the Greek words meaning “against law”).  

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Intolerant Tolerance

Tolerance is the new buzzword.  Google it and you’ll get 138 million results in 14 seconds!  

There is a modern myth that holds that true tolerance equals agreement – that the tolerant person occupies a place of complete impartiality where each person is permitted to decide for himself. No judgments allowed. No forcing personal views.  But that is not what tolerance is all about.

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The Hunger Games

First it was Harry Potter; then it was the Twilight series.  Now The Hunger Games Trilogy is the latest international teen sensation.  

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When the Sun Dies

On our recent trip to Africa at the place we were staying near Johannesburg, there was an astronomy lesson given one evening.  I’ve always been fascinated by the universe and so I took the opportunity to go along.

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I love spending time alone. My whole life is devoted to serving people; I love people.  I work with people – I live with people.  For most of my day I’m surrounded by people!

But I also find myself – from time to time – getting to the stage where I feel like I’m overdosing on people contact.  It’s at those times that I love to get away and spend time by myself – reading, praying, relaxing, thinking and walking.  Time alone energises and refreshes me so that I can give my best to people.

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