Rob Buckingham's Blog

Donations Flood In For Relief

Bayside Church has so far raised $23,000 to help assist those who have been affected by Australia's worst flood disaster.  All monies raised so far will support relief efforts spearheaded by C3 Church in Queensland that will help those affected in […]

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“What?” not “Why?”

At the time of writing this blog there is an inland sea of water sweeping its way across North West Victoria.  This wall of water is causing great damage, devastating property and ruining lives.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, it is easy in times of disaster and tragedy to ask the question “why?”  Over the years I’ve discovered that the answers that people offer to the “why” question usually amount to empty, shallow clichés.  I believe there’s a better question to ask at times like these and that is “what?”  What can I do to help make a difference?  What is life really all about?  What can I learn from times of tragedy?

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Making Sense of Disaster

I’m sure we’ve all been watching over the past few weeks as many parts of Australia have been devastated by floodwaters.  People have lost their lives, their livelihood and their possessions.  It’s a tragedy of unparalleled proportions in Australia’s history.

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Support the Australian Flood Relief

flood relief_final

Australia is experiencing the worst flood disaster in its history.  The floods in Queensland that started in late December have affected over 70 towns and over 200,000 people.  Currently the death toll stands at 18 and may continue to rise as Queenslanders begin the cleanup process. In Victoria, 51 towns have been flooded affecting more than 1400 properties. Water levels are believed to still be rising in parts of western Victoria.
 

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Time Flies

Is it just me or has this year flown by faster than normal?  When I was a child the summers seemed endless – and school days went on forever.  These days time flies faster – although a minute still consists of 60 seconds; hours of 60 minutes and days of 24 hours.  So why does it seem that time is passing more quickly?

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Blame Your Parents

“It’s not MY fault – it’s someone else’s.” 

“I can’t help it – this is the way I’ve always been!”

Ever heard these statements?  Ever said them yourself?

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Australia’s First Saint?

There has been much celebration in the past few days as Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square in Rome canonized Sister Mary MacKillop. Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross is Australia’s first Roman Catholic Saint.  I’m thrilled for Australian Catholics as they have something to celebrate as members of a church that has received much bad press in recent years – especially because of paedophile priests and accusations of child sexual abuse and it’s cover-up by some church officials.  Interestingly, Sister Mary was excommunicated for a period of five months in 1871 for exposing an Irish paedophile priest’s abuse of a child.

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The Power of One

Whenever there’s a disaster somewhere in the world we often hear a pronouncement from a Christian leader that this disaster is the judgment of God because of the sinfulness of people.

For example, Hurricane Katrina was said to be God’s punishment of New Orleans’ Gay Mardi Gras.   The events of 9/11 were said to be God’s judgment on "the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians" who had tried to transform America into a secular society. A Christian evangelist claimed the earthquake in Haiti was God's punishment for a legendary pact with the devil.  Closer to home the events of Black Saturday were said to be the God’s displeasure with the Victorian Government’s abortion legislation. And five years ago a church minister caused anger after he compared the Asian tsunami to Noah’s flood and claimed it was an act of God to punish “pleasure seekers” who broke the Sabbath.

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Q&A On Victoria The Fairer State

In the lead up to the state election, Bayside Church Senior Minister Rob Buckingham will be part of an expert panel discussion on 14 October to answer whether Victoria is a ‘fairer’ place. Moderated by ABC Radio Presenter Jon Faine, […]

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Koran Burning

Burning the Koran is the latest example to hit the news of unchristian Christianity!  A Florida pastor last week announced that he would stage a Koran burning day (on the ninth anniversary of 9/11) as a protest over the proposed building of an Islamic Cultural Centre near the World Trade Centre site.

It is my personal opinion that building an Islamic Cultural Centre so close to the area where thousands of people lost their lives because of the action of Muslim extremists is insensitive and inappropriate.  But to threaten to burn the Muslims’ Holy Book is also insensitive, inappropriate and flies in the face of Jesus’ teaching – especially the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

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Bayside Assists Pakistan

Bayside Church has raised $21,500 for the flood situation in Pakistan and all money will directly be donated to World Vision's aid response.   World Vision's Conny Lenneberg recently returned from Pakistan and shared her experience at Bayside Church. She described the situation […]

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Pakistan Floods – You Can Help

World Vision’s Conny Lenneberg will be a special guest at Bayside Church on Saturday 11 September at the 6pm service to share on her experience in Pakistan. Ms Lenneberg has just returned from Pakistan which has experienced terrible floods.  More […]

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Facebook Foul-ups

It never ceases to amaze me what some people post on social networking sites like Facebook – as if the rest of the world can’t see!

Even some people at Bayside Church have made statements or posted pictures that have surprised me for two reasons.  The first reason is for the lack of wisdom displayed and the second is because the post reveals a behaviour or character issue that is inconsistent with the person’s Christian confession.

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We’re All Doomed

In the news this week there’s been the ongoing debate about Earth’s limited resources and particularly how much oil is left.  Some say that we only have 20 to 30 years before oil runs out.  Others say we still have 75% of the oil reserves still untouched.

Whoever is right one thing is for sure – we live on a finite planet with finite resources that will one day be used up.  Of course some resources can be recycled, but others cannot. So once they’re gone – they’re gone!  The question then must be raised: Can people survive on this planet once key resources have been exhausted?

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There are no losers

We live in an age where political correctness has gone crazy and where everyone has to win or get a prize.  Having only one winner just wouldn’t be “fair”, and we might end up hurting people’s delicate feelings.  This was typified on a Disney sitcom I was watching a while ago with my kids where the one of the characters said, “There are no losers, only winners – and people who are not them!”

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Atheists are full of hot air

I love atheists!  I used to be one until I had a radical Christian conversion in my late teens and early 20s.  As a former atheist I still have a great deal of compassion towards those who describe themselves in this way.

What constantly amazes me with atheists however is their preoccupation with God.  Take John Dawkins as an example. Dawkins is constantly writing books and articles trying to prove the non-existence of God.  If God doesn’t exist then why waste all this time and energy?

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Leaders Behaving Badly

Yesterday, Melbourne radio announcer Steve Price was interviewing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.  It was a typical political interview – short direct questions and longer-than-need-be indirect answers.  One question asked for Mr. Rudd’s comments on journalist David Marr's article in this month's Quarterly Essay, which described the Prime Minister as a "politician with rage at his core".  This is no surprise as our PM’s anger has been the subject of a number of reports during his term in office.  So, it was a fair question.  The answer was as follows:

“Your listeners, I think, are much less concerned about all of that …what they’re on about is: are we going to keep the economy strong?  What am I going to do to fix their hospital system? … When’s the new National Curriculum come in?  And, guess what, we have a strong record of achievement in all of those areas.”

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Capital Punishment

Capital punishment has been forever abolished in Australia by the recent passing of The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill. Even though no Australian State or Territory has the death penalty, this law ensures none can ever reintroduce it.  As a Christian I fully support this move by the Australian Parliament – even though some parts of the Bible endorse the use of the death penalty especially for first-degree murder (see Genesis 9:6; 6:5,6; Exodus 21:12-29; Romans 13:1-4).  

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Uganda’s Anti-Gay Legislation

The New York Times reports on the link between some anti-gay American Christians and a bill in Uganda that would make homosexuality punishable by death.

In March last year, Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer shared their "wisdom" on homosexuality with thousands at a conference in Kampala, Uganda. Specifically, the men told the audience how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

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No Cost Environmental Care

“I care for the environment – as long as it doesn’t cost me anything.”  That seems to just about sum up what many Aussies currently feel about environmental care.

According to market research company Australia Scan, Australians are becoming increasingly disinterested in the environment.  This is for a number of reasons including the seemingly endless debate over emissions trading and the impact of the Black Saturday bushfires that resulted largely from a failure to systematically back burn large areas of bush land (trees are more important than people apparently).

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