09 December 2013

Corruption — A Sin Issue

Transparency International has released its 2013 report on Corruption Perception Index. I think it's very important to note that this report doesn't attempt to measure actual corruption — merely the perception of corruption in the public sector (bribes, backroom deals). And, in this case, it may well be true that perception is reality. For more details, go to TI's site. For a quick look at a particular country, put your cursor over that country. Scores range from 8 to 91, with 8 being the countries (Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan) perceived as being the most corrupt. Rankings are 1-177, with those same 3 countries tied for worst with a ranking of 175.

Corruption is a sin issue that impacts the lives of individuals both directly and indirectly and impacts both those who live in poverty and those who live in comfort. Those who live in poverty are often denied basic life necessities (clean water, justice, health care, etc.) because they either cannot pay the bribes demanded to access those or corruption has diverted funds away from the provision of those basic resources either into the bank accounts of corrupt individuals or to projects that benefit those corrupt individuals in some way.

Those who live in comfort — that includes both middle–class and wealthy — are unwilling or unable to invest in development activities that would benefit both themselves and the country as a whole, including those who live in poverty, when individuals in power demand bribes.

Legislation is not the sole answer. The United States is a prime example of this. There is enough anti-corruption legislation in US law to choke a horse, yet the US is ranked only 19th out of 177 countries. Granted, that's better than 158 countries in the index; it's better than any country in Sub–Saharan Africa; it means that corruption is not perceived to be a major factor in the daily lives of individuals. But, it also says that there is perceived corruption in spite of the existence of stringent laws.

At its core, corruption is a sin issue. It stems from the desire of an individual for personal gain at the expense of others. It is an attitude of unconcern and even disdain for others. It will only be rooted out when the hearts of individuals are radically transformed by the indwelling Christ. (Colossians 3:1–3)

For the Kingdom,
Bob A

31 March 2013

Easter Day, Sunday — Day 8

Resurrection Day!
Resurrection, appearance to the women and the disciples, road to Emmaus.
  • Matthew 28:1–13
  • Mark 16:1–14
  • Luke 24:1–49
  • John 20:1–23
Also, see my post from last year: What Happened on Sunday of Holy Week?

This is a portion of the larger Creation to Christ video series that talks about the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus — Creation to Christ 5 - Jesus' Death & Resurrection
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

30 March 2013

Easter Week, Saturday — Day 7

In the tomb.
  • Matthew 27:62–66
  • Mark 16:1
  • Luke 23:56
  • John 19:40
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

29 March 2013

Easter Week, Friday — Day 6

Trial continues, crucifixion, death, burial.
  • Matthew 27:1–62
  • Mark 15:1–47
  • Luke 22:63–23:56
  • John 18:28–19:37
Also, see the post from 2012 — What Happened on Friday Evening and Saturday of Holy Week?
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

28 March 2013

Easter Week, Thursday — Day 5

Passover meal, Garden of Gethsemane, arrest, trial, Peter's denial.
  • Matthew 26:17–75
  • Mark 14:12–72
  • Luke 22:7–62
  • John 13:1–38
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

27 March 2013

Easter Week, Wednesday — Day 4

The Bible is silent about this day. It's likely that Jesus rested, perhaps at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Based on other times when Jesus was facing a difficult time, he likely spent a good part of the day in prayer and teaching his disciples.

For the Kingdom,
Bob A

26 March 2013

Easter Week, Tuesday — Day 3

Jesus returns to Jerusalem, calls the Jewish religious leaders blind guides and whitewashed tombs. Jesus prophecies the destruction of Jerusalem to his disciples on the Mount of Olives.
  • Matthew 21:23–24:51
  • Mark 11:20–13:37
  • Luke 20:1–21:36
  • John 12:20–38
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

25 March 2013

Easter Week, Monday — Day 2

Jesus Clears the Temple
  • Matthew 21:12–22
  • Mark 11:15–19
  • Luke 19:45–48
  • John 2:13-17
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

24 March 2013

Easter Week, Sunday, Day 1 — Palm Sunday

My plan had been to write out the events of the week prior to Jesus' resurrection. However, it's more complicated that I anticipated. So, perhaps I'll have it ready for 2014. For this year, though, I'm just going to list the Bible passages. I pray that reading these will fill you with gratitude for what God did for you in sending Jesus to pay the penalty for your sin.

Jesus' Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem
  • Matthew 21:1–11
  • Mark 11:1–11
  • Luke 19:28–44
  • John 12:12–19
For the Kingdom,
Bob A

23 March 2013

G.O.S.P.E.L. — by Propaganda

Here's another take on the gospel. Excellent urban video.

For the Kingdom,
Bob A