Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Christian Living

All Saints Day

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 1, 2015 at 14:13

On Humility

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From the FB.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 30, 2015 at 21:05

From the Bahá’í Faith to Porn to Alpha to Jesus

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God has been faithful all during my winding journey to complete surrender.

Emily Armstrong’s powerful testimony is in Christianity Today.

From the Bahá’í Faith to Porn to Alpha to Jesus

Even though I don’t always like it, his grace is sufficient, and I would be foolish to disagree.

Read it here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 30, 2015 at 12:57

On Dealing With Criticism

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From an e-mail over at The New Continuing Anglican Churchman blog:

… So, after ten years of full time parish ministry, I have learned that clergy should not bother responding to e-mails like this. Because no matter the response, people with this attitude are not going to change their ways, and have a spiritual revival, and start coming to church, and supporting the ministry, etc. I’ve heard of innumerable troubles that clergy invite on themselves by answering people like this… spiritually dead people with hardened hearts. It is best for clergy to focus their energy on the people in their church who are responding positively and build the church from there. When repeated efforts to teach people fail – because they are not around, and don’t read anything you send – the only thing that you can do is pray for them, as taking them seriously any other way could put them in spiritual danger.

You can read the whole mail here. Sound advice.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 29, 2015 at 17:24

What’s Wrong with the World?

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Quite simply: Me.

I got to thinking about this… and the world is in a terrible state.  G.K. Chesterton wrote this classic back in 1912, and the question is still relevant and as applicable today as it was then.

Whats wrong with the world

The book can be downloaded (for free) and read here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 21, 2015 at 16:17

Middle East Patriarchs Meet Diplomats : Call for Wiping Out Terrorists

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Via OCP News:

BEIRUT (CNS) — Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs of the Middle East denounced attacks on Christians and called upon the international community to work toward eradicating terrorist groups.
The patriarchs met Aug. 27 at the Maronite Catholic patriarchate at Bkerke, north of Beirut, for a special summit to address the crisis in the region. They were later joined by the United Nations’ special coordinator in Lebanon and the ambassadors of the five permanent member-countries of the U.N. Security Council.
“The very existence of Christians is at stake in several Arab countries — notably in Iraq, Syria and Egypt — where they have been exposed to heinous crimes, forcing them to flee,” the patriarchs said in a statement after the summit and meeting with diplomats.
They lamented the indifference of both Islamic authorities and the international community over attacks against Christians, who have been in the region for 2,000 years.
“What is painful is the absence of a stance by Islamic authorities, and the international community has not adopted a strict stance either,” the patriarchs said.
“We call for issuing a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) that forbids attacks against others,” they said.
“The international community cannot keep silent about the existence of the so-called ISIS,” the patriarchs said, referring to the Islamic State. “They should put an end to all extremist terrorist groups and criminalize aggression against Christians and their properties.”
The prelates’ meeting was a follow-up to their first summit Aug. 7. It also follows a trip by several of them to Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region, to give moral and spiritual support to the flood of Iraqi minorities driven from the Ninevah Plain by the Islamic State militants.
The prelates stressed the need for cutting off the sources of terrorism and called on the world’s major powers to deprive extremist groups of resources by compelling countries financing them to stop their support.
Solutions to the Islamic State crisis must involve “dealing with the reasons that produced the miseries in the Middle East,” and harmony must be restored between the components of these countries, they said.
“The international community must act and eradicate” the Islamic State, the patriarchs said. “This is required from the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council.”
“We must stop using extremists, terrorists and mercenaries and (stop) supporting, financing and arming them,” they said.
They also stressed “the necessity of working to liberate the towns of Ninevah and facilitate the return of the displaced to their homes, in addition to ensuring the security of these towns with local and international guarantees to prevent displacement.”
The patriarchs denounced the “bleeding” that continues in Syria and said the conflict there must be solved by “dialogue and through a political solution.” They criticized the international community for not resolving the April 2013 kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops in Syria.
The prelates applauded the region’s Christians, who “are committed to the values of the Gospel and the teachings of Christ” exemplified in their relationships with others, “including their Muslim brothers, who live with them in the same nations.”

Read on here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 30, 2014 at 14:09

Rules for Troll Handling

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No Trolls Allowed

Via Route 5:9

Ah, internet trolls. They can be found in their natural habitat all over the world wide web from the comments sections of YouTube, Reddit, and CNN to Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition. If you’ve ever spent any time online, you’ve probably come across one which is why I found this article by Emily McFarlan Miller over at the Her.menuetics blog so helpful (and humorous!).
As a Christian, engaging (or not) with internet trolls requires us to realize that there’s a person on the other side of that keyboard and we are called to treat them as Christ would. That’s why Emily’s advice is so good.
Here’s her three tips with a little snippet of the explanation she gives for each point:
1. Thou Shalt Not Feed the Trolls
The first commandment of the Internet is this: “Don’t feed the trolls.”
The reasoning is simple. If the intent is to make people angry or otherwise disturb them, the way to shut it down is simply not to respond. And certainly, there are Proverbs that speak to the futility of answering – or not answering – a fool.
2. Thou Shalt Not Troll
Our response to trolling, Harrington suggests, begins with our own online behavior – removing the digital plank from our eyes, so to speak.
For Jones, deciding how to respond to Internet postings begins with checking herself, asking if this is somebody with whom she normally would engage. Sometimes the seminarian tries to take the interaction offline, a tactic she learned about a year and a half ago when she was shown the same grace.
3. Love Thy Trolls
But even when a person is trolling, Jones said, “they’re still a human being. They’re still a person Jesus is crazy about. … It sounds cheesy, but it really does boil down to loving that person – am I being kind to that person? And it can be real hard to do on the Internet.”
It’s the Golden rule: Treating others on the Internet the way you would want them to treat you, even on your snarkiest, most impulsive of days.
There’s a lot more explanation over at Her.menuetics, so be sure and go read the whole thing.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 26, 2014 at 20:20


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