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Issue 298

There is a type of code that can get into a computer and cause all kinds of problems. It hijacks the normal function of the machine and causes it to behave in unexpected, unpleasant, unhelpful and destructive ways. It blocks smooth purposeful activities, inhibits the production of necessary work and slows down progress. When connected to the web it can take you to places you don’t want to go and sometimes create false purchases of items you do not require.

Known in the computer world as Malware, Spyware or viruses these malicious programs execute a whole variety of functions deliberately designed to disrupt, destroy and delay anything fruitful and positive.

Some of them can be removed quite easily with freely available tools. Others require a bit more work but can be dealt with. Some can only be flushed out using a device known as “system restore”,which takes the computer back to an earlier configuration.

There are times when the level of infection is so bad that only an expert can sort it out, and the most drastic measure of all is to wipe everything and start again.

Now, I’m no IT professional, so my analogies may break down, but it seems to me that this is a fair picture of individual and corporate human nature. Our systems are so infected with malicious codes, destructive behaviours and unhealthy patterns that some serious work needs to be done.

Consider how corrupt a significant amount of behaviour has been revealed to be in the financial global markets. Even when the problems are exposed we seem to default back to them. Without being too hard on the financial sectors, it’s quite clear that corrupt and greedy behaviour has taken place across many industries at a variety of levels.

Consider also what it is like when you look inside your own heart and soul only to see amazing self-destructive and unpleasant features.

Our handbook, the bible does not call this Malware, Spyware or viruses but has a simple word – sin. So embedded in our systems is this infection, that it requires drastic measures. To be sure, some of our behaviours can be modified with training, education or help from others, as well as self-discipline. Huge improvments can be made by replacing unhealthy patterns with healthy ones;but it is worth remembering that this sin problem cannot be fixed by legislation, regulation, education, or self-discipline.

It takes an expert to come in from the outside, strip us right back and start again. The bible refers to this not as a reboot, but as a rebirth. It is a radical measure required to create a new systemic structure inside of us which will long to function differently. There will be a constant need formaintenance, but after the rebirth a new default approach begins.

Please don’t keep criticising the markets, the government or the regulators. No amount of petition, complaint or protest can fix this. The solutions to sin are what they have been since the year 33AD. The Cross of Christ is where the battle with malicious forces was won and the challenge for us all is to become Christians by rebirth and to invite others to do the same. There’s no point in flogging a dead Trojan horse this week; Jesus still invites us to personal rebirth and to display the professional consequences.


John 3:1-21

1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4″How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9″How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10″You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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Series: -
Module: 7
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: behaviour, malice, rebirth, sin

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Geoff Shattock

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