Absolute truth

The most marginalised position in public discourse today is “good things are good and bad things are bad” (Tom Whyman, Twitter, 26th August 2016)

I came across this comment today and was struck by how perceptive this tweet is. Of course, this deceptively simple statement raises many issues which need to be unpacked but the fundamental point is so clear: morality has become muddied and tolerance has gone too far.  Too much time is spent defending the indefensible in the name of free speech.  Not enough people stop to consider there is a higher value, a greater goal than just spouting whatever random nonsense you can pass-off as your (protected) opinion.

Of course, the malaise runs deeper.  Society struggles to understand good and bad when relativism runs amok.  What “I feel” has become paramount, even though we must realise this is subjective and dangerous.  We all know in our hearts the numerous toxic and hateful attitudes that battle inside us.  These need clear, unambiguous, loving truth-telling and discipline to be subdued in this life.  Ultimately, only looking to Christ can begin to cleanse us.

Yet how can society function without a rock solid foundation for discerning fact from fiction, good from evil?  The answer is, of course, that we see nations break apart and flounder as families become divided and fragmented, neighbours cheat each other and public services become corrupted, whilst business only cares about the bottom line because individuals have lost sight of what is right.  We desperately need to recapture our sense of accountability, which can only properly grounded in understanding the judgement of God – the one court where we cannot bluster, fudge or con our way out of a guilty verdict.  We will all face the One who sees everything and from whom we cannot hide.

It’s only through accepting and embracing this reality that we begin to search for Good News that really saves.  We’re more wicked than we ever realised but more loved than we ever dreamed.  I hope and pray that our world will waken-up to who we are, what we will face and the lengths to which Christ has gone to rescue us.  Without Him, we might as well give up because we can never even agree what is good or bad.  With Him, we are more than conquerors and this good creation He has made can be redeemed.

Shoddy goods

What’s you most recent experience of buying a sofa?

We bought a large DFS corner sofa about five years and five months ago after marrying. It looked great in store, but as with this customer, we soon noticed problems. Not just misshapen arm cushions, but also threads unravelling within about two years of purchase. Now, it’s looking a very sorry state and was simply not built to last a reasonable length of time in a decent shape.
dfs_sofa
Of course, I should have complained earlier, but didn’t really think till now when we are hoping to move into a new house soon and despair of how this item will look in our “dream” home.
Currently, DFS say that there is nothing they can do as I have contacted them outwith the “two-year manufacturers’ guarantee, and five years for springs and frames”.  That’s just ridiculous – the sofa cost £1695 (£2283 if you throw in the extra chair we bought and delivery!)  When you’re spending this huge sum of money, you really do expect better!
The most alarming point about this episode is that increasingly we are encouraged to buy “big ticket items”, like sofas, that should last a lifetime but (according to the most recent surveys) actually end-up being replaced within (on average) 7-9 years.  The range is because I’ve heard/read both those figures touted.  Regardless, what’s clear is how profligately wasteful we are as a society.  We just don’t build stuff to last and this is yet another example.
If we’re going to look after this planet, we must start legislating for sofas that come with 10 year guarantees (minimum) and a proper, “doesn’t cost crazy amounts” repair service.