Unfair trade

Christians of all stripes should be concerned about the proposed free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US).

In the book of Exodus we read of the Israelites’ suffering at the hands of Pharaoh, especially when Moses began agitating for their freedom. Pharaoh suddenly decreed that the Hebrew workforce had to produce the same amount of bricks as they had previously but without straw being provided. What had been a difficult task quickly became a torturous one.

The moral of the story – that the weak suffer when the powerful abuse their power – is one repeated throughout the biblical record. It is a trend that, sadly, continues to this day. And it is also a theme much apparent in the proposed free trade agreement between the EU and the US, the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). There are two main reasons for this. Continue reading

A Sabbath for the land

Leviticus 25 – beginning with the first seven verses – A Sabbath for the land (Leviticus 25: 1-7)

The Genesis account of the Creation tells us that when God made humankind He gave us responsibility for what happened next with the created world. God then ‘stepped back’ and had a sabbath, or day of rest. Humankind’s first day was also this sabbath and some see significance in this for our well-being and work-life balance: that from our rested bodies and minds come our energy, passion and creativity. Then humankind’s relationships with God, with each other and with the environment went horribly wrong at the Fall. Continue reading