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Christian quoter



English Christian male who is not backward in coming forward with opinions.



Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:36:57 +0000

 



The changing world (40) Nov 1975

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:49:00 +0000

Nov 1st A day of visitors for us in Langtang. Calcotts from Vom with her parents too, Maurice Cottom, Gindiri, and Tom Owens from Jos. Tom was our boss.
2nd Preached . A Youth Service Corps young woman came to chat after the service.
3rd Hot but dry so OK.
4th Rimkat the cook off ill.
5th To Jos on Hinda for its service.
6th Working on the guide for TEE teachers. Visited Rimkat our cook in hospital. Greeted  Indian doctor and dentist there
7th Langtand district will have 10 TEE centres.
8th Spoke on Eph.2 at local primary school's Fellowship of Christian Students.
9th Farewell service for local bible school students.
10th To Jos on Hand. TEE manuscript not finished typesetting.
12th To Kabwir where there will be 6 TEE centres.
13th Working out calendars to TEE classes.
14th Started work on TEE book on evangelism.Katy to the local secondary school to teach the choir.
Most church singing is from Gospel Bells in English or the Hausa hymnbook. It is dated and not great. But at the Kuru Government secondary near Vom they had a Welsh music teacher who conducted a very able choir so it an be done.
15th 150+at local primary school's Fellowship of Christian Students.
16th David did poo in his pants and said his brother had put it there!
17th Katy and David miserable with colds but she still made a Christmas pudding.
8th WORKING ON TEE BOOKS, THE EVAGELISM ONE THEN THE TEACHERS GUIDE FOR THE TEE BOOK ON PRAYER.
19TH JONATHAN HAPPY WITH TOY TRACTOR ETC FOR HIS FIFTH BIRTHDAY. WE NOW HAVE A LADA FOR OUR CAR. DROVE FAMILY TO VOM VIA JABWIR AND PANYAM FOR POST-NATAL. JOS OVERNIGHT.
20th Christmas shopping in Jos. The boys to the zoo with the Clarks. Back to sticky Langtang with our three asleep en route - over 100 miles of good road.
21st Triggs staying with us. David not co-operating with potty training. katy at school choir.
22nd Over 200 at the primary school FCS.
23rg Rachel dedication service. Local practice. baptism IPC Ealing seven years later. Reading my favourite historical novel, Descant from the Hills by Yorkshireman Stanhope White, colonial era DO in Gwoza. I met him later in Yorkshire. Greeted local RC priest who seems a fine man. Irish of course. He says the difference between their missionary priests and Protestant missionaries is that they get fat on the field and we get fat on leave.
24th Working on TEE evangelism book. Triggs still here on holiday.
25th To Jos for what I thought was a course on audio-visuals but turned out to be on visualaids so I missed the second part.
26th back to sticky Langtang with a drum of petrol. Buy while one can.
27th Work on evangelism book. I am translating into Hausa.
28th School principal requests Katy do a Christmas concert.
29th Tom Owens here overnight. He is a gifted expositor, a former veterinary surgeon.
30th Tom preaching at Lagtang ordination but I was up to Bukuru for the end of a TEE course there.




The changing world (39) Sep - Oct 1975

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:29:00 +0000

4th Lunch at Kabwir with radishes. TEE planning there. To Boi overnight in Zamko landcover. The road, or rather track there very rough.
5th Landcover broke down and I had to walk and taxi back to Langtang after meeting with Lere leaders concerning TEE.
6th With Pater Clark and Brian Boddy to repair and retrieve the landcover.
8th To Vom for Katy's antenatal then Miango working on TEE manuscript.
10th Foron and Fobir TEE teachers meeting at Bukuru. Staying in Jos.
12th Fobir district church council in a car which stuck in the mud.
13th Back to Langtang which feels sticky after Plateau.
14th Church in Hausa in the morning. Lunch at Zamko with Clarks. Preached at Langttang.
15th Marmalide making. Gardening here a flop.
18th To Vom in anticipation of new arrival.
19th Bible school committee in Jos approved the TEE plans. Complimented on my Hausa .
20th Reading John Boer's work on the history of SUM. Papers for his doctoral thesis from Amsterdam.
21 Katy's waters broke 6:30 By 9:30 contractions so into private ward at Vom with me out again to look after the boys.
22 3:45am woken with news of 7ib 4oz Rachel Joy.All announcements sent. Boys missing their mother.
23rd Rachel feeding well. Jonathan thrilled but David wants his mother home.
26th To Jos for Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship TEE committee. Appointed to lead Hausa translation of the next book chichis on evangelism. These books were a co-operative venture in simple English for Africa.
27th To Panama for TEE on motorbike. To Jos in a trust taxi then Vom by car. To Mango to get a TEE MS on NT introduction then back to Vom.
29th To Panama on Honda then to daft for TEE but dave up part way as mud was impeding the Honda. Panama pastor keen to start TEE.
30th Katy out of hospital and we moved to the luxury of the Anglican's St Piran's vicarage in Jos.
Oct 1st Murtala the head of state announces civilian rule planned for 1979. Saw this on vicarage TV our first in Nigeria.
Oct 2 Katy not well but we have a good cook.
Oct 3 Good reception at Foron DCC with TEE plans.
4th Registered the birth in Jos.
5th Took boys to our Jos church wither 2000 there.
6th Muslim public holiday. Completed TEE book on NT intro so ready for printers or rather type setting.
7th Packing at the vicar for return of Dominys. Move to SUM HQ, a step down..
9th Back home to Langtang via Panama DCC.
12th 96F and sticky.
13th To Boi bt landcover then cycle to Marti. hard ride but enthusiastic men for TEE.
14th backhoe to Langtang then returned to landcover to zamko in exchange for our car.
15th David Molyneux of Faith and farm visited. he would like to transfer to TEE.
17th To Panama. Leaders agreed 16 centres for TEE with one teacher per centre. Teachers are evangelists or pastors and I and Enid Crane will teach the teachers.
18th To Daffo where four centres and two teachers are planned.
20th David's third birthday. Clarks came to celebrate. Local boys can be troublesome when they come to play and one toy car is missing.
22nd Working on TEE teachers guidebook.
31 Dry season brings less humidity now.





National Archive distorted history

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:25:00 +0000

From Christian VoiceAnniversaries, Islam, Political Engagementby StephenFreed slaves aboard HMS Daphne – but The National Archive pretended the British were tra The National Archive has withdrawn a series of displays at its headquarters after accusations it distorted history.A full account appears in The Times, but you have to register to read it.But the story allows us to mention an auspicious period in British history.Historian Tony Adler had said the UK government official archive was ’empire bashing’.The archive, based in Kew in west London, at first rejected the complaint. Later, it backed down and withdrew its entire display, entitled ‘Empire and Colonialism’.HMS Daphne’s sister ship, HMS Dryad (1866) – together they struck fear into the hearts of Arab slave traders.National Archive lacked ‘due impartiality’The National Archive admitted it was presenting a view of Britain’s colonial history without ‘due impartiality’ in its exhibition at its Keeper’s Gallery visitor centre.Central to the accusation was an accompanying early photograph captioned ‘East African slaves taken aboard HMS Daphne from a dhow 1 November 1868.’ A subtext implied they were victims of cruel British imperialists. The exhibition claimed that British rule over its colonies was ‘profoundly oppressive’.However, journalist Robert Hardman said the exhibition curators made a serious mistake. The poor souls on HMS Daphne were not victims of oppressive British slave-trading. On the contrary, the Royal Navy had just rescued them from an Arab slave ship.HMS Daphne incurred traders’ wrathAnother view on board HMS DaphneCaptain George Sullivan kept a record. This confirms he was a small but committed part of an aggressive program to eradicate the slave trade in the Indian Ocean. The campaign freed thousands of enslaved East Africans. Moreover, a number of British sailors lost their lives.Admiral Ballard spoke of HMS Daphne seventy years later, in July 1938: ‘Each of her commissions lasted four years, and her ever recurring appearance at so many successive slave running seasons earned a tradition of wrath at the mention of her name among the merchants in that line of business’.Following feeding, washing and attendance by the ship’s doctor, the former slaves shown in this early photograph were put ashore in the Seychelles to begin a new life of liberty. But the reality did not suit the anti-British narrative of the National Archives.Christians abolished slaveryWilliam Wilberforce (1759-1833). Portrait by Anton Hickel (Wilberforce House, Hull, UK)Above all, the National Archive failed to mention the prolonged and ultimately successful anti- slavery campaign by William Wilberforce. Firstly, the MP abolished the slave trade. The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act became law on 25th March 1807.On his death-bed Wilberforce heard that slavery itself would be abolished in Britain and its colonies. Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. As a result, thirty years later, HMS Daphne, launched in 1866, was rescuing slaves from Arabs in the Indian Ocean.Furthermore, we do not hesitate to mention the religious context. It was his Evangelical Christian faith which drove Wilberforce to see all men as equal.His friends in the ‘Clapham Sect’ were equally passionate to build the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth.  They will have been well aware of this scripture condemning the slave trade:Exodus 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.Islam is a religion of oppressionIn contrast, Islam, the religion of the Arab slave traders, was happy with slavery from its inception and still is today. Muhammad himself was a slave owner and trader. Muslims were the prime slave-traders along the East African coast.  The Royal Navy should be proud of confronting them.  The truth is, it was the Christian heritage of this United Kingdom which animated such a robust respo[...]



IRELAND GRANTED TO THE ENGLISH CROWN.

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:39:00 +0000

http://www.ivanfoster.net/pdf/irelandbeforeplantation.pdfThis is the source of Ireland's troubles - the one English Pope The granting of Ireland to the English king, Henry II by Pope Adrian IV is a great embar- rassment to Roman Catholic historians. They have even attempted to claim that the Bull was a forgery and the Pope never issued such a degree. It is worthy of reading. "Adrian, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his dearest son in Christ, the illustrious King of England, greeting, and apostolic benediction. "Full laudably and profitably has your Magnificence conceived the design of propagating your glorious renown on earth, and of completing your reward of eternal happiness in heaven, whilst, as a Catholic Prince, you are intent on enlarging the borders of the Church, teaching the truth of the Christian faith to the ignorant and rude, extirpating the nurseries of iniquity from the field of the Lord, and for the more convenient execution of this pur- pose, requiring the counsel and favour of the Apostolic See. In which the maturer your de- liberation and the greater the discretion of your procedure, by so much the happier, we trust, will be your progress, with the assistance of the Lord; because whatever has its origin in ardent faith and in love of religion always has a prosperous end and issue. "There is indeed no doubt but that Ireland and all the islands on which Christ the Sun of Righteousness has shone, and which have received the doctrines of the Christian faith, be- long to the jurisdiction of St. Peter, and of the holy Roman Church, as your Excellency also acknowledges. And therefore we are the more solicitous to propagate a faithful plantation among them, and a seed pleasing to the Lord, as we have the secret conviction of con- science that a very rigorous account must be rendered of them. " You then, most dear son in Christ, have signified to us your desire to enter into the island of Ireland that you may reduce the people to obedience to laws, and extirpate the nurse- ries of vice; and that you are willing to pay from each house a yearly pension of one penny to St. Peter, and that you will preserve the rights of the churches of this land whole and inviolate. We, therefore, with that grace and acceptance suited to your pious and laudable design, and favourably assenting to your petition, hold it good and acceptable that, for ex- tending the borders of the Church, restraining the progress of vice, for the correction of manners, the planting of virtue, and the increase of the Christian religion, you enter that island, and execute therein whatever shall pertain to the honour of God and welfare of the land; and that the people of that land receive you honourably, and reverence you as their lord,--the rights of their churches still remaining sacred and inviolate, and saving to St. Peter the annual pension of one penny from every house. "If then you are resolved to carry the design you have conceived into effectual execution, study to form that nation to virtuous manners; and labour by yourself and others whom you shall judge meet for this work, in faith, word, and life, that the Church may be there adorned, that the religion of the Christian faith may be planted and grow up, and that all things pertaining to the honour of God and the salvation of souls be so ordered, that you may be entitled to the fulness of eternal reward in God, and obtain a glorious renown on earth throughout all ages." {Killen's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, pages 211-212}Pope Adrian's Bull was issued in 1155 but it did not suit Henry to invade Ireland until 1171. He landed at Waterford and met with little or no resistance and so Ireland passed into the hands of England. Today, the Irish Republic would consider itself free from the invader of 1171. It is not so. The invader of Patrick's Ireland is still entrenched in the land. That invader is Roman Ca- tholicism. What little there remains of Gospel religion in Ulster is the remnant of [...]



January 17: The First Book of Discipline [1561]

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:14:00 +0000

by archivistFirst Book of Discipline Approved by the General Assembly in Scotlandby Rev. David T. MyersThey had already proven their worth to the Scottish church. The infant Church of Scotland had a Confession of Faith summing up biblical doctrine, which had been authored by the famous “Six Johns” in Scotland.  Now these same “six Johns” of Presbyterianism had been called upon to undertake a new and scarcely less important task, namely, that of drawing up a book with a complete system of ecclesiastical government. Their names, for the record, were John Winram, John Spotswood, John Willock, John Douglas, John Row, and last, but not least, John Knox. Of these six, our readers should certainly recognize the last name, but the former are hardly household names to present-day Presbyterians.In working out the necessity to do everything decently and in order, these six men clearly did not take their example from any Kirk (church) in the world, not even from John Calvin in Switzerland, but rather from the sacred Scriptures.  Arranging their subject of church government under nine different heads, they divided these among the six men, who studied them individually and then jointly as a solemn committee.  Much time in reading and meditation was done by them. Earnest prayers were offered up for Divine direction.  Finally their work was completed on May 20, 1560 and then approved by the General Assembly of Scotland on January 17, 1561.While the whole First Book of Discipline can be found on line here, we can sum up some of its parts for your information.  The permanent office bearers of the visible church were of four kinds: the minister or pastor, to whom the ministry of the Word and Gospel were given, along with the administration of the Sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s Supper; the Teacher, whose province included the interpretation of Scripture in churches and schools; the ruling elder who assisted the minister in governing the church, and last; the deacon, who had special charge of the monies of the church in assistance to the poor.Now anyone who knows anything about the officers of your Presbyterian church will see in this establishment of officers a portrait of your church government. You might not think that church government is especially spiritual in name, but the pastors, teachers, ruling elders, and deacons beg to differ with you. To them, it was and is both biblical and practice in governing the visible church so that it can be a witness to the world at large.In these beginning days of the Kirk in Scotland, two temporary office bearers were raised up in the position of Superintendents and Exhorters/Readers. They were what we would call “lay-preachers” who went through all the nation, reading, proclaiming, and planting churches. Regular meetings were held weekly, monthly, and yearly, depending on whether it was the local, regional, or national church.The important matter of church discipline was included to purify the church and reclaim the repentant back to the fold.  In fact, there is a key phrase in this document which says that the Church was to “correct the faults which either the civil sword does neglect or may not punish.” They recognized that there may be times when the civil government is corrupt at the local, state, or national levels, but this does not excuse the church from exercising their God-given authority to suppress vice and immorality in the members which compose the local churches.Words to Live By: Reader, pray much for the spiritual leaders in your local, regional, and national churches. If they are Reformed and Presbyterian in conviction and conduct, they often deal with hard matters of faith and conduct among the congregations under their spiritual care. Hold them up in prayer and encouragement. Submit to their biblical oversight, for one day they must make a repo[...]



Diary w/e 13 Jan 2018

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:39:00 +0000

Sun 7 JanExcellent sermon from Paul on the second part of Mat 2 which promoted me to think and blog the next day. Our Harrogate visitors left after church. Once again I did my tandoori chicken lunch for three visitors, one from Oman and Virginia - the same young man. I was up too early in the morning so too dopey in the evening service but blessed by a new elder presiding at the table. Someone remarked he was too emotional to be a Presbyterian. That BTW was a compliment with Presbyterian humour.Mon 8 JanSurgical stocking ordered as preventative for the left leg which is now healed of ulcers but recent night pain in the right leg is due to a new ulcer in the ankle so compression bandaging is on there for at least two more months AFAIK.   Most of the day writing an article which stemmed from Paul Levy's sermon on Mat 2, the lessons from Jesus return to Bethlehem and God's providence there.   Cooked spaghetti carbonara for supper then session meeting. Full complement of nine Ealing elders, one each from Less and Ilford and two men under the care of IPC Ealing. Saddened by news of work taking some members away from us. Rejoicing to hear news of an engagement. Pastoral concerns over baptism and church unity. Overall a very encouraging meeting including plans for church planting in France.Tues 9 JanExcellent Ealing Lunchtime talk on John 14:6 by Paul Levy, Is Christianity intolerant? Yes Jesus is - but he loves sinners. Then a pastoral visit to an aged saint struggling withe onset of dementia. She was in very good spirits. Slow cooking chicken casserole cooked for dinner. Booked ticket to California for Feb 15 but refused insurance. Am I bothered? No. Angry that it seems insurers will not exclude pre-existing medical conditions and insure against any new ones, loss of luggage, cancellation etc only.Wed 10 JanExcellent hose group on ! Sam 7 with one lively new member for the group. Thur 11 JanVery good Greenford Lunchtime Talk by Pal Levy on Is God sexist? Once again he was trying out a new talk to be given at a Belfast CU mission. I am his first elder for feedback with constructive criticism. Finished very helpful book on Islamic State. Real insight as to the nature and diversity of Islam. Surprise phone call from a former missionary in Nigeria. Her late husband Tony Berry died three years ago @92 years. He was the first ever pharmacist at Vom and used by the Lord to call me out there too. I was Vom's third pharmacist. Fri 12 JanHouse re-insured via the meerkats lot. Still no satisfaction from Privilege over the excess on our car claim in March. They last wrote in June. Several phone calls. It is due for litigation he says. I reply that I do not care why my excess has not been refunded. If it is not refunded they will not have my renewal. He rings back to say they have not received the papers needed for litigation. I say they were sent in June. He finds them after saying they were not received. Between the inefficiency of my insurers and the idiocy of the other party's I have had enough. When the renewal comes I shall be back to the meerkats. And you wonder why I think insurers are one of the lower forms of life? Sat 13 JanGreat news from my friend in Baghdad. ' The security situation in Iraq is now much better than before. Almost, no terrorist attacks happens. Many of those who joined ISIS were killed. Some of them escaped to Europe as refugees. Many displaced Iraqi Christians and Yezeedies returned to their villages and towns in north of Iraq.'Looking forward to old friends coming for lunch. Friends for nearly 48 years. United in Christian faith. Poles apart in politics - but I manage that in my family too. I treat the first as serious. The latter is more like sport - not of ultimate import. So when they came great accord as ever and surprised to find they think Jeremy not fit to be PM and agree with me that Labour should ditch him for Benn.[...]



Reasons for choice of place to eat out.

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 22:53:00 +0000

I regret the loss of Lisa's, the best place in Ealing. But what do you look for when eating out? Someone regretted the loss of Lisa's as it is one of the few independent non-chains eateries. I have never considered that a factor. I disliked big companies as employers ever since I worked for Boots. Never again. You are too easily expected to sell your soul to the company store. I almost always worked for small independent pharmacies or chains. But for a place to eat I rank in importance

1. The food - any cuisine. My tastes are catholic.
2. Value for money.- Yorkshire upbringing, Scottish blood
3. Service.- swift, polite, eager to please
4. Atmosphere - if any music unobtrusive, not too noisy at other tables, enough light to read the menu
4. Portion size which links to 2. North of England better than south.
5. Accessibility/parking
6. Drinks menu - is always expensive but I want real ale and if no draught do not chill the bottled bitter
7. Menu in English if in UK. and waiters who understand and speak it.
8. Cleanliness which I take for granted.
9. Doggy bag if requested.



The changing world (38) Aug - 1975

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 21:13:00 +0000

1st Doreen Collingham, sister at Boi, called unexpectedly at 9pm on a medical trip.
2nd Clarks from Zamko with her parents visiting came with us to Tase Rock for picnic lunch then supper at ours. Their two and our two love playing together.
3rd Same visitors came after church where I preached.Children love the paddling pool.
4th To stay in Jos via Kabwir.Rivers seemed full.
5 and 6Th Car being serviced
7th To Mango via Vom for antenatal.
9th Mission prayer conference started Mango.
10th Philip Hacking preaching. Too jovial for me.David Carling I found irritating with his message that we should back our leaders. That does not deal with dissent in the camp.
11th Much rain. Our Jonathan loves playing with Debbie Clark.
13th Byang Kato stimulating on Christianity and Culture. His death later in the sea at Mombasa was a great loss.
14th Back to Langtang. Kimbers staying here.
15th Took Kimbers to see Wase. I had known Geoff since he was a classics undergraduate and a contemporary at London University. His was a lengthy journey. He started from a Strict baptist family. When he left Nigeria he became an ordained Anglican vicar, his wife a deacon.
16th To Jos by taxi. Bought ticket for bus to Ibadan.
Addicots of MAF in Jos as was Mrs Joy from Panama who beat me at Scrabble. Latterly I went on to Boggle. Great battles with the brilliant Hugh Jos translator later of the Kanuri New testament.
17th Up 5:30. 7am bus for Zaria left 10:15. Kaduna, Kontagora, Juba, Ilorin, Ibadan at 2am. Van to Ife by 4:30 am. The compound is cleared out of the rain forest. Outside the perimeter fence is thick jungle.
18th Toured campus and town. Met with Jim Pluedeman of SIM. He is Lutheran and not like your average primal SIM people. We discussed plans for TEE.
19th TEE planning before conference on Evangelisation started in the evening.
20th Met John Boer of CRC who was to become one of my best and closest of reformed friends. Met up with my closest Nigerian friend, Dele Onamusi, baker of Kano. All speakers were Nigerian with good messages.
21st Talks are good but not expository. Byang Kato on Christianity as African religion.Bitrus Gani the blind physiotherapist spoke on sin. I had met him when he was a student London. His skill in navigating the London underground was wonderful to behold.
22nd Still no event expositions. Talks on social action, and francophone countries.
23rg Byang kano the best speaker. On evangelism and culture.Entertaining drama from university students, Zaria and Nsukka. I afterwards pointed out to them that the words used in pigeon for busily functions are not words heard in English speaking polite Christian society.
24th Yemi Ladipo I found poor on the Holy Spirit and Evangelism.
25th Highlight for me was conversation with Harry Boer of CRC the principal of the Theological College of Northern Nigeria, Bukuru.
He is of the more liberal CRC strand. 26th Bishop flop good on Christian home and family life. I am now leading the TEE group.
27th Final day. Good speaker on Christian in public life.
28th Left Ice 3am. Ogbomoso, Ilorin. Long queue at Jebba bridge. Kontagora. Kaduna. Jos 9:45 pm.
29th My Jos roommate was from the Free University of Amsterdam . Showed him round Jos.
Left Jos with Maureen Harford. Vom . Panyam where Maureen stayed. Discussed TEE with pastor at Panyam. Home to langtang. Maureen was from Potters Bar, a lab technician and seemingly lonely. She eventually left the mission. She wanted to retire in Nigeria and the way she found was to join the Roman Catholics. She entered an order of nuns bur AFAIK ended her days in a convent in Portugal.
31st pastor Damina preached morning I in the evening. Clarks here all day.



Once upon a time I was a local politician

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 15:47:00 +0000

(image) From 1990 to 1998 I was an elected councillor of the London Borough of Ealing, one of seventy such. The first four years I was in the ruling Conservative group. From 1994 I was in the opposition to Labour in control. Served variously as vice chairman of social services, chairman of environment and opposition spokesman on social services.
   In 1995 Major's government introduced the national lottery to the shame of the Conservatives IMO.  This is the Ealing gazette of 24 November 1995It was the only time I spoke out against the opinions of our local MP, a man who I admired. He only once defied a three line whip and that was to appose the then PM, Margaret Thatcher, on Sunday Trading. Over that I resigned as a ship steward of the shop workers union. They compromised. harry Greenway and I did not.
   But here I spoke against my MP's views and that of my party's government. The man who is now my MP, Stephen Pound, sent me a cutting from the Guardian to help my case.
   'After the French Revolution, the state lottery was abolished. 'It is all the more dangerous.'a leading opponent argued, 'since it devours the substance of the poor. It was born of despotism, and used with perfidity to drown out the cry of misery, deluding the poor with false hope. The lottery, an odious financial trick, invades the product of the poor man's toil and brings despair upon innumerable families.' - The Guardian of 11.11.95.
   Steve also told me that the placing lottery terminals in post offices where people received their benefits was like when he was a sailor. He said the sailors came of the ship with their pay packets and the whores lined the quayside ready to relive them of their money.
   Well now it is even worse. The government whores (lottery) advertises on TV and it has opened the floodgates for all the assorted trollops of the gambling industry to follow suit. Oh that someone would free me from that tiresome Ray Winstone and his estuary English. I would be happy were he to be submerged in said estuary. Is that a hate crime? No. Perhaps a Baptist  could oblige with dunking not drowning.
    'Gambling challenges the view of life which the Christian Church exists to uphold and extend. Its glorification of mere chance is a denial of the Divine order of nature. To risk money haphazard is to disregard the insistence of the Church in every age of living faith that possessions are a trust, and that men must account to God for their use. The persistent appeal to covetousness is fundamentally opposed to the unselfishness which was taught by Jesus Christ and by the New Testament as a whole. The attempt (which is inseparable from gambling) to make a profit out of the inevitable loss and possible suffering of others is the antithesis of that love of ones neighbour on which our Lord insisted. '... Archbishop William Temple (1881-1944)
   More more quotes, http://www.christiansquoting.org.uk/quotes_f.htm




Ethical questions - law keeping

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:46:00 +0000

I am no antinomian nor a legalist. The threefold division of Mosaic law into moral, national and ceremonial is of value. The moral is repeated in the New Covenant scripture with room for diversity on how the fourth commandment is observed. The ceremonials fulfilled in Christ and is gone. The nationals gone as law of any land but the general equity remaining as the Westminster Confession teaches.
   But what of man's law. It should be based on Biblical principles of equity and morality. But even when it is not we are to render to Caesar due obedience. But when Cesar's laws are fiat laws with no basis other than whatever legislators think fit, yes we are to obey. If not we must be prepared to suffer the temporal consequences if we are apprehended and found guilty as charged.
   But is such a breach of the law of the land a sin? I have my doubts. If the law says all church members must give consent for their names to be published on a list circulated to members only and the church fails to comply is their sin? Yes, breach of the law. Let the enforcers enforce if they have the will but I see no sin in ignoring red tape.
   Then what about where Caesar wants to stick his nose into church matters? In a past decade our church was told that to be registered for legal marriages we had to make the church flat a residence only for the minister's family. We refused.
   If the government was to tell us it must inspect our youth work lest we be radicalising our children I trust we would refer them to that local place of worship where such things may happen pointing out it is not a building with a cross on or in it.



Evangelical

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:17:00 +0000

I have been asked if our church is evangelical. Of course it depends on what you mean by evangelical Here is a recent article for the renowned Archbishop Cranmer. Our church is Presbyterian. I would describe it as reformed with a high and evangelical view of scripture.What is reformed?Ask and I shall tell."The term 'Evangelical' as applied to Christians has a long and well-chronicled heritage. In 1525, William Tyndale explained in his Doctrinal Treatises (p8): "Evangelion (that which we call the gospel) is a Greek word; and signifieth good, merry, glad and joyful tidings, that maketh a man's heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance and leap for joy." This gospel is the good news of Christ; the joyful tidings of the New Testament:...because that as a man, when he shall die, appointeth his goods to be dealt and distributed after his death among them which he nameth to be his heirs, even so Christ before his death commanded and appointed that such Evangelion, gospel, or tidings should be declared throughout all the world, and therewith to give unto all that [repent and] believe all his goods: that is to say, his life, wherewith he swallowed and devoured up death; his righteousness, wherewith he banished sin; his salvation, wherewith he overcame eternal damnation. Now can the wretched man (that [knoweth himself to be wrapped] in sin, and in danger to death and hell) hear no more joyous a thing, than such glad and comfortable tidings of Christ; so that he cannot but be glad, and laugh from the low bottom of his heart, if he believe that the tidings are true (ibid., p9).The Reformation had placed an emphasis on the individual's need for salvation and faithfulness to the gospel – a faith no longer mediated by the lofty metaphysics of priests and popes, but characterised by immanence, comprehension, and direct relationship with the divine. As Protestantism fragmented, a remnant retained their missionary zeal and a moral fervour. They became known as Evangelicals or 'gospellers' – those whose mission was to preach the message of repentance from sin and of an assured salvation through the blood of Jesus.Great outpourings of the Holy Spirit followed their witness, such as those seen in the great Evangelical Revival(s) of the 18th century. While many church pulpits had supplanted the life-giving gospel with barren moralism, itinerant preachers like George Whitefield and John Wesley took their message to the streets and fields. Theirs was a clarion call to return to the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. With the pulpits closed to them, they witnessed wherever the people were – in the workhouses and marketplaces; in hospitals and prisons. John Wesley covered around 5,000 miles a year on horseback, stopping wherever he was led to preach to those who would listen. "I look upon all the world as my parish," he wrote. "Thus far I mean, that in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right and my bounden duty to declare, unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation."But many Church of England clergy were irked by these self-styled preachers and teachers. Bishops and parish priests were God's appointed guardians of the Faith, by order of the King. Just who were these fundamentalist zealots with their interminable focus on repentance, faith and holiness? But no matter how much the bishops tried to muzzle them, these Evangelicals carried on preaching. No matter how much the Church of England tried to rescue Christianity from the extremists, the spiritually dead turned away from their drunkenness, gambling and licentious behaviour, and were 'born again' in their thousands, being brought into a living personal knowledge of Jesus Christ which transformed their lives.For Evangelicals, the Word of God is the bread of life, wh[...]



Words

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:08:00 +0000

When  something is close to person's heart, to their religion, it is very difficult for them to speak about it without taking it personally and it is hard for me to be dispassionate about error. If I criticise a religion or belief, those holding those views, believing that religion, will take it personally. So beware debate on Islam or sexuality especially in public. I will cause offence if I speak plainly my Christian held beliefs on either. Of course it can help to remember what it feels like to be on the receiving where whites said means little or nothing to the speaker but is powerfully hurtful to you as a Christian. Examples are taking God's name in vain, blasphemy, ridicule.    So I may believe someone is a false prophet, warmonger and paedohile  but to name him and say so would not be helpful or constructive comment. Also I have been rebuked for using the terms priestess and bishopette and though I believe Christ has not given headship to females in either church or family I should not mock those happy for the distaff side to rule their roost. I must curb my tongue lest I give unnecessary offence. My views are offensive enough without the offence of sounding demeaning to the persons involved.   There is though the question of choosing words to be approving or pejorative. Your freedom fighter is my terrorist. You are gay. I am not allowed to call you queer . But you can call yourself that. I will never call you nigger so please do not call yourself that. Not that I will ban any one word. Guy Gibson's dog in the Dam Busters will still be nigger to me. That was his name. I do not even mind the use of fuck if you want a short coarse word for sexual congress. But do not use it as a mere expletive or adjectivally/adverbially. That merely shows a careless insensitivity or limitation in your use of language.If you persist with f or c words I will not watch you on TV or film, read your writing. have you on my facebook threads or invite you to talk with my grandchildren.   But there are similar considerations with blasphemy, Secularists, the non-religious do not care. There is no such thing. OTOH I believe there is such a thing. It is offensive to me when there is careless or deliberate blasphemy. But first we have to consider blasphemy, what it is and who if anyone should be offended.   That is another post for the blog.[...]



Something or nothing?

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:36:00 +0000

1 Corinthians 8:4 - Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.So idols, false religions are nothing. They are delusionsBut,! Cor 10:19-20. What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that fan idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice gthey offer to demons and not to God.So behind the idol, the false religion is not nothing but there is the demonic. So, on the one hand a Christian does not need to fear anything from a false religion. It is nothing. On the other hand, behind it is the demonic. So may i say Islam is nothing, it is a false religion. But it is the masterpiece of the devil for it mixes so much truth with error. Satan disguised as an angel of light impersonates truth.But though it be nothing it is demonic in another sense too. Occult practises abound. In Africa, a person wanting charms to protect themselves or harm an enemy is just as likely to find a supplier from among Muslims s from animistic followers of African traditional religion. I have even heard it reported that those dealing in such charms have told purchasers to beware. They may not harm true Christians but if used on a Christian could have dire rebound consequences on the purchaser. So the purveyor of the occult may realise the true power of Christ. Acts 13:8-10 But Elymas the zmagician (for that is the meaning of his name) copposed them, seeking to turn dthe proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, efilled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You fson of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and gvillainy, will you not stop hmaking crooked ithe straight paths of the Lord?  This shows that magic, manipulation of occult forces, is from Satan. I so not mean the magic of the late Paul Daniels, mere sleight of hand  I mean using religion as a charm as the Israelites did taking the Ark of the Covenant into battle as a charm instead of seeking God's will and his help.Charms are at best rubbish. At worst occult. Similarly fortune telling, tarot, ouija boards and all the rest of the rubbish that is superstition or false religion. It is at best rubbish, nothing. At worst it is occult evil. Can it be both?[...]



Jonathan Edwards would say we are now in the millennium!

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:53:00 +0000

In 1904 the Sudan United Mission sent its first men to Wase in then Northern Nigeria. There were no Nigerian Christians for several hundred miles. Now there are millions in our churches alone and they have Nigerian missionaries in eight other African countries and in England too. Nigeria has proportionately for population many more Christians than in UK, more Anglicans than the Church of England.
' It is promised, that heathenism shall thus be destroyed in many places.God has said, That the gods that have not made these heavens and this earth, shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens, Jer.x. 11. and that he will utterly abolish idols, Isa. ii. 18.--Then shall the many nations of Africa, who now seem to be in a state but little above the beasts, and in many respects much below them, be visited with glorious light, and delivered from all their darkness, and shall become a civil, christian, understanding, and holy people. - Jonathan Edwards, A HISTORY OF THE WORK OF REDEMPTION, 1776



History when it happened -world and other events in my lifetime

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 11:54:00 +0000

The most precious document in our family has to be the diary of my maternal grandfather, George Graham. It starts with his conversion in 1912 and ends in 1952 just before his death aged only 62. It is remarkable for several things, not least history remembered not later but as it happened. So the refrain from 1914 to Easter 1918 is, when will this terrible war end. Also repeated mentions of Zeppelin bombs though George was in the peaceful countryside of rural north Northumberland.   So what have I remembered? I am blogging my autobiography more from diaries than memory. But what of documents I am leaving.I will list those I have kept and some I regret not keeping with reasons for omission.War Times 27 Dec 1642 - A fun fiction from the Times on IIRC 27 Dec 1992 on the Civil WarDaily Herald  1 Jun 1946 - birth date of Katy, my wifeI failed to collect for the death of the king or the coronation. I was only five then six.I watched both Bannister's Four minute mile live on TV and also Laker's ten Aussie wickets at Old Trafford but no papers.No Suez crisis.I failed to record the Cuban missile crisis or the death of either Kennedy.No papers for Profumo or the Great Train Robbery.I failed to collect on the one state occasion I witnessed, Churchill's funeral procession1969 No record of the start of The Troubles nor later of any bombs or the Good Friday agreementThe Times    12 Jan 1970 - Ojukwu flees Biafra. End of their civil warSunday Times - Jun 1977 Jubilee supplement for the Queen's silver jubilee.1979 No record of the first lady PM, St. Margaret, none of her fall nor of her funeral. I was in Nigeria for the first and given up on printed newspapers by the latter.Yorkshire Post 12 Jul 1981 - Charles and Di the wedding. I failed to record her death as I was disgusted by the public emotion.Evangelical Times - Nov 1981 Nigeria: baker gets book in to supermarkets. The man I was to work for.1982 Failed to record The Falklands. I was in Nigeria1989 I failed to record the release of Mandela or the disintegration of the Soviet empire. The latter was gradual but I should have had a paper recording the fall of the Berlin Wall.Potters Bar Press 30 May 1991 - My late father in law driving a new minibus for pensionersDaily Telegraph 26 Apr 1991 - Christians flee after 150 die in rampage by Muslims in BauchiThe Times 11 Apr 1992 The New House of Commons - Blair elected. New labour.The Times 21 Oct 1992 The  former chief rabbi warns of a threat to Europe with Germany reunitedThe Herald 26 Jun 1996 Professor a free man. Donald MacLeod not guilty in the Edinburgh court.The Times 12 Aug 1999 The full eclipse of the sunThe Times 31 Dec 1999 Showbiz dames top of the bill.The millennium New Year's honours listNewsweek 1 Jan 2000Welcome to a new centuryThe Times 1 Jan 2000 The Times MillenniumThe times 1 Jan 2000 Magazine Century to centuryThe Times 1 Jan 2000 Weekend supplement - We've never had it so good.The Times 1 Jan 2000 Metro - what's on Jan 1-7 2000The Times 1 Jan 2000 Mega@ Kids supplement Life in 2000The Times 1 Jan 2000 Here's to the new MillenniumThe Times 1 Jan 2000 Times 2 In Defence of the DomeThe Times 12 Aug 2000 Premiership The Big Kick Off Leeds still thereThe Times 1 Jan 2001 Ministers pressed to reopen dome.The Times 1 Jan 2001 Sports pages - the real start of the millenniumThe Times 9 Jun 2001 A kiss, then Blair wills axe. - after the electionThe Times 9 Jun 2001 Election 2001 specialThe Times 15 Sep 2001 America's might turns on Arab terror havensThe Times 15 Sep 2001 Terror in America supplementThe Times 5 Jun 2002 Gratitude, repeat and pride - Diamond jubileeThe Times 5 Jun 2002 World cup 2002The Sun 27 Jul 2011 Fare[...]



On the listing of our chapel

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 18:05:00 +0000

I am a libertarian. I believe private property is private property and government should not stick its nose into private affairs. So I continue to resent the fact that Historic England saw fit to list our chapel so preventing its demolition when we are rebuilding on the site.   There are two ironies here. The first is that the chapel was listed by accident' The Ealing Civic Society wanted the next door building, now demolished, to be listed. Historic England deemed it of no historic merit but their eyes fastened on the chapel hidden at the back and gave us a listed status.   The second irony is in their reason for listing. I quote from the listing. The chapel at the former St Helena's Home, built by John Ninian Comper in 1912-3, should be designated for the following principal reasons: * It is a rare instance of a complete building by this nationally important architect and designer, and is one of the first manifestations of his mature style. * Despite a degree of alteration and the loss of the original fittings, its interior is of intrinsic architectural quality; * It was built as the chapel to a reformatory for 'fallen' women, an institution epitomising both the puritanical and the progressive aspects of Victorian and Edwardian sexual and social mores.Reformatories for 'fallen' women - at first mainly ex-prostitutes - were in existence from at least the C13. These institutions were not (in theory at least) prisons, but rather voluntary reformatories to which women committed themselves for a fixed period of penitential activity before either emerging to begin new careers as respectable members of society, or else taking permanent vows and remaining within the order for life. Suppressed at the Reformation along with other religious houses, women's reformatories sprang up again in secular form during the C18, in response to the social problems created by urbanisation: the London Magdalen House, established by a group of City merchants in 1758, was the first British example. During the Victorian period, stricter codes of gender ethics saw the concept of fallenness extended to other 'problematic' women, including unmarried mothers, rape and incest victims, petty criminals, alcoholics, vagrants and the 'feeble-minded'. Christian groups came once again to the fore: Nonconformists and low-church Anglicans focused on home visiting and street-level evangelism, while Tractarian Sisterhoods founded quasi-monastic 'homes' in rural or suburban locations, where inmates could escape from their impoverished and often brutal home environments for a fixed period of penitential seclusion. The regime of labour (often laundry work) and spiritual discipline was sometimes harsh, but the aim was to combine vocational training with moral rehabilitation, allowing these outcast women eventually to return to normal society on more advantageous terms. In some cases at least, a remarkably broad-minded attitude prevailed in respect of the inmates' past lives: as one late-C19 woman missionary remarked, "I am certain that no-one among us would ever have the courage to cast the 'first stone' if we could know the awful straits which bring so many of our sisters into sin."Various sources are cited but not a document in our possession which is IIRC the annual report of St Helena's for 1919. It says that the majority of their women were not prostitutes but those accused of, but not sentenced for petty crimes such as theft. They point out that time in the home was more cost effective than prison and far more likely to produce reformation.   So contra Historic England this was never a chapel for fallen women[...]



Quotes from the most important and insightful book I have read of late

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:54:00 +0000

All from Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers - Encounters with the Islamic State

...London. It was then, and perhaps still is, the world capital for certain types of loudmouth jihadis, -- the types to have been exiled from their own countries, less often for their odious political views than because they simply would not shut up. - Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p 152

War is deception - Hadith, Bukhari 3029, Muslim,58 quoted in Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p165

If Islamic State support is a communicable disease, an infection of the mind, then (Ajem) Chowdary is its Typhoid Mary. - Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p179

The problem was not, and  has never been a failure of mainstream Muslims to condemn terrorism, or to denounce the Islamic State. The problem is their reluctance to seriously acknowledge or engage with the Islamic State intellectually. Instead their defence of Islam is typified by the refrain, "Islam is a religion of peace'' combined with happy talk about mercy and love. They do not address the scriptures Islamic State cites about war or hate. - Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p215

... this militancy ... has everything to do with religion: misguided, fanatical, ideological and politicised religion. It is the religion of resentment, envy, powerlessness and nihilism. It does however have nothing to do with the merciful teachings of our Prophet ... - Hamza Yusuf, The Plague Within  quoted in Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p216

Islam is not science but religion. It is highly - though not infinitely - malleable, with no definite conclusions. - Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p243

The current horror show in Syria is, at best, the beginning of another cycle of religious war. - Graeme Wood, The Way of Strangers, p245



Marvellous and mysterious - the providence of God

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 13:18:00 +0000

   Yesterday morning we were blessed by a New Year's sermon by Paul Levy on Mat 2:13-22 which he divided as a geography lesson learning from Egypt, Bethlehem and Nazareth how prophecy was fulfilled in each by Christ who is the centre of our faith. It was Bethlehem that particularly struck me.Mat 2:16-18 'Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.  Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children she refused to be comforted, because they are no more."' There Paul enlarged on God's works of providence which are as the Shorter Catechism says, 'God's works of providence are his most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.'  If providence be holy and wise and therefore good and God is in control we are thankful that Jesus was protected from Herod. But what of the dark side, the adverse providence, the suffering of the parents whose innocents were murdered? What do you say to them? How has God been holy. wise and powerful for he has not protected their children? Paul went on making two points. The first is that man was responsible. This suffering came about because of the wickedness of Herod a murderous tyrant, an insecure puppet king who felt threatened by the information from the wise men that there was another king in Bethlehem. The innocents died because of sin. Not their's, nor their parent's but because of a wicked man. We are all too ready to blame God when evil things happen, when suffering comes. We ask if there is a God and he is good and in control why did he do this or let this happen? The first answer is that we are in a fallen world and sinful men cause murder and evil, the killing of innocents. God did not do it Herod did.    After the sermon Paul told me that for the sake of time he omitted the best illustration of this which had already sprung to my mind for I heard Lloyd-Jones preach two days after the terrible Abefan disaster. Scores of innocent schoolchildren killed by a slag heap sliding down the hillside onto their school.The Doctor in his sermon asked, 'You will say why did God let this happen and I will answer it was not God but man. In his greedy folly men dumped the mine's slag on ground where they knew there was a spring of water. The spring caused the landslide not God. And men were careless in putting their slag on a spring. ' Lloyd Jones was right. The Coal Board tried to deny it but had to admit their fault and responsibility. God had not killed the children. Man's folly did. In Bethlehem Herod was at fault not God.   But that does not get us away from the problem of adverse providence. If God is most holy, wise and powerful why did he not stop the killing? Why did he not protect the schoolchildren of Aberfan? Paul told us that we must understand God's providence is amazing, marvellous for he protected Jesus but also mysterious for he allowed the murder of the innocents. Providence amazing/marvellous and mysterious/adverse. What do we say about the mystery? Paul referred us to where Matthew went, to the prophet Jeremiah, Jer 31:15:   'Thus says the LORD:j“A voice is heard in kRamah, lamentation and bitter weeping.Rachel is weeping for [...]



Diary w/e 6 Jan 2018

Sun, 07 Jan 2018 03:06:00 +0000

New Years Eve.Paul Levy top rate on Martha and Mary -why the best thing to does to pay attention to Jesus. I cooked my signature dish - tandoori chicken for the family - ten of us Weeks six and four Littles. Well attended evening service with preacher Lawrence Duplessis from South Africa, a student at Oak Hill. Saw in the New year after a fashion. I was too tired. lay down an hour. Rose to the abominable MacIntyre on ITV followed by rubbish singing on BBC1. The former would have been switched off but I was too polite to my guests watching. The latter was a poor substitute for anything from the land of Hogmanay. The family had the fireworks on TV. I was on line instead. I did not want to watch my taxes going up in smoke. I loathe the GLA as a totally unnecessary layer of government. St Margaret proved that. Since her we have had nothing but a succession of plonkers or worse called Mayor of London. I should send the present one a gift of ties for the New Year.New Year's DayKaty pointed out we used to have but one night of bangs a year - the popish plot. The second custom came at the millennium - midnight New Year's Eve. Then in these parts we endure the Western Front replayed from India aka Diwali. Of course we could be rid of the last by moving to English England. To be free of the others we would have to live in countryside Isolation. Oh the joys of urban life.   Barka da sabuwar shekara ga dukan masu ji. Those suffering monolingual myopia will have to wonder.   I am having a hypocritical start to the year. Two long blog posts one of which contains a resolution to spend less time in cyberspace and more in reality.   Our Cambridge family here until the evening. Played Aggravation and the Logo game.I lost in both. Good for character building humility.   17 nights cruise from Southampton to the Med, Spain, Canaries, Italy, Gibraltar October next year.Our Golden Wedding cruise booked with P&O, There will be a celebration for family and friends near the actual anniversary in August next year so family and friends try and avoid holiday on/near 9th Aug 2019.   There is now a frankincense diffuser on the windowsill in the loo/restroom. It no longer pongs of stables in there. I have now posted three bilingual posts using three different language and my arithmetic is correct.   I have a new girlfriend, Alexa (aka Echo dot). She is of limited intelligence, yea even limited knowledge. Rubbish in, rubbish out. But unlike the sat nav/GPS she responds adversely if you call her stupid.Tues Jan 2Led U3A World religions on Anabaptists, Mennonites and Amish. It went well and I resisted the argument of a Czech member who wanted to tell me they were persecuted and their behaviour was due to their socially due to their egalitarian philosophy. I said the egalitarianism came from their theology of a gathered church; not accepting the contemporary view that as the prince so must believe the subjects. They by and large were not part of the Peasant's Revolt.After the meeting I had a pastoral visit to a church member recently discharged from hospital. Pleased there is a good care plan for her but sad to see her memory is failing. But she knows our church is showing love from the Lord.Cooked supper for the two of us for Debbie, returned from New Year in Wales was not hungry for green Thai.Wed Jan 3Had an excellent U3A Current Affairs on Economics - a subject where I claim to have no real knowledge. Is it a science or an art? Our conclusion is it is an incomplete science for though it can at times p[...]



Quotes 6 Jan 18

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 21:32:00 +0000

 “When there’s something in the Word of God that I don’t like, the problem is not with the Word of God. It’s with me.”- R. C. Sproul (1939–2017)

Our prayers are acceptable to God only insofar as Christ sprinkles and sanctifies them with the perfume of his own sacrifice. — John Calvin

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. -Winston Churchill

If you wished to be loved, love. -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sometimes the best purchase is the one you don't make.--Proverb 



Books read January 2018

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 17:52:00 +0000

1. Qualified Commissioned and Accountable: Studies in Eldership by Ernest C. Brown (Author)The amazing thing about this book is that it is from the pen of a ruling elder. I had to check it was not by an ordained minister. It is excellent. Informative and challenging it should be compulsory reading for all elders and those considering eldership. The best I have read on elders. Good questions and discussion points end each chapter so it is very practical.Minor omissions - an index and a chapter on pastoral visiting. The idea that he who is apt to teach is also fit to preside at the Lord's table is not considered either. That is not surprising as I know of one  Presbyterian denomination that does this.2. Explore Hampton Court Palace: Souvenir Guidebook by Brett Dolman (Author),‎ Sebastian Edwards (Author),‎ & 5 moreGlossy guide to the palace. Not chronological but takes you round the various tour routes recommended. I would have preferred to have this before I visited as I would have been better briefed to enjoy the place the tour of which is great value but you need mire than one day to appreciate it all. it is so superior to National Trust properties and their contents.3. The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State by Graeme Wood  (Author)This is the most important book I have read of late to really understand the contemporary world and Islam. Islam is diverse as is Christianity. Its followers range from peaceful majority to violent minority. Wood starts with a minority violent Muslim phenomenon, Islamic state. He shows how diverse even this small violent minority is  and shows how its Muslim opponents are likewise diverse. He makes parallels with the diversity of Christianity and parallels in history with the paths taken to violence between diverse factions in both religions and also the effects of apocalyptic though in both faiths. He is an expert on varieties of Islam and its scholarship. He is not quite as good on Christianity but has some fascinating insights.   First the a significant omission. '...Muhammad and his companions Companions,  who owned slaves and had sex with them...  Abraham had sex with Hagar the slave girl'.  True but Abraham was given the slave girl by his wife Sara, not for sex but procreation when Sara was old and barren.  The outcome was Ishmael and the Arab peoples. Ironic! The other omission I find merely surprising. When describing Islam and the apocalyptic he does not consider the history of 19th century Mahdism in Sudan. In fact there are many parallels with the follies of contemporary Christian apocalyptic with which Wood is not familiar.   Wood starts in dramatic fashion under fire in Mosul in 2004. He wonders as to the motivation of those shelling him. This leads him to interview Muslims in different countries who are jihadists, Islamists, supporters of Islamic state. All are friendly to him either hoping to convert him to Islam or at least get good publicity. He finds the methodology in what others dismiss as violent madness. These men are not fools. They are often very clever and fluent in Arabic, knowledgeable in the Koran and Muslim traditions. They also know how to stay inside the law in the West though some have been deported and imprisoned. They include men in Australia, America and London They include England's most reviled Muslim, Anjem Choudary, against whom Wood declined to t[...]



IM R C Sroule

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 16:10:00 +0000

From my quote collection of some vintage.For (Martin) Luther, the sola of "Sola Scriptura" was inseparably related to the Scriptures' unique inerrancy. It was because popes could and did err and because councils could and did err that Luther came to realize the supremacy of Scripture. Luther did not despise church authority, nor did he repudiate church councils as having no value. His praise of the Council of Nicaea is noteworthy. Luther and the Reformers did not mean by "Sola Scriptura" that the Bible is the only authority in the church; rather, they meant that the Bible is the only infallible authority in the church.... R. C. SproulWe do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what the Christian life is all about. - R. C. SPROULWithout God man has no reference point to define himself. 20th century philosophy manifests the chaos of man seeking to understand himself as a creature with dignity while having no reference point for that dignity. R. C. SPROULOur anthropology is intimately bound up with our theology. If God is dead, man is too. If we are not accountable, then we do not count. R. C. SPROULThe issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in. R. C. SPROULJustification is an act of God by which he declares sinners to be righteous by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. R. C. Sproul and James M. BoiceIt is because God has assigned worth to men and women that human dignity is established.From his creation to his redemption, man's dignity is preserved. His origin is significant. His destiny is significant. He is significant. The conviction that permeates each chapter is the importance of daily respect for the dignity of other people which requires a sensitivity to their self-esteem. We are also led to the realization that the most fragile mechanization on this planet is the human ego. R. C. Sproul, The Hunger for SignificanceEvery person needs to feel significant. We want our lives to count. We yearn to believe that in some way we are important and that hunger for significance--a drive as intense as our need for oxygen--doesn't come from pride or ego. It comes from God because he wants each of us to understand how important we are. ... We must seek our roots, our origin, and our destiny so that we can know our present value. ..... ...We can help each other realize that we are persons of significance being made in the image of God. R. C. SPROULI dream of a new reformation -- a reformation that is not simply a renewal of life but a new vision of life: a vision that yields new forms and structures in society and culture. As long as Christians restrict their Christianity to a religion, a faith that is compartmentalized and isolated from life, they can have revival but never, ever reformation. We need to hear and do the Word of God in all of our lives.- . R.C. SproulWe are called to live Coram Deo - in the presence of God, under the authority of God and to the glory of God. R. C. SPROULI think homosexuality is a disgusting abomination. There I said it. Is that so wrong? Please don't blame me. Decidedly more than one in ten are with me on this, but the pressure to remain in the closet is powerful. People actually hate people like me, all because of what we think in the privacy of o[...]



Nigerian Mother, Daughter, Accused of Kidnapping, Pressured to Convert to Islam

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 04:26:00 +0000

By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service(www.assistnews.net)KANO, Nigeria (ANS – Jan. 3, 2017) --  A Christian woman and her adult daughter face kidnapping charges filed to pressure them into following the family patriarch’s conversion to Islam, sources told Morning Star News (www.morningstarnews.org)Amina Isa, 40, of Kano state’s Gidan Kuran village in Tudun Wada Local Government Area, told Morning Star News that her husband left Christianity to obtain a government job, and that he and other Muslim officials have pressured her to convert to Islam by filing false kidnapping charges against her and her 21-year-old daughter.The mother of five children said her husband, Garba Usman, converted to Islam in 2012 as a precondition for appointment as ward head in their village.“They told him that he cannot be appointed as a ward head because he’s a Christian, and that if he converts to Islam, he’ll be appointed the ward head,” Isa said. “I advised him against changing his religious faith for worldly position, but after much pressure from Muslims in our area, he succumbed to the demand and became a Muslim.”She had told him that she would not convert to Islam along with him, she said.“I reminded him that he should remember that all my family members are Muslims, but that I am the only Christian in that family, and that I married him because he was a Christian like me, so I cannot now convert to Islam simply because the Muslims have appointed him a ward head,” she said.Their five children also refused to convert to Islam and insisted they would remain Christians with her, and as a result, she and three of her daughters – ages 6, 15 and 21 – were abused, she said.“Because of their refusal to convert too, we have been threatened, beaten, and subjected to all forms of indignities by my husband and his Muslim collaborators,” Isa said. “They’ve constantly been threatened, beaten, and harassed. In fact, at one time, [the oldest daughter, name withheld for security reasons] had to take her younger siblings and go into hiding, but both have been traced and captured by the officials and are currently being held against their will in a location undisclosed to me.”The couple separated after Usman’s conversion to Islam, and he took the three daughters to live with him, she said. He adamantly opposed their continued attendance at church worship services and participation in Bible studies or other church activities. The 15- and 21-year-old daughters were active members of the church’s evangelism outreach group, but their father has stopped them from participating in it or attending worship services, Isa said.“Right now, my daughters are in the custody of these Muslim officials and are being forced into Islam, while at the same time, we are being tried on false charges,” Isa said. “All this is to force us to recant. We can never stop being Christians, and we are confident that the God we serve can never abandon us in our trying moments.”A member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Gidan Kuran, Isa said the kidnapping charge arose early last year. Usman and Muslim officials had forcibly enrolled the couple’s youngest daughter in an Islamic school, she said, and Isa and her oldest daughter undertook efforts to enroll the younger daughters at a Christian school in Zaria.They were able to enroll one of the daughters before Usman found out and reported it to the Mu[...]



The questions never asked - BBC get real.

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 08:59:00 +0000

One great frustration I have with the media is the failure to ask the relevant question. This morning Radio 4's Today programme had an informative discussion on current events in Iran. Protests or riots? That may depend on you perspective on Iran like are those violent men in another country freedom fighters or terrorists. Did this start as a protest against deteriorating economy or protesting a repressive regime? The answer given was it started with economic protests but then the enemies of the regime encouraged riots. Who are those opposing the regime? People in Iran generally are too scared/repressed to initiate protests/riots. It is enemies outside of Iran in the West. Two questions weren't addressed. These enemies outside of Iran, are they Iranian exiles or Westerners or governments opposed to/hating Iran. It seemed to be assumed that it was non-Iranians. Exile organisations were not examined. But most significant of all there was no consideration given to the antics of those across the world who hate Shi'a Iran, the Sunni Muslim world. Who hates Iran with a passion greater than any from Trump? The Saudis. Why? Salafi/Wahhabi Islam brooks no dissent. All who are not of their ilk are enemies and heretics whether Muslim or not. It dos not matter. Kill them all. That is why Islamists have killed more Muslims than they have non-Muslims. If we are not of their faith we ae kuffirs - cursed - and that includes other Muslims who dissent from them especially Shi'as.
   So when the BBC tells me the disturbances in Iran are being encouraged by people outside of Iran who know how to use electronic media, why does the BBC not ask about Islamaic State or any other Islamist grouping expert in using the ways of cyberspace to spread their hatred and lies? Of course Trump wants the Iranian regime overthrown. You do not need to be American to hate post-Khomeini revolutionary Iran. I recall there was a man in Iraq who even went to war with Iran. (No he was not an Islamist or even a keen Muslim) but he was Sunni hater of Iran.
   So I do not know who if anyone is encouraging and fomenting dissent/riots in Iran. I do know the regime has a bigger enemy than a few people in the West. Wake up BBC.



Anabaptists

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 22:33:00 +0000

Anabaptist  from http://www.anabaptists.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Müntzer • Reformation-era Christians who rejected infant baptism. • Enemies called them anabaptists -- "re-baptizers." • Zealous to restore the true church on an Apostolic model. • Radical Reformers who considered all state churches beyond reformation. • Include Amish, and Mennonites.Thomas Müntzer (German pronunciation: [ˌtoːmas ˈmʏnt͡sɐ̯]; c. December 1489 – 27 May 1525) was a radical German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Luther and the Roman Catholic Church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany. Müntzer was foremost amongst those reformers who took issuewith Luther’s compromises with feudal authority. He became a leader of the German peasant and plebeian uprising of 1525 commonly known as the German Peasants' War , was captured after the battle of Frankenhausen, and was tortured and executeFew other figures of the German Reformation raised as much controversy as Müntzer, which continues to this day.[1] A complex and unique figure in history, he is now regarded as a significant player in the early years of the German Reformation and also in the history of European revolutionaries.[2] Almost all modern studies of Müntzer stress the necessity of understanding his revolutionary actions as a consequence of his theology: Müntzer believed that the end of the world was imminent and that it was the task of the true believers to aid God in ushering in a new era of history.[3]What Is an Anabaptist?Anabaptist n. New Latin anabaptista, "one who is rebaptized," from Late Greek anabaptizein, "to baptize again."The term anabaptist was used to describe and define certain Reformation-era Christians who rejected infant baptism in favor of believer's baptism.Since many of them had been baptized in their infancy, they chose to be rebaptized as believing adults. Hence, their enemies called them anabaptists -- "re-baptizers."Being labeled anabaptist was neither complimentary nor safe. In fact, for a time it was a sure death sentence.Even though we now embrace that term as part of our identity, it really is an inaccurate term to describe the original Anabaptists. They never considered that any rebaptism took place -- they outright rejected and refuted the entire concept of infant baptism. To them, infant baptism would have been an oxymoron. They would have considered infant and baptism mutually exclusive.The differences between the Anabaptists and the Magisterial Reformers lay much deeper than any outward sign, including that of baptism. The Anabaptists were earnestly concerned with the restitution of the true church on an Apostolic model. The Anabaptists considered the state churches beyond reformation.Here are a few additional tidbits about the Anabaptists: • The era of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation in Europe spawned a number of radical reform groups, among them the Anabaptists. These Christians regarded the Bible as their only rule for faith and life. Because of their radical beliefs, the Anabaptists were persecuted by Protestants as well as by Roman Catholics. • • The evangelical and non-revolutionary Anabaptists of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, were a trial to the leading reformers because of their radical views on the nature of the church and of the Christian ethic. •[...]