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Christian quoter

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

Last Build Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 07:28:11 +0000



Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:55:00 +0000

Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser DONATE OUR PLAN TO PROTECT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGEDear marriage supporter,It is a pleasure to write to you for the first time as the Coalition for Marriage’s new Campaign Director.The war on traditional marriage is being waged as fiercely as ever in Parliament and over the airwaves.To combat this we have been working flat out over the summer to ensure that the Coalition is equipped to meet the challenges of the year ahead.Public advocacy for traditional marriageMy priority for the coming months is ensuring that Coalition for Marriage is a vocal and unapologetic voice for truth in our national life.Our 2017/18 brochure sets out our campaign priorities for the coming year. It explains what the immediate challenges are, why they matter and what we can do about them.Over the coming weeks we will share a number of initiatives which support this. We will also be planning a number of events across the country to meet supporters.In the meantime I have recorded a video explaining why I believe the Coalition’s work is now more important than ever:A new look websiteTo support our campaigning we have refreshed the look and feel of our website – have also acted on the many requests from our supporters for additional donation options. You can now donate using Apple Pay, if using the Safari browser, or by downloading a standing order form.You can also contribute by card as before, and a PayPal option will be live on the site by the end of this week.Please support our new campaignsOur work is impossible without you. It is your donations and the time you spend writing letters and responding to consultations which keeps C4M going.If you support our campaign priorities for the year and are able to contribute to the cost of them then we would be deeply grateful. Thank you to all who have supported us to date and I look forward to working with you.DONATEYours sincerely,Thomas PascoeCampaign DirectorCoalition for Marriage (C4M)[...]

The four ways to look at the E.U.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:06:00 +0000

In recent times nothing has raised political passions in UK as much as Brexit. I observe four kinds of people. The first two have in common their votes are cast on the basis of ideology.

1. Brexiters. I cannot speak for all but I voted Brexit because I have always opposed being ruled by a foreign power which could override our common law heritage. We were undemocratically taken into the Common Market by traitor Heath and the other contemporary parties who lying through their teeth told sit was all about economics, not political involvement. They knew it was a lie and gave the electorate no choice.

2. Remoaners - the ideological remoaners, like Cable, want a re-run of the referendum because they are not democrats. Their basic ideology is for us to be subsumed into a federal E.U.  If you gave me the choice between a federal E.U. and being part of the U.S. I should choose the latter on the basis of a common cultural heritage no/t shared by the E.U. lot.

3. The economic pundits - Brexit is doom and gloom. Trade will suffer. Jobs will be lost. The pound decline. They have their crystal balls and perhaps tarot cards and astrologers with all the accuracy of economists.

4. The indifferent. - The non-voters. I shall ignore them as they ignored the most important vote in my lifetime. They did not speak and now should keep silent.

Most of my family are 1.  A minority are 3 and 4.

September 20: Massacre of French Huguenots (450th anniv.)

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:27:00 +0000

by archivistToday marks the 451st anniversary of the Massacre of French Huguenots at Fort Caroline on September 20, 1565, a tragedy that occurred on the shores of Florida centuries ago. The Spanish commander had a plaque put up after he was finished with his bloody work explaining why he killed the colonists, which included men, women and children: "Not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans [Protestants]."One of those killed in the second phase of the massacre was Admiral Jean Ribault. His last words were to chant Psalm 132, changing the words slightly, "Lord remember the afflictions of your servant Jean. How he swore. . . not to give rest to his eyes, nor slumber to his eyelids, until he found a dwelling place for the mighty God of Jacob."May we remember the Huguenot sacrifice for Christ's kingdom in America on this September day.[...]

William Tyndale

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 03:51:00 +0000

Notes for adult Sunday school 17 Sep 17. I may use them for U3A history too.William Tyndale                 Read 1Cor13 from 1534… analysis of the Authorised Version ….  shows that Tyndale’s words account for 84% of the New Testament, and for 75.8% of the Old Testament books that he translated. - Brian Moynahan, Book of Fire p.1 This book a thriller.NT modern reprint to see.  Original 6x`4x11/2”Travel with …A hell hound in the kennel of the devil - More’s verdict on Tyndale. Biographies are entwined. Both were pious men martyred for their beliefs but very different characters. One ordained. One punished himself for not being a priest. One was driven into exile relying on the gifts of supporters. One Lord Chancellor, rich and an influential politician with the ear of the king. The other an inept man politically alternatively detested, sought, offered protection by H. One beheaded as a traitor on Tower Green, the king being merciful. The other burned as a heretic in Belgium. One canonised saint, man for all seasons but in reality a hater, persecutor, torturer and burner of protestants. The other recognised by his enemies as a godly scholar, a man who influenced the English language more than anyone else. The greatest Englishman God’s providence.A number of partial translations had been made from the seventh century onward, but the spread of Wycliffe's Bible in the late 14th century led to the death penalty for anyone found in unlicensed possession of Scripture in English—though translations were available in all other major European languages.Important Moments in his Life1491 - 1494  His exact date of birth is unknown. Most likely he was born in Gloucestershire, probably from a family living in or near Stinchcombe. Tyndale's family had moved to Gloucestershire at some point in the 15th century, probably as a result of the Wars of the Roses. The family emigrated from Northumberland via East Anglia. Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 21 April 1509, year he married CoA b14851506 - 16 began a Bachelor of Arts degree at Magdalen Hall (later Hertford College) of Oxford University1512 - 20 - B.A.  1514- 22 He was ordained a sub-deacon by the Bishop of Hereford. Being ordained a sub-deacon was one of several stages towards becoming a priest.1515 - 23 M.A. and was held to be a man of virtuous disposition, leading an unblemished life.The M.A. allowed him to start studying theology, but the official course did not include the systematic study of Scripture. As Tyndale later complained:’They have ordained that no man shall look on the Scripture, until he be noselled in heathen learning eight or nine years and armed with false principles, with which he is clean shut out of the understanding of the Scripture.’He was a gifted linguist and became fluent over the years in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. In London he was ordained as a deacon and then as a priest.  Wolsey cardinal and chancellor and  A of York. 2nd highest man in England, above A o Cantuar.1516 - 1522 -24-30 Little is known for certain about his life in these years. He may have spent some time at Cambridge University. Also he may have worked as a priest in Gloucestershire at Frampton on Severn and Breadstone. Erasmus greek NT.1517 and 1521, he went to the University of Cambridge. Erasmus had been the leading teacher of Greek there from August 1511 to January 1512, but not during Tyndale's time at the university.[1517 ML 95 theses He said H was a pig who should be rolled in his own dirt. For H wrote against ML in defence of 7 Sacraments. ™ probable author but Fid. Def received.1521 - chaplain at the home of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury 1521- tutor to his children . His opinions proved controversial to fellow clergymen, and the next year he was summoned before John Bell, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Wo[...]

September 16: On Distant Shores: Early Presbyterian History

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 06:42:00 +0000

by archivistStepping outside of American Presbyterian history for a moment, here is an interesting interpretation as to how persecution worked to the advance of the Church in at least one chapter of church history. This particular passage is also a masterful summary of early Presbyterian history, drawn from the late 19th-century volume, Presbyterians, by George P. Hays (1892), pp. 42-44 :Through the sixteenth century a few adventurers were settling in America, and stable institutions came with the seventeenth to attract the attention of European Protestants as they searched for some refuge from the persecuting power which they could not resist in France, could not fight in Spain, played see-saw with in England, overthrew in Germany, and displaced in Holland and Scotland.FranceIf there had been no persecution in Europe, and the Protestant Church could have had freedom from state interference to fight its own battle before the general reason and conscience, the emigrants to America would perhaps have been more like the first settlers in California, or the first inhabitants in a new oil town. As it was, the intellectual conflict and the physical struggle came on together and intensified each other. Huguenot Synods were held in France, and then suppressed, and then re-allowed. The first regularly organized [Protestant] church [in France] was that of Paris, whose people elected John le Macon pastor, and had a board of elders and deacons, in 1555. In 1559 the first National Synod was held, and according to Calvin’s advice a regular system of Appellate Courts was organized. In September, 1561, Theodore Beza, at the head of twelve Protestant ministers made their plea before royalty. It was claimed that there were then more than two thousand churches and stations. The origin of the name “Huguenot” is not known, but it is believed to have been at first a nickname which grew to honor by the character and conduct of its wearers. They had a stormy history. Francis I. was their enemy. Charles IX. (an effeminate boy in the hands of the Medicis) massacred them at St. Bartholomew. Henry IV., at heart a Huguenot, was a brave soldier and a brilliant man, but he turned Catholic for policy’s sake, and yet protected the Huguenots by issuing the Edict of Nantes. then followed Louis XIII. and Richelieu and Louis XIV. and the revocation of the edict of toleration in 1685. These last events came in the seventeenth century. The sixteenth century had demonstrated the advantage of Protestant emigration, and the seventeenth made it compulsory.HollandIn Holland the struggle was between Protestantism and Phillip II. of Spain. These were the days of the Duke of Alva and William the Silent. To save their religion and their homes and drive out the Spaniards, the Dutch cut the dykes and submerged their farms beneath the sea. But through all this suffering they were organizing a people and defending a country that should, in time, give to the world the Protestant and Presbyterian results of the Synod of Dort. That Synod was the nearest to an interdenominational and ecumenical Synod of any held for the forming of Reformation creeds. It was called to decide the controversy between Arminianism and Calvinism; but the selection of the members made it a foregone conclusion that it would condemn Arminius and support the doctrine of Calvin. As a result the “Canons of Dort” are accepted everywhere as good Augustinian theology, and the Reformed Dutch Church of America, both in the earliest time and in the modern, is thoroughly and soundly Presbyterian. The early Dutch immigrants to this country brought with them their names of Consistory, Classis and Synod, with both ministerial and lay delegates, and between them and the Presbyterians there have never been any controversies in either theology or church government.EnglandBut the main center of American interest in European Presbyterians is found in England. Henry VIII. had[...]

Diary week ending Sept 16th 2017

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 05:49:00 +0000

Sunday 10th SeptOnce again a computer sabbath. I have put on FB photos of our services yesterday showing our two temporary locations though we have been at the morning one for over two years. The joy of church growth. Our superintendent of adult Sunday School announced he had made a mistake and double booked engagements next week so I have volunteered to bring forward my next Reformation Heroes talk on William Tyndale so this week is one for preparation.Paul Levy was back preaching after his two month plus summer break. He was excellent on the hope of the new creation, Is 65, then the start of a series on the Holy Spirit in the evening. I gave him a little something to mark his 14 years as our pastor, a thank you for the blessing that has come to us through his ministry. Mon 11 Sep 17Spent time on sending this but no response from local media to this today. Good news is no news for secularists.Press release from the International Presbyterian Church, West EalingOn Monday September 11th the International Presbyterian Church, Drayton Green , West Ealing is is to commence building work on a £2,200,000 project building a new chapel to seat 300, plus ancillary buildings. Under the 14year ministry of Rev Paul Levy the congregation was more than doubled in size to 120 adult members (plus children) from about 35 different countries and outgrown out present Grade 2 listed chapel bought in 1979 from the nuns of the former St Helena's Home which was next door before demolition by Notting Hill Housing Trust. Plans to build new premises were first made 27 years ago but now building is to start, finishing it is planned in July 2018.Most of the morning I was Great Western Village medical centre in Northolt for the ulcer clinic. My legs were washed and bandaged and seem to be healing. As they are bandaged all the time the only indication I usually have is that the frequency of pain is significantly reduced as is therefore consumption of analgesics. At home I continued to prepare my adult Sunday School class on Tyndale. I also received and accepted a request to lead house group this week so a little more preparation to do. Rachel and Adrian and the children ate dinner with us as their kitchen facilities were affected by the renovations. We reminisced on how we heard the terrible news from new York 16 years ago. Adrian tells me all the church building money is now pledged and the builders instructed to start work on our new IPC buildings.Tues 12 SeptI took a break from my preparation on Tyndale for Sunday School to attend Ealing Lunchtime Talk at the Town Hall. For the first time since hospitalisation I went by bus. It was late and twosome together so I was five minutes late for the start of Gethin Jones's talk on the Parable of the Sower. Afterwards I booked an eye test and did a little grocery shopping.Wed 13 Sep At Civic Ammenity Recycling Centre.We took a load to the dump this morning but she brought me back. This evening I led our house group on IPC Gospel Distinctives, a document from our presbytery which proved to be in need of a glossary for church members e.g atomistic, forensic. First house group after the summer two month break.Thurs 14 SepPreparing for tube to Heathrow, B.A. to Aberdeen and two days of IPC presbytery. Today I plan to research Rutherford's exile in Aberdeen.  at Aberdeen Airport. 12:29 · Aberdeen. Arrived and met with my fellow IPC elder in Aberdeen 14:17 · Looking up Rutherford in the city library. Then a lift and hospitality from members of Trinity IPC here.Friday 15 Septat The Mission Church Aberdeen. sitting on IPC candidates and credentials committee beforeIPC presbytery being addressed by Prof. Donald MacLeod on the threefold offices of Christ, prophet priest and king.Presbytery business until dinner at 6 p.m. then we removed to a suitable hostelry, that is those of us wishing for loca[...]

"Today in Church History" Sept. 14, 1741

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:25:00 +0000

Today we remember the completion of George Fredrick Handel's "The Messiah." Handel completed his composition on this day in 1741. It took Handel twenty-four days to write the piece. 

In a culture that more and more marginalizes Christianity, "The Messiah" is performed by secular musicians during Christmas and Easter. Seldom do people protest the performance of this great work which is full of Biblical references. 

I often wonder what would happen if we taught our teens and young adults English Bible, systematic theology, and apologetics. Then encouraged them to make an influence for Christ in their chosen vocation. 

Perhaps we would have more Christians like Handel making an impact for Christ on our culture. But for this to happen, we must give our youth a solid "World Life View. "Sad to say, this is seldom taught in churches today. SDG 
Pastor Dan Korzep

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Massacre 20 Christians in Plateau State, Niger

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 05:16:00 +0000

AboutContactPower to HelpCommentary & AnalysisDonateOf NoteMORNINGSTAR NEFIRST LIGHT BEFORE THE DAWNNEAR EASTIranIraqIsraelSaudi ArabiaSyriaTurkeyYemenEgyptBahrainJordanKuwaitLebanonOmanPalestinian TerritoriesUnited Arab EmiratesOther Near EastNORTH AFRICAAlgeriaLibyaMoroccoSouth SudanSudanMauritaniaTunisiaOther North AfricaSUB-SAHARAN AFRICAKenyaNigerNigeriaSomaliaTanzaniaUgandaEritreaChadComorosDjiboutiEthiopiaGhanaMaliSouth AfricaZambiaZimbabweOther AfricaEAST ASIA/PACIFICVietnamLaosMalaysiaIndonesiaBurmaChinaAustraliaBruneiCambodiaFijiJapanKorea, SouthKorea, NorthPhilippinesThailandOther East Asia/PacificSOUTH/CENTRAL ASIABangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalPakistanSri LankaAfghanistanKazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistanTurkmenistanUzbekistanOther South/Central AsiaAMERICASArgentinaBoliviaColombiaCubaMexicoCanadaHondurasNicaraguaPeruUnited States of AmericaVenezuelaOther AmericasEUROPE/EURASIAGermanySwedenUnited KingdomBelarusCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGeorgiaHungaryIrelandItalyKosovoLatviaNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSpainUkraineOther Europe/EurasiaApparent reprisal attack included Islamist militants, villagers say.September 11, 2017 By Our Nigeria Correspondent - Sati Ishaya, 9, one of 20 Christians slain in Ancha, Plateau state. (Morning Star News courtesy of family)ANCHA, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen in central Nigeria’s Plateau state massacred 20 Christians, including children, as they slept in the hours after midnight on Friday (Sept. 8) in an apparent reprisal attack that mystified villagers, sources said.Police reportedly said the attack was an act of vengeance after the discovery last week of a slain and beheaded Fulani boy who was a resident of Ancha village, Miango District in the Bassa Local Government Area. But a village Christian told Morning Star News that the area’s terrified residents were at a loss to explain why they were targeted, as the murder of the Fulani took place at another village.“The village where they claim one of them was killed over a year ago is not part of our village, and we have never had any misunderstanding with them in the past,” said John Bulus, church secretary of Salama Baptist Church-Ancha, which lost 19 members in the massacre.Bulus told Morning Star News that Ancha villagers have never had any problems with the Fulani, who have a settlement a few kilometers away. He was able to recognize some but not all of the assailants, and area villagers believe Islamic extremist militants accompanied the herdsmen.“On Saturday, September 2, while we were working on our fields and farms, we saw the Fulanis moving their cattle and families out of their camp, a settlement that is just some few kilometers away from here,” Bulus said. “So we rushed to them to inquire why the sudden departure from camp. They responded by telling us that one of them was some time ago killed in another village 5 kilometers from our village, hence, their decision to move away.”Bulus said the area Christians returned and continued working.“We never knew that these same Fulanis would return to attack us, as there is nothing that warrants an attack on us,” he said.Bulus said nine of the 20 Christians killed were children, ranging in age from 3 months to 17 years old. Along with the 19 Baptists killed, one was member of a Methodist church, he said.Awoken by the sound of gunshots shortly after midnight on Friday (Sept. 8), Bulus quickly went outside to see who was shooting. He said he saw three persons standing with guns in their hands, and that he stood quietly watching them until they shot at him, nearly hitting him before he ran back into his house.“One of them ran after me into the house, and he stood by the door to my room without entering the room or shooting, and after a few minutes he went out to join his colleagues out[...]

The Proms and the EU Cult

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 16:57:00 +0000

The Wee Flea has overtake Archbishop Cranmer as my favourite blogger.

  “Telling people that you voted leave is a bit like coming out as gay in the 1950s, even some of your oldest friends suddenly want nothing more to do with you”
It was great to watch the last night of the Proms on Saturday. But there was one thing that puzzled me. Why were there so many EU flags in the Albert Hall – not in Hyde Park or the other venues in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but in the  main event?  I know the arts/music establishment are of course all on board with the ‘EU is the epitomy of civilisation’ narrative.......Were the BBC embarrassed by Rule Britannia,  Pomp and Circumstance, Jerusalem and the jingoism of it all? why did Swansea and Glasgow leave before the rule Britannia? After all it is Britons who shall Britons, ‘never, never never shall be slaves’.
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But let’s return to the EU flags.  It was so incongruous to have land of Hope and Glory accompanied by the waving of EU flags in the Albert Hall.   At first I thought it must be the BBC trying to offer some of the celebrated “balance” that they boast about – but don’t often practice.   But in fact it was a pro-EU group who spent £4000 buying up flags and handing them out to promenaders as they entered the building. It’s quite incredible how Britain’s elites have developed this fetish for the EU, as though it is some kind of replacement religion.   In this week’s Spectator there was this marvellous little anecdote which illustrates the point perfectly –  “Telling people that you voted leave is a bit like coming out as gay in the 1950s, even some of your oldest friends suddenly want nothing more to do with you” Baroness Ruth Deech the former principal of St Anne’s College, Oxford.     Being pro Brexit may make you weird from the perspective of Britain’s metro elites –  but being against same-sex marriage or abortion apparently makes you unelectable and insane!

Bias against ethnic minorities 'needs to be tackled' - or does it?

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 09:35:00 +0000 the article telling us ' People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds make up 25% of the prison population in England and Wales and 41% of the youth justice system, despite these groups being 14% of the general population,  .......Mr Lammy said it was "well established" that there was an over-representation of people from minority backgrounds in the criminal justice system, but his report was about looking at their "treatment and outcomes"....Mr Lammy said: "It is clear to me that BAME individuals still face bias."Do they? Later 'The report points out black children are more than twice as likely to grow up in a lone parent family, and black and mixed ethnic boys are more likely than white boys to be permanently excluded from school.' So are schools prejudiced? Or do single parent families produce less disciplined and therefore more lawless children? The report is yet another manifestation of the fallacy of proportionality. If a disproportionate percentage of offenders come from one particular ethnicity, logic does not mean bias in the justice system. It probably means that group is more given to that kind of criminality.To reinforce my argument look at the proportions of people in prison by sex? Are courts biased against men or is it that men are more likely to be criminals? Look at the proportions on people in prison by religion. Why are the numbers of Muslims  a far far higher proportion in prison than in the general population? Are courts biased against Muslims or are Muslims more likely to be offenders due to lack of respect for British law?So back to the report. Lammy should be asking why may BAMEs are more lawless not looking merely at court bias. He should start with some analysis of diverse groups within BAMEs. He will find some gross disparities. [...]

Loving parents could be criminalised: Please pray

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 04:30:00 +0000

What has the UK come to where it could be criminal to smack a child but to teach it the delights of buggery is fine?The Scottish Government has announced that it will support a Bill to criminalise parental smacking.The proposal mirrors a plan for Wales announced last year by First Minister Carwyn Jones.This is a huge threat to families in Scotland. Even the mere suspicion of parental smacking could see children removed from their parents and questioned by government officials.It is important that Christians and others speak out against this massive state intrusion into family life now.Smacking is not child abuse. It is one of many ways for parents to discipline their children and an important one which should not be illegal. There is a clear difference between child abuse and loving parental discipline.Banning smacking would involve massive state intrusion into family life. It would turn thousands of loving mothers and fathers into criminals overnight, diverting resources away from tackling genuine cases of child abuse.The present law should be left as it is. Unreasonable physical punishment is already treated as assault but ordinary parental smacking is rightly allowed.Loving parenting should not come under scrutiny from state officials.Please pray that many will speak out against the plans, that there will be widespread and fair media coverage, and ultimately that both proposed bans would be defeated.Yours in Christ,Colin HartDirectorThe Christian InstituteWhy the proposed ban on parental smacking is so wrongBanning smacking will overwhelm police and social workers with trivial reports so that real cases of child abuse are missed.Loving parents should not be criminalised. A smacking ban would turn thousands of parents into criminals overnight while doing little to stop bad parents abusing children.It should be the role of parents to decide whether or not to smack their children, rather than the Government’s. The state should not be using the criminal law to regulate how parents bring up their children.The public strongly opposes a ban on smacking. A ComRes poll in Wales earlier this year found that 76% of adults were against criminalising smacking, while only 11% were in favour.Smacking is not child abuse. There is a clear difference between child abuse and loving parental discipline.Some say “children should have the same protection as adults”. But children are not adults. For obvious reasons, children are not allowed to drive, marry or own a firearms licence. Children are dependent on their parents to teach them right from wrong and physical discipline is a loving way of doing so.It’s bad for children, families and society when children are not properly disciplined.Most adults were smacked when they were children – polls asking about this routinely show over 80%. They do not resort to violence to solve their problems, nor do they think their parents were child abuser[...]

"Today in Church History" Sept. 6, 1620

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 03:45:00 +0000

Today we remember an important date in American church history. On this day in 1620, a group of people left Plymouth, England, and sailed for the new world. 
On the Mayflower were 101 passengers and 43 crew members. Around 35 of the passengers were separatist.They separated themselves from the Church of England. Later the people on the Mayflower would be called Pilgrims. 
When I was a young boy, the teachers in my school often made this statement. "The Pilgrims came to America to find religious freedom. They wanted to worship God in their own way."
That statement is a little off target. The Pilgrims were not seeking freedom to worship God in their own way. They were seeking the freedom to worship God according to teachings of the Bible.
I admire the Pilgrims for taking the time to study the theology of worship. God has revealed in His Word how He wants us to worship Him. If we took the time to investigate the theology of worship from the Bible, perhaps there would be fewer fights over church music. SDG
Pastor Dan Korzep

On statues and time

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 06:58:00 +0000

An interesting part of the debate in the US has been citing the time the confederacy statues were erected to bolster the view that they are racist. I must admit I have never come across a person of colour defending the Confederacy. Those I know who defend it do so on the grounds not of race and slavery but states' rights and those on the other side tell me it was always about slavery, states' rights is a smokescreen. Wee that be as it may I too see we have those in the US who have Confederate sympathies but like Lee those seem to be based on geography, kith and kin.
   Similarly in Nigeria we still, 47 years after the end of Biafra, have Igbos who are fans of a Biafra though I am unaware of statues to Ojukwu.
   In UK, it seems it took until the Victorian era before statues were erected to Puritans or Reformers. Ones to RC heroes/saints came later. Now we only have the clamour against the memory of those associated with slavery, Colson in Bristol and allegedly Nelson. Rhodes should go as an imperialist. No-one has AFAIK called for Havelock to be removed from Trafalgar Square though British Indians in Southall have wanted his name removed from the road where the new big Sihk temple is. Even I would raise no objections to the demolition of the Duke of Sutherland.
   But the UK anomaly is Charles Edward Stuart. Personally he is no bonnie prince to me but a drunken papist rebel. Yet his statue was erected in 1815 only 70 years after his rebellion was brutally suppressed. So quick it must mean the Hanoverians felt secure. Jacobinism was dead. This is presumably borne out by the fact that I know plenty who are anti-monarchy in UK today, but no-one is a Jacobite.

Films viewed in September 17

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 10:57:00 +0000

1.  Far From The Madding Crowd - Carey Mulligan (Actor), Michael Sheen (Actor), Thomas Vinterberg (Director)  

Beautifully filmed with good acting but why why cannot we have clear dialogue? Talking in church during a hymn is bad manners. It was impossible to overhear clearly. There were other sloppy sound reproduction of diction too, hence only four star.
   I remember the Julie Christie version but it is so long ago I cannot compare, in fact I had forgotten the plot. I usually enjoy Hardy dramatised. Love the period. But once again the plot really is Hardy the unrealistic romantic. If is wears red uniform he will be a rogue unworthy of the affections of the silly misguided heroine who in this case cannot recognise two good suitable suitors and falls for the blaggard. It may be unrealistic romance but it is most enjoyable.

Books read September 2017

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 10:38:00 +0000

1. The Givenness Of Things by Marilynne Robinson I have enjoyed her novels and was pleased to find a writer not only identifying as Christian but Calvinist too. So I was keen to get to grips with some of her non-fiction. If her novels are slow moving, with this book the reader needs to go slow to take it all in and a dictionary is advisable too.    Christian, very much so but from a mail-line Congregational denomination. The basics of trinitarian orthodoxy and Christology are strongly presented as is a critique of anything reductionist or materialistic. The Enlightenment was not enlightened enough -not by the Light of the World. Universalism seems to be denied yet I detect hints of affirmation in a common fatherhood of God for all. Substitutionary propitiatory atonement is described and rejected. I am unsure about her views on sin, especially original sin.   Before I look at her Calvinism I will printout one blaring error on p 153 where she talks of a Bible written in 1892 with RSV text. IIRC the RSV did not appear until later century. The text should be Revised Version not RSV. I am not clever enough to find any other mistakes and can only marvel at her literary scholarship. It is her profession as a Shakespearean scholar. Was intrigued to learn the Calvin was the most influential author in England at the time of the Bard.   But her Calvinism. She proclaims it all the time but does not define it in so many words. It is nothing it seems to do with the normal five point configuration. Only election in the form of predestination is given in depth treatment, and that really on predestination not election. She ofter alludes to or quotes Calvin but for a serious academic where are the references? I see there are some given in the end notes but they do not appear complete and footnotes would be more helpful. The same applies to Locke. Also, why no index?    On her politics, that is much easier to pin down. She is way left of centre IMO. Marriage equality is good. Concealed carry is cowardice. She really rails against US gun law, or lack of it. She laments the gravitation of conservative Christians to right wing politics. Having read Schaeffer on ugly orthodoxy I can have some sympathy with her but FAS was more concerned with ugly theological orthodoxy than with right of centre politics. So she is a curates egg of both theology and politics. But a very stimulating read.2.  The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation 1800-2000 (Christianity and Society in the Modern World) by Callum G. Brown Another curate's egg. The description of Christian Britain up to the sixties is most revealing. Especially encouraging is to read of Chalmers as the pioneer of evangelism by pastoral visitation starting in early 19th century Glasgow and the birth of home missions. There is perhaps an unbalanced emphasis on evangelical conformity but one does learn a lot about a very different world of Christian culture. The later part of where we have gone downhill is not so gripping nor edifying. I do not see enough emphasis on liberal theology nor the growth of black churches and charismatics nor Christian lobby groups.3. Samuel Rutherford in Aberdeen by John M BrentnallI went to Aberdeen for a presbytery meeting and thought I would look to see where Rutherford was exiled in 1636 for writing against the Arminianism of the episcopalian established church. This book is rich on the spirituality of Rutherford in the city but says nothing of the relation of where he stayed to the geography of the modern city. Ones in need of a volume, "Travel with  Samuel Ruthe[...]

Diary w/e 9 Sep 17

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 09:55:00 +0000

Sunday 3rd SeptAs usual my computer/FB/email sabbath. Our adult Sunday School classes resumed with record, room filled attendance for the start of a series on revelation, the theological discipline not the book. Morning sermon was Gothic Jones again this time on the Magnificat - and why Christians sing. Talked to visitors from Bournemouth, Poland and Australia. Evening was outstanding from Chris Roberts on the conclusion of Ps 23. God shows his friendship for us by means of a victory meal in the presence of defeated enemies like death. One of the pleasures of church life is seeing babies come, grow into infants, children then teens and believing adults. There is a similar progression which is more rarely observed, that of a worship leader and preacher. Chris Roberts has grown by leaps and bounds over the years into a very capable leader and an outstandingly able preacher. Yesterday's sermon was really top class. This is not in any way to adversely compare Gethin in the morning. Morning sermons are not so well received by me. Nothing to do with the preacher but I am alert in the evenings usually whereas I tend to be dopey in the mornings. I have slept through the best of preachers, even, IIRC the Doctor in my younger days - when I was not even so dopeyMonday 4th SepIPC session meeting at Dean Hall. Pictures on FB. Our largest ever meeting with elders from three churches, men under care with one from a fourth church and then men preparing to be ruling elders. IPC originally did not distinguish ruling and teaching elders but we have moved towards a more traditional structure. One distinctive we have retained is that all elders being apt to teach are able to administer the sacraments.Tuesday 5 SeptI have been digging and weeding each morning before breakfast but have been told to desist due to mud into the house. I will be resuming when the ground is not so soft.I had to prepared for U3A World religions on The Trinity. For the past two months another member was scheduled to lead on Mithraism. Then one day before he tells me he has an hospital appointment. Surely he knew this some time ago? So I did my 12th man act stepping into the breech. It went well with six ladies my group, all but one from a Christian background originally but some not professing faith now. I also had one Muslim contributing. Unfortunately our Jewish member was absent.Wednesday 6 SeptNurses visited and changed by compression bandaged on my legs. However in future I have to go to the nurses in Northolt. Not a place to find easy parking. In the evening we had the first of our IPC monthly prayer meetings at Dean Hall. Around 30 there with a good spirit. We pray as a meeting and also in small groups of four or so.Thursday 7 SepLords was a good day. Once again I proved the walking stick is a magic charm even on the most crowded of trains. A seat is vacated for the old man with the stick. Al Lord's I was given priority admission, no queue and even had a steward offer to carry my bag up the steps into the stand at mid-wicket. Once again I found a seat sold cheaper for it was called restricted view did in fact suffer little restriction, in this case a small part of the boundary obscured where I think I missed a couple of fours only. Half an hour lost to bad light and drizzle but seeing West Indies all out for 123. England stumbled to 46-4 by the close The day belonged Stokes with 6 for 22, the best bowling I have ever seen at a game I attended. My only regret was I forgot my camera for more pictures of the home of cricket's full house.Friday 8 SepOur move preparations are well underway. First to be sorted was the garden shed. I [...]

On losing weight on pain of death

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 03:32:00 +0000

33lb = 15Kg lost in August. 11.2%. Yesterday I wore a shirt that was tight when I was given it some years ago. By last year it was too tight to wear. Now it is pleasantly loose on me. You cannot trust modern fabrics! Much better for the loss but I do not recommend my regime of heart failure which was most distressing, followed by diuretics which are prescription only. Heart failure was grim. The cardiologists, and I have had the unusual blessing of the advice of three consultants in different locations, do not know why the failure but their best reasoning is weakening of the heart by irregular beats after surgery six months ago. Also mentioned was a silent and symptomless heart attack. It presented as slowly increasing shortness of breath which was not too distressing until the night I found it was hard to breathe lying down. Now that was bad. I suspect it was like water boarding but dry. Asphyxiation is worse than acute pain in terms of distress. For the first time in my life I was thinking that I was on the edge of Jordan and about to cross over. I was not in any fear of the far shore. I have assurance of life in Christ , of sin forgiven. I have no unfinished business, no forgiveness to be sought from anyone here that I am aware of. I was ready but concluded my family are not. So best not to go yet. Having seen death come quickly and seen it linger for months and years I know which looks preferable to the one departing. But for the family and friends, the one is a sudden shock, the other a sharing in suffering. It is a non-choice between the lesser of two evils. A non-choice because it is not ours to make. I love Bunyan's portrayal of crossing Jordan in Pilgrim's Progress part 2. Sometimes the water is shallow, sometimes a flood. What matters is not the depth of the water - or how long the crossing - what matters is knowing the trumpets will sound on the other side. So I guess my concern when I knew I was in the valley of the shadow, was not so much for myself as for those who would be left behind on the shore. This contrasts with perhaps the only other time I feared not so much death as serious injury. It was 26 December 1964. My father was driving his Hillman Minx estate. No seat belt worn and a dashboard with some long switches. My ten year old brother was front passenger. I was in the rear seats with my girlfriend. I saw a Rover 2000 coming round the bend ahead overtaking alongside a Mini. I thought there is no way we are missing a head on collision. Impact speed would be in excess of 100mph as there was no time to brake. My next thought was as I picked myself up from a foetal like ball behind the front passenger seat was how badly hurt am I. It was selfish if natural. Everyone else was far worse than me. My father and brother were in hospital for weeks and there were permanent effects. My girlfriend had a bloody face from a cut but was not so bad at all. All I had was a very badly strained back and two broken metacarpal bones in my left hand. I had been concussed but did not realise it as the hospital did not put the question as to whether I could remember the moment of impact. I could not. But my point in relating this 53 year old story, is that then my first concern was for myself. This time I was more concerned for others so perhaps I have changed for the good. But as I said, treatment for heart failure is not recommended as a weight loss strategy. It works but not a way of choice. Self medication with diuretics is not a legal option. not with diuretics of prescription strength, the ones I describe as stand and deliver medicines [sit if you are female :-) ]. Past attemp[...]

When a Christian unwed teen tells her parents she is pregnant.

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 03:02:00 +0000

I found this article very interesting because I know of at least one instance where the failure of parents to react with grace to such news had long lasting adverse effects. Do you know of parents or unwed mothers who faced this and what the outcome was? IMO it is a situation that any girl's parents might face.I was an unwed teen and had to tell my pastor father. What happened next was an incredible shockBy Angel Holscher Hatfield*, Special to ASSIST News ServiceLOS ANGELES, CA (ANS – August 30, 2017) -- Pregnant and unwed teenager Maddi Runkles was the subject of countless news reports earlier this year after the administration at her private Christian high school refused to allow her to walk in its graduation ceremonies in order to “teach a lesson regarding her immorality.”While I understand the school’s desire to teach their students lessons about the consequences of sin, I also think the events in Maddi’s life could have provided students with a lesson about grace -- the grace that caused Jesus to tell a woman living in sin “neither do I condemn you -- go and sin no more.” I know something about this. You see, once upon a time, I was Maddi Runkles. I also became pregnant outside of marriage while barely out of my teen years.Rebelliousness had set in and I skated in sin believing the big lie that there were more pleasures to be found in this world than in God.Driven by fear I hid my pregnancy for five months, and I knew that the shame and guilt I carried would only amplify -- plus usher in condemnation once others learned my secret. Was I up for this?Like Maddi Runkles I was raised in a Christian home where we upheld Christian principles and embraced Biblical values. In fact my father was a pastor -- and this further enhanced my anxiety as I struggled to tell my parents about my pregnancy. It weighed heavily on me, especially in knowing that another decision - a secret one to not have my baby could rid me of being shamed by others.The day I finally mustered up the strength and courage and confided in my father, something extraordinary happened;My father’s shoulders sagged and he hung his head. Momentarily we sat in silence, me holding my breath awaiting his reaction while wearing the weight of his certain disappointment and possible anger. Then there was the indescribable and overwhelming feeling of shame that washed over me in waves.My father finally raised his head and looked at me with tears in his eyes. “Honey,” he said, “I am so disappointed. I am.”Now it was my turn to hang my head.“And you have made poor choices which now have consequences,” he continued.“It won't be easy -- and there will be struggles and a hard path ahead of you. But I love you -- and now I figure I have been given more to love.”Wait, what?! My mouth was agape. Before I could respond my father got up from his chair and reached over and wrapped me in his arms and simply held me.It was just what I needed and not anything I expected.Tears ran down my face, “I am so sorry, dad. I am so sorry! Will you forgive me?”“Of course.”What I encountered was something I had never fully grasped before though I had been taught for years.Grace.I didn't get what I deserved, but I certainly fully received what I had been taught.Grace swept over me and unleashed its power connecting both with my head and and my heart.The only way I can describe it is that grace is the gift of a big exhale. -- Holding one’s breath and waiting for what most certainly should come to receiving a “get free pass” that one would absolutely not expect.That grace moment propell[...]

On changing Bible versions and the next one.

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:03:00 +0000

I am firmly KJVO. KJV Once upon a time when I was young and when newly converted in a tradition that used it, my parents' and their parents' generations and beyond to 1611. ( I am told that 1611 was not the change date as they held on to their Geneva bibles for several decades.) Since then I have matured through RSV, NIV and ESV. RSV was around 1964 to 1984. I listened to Lloyd-Jones expound from KJV at Westminster Chapel 64 to 67 but it was archaic. The first task was to understand English then Scripture. My contemporaries at university and beyond were RSV, and it was a revision of the KJV or AV as we called it. Yes one knew of a few liberal blips but no real problem. Then from around 1984 to 2008, NIV. Our church used it an it had become the evangelical version of choice. For accurate study I has a NASB but its literalness made for poor public reading which is where NIV excelled. Then along came the revisions of the NIV and inclusive pronouns etc. Our church changed and so dis I. So 2008 to date, ESV and I do not anticipate another change. Heaven? Little is hnown of the intermediate state or the language version used. But onto permanence. New Heavens and New Earth? Will we have Bibles? I am stopping now. I honestly have never before asked the question. I am having conflicting thoughts about not needing one and God's word not passing away. So my timeline is
1946 - 1964 KJV = AV
1964 - 1984 RSV
1984 - 2008 NIV
2008 - date ESV
If I believed in numerical progression I should find out about the intermediate state in 2032 or 2040. But no-one knows when they will cross over. Like the second coming, it could be later today. Realistically one might expect more signs of my departure than that of the Lord's return.

Ealing IPC Chapel

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 11:55:00 +0000

On 14 July 1912, Adeline, Duchess of Bedford laid the foundation stone of The Chapel of the Holy Cross, to serve the nuns and girls housed in St Helena's Home, West Ealing. The architect, Sir Nina Cooper built in the style of the first ever buildings erected for churches, Roman basilica.                                                    Buying the premises in 1979, the International Presbyterian Church within the tradition of reformation iconoclasm, removed crucifix and alter. Note it was an altar not a table. I am told it was incorporated into the patio of a church member. When the convent building was to be demolished for social housing, the local civic society called in English Heritage. They said the main building was of no merit but placed a Grade II listing on the chapel.                                              Chapel, convent and linking corridor.                                                                        The pictures date from after 1967 when the chapel was rearranged by architect Roy Pennison. The cedar was cut down illegally by developers who bought the convent building,  selling it to Notting Hill Housing Trust for demolition. It was well over 100 years old.I have a copy f the 1919 report of St Helena's Home. 30 June 1896 the foundation stone had been laid. October 6 1897, home, laundry and a chapel were opened. Ours is the later chapel. The home accommodated up to forty girls to save them from prison, mainly for theft. Ages were 14 to 25. They stayed two years learning housework, needlework, laundry and cooking. 27 girls entered in 1919. 33 in the house suffered from the world wide flu epidemic but no deaths recorded. Five girls left for service, one to nurse, one telephonist and ten returned to their friends. The home rightly claimed a better record of rehabilitation than that of prison.The chapel was typically anglophone-catholic with architecture for sacrament not preaching. Preaching is best with a flat ceiling, solid wall behind the preacher and no echo. The IPC installed wall hangings to stop the echo.I have a photo of a mosaic which looks like an icon of a female. Does anyone know if this was taken by the nuns who returned to Wantage? Some years ago half of the left for a Roman order.[...]

Films seen in August 2017

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 05:39:00 +0000

1. Dunkirk

Lots of hype about this and reviews read and reports from friends all good except for the secularisation, missing out the national day of Prayer from Evangelicals now.
   My first thing to say is that us going to the cinema is a rare event. Last there on the opening day of Les Mis. Nothing intros visit is likely to persuade me to take up cinema good.
   First moan. Due Cinema's; online booking is user extremely unfriendly if you have to enter voucher codes. I probably took almost as long to book online plus three phone calls as it did to watch the film.
   Seats comfortable but as before, sound unpleasantly loud, commercials pushy for consumer goods on sale in foyer and interminable trailers for films to come, most of which I would pay to stay away from. Sci/fi and fantasy utter rubbish.
   But to Dunkirk. The first film I have seen which is meant to give you an experience. It assumes you know the story. Hundreds of thousands of troops stuck on the beach.The German army resting its tanks allows the Luftwaffe to strafe and bomb like ducks set up in rows. The discipline is extraordinary. Dialogue is minimal. The viewer is to let it all wash over them. The poor soldiers complain about lack of RAF protection. The RAF had to stay and protect its bases. It was a fight for the whole war, not only this battle. It ended with Churchill's speech. I would have liked to have heard the quote from the commander of the operation. It is on the wall of his command post in Dover castle and is to the effect that, "It is sometimes granted to a general to command a victory, but not a miracle'. Over 300,000 evacuated not the tens of thousands expected.A miracle? Yes if you believe God commands the weather.
   I noted two things missing. Prayer. I do not recall anyone praying. Badly unrealistic. Welcome unrealism. No swearing. One more absence. No Americans. Enough said of late arrivals to partys.. Other near absences - one person of colour. Probably proportionate. A handful of women, nursing or making tea and sandwiches. Proper place during combat.
   Final thoughts are two. I am thankful I was born after the end of the war and not before it like my father.Then the amazing absence of my father from that beach. All the Royal Artillery recruits with whom he trained finished up on the beech. Gunner Weeks, my father, and his sergeant, Day, were the two not sent to France. Dad reckons some officer had a sense of humour missing out Day and Weeks. Dad was sent to Yorkshire, met my mother and so I can write this ramble of a review. A film to be experience but one viewing is enough for me. My return to view on the big screen could be years away.

Diversity in representation of the people

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 03:43:00 +0000

In a representative democracy with a first past the post system you elect one person as your representative as say MP or councillor. One often hears things like, "Women are under-represented' meaning there are fewer women than men elected. But your representative is there as a human being representing you as a human being. Men may represent women. The imbalance is not a sign of male chauvinism but of the problems peculiar to women in standing as representatives like the time taken up by duties caring for the family. Similarly to say various ethnicities or religions are under-represented assumes wrongly that only a person of a given ethnicity or religion can represent people with those backgrounds. But that is not the way it works. However, when the mix among the representatives differs widely from the mix in the constituency there may be a problem.
    I had a look at Ealing Council. I have not as yet looked up the statistics for Eaing's ethnic and religious diversities but there are very diverse populations. From a quick personal survey of the councillors listed in Around Ealing, I estimate 28 out of 69 are British Asian, 41 are white British or Irish.
   The estimated religious mix is 8 Muslim, 8 Sikh  11 Hindu and the rest 42 Christian or other religion or none. I do not see any great imbalances here except in a few wards including my own, Perivale,where all three councillors are British Asian with two Muslim and one Hindu. Those diversities or lack them are not a mirror of the Perivale population. Should one be concerned? BTW 23 out of 69 councillors are female.

War in Vietnam

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:17:00 +0000

Today I met a Vietnamese family, mother and two daughters. The elder daughter awaits results of an MA in law at Bristol. She told me it was rare to find a British person who could talk about Vietnam's history.  I explained I had been a young graduate when Vietnam was constantly in the headlines. It turned out that her grandfather was a war hero, decorated for rescuing a Vietcong fellow soldier when under fire from the American enemy. I said how grateful I was that the UK was not involved in the war as it was my American contemporaries who were drafted or dodging one way or another. Like the Presbyterian who could claim he was still a Mennonite and so join the peace corps instead. I think it was the working class, black and white who were drafted. I found out the reasons the two sides fought were very different. I remember the great American fight to stop the spread of communism. My Vietnamese friends said it was all about American colonialism and imperialism. 'Wad some power the gift tae give us tae see ourselves as others see us.' I said the way the war was conducted was unpopular here and eventually in US too.

Diary week ending 2 Sept 2017

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 02:59:00 +0000

Sunday 27 Aug 17Once again the unseasonable weather continues. It is beautifully sunny and warm on a Bank Holiday weekend. Gethin Jones our second assistant minister  (this is the first time our church has had a minister and two assistants working full time) preached morning and evening from Ruth 4 and 1 John 1-2. Evening service we were for the first time at Dean Hall. This century old building s the only one of its vintage in the middle of an estate of social housing flats adjacent to the main Uxbridge Road through West Ealing. On foot it is less than half a mile from our chapel but that is a walk by footbridge over the Paddington main line tracks. On Sunday mornings a small Brethren assembly meets there but the active elder and trustee, Davis Smith, has worshipped at IPC on Sunday evenings for several years and he is allowing us to use Dean Hall Sunday evenings and fall all our activities throughout the week until our new building is finished,. This is a wonderfully gracious provision for us and we trust will be a blessing on the witness of Dean Hall. I forgot the camera so pictures to follow. We has both our assistant ministers to lunch. The other man, Chris Roberts, is a big fan of my tandoori chicken which I cooked for lunch. Both Gethin and Chris are under care of our IPC presbytery, that is they are in training for ordination.Monday 28 AugWent to view our new house. Had arranged a time via the agent. Knocked and knocked as three was a car at the front. Eventually an elderly oriental lady opened the door. She knew nothing of our visit. She was an AirB&B tenant. She had little English. Her daughter, a Vietnamese MA student at Bristol let us in. We had a good chat on Vietnam and its history, especially the war. But though we looked round we could not enter one room which was locked. Was the owner there? We left with me fuming at this vendor who had kept Deb and I waiting two weeks to view his property.   David arrived with our two Canterbury grandchildren and their dog Inki who has changed my outlook on small dogs. I had not been a fan until Inki who is so friendly and quiet. Too quiet sometimes. It is too easy to tread on her. Only then is she noisy, or when she sees another dog.Tuesday 29 AugDavid dropped me at the Town hall for an excellent lunchtime talky an Anglican from Tunbridge Wells. At present I am banned from driving, not be the law but by Katy. Is it my bad legs, heart or sight that bothers her. I am happy to be a passenger, a driven man.  In the evening, after an excellent if rushed Indian takeaway, we went to the cinema for Dunkirk.See this experience reviewed on this blog.Wednesday 30 Aug.David and family were visiting a friend in the morning leaving the dog here which complicated life when Deb brought her three Levy children for the day. Their home is being extended and electricity was disconnected. Is I taught Noah and Ellie how to play Uno which they seemed to enjoy. They were afraid of Inki but their little sister Phoebe, a Dons child, was more at home with the dog. In the evening Debbie kindly took me to or first ever IPC prayer meeting at Dean Hall. See pics on FB. Excellent time of prayer led by assistant minister, Gethin.Thurs 31 AugViewed the new house with the agent there saw all of it. Photos added on FB. David and family returned home to Canterbury.Friday 1st SeptemberThis morning I sorted church files from 1979 to 2001 recovered from a church filin[...]

Signs of the times -- A famous clock and a total eclipse

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 02:22:00 +0000

As I do not believe there are any signs to be observed to indicate the immanence of the parousia I totally dissent from seeing prophetic significance in the eclipse or any recent history,especially the establishment of the state of Israel. But the first part is spot on.Signs of the times -- A famous clock and a total eclipseBy Charles Gardner, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)LONDON, UK (ANS – August 25, 2017) -- After more than 150 years of continuous chiming on the hour, Big Ben has temporarily ceased to gong. And I believe it begs the question of whether time is running out for the once Great Britain.The four-year moratorium on the famous bell is so that repairs can be made without bursting the eardrums of the workers. And judging by the TV footage I have seen, there are serious cracks in the structure.And yet MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have protested at what they consider to be this unnecessary deference to health and safety regulations.This speaks rather aptly of their not wishing to face up to the decadence of our nation: short-term thinking that spells eventual disaster.The general wisdom on political matters is that ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’. But it surely does not apply in this case.However, I do feel that God is speaking clearly through this episode – and it’s more than a facelift we need.There has been talk for some time about MPs having to move out of the Commons while repairs are made to the crumbling foundations adjacent to the iconic clock. But that conversation has also gone rather quiet.All of which is a perfect picture of the state of the nation thanks in large part to the diabolical laws passed in these hallowed buildings.What a shocking betrayal of our esteemed forefathers who, inspired by their Christian faith, campaigned for laws -- including the abolition of slavery and child labour -- that set an example of moral righteousness to the rest of the world.It is well to remind ourselves that our Parliament is quite literally built on the word of God – its very floor is inscribed in Latin with the words of Psalm 127, verse 1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” But in the past 50 years we have seen Parliament agree to one law after another that flatly contradicts biblical truth along with everything we have stood for as a nation for hundreds of years.Among the most heinous of these was the Abortion Act, which has seen the legalised murder of nine million unborn children. And yet, in our topsy-turvy politically-correct world, we have heard little about the horrors of this subject 50 years on while at the same time being bombarded with “celebrations” of the decriminalisation of homosexuality – another law passed in 1967.Life is cheap while evil is flagged up as good, and good as evil (Isaiah 5.20). We are on shaky ground indeed, quite literally in the case of our Parliament, once the envy of the world.Unless our leaders -- political and spiritual -- face up to our moral decadence and make way for major repairs in the form of a return to the Rock of Christ on which our civilisation was built, the whole Westminster edifice and all it stands for may come crashing down around our ears.I believe that God’s judgment is at the door, but we are not alone. The West in general is collapsing and America in particular is in great trouble. The eclipse of the sun [...]