Thursday, 22 November 2012

Get with the program, fools!

Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron urged the church to resolve the schism and swiftly approve female bishops. "I'm very clear the time is right for women bishops, it was right many years ago," Cameron said.
"They need to get on with it, as it were, and get with the program. But you do have to respect the individual institutions and the way they work, while giving them a sharp prod."
In case you needed use of the not-so-secret decoder ring...

Get with the program = follow the dictates of secular humanism.

Modernise / it was right years ago = we require you to agree with secular humanism; no other view-points are acceptable to us.

Giving them a sharp prod = face the wrath of our secular deity, i.e. co-ercive central government.

We know that David Cameron professes to be a Christian. Of how is heart is before God, I have little knowledge. But if you analyse his speeches and proclamations like this one, you'll see that his ruling paradigm, his basic understanding of the world and how it should go, is framed at every important point by the secular humanist narrative. Functionality, he's a classic post-sexual-revolution secularist. Did you think his job was to manage the civil government? That's not what he thinks. His job includes to prod churches which aren't yet in line with the doctrines of feminism and humanism in the right direction. Did you think he should spend his time on improving his government's economic management etc.? He thinks it's his job to bring social revolution in the very definition of marriage, etc.

To secularists, state trumps everything. The prime minister feels no embarrassment, no need to hide the fact that he thinks it's his job to tell churches what they ought to believe and practice. That's what all secularists think; it's part of their idolatrous Jesus-rejecting religion.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Thankful always

We should always give thanks to God, says the Bible. And we should - because it's right to do so. Every pleasure is from him. Failing to give thanks causes us to lose sight of this. Thankfulness is an indispensable part of the road to spiritual strength and being a useful disciple in the world.

Lots of bloggers post about the deep and meaningful conversations they've had with their very small sprogs. That's great, and we should do more to listen and interact with even the smallest children as thinking beings, made in the image of God.

But on the other hand, we should worship God no less in our hearts when they think what they just learnt to do with a computer is absolutely hilarious...

10 INPUT "What is your name?" NAME$
20 PRINT NAME$ ;" is a fat hairy monster!"

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

She expects me to do whaattt??

This week's "Money Saving Expert" email poses this "dilemma"...
This week's MoneySaver asks... My girlfriend's recently moved away to study. Though I want to see her on weekends, it's not cheap to travel. I've suggested we go halves, since I normally pay the fare to go to her, but she thinks she shouldn't contribute as I'm earning and she's not. However, I don't earn much and while I know she's worse off than me, I think it's a little unfair I should effectively pay to see her.
Imagine that... having to deal with expenses that arise when courting a lady! This woman apparently is reluctant to pay to be courted. The cheek of it! If things develop then she'll probably expect you to provide a loving, safe home environment too one day, and other stuff which no real man should get involved in.

We advise the fellow that he'd best dump the scrounger whilst there's still time. He should hunt around to find someone who expects nothing. Such a lady will surely not end up disappointed...

As we keep saying, modern secular freedom is simply re-packaged, cunningly marketed, slow-burn slavery. In the above "dilemma", the issue arises because there's no remaining cultural expectation that developing a relationship with a potential life-partner is a privilege to be earned and which a man should show himself worthy for, rather than an equal right to be demanded. Supposedly the sexual revolution liberated women... but the end results inevitably included "liberating" men from their responsibilities to be men. The result is that both men and women lose.

I will take them!

Great reminder of the gospel from Guy Davies -

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The agents of death and their attempts to silence the truth

I note that the agents of death, as is their usual tactic, are using the US election result to proclaim that everybody who does not agree with them must leave the debate now.

When the agents of death have an electoral setback, their friends in the press say "it's time to re-group and try again". But when they have an electoral advance, they say "now it's time for those who disagree with us to shut up and never utter their view-point again; it's permanently out-of-date, abolished, and you must never again let it echo in the halls of the sensible and wise". That seems to have worked, sadly, on the UK electoral scene - there's now a pro-abortion consensus across the political spectrum because, you know, not being in favour of the death of innocents is, well, swivel-eyed; or so we are told. And we're told it so often - it must be true...?

Time to re-publish a blog post from just over four years ago:
Two of the US presidential candidates were recently asked if life begins at conception or not. In case you just arrived from another planet, the significance of this question is that if life does begin at conception, then abortion can only be classified as murder. Here are their answers:
Barack Obama: This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. I think it’s very hard to know what that means — when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don’t presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I’ve said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we’re having these debates.

Hillary Clinton: Potential for life begins at conception. . . I am a Methodist, as you know. My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out. But for me, it is also not only about a potential life — it is about the other lives involved. And, therefore, I have concluded, after great concern and searching my own mind and heart over many years, that our task should be in this pluralistic, diverse life of ours in this nation that individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision, because the alternative would be such an intrusion of government authority that it would be very difficult to sustain in our kind of open society.
Both candidates are, their voting records show, strong supporters of a right to abortion. Senator Obama has even put on record, in the Illinois  Senate, his support for the right to kill disabled babies even immediately after birth, as well as before it.

There are many things that we could say about the above two answers. There's one point I wanted to make though. It's to take a step back and point out that the answers both show that pro-abortionists are badly losing the intellectual debate. Both candidates, when all is trimmed away, say "I don't know" in answer to the question "does life begin at conception?" That means, they also don't know if abortion is immoral and if modern states are turning a blind eye to the murdering of millions of the most vulnerable every year. It means they don't know if abortion is on the one hand an important human right, or on the other hand the greatest moral atrocity of modern times. They're both campaigning to become the most powerful person in the world, but this fundamental question... well, they're not decided. Hmmm.

Why does this mean that pro-abortionists are losing the debate? Because, a generation ago, they confidently exclaimed that life did not begin at conception; at that point we were just dealing with a blob of cells. This was the whole basis for legitimising abortion - at that point, we were told, there was nothing more than an unwanted growth in the womb, which could be dealt with however we pleased - even up to 18, 22 or 26 weeks, depending on what figure you felt like plucking out of the air when you got out of bed this morning.

That position is now untenable. Babies have been born, and survived, at less than 22 weeks. Babies have been born, and died, younger than that - and nobody dares say they weren't real babies whilst they were struggling for their little lives. Modern technology has allowed the most amazing insights into the baby's life within the womb, showing their highly developed existence even at half the number of weeks mentioned above. Through modern scientific answers, we know that once a baby has been conceived, all it needs is protection and nourishment to make it into the outside world: there are no fundamental subsequent stages in its existence that can be pinpointed as "the beginning of life" rather than at conception. That's leaving aside the moral and philosophical arguments.

In the light of these answers, pro-abortionists have it tough. It's become increasingly untenable to say "that thing's not alive, so it's OK to hack it to pieces - it's not a moral issue!" They're now reduced to saying we don't know. If at this stage you can't work out which side of the debate is in the right, you're in real trouble...

Discipleship is cross-shaped

We must remember this: discipleship is cross-shaped.

If you're experiencing the cross, then it's not because of where you are. It's not because of the people around you. It's not because of some particular circumstance.

It's because discipleship is cross-shaped. If you were in a different place, with different people at a different time and being a faithful disciple there, then you'd find the cross there too.

So don't wish to be elsewhere, with others, etc. Submit to the cross, and believe in the Lord who is nailed there with you - and in his resurrection also.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Those won't be needed any more

I was singing "Thine be the glory" yesterday, which includes these lines:

Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave clothes where Thy body lay.

The gospels of Luke and John record that when Peter and the beloved disciple came to see the tomb, they saw the grave clothes lying there.

Jesus hadn't taken them with him. He wouldn't be needing them again. Left behind; all the vestments of death, left behind. The burden of sin; the wrath of the Father; the sorrows, the woe - left behind. He lives!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

About ME!

Normally I browse the Internet in a text-only web browser. I began that after first moving to Kenya - the Internet was chronically slow where I lived, and that was the only way to load a web page and read it in a sensible amount of time.

The Internet has got faster since then, but I've not felt any need to change. It had advantages - you got to see the text, only the text, and that helped me to focus on what the writer was actually saying. And these days, even the Telegraph seems to believe that its readers can't survive unless there's lots of lovelies to gawp at whilst reading the rest of the news.

Well, right now I'm somewhere with very fast Internet, and I turned images on. I turn to a few evangelical Christian bloggers...

I won't name names; that would be unhelpful and detract from the generality of the point. But I do wonder just why I need to be assaulted with the offer of reading so many pages titled "About Me", or be confronted by such prominent, highly stylised pictures of the preacher, projecting to us just the same kind of images as we see in the self-help books - you know, the "I'm great, I'm competent, trust me, I can really lift you up" type. Is that really the image we're wanting to project as preachers? Are we not meant to be saying "Here's Jesus" - and getting ourselves out of the picture as much as possible?

I think that when you browse without the images for long periods of time at once, you get a fresh appreciation for how much far developed the modern quasi-cult of imagery has advanced. It seems to have advanced by degrees, but now reached quite a level. Even evangelicals apparently feel the need to invest time and effort in image-projection. I thought we were heralds and spokesmen? What herald or spokesman needs to - or should? - invest in image projection? I'm not making an argument for being scruffy - that also detracts from the message. But, but, but...

If you're a Christian blogger, then blog something worth saying. And don't then distract from that with stylised, slick images of yourself, trying to project your competence, coolness or whatever through your sharp suit, nice smile, good teeth, etcetera. You're not personally as interesting as you think you are. I came to hear about Jesus. Stuff a normal photo on a side-page if you must. But otherwise...

Have something worth saying that's a word from the Almighty God, and then you won't need to spend time on projecting your image.