Friday, 24 February 2017

"Killed for Christ in the Amazon"

The story of the five Ecuadorian martyrs of 1955, in a 5 minute short
from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/features/magazine-39039876/39039876

Steve Saint's book, "The End of the Spear", is really excellent for many
reasons: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DW9NCSS/. Steve Saint's children
were baptised by one of the men who murdered his father.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Resisting Newspeak

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/doctors-told-not-call-pregnant-women-mothers-case-upset-transsexual-people/

One of the reasons why various sorts of political correctness, which
we'd do better to call Newspeak, must be resisted, is laid plain in the
link above.

If you go along with the idea that X is the same as Y, then, you must
accept the logical entailment that Y is the same as X. You can't
identify one with the other, without identifying the other with the one.

Or to speak more plainly, if Bruce Jenner in a dress is a woman, then
you've just grossly insulted the entirety of womankind. Because, it is
all the same as saying that there is nothing more essential to being
female which is possessed by other member of womankind, that is not
already possessed by Bruce Jenner in a dress.

If all you need to be female is the belief that you think you are
female, then femininity has no substance to it. If feminity is just the
belief that you have feminity, then there is no feminity. I believe that
I have a unreconstructued-anti-phlogistical unicorn in my garden. Does
this mean that I have an unreconstructued-anti-phlogistical unicorn in
my garden, just because I believe it strongly enough? If just believing
is enough, then it doesn't really matter what I mean by
"unreconstructued-anti-phlogistical unicorn". The thing itself is
irrelevant. Even so, femininity is then just a transient, subjective
thought about yourself, and what you think it refers to, is unimportant.
Feminine virtues, strengths and beauties evaporate into nothingness.
Your wife, your daughters - they have no feminine virtues, for there are
no feminine virtues to have. They cannot possess what does not exist.
The phrase "feminine virtues" then refers only to social constructs in
the heads of those who are inclined to follow them. And, as we keep
being told, we should keep challenging traditional social constructs,
until they break down.

So, which is it? Do particularly feminine glories exist? Or are they
just social constructs? You can't have your cake and eat it. Cowardice
and lying, in order to maintain one's social status, is not a virtue; it
is a sin. If God made feminine glories, then Bruce Jenner is a confused
man in a dress who at best deserves our pity for his confused mental
state. And people who love the truth must, in this time when it is a
hot-button issue, always be straightforward in saying so.

Donald Trump is exactly what our culture desired

"You Didn't Vote For TRUMP - Or Did You?"

Content warning: this video is not suitable for all audiences; it
contains brief examples of completely obscene pop song lyrics from a
"mainstream" pop star, and other references to "adult" topics. (But, on
the other hand, probably nothing most readers don't have daily
familiarity with, unless you threw your TV out). There are no obscene
visuals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJXG0YOf5hQ&feature=youtu.be

I'm not an American, but Brits have nothing to smirk about here. The
exact same news sources which are the most outraged - the Independent,
the Guardian, the BBC - about Trump, promote Trump-like values without
ceasing.

Only, when they do it, it's branded as "edginess", "confronting taboos",
"challenging prejudice", "bringing liberation", or some other pleasant
sounding phrase. But does it matter what we call it? It's what's in the
can that matters, not what the packaging says.

Donald Trump represents so many values that the Trump-hating media have
been pushing into the culture - and which, as the video explains, we
have been extremely happy to have pushed onto us - for a long time now.
Our spending and use of time says what our values are. And on that
basis, Donald Trump could be elected President of the whole
"post-Christian" West, with no particular incongruity resulting.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The prosperity un-gospel

If you've never seen the cursed "prosperity gospel" in action, then here
you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmZosnCACIo

The "pastor" first works his people into a frenzy, so that any remaining
discernment disappears down the plug-hole. Then he tells them that if
they give money to God, then God will give back more. Then he prays to
God as the one who gives money, and urges the people to hand their cash
over.

There's nothing subtle, or sophisticated. You might wonder how anybody
could possibly fall for this. Firstly, it's what vast numbers of people
in Africa are used to - they are not aware that there is another (real)
gospel. Secondly, very many are conditioned for it by education systems
that discourage critical thinking and encourage mindless repetition and
acceptance of the words of the authority figure, and by material poverty.

Have you considered if you are called to go and invest the years of your
life in bringing these people the real hope of the actual gospel? That
they might be taught about a real Saviour who she his blood for their
sins - not to multiply their bank notes in this life in this fallen
world, but to bring them into a new creation where righteousness dwells?
So that false pastors don't gorge themselves week by week by
slaughtering the flock for their own gain? Who will go?

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Unpopular

"Unpopular" - this is a very clear explanation of the central issues of
the gospel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD87a_xnj00