Friday, 28 July 2017

Fifty years of word games

The children of Israel did not wipe out the Canaanites

A number of news outlets are today breathlessly reporting headlines like:

Then they proceed to note that in the Bible, God commanded the Israelities to execute his judgment on the inhabitants of Canaan for their wickedness, and destroy them.

For the sake of this blog post, let us assume for the sake of argument that there are people alive today with DNA indicating that they are descendents of Caananites of that time. Let us assume also that under the terms the command, there could not be a single person left who has this DNA (e.g. someone's twin who lived outside of the land, instead of in it, or a single person who escaped the massacre), etc. Does their existence disprove the Bible?

On the contrary, it proves the poor standards of Biblical literacy and editing in the contemporary press. The Bible not only records that God gave this command.... it also records that the Israelites only partially kept it, leaving many from various different Canaanite tribes alive, still living in the land.

Judges chapter 1, especially from verses 19-35, is the main record of that, with quite some detail. 2 Chronicles 8:7 is another example. Many places also record the continue existence of the Jebusites among the Israelites in the time of David, 500 years later.

As I read the comments on pieces like these, there's much glee: look, we disproved the Bible! Aren't we clever!

No: all you proved is that, despite being so eager to disprove the Bible, you haven't yet troubled yourself to read it. The ignorance is widespread, and wilful. Welcome to the modern West. We think we're the most advanced, sophisticated people who ever lived. Apparently you can be educated enough to be an expert in genetics, publish papers, write the accompanying press releases together with their "clever" PR angle, get it published in newspapers .... and nobody will spot the glaring error.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Homosexuality, what is "natural", and the thought police

A few unorganised thoughts:

- Is there still someone out there who thinks that the "gay rights" movement is really just about freedom to do what they will in the privacy of their bedrooms, rather than the wholesale re-engineering of society in their image? Let this survey, the associated comments, and all the other propaganda pieces you're seeing in the news this week (the time of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 acts decriminalising private homosexual intercourse) disabuse you of that notion.

- It's the thought police. The idea that someone, somewhere does not approve of their bedroom activities drives "gay rights" activists wild. It's not just "I want freedom to do what I want", but "everybody must approve of it" and "nobody must even think differently". The idea that some people still don't want to whole-heartedly endorse their views maddens them, and they can't live with it: the campaign must be total and eternal. Why would that be? Something to do with conscience?

- i.e. A totalitarian agenda. Nobody can be accused of peddling conspiracy theories when they point this out any more, since now they have sufficient cultural power to be completely open and straightforward about saying so, and have for a number of years.

- Note that the headline, like very many headlines dealing with the results of surveys, is wrong. The headline says that "Four in 10 British people believe gay sex is 'unnatural'". However, the article goes on to explain that this number of people both (presumably) think it is wrong and were willing to say so in the survey, despite the considerable social pressure to hide their true thoughts and say otherwise. The aspect of social pressure means, with a very high degree of likelihood, that the true number of those who believe that homosexual acts are unnatural is very much higher.

- Of course they do. If they don't, then they must be pretty ignorant of some rather basic anatomical facts.

- "Seventy-eight per cent of people aged 18 to 24 said that gay sex was natural, while 69 per cent of those aged 65 and above believe it is not." I wonder how much part social pressure pays in that. People aged 65 and over have much less to lose in various areas if they say what they really think, compared to 18-24 year-olds who've been given continual indoctrination as to what they are supposed to believe. Of course, the 1960s sexual revolutionaries have spent a long time teaching people to reflexively believe that younger people are automatically more interesting, relevant, thoughtful, cool, etcetera - that was a useful tool in the fight against other authorities in society (strong families, church, etc.).

- The main issue with the question itself, is what "natural" means. People with different world-views will interpret that in totally different ways. Christians believe in an "order of nature" - which isn't an order artificially imposed upon nature with only an arbitrary (fiat) relationship to it, but rather an order intentionally embedded by God in creation, arising from its construction, so that creation reflects his purposes and the right uses of things and indicates their binding nature upon us. But, what is "natural" to an atheist? They could stick to physicalism, i.e. biology (in which case homosexual acts are unnatural), or they could take it to mean "something that happens in the universe", in which case more or less anything is natural as long as it isn't physically impossible, and then the question is meaningless.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

More on John Stevens' capitulation

Following on from

I came across John Stevens' opposition to "gay marriage", just 5 years ago at There are also some quotes at

The gay community is a tiny percentage of the population as a whole, but they exercise inordinate power through their vociferous lobbying.
In the post, he calls the proposals for "gay marriage": "Wrong", "Unnecessary", "Dishonourable", "Arrogant", "Opportunistic", "Unpopular", "Insidious", "Dangerous".

Yet now, just five years later, he opposes "those that have consistently stood against the grant of any civic rights and freedoms to the LBGT community", and distances himself from them, as if they were third parties. He continues "It is hardly surprising that the gay community is suspicious of the political objectives of evangelical Christians. Christians need to adopt a political philosophy that is appropriate for a genuinely plural society that encompasses both believers and unbelievers." Yet, who are these third parties that Stevens critiques? Himself! Does he really think that what he calls "the gay community" (or to use a more Biblical perspective: a mob of those bent on serious evil) are going to read him calling their agenda "Wrong", "Unnecessary", "Dishonourable", "Arrogant", "Opportunistic", "Unpopular", "Insidious", "Dangerous", and then not be suspicious of his "political agenda"? Really?

We should never repent of following Biblical teaching. Stevens has shifted his position, but under the guise of criticising other, unnamed evangelical Christians who have held to that Biblical teaching. In 2012, he correctly called the campaign for rebranding and promoting gross sexual immorality as "marriage" accurately, according to what it is - wrong, unnecessary, dishonourable, arrogant, opportunistic, unpopular, insidious, dangerous. In 2017, he says that people who speak like this are a danger to the Christian church, and that it is "urgent" (his word) to "advocate for a truly plural society in which they value the rights and freedoms of other communities as well as their own."

Is there not something deeply "dishonourable" about doing a 180 on your position, under the guise of criticising third parties who continue to say precisely what the Christian church has always said, what you said until a short time ago, and neglecting to explain that the position that you are criticising was your own position? Yes, there is. Is it not wrong for a shepherd to say that the sheep were wrong to do what he encouraged them to do, without openly explaining that that's what you're doing? Yes, it is. And, as I said yesterday, the rot and compromise on the homosexual issue has now apparently reached into the heart of FIEC, the UK's foremost organisation for independent evangelical churches.

A few short years ago, we had the revolting spectacle of seeing Conservative MPs, who as a majority voted against "gay marriage", then doing a swift 180-degree turn, explaining that they were now for it (because their careers now depended on it), and that their positions had changed. We sigh, we lament, and understand that politicians are politicians. When those with a Christian profession did it (e.g. Nicky Morgan, Tim Farron), we sighed and groaned and cried out to God for mercy. But at least we contented ourselves that conservative evangelical leaders were holding the line. But instead, the leader of the FIEC is advocating that we support the homosexual agenda in society, whilst retreating into the quietness of our churches and hoping that the world will leave us alone there. His goal is that the "gay rights" movement will not be suspicious of his political agenda, and leave him in peace. This goal only developed once he realised that they had the upper hand ... in 2012, when there was still a chance, he spoke very differently. Apparently, his principles depend on the political mood, not on unchanging truths. Sad, sad, so sad. May God have mercy!

Has the FIEC capitulated on the homosexual agenda?

John Stevens is national director of the FIEC. In this blog post - - he has many good things to say.... but unfortunately ruins it all by taking the position that Christians have only themselves to blame if homosexual rights' activists think that evangelical churches are not on their side. He says:
First, some of the organisations that have been most vociferous in condemning the intolerance that led to the resignation of Tim Farron are those that have consistently stood against the grant of any civic rights and freedoms to the LBGT community. It is hardly surprising that the gay community is suspicious of the political objectives of evangelical Christians. Christians need to adopt a political philosophy that is appropriate for a genuinely plural society that encompasses both believers and unbelievers.
This view is disastrous. Firstly, since we are God's spokesmen, let us speak as God does. In the Bible, you will not find anything like the vocabulary of this paragraph. The Bible does not recognise such a thing as "the LBGT (sic) community" or "the gay community". This is not a Biblical way of speaking. People who choose to define themselves by, and campaign for approval of, what Scripture labels as serious depravity and rebellion as the Creator, are not a "community". There is no "gay community" any more than there is a "murderer's community", "adulterer's community" or "thieves' community". It takes a few decades of aggressive brainwashing before we start to forget these simple things, but in theory, in the churches of Jesus Christ we're regularly instructed on God's point of view and taught to think straight about such things - aren't we? Secondly, what does John Stevens mean by "the grant of any civic rights and freedoms to the LBGT community"? It is now over 50 years since private homosexual activity was decriminalised. Since then, the various political fights have been over such things as:

  • Whether it should be compulsory for schoolchildren to be indoctrinated in homosexualist ideology, or whether they should be protected form it (Section 28)
  • Whether children have a right to a father and a mother, or whether they should be treated as trophies, and homosexuals permitted to adopt them.
  • Whether Christians should be forced, on pain of losing their livelihoods, to promote homosexual ideology (e.g. by being forced to publish homosexual propagranda, write homosexual propaganda on wedding cakes, etc.), or whether they should retain the freedom to have and live according to their own views.
  • Whether marriage should be redefined so that it no longer is a fixed entity, reflecting the fixed thoughts and will of our Creator, but should instead be a political football reflecting the arbitrary will of a majority of 600-odd MPs, which today means, promoting homosexual depravity as fully equal to actual marriage.
  • Whether it should be a crime to seek to help a person who experiences homosexual temptation to seek to deny and/or re-orient his desires, through the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than teaching him to embrace them as his core identity.
And so on, and so forth. That's where the fight has been in our adult lifetimes, at least since before England last won the World Cup.

The fact that Mr. Stevens considers that Christian organisations who have been speaking up clearly and straightforwardly on these matters have been doing wrong, is absolutely disastrous. It shows that the rot of propaganda in the name of dreadful perversity has now reached right to the core of conservative evangelicalism. The fact that Mr. Stevens considers that capitulating is actually the *virtuous* thing to do is a thing that should make Bible-believing Christians weep.

Steven's stated position is that what is widely accepted in society ought to be the yardstick of what Christians seek for, and campaign for in the public space. On that basis, we should not just give up the fight against the homosexual agenda, and the current push for radical "transexual" ideology being pushed on our children (e.g. very aggressively by Ofsted), but a whole host of other issues too. Why fight against abortion? Against sexual immorality of any kind? The culture and society are against us. So why not just give up? "Pluralism" is such a warm and fuzzy word after all, isn't it?

Surely the answer to those questions has something to do with the Creator's rights over his creation? To be sure, the Bible recognises that sometimes laws will exist "because of the hardness of men's hearts". Churches are not an alternative police force. We must live, as much as possible, within the framework that we find ourselves in. But this has absolutely nothing to do with changing our theology, and handing over the world to the devil simply because people don't like what their Maker has to say about things. It has nothing to do with making peace with sin, and retreating into our homes and churches so that we only preach about it among the faithful, whilst leaving the rest of the world to rot.

There is more in the comment I wrote on Mr. Stevens' blog piece:

One final thing. In case you think I'm too strong, notice the first comment, from one of the sheep, as he listens to this shepherd. What's his take-away? "A really helpful article. Thanks. It helped me think afresh on what it means to be a pluralist society, and challenged my opinion of some evangelical organisations who advocate and lobby parliament to uphold traditional Christian practices." As I say - this is a disaster.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Persistent alarm bells for home educators

Whether you are a home educator or not ("First they came for the
Socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Socialist."),
please read this, pass it on, and write to your MP: