Saturday, 10 November 2012

Invasive Liberalism

Liberalism is extremely invasive, and being an evangelical within a liberal denomination is difficult, and evangelicals within such a church learn to tolerate liberalism and come to see it as just another theological position which, if the church accepts it, must be OK.

Until this poison is dealt with and removed - through church reform - the future is bleak for that denomination.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Victory For Same-Sex Supporters In USA

Why same-sex supporters are celebrating

Same-sex supporters won unprecedented victories this week in the USA. Wisconsin elected the nation's first openly gay senator, while three new gay candidates were elected to the House.  Same-sex marriage proponents won in all four states where gay marriage was contested.  Those who support biblical marriage are more counter-cultural than ever.

Now consider this fact: More evangelicals than Mormons voted for Mitt Romney, in both percentage and votes cast. 
In fact, more conservative Christians voted for the Republican nominee than for any candidate in American history.  Mr Obama attracted even fewer Protestants, evangelicals, and Catholics than in his 2008 victory, but still won decisively.

Clearly, Christians who want to make a difference must do more than vote.  Is our witness still relevant to our changing culture?

Pray For Us.

Please pray for Northern Ireland.  Our people are still held in the grip of republican terrorism.  Lives are still be controlled by these thugs.  Former security force personnel are again carrying their personal protective weapons (PPWs) and the old security measures are being practiced again.

The devil is controlling these gangsters, but he has done something else, perhaps more serious - he has blinded the eyes of our political leaders so that they will not see what is really happening in Ulster today.

Please do not be taken in by all the very positive publicity about out land that is being produced by people who are extremely keen to hold on to their very well paid jobs as politicians.  Terrorists incidents take place on a daily basis.  Wives are as concerned about for safety of their husbands as ever they were.

And no one seems to care about them.  You can show your care by praying for this land in all its darkness and depressiveness.  Don't be surprised if republican terrorists launch a 'terrorist spectacular' when the UK City of Culture - Londonderry - commences in a few weeks time.  People in the city are already worried about such an eventuality occurring.

Pray for us.

Trying the Broken Cisterns

It can be somewhat frustrating when we cannot discern what it is that God is doing in our lives.  We feel that we are being held in suspense by our Father.  The Psalmist David found that, you know, and so have his countless servants throughout the running centuries. God is mysterious, and His doings are equally mysterious.  
In such times, what are we to do?  We are to do the only thing it is proper for us to do in these circumstances, and that it to repose our lives confidently in His Word.  What else have we?  He is faithful Who promised.  We cast ourselves and our burdens unreservedly upon His grace and mercy.

Now, the last thing we ought to do, and the first thing we are often tempted to do, is to look for the consolations of the world.  How foolish that would be!  It is vanity to look to the empty and perverse world to help and succour us when in difficulties.  The world has absolutely nothing to offer.  Indeed, this is exactly what worldlings do - they look around them everywhere to find something from the world that will mitigate their miseries.  But there's nothing there.  At times of difficulty, they may drown their sorrows with alcohol, but they still have them when they sober up.  They may use some kind of escapism, yet that is OK only for the short time they have 'escaped.'  But they still have to return to the real world.

No, the world and its ways have nothing to offer the child of God.  They mock us, deride us, and make fun of us. 

I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
 But, ah, the waters failed!
E’en as I stooped to drink they fled,
 And mocked me as I wailed.

The world’s broken cisterns have nothing to offer the child of God when he or she is going through life-threatening difficulties.  We have all tried them, and some of us have seen through them.  Even the positive thinking attitude, while good so far as it goes, is inadequate, and I’ve seen people being devastated by this outlook.

However, we have found something that does work in all circumstances – having a positive faith in Christ the sovereign Lord and Comforter of the weak.  It’s not just about being positive; it’s about being positive in Christ; it’s about being positive in Him because of Who He is – the One Who suffered and bled and died for us, and Who rose again on the third day to demonstrate that the Father had accepted all He had done on the Cross and therefore accepts all who trust in Him.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

God's Strength In Weakness

Our God is good and His goodness knows no end.  Praise Him constantly for being What and Who He is.  You know, it is at a time of testing that you really do prove the Lord.  In a sense, anybody can say they are a Christian; but when you are thrown back upon the Saviour, and knowing that you have been forgiven, you can rest assured. 

I have no help but Thine; nor do I need
Another arm save Thine to lean upon;
It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;
My strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone.

This is our confidence, and in this confident we rest.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Is The Church Full Of Hypocrites? Dr R C Sproul

Dr R. C. Sproul has written an interesting article which attempts to answer the title question.  Click here to read the full article.

This is an issue that ought to exercise every Christian daily because we are all prone to fall into this particular sin.  It is a sin that can put great strain on our testimony and witness, yet as Sproul points out, we are sinners; and so long as we live we will never be anything other than sinners.

How God Teaches His people Lessons

When news of any serious illness arrives in a home, it leaves an unforgettable impact.  One of these impacts is that it makes you sort out your life’s priorities. You see with a very clear eye what’s important in life and what’s not.  The things we once thought were important pale into insignificance, while the things we did not give proper priority to take top spot. 

Sometimes the Lord in his grace has to teach us this lesson in this way because He knows that we would not learn it in any other way.  We all get so caught up in our daily routines that the important things in life are put on the back burner.  We concern ourselves about education and career and a level of financial independence, our house and car and holidays, but we do not always think seriously that one day we will die and leave it all behind.  Living for this world and for the things of this world will prove to be utterly disappointing when we stand before God.  Somebody once asked what a very wealthy man left when he died.  “Everything,” was the answer.  We will leave everything behind when we close our eyes for the last time and stand before the righteous God, the Judge of all the earth. 

So in the sure providence of God, we are given time to pause and reconsider our lives and our latter end.  That can only be good.  To sit back and realise that we are mortal human beings who are only here for a while, then we are gone, is good for us – if we take it seriously. 

That’s where we are right now, in the good providence of God.  And because He is in it with us, we are content.  “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold,” Job 23:10.  We have surrendered ourselves into the good hand of God our Saviour, and He will do what is best.  And in this confidence we rest.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Head Knowledge Not Enough

I am so glad that our faith in the living God in Christ is a living faith, and we have experienced His great mercy in so many ways.  I just do not know where we’d have been had our faith a purely heady, intellectual or mere clinical affair.  Head knowledge is important for growth, but if that is all one has, then he is no better than the devils.  The faith of demons is useless when it comes to facing the potential of death head on.

But then again, that is true of us all, is it not?  Every day we live, we are dying, a fact that so few really appreciate.  And since we are, at this moment, dying, it is urgent that we see every moment in this world as our last.  Who knows?

However, our God has defeated death in Christ’s glorious resurrection, and now believers have nothing to fear about dying.  We have seen a side of our heavenly Father that we haven’t seen before, though we know about it.  We have seen Him care for us and fold us to His breast, assuring us that we are in truth His own dear children.  We have felt His arms around us, supporting us and assuring us.  He has spoken to us through His Word and reminded us of truths we often forget.

Getting back to the update proper, it is important to realise that the surgery that **** has undergone is likely to be but the first stage in a comprehensive plan of treatments to ensure that all cancer cells have been destroyed and/or removed.  This is still unknown to us.  While we will know on Monday, there is a certain apprehension in **** about what will be involved in the future.  She knows that the Father Who has been with her in the past weeks will also be there during any future treatment; but she is still human with all that being human means.  Mind you, it is so refreshing to hear her say that if those she loves coming to know Christ personally, it will have been all worthwhile.  That said, she has no intention of leaving any time soon, though, of course, when that final call comes, she is ready to answer it.  With her hope firmly placed in Christ alone, she has everything to look forward to.

Painful Memories Stirred

The funeral of murdered prison officer, David Black (52), from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone was a most dignified and for me a personal occasion.

Before making his way to work last Thursday, David left his wife on that unforgettable morning, neither of them even imagining that that would be the last time they would see each other in this life.  Republican terrorists - of the same ilk of those now governing Northern Ireland - drew up alongside his car on the M! motorway and gunned him down like you would a rat.

Five long days later, David's earthly remains were laid to rest in the ground, from whence it came.

At the funeral, it was very touching to see the Union Flag-draped coffin being borne by colleagues and family members into the Presbyterian church in which David was a member.  What touched me even more deeply was seeing his elderly father acting as one of the poll-bearers, something a father should not have to do for his son.

When my youngest policeman brother was being buried, my father also has that unwelcome duty to fulfil.  To my mind, this is a complete reversal of the norm.  Sons normally bury their parents.

This touched me because I recall how 35 years ago as a young man stationed in the same town of Cookstown, my brother was murdered by the same terrorist group - republican terrorists.  No one has ever been caught for his murder and that of his two policemen colleagues on that same June afternoon in 1977.

This reason for this might well be institutional cover-up in a bod to preserve the political institutions at Stormont.  These have to be kept at all costs; even justice can be sacrificed if necessary in order to preserve the institutions.  There is a justice minister, but it appears that he is just filling a newly created position for the time being.

I want those reading this post to be aware of the realities of Northern Ireland, or to use a phrase adopted by Dr Francis A Schaeffer, the "true truth" of this land.  All is not well here.  Security force personnel are still being targeted by republican terrorists (some of whose colleagues are now governing us).  One prison officer's mother told me that her family is on high alert and her husband never leaves their home without having his hand gun with him and ready for action if need be.  Many are still living under threat of terrorist attack, yet politicians through the media tell the world how wonderful a place Northern Ireland is now.  They talk about it being in a "post-conflict" situation.  If you imagine, wrongly, that all is at rest in Northern Ireland, you will not feel the need to pray for our land.

I am asking for your prayers for our land, that God will come and reform His church and revive His people. Pray for the protection of individuals who are of interest to republican terrorists - and there are many.  The authorities do not seem to be all that interested in what is happening,though for public consumption they speak words of condemnation.

I cannot decide why we have been inflicted with four decades of terrorism and more than 3600 lives lost therein.  Was it because we have been unfaithful to the Lord for generations, so He afflicted us for our rebellion?  That there is plenty of evidence to support this needs only to be stated to see the likelihood of this.  Or was it that we have been so faithful to the Lord of the Church that this is a Satanic attack response to God's working amongst us?  That there are some faithful ministers preaching the true saving Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is also a fact.

Bringing these two explanations together, while some men have faithfully declared the whole counsel of God, large tracts of the church failed to do so; hence some of what we have experienced is Satanic attack, but much of it is divine chastisement for faithlessness to Christ and His Gospel.

Whatever the explanation, WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS to the sovereign Lord ti intervene in grace and mercy to recall this nation back to Himself.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Dr Alan Clifford, the BBC and Islam

Dr Alan C. Clifford, minister of Norwich Reformed Church and staunch preacher of the Gospel was interviewed on BBC Radio Norfolk and broadcast on Sunday 4 November 2012.

You can listen to this interview with him, and the following one with an Islamic leader.

Slidebar setting: 2.09.00
Then listen to Dr Clifford's full statement, what he actually said in the original interview, and how much of his excellent presentation was heavily edited to comply with the BBC's PC policy.

Dr Clifford's Youtube response:  NORWICH: Dr Clifford, Islam and the EDL
Your can relate your support for Dr Clifford's stand for the Gospel on this blogspot.

Reliance upon God Alone

It is amazing how we can be tempted to put our trust in the skills of the medical profession, indicating that perhaps this has become a substitute god for us.  Sometimes we have emphasised statistics – how many people come through this type of surgery with flying colours.  While I have no desire to minimise what medical practitioners can do and have done, it is important to affirm that no matter how good these professionals might be at their job, our trust is in the Lord our God.  To leave Him out of the equation is atheism, and we are not into that.  But to see the skills of medical practitioners as being the gifts of God for the benefit of mankind and a demonstration of His common grace to all, is to view them in their proper perspective, for then we can pray to God the Father to use and bless the gifts He has given to men for the benefit of those about whom we are concerned.