Saturday, 3 October 2015

Letter From America (About Attacks Upon Religious Freedom)

Preventing ‘Discrimination’ against Gays

The Left Would Destroy Religious Liberty

By David French
National Review Online

Daily Devotional

Make It a Good Rehearsal

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On how to rehearse for death and how to diminish fear.

C. S. Lewis

17 June 1963

Pain is terrible, but surely you need not have fear as well? Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body which is tormenting you: like taking off a hair- shirt or getting out of a dungeon. What is there to be afraid of? You have long attempted (and none of us does more) a Christian life. Your sins are confessed and absolved. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round—we get afraid be- cause we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’

Of course, this may not be the end. Then make it a good rehearsal.

Yours (and like you a tired traveller near the journey’s end) Jack

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

These Are the Days of Mourning and Lamentation

Why Do You Cast Us Off Forever?

One lesson that stands out in both biblical redemptive history and in the history of the Church is that God is never in a hurry.  One day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  His plans and purposes unfold slowly, deliberately, and ultimately exhaustively.

One of the challenges to Christian maturity is learning to live coram Deo--before the Face of God--with patience and perseverance.  Our lives on this earth are of course ridiculously fleeting and brief, like the flower in the field which blooms at the dawn, but is limp and spent by day's end.  There is a perpetual temptation to expect (even demand) that all of God's promises come to pass now, in our days, in our lifetimes.  Another, opposite temptation is to conclude that since God's promises are not going to be realised in our lifetimes, why worry?  Be happy.  Such thoughts are anthropocentric, man centred, not God centred. They do not flow from living coram Deo.

One of the essential steps to Christian maturity is to learn to live our lives in God's time, not ours.  In many cases this requires that we need to live through seasons, if not lifetimes, of lamentation.  Unfortunately, it's not something we hear much about today, which is a sure sign that the Church in the West is misdirected, impatient, triumphalist, and, thus, largely irrelevant.  What do we mean?

In the West, the First Christendom has fallen apart.  Unbelief rules the councils of our lands.  Christians are assailed on every hand by militant secularism.  We are regarded as irrelevant relics, piteous anachronisms of a darker, ignorant age. Yet Christians are not found in lamentation before God.  Why?  We suspect that most Christians believe that the travails of our age and generation are not our travails, and in any event, will soon be over.

Some Christians expect to be "raptured" off the planet--in their lifetimes.  Others have locked themselves in Christian ghettoes, separating as much as physically and mentally possible from the militant march of Unbelief.

Friday, 2 October 2015

A Lament Of the Times

We’re Sorry For Producing Our Cisgendered Son

I, a patriarchal oppressor, have created more patriarchy. Read, and weep.

The Federalist

Trigger warning: The following contains references to PIV sex, gender, patriarchy, and cishets.

As a straight, white, cisgender male, I don’t face the challenges that many women, minorities, or genderqueer do on a daily basis. My life is easy. I benefit from a patriarchal system that lends power and privilege to individuals with my characteristics. While I didn’t ask for it, it is my duty to own it. I want to preface this article by acknowledging my privilege, and apologizing beforehand if I step out of line, or any of the following causes offense.

Despite my privilege, even I am faced with challenges. While my challenges do not hold a candle to say, my partner Gwendalin’s (though we are lawfully married, we prefer not to use the traditional identifiers of “man” or “wife,” as they carry connotations of patriarchal ownership and rape culture) even the most underprivileged in our societal system, who are victims of white corporate oppression, may sympathize. I’m speaking, of course, about the disappointment of raising a child who subscribes to the traditional gender binary.

Gwen and I, despite our best efforts, are currently the parents of a cisgendered son.

Daily Devotional

Hope for the Worst of Sinners

“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)

John Piper

Moses needed hope that God really could have mercy on a stiff-necked people who had just committed idolatry and scorned the God who brought them out of Egypt.  To give Moses the hope and confidence he needed, God said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.” In other words, "My choices do not depend on the degree of evil or good in man but solely upon my sovereign will. Therefore no one can say he is too evil to be shown grace."

The doctrine of unconditional election is the great doctrine of hope for the worst of sinners. It means that when it comes to being a candidate for grace, your background has nothing to do with God’s choice.

If you have not been born again and brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ, do not sink into hopelessness thinking that the excessive rottenness or hardness of your past life is an insurmountable obstacle to God’s gracious work in your life. God loves to magnify the freedom of his grace by saving the worst of sinners.
Turn from your sin; call upon the Lord. Even in this devotional he is being gracious to you and giving you strong encouragement to come to him for mercy.

“Come, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

Desperate Times, Part II

Squirming, and False Modesty

We hope that abortion will be a major issue in the forthcoming 2016 Presidential election in the United States.  The Democratic Party's plank is that abortion is entirely acceptable, moral, legal, and justified right up until the moment a child emerges from the mother's birth canal.  In the perverted world in which we now live, this position is said to derive from a manufactured human right: a woman's right to privacy.

The media, the Commentariat, the Chattering Classes, and the "intelligentsia" do not want abortion to be publicly debated.  The Left and the Democratic Party do not want to front up to the holocaust they promote, endorse, and fund.  So, deflection is the order of the day.  But the excuses, the evasions, and the pettifogging are, and will increasingly become, self-evident.

The Vice-President, Joe Biden is considering running for the Democratic nomination for President.  It is almost certain that he will enter the race.  It is highly likely that he will be the Party's nominee, as Hillary Clinton is shamed off the national stage.  Joe has offered a striking defence for supporting abortion.  It's above his pay-grade (a position he has learned from his boss, Barack Obama).

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Not Part of the Hip Group

Unlikely Servants

Kim Davis, who has resisted the tyrant's attentions, is an unlikely servant of God.  But the Lord has both declared, and demonstrated, that it is always His pleasure to call as His servants those who are despised in the world.  In God's Kingdom, only repentant sinners may stand. 
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  [I Corinthians 1: 26-31]

In God's Kingdom, we don't spend our time judging those whom God has called to be His servants (not ours).  In God's Kingdom we have no interest in whether someone is hip or cool in the eyes of the world.

Kim Davis is an unlikely servant of the King.  That's why we find ourselves in merry mirth over the dyspepsia she has provoked in the bellies of many.

Daily Devotional

Hoping in Human Means, Not God

"For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him."
Ezra 8:22

Charles H. Spurgeon

A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but a holy shame-facedness would not allow Ezra to seek one. He feared lest the heathen king should think his professions of faith in God to be mere hypocrisy, or imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve his own worshippers. He could not bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, guarded by him who is the sword and shield of his people.

It is to be feared that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God; even those who in a measure walk by faith, occasionally mar the lustre of their life by craving aid from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they remembered that the Lord is dishonoured by their asking Caesar's aid? as if the Lord could not supply the needs of his own cause! Should we run so hastily to friends and relations for assistance, if we remembered that the Lord is magnified by our implicit reliance upon his solitary arm? My soul, wait thou only upon God.

"But," says one, "are not means to be used?" Assuredly they are; but our fault seldom lies in their neglect: far more frequently it springs out of foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the creature's arm; but very many sin greatly in making too much of it. Learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them thou wouldst dishonour the name of the Lord.

Desperate Times, Part I

Squirming and Faux Outrage

Uh, oh.  Carly Fiorina, seeking to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States, has had it.  It's all over folks.  She has attracted the ire of a feminist icon, Gloria Steinem.  At least one New York Times reporter appears to believe that once any woman is attacked by Steinem, that's it.  The deity has spoken.  It's all over, Rover.

Gloria Steinem Eviscerates Carly Fiorina with Scathing Post on Facebook

The surging candidate’s remarks on Planned Parenthood drew Steinem’s ire

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem blasted Carly Fiorina in a post on her Facebook page, saying the presidential hopeful’s commentary on Planned Parenthood at the Republican debate last week “was a 100 percent lie.” “I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes,” Fiorina railed during the debate. “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Fiorina was referring to a series of “sting” videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress.

Steinem took to Facebook to criticize Fiorina over her rhetoric. “Trump’s greatest damage to women was to raise sympathy for Carly Fiorina by attacking her appearance,” Steinem wrote. “What she said about Planned Parenthood was a 100 percent lie — as fact checkers have pointed out — and she accused Hillary Clinton of lying when she was in fact telling the truth. If you thought Republicans could find no woman more damaging to the diversity and needs of the female half of this country than Sarah Palin, take a good look at Carly Fiorina and what she stands for.”

The famed feminist wasn’t the only one to lash out at Fiorina after the debate. Planned Parenthood shot back at Fiorina and asked her to stop repeating the “completely false” claims she made.
Oh, Carly is going to love this one.  What a glorious fight to have.  The video in question actually shows an eye-witness to the scene giving a blow-by-blow description of the murder of a newly born infant whilst in the tender embrace of Planned Parenthood staff.  Fiorina described that scene as the eye-witness had described it.  Steinem calls accuses Fiorina of a "100 percent lie".  Clearly poor old Gloria does not understand what "100 percent" means.

But it raises an interesting question.  Is Steinem, and Planned Parenthood for that matter, seriously suggesting that any re-stating of eye-witness testimony in a court of law as fact is actually a "100 percent lie" because it was mere eye-witness testimony, not an actual video recording of what the witness saw and was describing?  How bizarre.  Such a view of truth and evidence would put most convictions--and court cases in general--in the category of lies.  Can Steinem's conscience and sense of truth have become that perverted and bizarre?

The question remains for Steinem to answer: does Planned Parenthood traffic the body parts of children killed in the womb, or not?  Does Planned Parenthood kill--murder--infants born alive, having survived abortion procedures, or not?  And does Gloria Steinem support and endorse and celebrate these evil monstrosities?  These are the issues.

The rest is evasive hair-splitting.

If Carly Fiorina had not drawn the ire of Steinem and her coterie in this matter, it would be evidence that she had failed to make her point.  The fact that Steinem has her dander up and is evading the issues Fiorina is raising is evidence that Steinem and her mob are on the back foot. 


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Letter From America (About US Military-Sanctioned-Child Rape)

The Afghan Military’s Child Rape

By Michelle Malkin
National Review Online

This is the price the innocents pay for blind multiculturalism.

A New York Times report on the Afghan Muslim practice this week garnered attention and outrage on Capitol Hill — and prompted a river of denials from Obama Defense Department brass, who insisted that our troops were not ordered to look the other way.  But the subjugation and sexual assault of these children — by Afghan military personnel working alongside our troops — is not new.

Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi’s wrenching documentary on The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan aired in Britain and the U.S. in 2010.

Daily Devotional

Let Goods and Kindred Go

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. (Hebrews 10:32–35)

John Piper

The Christians in Hebrews 10:32–35 have earned the right to teach us about costly love.  The situation appears to be this: In the early days of their conversion, some of them were imprisoned for the faith. The others were confronted with a difficult choice: Shall we go underground and stay “safe,” or shall we visit our brothers and sisters in prison and risk our lives and property? They chose the way of love and accepted the cost.

“For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property.”
But were they losers? No. They lost property and gained joy! They joyfully accepted the loss.

In one sense, they denied themselves. But in another, they did not. They chose the way of joy. Evidently, these Christians were motivated for prison ministry the same way the Macedonians (of 2 Corinthians 8:1–9) were motivated to relieve the poor. Their joy in God overflowed in love for others.  They looked at their own lives and said, “The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life” (see Psalm 63:3).

They looked at all their possessions and said, “We have a possession in heaven that is better and lasts longer than any of this” (Hebrews 10:34).   Then they looked at each other and said:
Let goods and kindred go
This mortal life also
The body they may kill
God’s truth abideth still
His kingdom is forever
(Martin Luther)

Making Room for Other Gods

Walking in the Ways of Unfaithful Fathers

In the last half of the nineteenth century, secularism had not just gained a foothold in the West. It was making rapid strides to the fore.  The causes and signs of this overthrow of the First Christendom were numerous.  As is always the case, hindsight shows them up more clearly.

Many of the causes lay with the Church, God's people.  They became unfaithful in numerous ways.  They forgot what their forefathers had taught them.  They forgot that the Kingdom of Christ was and remains a totalitarian kingdom--embracing the totality of all reality throughout the entire created universe.  They accepted a dichotomy between the realms of the sacred and the secular (courtesy of Immanuel Kant) and conceded that in the secular realm, the sacred had little claim and no authority.  God had His "sphere"--invisible, secret, beyond time and history--and the material or secular world had its sphere of autonomy--independent of God, operating under its own rules, truths and authority.  Thus began the long retreat, which cast children out of formerly Christian homes, seduced Christian parents away from Christ and His Church, and gradually turned Christian loyalties more and more toward the secular god--the State.

A generation which conceives of just one sub-atomic particle operating independently of the all encompassing command of the living, infinite, eternal, and unchanging God will be followed by generations which deny God in everything.  And so it has come to pass.  The surrender began in the Church as it tried to make room for the gods of this world.

One form of the capitulation was to elevate the State to a quasi-divine position of  being the means of bringing God's Kingdom upon the earth.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Letter From the UK (About Free Speech)

Christian Institute Launches Free Speech Campaign To Defend Christians From ‘Extremism Orders’

The Christian Institute is planning to lead a challenge to the government’s new “Extremism Disruption Orders” (EDOs) joining the National Secular Society in a campaign called Defend Free Speech.

The EDOs are similar to Tony Blair’s infamous Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), but target perceived extremist, rather that anti-social, behaviour.  The orders, which featured in the Tory manifesto, would allow police to apply to the High Court for the power to restrict the movement and freedoms of people they deem to be extremists.

At the beginning of August, Tory MP Mark Spencer, admitted: “EDOs… would apply to a situation where a teacher was specifically teaching that gay marriage is wrong.”

Simon Calvert, from the Christian Institute and spokesperson for the Defend Free Speech campaign, told Premier Christian Radio:

Daily Devotional

He Stoops to Conquer

On God

C. S. Lewis

God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense all His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give and nothing to receive. Hence, if God sometimes speaks as though the Impassible could suffer passion and eternal fullness could be in want, and in want of those beings on whom it bestows all from their bare existence upwards, this can mean only, if it means anything intelligible by us, that God of mere miracle has made Himself able so to hunger and created in Himself that which we can satisfy. If He requires us, the requirement is of His own choosing.

It is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up “our own” when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in Words to Live By
The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Charlatans and Liars

Cooking The Books

The Big Conflab to save the world is due in Paris in a few weeks.  The world must be saved from the catastrophe of  becoming warmer.  We humans are to blame, etc.  We remain convinced that this whole "cause" is religious at root. It represents a nativist desire, deeply embedded in the souls of a fallen race. It is an attempt to place the collective human race front and centre in the world and to make Man his own saviour.  Humanity must act in a united fashion.  The World must agree.  The global warming crusade represents once again the tired, old dirge of Babel's Tower.

Note, however, whilst the urge of being of one mind to save the Planet is the immediate lust, the deeper lust is that Man will be his own deliverer.  And the mechanism or the means to be employed is manifest.  It will be done through a global cohesion, agreements, rules, and universal government.  So potent a myth is at work that truth and integrity cannot be allowed to impede the mad rush to humanist salvation.

We always knew that as the Paris Conference approached the headlines of global warming would once again trumpet the doom of the planet.  So, it's no surprise that suddenly we are told, we have experienced the warmest temperatures ever.  The data tell no lies.  Numbers are pure.  We also expected that this data would turn out be one more example of manufactured "truth" in a long orchestrated litany of lies.

When it comes down to temperature readings, we need be clear that there are two types of temperature data: temperature readings from thermometers placed upon the ground, on the one hand, and atmospheric temperature readings from satellites and balloons.  The latter represents readings that are pure because raw.  Land based temperature data, however, are scrubbed, changed, amended, and "corrected".  It is made to fit.

The satellite and atmospheric data show no warming of earth's atmosphere over the last twenty years.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Evil Becomes Bolder, More Consistent

Paedophilia Legitimized 

North American Man Boy Love Association An Avatar of the Future

There is nothing except secular habits preventing Unbelief pushing paedophilia as a legitimate option and a human right.  The conscience of the the non-Christian West is a smoking ruin. If it can celebrate the dismembering of living unborn babies as a human freedom right, it can celebrate any perversion.  All that is needed is time and the marshalling of licentious lusts.

Here is the latest iteration of the descent and integration into the void: 

Media, White House, Salon Go Soft On Pedophilia

by John Nolte
Breitbart News

In 2003, Senator Rick Santorum was widely criticized for making a slippery slope argument about what can happen to a society and country once we turn away from Biblical morality. A mere 12 years later the former-Senator’s prediction has come tragically true.

It is only Tuesday and yet already this week Salon has published a lengthy article written by a pedophile asking for our understanding. Although he claims to have never acted on his impulses (but spent years in a chat room with those who have), the entire piece condemns society — you and I — as bigots for ostracizing  and condemning his kind.

Daily Devotional

All Things Are Possible

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe."
Mark 9:23

Charles H. Spurgeon

A certain man had a demoniac son, who was afflicted with a dumb spirit. The father, having seen the futility of the endeavours of the disciples to heal his child, had little or no faith in Christ, and therefore, when he was bidden to bring his son to him, he said to Jesus, "If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." Now there was an "if" in the question, but the poor trembling father had put the "if" in the wrong place: Jesus Christ, therefore, without commanding him to retract the "if," kindly puts it in its legitimate position.

"Nay, verily," he seemed to say, "there should be no if' about my power, nor concerning my willingness, the if' lies somewhere else." "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." The man's trust was strengthened, he offered a humble prayer for an increase of faith, and instantly Jesus spoke the word, and the devil was cast out, with an injunction never to return.

There is a lesson here which we need to learn. We, like this man, often see that there is an "if" somewhere, but we are perpetually blundering by putting it in the wrong place. "If" Jesus can help me--"if" he can give me grace to overcome temptation--"if" he can give me pardon--"if" he can make me successful? Nay, "if" you can believe, he both can and will. You have misplaced your "if." If you can confidently trust, even as all things are possible to Christ, so shall all things be possible to you.

Faith standeth in God's power, and is robed in God's majesty; it weareth the royal apparel, and rideth on the King's horse, for it is the grace which the King delighteth to honour. Girding itself with the glorious might of the all-working Spirit, it becomes, in the omnipotence of God, mighty to do, to dare, and to suffer.

All things, without limit, are possible to him that believeth. My soul, canst thou believe thy Lord tonight?

Lawful Christian Resistance, Part IV

God Is the Only Original Authority: 

All Other Authorities are Therefore Derived, Limited, and Subordinate

It is our contention that true, abiding liberty can only be achieved  and once achieved, sustained, within the Christian world-view.  All other frameworks or ideologies draw upon the creature, not the Creator.  Being of the creation, other ideologies end up oppressing and enslaving some, if not many.  Struggles for freedom in non-Christian states devolve into conflicts between elites striving to impose their respective truths upon the population at large.

Each non-Christian elite ends up defining some minority or other as outlaws--beyond the law--and persecutes them accordingly.  In today's "free societies", for example, the unborn child has been defined as the outlaw.  He has become an involuntary sacrifice to the glory of the secularist realm.  But there are other candidates for sacrifice and the longer secularism holds sway, the more citizens who have a different view and who march to the beat of a different Drummer, will be designated outlaws.  Remember that the communist tyranny of the Soviet Union  regarded itself as the most free realm on the earth.

The Christian Church has seen and experienced this before.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Bound to Suspend Disbelief

Social Justice, Egalitarian, and Politically-Correct Ideologues Doing Damage

And now something to make the feminists and their fellow travellers mad . . . .

Women in Combat Endanger Their Fellow Soldiers’ Lives

National Review Online
David French

Daily Devotional

We Will Run

"And they follow me."
John 10:27

Charles H. Spurgeon

We should follow our Lord as unhesitatingly as sheep follow their shepherd, for he has a right to lead us wherever he pleases. We are not our own, we are bought with a price--let us recognize the rights of the redeeming blood. The soldier follows his captain, the servant obeys his master, much more must we follow our Redeemer, to whom we are a purchased possession.

We are not true to our profession of being Christians, if we question the bidding of our Leader and Commander. Submission is our duty, cavilling is our folly. Often might our Lord say to us as to Peter, "What is that to thee? Follow thou me." Wherever Jesus may lead us, he goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long, but his everlasting arms will carry us to the end. The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because he lives, we shall live also.

We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which he leads us all end in glory and immortality. It is true they may not be smooth paths--they may be covered with sharp flinty trials, but they lead to the "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant." Let us put full trust in our Leader, since we know that, come prosperity or adversity, sickness or health, popularity or contempt, his purpose shall be worked out, and that purpose shall be pure, unmingled good to every heir of mercy. We shall find it sweet to go up the bleak side of the hill with Christ; and when rain and snow blow into our faces, his dear love will make us far more blest than those who sit at home and warm their hands at the world's fire.

To the top of Amana, to the dens of lions, or to the hills of leopards, we will follow our Beloved. Precious Jesus, draw us, and we will run after thee.

"Just" Causes Justify Lawbreaking

Superior Mortals Have More Rights

Self-righteous precious petals are at it again.  There are plenty of folk making up the ranks of those who have "higher causes" which justify the suspension of employment obligations it would seem.  A senior emergency doctor, working at the Whanganui Hospital, recently took part in a public protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) presently being negotiated.  No problems so far.

But the self-righteous doctor had a higher calling than ordinary mortals.  He presented at a demonstration clothed in his work uniform, clambered up on top of a vehicle (not his own) and sat on it, refusing to move.  He was arrested by the police and later discharged with a formal verbal warning.  His employers (the District Health Board) summoned him to a meeting where they told him to cease and desist.  His union is now protesting the draconian, lawless, oppressive behaviour of his employer.  This from Stuff:

Friday, 25 September 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

So We Agree Then?

By Douglas Wilson

The tenth video from the Center for Medical Progress is out and the issue highlighted by the videos appears to be gaining some mainstream traction. This video is one of the more effective of the released videos — though they all of them have packed a punch — and I wanted to take a minute to explain why I think this is so.

First, if you haven’t seen this video, take a few moments. There is no graphic footage here, but there are some amazing and nightmarish statements.  The issue is hypocrisy, and what is being revealed is that Planned Parenthood is guilty of high hypocrisy. Not only so, but it is a hypocrisy that is plainly self-aware.

Bernie Sanders just spoke at Liberty University, and was there asked about abortion. He said, in effect, “look, we just disagree about this.” He was received courteously, and his security detail did not have to fight their way to the door for him afterward. Now, despite the fact that pro-lifers believe that he is advocating murder, he denies it. This question, and this denial, all occur in the framework of a large gathering place where people were being civil and courteous to each other. That is a good snapshot of how the abortion debate usually goes.

Daily Devotional

The Door Will Open At Last to US

C. S. Lewis

When I attempted . . . . to describe our spiritual longings, I was omitting one of their most curious characteristics. We usually notice it just as the moment of vision dies away, as the music ends, or as the land- scape loses the celestial light. . . . . For a few minutes we have had the illusion of belonging to that world. Now we wake to find that it is no such thing. We have been mere spectators. Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face was turned in our direction, but not to see us. We have not been accepted, welcomed, or taken into the dance. We may go when we please, we may stay if we can: “Nobody marks us.”

A scientist may reply that since most of the things we call beautiful are inanimate, it is not very surprising that they take no notice of us. That, of course, is true. It is not the physical objects that I am speaking of, but that indescribable something of which they become for a moment the messengers. And part of the bitterness which mixes with the sweetness of that message is due to the fact that it so seldom seems to be a message intended for us, but rather something we have overheard. By bitterness I mean pain, not resentment. We should hardly dare to ask that any notice be taken of ourselves. But we pine.

The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgement, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Lawful Christian Resistance, Part III

Escalating Lawful Christian Resistance

Calvin's doctrine of Lawful Christian Resistance has had a marked influence upon the development of human rights and liberty in Western Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world.  In it he makes a sharp distinction between the duties and responsibilities of a private, non-official citizen with respect to the State, on the one hand, and the duties which lie upon officers of the State, on the other.  Both private citizens and State officials, however, right up to the highest authorities in the land, have a common duty and obligation to subject themselves to God, both to His law and His providences.

It is at this point that orthodox Christian views of the State sharply diverge from the presently prevailing secularist views.  The Christian knows that the "King"--the ruling State authorities--are appointed by God, and are first of all His officers and representatives.  Calvin points out that the Scriptures are replete with doctrine and teaching along these lines. The secularist view (at least in its democratic manifestation) is that our rulers are answerable solely to the people.  Any consideration about God is, to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, not good.

With the extension of democratic forms of government and doctrines of the rule of law (not men), Calvin's teaching needs extension and development.  Democratic and representative forms of government mean that the private citizen is also an implicit officer of state, since the State authorities hold their office, either directly or indirectly, through the suffrage of the people.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Blackest of Black Markets

Tenth Planned Parenthood Video Released

“Everything We Provide Is Fresh”

[guest post by Dana]

A tenth Planned Parenthood video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress.  This new video features conversations between Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor for PPFA; Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for External Medical Affairs for PPFA; and Deborah VanDerhei, National Director for the Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS) at PPFA, and focus on buyers’ organ preferences, efforts to keep the practice under wraps, and of course, profit:

“We’ve just been working with people who want particular tissues, like, you know, they want cardiac, or they want eyes, or they want neural,” says Dr. Westhoff to a prospective fetal organ buyer. “Certainly, everything we provide–oh, gonads! Oh my God, gonads. Everything we provide is fresh.” Westhoff continues, “Obviously, we would have the potential for a huge P.R. issue in doing this,” before offering to introduce the buyers to “national office abortion people” from Planned Parenthood. VanDerhei refers to payments for fetal tissue as “donation for remuneration,” which carries the connotation of financial reward or benefit without regard for actual expenses. “I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation, we’re trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we’re going to manage remuneration, because the headlines would be a disaster.”

“Is this really worth getting–I don’t even know what in general, what a specimen generally brings in?” VanDerhei later asks a prospective buyer. When she is told $100 per specimen, she remarks, “But we have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this.” VanDerhei suggests that Planned Parenthood goes to great lengths to avoid leaving a paper trail about their fetal tissue activity: “It’s an issue that you might imagine we’re not really that comfortable talking about on email.”

As Vanessa Russo, Compliance Program Administrator for Planned Parenthood Keystone in Pennsylvania, observes:

“A company like this that wants to give our organization money for the tissue–I think that that’s a valid exchange, and that that’s okay.”
On a side note: Yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigating Planned Parenthood’s practices, subpoenaed all of the unedited videos from the Center for Medical Progress.


Daily Devotional

Our Unspeakable Privilege

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” (Exodus 3:14)

John Piper

One implication of the magnificent name, I AM WHO I AM, is that this infinite, absolute, self-determining God has drawn near to us in Jesus Christ.

In John 8:56–58 Jesus is answering the criticism of the Jewish leaders. He says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly! I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Could Jesus have taken any more exalted words upon his lips? When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” he took up all the majestic truth of the name of God, wrapped it in the humility of servanthood, offered himself to atone for all our rebellion, and made a way for us to see the glory of God without fear.
In Jesus Christ we who are born of God have the unspeakable privilege of knowing Yahweh as our Father — I AM WHO I AM — the God
  • who exists
  • whose personality and power is owing solely to himself
  • who never changes
  • from whom all power and energy in the universe flows
  • and to whom all creation should conform its life.
May those who know the name of God put their trust in him.

Rumbles Under the Education "Hood"

Beware Rising Tides

The NZ Herald reports that a "top" New Zealand secondary school, Westlake Boys High School has decided to drop the Cambridge curriculum and exams and focus exclusively on New Zealand's home grown, secondary educational qualification, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).  [For an insider's analysis of the boondoggle that NCEA has become, click here, here, and  here.]  Those remaining secondary schools on Auckland's North Shore who still offer Cambridge are likely to be arranging a quiet celebration.  Parents will vote with their feet--as they always do.

Here is a sample of the responses from a selection of schools still offering Cambridge:
There are about 70 schools in the country offering Cambridge. Yesterday, some principals said they would not be following suit.  Roger Moses, of Wellington College, said the school had offered Cambridge in maths for about eight years, to provide an extra challenge for high-performing students.  He said that was partly because if students sat New Zealand Scholarship early, at Year 12, they weren't entitled to the monetary prize, which was "absurd".

Avondale College's Brent Lewis said their system was based on student choice. "If students want the competitive environment and greater rigour and a less minced form of assessment, then they will choose Cambridge.  "NCEA is good for those who want more support in teaching and learning, and more flexibility," he said.  Avondale's top scholar received a scholarship to Cambridge University last year, which Mr Lewis said would not have happened if he had taken NCEA. [NZ Herald]
Recently we were chatting with an aspiring teacher who had completed a degree in Science at Auckland University.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

A Duty to Interpose


One of the things we must absolutely learn how to do better than we do is distinguish things that differ, especially things that look similar but which differ radically. We must learn to say, as Dorothy Sayers once famously said, distinguo. I distinguish.

There is a profound difference between the doctrine of interposition/lesser magistrates on the one hand and the doctrine of liberty of conscience on the other. There are places where they overlap, but there are also instances where they have nothing to do with each other. When a magistrate decides to interpose, he is doing it as a matter of conscience. But he is not exercising his liberty — he is discharging a duty.
Yea, He commandeth no obedience.
Yea, He commandeth no obedience.
A citizen has the right to be left alone in any number of areas. We ought not to tell him what days on which he must mow his lawn, we ought not require him to photograph homosexual unions, we ought not to tell him that the Department of Agriculture requires him to floss daily.  Even if he is mistaken, and his conscience along with him, we should still let him close his shop in honor of the coming of the Great Pumpkin. What he does with his time, his money, his business is, in fact, his business.

Daily Devotional

Freedom to Take Possession of God's Promises

"The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."
Galatians 5:1

Charles H. Spurgeon

This "liberty" makes us free to heaven's charter--the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, "When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee." You are free to that. Here is another: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee"; you are free to that.

You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Father's love-token; thou art free to it at all times.

Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believer's privilege to have access at all times to his heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead his promise that he will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach his throne at all times--in midnight's darkest hour, or in noontide's most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege.

Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ--wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a "freedom" is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

Their Blood Cries Out to Him

He Who Has Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear

Evidence is presently  being heard in the United States Congress by the House Judiciary Committee. One of the most powerful pieces of evidence and testimony we have ever heard has come from Gianna Jessen, a 39 year old survivor of a saline abortion.

One could not help but think as we listened to her powerful appeals and denunciations of the evil of abortion that for a brief, incandescent moment, a prophet had been raised up amongst us.  She speaks with the authority of the Lord Himself.  Woe betide a people who will not listen.

A summary of her experience and testimony  is provided by TPNN.

[Warning: do not watch the video at the end of this piece if you are not prepared to have your heart rent.]