Saturday, 21 July 2018

More Reaction to Mayor Goff's Self-Righteousness Priggery

Since When?

Auckland Town Hall Decreed Closed To Divisive Events

John Roughan
NZ Herald

Like many of us this week no doubt, I've put the names Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux into the search engine, curious to find out why the Mayor of Auckland considers their views too dangerous to be given a public platform in our fair city.

The search turned up video clips of Southern, a young Canadian holding a microphone in the middle of a demonstration. A woman with a nose ring was berating her for insisting there are only two genders in this world. Another clip showed her invading a woman's march against sexual harassment. She was asking the marchers whether they wanted "women's rights or Islam?"

She opposes unchecked immigration, particularly if it's Islamic, and she has exposed something that worried me when an Economist report mentioned in passing that Italian naval craft were going almost to the North African coast to pick up "refugees" who had only to jump out of a boat.

Southern is essentially a journalist who asks unwelcome questions, questions that lurk in the mind of probably all of thinking people and challenge the dominant sympathies of the mass media today.

Molyneux is an intellectually heavier proposition.

Daily Meditation

Accepting His Deity


In Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17, He says: “And now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (v. 5). Here Jesus alludes to a position He held before creation. It is a tacit claim to His participation in the eternal glory of God.
In the fourth century, the church faced a serious crisis with respect to the deity of Christ. The Arian heretics denied the deity of Christ, claiming that Jesus was a creature who was adopted into a special relationship with God. In their controversy with orthodox Christians, they used ribald and derogatory songs as a method of propaganda.
In response to the Arian attacks, the orthodox Christians composed their own songs, one of which was the Gloria Patri. Note the words of this well-known song:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, amen.
In its inception, the Gloria Patri functioned as a type of fight song, a rallying cry for orthodox Christianity. That original function has been lost through the passing of time so that it is now used as a liturgical response. We no longer sense the extraordinary significance of ascribing glory to Christ. 

Coram Deo

Try using the Gloria Patri in this reading as a spiritual warfare song. Quote or sing it out loud.

Passages for Further Study


Trump's Foreign Policy, Part II

A Kernel of Truth

A seasoned New Zealand politician cum diplomat has acknowledged that the proposals of British PM, Theresa May for a soft Brexit are troubling.  Lockwood Smith is arguing that President Trump has put his finger on the problem.

Some Truth In Trump's Warning
Claire Trevett
NZ Herald

Former High Commissioner to London Sir Lockwood Smith says US President Donald Trump's comments about the Brexit deal on a visit to the UK had a kernel of truth to them and he was echoing concerns held globally.

In an interview with The Sun that ran as Trump arrived in the UK last week, Trump said the proposals in the Brexit White Paper could imperil a trade agreement between the UK and the US.  "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal."

After meeting with British PM Theresa May, Trump backpedalled somewhat saying May and advisors had reassured them it would not, and he was fine with whatever step they took.  Smith told Q+A that Trump's interview with The Sun was "outrageous" but he was right to flag concerns around Brexit and the proposed trade arrangement with the EU.

New Zealand is one of the countries first in line for an agreement with the EU and Smith said Trump's view on the white paper proposal was a global concern.  "What one's got to sift through is what he did say that actually made some sense and the issue is we need the UK to become a global player.  Trump has pulled the US out of being the leader, say, on global trade. And we need the UK to step up."  He said it was questionable whether the White Paper made that possible.

"A half-way house is not going to work. They've got to see that they've got to actually leave the EU and negotiate a real world-leading FTA with the EU."  Smith was High Commissioner to London until 2017 and is a former Trade Minister.  He is now on the influential Legatum Institute's trade advisory group which is advocating for a "hard Brexit" when it comes to trade.

He had met with former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson a few weeks ago before Johnson quit in protest at the White Paper proposal.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Cattle Have More Rights Than Children

Too True



[Hat Tip: No Minister]

Daily Meditation

Comprehending the Course of History

Ligonier Ministries

What is striking in this history [of the genealogies Christ] is the manifest hand of providence in the work of redemption. God is a God of long-range planning. He does not succumb to the all-too-human tendency toward immediate gratification and short-term goals.
God sees the end from the beginning and rules the course of history, moving it inexorably toward its appointed destiny. In the affairs of the life of Abraham, God was providentially directing history toward David’s kingship and far beyond to the kingship of Christ.
The genealogies show that the first advent of Christ was not an afterthought in God’s mind, a sudden quick-fix remedy for a world run amok. Rather, it displays a marvelous drama of redemption that God ordained before the foundation of the world and gradually but surely brought to pass in the footnotes of history.
All who rejoice in the first advent are comforted by the certainty of the promised second advent. We, as twenty-first-century Christians, live in an interim period—the time between two advents that define, condition, and redeem the meaning of our lives.

Coram Deo

Focus your thoughts on the second advent of Jesus Christ by reading Matthew 24.

Passages for Further Study

Trump's Foreign Policy, Part I

Method in the "Madness"

When it comes to foreign policy, we suspect that Trump will be assessed by history as one of the better US Presidents.  It is possible, depending on how things develop, that he will even be rated one of the best.  

His predecessor, Barack Obama is rapidly fading into the mists of time.  "What did he stand for, again?"  many are wondering.  We don't think the West will be confused about Trump and what he stood for when it came to US foreign policy. 

A couple of recent pieces in NZ media underscore this thesis.  Mike Hosking is in no doubt about what Trump stands for when it comes to US foreign policy.

Trump Yet Again Proves He's Up To The Job
Mike Hosking
NZ Herald

If he was an act, and of course many people argue he is, then it would have been called the "tell it like it is" tour.  I happened to be watching live as US President Donald Trump arrived to lambaste NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.  Being live, no-one knew what was coming, and it was fantastic to watch.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Remember the Uyghurs

China’s Marxist Tyranny

J. J. McCullough
National Review Online

. . . Today, our culture of Chinese normalization has become so smothering that encountering unvarnished information about how the regime actually works can be a jarring experience.

Canada’s Globe and Mail recently published a horrifying exposé on the persecution of China’s Uyghur minority. As Jay Nordlinger summarized for National Review last May, the Uyghur are a Muslim ethnic minority who constitute a plurality in China’s enormous western province of Xinjiang. Beijing considers them an Islamist menace waiting to happen, and perhaps those Westerners who worry about Islamism will be inclined to sympathize. Yet the Stalinist measures employed in response make even the most hardened American Islamophobe look tame.

Citing exceedingly dubious suspicions, the Chinese state has detained, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of Uyghur for forced indoctrination. The Globe described the testimony of a typical victim:
The woman, whose name is not being used by The Globe and Mail for her protection, was put through regular self-criticism sessions. Part of the content was cultural. “My soul is infected with serious diseases,” she would repeat. “There is no God. I don’t believe in God. I believe in the Communist Party.”

Other content was more explicitly political. Day after day she would say out loud that she was a traitor, a separatist and a terrorist.

“I am so blind not to see the greatness of our strong country’s laws. I am so stupid that I was not thankful for our President Xi Jinping,” she would be told to recite.
The piece describes Beijing’s brainwashing techniques in lurid detail.

Daily Meditation

We Work by Grace

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

John Piper


Paul realized that the first part of this verse might be misunderstood. So he goes on to say, “Though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”  This text does not say that Paul is obeying Christ out of gratitude for grace he had given in the past. It says that, at every moment, the future grace of God enabled Paul’s work.

Does it really say that? Doesn’t it just say that the grace of God worked with Paul? No, it says more. We have to come to terms with the words, “Though it was not I.” Paul wants to exalt the moment-by-moment grace of God in such a way that it is clear that he himself is not the decisive doer of this work.

Nevertheless, he is a doer of this work: “I worked harder than any of them.” He worked. But he said it was the grace of God “toward me.”

If we let all the parts of this verse stand, the end result is this: grace is the decisive doer in Paul’s work. Since Paul is also a doer of his work, the way grace becomes the decisive doer is by becoming the enabling power of Paul’s work. I take this to mean that, as Paul faced each day’s ministry burden, he bowed his head and confessed that unless future grace was given for that day’s work, he would not be able to do it.

He recalled the words of Jesus, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). So he prayed for future grace for the day, and he trusted in the promise that it would come with power. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Then he acted with all his might.

Chris Trotter Understands

Free Speech Denialism Is Fascism In Action.

Chris Trotter is old-style, principled Left. Like many of us, he is verging on being lumped in with the dinosaurs. On the other side of the Leftist divide is the present Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff who seems to enjoy ruling ex-cathedra like an old-style absolutist monarch. His latest outrage is to declare that all city council buildings, including its tax-paid public venues, shall be off limits to anyone Phil decides is a right wing extremist.

 This places Goff so far to the Left that he is now holding hands with the Fascists. When it comes to human ideologies there are few options. Historian Richard Overy has written a book entitled, The Dictators. [The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia (London: Allen Lane/Penguin, 2004)].  He argued in compelling fashion that between Hitler (ostensibly Far Right Fascist) and Stalin (ostensibly Far Left Communist) the practical and actual difference was cigarette paper thin.

Trotter is upset at the intolerant totalitarian tendencies of today's Left.  Increasingly one has to lump the "Politically Correct" Left (like Goff) with the Hard Left extremists.  Or, to put it another way, amongst the Left, the mainstream is now the extreme when viewed through the lens of history.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

More on The "Trump Doctrine"

Reciprocity Is the Method to Trump’s Madness

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online


The president sends a signal: Treat us the way we treat you, and keep your commitments.
Critics of Donald Trump claim that there’s no rhyme or reason to his foreign policy. But if there is a consistency, it might be called reciprocity.  Trump tries to force other countries to treat the U.S. as the U.S. treats them. In “don’t tread on me” style, he also warns enemies that any aggressive act will be replied to in kind.

The underlying principle of Trump commercial reciprocity is that the United States is no longer powerful or wealthy enough to alone underwrite the security of the West. It can no longer assume sole enforcement of the rules and protocols of the post-war global order.

This year there have been none of the usual Iranian provocations — frequent during the Obama administration — of harassing American ships in the Persian Gulf. Apparently, the Iranians now realize that anything they do to an American ship will be replied to with overwhelming force.

Ditto North Korea. After lots of threats from Kim Jong-un about using his new ballistic missiles against the United States, Trump warned that he would use America’s far greater arsenal to eliminate North Korea’s arsenal for good.

Trump is said to be undermining NATO by questioning its usefulness some 69 years after its founding. Yet this is not 1948, and Germany is no longer down. The United States is always in. And Russia is hardly out but is instead cutting energy deals with the Europeans.

Daily Meditation

Tracing the Genealogy of Jesus

Ligonier Ministries

At first glance, the beginning of Matthew is a less-than-exciting literary starting point of the New Testament. It is a list of “begats” tracing Jesus’ lineage back to Abraham.
What this beginning lacks in literary punch it makes up for in theological significance. Among other things, the genealogical tables of the New Testament place the gospel squarely on the plane of history. Jesus was born “in the fullness of time”—His ministry is defined and interpreted against the background of Old Testament history.
The New Testament provides two genealogical tables for Jesus, one by Matthew and one by Luke. These tables differ at significant points. Matthew was writing for a Jewish audience and Luke for a Gentile audience. Matthew was concerned to show that Jesus legally descended from David and was therefore a descendant of Judah to whom the messianic kingship was promised. Matthew treats the legal descent of Jesus and limits the lists to three groupings of fourteen generations, allowing himself to make omissions.
Luke follows the natural descent with greater detail. He takes the list back to Adam, as it was a central theme in his Gospel to set forth the universality of the gospel. Jesus is indeed the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, but He is also the new Adam who comes to redeem not only Israel but men and women from every tribe and nation.

Coram Deo

Who is Jesus to you?

Passages for Further Study

Exemplary Excellence in a School

Standards

A few weeks ago a copy of Allan Peachey's What's Up With Our Schools came across our desk.  Peachey's brief bio can be found here.  He died of cancer in November 2011, after a stellar career in front-line, hands-on education.  His impatient contempt for educrats and teacher unions is legendary.  His success in leading Rangitoto College is still spoken of with great respect amongst serious educators.  

Here is Peachey's take on how to raise and maintain high standards of behaviour in a school.
It is not possible to completely eliminate bad behaviour but I have found that the time spent on this can be greatly reduced if the school and its staff articulate very clear, consistent and challenging expectations of the students, and pay attention to the basics.

The correct uniform is to be worn at all times, and if it isn't we will deal with it; we will not pretend that we haven't seen it.  Swear within earshot of a teacher, and you have sworn at the teacher; the penalty for that is exclusion from school.  Deal with these little things and the big things take care of themselves.  Graffiti is rare in our school, but when it appears it is immediately removed, and it is certainly not to be tolerated on classroom desks.  Zero tolerance works.  [Allan Peachey, What's Up With Our Schools: A New Zealand Principal Speaks Out (Auckland: Random House, 2005), p. 20.] 
Of course the reason one would maintain a standard of zero-tolerance over behaviour and would practise strict enforcement of the code is that teachers can then spend far more time teaching and extracting the best from students.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Deliverance

North Korea Survivor Tells Of Starvation, Torture

‘You Cannot Imagine What Life Without Freedom Is Like’


Juliana Knot
The Federalist

Grace Jo’s first memory of North Korea is sitting by her grandmother, selling a bucket of dried fish in the marketplace. Her grandmother raised her and her four siblings, because her parents were often gone trying to find food, whether by scavenging for wild vegetables in the mountains or by bartering, at times nearly begging, in the market.

More than two decades later, Jo told her story this week at  George Mason University’s Arlington campus. The Fund for American Studies hosted the event.

“Here in America, it’s difficult to understand. You cannot imagine what life without freedom is like,” Jo said. Jo then walked the crowd through her family’s story. Her grandmother, as well as her two younger brothers, eventually succumbed to starvation in North Korea.

Her older sister went missing after going to China to find food. The Jo family doesn’t know for certain but assumes she was either forced into sex trafficking or sold as a bride to a Chinese farmer.

Her father is also dead. After realizing that there was no food for his family in his country, he made the perilous journey into China to ask for a bag of rice from relatives. On his third trip, someone reported him to government officials, who promptly arrested him.

Daily Meditation

Responding to Disasters

How do we respond to the violence of natural disasters? How does our theology deal with such wanton destruction that shows no respect for persons? The elderly, infants, and helplessly infirm experience no mercy in the face of natural disasters such as floods and storms that sweep away everything in their paths. After such events, the question on many people’s lips is: “How could a good God allow such a thing to happen?”
Nature’s angry tirades have produced endless speculation from philosophers and theologians. How do we, as Christians, respond to the problem of pain and suffering in the world? Scripture provides no final answer to the problem of evil and suffering. But it gives some helpful guidelines.
First, the Bible teaches us that evil is real. The Bible never seeks to minimize the full reality of suffering and misery. It makes no attempt to pawn these realities off as mere illusions. Nor is there any call to a Stoic attitude of imperturbability or detachment from such reality. The biblical characters speak openly of calamity; they weep real tears; they rend their garments and pen their lamentations. The Christ of Scripture is a man of sorrows who is acquainted with grief. His road is the Via Dolorosa.
Second, the Bible teaches that evil is not ultimate. Though Christianity recognizes the total force of evil, it is never regarded in ultimate categories of dualism. Evil is dependent and derived. It has no independent power above and over God. It is redeemable. Though Scripture takes evil seriously, its message is one of triumph. Though the whole creation groans in travail waiting for its redemption, that groan is not futile. Over all creation stands the cosmic Christ who at the same time is Christus Victor.

Coram Deo

How do you respond in the face of disaster? Do you blame God? What is your personal theology of suffering?

Passages for Further Study


Appeals to Guilt and Pity


Auckland's Phoney Homeless Make $100 a Day on the Streets  

Amanda Saxton
Stuff

[In our public-welfarist society, the avenues and pathways to get help are both numerous and ubiquitous.  For some, living on the streets is a hard-core lifestyle choice.  But it only works if people walking by are moved by guilt and pity.  It seems like plenty of people are. Ed.]

Every morning, a group of men gather in downtown Auckland. Half of them aren't homeless, but they act like it.

Auckland Council has announced it will count the city's rough sleepers to fully grasp the scale of homelessness. We took to the streets to learn about those on society's edge in the city's centre, whose current way of life the council hopes to eliminate.  Before sunrise, every morning, a group of men gather in downtown Auckland. They've been doing this since before the SkyTower was built in the 1990s. One's lost a leg in that time.

The quartet make chairs out of bread crates cushioned with cardboard boxes and play Fleetwood Mac via a bluetooth speaker.  Someone always drops off a bag of day-old meat pies just after 7am. Buddies the men consider brothers walk past, getting fist bumps and a pie if they're lucky. A dishevelled, jittery old fella named Joseph staggers over and slips $20 to one of the seated men.

Mark Phillip, Sole Johnstone, Kenny Dahl and a rough sleeping friend spend their mornings on Victoria St, in downtown ...
Mark Phillip, Sole Johnstone, Kenny Dahl and a rough sleeping friend spend their mornings on Victoria St, in downtown Auckland, hustling passersby and swigging beer.

Its recipient – Mark Phillip – carefully moves two cans of Kingfisher beer from under his hoody to behind his bread crate, stands up, and sets off for the convenience store across the road.  "Joseph can't buy beer there 'cause he's been trespassed," Phillip explains, upon his return. "So one of us goes, and charges for 'gas money'."  When asked if it isn't a bit harsh to take money from a visibly struggling friend, Phillip winks.  "It's a tax, it's one of my hustles – it's what we do out here," he says.

By 8.30am the men are wasted.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Shuffling The Diplomatic Cards

NATO Is Sick

Trump Is The Best Doctor It’s Likely To Get

[This is the best piece we have read on "explaining Trump" that we have read thus far. Ed.]

If you don’t like the messenger or how he messages, fine, but don’t miss the real issue: Does NATO as it is functioning require a bit of scrutiny and reform? Obviously so.

Paul Bonicelli
The Federalist

NATO is needed and always will be as long as threats to the West exist in the form of Russia and state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran, whose utmost desire is the weakening if not destruction of Western civilization. But support for NATO, just like support for free trade, does not mean that the status quo must be protected and left unchallenged.

Not much in life escapes the need to be questioned, probed, and reformed. Now, if you don’t like the messenger or how he messages, fine, but don’t miss the real issue: Does NATO as it is functioning almost 70 years after its birth require a bit of scrutiny and reform?

The recent NATO summit in Brussels underscored how much the United States’ relationship with European powers is under considerable stress. It is so because the United States elected a businessman, not a traditional politician, much less a traditional diplomat. Each thinks differently, speaks differently, and seeks different outcomes. That above all is causing the turmoil, not simply the president’s blunt messaging.

Business People Want Results, Not Static

Business people like Trump see whatever and whoever is on the other side of the table primarily as means to an end. It is not that they dehumanize them or put no stock in having good relationships. Rather, they don’t see any arrangement as permanent because the bottom line is outcomes, not comity.

Politicians, on the other hand, tend to seek permanence in relationships if they can achieve it because they like stability.

Daily Meditation

Looking up to Heroes

When I was a boy I thought like a boy. I behaved like a boy. I understood like a boy. I was deeply impressed by heroes. Mostly, they were figures from the sports world. There was Doak Walker, Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, Sammy Baugh, Bob Waterfield, Felix “Doc” Blanchard, Johnny Lujack. I hoarded and traded baseball cards.
As we grow older, our heroes change, but we don’t stop having them. Enter into my home today and it will not take long for you to see who my heroes are now. You can’t miss the portraits of Martin Luther, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee. You’ll see the fading photographs of my father and my grandfather. You’ll see the works of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Jonathan Edwards. You’ll hear me speak of John Gerstner. These names are readily apparent in my office—though perhaps a bit incongruous next to the framed portrait of Arnold Palmer.
Strange, isn’t it? We need models. We need leaders who inspire us, real people of flesh and blood who embody character traits we admire, for in that admiration and inspiration comes emulation. I know that I shall never be Martin Luther. God and all my golf teachers know I’ll never be Arnold Palmer. I cannot be these men. But I can try to be like them. I can imitate their courage as I face life’s challenges. I can be strengthened by their examples.
Though the “cloud of witnesses” cited in Hebrews 11 is a list of heroes and heroines, they are, nevertheless, people of real flesh and blood whose lives are set forth for us in sacred Scripture. Their portraits are painted there for us, warts and all. We even find something praiseworthy, something worth emulating, in the life of the harlot, Rahab.
Let us never grow up so far that we can no longer look up.

Coram Deo

Who are your heroes? What positive examples do they provide for your spiritual life?

Passages for Further Study


Anti-Christian Hatred On the Rise

Is History Beginning to Repeat Itself in London?

St Paul’s Cathedral calls police when man reads Bible in English?

BarnabasFund

Faith comes from hearing (Romans 10:17) and authoritarian governments always seem to recognise the power of God’s Word, with many seeking to restrict free access to Bibles and Christian literature around the world. Countries including Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Cuba, Tajikistan and Iran prohibit entirely or place restrictions on owning and distributing Bibles.

For many persecuted Christians, access to Bibles and Christian literature is severely limited and owning a Bible can have serious consequences. In the strongly Muslim Maldives, a Christian convert found with a Bible in their home can be imprisoned. In several Communist countries, the Bible is viewed as a subversive text. Today, we report on a clampdown on Bible mission work in South Korea, where for over a decade Bible texts have been sent over the border into North Korea by balloon and other secret means.



William Tyndale was strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536 for his desire to enable everyone in England to read the bible for themselves

Nearly 500 years ago, the Bible in English was considered a subversive text in Britain because it enabled ordinary people (who did not understand Latin) to read the Bible for themselves.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Rebellion On Steroids

The Wilful Ignorance and Madness Continues




But wait, there's more.  This gem from Rod Dreher.

UPDATE: Here is a video of Jessi Cruickshank (“one of Canada’s most beloved TV personalities”) presenting the gospel to children, and leading them in their catechism. Jaw-dropping stuff:



Daily Meditation

A Place of Victory

"His heavenly kingdom."  2 Timothy 4:18

Charles H. Spurgeon


Yonder city of the great King is a place of active service. Ransomed spirits serve him day and night in his temple. They never cease to fulfil the good pleasure of their King. They always "rest," so far as ease and freedom from care is concerned; and never "rest," in the sense of indolence or inactivity.

Jerusalem the golden is the place of communion with all the people of God. We shall sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in eternal fellowship. We shall hold high converse with the noble host of the elect, all reigning with him who by his love and his potent arm has brought them safely home. We shall not sing solos, but in chorus shall we praise our King. Heaven is a place of victory realized.

Whenever, Christian, thou hast achieved a victory over thy lusts--whenever after hard struggling, thou hast laid a temptation dead at thy feet--thou hast in that hour a foretaste of the joy that awaits thee when the Lord shall shortly tread Satan under thy feet, and thou shalt find thyself more than conqueror through him who hath loved thee. Paradise is a place of security.

When you enjoy the full assurance of faith, you have the pledge of that glorious security which shall be yours when you are a perfect citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem. O my sweet home, Jerusalem, thou happy harbour of my soul! Thanks, even now, to him whose love hath taught me to long for thee; but louder thanks in eternity, when I shall possess thee.

"My soul has tasted of the grapes,
And now it longs to go
Where my dear Lord his vineyard keeps
And all the clusters grow.

"Upon the true and living vine,
My famish'd soul would feast,
And banquet on the fruit divine,
An everlasting guest."

An Oliver Twist Moment

More of This, Please

One of the ways the Lord is sometimes pleased to destroy the power of evil and unbelief  is to foment quarreling and dissension amongst those who oppose His Messiah.  A house divided against itself cannot stand. 

One of the memes that has erupted over recent years is a staunch and angry rejection of what is called Conversion Therapy.  The ins and outs of such "therapy" need not concern us here.  But one thing is clear: the transgenderists by and large resent and resist the whole idea that Christians might be involved in encouraging people out of transgenderism.  Conversion therapy is therefore on the brink of being declared illegal in the UK.  There are voices starting to be raised in New Zealand asserting that it be likewise made illegal here.

But at the same time internecine war has broken out between lesbians and transgenderists.  Why? What is the problem?  Well, lesbians are rejecting transgenderism as a form of Conversion Therapy!  And they are right, at least from the position of insisting upon consistency and rejecting hypocrisy.

Feminists Clash with Transgenders at London Pride Parade
Tyler O'Neil
PJ Media

We told you it would happen, and it finally has. Conservatives long predicted that feminism and transgenderism were ultimately incompatible, but for a long time it seemed like the LGBT movement might just hold them together. Well, on Saturday that movement burst open, as lesbians led the parade in attacking transgenderism.
"Transactivism Erases Lesbians!" read a banner that temporarily led the Pride in London march in the heart of Britain's capital.

Friday, 13 July 2018

It's a Mad, Mad World

Government Drops Doctor Who Says Gender Given At Birth

Steve Bird
The Telegraph

A doctor has been “sacked” as a medical assessor for a government department after refusing to renounce his Christian belief that gender is determined at birth, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Dr David Mackereth has worked for 26 years as an NHS doctor but was told he could not be employed as a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) disability assessor if he refused to identify patients as being of a sex that they did not see themselves as.

The 55-year-old father of four believes sex is genetic and biological, so established at birth.  He now claims his right to freedom of speech has been denied and he has been classed “unfit” to work for the department because of his religious convictions.

And, the medic from Dudley in the West Midlands fears many other professional people of faith could also be dismissed simply for holding opinions about gender that are “centuries old”.  Dr Mackereth, who registered as a doctor in 1989 and spent most of his career working in Accident & Emergency wards, said: “I’m not attacking the transgender movement. But, I’m defending my right to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief.  I don’t believe I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun. I am not setting out to upset anyone. But, if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked then, as a society we have to examine where we are going.”

Dr Mackereth, a Reformed Baptist, started a training course in May to become a health and disability assessor for the DWP.  His role would have meant interviewing and then writing independent reports about the health of those claiming disability benefits.

Daily Meditation

We Experience the Spirit Through Faith

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

John Piper


The Spirit came to you the first time when you believed in the blood-bought promises of God. And the Spirit keeps on coming, and keeps on working, by this same means.  So Paul asks, rhetorically, “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians 3:5). Answer: “By hearing with faith.”

Therefore, the Spirit came the first time, and the Spirit keeps on being supplied, through the channel of faith. What he accomplishes in us is through faith.

If you are like me, you may have strong longings from time to time for the mighty working of the Holy Spirit in your life. Perhaps you cry out to God for the outpouring of the Spirit in your life or in your family or church or city. Such cries are right and good. Jesus said, “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).

But what I have found most often in my own life is the failure to open myself to the full measure of the Spirit’s work by believing the promises of God. I don’t mean merely the promise that the Spirit will come when we ask. I mean all the other precious promises that are not directly about the Spirit but, perhaps, about God’s provision for my future — for example, “My God will supply every need of yours” (Philippians 4:19).

This is what is missing in the experience of so many Christians as they seek the power of the Spirit in their lives. The Spirit is supplied to us “by hearing with faith” (Galatians 3:5) — not just faith in one or two promises about the Spirit himself, but about all the soul-satisfying presence of God in our future.

An Abuse of Power By the Insecure

A Man Unworthy of the Office He Holds

Phil Goff has never been on our list of favorite politicians.  Now, as Mayor of New Zealand's largest city he appears to be running out of loyal allies.  His latest pretentious absurdity is to rule ex cathedra that city council buildings and public venues must not be used for anyone expressing views to which our insecure, autocratic mayor objects.  

A couple of twenty-something Canadians were due to come to New Zealand to set forth their presentation of what is wrong with the world.  Whilst we profess ignorance of their views and precepts, we are certain that they do not carry grenades in their pockets, nor Uzi's in their luggage.  Nevertheless, they have been branded as "right wing extremists".

No Right Turn, a leftist blog, is not impressed with attempts to prevent the pair speaking.
Unfortunately, being insulted is just something people have to put up with in a free and democratic society, and our Supreme Court is on record (in Brooker v Police) as saying so. We have a right to freedom of speech in New Zealand, which covers not just the right of these racists to speak, but also the right of their racist audience to listen. Restricting that right pre-emptively requires a very high test: basicly an announced intention on the part of the speaker to incite a riot. If that test isn’t met, there’s no justifiable reason to prevent them from speaking. And as I’ve said in other cases, the answer to speech you don’t like is more speech, not less. If they’re giving a speech, then protest outside, and make it damn clear to everyone that kiwis don’t agree with their racism and Islamophobia.
Up steps the virtue-exuding Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff.
 A public talk by two controversial Canadians accused of hate speech has been cancelled after Auckland's mayor Phil Goff banned them from all council venues.

Lauren Southern.Canadian conservative and libertarian activist Lauren Southern are planning to visit Auckland next month for talks.   Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who are best known for their far-right alternative views on everything from feminism, gender and immigration to Islam, were set to perform at the Bruce Mason Centre on 3 August.

However, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff tweeted that venues should not be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions and that Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux would not be speaking at any council venues.

Auckland Live which runs the centre as well as the Auckland Town Hall, Aotea Centre and Civic Centre, tweeted the event had been cancelled because of security concerns.  The event organiser said the decision was disappointing and a blow for democracy.  David Pellowe from Axoimatic said Mr Goff had the wrong idea about what the pair wanted to talk about.  "He's misrepresented the purpose of the events as to stir up ethnic and religious tensions. He's misrepresented them as views that divide rather than unite," he said.  "It's very sad for democracy and for debate."  [Radio NZ]
What this represents to our mind is the fundamental insecurity of Mayor Goff and those for whom he is acting as patron.  What a bunch of pansies.  Goff and his cohort have brought shame upon  themselves.  Ironically, he is guilty of stirring up ethnic and religious tensions all by himself.

He should be banned, non?