Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Signs of the Times

Oppressive Intolerance in the UK

The Barnabas Fund recently published a booklet on the beginnings of state persecution in the modern era against Christians in the UK.  It describes the following case study:
In February 2017, a CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) lawyer in England told the Bristol Magistrates Court that publicly quoting from the King James Bible "in the context of modern British society, must be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter.

The lawyer was speaking at the trial of two men arrested in 2016 for preaching in a Bristol shopping area. The police arrested the men not because of how they were preaching but because of what they were preaching.  During the trial, the CPS lawyer went on to claim:
"To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth.  To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth."
After the trial, the street preachers' solicitor, Michael Phillips, expressed his concern at the actions of the CPS: "This prosecution is nothing more then a modern-day heresy trial--dressed up under the Public Order Act." 
This is not an isolated case, as the Barnabas Fund booklet goes on to demonstrate.

Monday, 12 November 2018

And Your Problem With That is What, Exactly?

Consistency, Where Art Thou?

Dutchman, 69, Brings Lawsuit to Lower His Age 20 Years


Mr Ratelband believes changing his age will improve his chances on dating app Tinder.  A Dutch "positivity trainer" has launched a legal battle to change his age and boost his dating prospects.

Emile Ratelband, 69, wants to shift his birthday from 11 March 1949 to 11 March 1969, comparing the change to identifying as being transgender.  "We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can't I decide my own age?" he said.  A local court in the eastern city of Arnhem is expected to rule on the case within four weeks.

However officials were sceptical about the case, believing there was no legal mechanism allowing a person to change their birth date, local reports said.  One of the judges wanted to know what would become of the 20 years that Mr Ratelband wanted to erase. "Who were your parents looking after then? Who was that little boy?" he was quoted as saying.

Daily Meditation

Anticipating the Day of the Lord

In the Old Testament, the prophets spoke of the day of the “visitation of God.” It was seen sometimes as a day of great comfort and rejoicing, and at other times as a day of great distress and judgment.
At the birth of Jesus, God visited the earth. This visitation is celebrated in the Spirit-inspired hymn of Zacharias, in which he twice makes mention of God’s divine visitation (Luke 1:68–6978).
The New Testament calls Jesus the “Bishop of our souls.” He is the Bishop Incarnate. His visit to this world has changed the course of history. The initial visit of our heavenly Bishop was cloaked in mystery. He came not as a military general but as a baby in a rock-hewn manger. But He came to care for our souls. He came to see our situation. He came with divine blessing and redemption. He also came with a divine warning.
Our Bishop announced to the world that at some future date He would make a second visit. He promises to appear once more to review His troops. For those who love His coming, His next visit will be an occasion of unspeakable joy and glory. At that visit, the consummation of His bishop’s task will be complete.
For those who ignore the first visit of the Bishop, His second visit will be one of sudden disaster. That will be the day of the Lord, the day Amos described as a day of darkness, with no light in it (Amos 5:18).

Coram Deo

Thank God for the unspeakable joy and glory that awaits you in the day of the Lord.

Passages for Further Study

"Regrets . . . I've Had a Few"

An Impending Tsunami

Experts have been warning for some time that trans-sexualism will produce a litany of regrets and damage.  Here is the case of Debbie Karemer: 
A woman who has lived for fifteen years as though she was a man has now said she regrets ever having surgery to ‘change sex’.  As a teenage girl Debbie Karemer was raped multiple times by her father.  This horrendous childhood experience stayed with her, and experts have told her it brought on post-traumatic stress disorder which she believes led to the desire for surgery.

Debbie changed her name to Lee and underwent the irreversible surgery aged 44.  She had her breasts, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, and doctors fashioned a prosthetic penis for her.  She believes part of the decision to have surgery was her reasoning that if she did not have a vagina, she could not be raped again. But she now feels her body has been “mutilated”.
Debbie's suffering at the hands of an evil man are hard for others to comprehend.  But the route or remedy she chose to reduce her suffering has only added to it.  We grieve for her.  Yet, what of the "professionals" who counselled and guided her into these multiplied griefs? 

In a Christian society, trans-genderism would be an outlawed medical practice.  Modern pagan society and medical "experts" have failed.  It has breached the most fundamental ethical principle of medicine: "first of all, do no harm".

Debbie said: “I wish I could turn back the clock and just have the foresight of what the nightmare the next 15 years would be.  “I’m a woman – I’m not meant to be a bloke. I’m trapped. It’s a complete mess – where do you even start? I just regret the decision.  She is now on an NHS waiting list to have further surgery to ‘detransition’, and says “I miss being Debbie”.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Throwing Down the Mere

Unborn Babies Have a “Right to Life”

Alabama Approves Amendment

Steven Ertel
Life Site News

Alabama voters proved once again that when people get a chance to go to the polls they generally vote for unborn children. And they did just that tonight by approving a amanemdment saying unborn babies have a right to life.

The proposed constitutional amendment asked voters to “affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful.” The amendment also would guarantee that “the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

Voters said yes by a 60-40 margin.

The vote came despite the Planned Parenthood abortion business spending $1.5 million to defeat it.

Daily Meditation

Anticipating Heaven

Do I as a living, breathing, conscious person have a concrete hope for my future? What do I have to look forward to? At times, when I discover that my own spirit is sagging and a sense of heaviness intrudes on me, I sometimes wonder why the gloomy cloud is perched above my head.
Biblical eschatology gives us solid reasons for expecting a personal continuity of life. Eternal life for the individual is not an empty human aspiration built on myth, but an assurance promised us by Christ Himself. His own triumph over the grave is the church’s hope for our participation in His life.
We have heard so much ridicule and mocking about pie-in-the-sky theology that I’m afraid we’ve lost our appetite for it. What the Scriptures promise for our future involves a lot more than a perpetual visit to Mother Butler’s. Jesus Christ and Simple Simon have very little in common.
The promise of heaven is indeed glorious—a promise that not only anchors the soul but fires the soul with hope. Life is not an outrageous horror, though we witness outrages daily. The outrage is not the bottom line. The sting of death has been overcome.
The victory of Christ is not established by platitudes or conjured-up positive mental attitudes. Jesus is not the Good Humor Man. His call to joy is rooted in reality: “Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Therein resides our future hope—that Christ has overcome the world. He stared directly into the face of death and death blinked.

Coram Deo

Reflect on this truth as you face your problems today: Jesus overcame the world and has given you the power to do likewise.

Passages for Further Study

Beware an Unbound Judiciary

The Judiciary in New Zealand

Ardern's Most Important Decision as PM

Matthew Hooton
NZ Herald

The appointment of a new Chief Justice to replace Dame Sian Elias is the most important personal decision Jacinda Ardern may ever make as Prime Minister.

This will be the first time a Prime Minister has simultaneously chosen someone to be head of both the judiciary and New Zealand's court of final appeal.

When Prime Minister Jenny Shipley appointed Dame Sian Chief Justice in 1999, the court of final appeal was still London's Privy Council. Beyond the obvious symbolism, Helen Clark's Government replaced it with the new Supreme Court in Wellington to encourage the evolution of a distinctly New Zealand jurisprudence.  It was time, Clark's Attorney-General Margaret Wilson told Parliament in 2003, for our country to enter the 21st century and New Zealanders to take responsibility for our legal system and destiny.

The issue facing New Zealand is a fundamental one.  Either the rule of law is mediated through the legislature, or it comes via the judiciary--which by its very nature is an elite, non-representative institution.  The present Chief Justice has pushed for a more intrusive judiciary--wrestling wider and higher powers for the judiciary at the expense of Parliament.

Friday, 9 November 2018

State Education Like a Rusty Skoda

Crushing Charter Schools Hurts the Poorest

Alwyn Poole
NZ Herald

The New Zealand education system is in major trouble.

The gaps between New Zealand's Asian population (67 per cent of school leavers with UE), European (44 per cent), Pasifika (22 per cent) and Māori (19 per cent) are a national disgrace and we have given up on believing it can be different.

We are sliding rapidly in international measures and our schools are among the worst in the OECD for closing the gaps. Socio-economic advantage has a stronger impact on achievement in New Zealand than many OECD countries.

Our best university is no longer in the top 100 in the world. Teacher's training is a mess — the entry bar far too low for primary training and the opportunity cost of another year without pay means the best university graduates won't even give teaching a second thought.   The latest pay rounds have turned into massive whine-fests and many teachers are simply putting off anyone looking for a positive profession to be involved in.

We have not recognised how the world has changed. If the education system was once a performance car it was built in the 1950s.  Successive governments have crashed and bashed it and worn down the engine, the Ministry of Education sits firmly on the bonnet and the unions have run off with the keys.

Those establishments continue to preserve their power and the children miss out, especially the vulnerable.  Legislation has now crushed the charter school model. In one sense it will mean very little. Those highly irrational sorts in education who were entirely triggered by innovation will be able to go back to their knitting. The established charter schools will continue to run under a different model because the good people who set them up will stay around, at least for a little while.

The two Villa Education Trust Schools will still have 15 pupils per class, provide uniforms, stationery and IT and ask for no donations — and upset many schools who could use their operation funding to do the same but choose not to.

Experts had concluded the model had significant success factors that ideologues like Associate Minister for Education Tracey Martin could not grasp.

An Honourable Death

Noble Soldier

We grew up in a post-World War II home.  Our father had fought against Rommel in the Desert Campaign.  In retrospect there was an oddity associated with our parents' recounting of that campaign.  The Desert Fox was always spoken of with great respect.

Rommel's reputation amongst other things was that of being a stickler for the standards, rules, and regulations of the Geneva Conventions of warfare.  At one point we learned that the Allies were treating German prisoners in a "vigorous" manner, shall we say.  Word got around.  Rommel took to the airwaves and rebuked the Allied commanders to the effect that if such breaches continued, he would be forced to retaliate.  The upshot?  The Allied commanders immediately cleaned up the acts of a minority of their troops.

Rommel was not a Nazi: he never joined the party.  He was a product of the Prussian military aristocracy.  He and his family were professing Christians.  As more of the depredations of Hitler and the Nazis became known to him, the more uncomfortable Rommel became--even to the point of becoming involved in the famous plot to assassinate the Fuhrer.

He was "informally" executed by the Nazis.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Into the Void

A Star is Born: Review

​Alistair Bain
The Gospel Coalition

The song Shallow, sung superbly by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, and currently occupying top spot in charts around the world, is the beating heart of Cooper’s latest film, A Star is Born. In the film, Cooper plays Jackson Maine, the wildly popular country singer at the top of his game, and Gaga plays Ally, the unknown girl with the incredible voice who Maine discovers in a bar and promptly falls in love with.

Existential Ache

Shallow describes an existential ache to crash through the surface of life and find something deeper, and safer, something far away from the pain.

It begins with Maine singing to Ally:

Tell me somethin’ girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

And then Ally responds:

Tell me something boy
Aren’t you tired tryin’ to fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?

Repeated throughout the song is the chorus which they sing together:

In all the good times I find myself longin’ for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

It’s the perfect song for the movie. Maine and Ally are in love. But Maine is an alcoholic coming to the end of his fame, and from the first scene you just know his story is not going to end well. Ally, on the other hand, is a star on the rise.

The performance by them of Shallow at a Maine concert is truly euphoric. It is the moment in the film where the stories of their life intersect and unite. And it looks as though Ally might just be the redeemer Maine needs.

Too Great a Void

But she’s not. And she can’t be. The void in Maine’s life is just too cavernous to be filled by Ally. He is desperately longing for change. But his shame, his guilt, and his fear of himself and of what he might do to Ally are things he is never able to overcome, not even with her help.

A Star is Born is yet another film from Hollywood that brilliantly, painfully, and compellingly lays bare the problem that lies at the heart of the fallen human condition—the existential longing to crash through the shallowness of our existence and find something deeper and safer. We are desperate for someone to find us, and change us; someone whose life can intersect with ours in a way that fills us with hope and brings us redemption.

For those who have ears to hear, A Star is Born is begging us Christians to get out of our ghettos and to engage much more deeply and openly with our neighbours.

For those who have ears to hear, A Star is Born is begging us Christians to get out of our ghettos and to engage much more deeply and openly with our neighbours. We need to love them better by listening to their stories, by being curious about the world they inhabit, and by tuning in to longing for change.

And at the same time we need to pray that God will use everything about us to introduce those same neighbours to the one who was born under a star – the one who offers love and forgiveness and freedom, who fills the void with hope, and who changes us in ways that will last into eternity.

Note: This film includes strong language and some confronting material. As always, viewers should exercise discretion.

Alistair Bain is senior minister of St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Hobart. He is married with three children. As an Arts/Law student at the University of Tasmania he came to faith in St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Hobart, before then working as a lawyer for eight years. He went on to complete his M.Div at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, undertook further studies at the Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, and in 2011 became senior minister at the church in which he was converted.

Daily Meditation

Discerning the Signs

Predictions about the future return of Jesus have spawned so many bizarre distortions of religion that we have witnessed a severe overreaction among many Christians to our future hope. Some of us live as if Jesus Christ is not coming back. We gild the past and try to freeze the present. But the present is made crucial because of the future. It is because Jesus is coming back that we know that what we are doing in the present counts.
Martin Luther thought Jesus was coming back in his day. Jonathan Edwards thought He was near in the eighteenth century. Both of these titans were wrong. Yet the time of His return is years closer than it was in Luther’s day. Each day that passes makes the return of Jesus closer. It may well be very soon.
When Jesus comes, I want to be ready. I want to be like Elizabeth and Mary, like Simeon and Anna, people who were ready and watching for the appearance of Christ, people who are vigilant, people who watch for the signs of the times and have a hope that will not embarrass them. They long for the vindication of Christ. They yearn for the triumph of His kingdom. They labor with the certain knowledge that their labor is not in vain.

Coram Deo

As you labor today in behalf of the kingdom, remember that your work is not in vain.

Passages for Further Study

Signs of an Apocalypse

When God Gives Them Up

Evil is not a constant.  Like all things human, it waxes and wanes.  One of the clearest passages in this regard is Romans 1: 18-32.  This passage describes and prescribes what Van Til called the integration into the void.

All men, apart from those quickened to life by the Spirit of God, suppress the truth to some extent or another.  God's existence, glory, power, and wisdom is overtly displayed to all men.  But men, in rebellion against God and lusting after their own glory and power, suppress these self-evident truths.  At that point, things become much worse, for the Scripture says when men attempt to suppress God it is so egregious a response that He gives them up.  [Romans 1: 24].

The first sign of a culture in the throws of being abandoned by God is an increase in lusts and "dishonouring their bodies".  Then comes a rise in homosexuality.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;  and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.   [Romans 1:26, 27]
Clearly Western civilization is in the throes of divine desertion.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Slums in the Making

KiwiBuild: a ‘Community Trainwreck’

Teuila Fuatai

A year after the coalition Government took office, its flagship housing plan KiwiBuild is barely off the ground. At this year’s Bruce Jesson Memorial lecture, Monte Cecilia Housing Trust’s Bernie Smith argued KiwiBuild’s flaws not only perpetuate housing unaffordability, but cause further intergenerational social problems.

Bernie Smith tells an interesting story.  After working in some of the most deprived communities in rural Australia and Papua New Guinea, Smith came back to New Zealand in 2016. At that point, homelessness and housing affordability were among the worst ever seen in the country.

Just over a year later, he watched Jacinda Ardern and her party enter into a coalition Government with New Zealand First and the Greens. Following through on their election promise, Ardern and her newly-minted Housing Minister Phil Twyford - a fellow Aucklander - announced their plan to ramp-up New Zealand’s much-depleted housing stock. By July 2019, KiwiBuild targets plan for 1000 new homes on the ground. After that, a target of 5000 new homes has been set for July 2020.

As chief executive of South Auckland based Monte Cecilia House Trust, Smith looked at the numbers eagerly.

Daily Meditation

Understanding the Future

When we ask questions about matters that elude our full understanding, we tend to look for models or patterns that are similar to what we do understand. We seek for clues to a new and different paradigm. The shift from earthbound thinking to conceiving of heaven is a massive paradigm shift.
To speak of our mysterious future is to search for analogies that will give us a hint about what to expect. We cannot say what heaven is, but the Bible does give us hints as to what it is like. We try to imagine the unknown in the light of what is known. John tells us: “It has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
We do not know for sure to whom the “He” and the “Him” refer. Do they refer to God the Father or to Christ? God the Father is the subject of the preceding verses, but what follows seems to indicate Christ.
The difficulty of the reference is mollified when we realize that to be Christ-like is to be God-like. The firstfruits image of Christ in His resurrection indicates that, ultimately, we shall be like Christ. As Christ rose with a glorified body, we too will enjoy glorified bodies at the final resurrection.

Coram Deo

Pause a few moments to think about your eternal future in heaven.

Passages for Further Study

Hawking Pseudo-Science

Stephen Hawking Was ‘Great Scientist, Lousy Theologian’ Says Bishop

Thomas Williams
Breitbart London

Despite his undisputed brilliance in his field, British physicist Stephen Hawking was “naïve” and “ham-handed” in matters of religion, writes Bishop Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

One can be “exceptionally intelligent in one arena of thought and actually quite naïve in another,” Barron wrote in an online column Wednesday. “This, I’m afraid, is the case with Stephen Hawking, who, though uniquely well-versed in his chosen field, makes a number of blunders when he wanders into the domains of philosophy and religion.”

A well-known speaker and bestselling author, Barron suggests that the modern mind naturally assumes that if a person is exceptionally competent in one discipline, he will be an expert in everything, which simply is not the case.

“Stephen Hawking was a great theoretical physicist and cosmologist, perhaps the most important since Einstein, Barron writes. He was, moreover, “a person of tremendous courage and perseverance, accomplishing groundbreaking work despite a decades-long struggle with the debilitating effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

When staying “within the confines of his areas of expertise, he was readable, funny, informative, and creative, Barron notes. It was only when he wandered far from the competences of science — into philosophy and religion, which employ different methodologies — that he would fumble and falter, Barron claims.

The question, for instance, why there is something rather than nothing, is not ultimately a scientific question. It is not observable or measurable. But it is a question of deep significance and importance.

So when Hawking wrote “I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science,” he was expressing a philosophical opinion, with no scientific basis at all. And as such, his opinion carries no particular weight or authority.

For its part, religion asks qualitatively different kinds of questions that are outside the realm of science, Barron observes, which many scientists have trouble accepting.

The “scientistic” attitude, Barron says, is “the arrogant tendency to reduce all knowledge to the scientific form of knowledge,” while excluding all other modes of human knowing.

Following their proper methodology, the natural sciences can tell us a great deal about certain things.  “But they cannot, for example, tell us a thing about what makes a work of art beautiful, what makes a free act good or evil, what constitutes a just political arrangement, what are the features of a being qua being—and indeed, why there is a universe of finite existence at all,” Barron writes.

“These are all philosophical and/or religious matters, and when a pure scientist, employing the method proper to the sciences, enters into them, he does so awkwardly, ham-handedly,” he adds.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Nice and Toasty

Britain's Climate Improves

James Delingpole
Breitbart London

Global warming has made Britain’s climate slightly more mild and pleasant. This is the shock finding of a study likely to send paroxysms of terror through the alarmist “science” establishment as it finally realises the game is up and that the evidence just doesn’t support its fantastical scare story.

The study was conducted by Paul Homewood for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.  Using data from the UK Met Office — the same institution relied on by the alarmists for their scare stories — Homewood has found that global warming has made next to no difference to Britain’s climate.

His conclusion:  part from being slightly warmer, the UK’s climate appears to be little different to the past.

The study was prompted by a highly alarmist UK Climate Change Risk Assessment report, published in 2012 by the UK government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), warning that ‘climate change’ would lead to more extreme weather events in Britain.

DEFRA’s report warned:
Events such as heatwaves, flooding and droughts will become more severe. By the 2080s, average summer temperatures will rise by up to 8◦C, winter rainfall will increase by up to 70%, and summer rainfall will fall by up to 60%. Sea levels could also rise by up to 70 cm by 2095.
But Homewood’s report — titled DEFRA versus the Met Office — shows that there is no-real-world evidence to support these predictions.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Long Time Passing

Where Have All The Teachers Gone

The Big Question when it comes to matters educational is whether the present government education system can be reformed.  Our simple answer to this Big Question is nugatory.  The state (socialist) education system is beyond reform.  It is non-reformable. 

This negative assertion will be regarded by almost everyone as a view held by inhabitants of the lunatic fringe.  Of course the government education system can be reformed!  It is run by the state after all--and the state has money.  Lots of it.  It has, in the minds of socialists, an inexhaustible supply of the stuff. 

But the hard evidence says otherwise.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Reformation Day

Trick or Treat? It’s Martin Luther

David Mathis
Executive Editor,

It was October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. He wanted to debate the sale of indulgences with his fellow university professors. He wrote in Latin, but a nameless visionary translated the theses into German, carried them to the printing press, and enabled their dispersion far and wide.

Luther ended up with more than he bargained for, but he proved to be no coward in defending the discoveries he was making in Scripture. When the Roman church wouldn’t serve him the treat of sufficiently addressing his concerns, he was consigned to the role of sparking the now half-millennium running trick called the Protestant church.

Why Halloween?

Of course Luther wasn’t trick-or-treating when he approached the threshold of the church in Wittenberg, but it’s likely no accident he picked October 31. There’s another angle on Halloween that many are unaware of some 500 years later.

Cry The Beloved Country

New Zealand At a Crossroads

We have been a consistent critic of New Zealand's state education system.  It has devolved into doomed ship caught between Scylla and Charybdis.  There are a number of reasons why this has become the case.  It is unlikely that reform will be permitted, for it would require a lot of egg-on-face having to be scraped off.  

Even if reforms were agreed and embarked upon, the vested interests are too powerful, to insinuated into the warp and woof of government education, that the reforms would likely fail. 

What are the issues.  The most significant is the much vaunted NCEA.  This madcap scheme decided that everyone in the education must be a winner.  Every pupil had to graduate with a qualification in something.  The NZ Herald has published a piece by an "insider".  His explanation of the extent of the failure of the government education system makes for grim reading.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Scotland The [No Longer] Brave

Mad Cows and Hate Crimes

Madeleine Kearns
National Review Online

My blood is no use in America. What I mean is, as a native of the British Isles, born amid an epidemic of “mad cow” disease, I am theoretically a carrier of this brain-wasting affliction and, accordingly, forbidden from donating my sanguine elixir to U.S. blood banks — on the off chance it’s madly bad (or is that badly mad?). 

At first, I thought this rather far-fetched. But when my visiting mother presented me with the Scotsman from last Friday — front page: “four cattle have been slaughtered in efforts to contain the first case of ‘mad cow’ disease in Scotland in a decade” — I reconsidered.

Incidentally, there is a strange quirk in Scots law protecting the bovine. According to the Licensing Act of 1872, it remains illegal to be drunk and in possession of a cow. But I digress. The Scotsman report reassured: “Authorities have said the public should not worry as no infected meat entered the food chain.”

Of course, this slaughter, like restrictive blood donation, is a precautionary measure intended to protect the general public from risk of serious harm. This is an obvious point, perhaps, but it is an important one by way of contrast.

Picture this, if you will: The Reverend David Robertson, a Protestant minister at St. Peter’s Free Church in Dundee and author of the delightful TheWeeFlea blog, was riding his bicycle through the lively Scottish city when one of the following signs caught his attention.

Daily Meditation

Unraveling the Mystery

The place we will occupy in the future will be similar to places we occupy now, but there will also be differences. The heavenly place will be a place of manifest glory. Our bodies will have continuity with our present bodies. There will also be discontinuity. Our new bodies are shrouded in mystery—we see through the glass darkly. Yet we receive hints about our glorified bodies by comparisons with Jesus, as well as by His words that we will be “like the angels” (Matt. 22:30).
Paul gives further hints: After discussing various kinds of bodies we experience on this planet, and various levels of glory of created objects, he adds: “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:42–44NIV).
We understand corruption, dishonor, weakness, and natural bodies. Only by contrast or eminence do we contemplate an incorruptible, glorified, powerful, spiritual body. The new body will be clothed with immortality. It will receive a garment it does not presently or intrinsically possess.

Coram Deo

Spend some time in worship, thanking God for the eternal destiny He has planned for you.

Passages for Further Study

Care and Caution Required

Righting Judicial Wrongs

Former PM, Helen Clarke and Margaret Wilson abolished New Zealand's right of appeal to the UK Privy Council.  With a sneer of self-satisfied hubris they explained that the Privy Council was a relic of colonialism and that New Zealand was a now a grown up.  It could have a perfectly sound justice system, with our own Supreme Court as the highest court in the land.

But the smallness of the country has meant that the institutions and arms of justice can all too readily fall into group-think.  Even more likely is this to be the case when the Ministry of Justice gets too close to politicians and political parties.  Stubborn mindsets have too easily congealed around guilt and innocence.  Since every country carries risks of "unsafe judgements", and since New Zealand is small, exacerbating the risks of "group-think" influence, special care needs to be taken.

The UK Supreme Court helped provide a vital check and balance, which has now gone, courtesy of Clarke and Wilson.  Yet unsafe convictions continue to be identified or alleged.  Therefore, we are supportive of the proposal to set up a committee or commission to focus upon convictions which appear unsafe.

There are huge risks in this, of course.  But we are pleased (at least initially) that some checks and balances will apply.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

"Gosnell" Considered A Blasphemy Against Secularism's Holy Temple

Shut It Down!  Shut It Down!

“Gosnell” Director Nick Searcy Slams Hollywood

 Life News.Com

 Despite its strong performance on its opening weekend, where it ranked in the top 10 of all movies nationwide, theaters are now censoring the “Gosnell” movie profiling murderous abortionist Kermit Gosnell — who was sent to prison after killing babies in live-birth abortions. Actor Dean Cain complained about how over 200 movie theaters stopped showing the moving — including theaters where it was performed well.

 Now, “Gosnell” director Nick Searcy is upset with Hollywood as dozens more theaters have dropped the movie from their roster this week. “This movie really exposes something that the Left does not want to report about,” Nick Searcy, the film’s director, told PJ Media in an interview Tuesday. “They’re basically trying to ignore this movie. They’re trying to say that it doesn’t exist because they don’t want to have a discussion about abortion.”

 Here’s more from PJ Media about the 253 movie theaters in total that have already abandoned “Gosnell:”

Daily Meditation

Doing Your Duty

The human ear is a strange appendage. Ears come in all sizes and shapes; they are the delight of the cartoonist, who can capture caricatures easily by exaggerating their angles. The appendix and the coccyx have been dubbed “vestigial appendices” by those convinced of their relatively useless functional value. No one has ever called the ear “vestigial,” as its value is not so much cosmetic but functional. Jesus put it succinctly: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable responsibilities, among which are love, obedience, and the pursuit of vocation. These may be summed up with one four-letter word that has become a modern-day obscenity: duty. Duty involves answering a summons, responding to an obligation, and heeding a call.
Our ears are assaulted daily by a cacophony of sounds making it difficult at times to distinguish between a bona fide call and senseless noise. We get phone calls, fire calls, wake-up calls, cat calls, crank calls, house calls, bad calls (by referees), and late calls for dinner. We get calls from our bosses, our teachers, and Uncle Sam; calls to departure gates, sales calls, and nature calls.
Only one call carries the force of absolute and ultimate obligation. I may ignore my phone calls and defy even the call of Uncle Sam, fleeing to Canada while nursing a hope for future amnesty. The call of God may also be ignored or disobeyed, but never with impunity. I may marry Betty or Sally and live in Chicago or Tuscaloosa. I may build a small house or a big house, or even live in an apartment. I can drive a Cadillac or a Hondait’s a free country. With respect to vocation, however, it is not a free universe. One absolute, nonnegotiable requirement of my life is that I be true to my vocation. This is my duty.

Coram Deo

Are you responding to the call of God? Are you being true to the vocation to which you are called?

Passages for Further Study