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.]

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Grace and Mercy of God at Work

Remarkable Conversions

He Hated Christianity and Decided to Covertly Attend a Bible Study to ‘Dismantle’ Biblical Arguments. Then, This Happened.

Billy Hallowell  

Something entirely unexpected happened when a teenager decided to attend a Bible study and pretend to be a Christian in an effort to “dismantle” biblical arguments: he came to embrace the very faith he so fervently sought to deride.

Caleb Kaltenbach, who decades later is now the pastor of Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California, recalled being turned off to the Christian faith as a child after seeing the flagrant mistreatment of the gay community.  After all, the issue was incredibly personal, considering that both his mother and father had begun living gay lifestyles after divorcing when he was just two years old.

Kaltenbach — author of the forthcoming book “Messy Grace” — told The Church Boys podcast that his mom ”came out very loud and proud” and she and her partner wanted him to “experience the LGBT community,” so they began bringing him to parades and events at a young age.

Daily Devotional

Made For You Alone

C. S. Lewis

This signature on each soul may be a product of heredity and environment, but that only means that heredity and environment are among the instruments whereby God creates a soul. I am considering not how, but why, He makes each soul unique. If He had no use for all these differences, I do not see why He should have created more souls than one. Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you. The mould in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the Divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions.

For it is not humanity in the abstract that is to be saved, but you—you, the individual reader, John Stubbs or Janet Smith. Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction. The Brocken spectre ‘looked to every man like his first love’, because she was a cheat. But God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
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. 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.


Climate Alchemy Exposed and Exploded

We confess that we have had enjoyed "a laughing into the cornflakes" experience this morning.  Climate "science" is casting a debilitating pall over the profession.  If economics deserves the appellation "the dismal science", climate science  deserves the appellation "scientific alchemy".  The longer climate alchemists continue to push their ideological barrow up the hill, the more discredit they bring to genuine science.

The event that caught our attention was an article published in The Guardian--a long time drum beater for the cause of fighting the noble fight against global warming.  Granted there are no surprises there.  The fight against global warming has always appealed to those who devotedly worship the State and actively advocate for its relentless expansion.  It's a cause big enough to justify universal organised human action, which in implies (at last) the UN will become the global uber-State.

The editors at The Guardian must hate having to publish articles with headlines like:

Southern Ocean showing 'remarkable' revival in carbon absorption ability

Unexpected findings show oceans’ potential to absorb CO2 fluctuates more over time than previously thought, researchers say

For those who do not worship at the feet of the State, such headlines are a frisson to the soul, and a belly laugh to the diaphragm.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

What a Saviour!


I have other things to write about, but it appears to me that the Lord doesn’t have other things for me to write about. I don’t mind because this is actually a subject that gives me full opportunity and scope to preach the gospel. But be forewarned, this opportunity is actually an opportunity to preach a scandalous gospel. But that is all right also, because that is actually the only kind of gospel there is.

As some would like it . . .
As some would like it . . .
This scandalous gospel has to be declared in a world that loves lies and distortion. . . . [J]ustice is one thing, mercy is another, and because Christ came to live among us, and both died and rose here, those two divine attributes have to occupy the same screwed-up world together. That reality gives us complicated pastoral problems. To complain about them is to complain against His wisdom.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9–11).

This is where a classical education really helps.

Daily Devotional

The Only Enduring Happiness

“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)

John Piper

“No one will take your joy from you” because your joy comes from being with Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus means that you will never die; you will never be cut off from him.

You see, two things have to be true if your joy is never to be taken from you. One is that the source of your joy lasts forever and the other is that you last forever. If either you or the source of your joy is mortal, your joy will be taken from you.

And, O, how many people have settled for just that! Eat, drink, and be merry they say, for tomorrow we die, and that’s that. Food doesn’t last forever, and I don’t last forever. So let’s make the most of it while we can. What a tragedy!

If you are tempted to think that way right now, please consider as seriously as you possibly can that if your joy were in being with Jesus, “No one would take your joy from you”—not in this life, nor in the life to come.
Not life or death, or angels or principalities, or things present or things to come, or powers or height or depth, or anything else in all creation will be able to take our joy from us in Jesus Christ.

Joy in being with Jesus is an unbroken line from now to eternity. It will not be cut off by his death or ours.

More Islamic By the Day

Jihadi Cameron Means Bad Business

Britain is now embarking down a retrograde road.  David Cameron and his coterie are fixated on combating "extremism" by which they mean Islamic propaganda, teaching, advocacy, and conspiracies to commit murder and break the law.  But political correctness demands that they must not identify one group, but they must be seen to be even-handed across all religions or ideological groups.  A ten-tonne hammer to crush a peanut.

Moreover, political correctness demands that all religions and ideological groups must be seen to be tolerant of all--that is, mutually respectful and accepting.  The only organisation in all of this which escapes the" mutually respectful and accepting" requirement is the government, which authorises itself to be aggressively intolerant and definitely not respectful.

In a move reminiscent of totalitarian societies, Cameron's government will require all religious officials to be entered into a register.  Andrew Gilligan, writing in The Telegraph, summarises the move this way:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Europe Issuing Escalating "Alerts"

Alerts To Threats In Europe

by John Cleese - British writer, actor and tall person
Good Reads

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Daily Devotional

Imitators of  God

"Partakers of the divine nature."
2 Peter 1:4

Charles H. Spurgeon

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature.

We are, by grace, made like God. "God is love"; we become love--"He that loveth is born of God." God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God.

 Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in even a higher sense than this--in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand: and the same life which quickens Christ quickens his people, for "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

Nay, as if this were not enough, we are married unto Christ. He hath betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Oh! marvellous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it? One with Jesus--so one with him that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer!

While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made partakers of the divine nature will manifest their high and holy relationship in their intercourse with others, and make it evident by their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!

Lawful Christian Resistance, Part II

He Also Resists Who Patiently Submits For Christ's Sake

One of the more challenging issues ever faced by Christians is to be patient and submissive when suffering at the hands of ungodly tyrants.  In the West we have been "spoilt" for many years because, under the influence of Christian doctrines pertaining to civil government, biblical freedoms have been recognised in law, and various freedom rights have been enshrined in constitutions.

This means that the ultimate earthly ruler of citizens in the West is the law of the land.  It also means that if a government were to move to reduce or strip away our freedom rights, the law itself recognises rights and duties of redress against ungodly and tyrannical laws and rulers.  We have rights of freedom of speech; we are lawfully entitled to campaign for public support to overturn unjust or immoral laws through tossing out incumbent rulers and replacing them with rulers more faithful to God.  We can ourselves stand for public, elected office.

But these freedoms we enjoy, based upon, and derived from, fidelity to the Living God and His covenant, are rare when set against the longer history of the human race.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Letter From the UK (About A Relic That May Revive)

Peter Hitchens Shouldn’t Give Up the Fight Just Yet

It is true that Peter Hitchens is one of the last public conservatives allowed to exist in Britain. The establishment is apparently willing to tolerate him as a relic, but eagerly waits to consign him to history and prevent any successors from reminding us of the inconvenient foundations of politics in philosophy and ideology, rather than the pointless pursuit of power and status quo.

I was surprised to see him appear in Owen Jones’s latest attempt to wheel out curiosities who have not yet conformed to the metropolitan liberal consensus.

In speaking to Jones and the Guardian, Hitchens is somewhat guilty of putting pearls before the swine, he seems to justify it in cheerfully acknowledging his relaxed acceptance that Britain is finished in anything other than name anyway, and he may be right. But that doesn’t mean conservatism is finished, in fact it is engaged in a global culture war that many more in Britain are capable of taking part in, if they had the basic tools to engage with the debate.

Hitchens is now reduced to reminding us in his sadly seldom screen appearances of the definition and basic concepts of liberalism, socialism and conservatism. Not because that is all he is able to do, but the political debate in Britain has become so debased it is necessary for serious commentators to have to walk Guardian columnists through the ABCs of political theory while their eyes bulge in shock to learn that David Cameron is not a conservative.

Daily Devotional

How to Fight Anxiety

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)

John Piper

Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee.”

Notice: it does not say, “I never struggle with fear.” Fear strikes, and the battle begins. So the Bible does not assume that true believers will have no anxieties. Instead the Bible tells us how to fight when they strike.  For example, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” It does not say, you will never feel any anxieties. It says, when you have them, cast them on God. When the mud splatters your windshield and you temporarily lose sight of the road and start to swerve in anxiety, turn on your wipers and squirt your windshield washer.

So my response to the person who has to deal with feelings of anxiety every day is to say: that’s more or less normal. At least it is for me, ever since my teenage years. The issue is: How do we fight them?  The answer to that question is: we fight anxieties by fighting against unbelief and fighting for faith in future grace. And the way you fight this “good fight” is by meditating on God’s assurances of future grace and by asking for the help of his Spirit.

The windshield wipers are the promises of God that clear away the mud of unbelief, and the windshield washer fluid is the help of the Holy Spirit. The battle to be freed from sin is fought “by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

The work of the Spirit and the Word of truth. These are the great faith-builders. Without the softening work of the Holy Spirit, the wipers of the Word just scrape over the blinding clumps of unbelief.  Both are necessary — the Spirit and the Word. We read the promises of God and we pray for the help of his Spirit. And as the windshield clears so that we can see the welfare that God plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), our faith grows stronger and the swerving of anxiety smooths out.

We Did Not See This Coming

Unexpected Mercies

Whilst this has not got great press, it remains an outstanding, unexpected event.  The British Parliament voted overwhelmingly not to "legalise" euthanasia.   We congratulate the United Kingdom.  Regrettably such an outcome is not likely in New Zealand when it finally gets to be debated in our parliament.

Assisted dying bill overwhelmingly rejected by MPs

After a passionate debate, MPs vote 330 to 118 against changing law, in first Commons vote on assisted dying for 20 years

MPs have voted overwhelmingly against changing the law to allow doctors to help terminally ill people end their lives.  In their first vote on the issue for about 20 years, the Commons rejected the assisted dying bill introduced by Rob Marris, a Labour MP who had argued that it was about ensuring peaceful deaths rather than euthanasia.  The debate was heated on both sides, with many MPs drawing on their personal experiences of dying relatives to give weight to their arguments. However, opponents outnumbered supporters by 212, with 330 voting against and 118 in favour. [The Guardian]
The outlook was not good.  Hence our joyous surprise.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Humans, Dead in Their Sins

Weep For The Hottest Blood of All

Testimony before a Congressional committee on dismembering innocent children is being heard.  Dana, writing at Patterico provides the following report:

Head Of Yale Law School’s Program for Study of Reproductive Justice: Yes, Dismemberment Abortion Is A Humane Way To Die

[guest post by Dana]

On the first day of Congressional hearings taking place as the investigation into the abortion business of Planned Parenthood begins – this as a result of the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress – Priscilla Smith, who heads Yale Law School’s Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice, testified before the committee:

Daily Devotional

Earth A Part of Heaven

C. S. Lewis

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in ‘the High Countries’. In that sense it will be true for those who have completed the journey (and for no others) to say that good is every- thing and Heaven everywhere. But we, at this end of the road, must not try to anticipate that retrospective vision. If we do, we are likely to embrace the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is Heaven.

But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.

From The Great Divorce
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce. Copyright © 1946, C. S Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed 1973 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.

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Another Modernist Educational Debacle 

It gets tough when New Zealand gets singled out for poor performance by the OECD.  Insult becomes injury when our failures, having been exposed through OECD research, are then emblazoned throughout media in the UK. And so it came to pass yesterday.  The BBC reported OECD research  showing that:
Among the seven countries with the highest level of internet use in school, it found three experienced "significant declines" in reading performance - Australia, New Zealand and Sweden - and three more had results that had "stagnated" - Spain, Norway and Denmark. [BBC Emphasis, ours.]
In New Zealand, the edutocracy--that suffocating embrace of the Ministry of Education, politicians, educrats, academics, teachers and teacher unions--has long championed the use of computers in schools to teach for the 21st century.  Parents were promised much.  Their children would be given a world-class education; they would be prepared to be masters of the digital world; they would be taught to use technologies that would make their learning far superior to what passed for schooling in the previous century, and they would love it.  Education would be more engaging, relevant and enjoyable.  Blah, blah, blah.

Seasoned and experienced teachers knew better.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Letter From the UK (About Embarrassing Questions)

5 Awkward Questions

Dissembling Over A Drowned Boy, Syria And Our ‘Moral Duty’ 

James Delingpole
Breitbart London

Drowned boy
1. What’s the truth behind the story of the drowned boy Aylan Kurdi?
There’s just so much that doesn’t add up. Starting with the fact that the boy’s name is actually Alan Shenu. His father Abdullah claims he and his family were fleeing the fighting in his ‘home town’ Kobani. Yet according to the Guardian they have been living in Turkey for three years – long before the fighting in Kobani started or indeed ISIS really existed – and before that in Damascus. In Turkey, their rent appears to have been paid for by a sister in Canada and they had over $4,400 in cash so they were in no immediate danger. Abdullah’s accounts of his motives, of his intentions and what actually happened are wildly inconsistent.

In some versions he was heading for Sweden.  In others he was off to Canada (which had already once denied his asylum application), where his sister said he intended to have his teeth fixed. As for what he tells us about the tragic boat journey in which his wife and children drowned: was he even with them when it happened?

For example, he told the Mail that he watched his wife and children drown in front of him. But then later in his account, he says: “I looked for my wife and child on the beach but couldn’t find them. I thought they had got scared and had run away and I went back to Bodrum.”

2. Who invented the story about the torture and the teeth?
Tima Kurdi’s unhelpful revelation that her brother had risked his family’s life to “get his damaged teeth fixed” did not sit well with the media narrative that the Kurdis were tragic victims of the Syrian conflict.

Daily Devotional

Realistic Expectations

"Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies."
Psalms 5:8

Charles H. Spurgeon

Very bitter is the enmity of the world against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offence in the followers of Jesus.

Instead of vainly regretting this, let us turn it to account, and since so many are watching for our halting, let this be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the lynx-eyed world will soon see it, and with its hundred tongues, it will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander. They will shout triumphantly. "Aha! So would we have it! See how these Christians act! They are hypocrites to a man."

Thus will much damage be done to the cause of Christ, and much insult offered to his name. The cross of Christ is in itself an offence to the world; let us take heed that we add no offence of our own. It is "to the Jews a stumblingblock": let us mind that we put no stumblingblocks where there are enough already. "To the Greeks it is foolishness": let us not add our folly to give point to the scorn with which the worldly-wise deride the gospel.

How jealous should we be of ourselves! How rigid with our consciences! In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds, and impugn our motives where they cannot censure our actions, how circumspect should we be! Pilgrims travel as suspected persons through Vanity Fair. Not only are we under surveillance, but there are more spies than we know of. The espionage is everywhere, at home and abroad.

If we fall into the enemies' hands we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf, or mercy from a fiend, than anything like patience with our infirmities from men who spice their infidelity towards God with scandals against his people. O Lord, lead us ever, lest our enemies trip us up!

Lawful Christian Resistance, Part I

Suffering Patiently Before God

As the power and unlimited reach of the secular State grows, it is necessary that Christians revisit and recapture doctrines of Christian resistance.  We say "revisit" because many of these issues have been thoroughly canvassed in the West when it was more Christian.

Luther once jokingly said--with respect to the Pope--that the only part of human anatomy not controlled by the Pontiff was the rear-end.  Nowadays, the same jibe could be made--far more accurately it turns out--over the vast administrative State which is constantly laying down more and more laws, rules, regulations and prohibitions about how we are to live our lives.

Moreover, as the  State has become more secular, and less fearful of the Living God, it has become emboldened to enact laws in direct opposition to the Law of God.  It has given more and more permission, freedom, and liberty to evil men to do whatever their hearts lust after.  But, worse, it has not merely permitted evil licentiousness to flourish: the modern secular State has increasingly moved against Christians by insisting they comply with,  and support, celebrate, and promote evil along with the doers of evil.  The modern State increasingly prohibits and punishes ordinary citizens who resist the evils which the State now promotes.

Once ministers of the Gospel could proclaim to their congregations or audiences that homosexuality is a great evil.  Now they risk punishment by State authorities for such biblical candour.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Letter From the UK (About the Migrant Crisis)

Prepare Yourselves: The Great Migration Will Last Decades

It is not war, but money, that drives people abroad. That is not going to change any time soon

A boat with refugees sinks close to the cargo ship 'OOC Jaguar' in the Mediterranean sea on 12 April 2015.
A boat with refugees sinks close to the cargo ship 'OOC Jaguar' in the Mediterranean sea  Photo: EPA/Opielok Offshore Carriers

When the crew of HMS Bulwark first fished immigrants out of the Mediterranean, they were expecting to find the world’s hungry, wretched and destitute. Instead, they found them relatively healthy, well-dressed and carrying mobile phones and credit cards, which they intended to use upon arrival in Italy.The military learnt then what politicians are only slowly beginning to work out – that this is not simply a refugee crisis. The world’s poor are on the move because they’re not quite so poor as they used to be, and can afford to travel. A great migration has begun, and it could be with us for decades.

The photographs of the body of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, vividly convey the human tragedy on Europe’s borders – but not the complexity. Many are fleeing war, but many are fleeing poverty. The Royal Navy found a pregnant Nigerian woman who had paid $1,200 for the journey and a father from Faisalabad, an industrial city in Pakistan.  Under European rules, they would be judged by whether they were fleeing war or poverty – but the distinction seems moot. All were prepared to risk death to give their families a better life; seeking only the right to start at the very bottom.

Daily Devotional

God-Given Foes and Faith

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ . . . not frightened in anything by your opponents. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake. (Philippians 1:27–29)

John Piper

Paul told the Philippians that living worthy of the gospel of Christ meant fearlessness before enemies. Then he gave the logic of fearlessness.

The logic is this: God has given you two gifts, not just one — faith and suffering. That’s what verse 29 says.
In this context that means: Both your faith in the face of suffering, and your suffering are gifts of God. When Paul says, don’t be frightened by your opponents he had two reasons in his mind why they don’t need to be frightened:
  1. One reason is that the opponents are in the hand of God. Their opposition is a gift from God. He governs it. That’s the first point of verse 29.
  2. And the other reason not to be afraid is that your fearlessness, that is, your faith, is also in the hand of God. It too is a gift. That is the other point of verse 29.
So the logic of fearlessness in the face of adversity is this double truth: Both your adversity and your faith in the face of adversity are gifts of God.

Why is this called “living worthy of the gospel of Christ”? Because the gospel is the good news that Christ’s blood of the covenant infallibly obtained for all his people the sovereign working of God to give us faith and to govern our enemies — always for our eternal good.

Therefore, fear not. Your adversaries can do no more than God grants. And he will grant you the faith you need. These promises are blood bought and sealed. Gospel promises.

Plain Ciggies

Fools, Horses and Health Zealots

Regardless of what view one holds on tobacco and the merits or otherwise of tobacco smoking one issue is becoming more clear by the day.  State ordered  universal  "plain packaging" does nothing to reduce tobacco purchases (and by implication, smoking itself).  In fact, the evidence is showing that it does the reverse: it actually increases tobacco consumption.

A blog post evaluates the latest data from Australia--which country was stupid enough to introduce plain packaging.

New data confirm that tobacco sales rose after plain packaging

As reported last week by Guido and Catallaxy Files (but no mainstream media outlets that I know of), tobacco sales increased by 0.5 per cent in the first year of plain packaging in Australia. I didn't want to comment until I'd had a change to look at the newly published stats in depth, but I have now done so and the figures in Guido's report are spot on.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Europe's Folly

Lax Security, Phony IDs Surround Europe’s Migrant Flood

Breitbart News

The Associated Press has filed an astounding report on the piles of fake documents appearing as discarded refuse along the migrant route into Europe, as the number of people claiming to be “Syrian” for the purposes of securing asylum status surges exponentially.

A Pakistani identity card in the bushes, a Bangladeshi one in a cornfield. A torn Iraqi driver’s license bearing the photo of a man with a Saddam-style moustache, another one with a scarfed woman displaying a shy smile.

Documents scattered only metres from Serbia’s border with Hungary provide evidence that many of the migrants flooding Europe to escape war or poverty are scrapping their true nationalities and likely assuming new ones, just as they enter the European Union.

Many of those travellers believe that using a fake document — or having none at all — gives them a better of chance of receiving asylum in Germany and other western European states. That’s because the surest route to asylum is to be a refugee from war and not an economic migrant fleeing poverty. That fact has led to a huge influx of people claiming to be Syrian.

Serbian border police say that 90 per cent of those arriving from Macedonia, some 3,000 a day, claim they are Syrian, although they have no documents to prove it. The so-called Balkan corridor for the migrant flight starts in Turkey, then goes through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the European Union in Hungary.

“You can see that something is fishy when most of those who cross into Serbia enter January first as the date of their birth,” said border police officer Miroslav Jovic. “Guess that’s the first date that comes to their mind.”
The fake-passport industry is booming, in tandem with smuggling and other migration-related business opportunities. The BBC reports that German police have seized packages filled with Syrian passports, believed to be inventory destined for thriving fake-document sales operations. An official from the European Union’s border agency described the customers for these passports as “economic migrants.” Europe will be incredibly fortunate if that is all they are.

The twisted logic of open-borders “humanitarianism” makes it acceptable to entice migrants across dangerous land and sea routes, increasing the chances of more children drowning in the Mediterranean, because commissioning military vessels, cruise liners, cargo jets, and trucks to haul all the migrants from Libya and Turkey into Europe would be too obviously absurd.

Daily Devotional

Turning The Other Cheek

C. S. Lewis

There are three ways of taking the command to turn the other cheek. One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances. Another is the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an orientally hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view. The conflict is therefore between the Pacifist interpretation and a third one which I am now going to propound. I think the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told. . . . . That is, insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me by my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity commands the absolute mortification of that desire. No quarter whatever is given to the voice within us which says, “He’s done it to me, so I’ll do the same to him.”

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.

Vestiges of the First Christendom

A Great Hour to Live

Christendom has passed into history.  Christian Europe was the first Christendom.  We await the development and rise of the second, third, fourth . . . Christendoms.  In the meantime, so pagan has Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world now become it is difficult to imagine a time where so many people--a majority in fact--once took the existence of God and Christian teaching for granted.  But such indeed was the case.

By the time of the Second World War, Western Christendom was in its final stages of dissipation, soon to be replaced by a militant, secular, atheistic, materialistic humanism.  Whilst on the cusp of this new violent and decadent world, glimpses of the former heights could still be seen from time to time.