Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Anti-Hate Speech . . . The Preserve of the Fools and Horses

So-called Hate Speech is Simply Distasteful or Offensive

Karl du Fresne

Hate speech. It's a phrase you hear increasingly often.  I've used it myself as a label of journalistic convenience, but I'm not comfortable with it and never have been.

My first concern is that much of what is emotively described as hate speech isn't hateful at all. Too often it simply means opinions and ideas that some people find distasteful or offensive. But merely being offended is no justification for stifling expressions of opinion in a liberal, open democracy that depends on the contest of ideas.

More worryingly, accusations of "hate speech" can be used to intimidate people into silence and put discussion of certain issues and ideas off-limits. In fact, I believe that's the over-arching aim. 

Anyway, who defines hate speech? The term is bandied around as if there's some agreed definition. But there's not, and freedom of expression is too precious to leave it to an aggrieved minority or an academic elite to define it and therefore determine what the rest of us may say.

It's also an infinitely elastic term. In Britain, where police have the power to prosecute for hate speech, there have been some frightening cases of overkill and heavy-handedness.  Better to set the legal bar high to allow plenty of space for free speech, as the courts have tended to do in New Zealand. By all means, draw the line at harmful acts, direct threats to people's safety or incitements to violence against minorities. But the law already allows for criminal prosecution in such cases.

The real issue here is language control – because if you can control the language people are allowed to use in political discourse, you can control the range of ideas people are permitted to articulate and explore.

This is not a traditional contest between Left and Right.

Daily Meditation

What It Means to Love Money

The love of money is the root of all evils. (1 Timothy 6:10)

John Piper

What did Paul mean when he wrote this? He couldn’t have meant that money is always on your mind when you sin. A lot of sin happens when we are not thinking about money.

My suggestion is this: he meant that all the evils in the world come from a certain kind of heart, namely, the kind of heart that loves money.

Now what does it mean to love money? It doesn’t mean to admire the green paper or the copper coins or the silver shekels. To know what it means to love money, you have to ask, What is money? I would answer that question like this: Money is simply a symbol that stands for human resources. Money stands for what you can get from man instead of God.

God deals in the currency of grace, not money: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!” (Isaiah 55:1). Money is the currency of human resources. So the heart that loves money is a heart that pins its hopes, and pursues its pleasures, and puts its trust in what human resources can offer.

So the love of money is virtually the same as faith in money — belief (trust, confidence, assurance) that money will meet your needs and make you happy.

Love of money is the alternative to faith in God’s future grace. It is faith in future human resources. Therefore the love of money, or trust in money, is the underside of unbelief in the promises of God. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve God and money.”

You can’t trust in God and in money at the same time. Belief in one is unbelief in the other. A heart that loves money — that banks on money for happiness — is not banking on the future grace of God for satisfaction.

Theresa May's Self-Made Shemozzle

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

If self-government is to mean anything, it must include the authority and power of the state to make laws, rules, and regulations without having them overridden by other states and nations.  If sovereignty means anything, it must refer to a government having the power to rule itself without recourse to the demands and approval of other nations.

For some strange reason, Theresa May does not seem to understand these fundamental realities.  She gives signs of being out of her depth in the matter of exiting the European Union.  The people have voted, and the Parliament has passed laws to exit reflecting the will of the people.  But still May wants to "negotiate" a half-in, half-out solution with Europe.

From our bench-seat it seems that May will have to go.  She has now lost all credibility with former colleagues; she has set herself to oppose the clearly expressed will of the people.  From our perspective, Boris Johnson is going to end up tearing her government down.  Imagine trying to achieve something opposed by the majority of citizens, on the one hand, and slammed by Parliament's most effective agent-provocateur on the other.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Douglas Wilson's Reflections on Being a Happy Warrior

Creed of a Happy Warrior

Douglas Wilson


A friend recently asked me for my thoughts on what it means to be a happy warrior. His take was that I was one, and wanted my views on what goes into it. I thought the assessment was fair enough, but I had not really put the question to myself in those terms, and so I wanted to meditate on it for a bit. This is what I came up with—the creed of a happy warrior.

The phrase comes initially from Wordsworth, I think. I am not aware of earlier uses of it, but because my ignorance of such things is vast, this view could be as mistaken as any number of other things I don’t know about.

. . . And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause:
This is the happy Warrior; this is he
That every man in arms should wish to be.

                     Character of the Happy Warrior
                     William Wordsworth

I am simply jotting down the principles that have conspired in my case, the things that motivate me. I am aware that there have been other happy warriors in other arenas who would not buy into all of these, and for some of them it may just have been a function of personality. Be that as it may, these are the principles that I would urge believing Christians to consider in our time of cultural upheaval and war. I am reminded of a phrase in Herbert’s poem, The Dawning. “Thy Saviour comes, and with him mirth.”

Some of these principles nest within others, like Russian dolls. Some of them do not—like dolls that aren’t Russian dolls. In any case, here are eleven thoughts that occurred to me.


Whatever happens, we must live our lives trusting in a sovereign God. When we are in the midst of conflict, we are in the middle of troubles. In such a circumstance, it is easy to get distracted by the troubles, particularly by the person who brought the trouble to you. But as Thomas Watson once pointed out, we have to remember the one who sent the trouble to us.

More often than not, the one who brought the trouble to you is an adversary, an enemy. It is easy to focus on that fact alone, forgetting that absolutely everything that happens to us does so in the palm of the Father’s hand. 
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

The Father who sent all these troubles to you is the same Father who sent His Son to die mangled on a cross in order to liberate you and me from our sins. Our confidence is therefore in a sovereign Father, and not in a que sera sera fatalism. We may fight with abandon precisely because we are not abandoned. Fatalistic warriors can be grim and fell, but never merry.

Daily Meditation

Examining Calvin’s Rules of Prayer (Part 2)

John Calvin’s third rule of prayer was that we must always pray with genuine feeling. Prayer is a matter of passion: “Many repeat prayers in a perfunctory manner from a set form, as if they were performing a task to God … They perform the duty from custom, because their minds are meanwhile cold, and they ponder not what they ask.”
A fourth rule of prayer from Calvin was that it be always accompanied by repentance: “God does not listen to the wicked; that their prayers, as well as their sacrifices, are an abomination to them. For it is right that those who seal up their hearts should find the ears of God closed against them.”
Calvin said a humble submission is required: “Of this submission, which casts down all haughtiness, we have numerous examples in the servants of God. The holier they are, the more humbly they prostrate themselves when they come into the presence of the Lord.”
If I can summarize Calvin’s teaching on prayer succinctly, I would say this: The chief rule of prayer is to remember who God is and to remember who you are. If we remember those two things, our prayers will always and ever be marked by adoration and confession.

Coram Deo

Do you pray with genuine feeling? Do you always accompany your prayers with repentance?

Passages for Further Study

Why Most Schools Fail

The Essential Core

The government education system in New Zealand has become a behemoth which will never change.  That, we believe, is the most realistic assessment of the vast edu-bureaucracy and the educrats who run it. 

Debates over the "system" inevitably turn into discussions about quality teachers.  Most people instinctively realise that any and every education system will fall over if teachers are second grade or inadequate to the task. 

Allan Peachey, former principal of Rangitoto College was pretty clear on this.  Finding and securing the best available teachers was a core part of a principal's duties and responsibilities.  He describes what he looked for when recruiting teachers to work at Rangitoto College.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Police Show-Boating Diced and Sliced

An Important Victory

I hate his cheesy hits, but I’ve just joined the Cliff Richard fan club after his court victory

Peter Hitchens

My congratulations to Sir Cliff Richard. By taking the BBC and the police to court over their shocking treatment of an unproven allegation against him, he has struck a mighty blow for justice. I wish all my journalistic colleagues would recognise this and stop carping about a mythical threat to press freedom.

I sympathise with Sir Cliff because I have spent quite a lot of the past few years trying to restore the reputation of a great Englishman, Bishop George Bell, unfairly besmirched after the Church of England publicly revealed ancient and uncorroborated allegations of child sex abuse against him, and appeared to have accepted them.

George Bell has nothing to do with the modern Bishop Peter Ball, by the way, who is a convicted abuser and whose disgusting acts I condemn. By contrast, George Bell (who died in 1958) was never tried, and had no chance to defend himself. Accusations made more than six decades after the alleged offence were lazily accepted by various prelates and apparatchiks, after a sloppy and prejudiced apology for an investigation.

Many otherwise intelligent people assumed his guilt, largely due to an incorrect claim that he would, if alive, have been arrested by the police, who were dragged into the matter by the Church. This would not have been proof of guilt even if true, but it did what it was intended to do, and poisoned many minds against him.

It also helped that several supposedly responsible newspapers, and the BBC, proclaimed prominently that his guilt was established, when it was not. Only the BBC have ever admitted that they were wrong. A dead man has no rights.

My small role in getting justice for Bishop Bell (a battle that is still not over) taught me a lot about the tattered, decrepit state of justice in this country. And here is what I learned. Hardly anyone understands British justice any more, especially the vital presumption that all of us are innocent until proven guilty.

Police actions can prejudice fair trials. Well-publicised arrests and spectacular raids (often, absurdly, at dawn) on homes serve no serious purpose except to shatter the morale of the target and to prejudice the public mind.

Can anyone tell me what South Yorkshire Police actually hoped to find when they searched Sir Cliff’s home in conditions of total publicity in 2014?

Daily Meditation

Examining Calvin’s Rules of Prayer (Part 1)

For John Calvin, prayer was like a priceless treasure that God has offered to His people.
Calvin’s first rule of prayer was to enter into it with a full awareness of the One to whom we are speaking. The key to prayer is a spirit of reverence and adoration: “Let the first rule of right prayer be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God.”
Calvin wrote of how easy it is for our minds to wander in prayer. We become inattentive, as if we were speaking to someone with whom we are easily bored. This insults the glory of God: “Let us know, then, that none duly prepare themselves [sic] for prayer but those who are so impressed with the majesty of God that they engage in it free from all earthly cares and affections.”
Calvin’s second rule of prayer was that we ask only for those things that God permits. Prayer can be an exercise in blasphemy if we entreat His blessing for our sinful desires: “I lately observed, men in prayer give greater license to their unlawful desires than if they were telling jocular tales among their equals.”

Coram Deo

How does your personal prayer life line up with these two rules? Is your heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into conversation with God? Do you ask only for those things God permits?

Passages for Further Study

Tariana Turia's Legacy

Smoke Free New Zealand by 2025

We have written numerous times about the idiocy of the NZ government declaring that New Zealand will be ciggie free by 2025.  The mechanism to bring this about is steep increases in the price of the deadly evil every year until they will become more expensive than a pot of gold. 

The Force behind this utopian dream was the Maori Party, and in particular its uber-mothering leader, Tariana Turia.  Columnist Barry Soper writes:
The Māori Party will have done a lot of reflection as to why it's no longer in politics. The answer's pretty obvious, they didn't represent the wishes of their people even though they felt they had their best interests at heart.

Their former co leader Tariana Turia, a fierce advocate for all things Maori, wanted better health for her people and one of the best ways to do that she believed was to stop them from smoking, setting silly target of a smoke free New Zealand by 2025.  As the target became more elusive, Turia wanted to ban tobacco products, to make them illegal. When that failed they began pricing them off the market.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Another Attempt To Suppress Speech

Threats To Free Speech Appear To Abound

Liam Hehir

The width and breadth of appreciation for free speech seems to be trending downwards of late.

For many, the open market of ideas is a smaller concept than it used to be. Some wish to fall back to a narrower, more legalistic definition of what free speech is.  Others feel a more visceral urge to drive repellent views from the public square.

Not long ago, an activist telephoned me about a column I had written poking fun at the Government for relying on so many "working groups". It started with a demand to know why I had been allowed to publish it. The shrieking quickly progressed to obscenity and then to talk of unmentionable, violent things happening to myself and my wife. When I hung up, the activist continued trying to contacting me to resume the tirade.

I told the police about it. After a while, they sent me a letter saying they were on it. I've not heard anything since. As far as I know, nothing much has happened or will happen.

It was not a pleasant experience. But people like that do not present a serious challenge to freedom of speech. Their psychopathy prevents them from having any real impact on public affairs.

However, there are more sober sceptics of broad freedom of speech protections out there. They are often at the commanding heights of the academy, media and culture. They are serious and deserve to be taken seriously.

And their critiques are having their effect.

Daily Meditation

Accepting the Atonement of the Cross

The apostle Paul wasn’t even present at the crucifixion of Christ, yet he declared that this act was an act of cosmic and supernatural proportions. This was a real drama of theological redemption. Here the curse of God’s law was visited on a man who bore the sins of His people. For Paul, the crucifixion was the pivotal point of all history. Paul was not satisfied to give an account of the event. While affirming the historicity of the crucifixion, Paul added the apostolic interpretation of the meaning of the event. He set forth propositions about the death of Christ.
The issue before the church is this: Is the apostolic propositional interpretation of the cross correct or not? Is Paul’s view merely a first-century Jewish scholar’s speculation on the matter, or is it a view inspired by God Himself?
What difference does it make? This is not a trifling matter or a pedantic point of Christian doctrine. Here nothing less than salvation is at stake. To reject the biblical view of atonement is to reject the atonement itself. To reject the atonement is to reject Christ. To reject Christ is to perish in your sin.
Please let us not soften this with an appeasing dance. Let us be clear. Those teachers in the church who deny that the death of Christ was a supernatural act of atonement are simply not Christians. They are enemies of Christ who trample Jesus underfoot and crucify Him afresh. 

Coram Deo

Make this declaration: “Heavenly Father, I accept without reservation the supernatural atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross.”

Passages for Further Study


A Foretaste of What Is To Come

We have recently finished reading William Williams' Christianity Among The New Zealanders.  Our edition was published by Banner of Truth Trust in 1989.  This, in turn, was a republication of the original, first published in 1867.  William Williams was the brother of Henry Williams.

In our view, the missionary annals ought to be required reading for every NZ Christian.   

Both of these stalwart warriors of the Kingdom of God arrived in New Zealand towards the end of 1823.  Both were men of great faith and faithfulness, along with their wives and children.  Many times their collectives lives would be threatened over the next 40 years or so.  They did not deflect from their duty or course during that time.

William Williams was the more scholarly of the two brothers.  Eventually, he was appointed Bishop of Waiapu, an area stretching from Tauranga down to Napier.

At the end of his account of Christianity among the New Zealand Maori he asks the question, What of the future?  He had lived to see staggering progress of the Gospel amongst Maori.  He also witnessed what we might call the Corinthian phase--the first falling away of many from the faith--due to increasing exposure to migrants from the UK.  Many of these folk were more Victorian than Christian, more nominal than true believers.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Anglican Church Embarrassed By Public Bible Reading

St Paul’s Cathedral Forbid Public Reading of the Bible

Police Disagree!

Barnabas Fund
17 July 2018

Last week Barnabas Fund highlighted a video showing City of London Police arresting a man, now known to be Allan Coote, for reading the Bible in public outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The police officers claimed that cathedral staff had asked them to do so. Now a further video has emerged from several months ago of a similar event showing police stopping Mr Coote reading the Bible in public outside St Paul’s, with what appears to be member of the cathedral management standing close behind the police officers. Ironically, Mr Coote was reading from the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew chapter 5 which includes the verses:
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” (Matthew 5:10-12, KJV)
In each of the videos the police justify their actions by stating that the cathedral staff have asked them to move on those reading from the Bible because the public precinct in front of St Paul’s cathedral is owned by the Church. However, in this second video (7:45-10:20 minutes inclusive) the police officer tells the cathedral staff: 
“I am of the opinion that this chap isn’t causing any breach of the peace. This chap isn’t impeding anyone. I am happy for him to stay here.” (7:42-7:52 minutes)

However, a member of the cathedral staff then tells the police
“The Registrar and the Dean and the Chapter have given instructions to the head of security that at any time he shows up he should be asked to leave and we are just following those orders.” (8:18-8:28 minutes)
This police officer however stands his ground and replies:

Daily Meditation

Preach to Yourself

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

John Piper

We must learn to fight despondency. The fight is a fight of faith in future grace. It is fought by preaching truth to ourselves about God and his promised future.

This is what the psalmist does in Psalm 42. The psalmist preaches to his troubled soul. He scolds himself and argues with himself. And his main argument is future grace: “Hope in God! — Trust in what God will be for you in the future. A day of praise is coming. The presence of the Lord will be all the help you need. And he has promised to be with us forever.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones believes this issue of preaching truth to ourselves about God’s future grace is all-important in overcoming spiritual depression.

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking . . . yourself is talking to you!

The battle against despondency is a battle to believe the promises of God. And that belief in God’s future grace comes by hearing the Word. And so preaching to ourselves is at the heart of the battle.

A Curse Passing Down the Generations

Clinging To A Poisoned Vine

Followers of current affairs in New Zealand will be aware of the disordered state of Maori in the northern most climes of the country.  We have in mind the divisions within the tribe Ngapuhi.  The government wants to conclude a Treaty settlement with the tribe.  The tribe is said to have over 110 hapu or clans, or family groupings of people related by genealogical descent.  The tribe also has these groups roughly grouped into over half a dozen "sub-tribes".

Some of these groups are bitterly at odds with others.  Some claim that no-one and no organization can represent all of Ngapuhi.  They are demanding that their particular hapu must negotiate with the Crown on its own behalf and on its own terms.  The Government has voted an amount for settlement; Ngapuhi sub-tribes cannot agree who or what group should represent them in negotiations with the Crown.  This has gone on for decades.

Well, actually, it has gone on for centuries amongst Ngapuhi.  Literally.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Beyond Reform

Keeping A Righteous Perspective

There are only two things wrong with our schools: Everything that our children don’t learn there and everything they do. These public schools, with their vast political and bureaucratic machinery, are beyond reform. That does not mean that persons of good will should not offer themselves up as missionaries of truth and goodness and beauty, to teach there… But we would be quite mad to send our children there. We send missionaries to cannibals. We do not serve the cannibals our boys and girls. 

---Anthony Esolen

Daily Meditation

Understanding Christ’s New Role

Imagine an earthly situation where the heir-apparent to the throne meets with his closest friends on the eve of his own coronation. The new king’s friends would hardly desire that the king skip his own coronation. There is no greater benefit to the new king’s friends than that he ascends to the throne.
When Jesus left this world, He was not departing in exile. He was leaving for His coronation. He was passing from humiliation to exaltation. The extraordinary benefit in this for every Christian is that he can live in the full assurance that at this very moment the highest political office in the universe is being held by King Jesus. His term of office is forever. No revolution, no rebellion, no bloody coup can wrest Him from the throne. The Lord Christ omnipotent reigns.
The “where” partially explains the “why.” There is more to be added, though. The king serves in a dual capacity. He is not an ordinary monarch. At the same time He reigns as King, He serves His subjects as their Great High Priest. The King kneels before His own throne in supplication for His people. In addition to the session there is also intercession. Jesus’ throne is linked to the heavenly Holy of Holies. Daily, He makes intercession for you. 

Coram Deo

Think on this glorious truth: In His new position, Jesus faithfully intercedes for you at the right hand of the Father.

Passages for Further Study

Peak Oil, Where Art Thou?

Saintly Prophet Drowns in Texas Oil Lake

Russel Norman, head of Greenpeace NZ, came down off the mountain about fifteen years ago and proclaimed that the world would hit "peak oil" by around 2010.  A shiver ran through the Force.  Thereafter, said the Prophet,  a long, slow, painful industrial decline would descend upon the world.  Therefore, said Russel (who was co-leader of the Greens at the time) it was essential that the world start developing "green energy" before it was all too late.  Blah, blah, blah.

Russel has since moved on to become the leader of Greenpeace in New Zealand.  Doubtless he is ruefully reflecting on his reckless prophecy.  He finds the world awash with oil.  Not only that, the United States is on the verge of becoming the world's largest producer, and it has scarcely got started.

Russel's prophetic powers are now thoroughly tarnished.  However, we do not doubt Russel "Peak-Oil-By-2010" Norman will go down in history as New Zealand's most astute economic forecaster and all-round-best druid.  We are like that Down Under.

Texas to Pass Iraq and Iran as World's No. 3 Oil Powerhouse
by Matt Egan
Shale exec: US will surpass Russia in oil production

Don't mess with Texas. It's a global oil superpower.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Demands For "Tolerance" Link Us to Caesar's Empire

A Sober Warning from the Earliest Christians

Tim Challies
July 16, 2018

 When I was a kid, my family once watched a movie that included vivid scenes of persecution against the earliest Christians. I remember lying awake at night, terrified by these images of Christians burning in the streets and being fed to the lions. I couldn’t help but imagine myself in the place of those beleaguered believers. At the time, I assumed they were being persecuted simply for being Christians, but as I’ve studied early church history, I’ve come to realize it’s not quite so simple. And as simplicity gives way to reality, I see there are some important lessons we can learn today through that early church persecution.

The earliest Christians lived within the Roman Empire, and, despite what you may have heard, Rome was surprisingly tolerant of other faiths. As they conquered the surrounding nations, they would rarely demand full loyalty to the traditional Roman religion or gods. They would allow people to continue to worship their own gods in pretty much their own way. But still the Christians were persecuted. Why?

The great challenge of the Roman Empire was binding together many cultures, faiths, and nations under a common banner. As their armies conquered lands stretching from Germany to Northern Africa, from Spain to Syria, this challenge became increasingly difficult. What could serve as a kind of bond to hold it all together? The obvious answer was the Emperor. He could stand in as the living embodiment of the empire so that loyalty to the Emperor would be synonymous with loyalty to Rome.

Daily Meditation

His Timing Is Perfect

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace for a well-timed help. (Hebrews 4:16)

John Piper

All ministry is in the future — a moment away, or a month, or a year, or a decade. We have ample time to fret about our inadequacy. When this happens, we must turn to prayer.  Prayer is the form of faith that connects us today with the grace that will make us adequate for tomorrow’s ministry. Timing is everything.

What if grace comes too early or comes too late? The traditional translation of Hebrews 4:16 hides from us a very precious promise in this regard. We need a more literal rendering to see it.

The more traditional wording goes like this: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The Greek original behind the phrase “grace to help in time of need” would be translated literally, “grace for a well-timed help.”

The point is that prayer is the way to find future grace for a well-timed help. This grace always arrives from the “throne of grace” on time. The phrase “throne of grace” means that future grace comes from the King of the Universe who sets the times by his own authority (Acts 1:8).

His timing is perfect, but it is rarely ours: “For a thousand years in [his] sight are but as yesterday when it is past” (Psalm 90:4). At the global level, he sets the times for nations to rise and fall (Acts 17:26). And at the personal level, “My times are in [his] hand” (Psalm 31:15).

When we wonder about the timing of future grace, we must think on the “throne of grace.” Nothing can hinder God’s plan to send grace when it will be best for us. Future grace is always well-timed.

Bigger Than Texas

Hypocrisy On Steroids

At last--there is going to be some serious opposition to "conversion therapy" in New Zealand.  The idea that one can change one's sexual orientation back to its genetic constructs must be outlawed.  Young Labour and Young Greens are joining together to push the government to make the practice verboten.

We find ourselves in substantial agreement with these young warriors.  There is one problem, though.  They ooze with special pleading, which is a polite way of saying they appear to be rampant hypocrites.
Young Labour and the Young Greens are throwing their weight behind calls for the government to ban gay conversion therapy.   Thousands of people marched in Auckland's Pride Parade in February this year.  The two youth wings say the practice is unethical and inhumane and they have teamed up to launch a petition today urging Parliament to outlaw it.

Conversion therapies can include any form of treatment or psychotherapy that aims to change a person's sexual orientation, eliminate or suppress same-sex attraction.  [RadioNZ]
Trans-genderism is presently the most invasive and damaging form of "conversion therapy" known to mankind.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Parody of Parodies

‘I Wish I’d Never Had My Daughter . . . ' 

Because, Climate Change!

James Delingpole
Breitbart News

No, this isn’t the standfirst from an Onion parody of the kind of bleeding-heart, enviro-doom drivel they like to run every now and then in the New York Times.

This is an actual opinion piece from the actual New York Times, written by an actual English professor at the University of Notre Dame; an actual professor who presumably – this is where it gets really scary – teaches actual undergraduates…

His name is Roy Scranton.

Here is a taste of his jottings – together with my commentary. Painful though it may be, I think it’s important that we remind ourselves now and again of the idiocies which liberals read and swallow unquestioningly. It’s why the gulf between liberals and conservatives is so vast. And why, probably, there can never be peace between us because our truth and their “truths” might just as well exist in parallel universes.


I cried two times when my daughter was born. First for joy, when after 27 hours of labor the little feral being we’d made came yowling into the world, and the second for sorrow, holding the earth’s newest human and looking out the window with her at the rows of cars in the hospital parking lot, the strip mall across the street, the box stores and drive-throughs and drainage ditches and asphalt and waste fields that had once been oak groves. A world of extinction and catastrophe, a world in which harmony with nature had long been foreclosed. My partner and I had, in our selfishness, doomed our daughter to life on a dystopian planet, and I could see no way to shield her from the future.

Daily Meditation

Witnessing His Glory

The book of James has an unusual sentence construction that links the word glory with the name of Jesus: “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1). In this verse the words “Lord of glory” have alternate renditions. Some translations read, “Our glorious Lord.” Still another possible translation reads, “Jesus Christ, who is the glory.”
B. B. Warfield, in his book The Lord of Glory, says,  that Jesus was the glory of God, the shekinah. According to the Old Testament, the shekinah was the visible manifestation of the invisible God. The shekinah was a radiant cloud or brilliant light within a cloud that signaled the immediate presence of God. For Jesus to be identified with the shekinah was to be equated with the presence of God Himself. In Jesus we see the full manifestation of the majesty of God.
That the New Testament writers ascribed glory to Jesus was a clear indication of their confession of His full deity. Glory, in the sense it is used with reference to Jesus, is a divine attribute. It is the glory of God that He refuses to share with any man.

Coram Deo

The angels sang “Glory to God” at Christ’s birth. The heavenly elders give glory to God around His throne. Why don’t you follow their example and give God glory today in every circumstance of your life?

Passages for Further Study

Shut Up, Or We Will Shut You Down

"I'm Triggered By Your Ugly Speech"

The Iron Fist Inside the Velvet Glove

David Farrar at Kiwiblog has directed readers to some material on Free Speech.  The topic is timely at the moment, because of (successful) attempts to stifle the free speech of New Zealanders.  Naturally, folk attempting to shut people up or shout them down so that no-one can hear what they are saying ooze with self-righteousness.  They paternalistically see themselves as protecting others from ideas or opinions which might upset them or damage their self-esteem.  

Robert Guest, Foreign Editor for The Economist responded recently to some questions about speech and why free speech must be maintained as a fundamental human right.  We scarcely need to remind our readers that Christians have a significant interest in this issue.  Unbelief always stands ready to shut down Christian discourse and proclamation, given half a chance.  The ultimate champion of such repression is Satan.  The last thing the demonic realms want is an open, free proclamation of Christ and His Kingdom.

Here is Robert Guest's take on why the right of free speech is so fundamental to civilisation.
Why are we so passionate about free speech? It is not just because The Economist is a newspaper. It is also because free speech is the best defence against bad government. Everyone should be at liberty to berate politicians. Constructive criticism can alert them to things they are doing wrong, and perhaps persuade them to change course. Mockery, even unfair mockery, is part of the rough and tumble of democracy. No government can be trusted with the power to silence it.

Secondly, in all areas of life, freewheeling debate helps to sort good ideas from bad ones. Science cannot progress unless old certainties are questioned—remember how the Inquisition threatened Galileo with torture for claiming that the Earth orbits the Sun?

Limits on speech are in effect limits on thought. So censorship makes it harder for us to understand the world. When a government orders statisticians to fudge the numbers, as happens in all kinds of places, it ensures that its own policymaking will be poorly informed. When academics declare certain topics “too controversial” to discuss, they hinder the quest for knowledge.

The law should recognise the right to free speech as nearly absolute. There should be very few exceptions to this rule.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

More Reaction to Mayor Goff's Self-Righteousness Priggery

Since When?

Auckland Town Hall Decreed Closed To Divisive Events

John Roughan
NZ Herald

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

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

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

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

Molyneux is an intellectually heavier proposition.

Daily Meditation

Accepting His Deity

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

Coram Deo

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

Passages for Further Study