Monday, 30 September 2019

"A Very Dark Day"

Abortion Legalized in New South Wales

Archbishop Laments ‘Dark Day’ 

Thomas D. Williams
Breitbart News

“Today is a very dark day for New South Wales,” said Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Thursday in reference to the passage of a new law legalizing abortion in the Australian state, whose capital is Sydney.

Calling the new law “a defeat for humanity,” Archbishop Fisher said in a statement that Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 “may be the worst law passed in New South Wales in modern times, because it represents such a dramatic abdication of responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Fisher said the abortion law is the first case of legalized killing in the state since “the abolition of capital punishment in New South Wales in 1955.”

The new law, passed Wednesday by a vote of 26-14 in the state’s upper house, permits abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks of pregnancy and after 22 weeks, if two obstetricians agree.  Prior to Wednesday’s vote, abortion had been legal in NSW only if a doctor deemed that a woman’s physical or mental health was in danger.

Archbishop Fisher noted that the Act had undergone several amendments prior to its passage, but they “do not make women or their unborn babies any safer, nor protect the conscience rights of medical professionals, nor provide distressed pregnant women with any support or alternatives to abortion.”

Fisher also thanked lawmakers who fought against the law as well as the “tens of thousands of people who attended rallies, maintained a vigil outside Parliament House even in heavy rain, contacted their local members, made submissions to the committee inquiry, or prayed that this law might not pass.”

“Even though abortion on demand right up to birth has now been formally legalised in this state, our commitment to life continues,” the archbishop said.

Church agencies and pro-life organizations will still offer care for pregnant women, new mothers, and their babies, he said, and churches along with women and men of goodwill “will continue to work together to turn our culture around, so that every vulnerable woman and baby is supported and abortion becomes unthinkable.”

“We can still put an end to the scourge of abortion in this state by making it unnecessary, no matter what the law says,” Fisher declared.

Daily Meditation

Anticipating the Day of the Lord

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

Coram Deo

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

Passages for Further Study

Biden Corruption

Malodorous Indeed 

Joe Biden used to be the Vice-President of the United States during the Obama Presidency.  During that period of service it is alleged that he facilitated his son, Hunter Biden getting on what is called the "Gravy Train".  Biden used his position and influence to secure lucrative business deals his son.

The researcher/author who did the hard yards exposing the graft is Peter Schweizer.  Here is a summary of what went down:
Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and senior editor-at-large at Breitbart News, explained how Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s second son, consummated financial relationships with foreign states and oligarchs in China and Ukraine while his father “steered [foreign] policy” towards those two countries as vice president. He offered his analysis in a Saturday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday with host Matt Boyle.

“Why were these foreign governments and these foreign corrupt oligarchs stuffing money into Hunter Biden’s pocket?” asked Schweizer. “That’s why I have called for Hunter Biden to testify before a Senate committee.”

Saturday, 28 September 2019

More Deep State Gossip

"Riddled With Gossip, Blatant Falsehoods"

The complaint from an anti-Trump "whistleblower," released Thursday, is a mix of gossip, hearsay, and misstatements of fact contradicted by publicly available evidence.

By Sean Davis
The Federalist

The formal complaint from an anti-Trump “whistleblower” alleging various crimes by President Donald Trump is riddled with third-hand gossip and outright falsehoods. The document was declassified by Trump Wednesday evening and released to the public Thursday morning. The complaint, which was delivered to the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees, follows the same template used in the infamous and debunked Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier.

Rather than provide direct evidence that was witnessed or obtained firsthand by the complainant, the document instead combines gossip from various anonymous individuals, public media reports, and blatant misstatements of fact and law in service of a narrative that is directly contradicted by underlying facts. A footnote in the document even boasts about its use of “ample open-source information.”

Contrary to news reports asserting that the complaint included volumes of information incriminating Trump, it is instead based entirely on the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and various public media reports.  “I was not a direct witness to most of the events” characterized in the document, the complainant confesses on the first page. Instead, the complainant notes, the document is based on conversations with “more than half a dozen U.S. officials.” Those officials are not named, and their positions are not identified anywhere in the letter.

Daily Meditation

Planning for Eternity

What will the future be like? What will your income be in five years? What will your health be like in three years? Will civilization be safe for your children and your grandchildren? We ask questions like these, even if only to ourselves. Businesses and ministries also plan for the future, including five- and ten-year plans.
Do you have a two hundred-year plan? Obviously, you expect that you will have died by the end of that period.
What will your death have brought you? Job asked it this way: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).
The Gallup Poll on Religion in America indicates that the majority of professing Christians believe in life after death. Most of those, however, reject any real idea of hell. The arguments for a heaven without a hell are based primarily not on sound biblical exegesis but on human sentiment. People simply prefer not to believe in hell. It is a subject very few can discuss dispassionately. Yet to deny the reality of hell, one must stand firmly opposed to the unambiguous teaching of Jesus.
Consider the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–26. This passage clearly indicates a great chasm between heaven and hell. It is unbridgeable. Where we are in eternity is where we will be in two hundred years. It is where we will be in two thousand years and in two million years.
The very point of this parable is that people are reluctant to heed the biblical warnings of a judgment that truly is final, with all further appeals exhausted (Luke 16:27–31).

Coram Deo

Spend a few minutes today reflecting on your future. What are your plans for your immediate future? What are your long-range plans? Have you made your eternal plans?

Passages for Further Study

Global Warming "Science": Much Ado About Nothing

A Manufactured Frenzy

In New Zealand yesterday we witnessed the unseemly prospect of thousands of school children being led out of class rooms into public squares.  The occasion?   They were protesting against global warming--also known as Climate Change.  In assessing this startling occasion we ought to forget the views, words, and aspirations of the school children.  To put it crudely, these underage folk were props for a huge propaganda stunt manipulated by adults who ought to have known better.  

Even while this nonsense was clogging up the public square in New Zealand another protest (of sorts) was taking place at the United Nations.  The timing could not have been more ironic--at least as far as New Zealand is concerned.

Friday, 27 September 2019

A Revolution Indeed

Supreme Court? The title is fiction. It might as well be passing judgement on a bottle of wine

Peter Hitchens
Daily Mail

Actually, there is no such thing as the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. They can call it that if they like, but the title is a fiction. There is nothing supreme about it.  Until we leave the EU, our actual Supreme Court is, as it has been for many years, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

But if we ever manage to escape from the EU, then Parliament is a far higher court than this self-important assembly of lawyers in suits.

Keen observers of the ridiculous hearings of the past few days will have noticed the bare, almost republican room in which the court meets, less grand than some council committees I have attended.
The judges – and the lawyers appearing before them – do not wear the traditional robes and wigs which say so loudly that those who don them are serving the law, and are not just politicians or bureaucrats.

The nasty thing has been grafted on to our free constitution by Blairite revolutionaries – many of them Left-wing lawyers.   They had long planned a slow-motion putsch against conservative Britain. For this tiny, self-important group of men and women realised that they had an astonishing power.

They were allowed to decide what the law meant. And nobody could challenge them.  This was bad enough when they took advantage of the vague wording of ‘Human Rights’ charters. They used this to invent all kinds of rights for those members of society they favoured and wished to help.  In the same way, they abolished the former freedoms of those who had been in charge before.

Personally, I think Al Johnson’s action was a shabby trick (though it failed to work). But the idea that the courts should have anything to say about proroguing Parliament is absurd.  No need to storm the Bastille or capture the barracks and the railway station. Just issue a judgment, and abolish the morals and customs of ten generations in an afternoon.

For example, like it or not, state schools are going to teach children about homosexuality. This is now the law.

That use of the law to change our culture and morals was revolutionary enough. That brilliant mind, and former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, recently warned this would ‘entrench a broad range of liberal principles’ in the foundations of the State. Democracy would then be almost powerless to remove or limit them.  He then accused his fellow lawyers of being so sure they were right that they claimed a monopoly on deciding how the country should be governed.

Daily Meditation

Anticipating Heaven

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

Coram Deo

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

Passages for Further Study

There Is a Very Rotten Odour Emanating From NZ's Left

Hoist and Dangling From Their Own Petard

It is hard to credit or comprehend the ethical environment that must now characterise the New Zealand Labour Party.  Similar comments now may also be made about Winston Peters and his party and the Greens.  It seems that moral hypocrisy is running through the vitals of left wing parties to such an extent that the ordinary bloke and blokesse are left shaking their heads--or, as their mates would say, "Gobsmacked".  

We are not up to play with all the "in's and out's".  So we will take our cue from Andrea Vance.

"The rot is very deep. [The] party is allergic to women."  Those are powerful words from a former Beehive aide, appalled by how the Labour party has handled allegations of sexual assault by a staffer.  Is it any wonder then, that some complainants turned to National's deputy leader Paula Bennett for help?

National's deputy leader is taking fire for relentlessly dogging Labour over their litany of failures.  During general debate in the House, National Deputy Leader Paula Bennett said Jacinda Ardern's senior staff and senior minister Grant Robertson had known the seriousness of the allegations.  She was approached by five desperate complainants, who'd been dismissed and ignored by their own party. . . .

Jacinda Ardern has pledged two - secret - inquiries. It's the bare minimum, and the cookie-cutter response to a PR crisis.  But look past the PM's soothing platitudes, to the party's defensive behaviour over the last fortnight. It reveals MPs and members are in denial about how badly they wronged these young volunteers.  Ardern, who chooses her words with care, dismissed the original media reporting, and interviews with complainants, as "speculation."

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Update on Anglicanism in Australia

Cracks in the Communion: How Same-Sex Marriage is Threatening the Anglican Church of Australia

Photo of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta by Bahnfrend, wikicommons
After a relatively quiet period, the issue of same-sex relationships has made a sudden reappearance in Anglican politics. We asked David Ould, Anglican minister and prominent blogger on Anglican affairs, to help us understand the situation.

TGCA: There seems to be quite a bit of noise about same-sex marriage in the Australian Anglican Church at the moment. Could you tell us what has caused this flurry?
While the question of marriage has been a difficult one for both the global Anglican Communion in general and the Anglican Church of Australia for quite a while, things have come to a head recently through the decision of the synod (church parliament) of the diocese of Wangaratta to approve a liturgy for the blessing of persons who have entered a same-sex marriage. While this decision is grievous in and of itself, it’s been made worse by a number of exacerbating factors:
  1. The motion was promoted by the Bishop of Wangaratta, John Parkes.
  2. The Anglican Church of Australia has been in a temporary “cease-fire” over this topic. The bishops agreed when they met in March 2018 not to pursue or progress any unilateral innovation in this area and, instead, to act only within the constitutional framework of the Anglican Church of Australia. In effect this meant that they were agreeing that change could only be made through the General Synod (effectively the national parliament of the denomination). Bishop Parkes promotion of a liturgy of blessing is seen by many as a direct breach of this agreement.
Things have come to a head through the decision of the synod of Wangaratta to approve a liturgy for the blessing of persons who have entered a same-sex marriage. 

TGCA: What has been the response from the main dioceses to these developments?
Varied! There are 23 dioceses in Australia, including 5 Metropolitan dioceses; Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Sydney has long been conservative and their standing committee and Archbishop both issued strong condemnations of Wangaratta’s actions. Brisbane is a hotbed of liberal theology—often actively promoting gay ideology—and so, while there has been no official reaction, it is reasonable to assume they are watching with supportive interest. Perth will be much the same. Adelaide is a very mixed economy.
Melbourne—the seat of the Primate (lead bishop) of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier—is orthodox on the key questions yet is often accused of being too passive. While the diocese of Melbourne leans towards the evangelical wing there are a good number of liberal clergy and perishes who have often aggressively pushed the revisionist agenda, particularly in matters of human sexuality. Archbishop Philip Freier has the very difficult job of balancing his clear obligations as a bishop to “drive away all false and strange doctrine which is contrary to God’s word” with his deep desire to “keep the peace”.
TGCA: How have evangelical and orthodox organisations such as EFAC and GAFCON responded?
EFAC do not see themselves primarily as a political body and so any action has been left to GAFCON who issued a response to Wangaratta which contained, not only a rejection of Bishop Parkes’ actions and the more general promotion of liberal theology in the Australia Church, but an invitation to anyone “troubled” by these moves to contact GAFCON directly. This has been interpreted by many as the beginning of GAFCON laying out a structure for support and even alternate oversight of faithful Anglicans.
TGCA: Is this a line in the sand for the Anglican communion? What’s at stake here? What are the best and worst cases?
When similar events have happened in other Anglican provinces (national churches) there have been splits arising from what has often been described as “a tear in the fabric of the Communion”.

Daily Meditation

Discerning the Signs

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

Coram Deo

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

Passages for Further Study

Greta Thunberg--A Useful Tool, Easily Dismissed

Playing the Game

Greta Thunberg is a blame-shifter extraordinaire.  She finds it entertaining to point the finger at people older than herself.  She wants to place all that is wrong in the world at the feet of her parents.  And she carries a big stick.  If we will not listen to her, she will damn and condemn us for eternity.  

Thunberg tells us that things are obvious.  The threats from climate change are obviously real.  Older people have known all about this and done NOTHING! 
"For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear," Thunberg said. "How dare you continue to look away and come here and say you're doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still no where in sight.

"You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that, because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe."  [Stuff]
Well, have we got unfortunate news for poor Greta.   Nothing is going to change.  Nuffing.  Get that.  The reason is that poor Greta has been hoodwinked.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

"She'll Definitely Not Be Right, Mate."

Perpetual Vigilance Required

Three people have been arrested after a massive meth bust in the Waikato. 

James Fyfe

More than 200kg of the drug, valued at around $86.4 million, was seized by police following an investigation in collaboration with Western Australia Police.

As well as the 216kg of methamphetamine, police also seized around $100,000 in cash, a number of vehicles and a number of firearms.  Two New Zealand men, aged 38 and 40, were charged, as well as a 47-year-old Australian man.  Two of the men appeared in Hamilton District Court on Thursday, with the other man due to appear in Rotorua District Court on Friday.

"Since July, Police and Customs have seized more than a tonne of methamphetamine around the country," said Detective Inspector Paul Newman.   "That overall figure is an extremely significant amount and represents well over a year's worth of supply nationwide."

Police said they would be continuing with enquiries regarding the seizure.

Daily Meditation

Looking to the Future

Some things in life are certain. Death and taxes are two of them. In Central Florida in the summer, there is another certainty. At 2 p.m., it rains. It happens every day. You can set your clock by the thundershowers. Yet in spite of this punctual certainty, the weatherman says every day that there is a fifty percent chance of afternoon showers. Maybe the weatherman is employed by the chamber of commerce. Maybe he is just chicken. One doesn’t need a degree in meteorology to know it will surely rain in the afternoon in Florida in the summer.
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were much better forecasters of the weather than Central Florida meteorologists. Jesus complimented them on their astute ability to forecast the signs of the sky. They knew what every schoolchild knows: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.”
But the Pharisees could not read the signs of the times. They were great with the weather, but they missed the coming of the Messiah. They missed the fullness of time despite the fact that they had literally thousands of biblical prophecies that converged on the person of Christ. It was the clergy, the professional theologians and scholars, who were most hostile to Jesus.
Jesus told His disciples that He was coming back. He warned us to be alert and vigilant to the signs of the times. We all must look beyond the red sky and look for the golden sky, a sky ablaze with the glory of the returning King.

Coram Deo

Where is your focus today: on the temporal circumstances of your life or on the glorious hope of the return of Jesus Christ?

Passages for Further Study

Never The Twain Shall Meet

Atheism and Ethical Systems are Contradictory

The gulf between various kinds of atheism and moral or ethical systems is both deep and dire.  Yet still there are plenty of modern materialistic atheists who insist upon a moral code.  But given their atheism, it amounts to little more than special pleading for their own particular preferences.  

The reality is that atheism is unable to sustain any ethical or moral system apart from its own biases or prejudices.  Philospher John Gray hits the nail on its head:
With few exceptions, twenty-first-century atheists are unthinking liberals.  But atheism has no specific political content, and many atheists have been virulently anti-liberal.  Eighteenth-century French philosophes--including Voltaire--endorsed views that can only be described as racist.  . . . Typically, exponents of 'scientific ethics' have merely endorsed the conventional values of their time.
Our time is no different.  The American new atheist, Sam Harris wants a 'science of good and evil'.  He assumes that this science will support liberal values of human equality and personal autonomy.  What is should do so is never explained.  [John Gray, Seven Types of Atheism (London: Allen Lane, 2018),  p. 21.]

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Corbyn Leads A Madding Crowd

Jeremy Corbyn’s Incoherent Brexit Politics

Michael Brendan Dougherty
National Review Online

[The author gives insight into how bizarre UK Labour leader, Jeremy Corban can be.]

The Labour party leader continues to try to stake out the empty middle ground between Remain and Leave, apparently unaware that it’s empty for good reason. 

Well, now it is official. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour party, has finally outlined his party’s new position on Brexit in an editorial in the Guardian. Spoiler alert: It is completely daft.

Just a refresher. Three years ago, citizens of the U.K. voted in simple referendum. The choices were “Remain a member of the European Union” and “Leave the European Union.” Leave won by a small percentage. The Leave and Remain causes are more passionately felt than party attachments for many Brits.

Two years ago, Jeremy Corbyn was able to have it both ways on Brexit. He said his party was committed to implementing the referendum’s result. But in fact, Labour benefited from a surge of Remain voters wishing to stick it to Theresa May, who had started to negotiate Brexit and who denounced Remainers as “citizens of nowhere.” That convergence nearly brought May down. At the time I predicted that the tectonic plates of Brexit underneath British politics would begin to grind Corbyn the way they had May. Now it is happening.

Daily Meditation

Contemplating Our Destiny

John the Revelator’s vision provides a glorious picture of what will be in heaven. There will be a high wall with twelve gates and twelve angels at the gates. The wall will have twelve foundations. The gates will be named for the twelve tribes of Israel and the foundations for the twelve apostles.
The city will be foursquare, with walls of jasper. The walls’ foundations will be adorned with precious gemstones. The gates will be pearls. The city itself will be made of pure gold and the streets will be paved with transparent gold.
These images of breathtaking beauty and opulence pale into insignificance, however, when we consider the most important presence in the Holy City: “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Rev. 22:34, NIV).
Heaven is the place of the unveiled presence of God. Christ, in all His splendor, will be there. We shall see Him. We shall speak to Him. We shall hear His voice. We shall serve Him in unspeakable joy. We don’t know exactly what heaven will be. The reality will surely exceed all images or symbols of it. But this we do know—heaven is where Jesus is, and it is our destiny.

Coram Deo

Reflect on what it will be like to be forever Coram Deo … in God’s presence.

Passages for Further Study