Thursday, 31 October 2019

Fire Up the Cigars; Enjoy the Scent of Victory

Stop Worrying. Brexit Will Happen

Boris Will Win Big.

James Delingpole

So Britain won’t, after all, be getting Brexit by Hallowe’en, do or die.

This ought, in theory, to be a fatal blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson: did he not stake his credibility on delivering Brexit by October 31?  But politics, as we should all have realised by now, isn’t about reality. It’s about perception. The perception of the voting public — so the opinion polls tell us — is that Boris is not to blame for the recent run of Brexit delays. On the contrary, the more meddling and procrastination and cheating there has been by the Remainer Establishment, the more Boris’s stock has soared.

Here is how James Forsyth and Katy Balls put it in the Spectator:

Daily Meditation

Suffering for Righteousness

Martin Luther’s teaching of “justification by faith alone” was a battle cry for the sufficiency of the merit of Christ and for the graciousness of redemption. His slogan sola fide (“by faith alone”) was merely an extension of Augustine’s earlier credo, sola gratia (“by grace alone”).
What is lacking in the afflictions of Christ is not merit. No one can possibly subtract from or add to the merit of Christ. His merit is capable of neither diminution or augmentation. Our best works are always tainted by our sinfulness. We are debtors who cannot pay our debts, let alone accrue a surplus of excess merit. To interpret Colossians 1:24 in the way I mentioned in the previous reading is to cast a grotesque shadow over the utter perfection and fullness of Christ’s meritorious suffering.
What then does Paul mean by filling up what is lacking? If the lack is not merit, what is it? Paul repeatedly stresses the idea that the church, the body of Christ, is called to a willing participation in the humiliation and suffering of Jesus. For Paul, as with any Christian, it was a singular honor to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. But it is one thing to suffer for righteousness’ sake; it is quite another to suffer for merit’s sake.

Coram Deo
If you are suffering, reflect on these questions: Is it because of your own bad decisions? Is it because of your circumstances? Are you suffering for righteousness’ sake or is your suffering self-inflicted?

Passages for Further Study

How Long Before the Moniker, "Enemy of the People" Emerges

Kanye West’s Conversion Could Be a Cultural Wrecking Ball

By Andrew T. Walker
National Review Online

He’s just the figure to bring a needed message that our society should reconsider what it deems praiseworthy.

On Friday, anyone with a pulse would have seen the news of the release of Kanye West’s newest album, Jesus Is King. It comes after months of news stories about West’s very public conversion to Christianity, a Christianity that bears no resemblance to the vague spiritualism of Moral Therapeutic Deism that is often associated with celebrity conversions.

The lyrics to each song in Jesus Is King are shockingly Christian. It is not an album of feel-good Christian spirituality aimed primarily as a message of uplift. West co-wrote and sang the hit “Jesus Walks” on his debut album The College Dropout (2004), but Jesus Is King is different. Throughout the whole of the new album, West is in many respects deeply critical of modernity and cultural progressivism. There are calls for a focus more on the family than on individual glory. He seems to applaud Chick-fil-A, which in our age is tantamount to endorsing bigotry. Social-media obsession should be exchanged for family prayer. Fatherhood is characterized as a virtue. Materialism is pilloried. Calls for worshiping Christ redound to such effect that West’s first Christian album is arguably more Christian than what most contemporary Christian artists could similarly muster.

But in the media rollout of West’s album, it’s worth paying attention to other statements he’s made.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

The Chattering Classes Have Become a Madding Crowd

Due Diligence on Today’s Cannabis—a Response

A rejoinder to “What we know, and don’t know, about cannabis, psychosis and violence”,1 Boden and Spittlehouse (26 July 2019).

Bob McCroskrie

In May 2019, as calls for the legalisation of cannabis grew ever louder, and with the upcoming referendum on legalisation in 2020, Family First launched a petition asking the government to first investigate the possible link between cannabis and violence. Emphasis on ‘possible’. We raised the issue for good reason.

Over the past couple of decades, studies around the globe have found that higher levels of THC—the active compound in cannabis—is strongly linked to psychosis, schizophrenia, and violence.

And with increasing THC levels being found in marijuana products consumed via edibles, vaping and dabbing, the risk is growing. In Colorado the average THC content of all tested flower in 2017 was 19.6%, and for concentrated extract products, 68.6%.2 Potency rates can now be as high as 99.9%.3

Daily Meditation

Avoiding a False Theology of Suffering

Martin Luther’s tenure in the monastery was a time of spiritual desperation. He was tormented by unrelieved guilt coupled with a gripping fear of the wrath of God. Why would an educated man retreat to a barren cell and abuse himself with self-inflicted physical punishment? Why would a believer go out of his way to find personal suffering?
The answer may be found partially, though not totally, in a concept that emerged in church history that equated suffering with merit. Monks fled to the desert to seek rigorous forms of asceticism and self-denial, not only as a form of spiritual discipline to maintain a healthy dependence on the grace of God, but also in quest of sanctifying merit.
A biblical text that was often cited as scriptural warrant for such activity is Colossians 1:24. Paul writes, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” The key words of this verse are “fill up … what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ.”
A false theology of suffering emerged that was built on the hypothesis that the meritorious suffering of Jesus, though necessary for the redemption of God’s people, is not complete—there is additional merit that can be added to it by the suffering of the saints.

Coram Deo

Reflect on this truth: The suffering of Christ cannot be augmented by your merit. It is complete.

Passages for Further Study

Well, Well, Well.

Kanye West on the Damascus Road?

Brianna McClean

In 2010, Kanye West released an album titled ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’. This title is a neat summary of his reputation as a billionaire rapper and tabloid regular. Then, in 2013, he released ‘Yeezus’. Here is a sample of lyrics from that album: 

I am a God
I am a God
I am a God
I am a God
Hurry up with my damn massage
Hurry up with my damn ménage
Get the Porsche out the damn garage.

Plot twist: last week, Kanye publicly proclaimed Jesus as Lord. His new album ‘Jesus is King’ is dedicated to his recently found faith—and it’s already topping charts. Perhaps, our first instinct—and my first instinct, if I’m honest—is scepticism. This wouldn’t be the first time a celebrity used a conversion story for personal gain. Plus, Kanye’s music has always appropriated and referenced religion. However, before we assume the worst—shouldn’t we listen to what Kanye has to say? Here’s a track-by-track overview of ‘Jesus is King’.

Every Hour
The opening track features a Gospel choir, who declare humanity’s need of God, ‘Every hour, every minute, every second’. Kanye joins them and sings:

Sing ’til the power of the Lord comes down
(Let everything that have breath praise God)
Sing ’til the power of the Lord comes down
(Praising the Lord, praise God in the sanctuary)
Sing ’til the power of the Lord comes down
(For His mighty works and excellent grace and His mighty power, yeah),

Sounds pretty good so far, Kanye. In fact, I’ve heard less biblical music in church.


‘Selah’ is the Hebrew word found in many Psalms, which is most likely a musical notation of some kind. In this track, Kanye shares the story behind this album, his testimony.

Everybody wanted Yandi. Then Jesus Christ did the laundry.

‘Jesus is King’ was originally titled ‘Yandi’ and was set for release in September 2018—but then Kanye came to know Christ. The album was delayed and then transformed into its current form.

John 8:36. Whom the Son set free is free indeed. He saved a wretch like me.

Follow God

Here, and in plenty of other places on this album, Kanye talks about his sin. He says: ‘Tryna live your life right … screamin’ at my Dad and he told me, ‘’It ain’t Christ-like’’. In terms of lyrical depth, this track is weaker than the best this album has to offer. But, it’s not heretical—and the beats are great (if you care about that).

Closed on Sundays

The lyrics of this track, once you get over the strange reference to Chick-Fil-A, are remarkable. Chick-Fil-A is an American fast-food chain, owned by Christians, which is closed on Sundays. Kanye sings about how his family life and values have changed since following Christ.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Islamic Foundations Shaking


World’s largest Islamic organisation drops legal category of “infidel” in historic decision

The Barnabas Fund

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the Indonesian Muslim political party and world’s largest moderate Muslim movement, has made a significant break with Islamic conservatism in an unprecedented decision to abolish the legal category of “infidel” (kafir) for non-Muslims.

The groundbreaking move, apparently aimed at sweeping away Islamic doctrines often used by extremists to justify terrorism, was first announced at the NU national conference in West Java earlier in 2019.

Around 20,000 Muslim scholars gathered to create and endorse a new Islamic legal framework (fiqh). The new rulings include a raft of changes embracing the modern definition of nation state, instead of a caliphate, and recognising all as “fellow citizens”, irrespective of their religion or ethnicity, with equal rights and obligation to obey modern national laws.

Kafir has become a very derogatory and insulting term for non-Muslims. In classical Islamic law they are to be killed. Christians and Jews, “the people of the book”, have dhimmi status which means they are not to be killed so long as they submit themselves to the Islamic authorities and follow a number of demeaning and humiliating regulations that show their second-class status.

The decrees speak of the obligation of Muslims to “foster peace rather than wage war” wherever there is conflict in the world between Muslim and non-Muslim populations.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation and the NU claims to have more than 90 million members. Its revisions of Islamic doctrine and legal rulings are expected to reverberate throughout the Muslim world.

Daily Meditation

Climbing out of the Mire

Our souls cannot climb out of the mire of sin because they are dead. Salvation comes not to those who cry out, “Show me the way to heaven,” but to those who cry, “Take me there for I cannot.” 
Lest we see the sinner’s prayer as mere technique, we must remember that Christ raises the dead that they might walk. We do not mumble the magic words and then wait to die. Christianity is about spiritual growth as well. It is about work, the hard work of sanctification. Regeneration is monergistic, God’s work alone. Sanctification, the process by which we are made holy, is synergistic, God’s work with us. 
God’s part is easy for Him. He needs no shortcuts because He never tires. We, though, must ever fight the temptation to seek the shortcut. No technique will make us holy. No technique of the Devil’s, though, can stop the process of Christ making us into His image. Those whom He calls He sanctifies.
Our sanctification requires the Spirit of God and, because He has so ordered His world, sanctification requires the disciplined and repeated use of the means of grace. Five minutes a day of Bible study smells like technique. Arid, it is sure to fail. We must immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Then, as Jesus promised, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. Then we will be His disciples (John 8:31–32). 

Coram Deo

Remember, God is at work in you. He never tires. Give thanks for the process that is underway.

Passages for Further Study

Conversion Therapy

Begging the Question On a Grand Scale

There is a group of extremists purporting to go around New Zealand allegedly defending the rights of homosexuality and homosexuals.  These folk lie somewhere along the spectrum between lesbianism, on the one hand, and "+"--that is any sexual orientation which one might wish to tag on. 

Every so often someone along the spectrum will take to the hustings to demand freedom rights to practise their particular bent or orientation.  They also usually demand that the State exercise its power to punish anyone who represents contrary views.  One has to be consistent, don't you know. 

Here is an example of what we have in view:  a group somewhere along the spectrum, called the Conversion Therapy Action Group,  wants to see "conversion therapy" banned, and its exponents punished.  They are convinced that it is eeeevil.  They want a law passed to ensure no-one ever again would be subjected to such a grave great injustice.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Russian Persecution of Christians

Right To Worship In Private Homes

Christian brings landmark case in Russia

Barnabas Fund

A Christian woman brought a landmark case in the Russian Constitutional Court in St Petersburg on 8 October when she challenged a fine of 10,000 rubles (£122; $155; €140) imposed by the authorities for allowing her house to be used by her Protestant church for worship services.

Olga Glamozdinova said the decision violated her right to freedom of conscience and religious confession, as well as her right to freely own and dispose of her property.  The decision of the Russian Constitutional Court in St Petersburg will determine where Protestant churches can meet for worship in the future.

Olga’s lawyer, Vladimir Riakhovsky, said he could show to the court at least a dozen similar cases, where land designation had been used to restrict the rights of Protestant Christians. If her case is successful, the ruling will have significant implications for religious freedom in Russia.

Riakhovsky said Olga’s case exposed a “legal ambiguity” that was being used to stifle freedom of conscience and religious associations. “The right of a religious organisation to conduct worship services in residential buildings is explicitly provided by the Federal Law,” he said.

In January 2017, Olga allowed her fellow church members to meet in the house she owns in the village of Veselyi, Rostov Oblast, once a week for a four-hour worship service. She also registered the church at the house, which is built on land designated for “private farming”. Nine months later, in September 2017, district officials fined her for “use of the land for unintended purposes”, a decision later upheld in two court hearings.

Daily Meditation

Fear and Hope in God’s Jealousy

The LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14)
John Piper

God is infinitely jealous for the honor of his name, and responds with terrible wrath against those whose hearts should belong to him but go after other things.

For example, in Ezekiel 16:38–40 he says to faithless Israel, 
I will judge you as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. And I will give you into the hand of your lovers and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber . . . they shall strip you of your clothes and take your fair jewels, and leave you naked and bare. They shall bring up a host against you and cut you to pieces with swords.
I urge you to listen to this warning. The jealousy of God for your undivided love and devotion will always have the last say. Whatever lures your affections away from God with deceptive attraction will come back to strip you bare and cut you in pieces.

It is a horrifying thing to use your God-given life to commit adultery against the Almighty.

But for those of you who have been truly united to Christ and who keep your vows to forsake all others and cleave only to him and live for his honor — for you the jealousy of God is a great comfort and a great hope.

Since God is infinitely jealous for the honor of his name, anything and anybody who threatens the good of his faithful wife will be opposed with divine omnipotence.

God’s jealousy is a great threat to those who play the harlot and sell their heart to the world and make a cuckold out of God. But his jealousy is a great comfort to those who keep their covenant vows and become strangers and exiles in the world.

New Zealand's Most Illiberal University

Massey U is a Walking Hate Crime

It Hates Free Speech

Massey University cannot help itself.  It has now demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that its raison d'etre is to suppress any speech which it rules to be hurtful to--even one student.   We received this update from the Free Speech Coalition. 

Free Speech Coalition

Dear John,

The past week has been a busy one on the free speech front.

Massey University - A double whammy
Massey, Massey, Massey... this university should have its status as a tertiary education provider revoked. As per our last email, you will know that Massey University banned the Speak Up for Women's event last week.

Yet again the 'health and safety' catchall has been deployed by Massey's spineless administrators to cater to a select few cry-bullies that cannot handle adverse ideas.

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, Massey 'upped the ante' as New Zealand's most illiberal university by tearing down pro-Hong Kong protest posters on campus. These posters were carefully created so as not to show any violent material – it is unclear what reason Massey had in taking them down.

Many Hong Kong students would raise this matter with the university, if their identity did not make them targets for punishment from their government.

To all those who are, or know someone enrolling at university, we highly discourage applying to Massey. The university leadership clearly do not understand their duties as educators. [Emphasis, ours]

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Australian Christian Lobby Conference

Israel Folau Update

Wallabies Star At Australian Christian Lobby National Conference

Benjamin Graham
NZ Herald

In a deep discussion about his spirituality former Wallaby Israel Folau has revealed he made a "crazy prayer" before making the social media posts that would turn his life upside down.  Speaking to a packed room of hundreds of Christians at the Australian Christian Lobby's (ACL) national conference, called "Not Ashamed", he said he would "absolutely" send the now-infamous posts again if he could go back.

The 30-year-old walked out to a hero's welcome at Sydney's International Conference Centre as he walked out onto the stage after a montage of the past for an interview with ACL managing director Martyn Iles.

After extensively thanking those who had supported him, Folau told the audience: "I felt really content in my work, with God and how everything was going.  All of a sudden I wanted to pray a crazy prayer and ask the Lord: 'Lord, you know I'm feeling really comfortable at the moment, it's going to test my faith and it's going to test my trust. Am I going to continue to serve you faithfully?'"

The audience at this point erupted into laughter, before Folau smiled and said: "And God prepared this (his current legal situation) for me. So, be careful what you wish for. God can give it to you."  Asked whether he, looking back, he would have made the posts again, he said: "I would absolutely".

He said that at the moment when he hit send on the posts, he thought back to his "crazy prayer".

"I guess when I had prayed that prayer I was talking about earlier, I had already purpose in my heart that if I was to find myself in this situation (that) at least I was going to what's right by God and stand up for the truth, regardless of the things we may lose within this lifetime.  Throughout this whole situation, it's brought me closer to God."

He then warned the audience to prepare themselves for a situation like the one he's found himself in. "It's very important that you're ready because I can guarantee you that it's happened to me now, but it's certainly going to happen to many other people sitting in this room now," he said.  "You might not think it could happen to you, it it possibly could."

He said that, when confronted with this, they should not "compromise and conform to the way that society and culture is".  Before he walked out, a montage of the past six months' media coverage played out on the big screen, showing Mr Iles' appearances defending Folau on Sunrise and The Project.

Asked about how much of the media coverage about him had been true, Folau said: "Probably like 0.1 per cent.  The media like to twist a lot of things and portray me to be a certain type of person," he said.  "But it's something I'm not worried about. The only approval I care about is God's approval."

He was then given a standing ovation as he walked off the stage.

He appeared as part of a roster of conservative speakers including pro-life campaigner and Liberal NSW MP Tanya Davies and international guests who outlined what they believe are the struggles faced by Christians around the world.  Some of the hundreds of attendees today told they had come down to the conference to be inspired as they had become increasingly frustrated with the way Australian society is headed.

Mandy Clifton, from the city's northern beaches, said she believes society based on science is letting people down - pointing to rates of suicide, depression and violence.  "Science will tell you that you have no purpose, only living by God gives you purpose," she said.  "A movement like this (the ACL) seeks to influence the culture and lay our beliefs out in a truthful and loving way."

In brochures handed out at today's event, the ACL stated its supporters had played a major part in this year's election by handing out 140,000 flyers in "three of the four seats which determined the federal election outcome".

Maria Davies, from the Blue Mountains, told she had become interested in the movement because of the Folau incident.  She says she is increasingly worried about freedom to express her religious thoughts, saying her opinion on same-sex marriage lost her three friends, one of whom she had been friends with for 45 years.  "I also know a few people who got the sack after discussing their opinions in the office," she said.  "A complaint's been made and they've lost their job."

In the lead-up to the conference, Folau posted a video message online alongside his wife Maria urging Christians to head to the event and share the hashtag #notashamed.  "We are not ashamed to follow Jesus and we're not ashamed to follow truth," he said.

Folau's appearance comes as his legal fight against Rugby Australia and Waratahs Rugby drags on in the Federal Circuit Court.  He is arguing that the Tribunal's ruling that he should be fired over two social media posts is void and he's also seeking damages.

In one social media post, Folau claimed transgender people were evil and should repent.  In another he paraphrased a Bible passage saying "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators" would go to hell unless they repented.

Folau's legal matter will return to court on December 17 ahead of a trial if mediation is unsuccessful.

Daily Meditation

Accepting Graduated Responsibility

There is an oft-neglected principle taught in the New Testament. I call it the principle of “graduated responsibility.” This principle is taught by Jesus in Luke 12:48: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded” (NIV). 
This saying is part of the parable of the faithful steward. It underscores the terms of the judgment the lord in the parable renders to his servants. The punishment meted out is given in direct proportion to the prior knowledge each servant had:
That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.” (vv. 47-48, NIV)
Here we see that judgment and punishment are rendered according to knowledge as well as action. The greater the knowledge, the greater the accountability.

Coram Deo

Are you a faithful steward over all that God has entrusted to you?

Passages for Further Study

National Shame

Male NZ Navy Personnel Permitted False Eyelashes and Makeup

Simon Kent
Breitbart London

All personnel in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN)  have been given the OK to wear false eyelashes, nail polish and makeup under new gender-neutral guidelines designed to maintain its military image.

The news was announced just hours before the RNZN paused to embrace Trafalgar Day, the traditional celebration of the victory won by the Royal Navy, commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

The changes come as the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) updates its grooming and appearance guidelines to make the force “more inclusive.”  “These updates are to reflect that the RNZN make no distinction between male and female members in terms of their personal grooming and appearance,” Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor confirmed to Newshub.

“The NZDF can confirm that as of November 1, 2019, guidelines around grooming and appearance for Royal New Zealand Navy personnel will be updated,” said Proctor.  “These changes reflect that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as an organisation, as are the unique traditions and characteristics of the RNZN.”

Proctor said the RNZN’s grooming standards are based on neatness, cleanliness, safety and military image.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Can Splendid Isolation Be Recaptured?

The Endgame in Syria

By Matthew Continetti
National Review Online

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters on an armored personnel carrier in the border town of Akcakale, Turkey, October 18, 2019. (Murad Sezer/Reuters)

Americans are getting the retreat they voted for. 

“The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence. It’s a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values.”
     —Pete Buttigieg, October 15

Mr. Mayor has a point. For 75 years, from Fulda Gap to the 38th parallel, the American soldier has been the last line of defense against violence, chaos, and oppression. From Kosovo to Anbar, he has kept a lid on cauldrons of bloodlust. Remove him, and the poison boils over.

That is what happened when Congress reduced aid to South Vietnam in 1975. It is what followed U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. It is happening now in northeast Syria, and it will happen again when Americans leave Afghanistan. Our forces depart; our allies collapse; our adversaries take command.

The pattern was established well before Donald Trump took office. It will persist after he departs. There is nothing so consistent as American ambivalence toward our superpower status. Most great powers covet hegemony. We hate it. The costs are too high, the demands too stressful.

“For every exercise of the great power’s prerogative, there has been an equally strong recoiling from the use of power,” wrote Robert Kagan in A Twilight Struggle (1996). “While the United States cannot escape behaving as the hegemonic great power, it is also a great power with a democratic conscience, a strong anti-imperialist streak, and an unwillingness to adopt the role of policeman anywhere for more than a brief time.”

Kagan was describing U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. He might as well have been talking about the Middle East.

Trump is getting America out of a country we were never really in. Our presence in Syria was not enough to deter Turkey. One thousand troops do not constitute a tripwire. They are chips in a high-stakes game. Erdogan called the bluff.

Our footprint was light because the last two administrations wanted it that way.

Daily Meditation

God Heals by Humbling

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD, “and I will heal him.” (Isaiah 57:18–19)

John Piper

In spite of the severity of man’s disease of rebellion and willfulness, God will heal. How will he heal? Verse 15 says that God dwells with the crushed and humble. Yet the people of verse 17 are brazenly pursuing their own proud way. What will a healing be?

It can only be one thing. God will heal them by humbling them. He will cure the patient by crushing his pride. If only the crushed and humble enjoy God’s fellowship (v. 15), and if Israel’s sickness is a proud and willful rebellion (v. 17), and if God promises to heal them (v. 18), then his healing must be humbling and his cure must be a crushed spirit.

Isn’t this Isaiah’s way of prophesying what Jeremiah called the new covenant and Jeremiah called a new heart? He said, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel . . . I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (31:31, 33).

Isaiah and Jeremiah both see a time coming when a sick, disobedient, hard-hearted people will be supernaturally changed. Isaiah speaks of healing. Jeremiah speaks of writing the law on their hearts.

So the healing of Isaiah 57:18 is a major heart transplant — the old hardened, proud, willful heart is taken out and a new soft, tender heart is put in which is easily humbled and crushed by the memory of sin and the sin that remains.

This is a heart that the lofty One whose name is Holy can dwell with and give life to.

And Now . . . Some Good News On Brexit

Boris Johnson Is Close To Getting Brexit Done

Sumantra Maitra
The Federalist

It is still too early for surety, but this three-year national humiliation might be over soon, as Britain reaches a deal to get out of the EU, and trade freely with the rest of the world.

One of the most baffling reactions among liberals since 2016 was to compare Boris Johnson to Donald Trump. I reside in England, and saw tweet after tweet from the Max Boots and Tom Nichols of the world on why these two, and Brexit and the election of Trump, are exactly the same.

The reality, as always, is a lot more complicated. There is of course similarity in both events. Both were a rebel yell against orthodoxy in the respective countries. In the United States, it was by masses of people who oppose the elites’ conventional wisdom, from mass immigration from Latin America to foreign intervention in the Middle East. In the United Kingdom, it was about the ever-closing European Union. The British, and mostly the English, did not want to be vassals of an empire.

But that was where the similarities end. Trump is mercantile, Boris is a free trader. Trump is a businessman from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who wants the United States to end what he perceives to be free-riding from allies and focus on China as the peer competitor, given that America’s favorable balance is fading fast and there’s a time to draw a line in the sand.

Boris, a classics scholar from Oxford, can recite The Iliad in ancient Greek, talk about ascending tricolons in rhetoric, and is a former editor of The ​Spectator with books on the Roman empire and Winston Churchill under his belt. He is at heart a historian who wants to break open the EU monopoly and open up trade to turn London into a Singapore upon the Thames. That’s something Germany’s Angela Merkel is extremely worried about, as she considers post-Brexit Britain, alongside the United States and China, to be “an economic competitor for the EU.”

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Another Win For Righteousness

Judge Overturns Obama Rule 

OUT: Forcing Doctors to Perform Abortions, Gender Transition Procedures

Daniel Payne

A federal judge on Tuesday vacated a mandate imposed by the Obama administration forcing doctors to perform abortions and gender transition procedures.

Judge Reed O’Connor held that the rule, which had expanded anti-discrimination law to include both “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy,” violated the Administrative Procedures Act as well as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

O’Connor remanded the policy for further review, noting that the Trump administration has proposed an alternative rule that would lessen the burden on physicians’ religious freedom.

One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the case called O’Connor’s ruling “a major victory for compassion, conscience, and sound medical judgment.”

Daily Meditation

Treasuring Redemption’s Price

The key to understanding the cry of Jesus from the cross is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” (Gal. 3:13, NIV).
To be cursed is to be removed from the presence of God, to be set outside the camp, to be cut off from His benefits. On the cross, Jesus was cursed. That is, He represented the Jewish nation of covenant breakers who were exposed to the curse and took the full measure of the curse on Himself. As the Lamb of God, the Sin Bearer, He was cut off from the presence of God.
On the cross, Jesus entered into the experience of forsakenness on our behalf. God turned His back on Jesus and cut Him off from all blessing, from all keeping, from all grace, and from all peace.
God is too holy to even look at iniquity. God the Father turned His back on the Son, cursing Him to the pit of hell while He hung on the cross. Here was the Son’s “descent into hell.” Here the fury of God raged against Him. His scream was the scream of the damned. For us. 

Coram Deo

Reflect on what Jesus did for you on Calvary. Give thanks for the Lamb of God who bore your sin.

Passages for Further Study