To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Why We Should Not Meet At Present

Although I write this some 42 days into the phase of full lockdown as a result of the coronavirus in the UK, I still feel it is worthwhile to iterate why we are not meeting as churches neither in our building nor in any physical context.

The four key determining principles according to scripture are:

Subjection to Authorities The message from the government in general is to avoid non-essential social contact and stay-at-home. Specifically they have ordered the closing of places of worship including churches. In 1 Peter 2:13-14 we read Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor[ as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. So we seek to follow this call at this time which leads us to the cancelling our services.

Sacrifice. At this time others are restricting their activities for the common good, it would be reasonable for us to be sacrificing to the same end and so restricting our activities. At the heart of our faith is a Saviour who self-sacrificed for the good of others.

Love The whole premise on which the present government policy is based is that the less social contact there is then the less chance there is for the virus to spread. This will mean lives will be saved. It will also mean that the health service will be able to cope with the demands upon it and respond to help other emergency cases. Love to our neighbour drives us to cooperate with this policy.

Witness. To be seen to be carrying on our public meetings together when others have stopped their activities can declare that we do not care for those around us. Such a declaration can cause great harm to the cause of Christ and testimony of the church.

In not being able to meet we should feel the pain. We are called to be a people who live in community. Using the technology available to facilitate this is good, and we must use it vigorously so as to do our churches good. However, the call of Hebrews 10:24-25 looms large and should impact us: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Meeting through screens is not the same as meeting face-to-face. 

Moreover, having established that it is proper that we should withdraw from meeting at this time, we can easily drift into settling down to this being an acceptable way going forward.  We need to be jolted out of such thinking. Yes we need to make the best of our online situation, but we should be longing to be back in church together.

Finally we note that this is an issue of public health. Accordingly we are persuaded to acquiesce with the demands upon us. Should this slip into being a religious issue then our response should be somewhat difference. It is one thing to stop meeting to assist in the maintenance of good public health; it is a very different matter to stop meeting because we declare that Jesus is LORD and the only Saviour and the authorities, as a result, are insisting that we close.

 

 

General Election

Please see here for an article appertaining to the forthcoming General Election in the UK.

 

Globalization Is Westernization

It strikes me that the globalisation of the world is actually the westernisation of the world. It is not as if there is an exchange and interaction of cultural values so as we consensually adopt what is best. Rather, western values and being adopted all over the world. And this is not good news.

A part of the reason for this is that the main engines of international cooperation are all dominated by those who have adopted western values. The United Nations, Unesco, Unicef etc., are all vehicles for the spread of western propaganda.

Underlying all this is the  assumed message that “west is best”. So around the world you see generations growing up who aspire to a western lifestyle.

The historical background to this has two key roots:

Colonialism This has imbued many cultures and countries around the world with a tendency to defer to the West. They were taught that the white man knew best and his ways should be followed. Intellectually, cultures and countries may discern that this is not the case, but it is deep in the psyche.

Collapse of Communism. The events at the last 1980’s / early 1990’s have led to a triumphalist attitude in the West. After all, “we won” is the conclusion. Communism collapsed, the Berlin wall fell and the command economies of the former Soviet Bloc adopted capitalism. As a result there is a presumption that all the world should adopt all the values of the West’s culture.

Alas, this is resulting in the devastating spread of many pernicious dogmas and attitudes such as materialism, hedonism and consumerism. Moreover, LGBT+ dogma, is being propagated with increasing vehemence. for example. The countries that hold-out against the demands to embrace “the new way” are declared to be backward. And after all, no-one wants to be backward. The pressure is immense particularly when the granting of aid is predicated upon the adoption of Western values.

State-Sponsored Experiment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), as one of its responsibilities, assesses what drugs are safe to release to the market. If NICE were responsible for the release of the LGBTQ+ agenda into the market of ideas they would be condemned with vehemence. I say this because there has been no consideration to the impact and consequences that the LGBTQ+ “drug” will have when consumed by a society en masse.

It is a scandal that the government in conspiration with academia and the media has unleashed on our society the full force of LGBTQ+ ideology. All of it is based on the assertion among the intelligentsia, opinion formers and decision makers of our land that we are free to choose our sexuality and gender. The persuasive power of it all is in the word “freedom”. The logic goes that if is based upon and leads to freedom then all must be well.

But where is the research? Where is the full consideration of the data? I am no sociologist or specialist in the history of ideas. However, it does not take any detailed research to conclude that the societies that have had longevity are those which have been based upon the promulgation of the ideas that sexual relations should be between a man and a woman and that we are to operate with our sex/gender as established at birth through our genitalia.

Here is one article picking up  how the state education system is being used to push forward the agenda. But does anyone know what this will mean for our society? The unprecedented levels of youngsters struggling with mental health issues should make us start to consider that “the project”, at the very least, has not been helpful.

It seems that we are at a pivotal time politically in this country with all the Brexit mayhem. However, I feel that that pales into insignificance when we view the long-term consequences of re-writing the values of our society.

The experiment is underway and, of course, woe betide you if speak against it. The long-term damage has not been considered. In spite of that it is all proclaimed to be the start of a brave new world.

Oh and of course don’t forget God has spoken about these issues. Genesis 19 tells us of the elimination of a society, Sodom and Gomorrah, that adopted this ideology. And Romans 1:18-32 would tell us that the adoption of such ways is indicative of a society under God’s judgement.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. the fruit of this experiment is guaranteed to be pernicious. And we will see more and more people seeking answers. And what opportunities there should be for evangelism as a result. Let’s keep speaking of a greater freedom and a more solid ideology. Let us preach and speak of Christ and Him crucified.

Juice Drink

So you buy your fruit juice seeing that it is orange (or whatever) juice displayed on the carton. Then you take a drink and realize that it all tastes a bit watery. And then you look at the carton again and see the fatal word “drink”.

This basically means juice that has been watered down to produce some insipid “swill”. Of course, it is a very clever marketing tool to present something as juice, but to deliver it as swill. And the big culprit in all this is the “drink” word. For the producers and retailers that word presumably means they get around the trade descriptions legislation. All the while they are saving themselves money on the product by replacing valuable juice with cheaper water.

So if I became Prime Minister the first thing I would do is to ban the stuff. Well perhaps not. But you now what I mean (and feel).

No Deal – What’s the Problem?

I have given my views on the Brexit impasse here. What now perplexes me is why a “no-deal” Brexit is declared by so many to be unthinkable. Catastrophe is the outcome for our country is what so many say. And yet I don’t know why this is the conclusion of so many. Why would a no-deal Brexit be such a bad idea?

I have lived through 1st January 2000 when collapse of our computer system was meant to lead to all kinds of catastrophe – and it didn’t. I have lived through June 24th 2016 when the result of the referendum declaring that the majority of the voting British public wanted to leave the European Union (EU) was supposed to lead to catastrophe – and it did not. So, I am perhaps a bit cynical about these prophecies of doom.

At the moment the country seems to be operating with a degree of paralysis. Issues of normal government such as health and education, seem largely to have been left to just go on as before with little governmental direction. Everyone is waiting for an outcome to Brexit. No deal was done by the scheduled date for leaving the EU on 29th March 2019 so why didn’t it just happen without a deal? At least everyone could then move on. Trade deals and agreements could be sorted out. I would expect, although I may be completely wrong, that there were be a short period of hiatus and then all would settle down.

Now, if I could show my hand, I am probably a mild remainer. However, the vote was taken and that said we should leave. As I mentioned in my aforementioned post here, I think a further referendum would be a bad idea.

Also I am what i would describe as an “unconvinced non-voter”. I set out my position on that here. However, it is a position I hold quite hesitatingly. I am strongly thinking though, of voting for the Brexit party in the European Parliamentary Elections on May 23rd because they seems to be a one policy party and that policy is to leave the EU. And that policy implements the referendum.

In the end that will, no doubt, mean a no-deal Brexit because it seems impossible for the British parliament to agree anything between themselves. But what’s the problem with that? Any answers would be appreciated.

Consultation Fatigue

I fear I have “consultation fatigue”. What is it I am referring to?

The changing moral climate in the UK is continually driving the political authorities to consider changes to long established societal norms. As a result there are consultations which relentlessly emerge from “the corridors of power” for the public, parents and all with a pertaining interest to make representations on the presenting issue. These documents are often complex and hard to follow, particularly for the uninitiated like myself.

The outcome of all this is to feel worn down. The continued push against the, often biblically derived, sensible structures and practices of society seems so unnecessary. And yet the anti-God, anti Christian ethos of our day would want to press on to demolish the long-established bulwarks.

Joining in with the consultations is a way of seeking to stand against the flow and yet the flow seems like a flood at times and hard to withstand.

And when you do get involved those consultations can be so time-consuming. To venture in is to be taken into a labyrinth of language so obviously fashioned in the courts of Whitehall with little regard for the common man. The likes of The Family Education Trust and Christian Institute work valiantly to give help through the process and I admire them much for it.

I do feel at times like “I am letting the side down” when I don’t get involved. But I am fatigued by it. Another mailout for The Christian Institute on another consultation induces a wearied groan from within me.

Where does it all leave me? I must pray and seek the Lord about it all. If there are times when I feel I should get involved then I should. In the end we have limited time and energy. We are here to be for the Lord though and seek to stand for Him as God gives opportunity and guiding.

 

Colonialism is Back

Colonialism is back! This colonialism is not in the form of the political subjugation, economic exploitation or military conquering of another country. Rather, it is back in the form of the imposition of ideological dogmas on other “inferior” countries. I use the word “inferior” deliberately to indicate how pride is at the heart of this process. Here is one article reflecting on this how this happens.

So what am I specifically referring to? The ongoing adoption of the LGBT agenda into law in this country is all assumed to be part of progress; in doing this it is assumed that we are moving to a higher level of civilization. That being the case it is assumed that all other nations will similarly ascend to a higher level of civilization if they follow the lead of the UK. David Cameron, the former Prime Minister whilst in office was determined to support same-sex marriage around the world. Here is a report of his speech on 2013.

I am not going to be a defender of the original colonial thrust back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but I do want to say there is something that does not seem right here. It seems all based on a great delusion. The delusion focuses on how progress is understood. As we have moved on from where we were in to this great new age of “equality for all” it is assumed this is great progress.

I am left musing that there seems to be not some sniff of the impact of evolutionary dogma here. Inherent in evolutionary teaching is the thought that through natural selection and then survival of the fittest things are getting better. And the West being at the vanguard of the LGBT movement means that we must be ahead of those who have not yet become as enlightened as us.

The implicit agenda that prevails, particularly as regards to Africa, is that they need to be enlightened. “We must pass on our views to these poor benighted souls and they will be so much better” is the thinking undergirding this. Here is a fascinating interaction which shows Africa fighting back against this patronizing attitude and it is good to see.

This attitude of cultural superiority is discerned in the Western version of Anglicanism as they deal with the “lesser” version thereof in Africa. I make big generalizations of course, but the resistance of the African church to embrace the LGBT agenda is seen as indicative of their lack of progress. “Of course they are only lesser because they have not come as far of us” is the unstated inference.

In fact they are far more wise and advanced because they have cleaved to the Lord and His Word. We are always on the right side of history when we do that.

May we, as Christians in the West, stand with our brothers and sisters worldwide and not countenance this ideological imperialism.

 

Mrs May: Where it all Changed.

I am left wondering if it was in the Andrew Marr interview on 30th April where everything started to change for Mrs May. Up until taht date her position was unassailable. She was to all intents and purposes the queen awaiting her re-coronation. The June election was anticipated as a day of unmistakable triumph. And then she said this in the Andrew Marr interview (see here). Professing Christ she completely denied the truth that is in Jesus.

It just seemed from that point on things gradually changed. The wheels came off her campaign. There were the embarrassments surrounding the manifesto and finally the unexpected election results.  This all is quite interesting to me.

If you profess to know God, but deny that sin is truly sin you put yourself against the God you profess. A cautionary tale I feel.

Gay Sex and the Election

Perhaps we have already seen the low point of the 2017 election campaign. This interview with Tim Farron was surely something of a nadir. Why do I say it was a low point?:

  • It shows the moral deterioration of this country. If a politician, even twenty years ago, had said gay sex was not a sin, that would have wrecked his career. Now it is completely the reverse. Today if a politician says gay sex is a sin he is likely to be vilified. This is all emblematic of a change in our ethical culture. Historically, we had a culture formed around biblical values. Now we have a culture formed around secular values, The former led to stability, the latter inevitably leads to chaos. I fear for the future of our nation. 
  • A decent man, for that’s what Tim Farron seems to be, has been treated like a suspected criminal by the press. He has now been hounded, cornered and humiliated and all in the name of the new freedom. It is as if the press would not let him go until they had “shamed” him out of office or forced him to tow the secular line. So how do they feel now that they have battered him into submission? 
  • What does this really have to do with issues that people really care about? Not much, I suggest. But it is everything with regard to what the ruling elite care about. This is because they are set on demolishing the values connected to historic Christianity, which have been the bulwark of this country. It is interesting to observe how the new doctrines are continually pushed upon us. Sports programmes on radio, for example, so very easily have everybody towing the line by the way they raise sexuality issues. If anyone speaks against the new norm, astonishment and outrage ensue. To say that gender is fixed and homosexuality is  abnormal is now to be a heretic.
  • This all raises the question as to why Sadiq Khan, a man who professes Islam, was not hounded in the same way last year when he was campaigning for the London Mayor.
  • According to my reading of the Bible gay sex must be a sin. No matter what exegetical gymnastics you indulge in, it seems impossible to get away from this. So a public figure who professes Christianity has now said that gay sex is not a sin. All of which only confirms the secularists in their disdain for the rest of us who firmly believe it is a sin.
  • And then there is the by-issue here of faith being private. Again that is a glorious victory a for the anti-Christian activists who want to suffocate Christianity. And it is a blow for all those who have been accused of wrong doing through mentioning their faith at work.

Oh what a sad event this is.

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