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

Archive for the ‘Great Britain’ Category

Still Waiting.

Some little while ago I realised we had a message on voicemail on the phone at the church building. I wondered whether, at last, it might be someone who wants to know about how to obtain salvation in Christ. Alas it was not so. Rather, it was (once again) someone enquiring about renting our building for some purpose or other.

This is one small reflection upon how we are still waiting here in Feltham for the time when we see Feltham seeking the Lord. Indifference still prevails. We seek to give out good literature. We seek to contact people and engage with people about the Lord and His gospel and yet still the mood of indifference prevails. Yes, on the street there does, I feel, seem to be more willingness to interact. But still, largely, there is indifference.

Oh yes you could criticise us as regards to our methods for reaching out.  I confess there is much weakness in this. But that still does not alter the fact that there is so little response. And so we continue to long and wait and pray and expect. The gospel is still the power of God unto salvation. The desperate state of the world is proven theologically and empirically. Lives are messed up all around. The palliatives of the world distributed to the people in the various manifestations of materialism and hedonism leave an aching heart. Yet the One who is the Bread of Life and is the source of living water is still the despised and rejected one.

Oh Lord have mercy. I leave you with this song by Stuart Townend. A song that reflects many of these yearnings I feel.

Yet may it be that these islands see a turning to the Lord. Could it even be this weekend when we start to see Feltham seeking the Lord.

Humanistic Utopia.

The aspiration of humanism that morality can be constructed independent of religion is a lie. Such a perspective is based on a high view of the moral capacity of mankind. The assertion is that people are inherently good. Accordingly, if we get conditions to be as advantageous as possible so there are no external factors to destabilise people and their relationships, then all will end happily ever after. The kicking over of Christianity in the West has been seen as a means of releasing human beings from a straight-jacket which has stifled their development. With Christianity gone we can be free to fully develop is the thinking.

Alas the endpoint of this thinking is not found in a utopia, but rather in a dystopia. The heart of the matter is the evaluation of the condition of mankind. The humanist approach denies the reality of original sin and thereby gives an all too optimistic prognosis of mankind. The reality is though that Paul give the correct diagnosis of mankind in Romans 3:9-18

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written:

‘There is no one righteous, not even one;
    there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.’
‘Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practise deceit.
‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.
    ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.
    ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Like as when an untended fire is left to is own devices so with mankind. A fire spreads to leave decimated landscape in its wake. So with sin; it also spreads to leave the decimation of humanity in its wake.

Where we would agree with the humanist though, is in saying that the answer is not in a moralistic religious crusade. A determination to uphold morals in society may make for a cleaner moral atmosphere, it does not however, deal with the root cause of mankind’s problems; namely sin. Rather it is the provision of a Saviour who deals with our sins and rescues us from them taht we need. Jesus Christ is the One who comes to be Saviour. He comes to rescue us from our plight. Our sin has set us on a pathway to eternal dystopia. However, He takes all of that judgement at His cross and we can be released into a better life. Moreover, the news is far batter than us just being left in a neutral ambiguity. We instead have a life immersed in Christ. His life is now in our lives and so we can have a new life.

The only bright future for the planet is when righteousness is established in hearts and lives through Christ. To place the hope in humanity is a disaster. We need to look to Christ.

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.

Dead and Content.

My persuasion about the spiritual state of the white indigenous population of the UK at the present time is that they are dead and content. There is no life towards God and people are, give or take a few perturbations, happy in that state. I accept that this is a vast generalization, but nevertheless I feel (and fear) that it bears much truth.

A meeting I had with a man outside church was emblematic of this. He was from Hull delivering stuff to the retail park across the road. I happened to get talking to him. He was there with time on his hands waiting for others to arrive. I offered him a booklet from the church, but he refused. We got talking and he seemed completely indifferent to really considering the issues of life and death and Jesus Christ. He was happy in his view that we will all be reincarnated. He had absolutely no grounds for this belief, but that did not matter, he was happy with it. I offered my booklet again and he refused. There was just no willingness to explore anything that might challenge his presumed beliefs.

It was overall a good-natured conversation, but it summed up much of my dealings with people of white-British backgrounds. There is just an indifference to spiritual matters. So where does that leave me? Here are some thoughts:

  • Pondering upon the observation that there is a veil over the hearts and minds of the white-British population. I do not want to speculate, but has God withdrawn gospel blessings from our race because of the history of rejecting the gracious gospel of the grace of God which has been offered over many years?
  • Thankful, oh so thankful that I, as white-British, have been rescued by the Lord’s grace. What is impossible with man is possible with the Lord. Thank you Lord.
  • Praying that God might yet be gracious and yet cause a turning back among the white-British of this nation.
  • Thankful for what God is doing in drawing different ones here and there to Himself.

State Of The Nation.

Do these verses from Isaiah 3:8-9 not represent something of the state of our nation?

Jerusalem staggers,
    Judah is falling;
their words and deeds are against the Lord,
    defying his glorious presence.
The look on their faces testifies against them;
    they parade their sin like Sodom;
    they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
    They have brought disaster upon themselves.

We are a reeling nation staggering around and not knowing where we are going. We have cast ourselves upon the whims of civilised thinking and are left in a drunken state. The Word of the Lord has not formed our lives. The fear of the Lord has been far from us. Sin is paraded before our eyes without shame. As a consequences we are in a mess.

Unless there is repentance we can only anticipate disaster. Accordingly, we should not be surprised about terrorism, crime and insurrection. The only surprise we should have is that there is not more of these phenomena. The Lord’s mercy is continually known in holding back so much from this nation. But surely the Lord ‘s patience has an ending. It did with Sodom, it did with Israel, it did with Judah. What of the United Kingdom.

Lord have mercy and yet would you turn many in this nation back to yourself

Jeremy’s our Saviour!

There was a lengthy article in last Saturday’s Guardian about Nick Clegg, former leader of the Liberal Democrats. It can be found here. At one point he comments upon how many people now look to Jeremy Corbyn who once looked to him. The relevant part of the article reads:

So many of those students who placed that hope in him have since dumped him for Corbyn. They could have been his, I say. “Yes. Yep.” Is that his biggest regret? “Yes, of course it’s a huge regret, but that is not just a phenomenon in Britain. What you’re seeing across the developed world, particularly among university-educated youngsters active on social media, is a movement from one figure of hope who can deliver the next Jerusalem to the next.”

The language that Clegg uses is religiously coloured and indicates something of the aching in hearts. Everyone knows that things are not well. My general observation is that certain aspects of the media want to portray everything as being in reasonable order so as to convey the impression that the experiment with secular humanist ideology is working. However, “On the streets” people know that not to be the case. They are no longer looking to established political parties for the establishing of Jerusalem. They are, instead,  looking for messiah figures those who they hope can deliver it. I wrote previously here about this phenomenon upon the death of Nelson Mandela.

Alas they will not see the real problem and the real solution. The heart of the problem is that things are bad because we have offended a holy God and are thereby constituted sinners. The heart of the solution is that a Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord, came to grant blessings in an eternal Jerusalem through the one offering of Himself for our sins.

People still yearn for salvation in this world from this world and will never find it achieved. Each “saviour” comes and goes and never fully delivers. Contrast this to the eternal Saviour who fully delivers. he comes into this world from another realm and brings salvation.

Oh Lord have mercy and may many be persuaded as the gospel goes forward and may hear of this great Saviour and this eternal salvation

EU Referendum; to Vote or not to Vote?

Well, the month of the referendum has finally come, and there is still just over a week left to go to the actual event. One issue I hear very little off is that of not voting in the referendum.  I feel it is something that the Christian should seriously consider. I have previously stated some of the arguments in this document for the 2015 General Election. However, I further wnat to engage with the issue given the impending referendum.

The accepted consensus among Christians appears to be that you must vote in any election because in doing so you are exercising a privilege (dare I say right) that God has ordained that you would have. Moreover I know that there are strong arguments for voting. It somewhat galls me, though, that Christians seem not to consider any countervailing arguments that would present the case for not participating in the voting process.

Pilgrims.          The whole godly predisposition for Christians to be strangers and pilgrims on this earth is not considered at all. Let us consider the implications of this Scripture concerning Abraham that By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:9-10). Further we read that All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth (Heb. 11:13). It does seem more in line with the pilgrims and strangers ethos that we refrain from getting involved in the voting process. After all this is not our home, we have another home. 

Entanglement.          Paul says to Timothy Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer (2 Tim. 2:3-4). Although it can be argued that this particularly applies to Timothy as regards his pastoral calling surely there is a principle for all Christians here. Entanglement in civilian affairs seems to accurately reflect so much of what is going on in the Christian community concerning the referendum at the moment. There seems something not right (dare I say unseemly) about that.

Looking At Jesus.          Let us consider this Scripture Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’ (Matt. 8:21-22). The full meaning of our Lord’s retort here is perhaps hard to establish. However, it does seem to strike a strong note against being overly concerned with resolving issues appertaining to the affairs of this world. It is sobering to ponder upon how much mental energy is being devoted to deliberating upon how to vote in the referendum. If only people were so concerned about deliberating about how they can help other Christians grow in Christ and how they can reach the lost masses around us.

So I want to urge towards some thinking here. I think there is a strong argument for not voting in the referendum (and elections generally).

 

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