Sunday, 9 May 2021

Gleanings... on 'modelling'

 Also known as.... 'The "Merits" of Vanity... The Sanctifying of the Secular...

A selection of thoughts, adapted from the English Reformer William Tyndale's message, 'The Parable of the Wicked Mammon'.

Modelling has become oh so important to life this past year (just ask Imperial College, SAGE, and a certain Government advisor), but this series of insights from the man who gave us the scriptures in English is looking at the manner of all too common profiling that resides beneath the supposed 'wisdom' and confidence of the day.

As Larry Norman puts it, nothing really changes...

The malady we face is plain -

Moral justification by what is deemed virtuous (notions and endeavours presumed correct, indeed godly) that actually depart from the faith to conform to a wisdom, in truth, detached from the Gospel, is the great malady of the present. Such "philosophy" unseats the authority of what is imperative, allowing folly to be deemed correct. This violently rends and tares the authority of what God has said and done and thereby binds the scope of genuine authority to the 'necessity' of what has been deemed correct in the present cicumstances.

With such 'law' resides a terrible curse - exile and detachment... a dispensation of woe. By this manifestation we are shown to be at war with God Himself, for, in both our deeds and our very convictions, we actually reveal that we hate what has been truly required - a faith which conveys what is absolutely (not contingently) good - the full truth - amidst all immediate folly.

In ourselves, we only have power to convince that we are good and doing good when we are distant from God's true aid, for our religion, carried on in disobedience, cannot do more in respect to full remedy than leave us wretches miserably deluded, for it holds to a 'rightness' other than what has truly been provided in what is good.

What are the roots of our life before God and one another? The precious work made ours from Christ must be evidenced in our word and practice, for only by such means will the word of life brought near, and seen as living and active amongst the world.

The vital truth delivered by Paul is that what is essential cannot come to us by keeping a 'law' of external things, actually divorced from God's will in Christ. Such means will never provide what is necessary for us to be righteous. What truly matters is not within our own powers to have, or to do, though we so readily imagine and opinion-ate that we can do what is worthy and profitable. Good works must be divorced from the imaginings of our own hearts, for clearly, many will be evidenced amongst even the household of God who are entirely deluded on such vital issues (Jude 12 and 13).

Health cries out for what is wholesome and essential to our being Christ's. It loosens the heart to love and crave what is 'good for food', and brought to banquet there, readily brings about the fruit of genuine righteousness in what is expressed to others. In this, we despair of ourselves and yearn to be refreshed and nurtured in the living life and faith which is Christ's, and not invented or imagined by ourselves. This is the way which leads us through adversity and hardship into the properly rich manner of eternal life.

The greatest mercies make us those who bestow true riches to others - works which truly do us all much good.

The days now are evil, though God made them, because of great and prevalent sin, and those that occasion evil and imperil the souls of many in pursuit or riches or comfort, hence what is good is miserably tainted - strife, thievery, a lying in wait to harm, the use of flattery - all and more are employed due to our tragic unhappiness, for we so often crave "wealth" now above true riches.

There is indeed a 'wisdom' found in those who do harm to raise or keep themselves. Like the woman who adorns herself to allure those she can prey upon, such are in effect using their skills to do the very same.

The Christian finds wisdom in a single provision, and rejoices only in this. Acknowledging his bondage to the flesh, the believer turns himself to all that avails for him in the shed blood of Christ, and trusts wholly in the promises which accompany this 'once and for all' offering of God.


Thursday, 6 May 2021

Against the grain

"In 1915, chemistry lost its innocence when mustard gas poisoned British troops in Ypres, Belgium. Physics lost its innocence in 1945 amongst the radioactive rubble of Hiroshima, Japan. Public health lost its innocence in March 2020 when the world adopted lockdowns as a primary tool to control the COVID-19 pandemic".

Professor Jay Bhattacharya - Professor of Medicine, Stanford University.

"The Truth shall set you free".

Jesus.

Back in the 1970s, I spent pretty much every Saturday on the streets witnessing about the Gospel. There were lots of 'weird' religions also out in those days - everything from the Unification Church to Divine Light Mission - also trying to peddle their wares upon unwitting and unaware young minds, and it was sad to see just how many were taken into the fold of such bizarre beliefs, which principally taught you could 'become' divine in some fashion if you gave yourself over to the "guidance" of their gifted leader, who, of course, was beyond question or reproach... whatever they did.
Then came Jim Jones and the people's temple, and some began to realise just how dangerous such 'alternatives' could be.

The issue at the centre of such abuse is that of two agendas. The people who often joined these cults were certainly in part gullible when it came to being duped by those 'selling' such wares, but they were often wanting even needing something more in their lives than just the everyday materialism that was the norm. The people running these groups, however, were of a very different nature - they understood what they were about and their intent was to lead and thereby manipulate others for their own particular purposes - principally power and wealth. "Fathers" like David Berg, Sun Myung Moon, Guru Mahoraj and many more proved very successful in gaining all they had been intending through such means.

It would be refreshing if I could write here about how the Christian church escaped such manipulative behaviour - that as fringe and strange groups ranted, the mainstream side of our faith carried on as normal, but tragically, that wasn't the case.

The rise of the Charismatic Movement at the end of the 70's, bringing in a whole jumble of teachings and practices, especially from America, swamped the Christian world, and quickly established forms of instruction and "ministry" that would have been far more at home in some extremist sect than in the mainstream of the faith back to the earliest days (in the rise of Dualism) of the church. The key issue wasn't, when looked upon with hindsight, whether a person could manifest a particular "gift" because they had received the 'second blessing' - it was whether they were 'under' the Apostleship of God's "anointed" shepherds in respect to being in proper submission to what they taught and required of you. If you 'sinned' (questioned) such Spirit-lead work, you were in sin, and could only become right again through repentance and usually public confession and admonition. 

Much of the "spiritual" church became a breeding ground for all manner of delusions, destructive beliefs and damaged lives, many of those casualties never returned to the fold again - the damage was too great.

When power is employed in such a ruthless and blanket manner, you can be certain that these kind of consequences will inevitably follow.

Which brings us to the present, and Professor Bhattacharya's observation concerning the abuse of power in respect to health care in this current crisis.

Is he correct?
The aim of his (actually, a number of leading scientists) new scientific analysis site* is to show how the key data gathered over the last 14 months declares this to be so - the misconduct has been comprehensive and extensive towards all parts of our society, and is thereby a very dangerous abuse of power and structures to bring about dire consequences.

So, if this case is shown, where does this leave us?

Perhaps, like those gullible people approached by a cultist on a seventies street, we're not sure to make of what we've seen and heard this year, in which case, opening up materials like those now being provided (*see the above link to the site) could help educate us in respect to what needs to be understood, and why we should engage with the issues to avoid such pitfalls occurring again.

What, however, if we have up to now, just accepted the  'message' that's been given from the media and powers around us as being perfectly correct, and just behaved and responded accordingly? What if we still think that's fine?
I'd suggest, in the light of what's now becoming apparent, that you are in very dangerous waters, because there's a bigger truth to face about many of the issues we've seen unfold in recent times. This is why Jesus taught His disciples that they should let no man deceive them (Matthew 24:4).

The time is right to ask questions, to look further and deeper than has been "allowed" (encouraged) by the media and the authorities throughout this entire crisis.

Truth is absolutely imperative to the church - we need to feed from it, share it and live by it; it's the only vehicle for genuine freedom.

If we're sincere in our wanting to conform to that, if we're hungry to live as we're intended to by God's good grace, then we will pursue this cause whatever the cost and wherever it causes us to look and see what is going on (just take a look at the example of the Prophets if you want to see this - God directs them to see and then say what isn't popular to His people continually).

Empty words, warns Paul, are the means often employed to beguile others into a web of deception which leaves them paralysed towards the truth (Ephesians 5:6). God's anger is active against such heinous disobedience, because it thwarts the truth from liberating us in respect to what is truly good and necessary in our thinking and thereby our living.

Let us truly seek to be those who are faithfully holding out the totality of God's truth - the untainted word of life - to these chaotic times.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Ploughing Sand

 "Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good".

C S Lewis - Membership (The Weight of Glory).

This past few weeks has seen the first evidence of people once more going about activities which bear a 'shadow' of normal life - shopping, having haircuts, exercising in gyms, and the like - and even a shallow echo of socialising in drinking together outdoors amidst the slightly milder spring days. It should renew the appetite for full-blown common rapport, but as I've evidenced often at my work place these past weeks, the prevalent mood is towards 'protection', often scorning those who are already stepping back into such activities.

It isn't safe, apparently, to be with others, however many masks or vaccinations you have had, because there will always be 'variables' that may bring further danger and possibly death.

This all speaks to the manner of darkness which has descended upon our realm, where we can no longer be 'safe' in being with one another because, apparently, we may unwittingly bring great harm in such a context, so the 'safe' thing to do is desist from these behaviours.

When the Lord promised Abraham that his line would produce both a nation and then a seed to redeem humanity, he made it clear that such a birth would come amidst hardship and adversity (Genesis 15:13), involving a judgement on those that oppressed them (verse 14). In like manner, those who follow the 'child' which God sends to facilitate that redemption (Genesis 3:15), will find themselves driven out into the 'wilderness' of similar suffering and hardship (Revelation 12:6). Such troubles are most commonly encountered in the church in the manner in which the enemy seeks to bring teachings and practices among us which seek to sever us from Christ and thereby from each other (Colossians 2:20).

Whilst many, if not most, in the general culture are still mesmerised by the despicable notion that stepping beyond the bounds of their own front doors isn't healthy, some are quickly coming to terms with the fact that there must be a process beyond the debilitating constrictions of the past year, so engaging with what little has been permitted again grants, hopefully, a step towards this, but what must trouble us is not the limits still in place in this, but the reasons for these limits, which derive from the manner of darkness Lewis references in his statement on 'necessary evils' in his essay on membership.

This essay begins by making the point I allude to here concerning God's children - that they are called out to assemble together, and no law or requirement should work to undermine this. If this company becomes dislocated, notes Lewis, then you are merely left with the diminishing notion of private religion, emptying the faith of its vital role amidst the world.

What is essentially good in normal life reflects or echoes the nature of the life God's people share with one another. Family, friendship, socialising, even solitary times, are all meant to feed into a common wealth which makes who and what we are about valuable, and all that government is about should be to nurture and enhance the vitality of this society, but when authority begins to seek other goals, notes Lewis, it enters into actions which are 'meaningless vanity' that vexes and represses our worth and role to each other.

When we begin to prefer slavery to freedom, as the children of Israel when encountering hardship, we have slipped into a nightmare. A 'sick' society is one where continually worrying (inhabiting what is slavishly demeaned) replaces the good of living life well, where talk about issues becomes a form of cowardice, because it evades the root troubles that are causing such woes, continually deflecting to less disturbing symptoms than the actual disease.

When we reach this state, rules are enforced only to hinder what is good, so there can be no place for a people "who 'drink' what harms or handles what is deadly".

This current crisis has acted in such a way that our speaking of being 'members of one another' (Ephesians 4:25) has become emptied of its true meaning.

Being part of a family illustrates that each member of that company is distinct and has a very particular role and connection to the rest. The distinctions between each member are key, because each has a very real and vital 'office' in respect to the others, and each is essential when employed well to the good and the benefit of all.

The living community into which we are baptised shares such an identity - a living "body", where each must play its part to the good and wealth of the whole (Romans 12:4-8), so what occurs when this union, this vital dependancy upon the life God brings amongst us together, is severed or severely disrupted by agencies outside God's people imposing other requirements upon them which, in effect, atomise the church? Does 'zooming', ticketing and distancing in any fashion substitute for such sundering? Does our continuing to behave as if all were well amidst such an estate truly please our Heavenly Father, or provide the manner of nurture He authorises amongst us? If the Apostle teaches us that when a part of the body suffers in this context, then the whole suffers (1 Corinthians 12:26), how can be even attempt to behave as if all is well?

"His presence, His pleasure", notes Lewis, "must always be the over-whelmingly dominant factor in the life we lead with His body". Anything else is wrong.

Fellowship is where God strips us of disguises, where our very wickedness grants access to unmerited and unfathomable grace! We are equally sinners, that we may be equally bestowed with His adoption, and thereby fulfil the multitude of roles and offices He chooses to gift to each one. This is the only remedy for the 'fiction' of worldly power, which always corrupts because it denies our inherent wickedness.

The church is where God saves the ungodly. It is where Eden can be regained.

Our union, our fellowship, is the first-fruits, the foretaste, of the society that will clothe eternity, making us individuals who genuinely enrich each other in the life from God.

We must, as Lewis concludes, reform back to this essential condition, or wallow in the misery of a new outbreak of deadly Pelaginism, where we are locked with our own definitions of service and worship because of stubborn disobedience to the essential behaviour to which we are called.

We dare not give up the incalculable worth of our birth-right, in the midst of this adversity, for something so much less than what God has called us to.

"Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure, unity the road to personality".





Saturday, 1 May 2021

"F e a r l e s s" ?

 "To these, we did not yield any submission, not even for a second, so that the truth of the Gospel - the freedom that is ours in Christ - might be upheld in you... For those who seemed of influence added nothing to me". Galatians 2:5 & 6.

So, the opening question this entry is, given what Paul says in this passage, how often do you think the church, when following the Gospel, handed itself over to a regime or religious body which sought to place it under a 'yoke' of requirements that were foreign or contrary to the message and faith that was vital to genuine spiritual life?

This is key right now, and here's a "nudge" in respect as to why. Taken from a piece published in a regular magazine in the UK this past week:

"Today, the world is rushing headlong into a global technocracy with universal surveillance, led by godless organisations with specious goals, such as the Chinese Communist Party, the United Nations (and its agency The World Health Organisation), the World Economic Forum, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Increasingly, we are seeing science for science’s sake, and medicine for medicine’s sake" (Mark Pickles in CW Magazine). 

How does that read to you? 

Does it appear "strong" in its claims, perhaps excessive in the view it's taking?

What if you discovered, as was the case, that there were perfectly good, Nobel-prize winning materials prior to this last year amidst generic anti-viral drugs that were more effective at dealing with Sars - type infections than the current vaccines, and that there were sure procedures for dealing with such an outbreak tested over decades, and that all such wisdom was actively suppressed in favour for the current state of affairs?

Does that begin to put the magazine quote in some perspective?

What do we then make of Paul's refutation of presumed authority?

Freedom is so precious when it becomes the first victim of such targeted oppression and unwarranted tyranny.

So, what happens when the 'sword' of the powers and authorities which surround us become a means for such explicit miss-direction and abuse?

Back to the church...

Last time, I raised the troublesome example of those in the 1500's who sought to take the freedom the Gospel brings and employ this as a means to bring all manner of chaos ("inner" leading) in respect to the structure and focus of the Christian community, but there was a 'flip side' to that excess. They were known as the Rationalists - those who believed that they could use their own mental capacities and judgement to reason and thereby determine what was worthy of adherence in respect to how they lived and what they believed. 

This would become the grounds for our culture's contemporary scepticism and secularism towards the very nature of the truth and, just like its subjective twin, it sought to de-throne the genuine nature of the message and expression of Christianity by a continuing process of questioning and refuting the 'foolishness' of scriptural truth in the light of what was determined expidient, and thereby what God requires of us - the bedrock of faith, in what we say and do, in the immovable and unchanging message of Jesus Christ.

As Luther worked to uncouple the church from both the presumed authority of state and church which refused to conform to the Gospel, he was also careful to avoid the equal dead ends of supposedly subjective and objective religion which both rejected a right and true relationship to the solas of the faith.

So, let's go back to our contemporary example. We live in a moment when there is an almost absolute trust in the ability of science to provide us with what's necessary to overcome our escaping the precipice of a "deadly" pandemic, so long as we properly adhere to what's 'required' (demanded) of everyone - any questioning (in respect to saying that there is actually another, better way) of this is viewed and reported as unacceptable.

This is an exact match, as I've noted before, to the imposition of circumcision upon gentile believers in the early church... It simply doesn't fit with the nature of the life and liberty God has given to each of us, either as creatures made in His image, or as those made afresh children of God by the redemption in His Son. That is why Paul's words quoted above should be the Christian bench mark in this particular crisis, because anything less than that is a betrayal of our faith to both subjective (what people are feeling - fear) and rationalist ("science" before faith) approaches to life, resulting in our yielding up the glorious freedom that is inherently ours in Christ.

Those are strong words, I know, but they are necessary, because we have been betrayed by the powers over us, secular and spiritual, in respect to what is good and true, and if we are ever to see a healthy condition in these spheres of life once more, there must be a reception of this admonition and an appropriate response to it to genuinely renew us in both our national and spiritual lives.

To quote from the article once again, "As the Church used to teach, and it should be teaching today, "scientia" is partial knowledge that inevitably gravitates to evil if it is detached from "sapientia" (wisdom) and "prudentia"(vision)". This is why theology, which seeks to facilitate a three-fold chord for all of these, was known as the 'Queen of sciences'.

Relate this to the present circumstances. There is a 1 in 1.8 million chance of a person under 80 dying from the virus. There is a one in 50 chance of a similar age group (under 60) suffering mortal adversity/death from the new vaccines.

So, how do we have 'ears to hear'...?

The Apostle Paul understood that the Gospel would bring down the strongholds which sought to profess certainty in any creed promising a haven contrary to the one furnished by the Cross. What is heinous about the Judaising 'rationalism' which overtakes the Galatians was the insidious injection of a system which kills the imperative - Christ alone, replacing this with a poison of confidence in the flesh.

It would be terribly wrong to view what we're dealing with right now as a cultural blip - a 'flesh wound', so nothing of enduring concern. This horror has cut into the very marrow of our common mind-set, our spiritual imperatives, and the ramifications are truly awful.

The evil we are dealing with is not going away.

The 'right-think' has now been deeply embedded - the majority believe we must conform to this 'science'. Whatever our station, our culture, we must offer of ourselves at this altar. "Freedom" will now be determined by our continuing to abide by these laws in everyday activities, including at church - that is what makes this incursion so perilous. The liberties which are gifted to us by the highest authority have been expunged and deemed "non-essential", removed by a body that supposes it has the right to continually do this, even when all of the empirical material available refutes such a dreadful edict.

Actual knowledge is no longer required when unwarranted fear murders the magnificence of unparalleled love.

So, to bring all this home to each of us, dear brother and sister...

The Christian is one called to something much more imperative than such nonsense - a vocation of renewal in thought and action that befits the nature of total redemption; a renewal in thought and action that refutes and negates the incarcerating processes of any 'system' that seeks to reduce our true nature and purpose to something imposed by men (Romans 12:2).

"Everything a man does", notes C S Lewis, "is either a lawful exercise or an abuse of authority granted exclusively by divine right".

The time has truly come upon us for more than an occasional 'expression' of concern!

The Gospel divides us from error and folly. IF our application of our faith isn't doing this, then we are already cut off from Christ! (Galatians 5:4).

People currently believe such abuse (trust in another power) is acceptable because they have been instructed this must be so for the greater good, but it is a dreadful lie.

Manacled by such "power", people will only escape the snare of foul submission when the falsehood of what is occurring here is exposed, and this 'bright appearing' needs to commence with us.

The Apostle of Jesus Christ exhorts us to NOT submit to any jurisdiction which seeks to usurp the freedom given in God's saving work. He makes clear that such workers of error are NOTHING to him, or the Kingdom of God - nothing but those who must be refuted and rejected, for they have NO PLACE or hold in the bride that is purchased by our beloved's blood.

If the current administration has acted in this fashion amongst us, then we must uphold a testimony that says WE belong to another.

If we conclude that these forces have an acceptable sway in respect to our faith and practice, then we have sorely departed from where God calls us to be.

My longing is that we come home.

Christ is calling us to return to His glorious freedom.





   

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

"Medicinal"

 "He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge".

Psalm 91: 3 & 4.

Ever find yourself reading a book on the faith that you've found really encouraging, and you get to around the mid-way point and, suddenly, it all goes badly wrong.

It happened to me this week. I'd been reading something that had been truly faith inspiring when suddenly the author brought up a name of a 'Christian' writer that made my innards tighten, only to be followed a sentence or two later with a further mention of the bad theological discipline this writer had been associated with (expressed in a positive way).

In the light of all the good things said so far, you want to be able to skip it and move on, so you try and excuse the "hiccup" here and proceed, but sure enough, right around the bend, there's an even bigger STOP! sign about to hit that you just cannot ignore.

Let me share with you a few lines and see if you can pick up the reason my alarm was ringing.

"When the bible says Christ came to redeem humanity it offers a whole lot more than forgiveness. To simply forgive a broken man is like telling someone running a marathon, "it's ok that you've broken your leg. I won't hold that against you. Now finish the race". That is cruel. No, there is much more".

Spot the problem here?

Redemption is seen here as making us those who 'run again'. Redemption is indeed total in its scope, but the only reason we can pick up our feet at all is because of where God wants to set our gaze, and it isn't towards our own "successful" actions, or our miserable incapacity (Hebrews 12:2).

Back in the 1500's following Luther's vital re-discovery of the Apostolic message of redemption (Salvation) entirely because of God's unmerited work in Jesus Christ, numerous new 'movements' and 'prophets' arose that quickly got busy about telling any who would listen how they could make themselves approved to God, usually by hearing some 'inner' voice that was deemed superior to what was written in scripture. Sometimes, as in Wittenberg, a genuine reformer managed to quell such extremism before it reached too far, but in some cities, whole communities of the 'godly' were formed around these 'perfectionist' ideals, as they severed themselves from all deemed impure because only they were truly God's own, and the way that they knew this was because they knew they were being renewed inwardly by the pure work of the spirit, not by the ridiculous teaching of Luther that God had redeemed us solely and entirely by the objective, finished work of Christ and His perfect righteousness being given to us only by grace.

Needless to say, such activities did not usually end well for those concerned, and generally caused a great deal of conflict in numerous places.

The same result always follows if we place our trust in some method or message other than Jesus Christ alone.

In Christianity, we follow a Lord who disables us from trusting our own abilities (Genesis 32:26) so He might bless us in spite of our selves (which is so evident in this particular example).

The Lord heals (redeems) us through His forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) - that is the fountainhead whereby all grace and mercy towards us springs (Matthew 9:5).

It's so easy for us to slip into a mode of spirituality whereby what we're up to can allow us to suppose we're pleasing God greatly, especially if we perceive ourselves to be particularly "blessed" at the same time, but we can actually be sinking into a confidence in things that will dissolve when real troubles and trials arise, so placing our hope in the place where we reside beneath HIS overshadowing care and redeeming love is always where we must be.




Friday, 23 April 2021

F A L L E N

"How you have fallen from the heights, bright one, radiant like dawn,                      

How you have now been cut down and laid low.                                                        

For you said in your heart 'I will ascend on high, above the very seat of power'...      but you have been brought down to the very depths of the realm of the grave, to the very precipice of the abyss.

Those who knew you and your reputation will stare and ponder this calamity. 'Is this the one who made others tremble', they will ask...

You will not be buried with the esteemed in your death, for you destroyed your own land".

Isaiah 14:12-20.

There are times in our lives when we sense, a little like Daniel, perhaps, that the 'princes' and powers that work above and around us have been busy in respect to their cunning and often reprehensible activities. 2020 is clearly a candidate for distinct and extraordinary incidents which appear to drip with such malevolent ploys. From the moment so many decided to set aside the tried and tested methods for dealing with issues produced by a pandemic, it has felt as though we have all been participants in some strange procedure to produce... what? Fear, economic catastrophe, massive spiritual, individual and personal harm? All of this is of course true, as was so aptly expressed by a straight-talking public house owner this past week, but there seemed no end in sight to the pride and arrogance of those running this nightmare here, even when the hard data of the present health of the UK argues entirely for the ceasing of such dreadful social austerity.

The first crack in the portrait, perhaps, has now become evident. It came in respect to the country's leader informing us that it was the particular policy of his office - to continually isolate us as much as possible - which had brought about our present well-being. This set-aside the analysis of many in the 'data not dates' sphere, which understood that the peak of recent infections had already passed before the present lockdown and the accompanying vaccination program had even begun, but as with numerous other occasions in these particular events, facts are the last thing that have been heeded.

Pride and haughtiness in our own actions, noted Solomon, often precede the chasm that announces our demise (Proverbs 16:18), so it isn't too surprising that following such an announcement, those at the helm of this venture found themselves busily seeking to mute the choir of those wanting to examine the consequences of one particular item being raised in recent days... Greensil

The reasons why the tentacles of this malevolence may unseat many are complex (some seven to nine enquiries are now anticipated as required to deal with the fallout), but it was evident again today that recent seemingly cosmetic 'adjustments' at the very heart of Whitehall - in number 10 itself - are tarred with the very same brush of corruption (in respect to certain 'donations'), which is no doubt why so much "attention" is being directed this week to anything - "earth day" was a good example - to evade the awful truth of the rot at the very core of this entire adminsitration.

My aim here isn't to be "political" about this particular government - it's to seek to cause us to take a good, hard look at what goes on when you're dealing with the tragedy of the human condition when that sorry state is steered by a malevolence that desires one thing - evil.

The historical records of scripture teach us that even in the best circumstances - when the Lord Himself provides a called people to a land they can make their own with His guidance and aid, it is extremely rare to get more than one or possibly two leaders that are going to do the right thing - most, even those who start well, will be overtaken with greed, power or other enticements that will leave both them and their people ripe for being over-run by all manner of wickedness.

The "authorised' response to this crisis, here and elsewhere, has been, as one American scientist put it this week, "diabolical", and has cost so many so much - and that cost is set to deepen immensely in the days to come.

The common belief espoused at present is that slowly but surely, people will pick-up their 'normal' lives once more and we'll then see a gradual return to something akin to what we knew before, but that clearly isn't going to be so, for all manner of reasons.

It has been encouraging to see a theological response of sorts these past few weeks to the latest threats to the normal fabric of society, but this has come late in the day, and may well prove too little to curtail present, developed policies to bring about further incarceration for many in the days to come. I hope and pray that the current internal eruption exposing the sleaze and extortion in our present political powers will not be allowed to be sidelined, but will unseat those who believe themselves right to behave in a fashion that, clearly, continues to benefit their own appetites whilst the nation is covered in the pall of a deathly shroud of loss.

Better, true wisdom informs us, is a little righteousness, than great income and wealth through great injustice (Proverbs 16:8). It is a lesson that is imperative in this moment.



Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Against the Tide

 The church in the UK begins to address the key issues of the moment.