The darkness covering our land – the response of the Church

This is the third and final part of this series. The first two parts can be found here and here.

But what about the church, where do they stand? Where do WE stand? It is awful to see that, yet again, when the church is called to be prophets to the nation, we are mostly chaplains instead. When we are called to stand up, to protest, we are so often timid.

Now, to be fair, there was protest in Northern Ireland and a clear position from the churches there. Not that you would necessarily have heard from the media. But in England there seems to have been a conspicuous silence. The Church of England bishops, who have a privileged position in the House of Lords, abdicated their responsibility by not even turning up to the debate on this evil law.

Instead, on the day of the debate, Archbishop Justin Welby hosted a meeting of the Christian Muslim Forum at Lambeth Palace. And tweeted the Lord’s Prayer using emojis to celebrate World Emoji Day. About the slaughter of the innocents – nothing but silence – apparently an event not even worthy of mention.

This is not trivial. To be silent in the face of such barbarity and evil when you have a voice that could be heard is to be complicit in it, to partake in it. To worship Moloch, and to bow down to that false god, and look on with blank faces as the children are torn apart.

Instead, these bishops comment on such issues as brexit and climate change, and always on the socially ‘acceptable’ side. Don’t get me wrong, these are important issues to be discussed. But always, it is to play it safe.

Jesus didn’t play it safe. He was executed as a result. We are called to emulate him. To see a grave evil and say nothing, do nothing, is itself a grave evil. And, coming from the church is so much more so, as we know better, or should – we are called to be Holy, as He is Holy. Not to grub around in the mud of the world.

To these bishops, perhaps James said it best:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

James 4 v4-5

In an age where we are led by those who are enemies of God, it requires Christians to make our own stand. Our leaders will not, they are compromised. We have to decide – are we compromised too?

If not, we have to have the courage to make our own stand, to stick our own heads above the parapet. Knowing that the church institutions will likely disown us when we do so. There is always a price to be paid for following Jesus. Carrying His cross for a bit, sharing his sufferings, even if in a very diluted form. Perhaps like this:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6 v10-17

One thing that brings some hope is that God is not yet silent. The worst judgments I see are the judgments of silence. The ten tribes of Israel, lost after the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom. The Jews who returned to Egypt and rejected the word of Jeremiah, only to then be themselves rejected by God. Truly it is most terrible when God has nothing more to say, and leaves people to the consequences of their own choices.

I believe God is still calling, reaching out to us, trying to wake us up to our vileness and depravity, to call us to see with our hearts what it is we are doing. He desires to remove the thick, gnarly opaque callouses on our hearts, our eyes and our minds. Because if we do not see, turn and repent, there will come a point that the weight of blood and evil will become so great that judgment will become unstoppable.

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die

Rev 2 v3a

I pray that we would do so, that our hearts would be broken, opened, and that we would turn back from this path of blood, before the very land itself rises up against us.

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The darkness covering our land – the new triune god

The second part of this series – the first part being here.

So, how should we see this?

Firstly, we need to become re-sensitised to the horrific barbarism of what our nations do. The ancient Canaanites sacrificed their sons and daughters to their false god, Moloch ( Psalm 106:37-38 ). You will notice that as a result “the land was desecrated by their blood”. We, in our enlightened West have taken this barbaric practice and turned it into an industrial conveyor belt of death.

If the Canaanite land was desecrated by blood, our land is awash with it, millions of innocent souls crying to God for justice. We have taken the very least, the most vulnerable of us, and sacrificed them to our gods – and called it choice. We are evil barbarians, who are ripe for the judgment of God. Every other generation, both past and future, will look on us with horror and revulsion, and will not understand how we could have justified such a heinous act.

But this evil is not enough. No, the complete autonomy of one person to end the life of another must be celebrated. What was understood to be a grave evil is now trumpeted as a great good – the idol of our self-absorbed generation, fit to be worshiped and venerated. We are so far off the track that we cannot even begin to see our darkness.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6 v22-23

If you decline to celebrate this depraved darkness, should you think differently, you will start to find the apparatus of the beast-state enforced against you. That was shown recently in Walthamstow, where a group of pro-life protesters standing against this barbarity was challenged by Stella Creasey, who ensured the advertising agency removed their billboard and apologised for allowing a pro-life display. In addition, local council officials attended and vandalised the display. Her only regret is that the police would not take action, advisedly so as the protesters had broken no laws. However, the totalitarian impulse will likely not end here, and the right to protest against this evil will likely be further proscribed in the years ahead.

Some have said that protesting Stella in her constituency was a form of abuse. Indeed, the Speaker of the House called it ” vile, unconscionable and despicable “. Again, here is good as evil, and evil as good. The only vile, unconscionable and despicable thing that occurred is what that wicked parliament imposed on Northern Ireland.

Indeed, who was it who started the push for abortion in Northern Ireland, and who wields the power here? Clearly, not the pro-life protesters. The victim card doesn’t play well when you are making victims of the least of us, of those who have no voice nor power of their own!

In any case, this isn’t about one MP or indeed one parliament. She and they are just an example of the extreme culture of death that has its way in this land. A culture that has turned its back on life, on love, on hope and towards death, ugliness and evil. And who celebrate the same, seeing this darkness as light – just as Jesus said in Matthew 6. A darkness that sees light and calls it “vile, unconscionable and despicable”. There is no middle ground between these two, nothing at all.

It is at times like this we need to look at how the Church is responding. The world, we can understand. A compromised, dark and pagan nation is led by a similar parliament, supported by courts, media and other civil infrastructure in enforcing the spirit of the age. All worshiping the new triune god – Diversity, Inclusivity and Tolerance. Who, as will be understood in good time, are actually nothing of the sort.

More to follow…

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The darkness covering our land – the hidden evil

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

Isaiah 5 v20

This next post is a long one, so I will post it in sections over the next few days before posting the full version at the end. It is about something close to my heart; the all-present darkness covering our land that the majority of people simply ignore. But, and this is the point, that God cannot and will not ignore.

First, to set the scene. Northern Ireland has been a holdout in terms of abortion laws in the West – as opposed to Ireland, who voted for abortion last year. Now, Northern Ireland has been without a functioning government for the last two years, a state of affairs that the UK parliament took advantage of in July this year when they voted 332-99 to repeal the law against abortion in Northern Ireland. More on that here.

This repeal was actually courtesy of an disingenuous amendment put forward by an MP, Stella Creasey, to a bill that had nothing to do with social issues. It was in fact taking advantage of a political situation to impose abortion by fiat, rather than allowing Northern Ireland to determine this for themselves.

Based on Ireland’s decision, perhaps Northern Ireland would have made the same decision should it have gone to a vote. Or perhaps not, as there is still a strong pro-life community there. However as a holdout they had to be targeted as soon as possible; some people were not prepared to wait for a democratic decision.

What is even more remarkable is that Stella Creasey is currently pregnant. Presumably as such, she knows the value of life – but clearly not enough to think twice before imposing death and destruction on other children.

More to follow…

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The middle way?

Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd,
so many of whom are lost.
Do not be deceived; there are only two roads:
one that leads to life and is narrow;
the other that leads to death and is wide.
There is no middle way.

Louis de Montfort

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The division

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

The Second Coming – Yeats

It seems to me that nations are more divided now than they have ever been, both between and more importantly within, exhibiting internal strain as opinions become more polarised and divided.

We have no common foundation in God, no centre that can hold, and as a result we find other foundations, often diametrically opposed from each other, and we swing wider and wider.

We are in desperate need to pray for a blessing from God, lest the blood-dimmed tide be loosed. To rediscover our common humanity and inheritance as children of God. To relocate our centre in the Rock of Ages.

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True Prophets

Nothing from me this time – just a quote I think brilliant!

Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed only when there is a breakdown somewhere. When something goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again.

For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They are specialists concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it.

In the kingdom of God things are not too different. God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove,  rebuke and exhort in the name of God and righteousness.

A thousand or ten thousand ordinary priests or pastors or teachers could labor quietly on almost unnoticed while the spiritual life of Israel or the church was normal. But let the people of God go astray from the paths of truth and immediately the specialist appeared almost out of nowhere. His instinct for trouble brought him to the help of the Lord and of Israel.

Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, and these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others and alienated not a few, but he knew who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart.

To such men as this the church owes a debt too heavy to pay. The curious thing is that she seldom tries to pay him while he lives, but the next generation builds his sepulcher and writes his biography, as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an obligation the previous generation to a large extent ignored…

A W Tozer from the foreword to Leonard Ravenhill’s “Why Revival Tarries”

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The pursuit of truth

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Ps 51 v6

One of the things close to my heart is the pursuit and expression of truth, whether that truth be comfortable or uncomfortable. In a world obsessed by narrative, spin, angles and tribalism, seeking and expounding the truth can be a difficult prospect.

Truth these days has retreated into ghettos, where one tribe holds the truth, and the other tribe only lies. Any nobility that existed, where there was an objective standard and a cohesive foundation that we could all adhere to – however reluctantly – seems to be a distant memory. Professional liars and deceivers feed us what our ears desire to hear – and what we want to be true, is true.

Truth as a currency is now much devalued. We have my truth, your truth, their truth. Sometimes we are told these can all be valid – even if mutually contradictory. But foundation-less truth inevitably leads to the truth of power – those who wield the control, ultimately define what is true. Those who do not acquiesce, will be made to suffer.

“What is truth?”

Pilate in John 18 v38a

Satan has done a pretty good job at undermining the foundations and the reality that underpins life, leaving so many floundering in a relativistic morass.

Nevertheless, subjective and power forced ‘truths’ are not the last word. The is an objective standard because there is a Truth, whether that is acknowledged or not. You can continue to ignore reality, but never the consequences of reality. Jesus has said this:

I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14 v6

Jesus does not just speak truth. He is the Truth, the Foundation that underpins. To the world, He says this:

You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.

Ps 52 v3

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

John 3 v19

As the Truth , He has the last word. The lies that the world lives in and by, they will all ultimately founder. And that will be a good day, a day that many eyes will be opened. Because the Truth is beautiful and gives hope and life.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16 v33

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