Songs of Innocence… Destroyed

A recent Panorama report has revealed data from 38 of the 43 police forces of England and Wales showing 30,000 reports of child-on-child sexual assault in the last four years, marking a 71% increase. They further revealed that 2,625 offences – with 225 alleged rapes – occurred on school premises, including primary school playgrounds, while reports of sexual offences by children aged 10 and under went from 204 in 2013-14 to 456 in 2016-17 (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/09/child-on-child-sexual-assaults-soar-police-figures-reveal).

Now some people argue that this is just a case of better reporting – ‘twas ever thus,’ they say.   But this does not seem substantiated by the facts.   Certainly children have always shown a healthy interest in what were once coyly termed ‘the facts of life’, but adolescents of the 50s and 60s were obsessing more over their pimples and wanting to be ‘hip’, than they were about sex. Sure, there were reports of the odd illicit kiss being stolen behind the bicycle shed, but that was usually as far as it went. So no, the truth would seem to be that children today are being prematurely and unhealthily ‘sexualised’ – not just by social and cultural pressures via television and media, but by the very education programmes ostensibly designed for their protection in schools. Which programmes, combined with the obsession to teach tolerance and diversity as a means of reinforcing British values, seem to have become a vehicle for indoctrination into the rebranded immorality and promiscuity so enthusiastically being pushed by adults with the power and determination to influence policy.

This is madness. If nothing else, these shocking figures demonstrate that children can neither assimilate nor cope with the sexual laissez-faire being promoted by adults.  By definition, children have enquiring minds. We want them to apply their learning and to explore – how then can we be surprised when they do, when from the age of six we teach them the A to Z of sex, devoid of any kind of moral differentiation? So masturbation becomes healthy ‘self’ expression… anal sex a means of avoiding pregnancy… and so on.

Are these really the lessons most of us want to teach our children?   Are they the lessons we should be teaching our children?

Placing all the emphasis on sex, while failing to teach children how precious they are – and how special the gift of sex is – is nothing short of abuse. It comes from adults who want to legitimise their own personal inclinations and promiscuity.   Children don’t need to learn about unsavoury sexual practices like fisting or sunflowering – and if you haven’t come across the terms yet, look them up on the ‘Sextionary’ section of Respect Yourself, the sexual resource currently being put out to children and young people in Warwickshire (https://respectyourself.info). Rather, children need to be taught true respect – first for themselves, and then for others. And, as a part of that, they need to be able to identify perversions, and taught how to avoid them.

The truth is that we are failing as a society to protect and prepare our children, and, as a consequence, they are suffering. Teaching young people restraint is not unhealthy repression and denial of their human rights. Rather, it is giving them space to develop safely and in their own time, protected from the unhealthy and sometimes unsavoury excesses of certain adult desires.

 

 

 

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Oath Breakers!

What is an oath?   True, the word is sometimes used to denote a profane or offensive expression, but the meaning we normally have in mind is that of a formal declaration, pledge or promise, made before God, of allegiance or loyalty, or to fulfill a pledge. It commits the one swearing to future action, and incurs penalties if broken.

For example, before taking their seat in Parliament, MPs swear before God an oath of allegiance to the Monarch. The practice was formally introduced during the reign of Elizabeth I by the Act of Supremacy 1563, but it has its origins in Magna Carta, agreed on 15th June 1215, which begins by acknowledging the nation’s Christian foundation and primary allegiance to God. It is therefore, at base, an undertaking made to God, and the penalty for breaking it, until fairly recently, was death!

Similarly, prior to ordination, priests are called under oath to affirm and declare their belief in the faith as revealed in Scripture and set forth in the creeds, ‘and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness’.   Again, it is an undertaking under seal to God.

By way of variation, but also sharing the character of an oath, the BBC is self-avowedly ‘dedicated’ to God   The Latin inscription set in stone over the entrance to Broadcasting House proudly proclaims, ‘This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General….’

But in modern day UK, does any of this really matter any more? After all, society has moved on, the argument goes. We’ve outgrown all the mumbo jumbo and superstition that characterized those earlier, primitive times, when it was thought that all this stuff mattered. We’re better, more sophisticated and caring … more tolerant of each other now. True, we still like a bit of tradition and pageantry, but at base that’s all these words are – nice traditions that lend a bit of gravitas to life.

It’s a bandwagon whose giddy heights even the Archbishop of Canterbury has recently attempted to scale. Never mind his oath to uphold the faith as revealed in Scripture, he would appear now to share the view that the Bible needs ‘reinterpreting’ and ‘reapplying’ in order to fit it for purpose in the modern world. When recently asked whether he thought gay sex was sinful, for example, he memorably stated, ‘I don’t do blanket condemnation …’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41460222).

A wiser course of action before answering would surely have been to consult God, because in one fell swoop he dismissed the clear teaching of Scripture, trivialized ‘sin’, and thereby rendered entirely meaningless Christ’s death on the cross for the redemption of us all. Not bad going for one interview, when you think about it, because he effectively ripped the heart out of Christianity.

With respect, this will not do. Whatever narrow and uncomfortable fence on which His Grace chooses precariously to sit, Scripture is the eternal word of God, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is not, therefore, the Bible that needs to change to align it with the world, but the world that needs to repent and be conformed to God, as revealed in the Bible. Only that way is there hope for sinners – which includes us all.

But to return to the question of oaths.   Every time someone swears an oath before God, they are solemnly committing themselves to perform what they have undertaken, and to follow Him in faithfulness and obedience.   To renege on that oath is betrayal and treachery: it is treason, and will incur to the full the penalties attaching to the offence.   It will bring judgment.

Saying later that you didn’t mean it, or didn’t realize what you were signing up to, is irrelevant. An oath once taken – whether you’re an MP, member of the clergy, or even the BBC – is binding for life.   It matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s official – God got it wrong.

Or at least, that’s what authors of a recent report by Wilton Park (an executive agency of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office) would have us believe.  In a series of recommendations openly branding religion the enemy of LGBTI rights, they’re calling for state funding to reinterpret the Bible to make it compatible with LGBTI ideology, and for the new belief system to be required teaching in all churches, Sunday schools, and theological seminaries.  Christian bigotry and opposition must, it says, be stamped out.(See: https://www.wiltonpark.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/WP1488-Report.pdf; also https://barnabasfund.org/downloads/pdf/other/Barnabas-Fund-Wilton-Park-report-short.pdf)

OR DID HE?

Scene: Dawn, outside the Pearly Gates. St Peter is standing at the head of a long queue of new arrivals waiting to be processed. He is currently talking to a tall angry man at the head of the line.

St Peter (wearily): And you’re demanding entry on what basis?

Angry Man: It’s my human right.

St Peter (peering over the spectacles perched on the end of his long nose): Huum… Actually, most people don’t ‘demand’ entry. They ‘ask’ if they can come in.

Angry Man: So? At the end of the day, it’s all the same, isn’t it? Let me in!

He pushes forward, clearly intending to barge his way through, but Peter stands firmly in the way.

St Peter: No, I’m sorry. We’ve got protocols. I’m sure you understand… after all, you worked as a Schools’ Inspector, didn’t you? (Angry Man nods and Peter takes this as encouragement) That’s better. You see what matters is whether or not you chose to follow Christ when you were on earth, and if you tried to be obedient to what he said. That decides whether of not you actually belong here or the other place?

Angry Man (puzzled now): The other place?

St Peter: Yes, you know… I think you humans generally refer to it as hell.

Angry Man: Hell!?! Don’t be ridiculous! There’s no such place.

St Peter: There is actually. And a devil too. He’s head down there – though I believe a lot of men and women these days pretend he doesn’t exist too.

Angry Man (looking slightly nervous now): Look, stop messing round and let me in.You’ve had your joke and I’ve come a long way. I’m tired.

St Peter (now looking in a large leather bound book that he’s just taken down off a shelf at the side of the gate): Yes, I can see that…. But the trouble is, it says here that for most of your life you’ve been going the wrong way. In fact, one way and another, you’ve been giving a lot of ‘worship’ to the devil.  So you belong with him.

Angry Man doesn’t appear to know what to make of this. He blows out his cheeks and scratches his head, then finally stamps his foot.

Angry Man: Look, I really haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. I’ve led a good life, I really have! I belong here. In heaven!

St Peter (looking unimpressed): Really? And why do you think that exactly? After all for most of your life – since the age of 14, in fact – you’ve been very insistent that God didn’t exist. You called him a social construct, a ‘pathology’ designed to keep people in their place, and you said that people who believed in Him were mentally deranged fantasists. But heaven’s the kingdom of God. It’s His abode … so why should you want to come here?

Angry Man (looking momentarily stumped): Well that was then and I didn’t understand. I couldn’t see anything outside of life. But I can now. I came through the most awful place on my way up here. It was really grim, and I could hear people screaming. (He looks longingly through the huge gate, through which a beautiful garden can be seen) But this place looks nice. (St Peter stares at him speculatively, and the man suddenly winces, then says pleadingly) Please let me in. I’m scared of the other place.

St Peter (regretfully): I would if I could, believe me, but you made your choice back on Earth. You rejected God, and deliberately committed just about every sin in the Book. Not just that, but you went out of your way to try and stop others believing too. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but you ran a campaign to get all the bits in the Bible that you didn’t agree with edited out. (The man nods miserably and Peter shakes his head)     We can’t just pretend that didn’t happen, you know. The Bible is God’s word. He inspired every part of it, and it’s there to help and guide people. It shows them how to live – so how would it look if we now said none of it matters and just let you in?

Angry Man: But I’m not a bad person!

St Peter: It depends what you mean by bad really. No one ‘good’ has ever come through these gates, except for One, and it’s He who leads his followers through. Every last one of them is ‘bad’ – I was bad. But Jesus takes all that badness on Himself, and in exchange gives people His goodness, and that’s how people get in. But you rejected Him, you see, so that’s not possible, and there’s no other way through the gate.

Angry Man: I didn’t know… All those rules, they seemed so boring. I just wanted to have fun and be happy.

St Peter: You mean you wanted your own way. Which is exactly what you want now – but it doesn’t work like that.

The man appears to have no answer to this. He stares at Peter with dawning horror, then very slowly turns and begins to walk away.

 

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Going to hell in a Marxist handcart

Disaster strikes and what do we do? Well, it would seem that political agitators declare a celebration and start exploiting human tragedy to stir up rebellion. And yes, the word is used deliberately because that is exactly what we are seeing from the likes of John MacDonnell and his ‘Day of rage’ (see, http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/819499/Day-Of-Rage-London-Protest-John-McDonnell-blasted-for-endorsing-march-on-Parliament-video; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/25/john-mcdonnell-claims-grenfell-tower-fire-victims-murdered-political/), and the perennially discontented Left, who still, it would appear, want nothing so much as to string up anyone who disagrees with their dystopian vision of the future from the nearest lamppost.

The furious reaction of Grenfell Tower residents at the first public meeting of Kensington and Chelsea Council to be chaired by their new leader – the last one having been forced to resign – is surely a case in point. The fire without doubt was a tragedy of such gargantuan proportions that the whole nation was justifiably filled with horror. To have lived through it must have been hell. But attempts to help were immediate – from the bravery of the fire fighters and emergency services, to the overwhelming generosity of the public who donated enough (largely unwanted) clothes to kit out a small nation, to the local council, government … and even the Queen. All rushed to help. Inevitably, in the first bewildered attempts to get a handle on what had happened, there was confusion, and perhaps in retrospect at least part of the response could have been better planned, but the impetus to help was unstintingly sincere, and those efforts continue. In just the same way, efforts to pinpoint the cause were immediate and, leaving the angry rhetoric aside, at no point has there so far been any credible suggestion of a cover-up or attempts to suppress the truth.

Yet all we have heard reported in the media from survivors have been unremitting expressions of anger and accusations of guilt. Someone has to pay, they cry! But those ‘someones’ appear to be anyone connected with the British establishment, who they appear to want replaced wholesale by… by whom?

Now there’s the rub!

It seems our grumbling and discontented malcontents are so intent on screaming ‘abuse’ that they won’t let themselves be helped, no matter how genuine and honest the efforts being made – whether by hapless councillors who surely, despite accusations of malpractice, have been trying for years to provide for the people in their care; or by members of the Inquiry set up to investigate the reasons for the fire; or by the Conservative government. All offers and attempts are alike deemed a failure – seemingly to be rejected out of hand as unworthy even of consideration. In fact, all offers of help up to now seem to have been branded capitalist exploitation – wicked plots to have the poor and disadvantaged removed … eradicated. There have even been whispers that the fire was deliberately orchestrated to achieve this end!

So what is it these people, the survivors – many of whom, we are told, are in this country illegally – want? What will satisfy them?

Admittedly, those of us not directly affected cannot fully appreciate the mountain of anguish those afflicted now face.   And of course they need and deserve our help – but it would seem that genuinely sincere efforts to provide acceptable housing and support are being made.

One would have thought, at some point then, that a small thank you might have been in order – rather than the feral howls of denunciation and screams for retribution currently filling the news and that seem inexorably, if the demands aren’t met, paving the way for riot.

The reason this is so disturbing, however, is that it appears symptomatic of a more generalised climate of universal complaint, being deliberately stoked by those seeking ideological and political change in order to grab power. To put it another way, it has the flavor of deliberate destabilisation of society, built on exploitation of the vulnerable and ignorant, in order to foment civil unrest that will overturn the old order and give rise to the imposition of socialist rule.

Let us make no mistake, what we are witnessing is at heart a spiritual battle for the soul of our nation. This cannot go on. We need as a matter of urgency to recover our national identity, and to be ‘proud’ of those values that once made our nation so great. In particular, we need unashamedly to recover and stand on our Christian heritage –  because those are the values that truly do underpin our democracy.  There have undoubtedly been mistakes, and it is imperative they are now addressed and put right. But credit should be given in those cases where it is due. And cringing in shame before unjustified accusations of corruption, exploitation, and abuse help no one. Infinitely worse, such a response can only feed the lawless and unprincipled, creating a society where dog eats dog, and where the vulnerable truly will have no defence.

 

 

 

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We are at a crossroads

Last week, at their conference in Bournemouth, we saw the BMA vote in favour of decriminalising abortion, the practical effect of which would be to make termination legal for any reason up to birth. Immediately after, following a proposed Labour amendment to the Queen’s Speech criticizing the inequality of not allowing abortion in Northern Ireland (and to avoid defeat by a Labour and Conservative ‘coalition’ of MPs who oppose the DUP stance on abortion), the Government hastily put in place measures to pay for Northern Irish women wanting abortion to cross the Irish Sea and have the procedure for free on the NHS.

It would seem that we are rapidly approaching a time when only the self-obsessed will survive. Though, realistically, perhaps that won’t be for very long, because in their efforts to justify once forbidden behaviours – cloaked in the language of rights, tolerance and diversity – proponents of the new so-called morality seem hell-bent on destroying the foundations on which our society is built, along with the lives of a sizeable part of the generation to come. To put it bluntly, there won’t be enough children to ensure our survival, while a significant proportion of those that are born will be voluntarily ‘infertile’.

Since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, the UK has seen the slaughter of almost 9,000,000 babies – for no apparent cause other than that their conception at the time, for whatever reason, was unwanted. Worldwide, this is genocidal slaughter of the innocent on a scale never before seen in the history of the world. It is frighteningly reminiscent of the blood sacrifice offered to Moloch, the Canaanite god who demanded child sacrifice, and whose worship so fatally attracted the Jews, bringing upon them the wrath of God, the destruction of their nation, and their consequent exile from the land.

But why, unbelievers ask, should something so seemingly trivial as the odd sacrifice to a local deity provoke such an over the top response? The answer from the Bible is clear. In the Ten Commandments, and consistently from that point on, Yahweh expressly forbad the Jews to follow the religious practices of Egypt and Canaan. The reason was simple; such worship was demonic, feeding spirits hostile to God who wanted to challenge His rule and keep the human race in bondage to death. And any such worship, especially blood sacrifice, fed these spirits – by the exercise of choice intensifying their illegitimate control over followers, and fatally damaging any relationship they might aspire to with God.

At any time, worship of the demonic is dangerous, because it gives form to, and intensifies, evil. To put it another way, it gives evil a hold that it wouldn’t otherwise have. So now, the blood sacrifice of 9,000,000 babies on the altar of sexual freedom and women’s rights has fed a spirit of death that is voracious in appetite, and is increasingly asserting control over the nation.   Indeed, as a result of this modern day ‘worship’, the Moloch spirit has grown so powerful, and its hold over the nation so strong, that it is challenging the sovereignty of God.

This is spiritual hubris with a vengeance, but because men and women have increasingly rejected obedience to God – placing themselves outside His protection – its influence has become like a suffocating cloud: a spiritual smog blotting out the light. All have been affected, tainted by the contagion of evil spread through rebranded and Godless morality – even ‘believers’ have fallen under its sway and are blinded, so that they now assert abortion is okay, and that any form of relationship is good, provided only there is ‘love’.  Whatever next? Will we sanction marriage to a sibling, or to the family dog, or a gerbil? The suggestions might appear bizarre, but nothing, it appears, is off the table, because increasingly we are seeing good branded as evil, and evil as good.

This is madness. Whatever the followers of this new religion would have us believe, God has not changed and, as sure as night follows day, judgment follows sin. So now, perhaps more than at any other time in our history, the UK is at a crossroads. More than that, humanity is at a crossroads, and the fate of the human race hangs in balance.

The reality is that there’s a massive spiritual battle now raging ‘in’ and ‘over’ the nation, and this spirit of death, fed with the blood of the unborn and bolstered by lesser spirits of chaos and confusion, is seeking exterminate anything and everything challenging its rule. The recent apparent success of Islamic terror attacks, combined with the ever-increasing disarray of government and society, is testimony to its success so far, and there is every possibility things will get worse. We could even see armed conflict on our streets.

There is however good news – and it’s very good news – because, whatever crisis we face, the Lord remains in absolute control. He could easily dispatch this dark spirit and its cohorts and save us – but He will only do so if we turn back to Him and repent.  The truth is, we cannot worship both God and the devil, so we have to choose.  The nation has to choose. And only if we make the right choice and repent will we have any hope of banishing this dark spirit from our land.

 

 

 

 

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