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Monday, 14 February 2011

Whatever would Valentine think??

Well, here I am, safely returned from a wonderful cruise with my dear wife. Apart from the early start - leaving Glasgow at 0300 hrs, just to drive past Motherwell some 25 mins later (but thanks to younger daughter for ferrying us to the Glasgow 'bus terminus), and an early disembarkation that required us to rise at 0545 yesterday (and thanks to elder daughter for collecting us in Glasgow, after we had passed Motherwell some 25 mins earlier!) - we had a wonderful time.  The ship was amazing; the crew were as friendly and helpful as they could possibly be; the food was superb; we visited some places that I had visited when I was in the Merchant Navy some (!!) years ago, some that we had visited before together, and some that we were both visiting for the first time; we met many lovely people (some of whom have already become friends) both on board and ashore; and I even had the opportunity to do some preaching, and some pastoral work!  My dear wife took part in the ship's equivalent of "The Weakest Link" (and aquitted herself well); and in the final evening Talent Show - as both a tap dancer and a solo singer.  I got involved in two debates: on Creation v. Evolution, and on the Death Penalty. We are both so grateful that we were able to celebrate, however belatedly, the forty years of marriage that the Lord has enabled us to enjoy together.

On our return, I had literally hundreds of e-mails in my Inbox - and this is spite of a very good 'spam' system with my provider.  It included almost 90 (including a few 'late ones') greetings as I celebrated another annual milestone, yesterday.  Each of those has now received a personal 'thank you' and, with only 163 messages still awaiting perusal, I decided that it was time to get blogging again!

One of the news items that was waiting for me was that the current UK government is planning to bring forward legislation that will, if passed by Parliament, change the whole meaning of marriage - certainly in any Christian context.  The current situation is that marriage is accepted as being the union of a man and a woman (it's an idea that's been around for quite a while!).  The 'civil partnership' of two homosexual men, or lesbian women (both states being perverse, unnatural and, most significantly, unproductive!) cannot, under current legislation, contain any religious element.  However, in a political "win" for Nick Clegg and his Lib-Dem party, the Coalition government wants to change the law so that such ceremonies should, for the first time, be allowed to have religious elements, such as hymn-singing and readings from the Bible. They could also, it is understood, be carried out in the future out by priests or other religious figures.

Sadly, there are those who claim to be followers of Jesus who are already welcoming such a change in the law.  As far as I am concerned, this is a clear case of nominality.  Of course, it is only to be expected in a nation in which the majority have so blatantly turned their backs on the God of their fathers, and prefer to follow the 'gods' of secular humanism, materialism, consumerism, and neo-Darwinian evolution.  Jesus' own words come to mind, as recorded in Matthew 7:15-23!

Recent legal action by the homosexual lobby (as referred to in previous posts) indicate that, if clergymen across the land, who are genuinely committed to upholding Biblical principles, refuse to carry out a marriage ceremony between homosexual partners, we would see cases of affronted 'couples' taking the matter to court in order to seek substantial damages.

What, on this his 'feast day', would Valentine think about it all?  I can't really say!  However, I do know that the God of the Bible - the Creator and Sustainer of all that is - condemns perverse sexual activity just as surely as He condemns murder, theft, heterosexual adultery, and everything else that is dishonouring to His Person, and contrary to His Word. 

"Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions." (Matt 7:20; NLT).

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