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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Pressure!

This morning, at the worship service with Wishaw Baptist Church, the young people of the Bible Class presented us with a News Bulletin!  It was, basically, sharing some of what they have been up to in recent times.  However, the script was excellent (better than much of what is delivered as "entertainment" on most TV and Radio broadcasts!), and the gathered congregation was, at times, "in stitches"!

The main part of the presentation concerned the strength of the humble egg.  The pastor was invited to attempt to crush one between his hands.  He could not do so.  We watched a video of the Bible Class themselves attempting to do the same thing.  They could not do so, either.  We saw some of them literally walking on eggs - and not one egg even cracked.  We even saw eggs bear the weight of two crushed cars, without them breaking!

The lesson from all of this fun was, and is, very serious.  It was, surely, no accident that the pastor's message was on the suffering church - and, No, there had not been any previous collusion!  Because of its unique, double-curved, shape an egg is extraordinarily strong.  Yet, it is, simultaneously, extremely fragile!  Disciples of Jesus are like that.  As we put our faith/trust in the Lord Jesus, we have a strength that the world cannot really understand.  How does one explain, in merely human terminology, how 21 young men could kneel on a Libyan beach and, knowing the fate that was about to befall them, die with the Name of Jesus on their lips?  One cannot!  It is not 'natural'!  It was, however, a wonderful testimony to the grace of God at such a time.    Tremendous strength.

However, most of us, including disciples of Jesus, are not immune from the lesser suffering that is common to mankind.  We live in a world that has been tainted, and corrupted, by sin.  We experience illness and disease; financial, and relational, problems; unemployment, and bereavement.  We are fragile beings, with bodies that are subject to decay as we grow older.  Each of us will, until the Rapture, experience physical, mortal, death.  The wonder is that, in Jesus, His strength can overcome our difficulties - not remove them, but see us through them.

One further point was made, this morning.  It was that, in the 'experiments', all of the eggs were facing the same way. There is great strength in unity.  That may be why the anonymous writer of the Letter to Hebrew believers wrote: "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."  (Heb.10:23-25; emphasis added).

That "Day" refers to the glorious coming again of the Lord Jesus, the Christ - not as a helpless Babe in a Bethlehem manger, but as King of kings, and Lord of lords.  Are you ready for that Day?  Will you be among those who will have loved His appearing (see II Tim.4:8)?  I trust that you will and, if I may be of any assistance at a personal level, please feel free to use the e-mail address at the top of the page, to contact me.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Why Jesus?

For many decades, the answer given by many, to the question above, has been along the lines of: "Because He will make you happy"; "Because He will give you meaning and purpose in life"; Because He will ensure that you are healthy, and wealthy"; "Because the whole world will look so much better when you accept Him into your heart"!

That, however, is not what the Bible teaches!  That, I would respectfully suggest, is not the experience of hundreds of thousands of disciples of Jesus in what we refer to, collectively, as "The Persecuted Church".  That was certainly not the experience of the young men who, with the name of Jesus on their lips, were murdered by terrorist thugs of the so-called Islamic State, on a beach in Libya.

So why did Jesus - God in human flesh - come to this earth; and why should I yield my life to Him?  The apostle John, in his first letter to the church at large, writes: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." (I John 3:8).  He continues: "No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother." (I John 3:9-10).  This is not teaching what is sometimes referred to as "sinless perfection".  The same John has already written: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." but "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (I John 1:8-10).

What John is saying is that Jesus came to save us from sin.  It's that simple.  You are a sinner; I am a sinner.  You don't need me to tell you that; I don't need you to tell me.  As sinners in God's eyes, we deserve nothing other than His righteous judgement, and punishment.  We deserve, when our mortal lives come to an end, nothing other than banishment from His Presence throughout eternity.  (If you want to know more about eternity, I recommend my book: Great Words of the Faith - link to the Kindle edition at the top of the page.  Costs less than a fish supper!).  However, I do not need to bear that punishment, because Jesus has paid the penalty - the Righteous for the unrighteous (see I Peter 3:18) - and I may go free!   No wonder that His disciples sing about, and rejoice in, His amazing grace!

Have you confessed - to Him, and to yourself - that you are a sinner.  That's the first move - recognising that, as the Anglican prayer puts it: "there is no health in [me]".  You then need to put pride behind you, and accept that you can never, ever, make up for the sins of the past, never mind those that you will commit during what remains of your mortal life.  You need to accept that only His sacrifice, made on your behalf, can cleanse you from sin, and make you acceptable to the sinless Creator of all that is.  When you do that, you are immediately justified (another word that is dealt with in the book already mentioned!) - in other words, Father God looks at you, and sees Jesus!  You are also assured that all of your sins are forgiven: "For there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1).

That's why Jesus came!  Not necessarily to provide us with peace, joy, love, fulfilment, and lasting happiness, and all of the other assurances given by some modern "evangelists".  A blog post is not the place to produce a sermon, but do follow the link Do you need God? Find out here! if you want further help and guidance.  For so many, the words of Jesus: "In the world you have tribulation;" (John 16:33) are a daily, and often very painful, experience!  However, Jesus continued: "but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Why Jesus?  Because "... God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18).  Because "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him." (John 3:36).

Monday, 25 May 2015

Is this a step towards total apostasy?

One week from today, it will be exactly forty years since I was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, by the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Edinburgh, Moderator the Very Rev Leonard Small.  Although I am no longer an active minister in that denomination, it is still dear to my heart, and I am saddened as I watch it, as a denomination, apparently move further and further away from the clear teaching of the written Word of God.

Last week the Church of Scotland held its annual General Assembly.  Many deliverances were made; there was much debate and discussion; many decisions were made.

Among the decisions were some that were, in effect, 'rubber-stamping'.  Among those were the decision to permit congregations to call, as their minister, persons in same-gender civil partnerships.  This had already been agreed by a majority of Presbyteries under what is known as the Barrier Act.  An additional decision was made, to follow the same procedure with regard to those in so-called 'same-gender marriage'.  The result of these Presbytery discussions will be known by the end of this calendar year and, at the 2016 General Assembly, one assumes that that decision will also be 'rubber-stamped'.

Such decisions have, understandably, caused much concern, and much heart-searching, among members and ministers of the Kirk.  Many have already left the membership if the Kirk over these issues - including full congregations that come from a theologically evangelical background.  It will be interesting to watch developments over the coming months. 

Permit me to make one or two comments that may prove to be helpful.  The first is that, as an individual, I stand fully and unequivocally for marriage as being only between one man and one woman, in faithfulness to one another and for life.  This is the Biblical stance.  It has been since the beginning and, in spite of the sinful nature of mankind having departed from it throughout history, it remains God's only plan.  It is a plan that is revealed in Gen.3:18-25 and, as many wits have pointed out, God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve (or Ethel and Eve!).  The same message is reiterated, time and again, throughout the pages of the New Testament - not least by the Lord Jesus, Himself.  In the context of a question about divorce, He stated: "Have you not read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" (Matt 19:4-5).

Of course, there are the familiar arguments.  "If two people love one another, why should they not be allowed to be married, and live together?"  The simple answer, from a strictly Christian, and Biblical, perspective, is that it is sin!  It is against God's law.  However, please do not think that I am merely ranting against homosexuals and lesbians!  It is equally against God's law to commit fornication and/or adultery - even for heterosexual people!  Not that sin has only to do with sexual relationships!  Even small children, who do not yet know about sex, are sinners!  Paul puts it, simply, succinctly, and all-embracingly, when he writes: "... there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Rom 3:22-23).  If you doubt that, please take the time to read through the Ten Commandments (Ex.20: 1-17).  Please let me know if you honestly believe that you have never broken any one of them!  

Then there is the argument about "moving with the times"!  That may be translated as "The church must conform to what the world (i.e. people who live without any reference to God) teaches.  That, I would suggest, is not an option for disciples of Jesus!  Paul, again in his letter to the early believers in Rome, writes: "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Rom 12:2; emphasis added).  The unidentified writer of the Letter to Hebrew disciples of Jesus further wrote: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever." (Heb 13:8).  If the Head of the Church is unchangeable, why should the body believe that it has any authority to change in fundamental matters?!

This is, of course, an emotive issue.  I am certain that many of my former colleagues, and continuing friends, will be involved in much deep heart-searching with regard to their own future within the denomination.  Many members will be giving deep consideration to the same question.  As one who has already gone through such a personal situation, albeit over a different matter, I can empathise fully with them.  My only prayer is that each one will know clear guidance from God the Holy Spirit, and have the courage, strength, and faith to follow His leading - wherever that may take them!

The bottom line, surely, is to be faithful to God, and to what He has revealed in His Word.  I commend it to all.






Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Blessed Assurance

The hymn, written in 1873 by Fanny J. Crosby, is possibly one of the best-loved of Christian songs.  Certainly, its use at countless Billy Graham Crusades, as large choirs raised their voices under the direction of Cliff Barrows, has ensured its general popularity.  However, it is just a song!

What makes the words of that song special is their being made true in the life of an individual.  Many years ago, a young girl named Maggie worked, 'downstairs', in a large house in the city of Edinburgh.  Sadly, she contracted an incurable illness and realised that she would not have long to live.  Her employers were kind, and kept her on 'light duties', but she knew that, with her sins unforgiven (it was an age when people were aware of their sinfulness!), she was not bound for heaven.

One day, the household staff were informed that some important guests were to be addressed by a certain John Thompson - a former fisherman who now made it his business to witness to the saving power of the Lord Jesus.  Maggie was very happy to hear this news for, she reasoned, she would probably learn the way of salvation from this plain-spoken street preacher.  However, when all had arrived, the servants were dismissed, and the door was shut.

Lingering in the hallway, and allowing her colleagues to go on, Maggie returned to the door and pressed her ear against the keyhole.  The down-to-earth evangelist was sharing the Good News that sinners may, on repentance, freely receive eternal life through faith in Jesus.  The aristocratic audience, however, was little moved, and he saw no positive reaction to his message.

Some months later, John Thompson was asked to visit a young woman who was on her deathbed.  It was Maggie.  She repeated some of his own words : "If anyone puts their own name in the place of the 'whosoever' of John 3:16, they will be saved."  She continued, "The audience in that room, that day, wasn't interested, but I was. I asked the Lord to make me His child, and I felt the burden of sin roll from my heart.  Now I can die with the blessed assurance that heaven lies ahead, because God's 'whosoever' took me in.  His peace and joy now flood my soul.  I thought that you would want to know that I was saved at the keyhole!"

Do you have that same blessed assurance that was Maggie's experience - and the experience of countless millions down through the ages.  Follow her example.  Put your name into John 3:16.  It won't mean that life is suddenly rosy - ask those in the countries in which to confess the Lord Jesus as Saviour and Lord is to invite harassment, persecution, and even death.   But you may be assured of His presence with you, in every situation and circumstance - even if you "walk through the valley of death".  You can face it, as Maggie did, with peace and with joy. 

What God offers by promise, we must take by faith.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Financially embarrassed!

It's not an easy thing to admit, but I am skint!  (For those who do not know the word, it is the vernacular in certain parts of the country for being extremely short of cash!).  Here I am, in SW France, and I had to borrow some cash in order to purchase some basic groceries!

"How could this be?", I hear some ask!  Well, it's really quite simple.  On our way south, last Friday, my wife and I went to a bank to withdraw some cash from the ATM installed in the outside wall.  I inserted the Deutsche Bank card (this is the Bank in which we currently keep our Euros) and waited for the message on the screen to instruct me to enter the PIN.  I waited; and I waited.  As nothing was happening; as my wife was in the car; and as there were very few people around; I made my way to the entrance to the Bank - to discover that it was closed!  Eventually, telephone contact was made to the number that was being regularly displayed on the screen.  The Bank was closed until Tuesday so I was informed that I had two options - to return on that day (this would have involved a return journey of almost 600 miles!), or to have the card cancelled.

Next stop was McDonald's who, regardless of what they serve at the counter, do provide a free wi-fi facility.  Yes, I know that it is meant for paying customers, and we usually purchase ice-creams if we want to browse the 'net for a time, but this was an emergency.  I sent off a brief e-mail to the manager of our Deutsche Bank branch, explaining the situation, and asking him to replace the card as quickly as possible, and to send it to the camp-site.  I had hoped that he would receive the e-mail that day, but he maybe has an early closure on Fridays!   It was Monday before I received a response.  I would need to fax a signed request, as I had asked for the replacement to go to an address other than the one that is in their records!  No fax available, but I wrote out the request; had it scanned by the site owner; and e-mailed it.  The new card is now, I trust, en route - but could take up to seven days, with a further wait for the new PIN!

Thankfully, we had enough cash remaining to purchase fuel, and we had left some foodstuffs in the refrigerator and the freezer.  However, it is a less than ideal situation knowing that we have cash in the bank, but are unable to access it!

Why am I sharing this?  Simply because it is a bit of an analogy!  You see, all of us are guilty of sin.  We don't even need the Bible to tell us this (although it does - and very clearly: Rom.3:23).  We know that we don't even live up to our own standards and expectations, let alone those of Almighty God.  However, because of His love for us, He has already paid the penalty, in the Persona (not a typo!) of the Lord Jesus, for your sin, and for mine.  But there is a wee catch!  I have to accept that fact, and receive, by faith, the forgiveness that He offers.

Sadly, many simply refuse to do so.  Forgiveness, and eternal life, there for the taking - and it is rejected by so many!   I can't get at my own cash because a machine 'swallowed' a piece of plastic.  Please don't lose out on the riches that belong to those who accept the Saviour, because you are too proud to admit that you cannot save yourself (or too arrogant to admit that you need saving!).

If I can be of any assistance, at a personal level, please feel free to contact me using the e-mail address at the top of the page.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

WANTED - Intercessors!

A pastor, any years ago, asked a young servant-girl what she was doing for the Lord.  She explained that she had very little time off and, therefore, was unable to attend the various meetings of the fellowship.  However, she assured him that she did take the daily newspaper up to her bedroom every night.  Somewhat confused by such an answer, the pastor asked her what possible spiritual benefit could be obtained by such an action.

"Well." replied the girl, "I turn to the notices about births, marriages, and deaths.  Then I pray for each of the new babies, by name, asking the Lord that they might receive Him at an early age, and be a source of blessing to many.  Next, I check the weddings, and pray that the newly-married couples will be truly happy; build their homes on Jesus; and always remain faithful to one another.  Finally, I read the death notices, and pray for each bereaved family - asking that, in their sorrow, they might turn to the Lord Who is the only source of real comfort."

Here, surely, was one who had learned two important truths:
   1. that prayer works; and
   2. that there is great benefit in praying for one another by name.

The pastor was certainly impressed with her obvious sincerity; her unusual (if not unique!) ministry; and her faithful intercession.  Indeed, he found himself wishing that there were more like her in the congregation!

Those who claim to be disciples of Jesus are called to pray regularly and faithfully (Eph.6:18, inter al).  Let us do so - not that other people (even pastors!) might be impressed, but that the Name of Jesus might be glorified; that sinners might be brought to salvation; and that the saints of God (especially those in the 'persecuted church') might be strengthened, and blessed.

After all, if Jesus was willing to die for the world, the least that we can do is to pray for it!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

When the dust has settled.

So, the U.K. General Election of 2015 is over - perhaps!   Some will be very happy with the result; others less so.  Certainly, almost four million voters are more than a little disappointed that UKIP have only one sitting Member in the House of Commons - and even more disappointed that Mr Nigel Farage is not there!

The results have confirmed what many have suspected for a long time - that the current "First Past The Post" system of electing the UK Parliament is well past its 'sell-by' date.  It is a simple mathematical fact that, e.g., only 34,348 national votes were required to elect an MP representing the Conservative Party; while 3,881,129 UKIP votes resulted in only one MP being elected!  In any definition of 'democracy', that cannot be right!  In the wake of the election results, a number of online petitions have been organised.  One such may be found at http://action.makeseatsmatchvotes.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1754&ea.campaign.id=38262&ea.tracking.id=msmv

Of course, the conspiracy theories now abound.  Normally, I am not one to give such theories much credence, but some of what I have read on social media (sometimes more accurate and truthful than the MSM!) would indicate that there is definitely a case to be answered.   Stories abound of missing boxes; delayed counts; and names of candidates missing on ballot papers.  It may all be the result of over-active imaginations - but with so much involved, it is surely worth a formal investigation.

This will, I hope, be my final 'political' post for a wee while.  My next one is planned to be of a more moral/spiritual flavour.  If you have started to check out my blog on the basis of the past few posts, please don't abandon me!  I would like to think that you might find the other matters that I raise, and the information that I share, to be of interest.  Of course, you won't know if you don't check it out!


Monday, 4 May 2015

May 7th - Why I will be voting UKIP!

So, here we are, at the last of this brief series of pre-election posts, with the one for which you have all been waiting - the positive one!

So why am I not only supporting the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), but also suggesting that it is the Party that disciples of Jesus throughout the UK should support?  Well, I know that one ought not to judge a book by its cover.  I know that no one man (or woman) makes a political party.  However, I have to say that one reason why I am supporting UKIP is Nigel Farage!  I have, like most people, watched a great deal on the political scene over recent weeks (and before!).  I have listened to the leaders of the various political parties being interviewed by a range of political commentators.  Only one has consistently answered the questions that have been asked.  I may not have agreed fully with every answer - but I admire basic honesty, and integrity.  I also like my potential statesmen to look like statesmen - not lads off to the pub for a drink!  Interestingly, the only one who has fulfilled those basic criteria is the one who is seen, most often, in a pub - Mr Farage.  I just get a 'good feeling' about the man - and I am teetotal!

However, it is policy that is the real nub of the argument.  So what are the UKIP policies that have persuaded me to support the Party?  Well, first and foremost, UKIP was the only Party, with any worthwhile representation in British politics, to oppose the redefinition of marriage.  Indeed Mr Farage is on record as having said that "... all the while we are signed up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ... we have the risk that our established church, and possibly other faith communities could ultimately, under discrimination laws, be forced to conduct services that they find anathema.  If we get rid of the ECHR, and it doesn't have the dominant place over our society, we'll look at it [the ACT] again."

UKIP also believes that the last government has shown contempt for families in which one parent (usually the mother) stays at home to care for the children.  As a Party, it is totally supportive of stay-at-home mothers.

Staying with the family, in general, Louise Bours, UKIP's Health spokesperson, has voiced concern over girls as young as 10 years of age being given a contraceptive implant through the NHS, and the generally casual attitude towards under-age sexual activity that appears to be condoned, if not encouraged, by the traditional parties.

Of course, there are specific areas in which UKIP has been badly misrepresented by the main-stream media, and the other political parties.  Perhaps the worst of these has been on the issue of immigration.  How often am I informed that "UKIP is a racist party"?  Yet nothing could be further from the truth!   In spite of what is parroted by the opposition, UKIP is NOT "anti-immigration"!  What it does support is CONTROLLED immigration - a totally different kettle of fish.  There are seven points in the Manifesto - and I would defy any right-thinking person to produce a reasonable objection to any one of them.  (Link to Manifesto at the end of this post!).

Then there is the issue of Foreign Aid.  "UKIP want to stop helping other people", is the usual cry.  Rubbish!   What UKIP would do is to direct foreign aid - no longer sending million of pounds sterling to countries that neither need, nor want, it - e.g. India, with its own space exploration programme; or to countries in which human rights are consistently breached.  Rather, they would target such aid to specific needs, such as the current earthquake and avalanche disaster in Nepal.

Not only will the defence of the realm be a major commitment on the part of UKIP, but they will also look after military veterans in a way that the other parties do not seem to think necessary!   UKIP is, as far as I know, the only Party to have specific sections in its Manifesto regarding Small Businesses, and Animal Rights!

However, the policy for which UKIP is best known - and that on which it was founded - is the ending of the UK's membership of the European Union.  Those who are of my vintage may recall that what we entered into (although, personally, I voted against!) in 1972 was a "European Economic Community".  The Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath, stated, quite categorically, that those who feared a loss of British sovereignty were wrong.   Towards the end of his own life, he admitted that he had misled the British public, and that he had known, all along, what would happen.  The EEC was to be a trading bloc - and a UK, independent of the current EU - with its unelected Commissioners 'calling the shots' would be able to enter into such an agreement again.  However, being free of the shackles of the EU would enable us to also enter trading agreement with other countries - not least the former Commonwealth countries who have been blocked by trading tariffs since those early days of the EEC!

I could go on, but permit me to make just one further point: Nigel Farage has said that Britain is a Judaeo-Christian country, and that we need to "start standing up for our values".  Allied to that statement is the assurance that UKIP would not permit the Islamic system of Sharia (Islamic law) to operate, as it currently does, in parallel with UK law.  They would ensure that "... all communities are aware of, and adhere to, the supremacy of British law."  UKIP is also the only Party that has issued a specifically "Christian Manifesto" - Valuing Our Christian Heritage!

Although, as charitable foundations, neither Christian Concern, nor The Christian Institute, are permitted to support any specific political party, I believe that each has gone as far as is legally, and ethically, possible in encouraging disciples of Jesus to support UKIP!

So, am I supporting UKIP because it is a Christian Party?  Sadly, it is not.  There are a number of issues that I continue to have with the Party, and even its policies.  However, compared to the alternatives, it is streets ahead and, of course, if thousands of the disciples of Jesus join the Party then, just as the more UKIP MPs are elected on Thursday, the greater the influence the Party will have on the ensuing government, the greater the influence those believers will have on the Party! 

On Thursday, please use your vote.  If you have a UKIP candidate on your ballot-paper, please vote in his/her favour.  If you haven't, my only advice would be to 'spoil your vote' by writing "None of the above" at the bottom, and drawing a large X across all of the candidates' names!  Oh, and do remember to take your own, black ink, pen.  The pencils that are provided make changing a vote much too easy!

Whatever you do, take confidence in this: the Lord already knows the full result, and He is still in control!  Hallelujah!

The full Manifesto.  https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ukipdev/pages/1103/attachments/original/1429295050/UKIPManifesto2015.pdf?1429295050

Manifesto summary.  http://www.ukip.org/manifesto2015

Christain Manifesto.  http://www.election2015.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/UKIPChristian_Manifesto-1.pdf

Saturday, 2 May 2015

May 7th - Why I won't be voting SNP.

This is my penultimate pre-election, political post.  I am not dealing with the specifically N.Irish and Welsh Parties as none of them are, for obvious reasons, standing in Scotland.  Nor am I dealing with the very minor Parties (could include the LibDems, next time around!!).

However, I have to make mention of

The Scottish National Party (The Scottish Nasty Party).

There is nothing unexpected in the SNP Manifesto.  This is the Party that, in its manifesto for the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary Election, pledged to consult on same-gender 'marriage'.  It did so - but pushed the legislation through even although some 64% of respondents opposed such a redefinition of marriage.  Ministers even denied that there was any need for amendments to the Bill that would have protected religious liberty and freedom of speech (something that, as many are aware, lost me my Strathclyde Police Chaplaincy!).

This is also the Party that has introduced the controversial 'Named Person' scheme that allows an outsider to interfere in the lives of ordinary families by having a "State representative" for every child, from birth until they have attained 18 years of age - a person who can, for example, ask questions of a Primary School child that relate to what happens within the home, and what level of sex education the child has been given!  This scheme - which is being challenged by a wide range of people and organisations - is planned to be rolled out by August of next year, although 'pilot schemes' have already operated in a number of areas.

Nicola Sturgeon, the current leader of the SNP, is in favour of a "rights envoy" for those who practice sexual deviance.  This person would promote their 'rights' "throughout the world, as an integral part of UK foreign policy"!  Talk about the tail wagging the dog!

In 2004, an SNP spokesman welcomed the introduction of the Civil Partnership Bill.  All of the contemporary SNP MPs supported the Bill at Westminster - and voted against the benefits of the Bill being provided to siblings, or a parent and carer 'child' who shared a home, but not a bed!

Last year, the SNP Government published revised guidance for sex education in Scottish schools.  The guidance emphasises the 'rights' of children at the expense of parental involvement, and says that a "named person" (as above) should be given confidential information that should be kept from parents!

In spite of the assurance, given by the previous Leader of the Party, after the referendum on Scottish separation from the rest of the UK, that such a referendum would not be held again "in his lifetime", his successor is already making noises as to the possibility of a second referendum during the lifetime of the next Scottish Parliament.  As one of the 55%, I find this a very dangerous move that could, so soon after the previous one, end up with the "yes" camp actually being successful!  This, I believe, would be simply because of the same - in my opinion - unthinking euphoria that will see a dramatic increase in the Westminster seats won by the SNP next week.  It would not be for the good of the country, or of its people.

These are some of the reasons why, next Thursday, my vote will not be cast in support of the SNP.


Friday, 1 May 2015

May 7th - Why I won't be voting LibDem.

In this third pre-election post, I want to explain why I will not be supporting the

Liberal Democrats (LimpDumbs).

Of course, one question might well be, "Why would anyone do so?"   This Party may well be wiped out - or have its Parliamentary representation decimated - at the forthcoming General Election and, in my opinion, that would be no bad thing.  It was a Liberal politician, David Steel, who introduced the Abortion Bill that was eventually enacted - and has led to the murder, in the womb, of millions of unique, individual, human beings.  Their record on pandering to the homosexual lobby is no better than the other two 'traditional' Parties: "We will ... permit humanist weddings and opposite sex civil partnerships, and liberalise the rules about the location, timing and content of wedding ceremonies ... promote international recognition of same sex marriages and civil partnerships as part of a comprehensive International LGBT Rights Strategy" (p107).  No suggestion that they will seek to bolster the only family unit that, alone, can - without a 'third party' - ensure the continuation of the human race!

Of course, the Liberal Democrats, as part of the Coalition Government, were eager to support their Conservative partners in legislating for the redefinition of marriage.  This is not surprising as their current leader has, in the past, called for all 'church schools' to teach that homosexuality is "normal and harmless"!  The Schools Minister, David Laws, has stated that it is unacceptable for such schools to teach that homosexuality is morally wrong.  From a Christian perspective it certainly is - see, e.g., I Cor.6:9; I Tim.1:10, but that won't bother the average LibDem (one notable exception would be David Alton, now Lord Alton - sitting as a 'Cross-bencher' in the House of Lords) parliamentarian, or activist!

The Party also supports the legalisation of assisted suicide, and has consistently called for a radical reform of the UK's drug laws - announcing the most far-reaching liberalisation measures of any of the traditionally major parties.  At its Spring Conference, just a few weeks ago, it reaffirmed the LibDem belief that people have the inalienable right to offend others: "There is no place for restrictions on acts of blasphemy (which is still, strictly speaking, a crime in Scotland!) in law, or by intimidation leading to self-censorship."  They appear to never have read Exodus 20:7!

The LibDems also supported the Labour Government when, in 2007, the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) were introduced - leading to the closure of adoption agencies, in England, run by the Church of Rome.  About one-third of Conservative MPs, including the Party leader, Mr David Cameron, also supported the introduction of these regulations.

In 2010, the LibDems enthusiastically supported the Equality Act, voting for the narrowing of employment protection for churches and religious organisations.  They also argued that religion should not be included as a protected characteristic in the public sector equality duty.  Of course, they would be more than unwilling to, themselves, employ an activist from another political party!  The words 'sauce', 'goose', 'gander', and 'good' come to mind!

With regard to pornography, the 2013 Conference rejected a motion for an automatic block on internet pornography.  Indeed, one speaker argued that such a block would be "counter to all liberal instincts."  Of course, with the almost daily revelations of  paedophilia practised by politicians in all of the traditionally 'major' parties, it is little wonder that they appear to be quick to 'close ranks', and to promote legislation that makes such activity less illegal - even if still morally indefensible.

These, then, are some of the reasons why, on May 7th, I will not be supporting the Liberal Democrats.