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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The exercise of the Prophetic in the Church

A while back, I wrote about prophetic speaking.

I wanted to add a little more to that, in how sometimes we have exercised this gift within the Church and where we have further to go.

Often, the Church has operated the gift of prophecy as a personal word, encouraging in nature. There is nothing wrong with that of course, however I would submit that it is insufficient.

In my experience, the Church often does not have the wider practice of, or the infrastructure to discern, prophetic word/s that are directive or corrective in nature or intended for a wider audience.

Prophecy can be understood as a mixture of foretelling and forthtelling. The former gets the headlines in popular culture, but the latter is usually the actual meat. When I forthtell, it is often about bringing matters to people that they already know at some level, but don’t want to hear. That’s part of the story – though typically any prophetic corrective word gets married with the heart of love the Lord has for His people. This is a cadence in the prophets that I have come to know well.

The prophet is the trouble-shooter, the burr under the saddle, the awkward voice that is out of sync and often saying uncomfortable things. Accordingly, they are not often very popular! The prophet can be pastor, bringing comfort; equally the prophet can bring challenge, stirring things up and bringing the metaphorical sword. Sometimes, and often, it is both. Whatever is brought, the true heart is to bring holiness – to bring the church in line and in step with the Holy Spirit, to be the true bride of Christ. The heart is love, even if the medicine is often unpalatable (and, to be fair, often spurned).

The wider Church (at least the more institutional churches) often has a skewed practice and use of the 5 ‘offices’ – Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Evangelist and Shepherd; emphasising some much more than others. I think we are coming into a season where a more balanced use of all offices are going to be necessary to sustain and grow the Church. We are in dire need of being ready to endure – and to be a light that will attract those God is calling.

For Prophecy, it would be helpful for Churches to develop an infrastructure to allow the ‘harder’ words to be properly considered. To make a mistake giving a personal encouraging word has little downside. To err in giving a directive / corrective word to the wider congregation/church/nation has significantly more downside! The Church should be open to those kind of words, but also have a process in place where they can be prayerfully considered by wise, mature Christians, who would then provide direction in if/how to respond.

For me, the heart and burden that I have carried for years is best be explained in the vision of a church fully following in the steps of her Lord. Jesus footsteps took him to Calvary, and to the cross. The true Church will follow Him there.

This is the paradox of the Christian walk – it costs us nothing, and it costs us everything.

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