Hated, reviled and destroyed

Who are the most abused, victimised and persecuted group of human beings in the world?  Who are the most oppressed in our society today without any voice of their own and virtually no rights in law?  Who is consistently ignored by politicians, news media and the general public?  Surely, when you dig a little into the horror that is the abortion industry, you must conclude that unborn babies face this horrendous injustice.

Once again, the UK government has legislated to undermine the rights of unborn babies, promising to fund abortions for Northern Irish women travelling across the Sea to seek a termination, undercutting the laws in Ulster that protect these vulnerable, innocent babies.  Why?

Well, proponents claim that this will primarily benefit those who are adjudged by medical professionals a “non-viable” pregnancy – these are the cases publicised and designed to extract maximum sympathy.  Whilst this must be a truly awful prognosis to receive, does that justify murder?  Consider that doctors do make mistakes, as demonstrated by (amongst many others) this case of Jett Morris who “survived for five weeks in the womb after his mum’s waters broke when she was just 20 weeks pregnant. He was born prematurely at 25 weeks weighing just 1.4lbs – less than a bag of sugar – and has now grown into a healthy one year-old.”

Then there’s the instances of women who have survived breast cancer and given birth to healthy babies, again defying prevailing medical opinions.  There is lots of research into exactly how pregnancy and cancer interact with some evidence suggesting that the former can actually help against the latter.

Note that in Northern Ireland currently, an abortion is offered if “a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.”  That’s clear and unambiguous, rightly stating what should be the only permissible reason for this last resort.  The sad fact is that as “health” is virtually impossible to define, a woman who is even mildly upset that she is pregnant can abort her child under this ambiguous phrase, which is the only legal check in Scotland, England and Wales.

For all the other objections raised to restricting the “choice” of women, pro-life defenders blow their arguments out of the water but are systematically ignored by the mainstream media.  For example, did you know that cases of “rape or incest” account for less than 1% of all abortions in the USA – yet for the amount of coverage they receive, you would think this was an epidemic.  Yes, the zygote (created at the moment of fertilization) is unique being that is distinct from the mother; he or she has 46 unique chromosomes and is internally driven to grow into more mature stages.

So, just because the foetus (technical term for baby from nine weeks) cannot speak for themselves and is dependent on their mother, doesn’t mean they can just be destroyed without any thought for the consequences.  A baby also requires round-the-clock care but no-one (thankfully) suggests a mother should be aided and abetted to get rid of what might be perceived as an unwanted nuisance.  I am deeply saddened that our politicians are increasing funding for and access to state-sanctioned murders whilst, for example, we cannot seem able to properly fireproof our buildings.

There have been about 1.5 billion babies aborted worldwide since 1980, a mind-boggling number that dwarfs the Holocaust, Stalin’s purges and the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia.  Let’s speak, work and pray for true justice.

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What is church all about?

Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg has been suggesting that Facebook could fill the gap in people’s lives left by the decline of churches, as well as other organisations: “A lot of people now need to find a sense of purpose and support somewhere else.”

Peter Ormerod‘s article in the Guardian gives an excellent critique of this proposition to which I would only add – the true Church is not driven by money or profit.  Facebook made $10 billion in 2016 but followers of Christ are not concerned about building a bank balance.  Instead we seek to share the greatest news of all time for free – Jesus died for sinners, that includes me and you, so that we might be able to enjoy life in all its fulness.

Peter, Paul and company were not motivated by garnering the most likes or creating the grooviest of memes, but were ready to die for what they believed would transform the world from darkness to light.  God’s gospel declares to those who recognise their spiritual poverty: “release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind; to set free those who are oppressed; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour” (Luke 4:16-21).

The mission of Facebook – “to bring the world closer together”.  Not quite the promise of salvation. Of course, social media is a great tool that does connect people and can help accomplish much good, but what is of much more importance is what motivates our hearts.  Only Christ Jesus, working through His people (aka the Church) offers to perform the radical surgery that truly changes and redeems us.

 

Increasingly illiberal

For those who watched leader of the UK Liberal Democrat, Tim Farron, give his resignation speech and question just how liberal Britain actually is, I sincerely hope that his words resonated, penetrating the fog of hazy assumptions about the supposed superiority of secular humanism.  In the words of a man who has been hounded and persecuted for his faith, finding such a prominent position in public life impossible to maintain: “we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.”

What a sad indictment.  This one man’s political fate is only the tip of an iceberg. I have previously written about the vilification of Andrew Turner, which ultimately also led to his resignation.  Two Christians in the House of Commons both being forced out in the space of a couple of months is not a blip, but a wider trend in our society where disagreeing with the recently inaugurated status quo is the ultimate sin.  No-one is allowed to mention that, for example, 61% of HIV infections are accounted for by 2% of the gay population in the USA or that 29% of adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by said person who should be caring and protecting them.

Another very recent instance of an attempt to close down the debate on issues deemed too sensitive to challenge is abortion.  Thankfully, an Ontario judge rejected an attempt to hide abortion statistics from the public, stating that there was no justification for suppressing information vital to having an informed debate on a matter of life or death.  I thought liberals liked Freedom of Information and believed in reasoned discussion, based on the evidence.  Clearly, that’s only the case when the facts suit their prejudices.

I could go on, but I’m sure you see the problem.  What kind of society are we really creating and what horrors are we storing-up for ourselves and future generations because we refuse to listen?

Terror strikes again

I’m so saddened and shocked that the United Kingdom has again experienced carnage and slaughter as a result of Islamist terrorism.  The butchery on London Bridge and Borough Market is sickening and must be utterly condemned.  People, whatever their beliefs or behaviours, are made in God’s image and precious to Him.  As each individual walks on this earth, they need those who profess faith to demonstrate the superiority of the One they follow. This is accomplished through living a life of love for everyone, and hating only the twisted ideologies that ensnare and entangle those who have not yet seen the Light.  I hope and pray that we who seek to walk in the way of Christ Jesus will display His amazing grace to this hurting, broken world.

Looking at some of the responses to this outrage, there are some important points to make.  Theresa May repeatedly mentioned “tackling extremism” was her priority.  But what does this actually mean?  Previously, several commentators and even government ministers have indicated that this term encompasses those who express negative attitudes about homosexuality.   Polly Harrow, who works at a college in Huddersfield as Head of Safeguarding and Prevent, voicing any opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ could be against the law.  Privately-held belief is “your business” but “if you speak it out loud you might be breaking the law.”  Really?

So, we should just ignore the numerous studies that highlight the dangers faced by those who indulge in deviant sexual behaviour.  It’s a kindness to warn people of the consequences of their actions, though this should always be in the context of offering support and help. Sadly, many in power want to ban counselling, talking therapies for those with “unwanted same-sex attractions”, shutting down yet another escape route.

Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan cannot bring himself to even use the phrase “Islamist terrorism”, despite the fact we know very clearly that the example and teachings left by Muhammed motivated the attackers (more than 100 verses in the Qur’an advocating the use of violence to spread Islam). There is also Khan’s disturbing history of links to Islamist individuals and organisations, which has never been properly addressed and explained. Now, all I ask is that these people seriously examine their own beliefs and past actions before leaping into writing new laws that are misdirected and will only sow the seeds of more divisions.

This nation is teetering close to collapse and the only One who can save us is “the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – the Lord Jesus Christ.  He teaches us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, which is one of the best responses to terror.  Hatred will only make them stronger and us weaker. Only grace can break the chains.