Friday, December 25, 2015

Edwards and the Millennium

'There is a kind of vail now cast over the greater part of the world, which keeps them in darkness; but then this vail shall be destroyed: Isa. xxv. 7. “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.” Then all countries and nations, even those which are now most ignorant, shall be full of light and knowledge. Great knowledge shall prevail every where. It may be hoped, that then many of the Negroes and Indians will be divines, and that excellent books will be published in Africa, in Ethiopia, in Tartary, and other now the most barbarous countries; and not only learned men, but others of more ordinary education, shall then be very knowing in religion: Isa. xxxii. 3, 4. “The eyes of them that see, shall not be dim; and the ears of them that hear, shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge.” Knowledge then shall be very universal among all sorts of persons; Jer. xxxi. 34. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.”' -from

Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume One -The The history of Redemption

This is how the postmillennialist Edwards saw the coming millennium. If he returned today would he not say that his prognostication is fulfilled?

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria’s Plateau state where gunmen have killed 15 Christians.

Fulani militants attacked two homes in Hwak Kwata-Zawan village near Jos on December 13. They also raided a compound where people displaced by violence elsewhere in the state had sought refuge.

In one home, a grandmother, Rose Monday, died trying to defend her three grandchildren. Two of the three children died: they were aged one and three. Their five-year-old sister, Anna, is being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.

In the other house, Gyang Christopher Choji managed to escape but his son, his daughter and his daughter’s entire family were killed. Seven people died in the compound where people displaced from Bachi were living.

Gunmen had apparently visited earlier that day to survey the village while most people were at church – and had even asked local children for water.

(Source: Morning Star News)

  • Pray that God will comfort friends and relatives of those who died in Hwak Kwata-Zawan.
  • Pray that next year will see a breakthrough in efforts to end extremism and violence in Nigeria. Continue to pray for wisdom and resolve for Nigeria’s Government and that militants and extremists will lay down their arms.
  • Ask God to protect those who attend church services over Christmas – in Nigeria and across the world.

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AN AMERICAN AIRLINES PILOT SPEAKS HIS MIND

No name calling, no hatred, no political agenda.
 
 
CANADIAN COMMENT APPEARS AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE AND IS MEANINGFUL.THERE IS ALSO SOME RECENTLY ADDED BRITISH COMMENT.
 
This pilot hit the nail right on the head in his open letter.
 
A newspaper stated that a Muslim doctor is saying we are profiling  him because he has been checked three times while getting on an  airplane. The following is a letter from a pilot. This well - spoken  man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully.
 
By Captain John Maniscalco, American Airlines Pilot
 
I've been trying to say this since 911, but you worry me. I wish you  didn't.  I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love,  that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human  landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore.  I notice you, and it worries me.
 
I notice you because I can't help it anymore.  People from your homelands,  professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens  and our friends for more than 20 years now.  I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that  nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
  
On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country.  They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally  stabbed to death others, hacking their necks, over and over, with box  cutters. They took control of those planes and crashed them into  buildings, killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise  grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches,  fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
 
The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of  the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't  want to be consumed by the same rage, hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help.  As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an  irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference  between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.
 
How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the  Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of  OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter MORE  of the same good neighbors and children?
 
The events of September 11 changed the answer..  It is not MY responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great  country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with  all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to  determine it for me.
 
I want to know, I DEMAND to know and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ...... Do you pledge allegiance to its flag?  Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car?  Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation;  that He will protect it and let it prosper? Or do you pray that Allah will  destroy it in one of your Jihads? Are you thankful for the freedom that this  nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of  thousands of patriots, who have through our history, given their lives for  this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the  ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America?? If this is your commitment, then  I need YOU to start letting ME know about it.
 
Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time  with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions YOU are taking as a  community and as a religion to protect the United States of America.  Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent,  because I worry about who you regard as innocent....  No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks,  because I worry about what is unprovoked to you.  I am not interested in any more sympathy; I am interested only in action.  What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of continuing  crisis, at this time of war?
 
I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets..  I want to hear you chanting 'Allah Bless America'.  I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military.  I want to see a commitment of money, time and emotion to the victims of  this butchering and to our returning wounded and to this nation as a  whole.
 
The FBI has had a long list of people they’ve wanted to interact with  regarding the threats that they believe to be ongoing. Many of these  people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know  them. You know where they are. Give the FBI a heads up as to where  they may be. Better yet, hand them over to us, NOW!  But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action.  Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close  even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits.  You have screamed for protection from reprisals.
 
The very few Arab/Muslim representatives, like CARE, that HAVE appeared  in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned  with making sure that the United States apologize and take responsibility for  actions defending our own people. They seemed more concerned with  protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the  United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and  denouncing 'leaders' like the late Khadafy, the late Hussein, Farrakhan, and  the late Arafat.
 
If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love  for all people, then I want chapter and  verse from the Koran and  statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up.  What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, pure, and  true,  when your 'leaders' ARE teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and  intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers  of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly  and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion.
  A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again.
  A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide.
  A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world.
  A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day  after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around  the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting  weapons into the air.  A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms  against the great United States of America, the country of their birth.  A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to  show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.
 
We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter,  to take away that which is so precious to us -- our rights under the greatest constitution in the world.  I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my  right and the right of every true citizen of this country to DEMAND it.  A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died  protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.
  
I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother,  my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American...... But there can be no grey areas  or ambivalence regarding your allegiance,  and it is up to YOU, to show ME,  where YOU stand. Until then, " YOU  WORRY ME!"
 
CANADIAN  COMMENTS:
  
We Canadians totally agree with this sentiment. I hope you will forget all about  the 'political correctness' mandate we've had rammed down our throats  by so many on the left, and see if this doesn't ring true in your heart  and mind.  For Canada, with all the multiculturalism we've been told is so important....  why should we not, as Canadians, expect that the millions of new people  immigrating to our country will show their love for our country, their  allegiance to our country, their willingness to obey the laws of our country,  and acceptance that we are a Christian country?  Just because they are able to enjoy exercising their own religion, they  should NOT expect us to be ashamed of ours.  They knew Canada was a Christian country when they came here.  Why are we erasing Christianity because immigrants who are unwilling  to adopt our way of life expect us to? There is just too much insanity  in the world, and we have to start taking a stand.  I hope you will forward this, so that others will feel they are not alone if  they are starting to feel the same.
 
BRITISH COMMENTS:
 
At last a clear non - racist example of the concerns that the vast  majority of our Nations population probably share.  The pilot's letter encapsulates all that is fair and just about national  pride and protection of one's national culture. I fear it may be too  late here in UK, BUT we too want our country back in the form  that attracted all these different cultures to come here in the first  place!! In all our conversations with a wide range of friends and  acquaintances we have not met one that disagrees with our own views.  If only we all had the courage of our convictions to pass this on, it  is a statement that should be accepted as the heart-felt feelings of  someone with honest commendable national pride.
  
Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists to date have been  Muslims.  Stand up and be counted!
 
AUSTRALIAN COMMENT : 
Best email I have had in years it needs to be in every paper every day until we get some answers.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 22: Hugh McKail Martyred (166

He Gained the Martyr’s Crown
The enemies of the Covenanters had very long memories. Long after sermons were preached or actions taken, the authorities in Scotland remembered words and actions against them. Such was the case with a young minister by the name of Hugh McKail.
A child of the manse, from Bothwell, Scotland, his pastor father was one of those forced out of his pulpit and parish when he refused to conform to Prelacy.  Little is known of young Hugh’s early days, but he did go to Edinburgh for education. There he was soon marked out as a young man of exceptional ability. For that, upon graduation, he was chosen to be a chaplain and tutor of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir James Stewart. In that Covenanter home, he would sit at the feet of those in leadership positions in the church and learn of the dire situation facing both the church and the state.
In 1661, he applied to the Presbytery for licensure in the ministry. Preaching in a variety of situations, he was quickly recognized by his hearers for his great ability in the Word of God. However, his ministry soon came to an end as it became obvious that he wouldn’t compromise his convictions, just as his father before him.  Preaching his last sermon in a church in Edinburgh, he had a sentence in it which marked him for remembrance by the Prelate forces of his day. He said, “the Church is persecuted by a Pharaoh on the throne, a Haman in the State, and a Judas in the Church.” The identification was obvious to all in the pews that day.
Forced to leave his beloved Scotland, the young twenty-six year old would spend the next three years in Holland. On his return to Scotland, the situation had not improved any and there was a spark of rebellion in the air. That spark was ignited, as my post on November 28 indicated, at the Battle of Rullion Green. Hugh McKail was among the nine hundred in the Covenanter ranks that day. But his own physical weakness removed him before that great battle arrived, and he traveled to Edinburgh instead. There he was arrested by the authorities, not so much for his Covenanter attachments as for his statement made in that Edinburgh church some years before.
Interrogated in prison, he was placed in the Boot, a fearful torture device which all but crushed his leg while he remained silent in voice. He was ordered to die by hanging on December 22, 1666. His exact words that day of death have been preserved through the ages. They were:
Farewell father, mother, friends, and relations; Farewell the world and its delights; farewell meat and drink; farewell sun, moon, and starts; Welcome God and Father; welcome sweet Jesus Christ the mediator of the New Covenant; welcome blessed Spirit of grace, the God of all consolation; welcome glory, welcome eternal life; welcome death!  Into Thy Hands I commit my spirit.”
Words to Live By:
Could Hugh McKail have compromised his convictions and avoided suffering and death? Certainly, and many did. But this young man  was reared by a parent who by his example remained steadfast to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. With such an example like that, it is no wonder the young minister was given over to sacrifice, in loyalty to both the Living and Written Word, come what may to his physical body. Addressing all parents reading these posts on Presbyterian history: Your life preaches all the week. Are those in your family being helped or hindered to follow the Living and Written Word?

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

‘Ex-Muslim’ Author Gives the One Position on Islamic State (ISIS) and Terrorism that the Church Should Take

By Alex Murashko, Special to ASSIST News Service

Naeem FazelCHARLOTTE, NC (ANS - Dec. 14 2015) -- Naeem Fazal, the author of the book, Ex-Muslim, says there is only one position the church, as defined by Christians within the Body of Christ, should take when it comes to answering the question: What should we do to prevent Islamic terrorist groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) from attacking America and elsewhere?
Fazal, who is the pastor of Mosaic Church in Charlotte, said recently, “As the church, we have a position to play (take), and no other entity, no other organization, club, group, [or] community, can play that position … We are the only ones that can take this position and actually make a difference if the church embraces and plays its position…
“And that position is not a statement or an idea or a solution. The position is actually physically on our knees … because no one else is getting on their knees. No one else is thinking that way. No one else is called to do this.”
One week after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Fazal is drawing attention to a video (below) of the midweek service he did shortly after the tragedy perpetrated by ISIS in Paris. In Ex-Muslim, he tells the amazing story of having a supernatural experience with Christ that changed the course of his life. Fazal is a Pakistani, who was born and raised in Kuwait. He grew up in a Muslim household, was a teenager in the midst of the Gulf War, and came to the United States in 1992.
The video is posted by his church and titled “Mosaic Church | Position on ISIS.” During his message he describes how he is often asked to give answers to difficult questions about violence stemming from organizations such as ISIS.
Ex Muslim book coverHe talked about a woman who during a speaking engagement at a church asked and then answered her own questions, but finally left an opening for him to answer the question, “How do we prevent another 9/11?”
His answer was that the church should take a position of prayer and he illustrated his point by sharing verses from the book of Daniel beginning in Chapter 10 where Daniel is having a conversation with an “angelic being.” He describes how Daniel comes to the realization that his prayers can be a part of God’s plan.
“Prayer allows us to slay some things” including “inner demons and outer dragons” Fazal explained. Also, prayer can bring on a peace within oneself that surpasses understanding. Among other attributes of prayer, he said it “binds the enemy” and “puts up supernatural protection.”
“Prayer is more than a conversation,” he said. In Matthew 18, “Jesus is saying you have power by prayer to access and to control things you do not see.”
Fazal concluded his message by saying that God can “supernaturally show up to a suicide bomber and say, ‘You are not going to blow all these people up … Your plan was to kill thousands and thousands of people… no, no no.’”
It is the prayer of the church that has prevented thousands of more deaths that the terrorists had planned, he said. “What if we were to fully believe that?”
On the Web:
Mosaic Church: http://mosaicchurch.tv/ 
Ex-Muslim book: http://exmuslimbook.com/ 
Photo captions: 1) Naeem Fazal. 2. Book cover. 

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Films seen December 2015

1.  American Sniper

Another over hyped American film. Are American film makers incapable of not effing all over the place. I know plenty of Americans who do not use the f word so why are films so full of it? Second gripe. This film needs sub titles. The diction/enunciation is so bad as to lead to too many incomprehensible dialogues. Lastly some of the war scenes are unclear as to who is doing what. I expect no plaudits for a helpful review, unless my negativity saves someone wasting time watching it.

2. The Woman in the Van

We saw the stage play some years ago. There were details I had forgotten and some things added. Added were far more references to Bennett's homosexuality but it was carefully done and someone who did not know of his sexuality might not get a lot of the references. Maggie Smith was magnificent, worthy of an Oscar. Sadly the film seems to lack any real message other than one should be kind to stranger, even dirty, demanding ego centrists. There is some very witty dialogue and a mystery to solve.

3. Song for Marion

An enjable romantic film with no sex scenes. Marion is dying of cancer. Her big enyoyment id her local choir ledby an able young teacher. Alfred, Marion's grumpy husband joins the choir after her death. He is estranged from his son, but through the choir there is a reconciliation. This is a real pro-family film. Marital fidelity and real love are well portrayed.


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Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Problems for Christians in Nigeria But is it all caused by Boko Haram?


By Scott A. Morgan, Special to ASSIST News Service
Shocking scene of Christians murdered in nigeriaNIGERIA (ANS – Dec. 12, 2015) -- When one hears or thinks of Christian persecution that is occurring inside Nigeria the first thoughts seemingly focus on the Boko Haram Militancy that started in the Northeastern part of the Country and has been able to spread outside of Nigeria to its neighbors.
The State in question is Taraba, which lies to the south of the Area where the Islamists have focused their insurgency which are the States of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. It also forms part of the border with Cameroon. Like several other States in Nigeria, Taraba had had one person dominate the political landscape. That person is Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and while researching this article, a search was conducted regarding the political landscape of Taraba and I discovered that his website was taken down by theNigerian Authorities. It is believed that nothing happens in the State without his knowledge.
The question now is who is the guilty party? It is reported that they are the Fulani’s, a nomadic tribe that resides in the area. According to a report documented by the Nigeria Conflict Security Analysis Network, and analyzed by World Watch Research, which is part of Open Doors International, the numbers, especially related to the Fulani’s, are staggering. Using data collected between December 2013 and July 2015 the following incidents have taken place within Taraba State:
* 1,484 Christians have been killed which are broken down into 532 men, 507 women and 445 children.
* 2,388 were injured which were broken down into 1,069 men, 817 women and 502 children.
* 171 Churches were destroyed, 314 homes, and 39 shops and businesses.
Fulani herdsmen on the attackAt this time there are 10 IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camps open within the State currently housing 11,898 People. In Benue State there are six camps open and housing 12,664 IDPs. An estimated 10,000 more IDPs are camped along the Nigerian-Cameroonian Border as well. What is a concern is that it is estimated that this covers only 50% of the reported atrocities against the Christians committed by the Fulani’s.
Earlier this year Nigerians elected a New President, Muhammadu Buhari, to deal with a myriad of issues such as a poor economy and the Boko Haram insurgency. These concerns have easily overshadowed the events that have occurred in Taraba. It has been recommended that the UN Human Rights Council send a Commission of Inquiry to the region (Middle Belt) The focus will be to determine if ethnic/religious cleansing is taking place in this state.
Church destroyed in NigeriaNo data regarding violence against Muslims has been collected to determine how they have suffered in this area. It feels that some type of cleansing process is taking place to support the Boko Haram insurgency. This is also something that the US Embassy in Nigeria and the Congress need to investigate so that the proper discussions could be held with the Government in Abuja.
The region is already in a precarious state. Nothing else that will inflame tensions needs to occur. It’s time for Abuja and its allies/donors to face some critical questions. Such why is the UN interested in the Atrocities there and not in the Northeast? Why is the Nigerian government focused more on Boko Haram as a threat to National Security than what is occurring in Taraba?
Photo captions: 1) Shocking image of some of the Christians who have perished in Nigeria. 2) Fulani herdsmen on the attack. 3) A Church destroyed by Islamists in Nigeria. 4) Scott A. Morgan.
Scott A MorganAbout the writer: Scott A. Morgan has been the President of Red Eagle Enterprises since its inception in November 2012. He uses his experience from serving in the U.S. Marines during the Reagan administration, attending college for Criminal Justice, Advocacy for Human Rights with Amnesty International and writing to come up with an interesting matrix and business model. Currently based in Washington, DC, he specializes in US Policy towards Africa focusing on Security, Assymetrical Operations and Business Development South of the Sahara. His Blog Confused Eagle can be found at http://confusedeagle.livejournal.com  and his e-mail address is: confusedeagledc@gmail.com  
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10: Covenanters in the Crown of London

by davidtmyers
The story of the Covenanters defeated at Bothwell Bridge and sent aboard the Crown of London as slaves is a sobering story. There are pictures on the web of the monument on the coast of Orkney near the sea as well as the Covenanter Fountain in Kirkland.
Covenanters in the Crown of London
Following the disastrous Battle at Bothwell Bridge on June 22, 1679, in which Covenanters were defeated in the battle, close to 1200 Covenanter prisoners were taken to Edinburgh and imprisoned in a make shift, open air prison next to Greyfriars Kirk (church). Some were tortured and killed immediately. Others died of natural conditions due to the harsh conditions of the site. Others were pardoned and set free under the August 14th Act of Indemnity that same year. But our attention today focuses in on the approximately 257 alleged ringleaders, including Covenanter ministers, who were sentenced to be shipped to the West Indies or Virginia as white slaves. Setting sail from Leith, Scotland, on the prison ship, Crown of London, on November 27, 1679, they sailed only a short while before bad weather forced them into a port.
Despite warnings from the locals to not attempt to sail, they had hardly cleared the land mass when the ship lost its anchor on December 10, 1679, striking rocks off of Dearness.The captain, Thomas Teddico, described as a profane, cruel wretch, ordered the crew to escape by chopping down the mast and riding it to the shore. The prisoners in the hold, who had their hatches chained to prevent them from escaping, were left to their own straits. All of them perished, with the exception of around 50 who were enabled to escape by means of a ax which one prisoner had with him. During  the next several days, bodies of the dead prisoners washed up at the beaches, and subsequently were buried in the area.
Of those who managed to escape, six prisoners were caught and shipped to the Barbados as slaves. Eight other Covenanters were shipped to the English plantations in Virginia. Some escaped to Ulster. At least two families in the port area claimed to be descended from a few Covenanters who stayed where they landed.
orkneyOn August 22, 1888, a majestic granite monument [pictured at right] was erected about 300 yards from the spot where the Crown of London went down. It has the following memorial etched on its side: "Erected by public subscription to the memory of 200 Covenanters who were taken prisoner at Bothwell Bridge and sentenced to transportation for life, but who perished by shipwreck near this spot, 10th December 1679." Another memorial is found in nearby Kirkwall and is known as the Covenanter Water Fountain, built just two years later in 1890 due to excess funds left over from the original monument.
Words to Live By:Our spiritual forefathers suffered much for the Savior in their battles to win the Reformation. They deserve to be remembered by all Presbyterians everywhere for their sacrifices for the kingdom of Christ. In  so remembering, you the reader may be informed that black African slaves were not the only ones shipped to these shores. White slaves -- Covenanter slaves -- also were sent to our shores. Don't forget their sacrifices. Remember their sacrifices as we approach the coming year.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Books read in December 2015

1. As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer

Archer is one of the great storytellers of our time. He takes a barrow boy from the East End and follows him becoming a department store magnate with a seat in the Lords. There is the story of a feud with another family, a tale of romance going wrong and illegitimacy where children are kept from knowledge of their parentage. Heirs are hunted in the Antipodes. The story twists and turns and has its surprises.

2. Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants by Charles Moore 

 I found Moore's first volume to be excellent and he has once again produced a very detailed and thorough account, this time of the years after the 1982 Falklands war until her third and final general election victory, the only PM to win three elections in a row in the 20th century.  Five years in over 700 pages. Some chapters are more gripping than others because of the nature of their subjects.  Her ups and downs with Reagan, the development of her relationship with Gorbachev, the miners' strike, the Brighton bomb, South Africa and how others viewed her., these are the most interesting. Westland and party infighting are not so fascinating. Once again, Moore is no hagiographer. He paints her warts and all. She talked too much and sometimes did not want to listen. Kind to ordinary people around her she often had poor relations with her ministers and treated some badly. In the case of Geoffrey Howe, that came back to haunt her. I was surprised to learn of tensions with Tebbit who I always thought of as her tough guy.  She was indeed a Marmite character. Moore shows how and why she was both loved and hated. Roll on volume three. How long will we have to wait?

3. Radical Puritans in England 1550 - 1660 (Seminar Studies In History) by R.J. Acheson

An excellent brief introduction to dissent from the established Church of England. It starts with a few isolated separatists and ends with a great diversity in dissent during the Commonwealth. The English desire not to conform seems to come out as a national trait. But there is alsp the folly of trying to enforce conformity. Laud and his followers would have probably survived their professed Arminianism but forcing others to keep all their ceremonies, that was folly.

4. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham 
Another gripping thriller from the master of legal fiction, Sebastian Rudd is the lawyer who will defend the people other lawyers will not help. He is the only admirable character in the story. But I do want to ask if United States laws, prosecutors and police can really be this bad. The criminals are worse but not a lot. Grisham keeps the reader's attention. I am not going to be a spoiler but I found the ending rather flat. The moral of the story seems to be that if you hire a good lawyer, take his advice.

5. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Christopher Catherwood

This book is by the eldest grandchild of the renowned preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He writes to introduce modern Christians to the man considered by many to be the greatest preacher of the last century. He starts with biography then moves on to more controversial matters. Firstly he rightly sees Lloyd-Jones distinguishing matters of primary importance for Christian fellowship from secondary matters. But no distinction is offered between individual Christian fellowship and the difference when it is fellowship between local churches. The somewhat idiosyncratic view of the Doctor on the baptism or sealing of the spirit is described but there is no mention of John Stott's rebuttal of the Doctor's teaching. Catherwood seems to have an unusual take on the 1966 controversy where Stott publicly disagreed with the Doctor. It this was merely a call to better spiritual unity among evangelicals why did Stott immediately speak out? Catherwood implies that there were significant numbers of ministers who left their mixed denominations, but gives no figures. My memory of the time is that it was seen as a clear call to leave mixed churches but the numbers who did were small.  Where I really part company with the author is his description of congregational life at Westminster Chapel. We are told that quite a number of people commuted in and spent the day there in happy fellowship. He says that it would not have been possible to ask them how far they had come to hear the great preacher. I ask, why not? How do you justify abandoning any possible gospel witness close to your home in favour of the pleasure of hearing the greatest preacher of your day?
I  also question the real vitality of this between the services fellowship. I was a regular student attender at the Chapel between 1964 and 1967. I was never invited to become a member or offered so much as a cup of coffee by way of welcome. My own assessment of the chapel is preaching 10/10. Body life 0/10. So it now strikes me as very ironic that the Doctor was calling people out of mixed denominations into purer evangelical churches. I get the impression that the author may identify himself as reformed baptist. He tells us his grandfather was for believers baptism but not by immersion, another unusual view. I am surprised that historian Catherwood makes no reference to 'Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) and Twentieth Century Evangelicalis'  by John Brencher, a more academic study but IMO a more accurate one. I believe Brencher makes the cogent remark that Lloyd-Jones was a consultant physician and the way he ran the chapel had much in common with the consultant's surgery.

6. The Lord's Day - Why go to church Twice on Sundays by David Campbell

This booklet published by Day One seems not to be listed on Amazon. In these days when most church attenders go once only on Sunday, this book is a needed challenge.  However, the author does not use what I consider the simplest argument for church twice on Sunday. I ask 'who wants to eat only one meal a day when two feasts may be enjoyed'?

7. William Carey and twenty-first century India.- Paul Barnes

A short booklet with biographical details of the greatest missionary since Paul the Apostle. One learns of the many obstacles and adversity overcome so that a humble cobbler became a professor of Indian languages. This book dispels the myth that British colonial policy was a help to the gospel. Carey had to live in a tiny Danish colony in order to spread the gospel.

8. The Book Boy bJoanna Trollope 

This is the fourth Trollope I have read but the first short one. Once again it is a story of human interaction. A wife is put upon when he feels inferior due to illiteracy. But she is to find an unusual helper in learning to read

9. Marrying the Mistress by Joanna Trollope

I think this is the fifth Trollope I have read. Once again the subject is a dysfunctional family breaking up. One could argue that all families have a measure of dysfunctionality but in real life some are committed to keeping the marital promises.. Not so in Trollope's world. Here we have a judge in his sixties telling his family he wants to marry his young mistress. I confess I do not like the way the betrayed wife's reaction is portrayed as selfish and manipulative. My sympathy is with the wronged woman.  Infidelity makes a mess of lives. This is plain to see.

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Monday, December 07, 2015

OPPRESSION AS LAW

BY R. J. RUSHDOONY 

"The news about the public schools gets worse daily. We read now that in San Francisco lesbians and male homosexuals are allowed to visit that city's high schools to explain and defend homosexuality to the students. No such right is given to Christians. Indeed, we read frequently of a teacher fired somewhere for doing no more than giving favorable treatment to the Bible.  

What can we expect of a country that does this? What kind of future do we have? Psalm 94:20 declares, "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship which frameth mischief by a law?" The Berkeley Version renders this verse thus: "Can a corrupt government be allied with Thee, one that organizes oppression under the pretense of law?" 

This, of course, we have been doing for some time now, organizing oppression under the pretense of law. In one area after another, law has ceased to be a protection to the righteous and has become an oppression. Our laws and the godly citizens. It has become dangerous to have a new law: it winds up penalizing us rather than the criminals.  

In the face of all this, students are taught, "there's nothing perverted about being a gay," and they are taught to "act out gay roles." At the same time, last November the U. S. Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law requiring the Ten Commandments to be posted in all schools! Perhaps the judges felt it would be traumatic or upsetting for children ( those who have learned to read ) to see such statements as "Thou shalt not steal." 

Under the circumstances, what can we expect from God except judgment? Should we be surprised or upset if the years ahead become grimmer and grayer? 

Remember, there may not be justice in our schools and courts, but there is in God's universe." - A Word in Season, V. p. 12-13 [ permission to reprint granted by the Rev. Mark Rushdoony ]. (2014)

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Woman who survived 5 weeks in Boko Haram camp speaks for first time


By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service, who was born in Nigeria
Smaller Boko Haram survivor WWMGWOZA, NIGERIA (ANS – December 6, 2015) -- Mercy, a 22-year-old woman from Borno State in north-east Nigeria, was abducted in June 2014 when Boko Haram overran the small town of Gwoza where she lived. She speaks here for the first time about her five weeks in captivity, where she was forced into a marriage, made to watch multiple killings and felt compelled to submit to her captors’ demands to follow Islam.
According to World Watch Monitor (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org), Mercy’s town of Gwoza sits at the foot of the Mandara mountain range on Nigeria’s eastern border with Cameroon. In 2009, Boko Haram started moving into the area and setting up camp in hills next to the village.
In June 2014, members of Boko Haram overran the town and declared it an Islamic caliphate. At least 100 people were killed in the attack.
Abduction
WWM said that the insurgents arrived in Mercy’s neighbourhood in the middle of the night. She and her father - her mother had died 10 years before - were at home by themselves when they struck.
“Everyone in the town ran to save themselves. My dad and I were separated. I don’t know what happened to him. I think he died the same way many others died, because they refused to deny Christ,” she said.
Earlier in 2015,World Watch Monitor heard how Boko Haram members had shot Christian men in their homesfor refusing to deny their faith. (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2015/03/article_3784577.html).
Boko Haram on the attack Dan WoodingThe attackers burned down Mercy’s house before six of them marched her and four other women into the hills, where a vehicle was waiting to take them to the nearby town of Mubi, which had also fallen to the insurgents.
“All the way there they kept threatening us. They told us if we did not obey every command once we got to the camp, we would be beaten severely.” The intimidation worked. No one moved or spoke a word, Mercy said.
Captivity
The “camp” consisted of a few houses close to each other. “When we got to the place, there were about 50 other women. I recognized many other Christians, who had now become Muslims and were forced to undergo Islamic teaching.”
WWM continued by saying that Mercy could only guess what was in store for her. “My first day was like hell. I cried all day and all night. I prayed like never before and asked God to give me courage.”
The next morning, Mercy and the others were taken to a clearing for questioning. They were asked to become Muslims and to marry Boko Haram members.
Escaping from Boko Haram WWM“The four other girls were very scared and immediately agreed. I pleaded that they allow me to remain a Christian, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. They beat me and told me to never mention Christianity in the camp again. Then they told me that they would arrange a husband for me.”
From that day onwards, Mercy was forced to attend Islamic teaching along with the others.
“We were forced to attend prayers at 5am. After that, we were sent to amadrassa [Islamic school]. There was only a short break. After we were given a little food, we returned to the madrassa. They constantly told us to work hard for the advancement of Boko Haram. In the afternoon we were dispersed to do our chores, such as washing the men’s clothes.”
Arranged marriage
“I also received a husband a few weeks later,” says Mercy. She doesn’t want to give details about the arranged marriage. All she says is, “Every single day came with tears and fears for the unknown.”
WWM said that one thing that Mercy cannot forget is the cruelty she was forced to watch.
“I witnessed constantly how Boko Haram members killed innocent people. Christian men who were captured and brought to the camp were killed for refusing to deny their faith. [It was like] the fulfilment of the [things written in the] Bible played out in front of my eyes, as people died for their faith in Christ. But others, including me, could not endure the torture and gave in to their demands.”
Rescue
WWM said that after Mercy had spent five weeks in captivity, and five days after she was married, the government stepped up its campaign to retake Mubi. For three days it engaged with the insurgents. The military also used fighter jets to bomb the area and one of the bombs landed on the house where Mercy was kept. She was the only survivor.
When the insurgents fled, government soldiers combed Mubi and found Mercy in the bombed compound with a broken leg. She was in terrible pain and crying for help. The soldiers took her to the clinic, where she received first aid.
When it was certain that Mercy would survive, she was taken to a displaced people’s camp in Yola, a city 300km from Gwoza. Many Christians fled to Yola at the height of Boko Haram activity, but Yola itself also recently became the target of a deadly attack when, on November 17, asuicide bomber killed 34 people.
WWM said that a church worker found Mercy during a visit to the camp and took her to a local clinic, where she received additional medical care for her broken leg. The church members paid for as much of the treatment as they could, and then returned her to the camp.
“I thank God for rescuing me. Many lost their lives after being forced into Islam, but I am alive today.”
Killing fields of Gwoza
Some of the displaced children from Boko Haram attack WWMThe Gwoza Hills close to Mercy’s home town were turned into a no-go area, with Boko Haram increasingly using them to hide out, an anonymous source told World Watch Monitor shortly after theNigerian government declared parts of north-east Nigeria to be in a state of emergency in May 2013.
In June 2013, the insurgents burnt down four Gwoza churches. By February 2014, half of the Christian population had fled and church services could no longer continue. Those who remained did so because they had nowhere to run or because they believed the army would be able to protect them. But on 5 June, Gwoza was turned into killing fields.
“They came in Hilux vans [often used by the Nigerian army]. We all thought they were the soldiers. They urged all of us to congregate at the center of the village, but they began to shout ‘Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar’ [Allah is the greatest]. Then they began to fire at the people continuously for a long time, until all who had gathered were dead,” an anonymous community leader told World Watch Monitor.
WWM stated that the attackers pursued and shot dead those who fled into the bush. Hundreds died that day. Men and boys were singled out.
“Even nursing mothers had their male infants snatched from their backs and shot dead before their eyes,” said another community leader. The insurgents told the women to bury their dead. When they were simply too tired to continue this, the bodies were left decomposing in the streets.
The Nigerian army bombed the area to dislodge the militants, but as soon as the assault stopped the militants were back. On August 5, Boko Haram stormed the town again at about 5pm. They had sophisticated weapons and an armored vehicle. They massacred about 100 more people, mostly men.
Inside of worship auditorium destroyed by Boko Haram“No single church has been spared. All 178 were destroyed,” the source said. “They also destroyed Christians' houses. An estimated 40,000 Christians fled to neighboring towns like Mubi and Chibok. Around 3,000 sought refuge in the hills. Gradually, about 2,000 escaped. Those remaining - about 1,000 people – waited for the army to rescue them, but the insurgents got to them first. They were all killed.”
Boko Haram raised its flag over Gwoza and renamed it Darul Hikma – ‘House of Wisdom’ in Arabic. Those trapped had two options: convert or die.
“The insurgents were finally driven out of Gwoza in March 2015. People have begun returning to the town, but they are living among ruins,” concluded the World Watch Monitor story.
Photo captions: Mercy was abducted by Boko Haram and spent five weeks in captivity, Nigeria Nov 2015 (World Watch Monitor). 2) Boko Haram on the attack. 3) Some 2.5 million people have been displaced by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region since 2013 (Courtesy of Open Doors International). 4) Some of the displaced children in Gulak Adamawa state. Christians in Gulak are caring for about 300 children orphaned or separated from their parents because of Boko Haram attacks. May 22, 2014. (World Watch Monitor). 5) The inside of a worship auditorium of a church destroyed by Boko Haram. November 2011 

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Saturday, December 05, 2015

December 5: Schaeffer on the Founding of the PCA


by archivist
schaeffer02On December 5, 1973, the second day of the first General Assembly was underway for the National Presbyterian Church. In fact, it was on this second day of that General Assembly that the original name of the denomination was chosen. A year later the young denomination voted to change its name, choosing the name Presbyterian Church in America. 
Shortly after the formation of the Presbyterian Church in America, Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer composed the following thoughts in observance of that event. Notable in his mind was the contrast between the divisions of the 1930's and the 1970's and the manner in which each of these divisions had been conducted. Dr. Schaeffer's message, titled "A Step Forward", was subsequently published in THE PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL, 6 March 1974, pages 7-8.
Photo source: Picture taken from the February 1973 issue of One in Christ, the Bulletin of the National Presbyterian and Reformed Fellowship.
"A STEP FORWARD"
The formation of the National Presbyterian Church is a step forward in the Lord's work in our chaotic age!
As a life-long Presbyterian and now a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod, I have had a deep interest in the Presbyterian Church US since my days at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, from which I graduated in 1935.
Even at that time it was evident that Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., was a source of liberalism in the pulpits of the PCUS. Through the years I have seen no sign that the situation is improving.
To me, practicing the principle of the purity of the visible Church is a part of the command of the word of God. In the PCUS, good men have tried unsuccessfully to practice this principle by combating clearly false teachings at the center of Christian truth. These include the older rationalistic liberalism and the new neo-orthodox, existential liberalism. After having failed to bring purity into the Church, they chose the only way to be obedient--they practiced the principle in reverse and withdrew.
Thirty-eight years ago such a division occurred in the Northern Presbyterian Church. Those in the Presbyterian Church US have showed more than long patience in their efforts to bring improvements in their Church from within. However, the formation of the National Presbyterian Church should not be seen as the ending but a beginning.
It would be tragic if the National Presbyterian Church made the same mistakes which were made in the Presbyterian Church in the North. True brethren who have not felt led by the Lord to leave the PCUS should be treated with dignity and a loving beauty. There are two reasons for this:
Observable Love
First, Jesus taught that the mark of the Christian is the observable love shown among all true believers. Second, by keeping the lines open to these men--not as a stratagem but as loving obedience to Christ's commands--the National Presbyterian Church will continue to offer a viable alternative. In the days ahead, the pressures will increase through the further growth of liberal control and the almost certain coming union with the United Presbyterian Church USA. I pray that mistakes made years ago in the North will not be repeated today.
The vision of the National Presbyterian Church should not end here. We must keep our distinctives as to the Reformed position, which we believe are true to the Scripture, and it should be natural to have close contacts with other true Presbyterian bodies. The chasm should not be at the point of our distinctives; it should be between Bible-believing Christians and those who have given up loyalty to the Scripture.
Two things are happening simultaneously now: The first is a resurgency for Christian truth. Going back to the 1930's in the United States, the larger historic denominations were largely lost to the liberals, but three were not: The Lutheran Church-Missiouri Synod, the Christian Reformed Church, and the Southern Baptists. Thirty-five years later, these three denominations are now grappling with the same issues, all of which are rooted in the question of the authority of Scripture.
The Missouri Synod under the leadership of courageous men seems to have won its battle. The Southern Baptist Church now finds itself in the same position as the Presbyterian Church US in the 1930's. That is, the churchmen are largely faithful, but the seminaries are infiltrated with liberalism.
One may hope and pray that the Baptists will stir themselves before it is too late. If the Baptists practice the principle of the purity of the visible Church in the direction the Missouri Synod has gone, then they may not have to travel the unhappy route of withdrawal as had to be done in the Southern Presbyterian Church.
Doors and Bridges
The National Presbyterian Church stands at a place of significance if the doors are kept open on one side to the true believers in the Presbyterian Church, and bridges are built toward those struggling for the same cause in other groups. However, at this time the question is not the formation merely of an organization; it is the establishment of a true Church.
The failure of those who separated from the Presbyterian Church USA during the 1930's extended beyond the loss of contact with those true Christians who stayed in the Church; it extended to the attempted organizational expression. The International Council of Christian Churches gave such hope in its beginning, failed because of its harshness; it did not express or practice that mark of the Christian, the observable love among all true Christians.
There the question now is whether 35 years are enough to expunge this mistake so that another organization is viable at this time. The leaders in the National Presbyterian Church should consciously try to establish contacts with those who are true to the Scripture and committed to the practice of the purity of the visible Church in whatever groups they may be. Certainly groups in other countries would be interested in such contacts.
The second important occurrence now is the obverse, unhappy side of the first. At the same time we take heart from the formation of the National Presbyterian Church and events in the Lutheran Church-Missiouri Synod, we recognize a most distressing trend is developing: In much of evangelicalism regard for Scripture is weakening.
It is my observation that ecclesiastical latitudinarianism leads to cooperative latitudinarianism, and this tends to lead to doctrinal deviation, especially in regard to Scripture.
For example, think of the change at Fuller Theological Seminary. In a paper read at Wheaton College a few years ago, Professor Daniel Fuller defined "non-revelational matters" in the Scripture as those which are "capable of being checked out by human investigation, that is, knowable by what eye can see and ear can hear." He added that the Bible contains "the non-revelational areas of science and history."
This kind of thinking is not limited to one seminary. The battleground on the modern scene is whether the Bible is completely authoritative where it touches history and the cosmos, or only where it touches religious matters. It is difficult to see any basic difference between this and neo-orthodox existential theology.
The divergence in evangelical groups centers especially in the first half of Genesis, which is often considered to be parable rather than space-time history. The weakening among evangelicals is not limited to the United States; it is present in other parts of the world as well.
In England, preference tends to be given for general revelation over special revelation, so that science has the last voice. This is different in expression, but not in position, from that being developed theologically by Professor Fuller and those in the United States who are one with him.
If Christ does not come back within the next few years, I could visualize the possibility of a new alignment. Those standing for the total authority of all Scripture and for the principle of the practice of the purity of the visible Church would draw together and away from relativism, which surrounds us in the total culture and which has infiltrated the Church.
In such a setting, the National Presbyterian Church may in God's providence be a central factor if it exhibits and practices God's holiness in life and doctrine, and simultaneously exhibits and practices God's love toward all true Christians in whatever groups they are.
I am thankful for the formation of the National Presbyterian Church and I pray no small or provincial vision for it.

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