Light in our darkness!
The tragic murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes – beaten, starved and tortured by his stepmother Emma Tustin and father Arthur Hughes – follows a long line of similar cases where children have been ill treated in the care of adults.
Within a few days of hearing about Arthur (who had died on 16 June 2020), it was announced that another child, a little girl called Star Hobson – 16 months old – was killed last September while in the care of her mother and her mother’s partner.
Once again the relevant authorities promised that “lessons will be learned.”
We have opted to make up our own rules and are then surprised when they don’t produce the joy and satisfaction we thought they would
Yet society cannot throw up its hands in pious hypocrisy as if it had no responsibility for what is going on. These incidents, which disgust us all, are the inevitable consequences of departing from the ways that God has clearly laid down in the Scriptures.
Instead of following his lov- ing guidance, we have opted to make up our own rules and are then surprised when they don’t produce the joy and satisfaction we thought they would. We have succumbed to the impression that immorality doesn’t matter any more, that somehow it can be indulged in without negative consequences.
The importance of marriage has been undermined, suggesting that it isn’t even necessary, whereas it is the essential foundation of a healthy and prosperous society.
Murder pollutes the land with many precious lives being wasted so cheaply, causing incalculable distress for the family members left behind.
Perhaps he was the one to discover a cure for cancer or some other pernicious disease; we will never know
We have made divorce too easy and when relationships break down the consequences for the children involved can be catastrophic, sometimes leaving them in the care of the State which is ill equipped to deal with their needs.
I could add many other things to this list which have become acceptable in today’s society but all of them are the result of contradicting what the Lord has said through his Word.
Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man, a woman or a nation sows, they shall surely reap. There is a high price to pay for godlessness and we will go on paying it until we repent of our evil ways!
But little Arthur isn’t lost! When no one else was listening to his cries for help, God heard him, took him out of his distress and is caring for him right now in a very different place. Earth has lost out because it will never have the contribution that he would have been able to make. Perhaps he was the one to discover a cure for cancer or some other pernicious disease; we will never know.
How many more are there whose lives are at risk? I believe this Scripture is a prophetic word to this nation: “Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he also has forsaken you” (2 Chronicles 24:20).
God gives us freedom of choice but the decisions we take are our responsibility. The mistakes of the past can be forgiven so if you’ve never done so before, come back to God and enable him to give you, in Jesus, a wonderful new life!
Rev Ray Brinkley Walberton, West Sussex
Why mask mandates in church violate the Word of God
While I love my Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord who support mask wearing in church, I cannot but believe the practice to be dangerous and unbiblical.
Feelings over facts
The Church of Christ is a “pillar of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
The rationale for mask mandates is generally what makes people FEEL safe, quite apart from whether it actually MAKES them safe.
Is this an acceptance of a post-truth mentality?
In many churches, people wear masks for most of the service, take them off for singing, and then leave them off for tea/coffee at the end!
Such scientific studies as there are hardly present a compelling case for this kind of masking (as reported by The Spectator)*.
In many churches, people wear masks for most of the service, take them off for singing, and then leave them off for tea/coffee at the end! If masks work, taking them on and off like this clearly renders any benefit redundant. If they don’t work, why are we pretending that they do?
Is this kind of insanity fitting for the Church of Christ?
“Do not be afraid”
How have we come to the point where the fears of the most fearful are dictating corporate decisions in churches?
If fears are accommodated instead of lovingly confronted, they grow, and debilitate.
One of the reasons the Son of God appeared was “to free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:15). Are we now going to allow the fear of death to run riot again, and rule the roost?
What about biblical communal worship?
Many Scriptures highlight the intimacy of life and worship together as the Body of Christ (eg Acts 2:42-46, 2 Corinthians 13:12).
We are now nearly two years into a “new normal” where the healthy, not just the sick, are blocked from carrying out basic face-to-face New Testament ministry
Masking, with all its concomitant “social distancing” behaviour, is the opposite of this closeness.
Yes, Old Testament law was clear that the symptomatic should keep their distance, but we are now nearly two years into a “new normal” where the healthy, not just the sick, are blocked from carrying out basic face-to-face New Testament ministry.
Paving the way for vaccine passports
If mask mandates essentially force people to buy into and communicate claims about safety that are scientifically unfounded (this is tantamount to lying, breaking the Ninth Commandment), encourage fears and violate New Testament life together – then a government edict should make no difference, because we are not to obey the state when it contravenes Scripture.
Unless we change, it would seem that we are preparing to say “yes” to vaccine passports, and believers could be faced with deciding between an abortion-derived jab against their conscience and fellowship with their brothers and sisters.
Dave Brennan (brephos.org) Beccles, Suffolk
Whatever happened to Moral Re-Armament?
Most have never heard of Moral Re-Armament (MRA) and of its importance in the globalist movement.
Its founder, Frank Buchman, was influential in establishing the League of Nations, precursor to the United Nations. The MRA headquarters at Caux in Switzerland was where the idea of European unity leading to the Common Market was launched with its architects Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenuar and Alcide De Gasperi.
Buchman was an American Lutheran who founded the First Century Christian Fellowship in 1921, named after 1928 the Oxford Group, that was transformed under his leadership in 1938 into Moral Re-Armament.
MRA was a cult and a sect. A cult in the sense that Frank Buchman’s thinking and sayings were memorised by adherents and his speeches were studied intently.
It was a sect because, although people came from and continued to practise their various faiths, there was a spiritual meditative practice superimposed on their belief. This practice was the qui- et time, whereby thoughts were collected, written down and then shared with other adherents. Group control was exercised over members and non-conformity was discouraged.
But at least MRA was initially an avowedly Christian and anti-communist group. Gradually, however, the Christian theme of MRA was diminished and the political aims changed.
MRA became infected with an ide- ology that was more cultural Marx- ist than Christian and by 2001 ‘the movement’ had morphed into an organisation, Initiatives of Change, now classified as a non-governmental organisation.
From their website they have largely become a syncretistic youth organisation, a forum for meetings, interested in promoting the role of women at work and concerned for climate change.
It is hard not to conclude that this once powerful Christian and anti-communist movement was infiltrated
It is hard not to conclude that this once powerful Christian and anti-communist movement of MRA was infiltrated and filleted in the process. In fact, it would be surprising if it had not been.
To use a biblical analogy: “…The sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8).
Prof Roger Watson Hull, East Yorkshire