Letters April/May 2020
Last updated on April 3rd, 2020 at 04:22 pm
Churchill the Zionist
I must be one of many who are grateful to Dr Elizabeth Allan for uncovering the truth about Churchill’s motives in his policies relating to the Jewish national homeland (‘Restoring Churchill’s reputation’, Feb/Mar 2020).
Dr Allan has removed the disquiet over the anti-Zionist judgements made about Churchill, the man who said in 1921: “The Zionist ideal is a very great ideal and I confess, for myself, it is one that claims my keen personal sympathy” (quoted by Martin Gilbert in ‘Churchill and the Jews’).
Free speech anniversary
As well as Brexit Day, 31 January marks ‘Deliverance Sunday’, the anniversary of our deliverance from the threat of up to seven years in jail under the so called ‘Religious Hatred Bill’.
The ‘Protection of Freedom of Expression’ clause 29J in that Act of Parliament succeeded by just one vote on 31 January 2006. Ironically, one missing vote was that of PM Tony Blair!
Thanks to that victory, someone charged with an offence would have to be shown to have used “threatening” language – rather than “threatening, insulting and abusive” – the test in race cases. Also the prosecution has to show “intention” to foment such hatred by the accused rather than intention or “recklessness” as the government had proposed.
Every Christian’s email, letter and prayer was vital in securing such an extraordinary victory over that government with its massive parliamentary majority.
Informed Christians consider the EU to be the primary source of such repressive laws. So perhaps our departure from the EU on this same date is a hint that the Lord is working out his purposes.
Environmentalism and a new earth
Your piece, ‘Eco-concern: a new religion?’ (Gardner’s World, Dec/Jan) makes a mistake regarding 2 Peter 3:7, which states, “The present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.” This translation is one of several incorrect interpretations of the Greek.
In fact, the verse says that the forces of evil will be destroyed by fire, not God’s earth. Revelation 11:18 warns that those who destroy the earth will themselves be destroyed. This aligns with the science of anthropogenic global warming that has caused our current ‘climate emergency’.
The Greek word referring to a “new earth” in 2 Peter 3:13 means ‘renewed’ (kainos), not ‘replaced’ (neos). This has been explained by theologians such as Richard Bauckham, J Richard Middleton, Tom Wright, Chris Wright, Dave Bookless and Ruth Valerio.
God has a saving, covenant relationship with life in all its biodiversity (Psalm 150:6, Romans 8:19-22). We are to cherish the earth and manage it well in preparation for the return of his kingdom.
In the beginning, our Creator gave mankind the authority to take care of the earth (Genesis 1:26). When we lost spiritual unity with our Creator, we also lost the power to care properly for his Creation.
Since then, Creation has been ‘groaning’, waiting for God’s sons and daughters to be revealed (Romans 8:19-22). When Jesus returns, his children will become the true environmentalists, working with him to restore the earth. They will reign with him for 1,000 years before the advent of the new heaven and earth (Revelation 20:3-4, 21:1).
For those who are concerned about the damage being done to Creation, now is the time to become the Creator’s son or daughter. Then you will dwell forever with Jesus in his wonderful, renewed Creation.
Storrington, West Sussex
My test of faith
Recently, I had a routine mammogram and was called back within five days for more tests.
My faith was challenged, but as I sat in the waiting room facing the unknown, I put my trust in Jesus. To my great relief, I was given the all clear, for which I thank God.
During the five days of agonising uncertainty, I believe he showed me the following principles:
- Shut the door on worry and fear.
- Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3).
- Trust and obey (Psalm 33:18-22). I envisioned a handrail, with God telling me to let go. I took one hand off and asked, “Is this OK?” He replied, “Now the other hand.”
- When we cry to God, “I can’t bear it,” he says, “Be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
- Prayer gives peace beyond human understanding (Philippians 4:7).
- Our heavenly Father knows every hair on our heads (Luke 12:7).
- God will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
- Look up, not down; always give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
- Seek to share with others the amazing hope we have in Jesus.
When we are pushed outside our comfort zone and experience personal turmoil, we realise our frailty and grow in faith. We need to read God’s promises and absorb them into our hearts until they become reality.
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Rather than bad news about shootings, pestilence and ‘woke’ demonstrations dominating our airwaves, it’s time the Word of the Lord resounded in our streets!
I foresee Christian ‘flash mobs’ turning up in public places and singing hymns and choruses.
This would be a modern response to Isaiah 58:12: “You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”
It wouldn’t need to be a ‘tour’ that requires promotion and complicated kit. Choirs and Sunday school groups could take part, as a change from performing to the “converted” at church. It would be an ideal opportunity to give out tracts about the Good News, too.
Those, like me, who cannot sing, could be part of the joyful noise while praying!
A few people might actually want to listen to our preachers, too, before the door is totally closed.
Craven Arms, Shropshire
Coffee to write home about
A friend recently invited me to the Pause Community Hub in Worthing for a cup of coffee, where I was so impressed by the warm welcome and modern appearance that I felt compelled to put something in writing.
Mrs E Castle
Worthing, West Sussex