The Emmaus conference, Burgess Hill, 5 November

Over 200 people, some from as far as Cheshire and Dorset, attended the eagerly anticipated Emmaus conference with three eminent and excellent speakers: Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin (Northern Ireland Police Service), Baroness Caroline Cox (House of Lords and campaigner for persecuted Christians) and Rev Ade Omooba, co-founder of Christian Concern.

Introducing the day, Emmaus co–founder Howard Stern related it to last year’s conference called ‘Playing in Injury Time’. He explained how the real ‘perfect storm’ of October 1991 in the north-west Atlantic was created by three storm cells colliding to create what meteorologists called a superstorm, and how today apostasy, Islam and humanism are likewise colliding to create a ‘spiritual superstorm’ for the Church.

After a time of worship, Stephen Cargin spoke on apostasy. Compromise and rebellion, seen everywhere, are products of the war against the Church. Now the Church urgently needs to wake up and return to preaching the cost of our sin. “Where’s the humility and trembling at the Word today? Where are the raised hands and joyful faces in church worship? Most of us don’t realise the Holy Spirit has left our churches.”

He also reported that child poverty has risen by 200,000 in the past year, and now affects 29% of UK children and that 120 million girls have been subject to sexual exploitation with 48.5 million people subject to some form of slavery. Abortion is estimated at 125,000 killings per day.

Baroness Caroline Cox spoke of the moral decline in the nation and of her work on behalf of Muslim women. She cited seven forms of strategic Jihad that are threatening our national way of life: political, cultural, demographic, financial, ‘honour’ killings, legal and gender discrimination, which includes polygamy.

Many Muslim women suffer greatly from gender discrimination and Muslim divorce laws. She told us that distressed British Muslim women tell her they feel unprotected in Britain and would be better off in their ancestral country.

In addition, the 80 plus British Sharia courts are in direct opposition to the UK’s fundamental right of ‘one law for all’. She asked us to pray for amendments to her long-standing Private Member’ s equality bill coming before the Lords, that would alert Parliament to these dangers.

Particularly she decried the government’s policy on Syria, describing it as “horrific, horrendously arrogant and dangerous”. Having been in Aleppo earlier in the year, she believed that the “last thing” people there wanted was regime change: “There is no ‘moderate’ opposition in Syria; any group replacing President Assad would turn into another Isis.”

She condemned the BBC’s reporting for being one-sided and “totally consistent” with Britain’s foreign policy. “On TV we don’t see the terrible things being done by Isis – they only show what is done by the Syrian army, which kills by shelling. The other side kills by beheadings, torture and burning alive.”

Next Pastor Ade Omooba challenged us to confront humanism. Knowing the times and seasons and perceiving the myriad subtle deceptions that operate in today’s world are vital. Democracy has replaced God in terms of leadership in our society, and he challenged all of us to raise our game, seize the moment and speak boldly.

He raised a laugh when he related meeting Prince Charles with 12 other pastors and challenged the heir to the throne on his 2008 statement about being ‘Defender of faiths.’ After a chilling silence, Prince Charles spent 15 minutes explaining to Ade how he had been misquoted by the press and, as confirmed in 2015, is happy to retain the title ‘Defender of the faith.’

Howard Stern summarised the day by showing a film of a big ship ploughing into terrifyingly huge waves in a mighty storm. With many years’ experience at sea, Howard said that if you are caught in such a storm, the only option is to face it head-on. He warned that a huge spiritual storm is brewing and that we need to be prepared.

This remarkable conference then finished with the rousing singing of ‘Eternal Father’ and three verses of the National Anthem.

Cynthia Wilson

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