All Things to All People? The Gospel is the Issue

“I think most of us with any sense of awareness can recognize that we are living in one of those great transitional moments in human history. But there is one thing that must not change: the Christian task of bearing faithful witness to the glory of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some would disagree and argue that the Christian witness, to be faithful, must change anything and everything to fit the culture as it changes over time and across locations. They might quote the apostle Paul: ‘I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some’ (1 Cor 9:22).

I propose, however, that far from a mandate to accommodate all things, Paul’s words here are a manifesto for ministry that puts the gospel above all things. …”

Encouraging words in dark times, from Albert Mohler.

Numbers

Glen Scrivener at SpeakLife has released a powerful and provocative video.

Watch here.

“Inclusive” ECUSA: “Love Never Ends” — but +Love Must Go

“In a theological dispute that ECUSA’s Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has now personally allowed to become a travesty, the Episcopal Church in the USA… held a formal hearing whose object was to remove the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, from the post to which his diocese long ago elected him.

His sin… that requires his deposition? It was his faithfulness to the “doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church (USA)” — exactly as he vowed when he took Episcopal orders, and again when he was consecrated one of that organization’s bishops…”

– A. S. Haley (Christian lawyer and The Anglican Curmudgeon) responds to TEC’s actions against Bishop William Love (pictured).

Is freedom of religion a human right? – Livestream from The Centre for Christian Living

From Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living.

Wednesday 27 May 2020 at 8:00pm:

“In our part of the world (Australia) we enjoy religious freedom. But the current debate over the Religious Discrimination Bill (now in its second draft) may bring some of that freedom into question.

Michael Kellahan, the Executive Director of Freedom for Faith, will help us understand the Australian cultural and political context that has made this issue so contentious, and CCL Director Chase Kuhn will help us think through the biblical and theological principles that help Christians appreciate the goodness and complexity of contending for religious freedom.

We hope you will join us (virtually) for our first livestream only event!”

They also write:

Please note: online bookings will close 12pm AEDT Wednesday 27 May. Instructions will be emailed to all attendees a couple of hours before the start of the event.

The pandemic is making it harder to deliver medically assisted death, doctors say

“Some doctors say the pandemic is making it harder to provide medically assisted deaths to patients who request them, due to shortages of protective masks and gowns and last-minute scrambles to find places to perform the procedure…

One patient in Ontario had the procedure performed in a funeral home… The patient was given a room and had their life ended with medical help on the premises, she said. The patient’s funeral arrangements also took place there …”

– Story from the CBC (Canada) via the Anglican Samizdat.

Cancel culture is coming for Christianity

“How awake are British Christians to the threat to their freedom of speech and assembly from the virus of cancel culture?

One of its latest victims is a politically incorrect Pentecostal organisation called Destiny Church. Destiny had planned to hold a three-day conference in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall in June. But shortly before the coronavirus lockdown, Edinburgh Council, which owns the venue, cancelled the event. It cited the views of one of the advertised speakers, US preacher Larry Stockstill. Stocksill has said that homosexual behaviour is ‘not accepted by God’…”

– Julian Mann, who left the Church of England after a long incumbency in South Yorkshire, writes at spiked.

California bill would require stores to feature gender-neutral sections for children’s goods

A bill set to be considered by the California State Assembly this month would punish large retailers in the state for having separate sections for children’s merchandise based only on gender.…”

– Report from the Washington Examiner.

Albert Mohler discusses the story in his daily Briefing – for 10th March 2020. (Part III.)

Are we living out Romans 1?

“Practicing homosexuals — of which I was once one — may not be conscious of the larger, biblical meaning of their sin as outlined in Romans 1, but it would be to their betterment if they were. …”

– Rosaria Champagne Butterfield gives some very insightful comments at Desiring God.

Related:

An Atheist and a Pastor on Same-Sex Relations and the Image of the Self – Justin Taylor.

The Culture of Death Reclaims Ground in Germany: A Renewed Threat to Human Life

“When suicide becomes an option, it will not just be one option among others. We can easily see the deathly logic inherent in the loss of human dignity as a pillar of society. The most vulnerable and aging will be told, at some point, ‘You have simply become too expensive. Healthcare resources are wasted on you because you have no hope of recovery. You need to get out of the way in order to free up needed medical funds and resources for others.’

It won’t be said exactly in those words – that would be too intellectually honest for this worldview. But make no mistake, that is indeed the internal reasoning of a worldview system that utterly rejects human dignity and the sanctity of life. …”

– Albert Mohler writes bluntly about the past and the future of the Culture of Death. Well worth reading.

It pays to hold your nerve in the Transgender Debate

“As Douglas Murray observes in his book The Madness of Crowds, we’re making long term decisions about people’s sexual and mental health based on untested ideas that have been around for the past twenty minutes.  And now people are starting to take a reality check. …”

– Stephen McAlpine sees signs that the tide beginning to turn. Image: BBC.

Despondent Tasmanians need hope, not darkness

Here’s a media release from The Australian Christian Lobby:

The Australian Christian Lobby encourages hope and purpose, even in the final chapter of people’s lives so that despondent Tasmanians would not choose to prematurely end their own lives.

‘The bill proposed by Mike Gaffney MLC is very concerning, as it goes much further than the current models legalised in Victoria and Western Australia. In those states, a person must be terminally ill and have only 6-12 months to live. Mr Gaffney’s bill expands the barriers beyond that, removing the terminal illness requirement. People who have an irreversible medical condition could access euthanasia,’ observed ACL Tasmania director, Christopher Brohier.

‘There is also no requirement for a psychiatric assessment. Lethal drugs could be administered to someone who is depressed or suffering anxiety,’ Mr Brohier added, ‘Under the bill, consultation on euthanasia could be by video link, a process with no rigour. Fortunately, telecommunications services cannot be used to promote suicide – though advocates are also looking to overturn that law as well.’

‘Then we have the horrifying spectre on the horizon if Mr Gaffney’s bill becomes law. He proposes, within 2 years of euthanasia being given to adults, that it be extended to children.‘

‘Do Tasmanians want more suicides or less?‘ Mr Brohier asked, ‘When you consider the tragedy of suicide and the many efforts being made to prevent it, the answer must be less. We reject calls to legalise assisted suicide in Tasmania.‘ ”

Source.

Related:

Euthanasia: an unfolding national tragedy – Australian Christian Lobby.

Progression or Regression? – David Cook (on what’s happening in Victoria)

And other posts concerning euthanasia on this website.

Progression or Regression?

David Cook writes:

On 1st December 2018, election night in Victoria, the victorious Premier, Daniel Andrews stated that ‘Victoria is the most progressive state in the nation.’

Having spent the month of February, 2020 in Victoria, progression is not the adjective l would have used.

How’s this for a ‘progressive list’:

All this in a State with some of our nation’s finest cultural icons, The MCG, The Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas, the finest collection of Australian art in the nation, more theatres per head of population than any other Australian city.

I am preaching in a Church in the central business district of Melbourne where my closest Protestant neighbouring Churches both unashamedly endorse the same sex marriage agenda of the state.

And the Premier, Daniel Andrews, who presides over all this, is a practicing Roman Catholic, one wonders when a Priest or Bishop will have the courage to place him under Christian discipline.

In Romans 1 the apostle Paul makes it clear that ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven’, he does not say it will be revealed in the future but it is being revealed now. (Rom 1: 18)

Why? Because humankind has exchanged the glory of God for idolatrous images, (Rom 1: 25) and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator. (Rom 1: 25)

Idolatry is the lie (Rom 1:25) and God’s wrath is evidenced in that he gives mankind up to the fruit of that exchange.

Paul says, God gave them over

(Rom 1: 24) to uncleanness

(Rom 1: 26) to scrambled sexual expression

(Rom 1: 28) to debased mind

The mind, the attitudes, the worldview of humanity is thus under the judgement of God, the mind is counterfeit and incapable of making proper moral judgements. (Rom 1: 28-32)

Such a mind calls regression, progression!

The only hope is the new life, the new heart, which comes through the Christian gospel by the gift of God.

The moral man, Nicodemus, in John 3 must be converted to see or enter God’s  Kingdom and the same opportunity and need is offered to the immoral woman who is offered living water by Jesus in John 4.

Paul makes it clear that due to the mercies of God we are given new minds, from which the judgement of God has been lifted and by the renewing of these minds we are being transformed.

We are people of a new mind, minds which are able to ‘discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect’. (Rom 12: 2)

Pray that Daniel Andrews will experience God’s mercy.

In one of the mid-week services here l preached on John 3, ‘Jesus and Nicodemus’ under the heading, ‘Why Daniel Andrews is wrong’.

Thankfully l am still free to preach in the Commonwealth of Australia if not, it is a quick car trip of 3 hours back to the border, to good old regressive NSW!!

– Rev David Cook 18.02.2020

(David Cook has served as Principal of SMBC and also as Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia as well as in parish ministry. Inset photo courtesy St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

Frankin Graham Event and the Glasgow Hydro Arena

“The cancellation by the SSE Hydro in Glasgow of the Franklin Graham event is a deeply disturbing decision that is antithetical to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and to true democratic values. …”

– Members of the West of Scotland Gospel Partnership have signed this letter of support for Franklin Graham, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

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