Wednesday 29 April 2015

Happily we have one Political Party in the United Kingdom which is on the side of Christians.


Here is a message from the leader, Nigel Farage

Christianity plays a significant part in my vision for the future of Britain.

I have been saying for a long time that we need a much more muscular defence of our Christian heritage and our Christian Constitution. This does not of course mean we should be disrespectful of other faiths, only that ours is fundamentally a Christian nation and so we believe Christianity should be recognised by Government at all levels.

Sadly, I think UKIP is the only major political party left in Britain that still cherishes our Judaeo-Christian heritage. I believe other parties have deliberately marginalised our nation’s faith, whereas we take Christian values and traditions into consideration when making policy.

Take the family, for instance. Traditional Christian views of marriage and family life have come under attack of late, whereas we have no problem in supporting and even promoting conventional marriage as a firm foundation for a secure and happy family.

We share with Christians a concern for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, and our policies provide a financial safety net for those who are unable to work, while encouraging self-reliance and endeavour for those who can. Our attitude to overseas development works in the same way: by re-focusing the foreign aid budget towards critical and essential aid for those in need and widening investment in free trade relationships, developing countries benefit more in the longer term from having a hand up, as well as a hand out.

I believe UKIP has a lot to offer Christians, and we certainly value the participation of Christians in politics and in UKIP.

(Nigel Farage)

Included in the Party’s Manifesto is the following,

Freedom of Worship UKIP is proud of Britain’s Judaeo-Christian heritage. It underpins our culture, our legal code and our system of governance. We will stand up for it because we believe it is as integral, relevant and important a part of life in Britain today as it has ever been.

We will uphold robustly the rights of Christians, as well as those of other faiths, to worship as they wish and to espouse their beliefs openly, within the limits of the common law. People’s religious beliefs are their own affair and all people should be allowed to live their lives as they choose, as far as is possible within a free, tolerant and civilised society.

Families are fundamentally important to society and we believe children are best brought up within safe, secure, happy families. We recognise the valuable role played by the traditional family unit in society and will never discriminate against traditional marriage.

UKIP will support families by increasing the transferrable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners to £1500, benefitting spouses who do not use all of their personal allowance because they look after children, work part time, or do not pay tax.

To help prevent children losing contact with their fathers when couples break up, UKIP will introduce an initial presumption of 50/50 shared parenting in child custody matters. Grandparents will be given visiting rights too, unless it can be shown to the satisfaction of the Family Court that there is a good reason to withhold such rights.

Church repairs 14,500 churches in Britain are listed buildings. Church repairs used to be free from VAT, but in 2012 the Chancellor applied the standard rate of VAT, forcing up bills for parishes and communities nationwide. UKIP will cut VAT back to just 5% to help maintain our churches as both heritage buildings and vibrant, thriving places of worship. Outside of the EU, we can

Monday 20 April 2015

Charles Wesley
I conducted a service in remembrance of Charles Wesley, in which we sang thirteen of his favourite hymns, including prayers and a bible reading. It was a most satisfying and interesting experience.

Most people consider John Wesley to be the founder of the Methodist Church whereas in fact it was Charles. He was the founder of the Holy Club in Oxford from which the term Methodists was created. John later joined and indeed proved a great influence, and together with his brother brought many people to faith, he by his preaching and Charles through the lovely words and the theology of his hymns.

Charles himself was a talented preacher and two of the themes he preached strongly on were salvation through Christ alone, and the doctrine of heaven and hell.

I fear if Charles is aware of the some of the beliefs and preaching in the Church generally today, he will be very disturbed.

Charles was an Anglican priest who changed to become a Methodist. However he never wished to separate from the Church of England and on his deathbed sent for the local Vicar and asked to be buried in the local Anglican Church graveyard, saying, ‘Sir whatever the world may say of me, I lived and died a member of the Church of England. Please bury me in your Churchyard’.

Some of his hymns portray a distinct High Church doctrine, and he differed from John in that he saw the importance of an ordained ministry. In fact, he expressed strong views on the use of lay preachers, which makes one wonder how he would have dealt with the situation today where there are almost as many lay preachers as ordained.

Charles was one who wrote as he thought and he saw the importance of conversion and a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. He became vividly convinced of the message of salvation, and saw clearer than ever before how faith in Jesus Christ could change a person’s life. This was the message he would take to as many people as he could, particularly to the poorer classes. He preached that the value of a person’s life was to be measured by their faith.

Saturday 18 April 2015

General election comment

We have saturation cover about the forthcoming General Election in our newspapers, on radio and television. We have so many commentators forecasting and analysing speeches, and most come to the conclusion that there will be a ‘hung’ Parliament. Some, rather idealistically, think the Conservatives will get a majority.

I am quite sure this will not happen. David Cameron destroyed the Party’s chances when he introduced same sex marriage. Many people like me who have voted Conservative all our lives are not prepared to sacrifice our principles, but instead will turn to the Party which truly holds conservative views, namely UKIP.

There is a tremendous arrogance by some politicians. Nicola Sturgeon who initially gained admiration has become more arrogant and unpleasant by the day, attacking any who hold non Socialist views. Michael Gove, Theresa May, contemptuously dismiss any deal with UKIP. At least the latter Party’s views are sincerely held, and whilst there are some who are a bit on the wild side, that is not confined to UKIP, all parties have far more. But they don’t change with the wind. May and Nicky Morgan once held firm views on marriage and sexuality, but both suddenly felt they were wrong, coincidentally when they were offered Cabinet Office. Civil unions were acceptable to most people, but re-defining what God ordained is most certainly not acceptable.

I am well aware that Labour, and especially the Liberal Democrats,are in favour of same sex marriage, but Labour did not introduce a Bill to legalise, nor did they make false promises like Cameron, who said he had no intention of doing so. From what I have read,
his wife is ‘gay friendly’, so that may have been an influence.

When the legislation was introduced we were told there would be no compulsion on people to accept, but since then anyone daring to open their mouth to voice opposition has been subjected to harassment, suspension from work or social membership. A simple request for a freedom of conscience clause has been aggressively refused. Such is the pressure against any freedom of conscience we have no right to pass criticism of any other nation violating people's rights.

What is very aggravating, is to read and hear David Cameron pretending he is a committed Christian having introduced legislation which is so anti-Christian, and adding he is such an advocate of free speech. When he went to China on a trade mission he was promising protesters he would make his views on human rights known. Under his leadership, he makes China look the most liberal of nations.

Let us look at some incidents of freedom of speech and conscience in David Cameron’s Britain.

Punished for Believing in Marriage Redefining marriage is sold as a permissive measure, but it will quickly become coercive. In fact, it already has. Too many people have already been punished for expressing their sincere beliefs about marriage. Wherever marriage is redefined, people are punished for their beliefs.

Lillian Ladele was pushed out of her job as a registrar at Islington Council for asking her managers to accommodate her belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Ashers Baking Company, owned by the McArthur family, was taken to court by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland for declining to produce a progay marriage campaign cake.

A teacher from London was demoted to the role of support teacher after she refused to read a story book which promoted gay parenting. The school wanted to promote homosexuality, which included reading books in class.

All Roman Catholic adoption agencies in England have been forced to close or abandon their religious ethos because of their policy of only placing children with traditionally married couples.

The owner of Daintree Paper, a small stationery shop in Dublin, was driven out of business following a campaign by LGBT activists because he wouldn’t display a wedding cake topper consisting of two grooms in his shop.

Manchester housing manager Adrian Smith was demoted and had his salary cut by 40 per cent, all because he said gay weddings in churches would be “an equality too far”. He wrote those four words outside work time on his personal Facebook page which was not visible to the general public.

Young girls at an orthodox Jewish school in England were questioned by school inspectors about whether they knew that two men could marry, despite same-sex marriage being contrary to Jewish teaching.

A Christian Concern conference about redefining marriage was banned from using the Law Society HQ and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre because they claimed it breached ‘diversity’ policies. It took two years and legal action before both venues reversed their decisions.

Revd Brian Ross was ’forced out’ of his job as a volunteer chaplain for Strathclyde Police after officers complained about comments he made on his personal blog objecting to the attempted redefinition of the “God ordained institution of marriage as between a man and a woman”.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull were ordered to pay £3,600 in damages because their B&B in Cornwall had a policy of only allowing married couples to share a double bed.

Nursery worker Sarah Mbuyi from London was fired for answering a question from a colleague about whether she believed in same-sex marriage.

A child was reduced to tears after being berated by his teacher for expressing the belief that marriage was between a man and a woman, according to a report published by the English Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Mario Conti, the then Archbishop of Glasgow, was reported to the police by Patrick Harvie – a Green Party MSP in the Edinburgh parliament – after he spoke out in support of traditional marriage in a sermon.

A couple in England were blocked from adopting because of their views on same-sex marriage. Only after the couple contacted lawyers did the adoption agency have a change of heart.

The UK advertising watchdog investigated advertisements produced in support of traditional marriage following complaints of homophobia from gay marriage campaigners. The ad showed wedding photographs and a poll result showing that 70 per cent of people wanted to “keep marriage as it is”.

Bus driver Arthur McGeorge faced disciplinary action by his bosses in northern England because he shared a petition backing traditional marriage with colleagues at work during his break time.

Dick and Betty Odgaard, a couple from Iowa, USA, faced legal action and threatening phone calls because they refused to rent out their wedding venue for a same-sex marriage ceremony.

Andrew McClintock was forced to resign as a magistrate in Sheffield because he didn’t believe placing children with same-sex couples was in their best interests. He lost his discrimination case at an employment appeal tribunal.

Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, received hate mail – some of a racist nature – after he spoke out against the UK Government’s plans to redefine marriage. North Yorkshire Police investigated the correspondence as hate crimes.

Marriage registrar Margaret Jones was fired by Central Bedfordshire Council because she held to traditional beliefs about marriage. An employment appeal later ruled that her employers had acted wrongly, and she was offered her job back.

Former MP and SNP leader Gordon Wilson lost his position on the board of Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau after other board members objected to his criticism of the Scottish Government’s attempt to redefine marriage.

David Burrowes MP received death threats after he said redefining marriage is unnecessary because civil partnerships already give same-sex couples legal equality with married couples.

British Red Cross volunteer Bryan Barkley was dismissed after 18 years’ service for holding up a sign saying “No Same Sex Marriage”. The Red Cross said Mr Barkley’s views were not in line with their ‘neutral’ position on same se marriage

Gilcomston Church was prevented from holding its Sunday services in the Copthorne Hotel in Aberdeen because of the church’s views on sex and marriage.

And so it goes on.....................Need any more be said?

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Christians in this country are coming under ever more increasing pressures and harassment. There are constant cases arising where they are suspended for issues which would not be applied to other faiths.

Preachers voicing their faith in public places have been arrested, and in one case in Perth a Minister was arrested on the grounds that he was disturbing the peace with his shouting, whilst at the same time a street busker was playing amplified music without any action being taken against him.

In another case a Police Sergeant sought public assistance in obtaining evidence against a street preacher in Taunton to support a prosecution, yet a Muslim preacher had Police protection when preaching in a London street.

Fortunately, we have a legal body willing and able to represent Christians when and where action is wrongly taken against them.

Christian Concern is a legal body founded by Andrea Williams, a barrister, committed evangelical Christian, and member of the Church of England General Synod.

The Centre represent and defend individuals and churches that suffer discrimination and challenges because of their desire to live and work according to their religious beliefs. They have figured prominently in cases which have attracted widespread publicity where Christians have been denied (their) human rights.

The work carried out by the legal team is to be strongly commended for we face in this country a judiciary which has shown not only little sympathy for the Christian cause, but at times open hostility. I fear without such devotion by their lawyers to our faith, the people represented would have suffered at the hands of Tribunals and Courts.

The Centre seeks to infuse a biblical worldview into society and be a strong Christian voice in the public sphere, speaking passionately for the truth of the gospel, and defending historic freedoms that this nation has enjoyed for so many years. In so doing, society in general can benefit. By seeking to highlight injustice it may be possible to influence public opinion on matters of key importance and establish true freedom to all.

A typical example of their representation occurred this week

An Employment Tribunal in London has ruled that a Christian occupational therapist was wrong to talk to her Muslim colleague about Christianity.

Victoria’s colleague had encouraged Victoria to talk about her faith, willingly agreed that she could pray for her and even accepted an invitation to a church charity event.

Despite the fact that Victoria didn't force her views on her colleague at any point, in June 2013 her colleague made a formal complaint. Victoria was then suspended for 9 months pending an investigation.

This happened even though her colleague had never complained to Victoria personally and had often initiated discussions about Victoria’s faith.

In February 2014 an internal disciplinary panel found her guilty of three charges of misconduct related to the accusations of “bullying and harassment”. Now the Employment Tribunal has backed up the decision of Victoria’s employer.

Victoria Wasteney has worked as a senior occupational therapist in east London for eight years and has an exemplary record.

But an Employment Tribunal has now backed Victoria’s employer, the East London NHS Foundation Trust, claiming that it was inappropriate for her to pray for her colleague, give her a Christian book and invite her to church events.

The decision leaves Victoria out in the cold for being open and honest about her Christian faith. It also leaves unchallenged workplace environments that are increasingly restrictive when it comes to discussing faith at work.

Commenting after, Victoria stated,: “I conducted all my conversations with my colleague in a sensitive and appropriate way. I knew she was from a different faith background and I was respectful of that. Surely there should be room for mutual conversations about faith, where appropriate, in the workplace?

“I am extremely disappointed with the Tribunal’s decision to side with my employer. There is already an unnatural caginess around faith and belief which is an obstruction to building meaningful relationships in the workplace.

“This decision will only perpetuate that, to the detriment of working relationships in the NHS.”

Andrea Williams, commenting on the case said, “Are these the kind of workplaces we want, where people are forced to hide their identity and the things that matter most to them? Such an environment is detrimental to meaningful working relationships and ultimately to productivity.

“With the general election fast approaching, what will political parties do about the place of Christianity in the workplace, particularly in the NHS?

“The current ‘equality and diversity’ framework is having the opposite effect to what was intended. It is driving different people apart, not bringing them together, by breeding an atmosphere of mistrust in which people constantly feel as if they are walking on eggshells.

“Victoria’s case clearly demonstrates this. What will our politicians do to restore trust in the workplace?”

I will answer that, absolutely nothing. We have largely a bunch of atheists amongst our politicians, although some posture as Christians when they think a few votes may be obtained.

I would encourage Christians, and others with Christian sympathy, to support the work of the Centre. This you can do practically by donating to their work at

Christian Concern
Christian Legal Centre
70 Wimpole Street

Sunday 12 April 2015

The Gospel passage for this Sunday comes from John’s gospel in Chapter 20, and is the story of Jesus appearance to His Apostles in the Upper Room on the evening of the first Easter Sunday.

The Apostles were in the Upper Room, terrified in fear for their lives. This was because rumours had been spread around Jerusalem that Jesus had been seen, and they feared the authorities might take action against them. The doors were firmly shut yet Jesus appeared in the room to the amazement, but also joy of the men. This suggests that His body was a supernatural body, and so if we are to be like Him in heaven our future bodies will also be supernatural also.

Jesus greeted them with the traditional Jewish words ‘peace be with you’, and then showed them His hands and side to prove that it was the same Jesus they had known when they were with Him, the One who had been crucified on the Cross.

Then Jesus gave them command saying, just as God had sent Him He was now sending them out to preach the gospel in His name. This is essentially and fundamentally what the Church should and must be doing, preaching the gospel that He left us and abandoning all the modern fancy ideas to please society. We don’t go out saying the Bible says…,but, I’ve got a better idea, we go in His name saying what He said.

Jesus also said He was giving them the Holy Spirit in which they could forgive people’s sins, or if necessary to refuse to do so. It is from these that the Church can claim authority to pronounce absolution. This in turn leads to dispute amongst some Christians as to whether that justifies the belief that a priest is necessary.

Every Christian can seek forgiveness from God directly, but if we are considering wanting to make a confession of sins and seeking assurance, then for good order and discipline one could reasonably state a priest is the person to approach rather than just any member of the Church. I have known instances where people have met for study groups and during the meeting been invited and encouraged to speak out on personal troubles, which is quite seriously unwise as there is no moral demands on friends to keep confidentiality. There is no doubt that by talking out a worrying matter, it can ease one’s mind, but a priest (or ordained minister) is the one who should be approached.

At this first meeting of Jesus with the Apostles, Thomas was not present but he was told by the other Apostles what had taken place, and Thomas being known for his scepticism refused to believe them. A week later however he is back with them in the Upper Room when Jesus again appears and Thomas realises his lack of faith and makes the confession with the deeply committed words, ‘my Lord and my God’.

We must not criticise Thomas, it must have been hard to believe that someone so cruelly put to death should appear alive, it was a unique act in all history and people do have imaginary visions. How many times have you heard people telling of having seen tears fall from a statue, or of people being touched on the forehead and then falling to the floor in convulsions at some charismatic meeting?

Jesus wanted to show the Apostles, and by extension to Christians through the ages, that His was a tangible bodily resurrection, and there was much evidence to prove so. Of course the liberal lobby in the Church today would prefer to go with the doubters and suggest it was a theoretical and spiritual resurrection rather than a physical one.

Far too many preachers submit to the universal belief that all will go to heaven so we don’t need to believe Jesus died just to save those who accept Him as Saviour. God however allows us all free choice but we will have to live with the choice we make, and one day those who doubt that a personal commitment to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour is necessary, will have a consequence too awful to contemplate.

When you receive Communion this Sunday you are part of a tradition which has been passed down from that Upper Room. Many people have tried, and are now trying harder than ever to take Christianity out of public life, but while empires have come and gone, the Christian Church has survived, and millions and millions of people have found their lives enriched by their faith, and the words of Jesus are still relevant, ‘the gates of hell will not prevail against it’

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Who will you vote for?

David Cameron shamelessly posted a message on a social media site to give the impression he has Christian credentials. I imagine that with the election just a month away, and realising many of the true Conservative supporters are considering voting UKIP, he felt it might get a few more votes.
I thought it would be interesting to hear what he had to say, having noticed that at Easter a Christian message was omitted from the website of No 10, despite all other faiths having a message when their religious festivals were being held.
Having started off saying how important Christianity is, and emphasising this is a Christian country, he unbelievably stated the ‘right to have freedom of belief’. So let us consider the record of HIS government since taking Office in 2010.

A family doctor removed from an adoption panel for believing children need a mother and father.

A Government minister makes a submission to the European Court saying that wearing a Cross is not a manifestation of the Christian faith.

A Govern minister submits to the same Court that saying belief in marriage as between a man and a woman is not a manifestation of the Christian faith.

A judge at an Employment Tribunal rules that keeping Sunday as a day of rest is not a core component of the Christian faith.
The Prime Minister (David Cameron) passionately introduces same sex marriage into law despite it not being in the Party’s Manifesto, and despite him prior to the election saying he would not do so.

Street preachers arrested in London, Perth, Cumbria, Basildon, just for declaring their faith.

Pal Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, bans a Christian organisation for declaring opposition to homosexuality, but allows homosexual support group to promote its message on London buses. Then in an appeal gives contradictory evidence.

Parliament, with the Prime Minister’s support, approves genetically modified babies but rejects explicit ban on gender abortion.

When the Prime Minister was asked in Parliament if he would support a conscience clause in the same sex marriage bill, he aggressively refused to do so.

And Christians are asked to vote ‘Conservative’? Perhaps when the Party has a new leader.

Sunday 5 April 2015

This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus as countless millions have done so over the centuries, but we face a battle to proclaim our message as secular extremists try to create a spiritual vacuum. Our message is that Jesus Christ is the One who died on a Cross for the forgiveness of our sins and rose again on the third day. That is unique feat which no other religion can match.

The story begins with Mary Magdelene, the one who loved Jesus dearly because of the help He had given her, being last at the Cross and first at the tomb crying bitterly. She ran for Peter who with John ran to the tomb, and John being the younger got their first, but he let Peter enter the tomb being the stronger character. They realised Jesus must have risen as He had foretold, for there were no clothes present.

We notice here two believers, one gentle and reserved as John, whilst Peter was always more impulsive and decisive, each revealing their devotion in different ways. There is room for all characters in the Church. The men left the scene, but Mary stayed and was rewarded when she became the first person to meet the risen Lord. Jesus spoke one word to her and she flung herself at His feet. He told her to go and tell the disciples what she had found.

This is what Easter is all about, the real spiritual message that Jesus rose from the dead, not the money making enterprise it has become. Easter is celebrated to remind us that when our days on this earth are over we have the assurance we shall live with our Lord if we have accepted Him as Saviour. The resurrection is the foundation of Christianity.

Whilst there is much about our faith that is respected by people who are not practising Christians, such as being forgiven of sin, hearing that God is love (very popular), but they think that is a free for all without any commitment. They will come to Church for a baptism and make all sorts of promises simply because it is a necessary requirement, but they don’t take things seriously or literally. Things are not made any easier by the irresponsible liberals within the Church who themselves question much of the faith.

If someone had said a hundred years ago that we could sit in our homes and by watching a box in the corner of the room show events then happening on the other side of the world; or that by taking a small handset pressing a few buttons you could speak to someone in any part of the world they would have been deemed to be insane. Yet it happens every day by man’s efforts, and we still question what the Almighty God can achieve.

If Easter had not happened; if Jesus had not been raised from the dead, then we have no faith. Christianity rises and falls on the resurrection of Jesus. This has been proclaimed down the ages and if not true, the Bible writers would have lied and millions of people would have made great sacrifices in the cause of the faith in vain. Why would educated men like Paul, and down to earth fishermen, lie when they had nothing to gain by doing so? Paul had a brilliant mind, one of the finest minds of his day and was a determined opponent of Christianity, yet God convinced him and in consequence Paul suffered very much for the sake of the gospel.

If Jesus had not been raised there would be nor forgiveness, we would have no future, but the evidence is overwhelming in favour. First century witnesses and documents tell. We have testimony from men present at that time that the resurrection of Jesus was real, objective and physical, This is what the Church has always believed in over two thousand years of Christina witness that has sustained the hearts of millions.

The Apostles Creed does not say I believe in the forgiveness of sins and the spiritual resurrection of Jesus, it says I believed in the resurrection of the body.

After the resurrection we find the Apostles preaching openly and fearlessly, and suffering violently for doing so. Men do not invent stories to be put in prison and get beaten up, or hung on a cross like Peter.

Through centuries that have followed, brilliant men and women have experienced the same fellowship and power in their lives, often giving up lucrative careers to serve as missionaries and in Christian ministry.

When the stone was rolled away, it let not only Jesus out, but let Him into our hearts. The resurrection happened 2,000 years ago, but the risen Lord Jesus has continued to meet with those who seek him ever since