Tuesday 29 March 2016

Christian magistrate, who was removed from the bench by the Lord Chancellor for his Biblical beliefs about marriage and family life, has since been suspended by an NHS Trust from his post as a non-executive director.
In yet another example of the way in which Christians are being forced out of public life for holding Bible-based beliefs Richard Page, 69, has been told by NHS bosses that he has been suspended from his position whilst the NHS Trust Development Authority "considers whether it is in the interests of the health service" for him to remain in his post

Richard's immediate suspension comes only three weeks after he was removed from office as a Justice of the Peace, after 15 years of loyal service to the Kent Magistrates bench.

Initiating the sequence of events which led to his suspension, Andrew Ling, Chair of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) wrote to the NHS Trust Development Authority asking them to consider suspending Mr Page after his removal by the Lord Chancellor.

In the letter Mr Ling claims that Richard's comments, and continuance as a Trust member would have a major impact on staff, patients and "the perception of living the Trust values".
Mr Ling stated: "The recent publicity you have courted is likely to further undermine the confidence staff, particularly Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) staff, have in the leadership of the Trust”. He added: “Links between the stigma often associated with being LGBT and poor mental health are well established. It is vital that patients and local population are confident that KMPT will challenge stigma or discrimination and treat everyone fairly and impartially".

Richard expressed his beliefs in late 2014, after hearing an adoption case. Richard could not agree with his fellow magistrates that placing a child into the care of a same-sex couple was 'in the child's best interest'.

He was then reported, reprimanded, and forced to attend 're-education training'.

In March last year, Richard spoke on a national television programme, stating that there was insufficient evidence to convince him that placing a child in the care of a same sex couple was in the child's best interests.

Following his media comments, an investigation was carried out by a disciplinary panel, and he was eventually removed from office by the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor.

Richard is appealing the decision to the Judicial Appointments Conduct Ombudsman, Sir John Brigstocke, and is suing the Lord Chancellor. He is being supported in his actions by the Christian Legal Centre.

Initiating the sequence of events which led to his suspension, Andrew Ling, Chair of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) wrote to the NHS Trust Development Authority asking them to consider suspending Mr Page after his removal by the Lord Chancellor.

In the letter Mr Ling claims that Richard's comments, and continuance as a Trust member would have a major impact on staff, patients and "the perception of living the Trust values".

Commenting on his suspension, Richard, who has worked in the field of mental health for 20 years, said:

"Two days ago, the Prime Minister distributed an Easter video in which he commended Christians, and the Church for their vital role in society, stating that we are a Christian country and should be proud of it. However, his Government has brought in laws which effectively silence Christians and remove them from the public square. It would appear no longer possible to be a Christian, to state what the Bible actually says and what the Church has believed for 2,000 years, and maintain a role in public life in today's Britain. My seat on the NHS Trust came as a result of my long service in mental health and total commitment to the NHS

What the Prime Minister, Government and NHS Trust fail to recognise is that the reason why so many Christians make such a huge contribution to society – which they are all keen to acknowledge – is that we are all motivated to do so by our Christian faith and our love for Jesus Christ whose death and resurrection we remembered last weekend."

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and founder of the Christian Legal Centre added:

For the past decade, we at the Christian Legal Centre have been warning that Christians are being marginalised and removed from public life. We have seen it in nursing, in counselling, in teaching, amongst Registrars and now we see it amongst Magistrates and NHS Trust Executives.

"It is time for MPs to take serious note and look afresh at the Equality legislation which was badly drafted and consistently gives more rights to some groups over those of the Christian faith. Yet once again we find Britain's political leaders wiping their hands clean of Christians who are prepared to stand up for their faith. They take no responsibility for what is going on, blaming the Equality Act, citing 'freedoms' and talking of 'diversity' but it's all hot air.

"It is time for MPs and the Government to wake up and see how Christians are being forced out of our nation's public life, and to act before it is too late"

Saturday 19 March 2016

I have referred previously to the case of a Pentecostal Minister named Trayhorn who was employed as a gardener at a United Kingdom prison. He was also used to take services in the prison chapel and on one occasion when he was doing so, preached on a passage from 1 Corinthians which speaks of sexual immorality, greed and drunkenness. Perhaps Mr Trayhorn was a little naïve in thinking he could (quite properly) speak on such topic in a public building in this country without trouble following.

Inevitably someone made the complaint, four days later, (which reveals just how little it must really have upset them) that they were aggrieved at such preaching. The prison authorities then considered his gardening duties were not all they should be, and he received home visits by a manager and one of her senior prison officials.

Such action caused Mr Trayhorn to resign due to extended harassment, but a disciplinary panel was convened and in his absence issued him with a written warning.

He took his case to an Employment Tribunal and four months later a judgement was issued, which stated that there was no discrimination shown against him. Incredibly it was ruled that his message was insensitive because of the way it was received by the congregation.

You can’t help wondering what sort of mentality the people who sit on these Tribunals have. Those attending the service in the chapel went of their own accord, and most intelligent people would realise that if you go to a Christian service you will hear the Bible both read and preached upon. If you are inclined to be upset at hearing spiritual truths you should not attend. |Never has an Act of Parliament been so inappropriately named as the Equality and Diversity Act; but nevertheless it states that Ministers of religion speaking in Church could continue to preach and teach what their faith traditionally believed. Perhaps a caveat should have been added pointing out this only applies to non Christian faiths.

This case is just another of the progressive attack on Christianity in this country. Last year our duplicitous Prime Minister, whose every word we must doubt, (being in the habit of promising much prior to an election followed quickly by cancelling out,) once elected, gave an Easter message declaring his Christian credentials, and boasting this was a Christian country. No doubt we will hear similar words this year.

We must however recognise this is the most anti-Christian government that I have either known or read about in the United Kingdom; and whereas the Conservative Party was the one which used to be the most understanding of this country’s Christian heritage.

Remember; This was the Prime Minister who
sent a government lawyer to the Court of Human Rights to argue a case against a Nurse who wore a Cross at her place of work and was told if it upset her she could always find another job.

Forced through a same sex marriage act, having earlier stated he would never do so. Then aggressively refused to insert a conscience clause for Christians who did not believe in such

Has provided for inspectors to sit in religious groups to monitor and said ‘if an institution is teaching children intensively, whatever its religion, we will make it register and if it is teaching intolerance, we will shut you down. It has already been declared a ‘hate crime’ to state you don’t approve of same sex marriage.

On top of all this is the fact that such aggressive action is not extended to non Christian faiths.

Not a good recommendation for someone wanting to be known as a Christian

Saturday 12 March 2016

Live and let live is the modern mantra — and rightly so. Freedom of expression, whether it be political, sexual, social or religious, is a cornerstone of democracy’. Quote from an article by Sarah Vine (Mrs Michael Gove) in the Daily Mail .

Now read how Mr Michael Gove reacts to freedom of expression

Richard Page was a magistrate for 15 years, fully qualified and experienced who sat on a Kent Adoption Panel. In 2014 he was sitting with other magistrates at an adoption hearing and in a private discussion after the hearing to discuss what action should be taken, Richard said in good conscience he could not vote to make an order to give custody to two people of the same sex.

Some liberal busybody on the panel, with apparently little loyalty, reported him and in consequence he was reprimanded and ordered to take a diversity training course, which he did. Most sensible people would commend him and agree that every child needs a mother and father to give a balanced upbringing, as those who reported him and those who have since judged him were no doubt brought up.

Subsequently Richard took part in a television debate on BBC to discuss research conducted the Equality and Human Rights Commission, about challenges to freedom of religious belief in the United Kingdom. In this debate he repeated his belief that as a magistrate he had to consider what he felt was best for the child.

As a result of this he has now been removed from his Office as a magistrate by the Lord Chancellor Michael Gove, because of his view that there was not enough evidence to show placing children in the care of same sex couples was in their best interests.

Michael Gove has acted deplorably and perhaps should take more note of his wife, the Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine, who once wrote, ‘ Live and let live is the modern mantra — and rightly so. Freedom of expression, whether it be political, sexual, social or religious, is a cornerstone of democracy’. The same lady columnist has previously been described as homophobic for comments made about a lesbian mother.

Saturday 5 March 2016

Today we are celebrating Mothering Sunday which falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent this having been decreed in the 17th century when most people went to Church. People would walk to Church, often to the one where they had been baptised, and some would carry flags and banners. Girls in domestic service would be given time off by their employers to visit their mothers, and some would bake simnel cakes as presents.

In the United States President Woodrow Wilson passed an Act of Congress in May 1914 that the 2nd Sunday in May would be known as Mothers Day for the public expression of love and reverence for mothers. This term has been claimed in the United Kingdom rather than our understanding which emphasises the religious significance.

So let us turn to the Bible as we acknowledge the love for our mothers and as you sit here you will have fond memories of your own dear mother however many years may have passed.

The Bible states, ‘in the beginning God said it is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper for him. So the Lord God caused man to fall into a deep sleep. Then the Lord God made a woman and brought her to the man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they shall become one flesh’. God having created the earth with all its elements and animals then created man. He then saw that man was lonely and loneliness can lead to depression. God saw that man needed a companion,

So God gave woman as man’s helper, someone who can be at man’s side who will give life more meaning, pleasure and support; someone to love and cherish. God has now made two people, man and woman, Adam and Eve.
We must accept that God knows best and when he wanted man to have a companion He made a woman as the perfect answer, someone who could complement man in every way, physically and mentally in a way other men could not, and men throughout the ages have appreciated and recognised this. God wanted to supply what was lacking in man’s life and together they could have children and create the ideal family. God planned the human heart to love, marry and have children.

Motherhood is a special privilege and a sacred duty. AbrahamLincoln once remarked that no nation is greater than its mothers for they are the makers of men. The Rabbis have a saying, ‘God can’t be everywhere so He made mothers.’

A mother's love is special and unique, and God gave woman a special and caring nature for His purpose. Today we have the ridiculous and unacceptable suggestion that children can be raised by two men after some woman, known or unknown, has provided the child by some means. An American psychologist stated a child will never come to full development psychologically without a mother in the home.
The Bible is full of stories of prominent mothers,
Jochebed the mother of Moses who let an Egyptian princess bring up Moses rather than have him killed; and this morning I just want to look at the two who featured in our readings.
Eve who was the first mother

Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth, all who waited for a miracle.

Hagar driven away and disowned.

Rebecca had to raise her children in another

Rachel wept for her children,

Naomi and Ruth who rose above all the trials of life and turned hard situations into good.

Lois and Eunice , ready to share the love of Christ with their children

In our Old Testament reading we had the story of Hannah who hurt deeply because she desperately wanted to be a mother, and in her agony she cried out to God. He answered Hannah’s prayer and she literally leant her son back to God, and she made a commitment. Hannah trusted God, and taught Samuel to worship God, rejoicing in the Lord and His salvation. We dearly need mothers to day to teach their children to worship God, preferably by bringing them to Church.

Our second mother from the Bible is of course Mary, a young Jewish girl from whom the emancipation of women began when there appeared to Mary a vision from heaven and she heard the angel’s annunciation of the news that of all the women on earth she was to be the mother of our Lord, the one woman ever to wear entwined the red rose of maternity with the white rose of virginity. Mary was ready and willing to be looked down upon by all who knew her for it was shameful for an unmarried woman to have a child in those religious times. Jesus became a baby and grew up and accorded women with a new dignity so that women like Mary have been loved and respected.
God intended them to be mothers and motherhood to be of the highest calling and endowed them with special gifts. It took the 2oth century in the so called name of progress and equality to pull women down to make them like men, and some to be of the coarsest of men.

When God made the world He intended man/woman to have different characters to fulfil different functions in life, equal in every respect but not the same.

An article in a newspaper once said that women were leaving Christianity for Islam because of the greater moral code. Whilst recognising the strict Islamic moral code, it is also a fact that no religion has greater respect for women than Christianity, and we do not enslave them in clothing or direct what they are allowed to do; the Christian code is as moral as any, it is just Christians do not adopt it.

A mother’s presence in the home is essential, and there has never been a more urgent time when good mothers are needed. I have worked in every social classes of society, but have never known a Jewish child get involved in anti-social behaviour or criminal activities. I once asked a Rabbi why he thought this was so, and he told me it was due to the control the Jewish mama has over her family.

When my two sons were growing up my then occupation required me to be away from the home for many long hours, and so much care fell upon my wife. It is to her credit that they both entered the Christian ministry after being youth leaders at their local Church.

Today they are successful Vicars at Churches of their own where they have been a powerful influence in the Churches they have served.
Spiritual matters should be of concern to mothers. Promises are made at baptism services that children will be brought up in the fellowship of the Church, although few have ever any intention of honouring the promises made.

We need women who will lead their families back to more old style morality decency and purity. Children are being brought up without any religious knowledge, knowing nothing about Jesus or Biblical characters, even in the homes of whatever class of home.

An idealism prevails as to how children should behave, but it is often in modern phraseology, ‘cool’ for a child to be sexually aware. Explicit sex education is readily given, but a distinct aversion to Christian teaching. Schools play little part in educating children in religion or conduct unless the school is a private one.

Mothers continue to care and worry for their children even when they reach adulthood, and stand by them no matter what they do and even when that is not deserved. Salome the mother of James and John sought favour for them from Jesus, to whom she prayed that Jesus would show favour on her sons;and of course above all Mary the mother of Jesus.

The Bible calls on older women who have an honoured place in society, to play a major part in guiding younger women in the bringing up of children from their years of experience. We must have concern for women bringing up children in a world where all moral values are being eroded. Theirs is a big responsibility, especially when the nation’s broadcasting system gives out such foul talk and explicit scenes that cause weaker minds to think that is the natural way of life.

Sometimes women are asked on television or radio what their occupation is, and often the reply comes, ‘only a housewife and mother’. There is nothing only, such is an honourable occupation.

At this point we ought to remember all those women who do not have children and may be feeling distress today when present of chocolates and etc are being passed. Some have chosen not to be mothers rather preferring to follow a career and contribute much to society. Other women through physical or medical reasons cannot be mothers and our prayers must be for them. We also grieve for mothers who have lost a child. Whilst we may cherish memories of our mothers some will not have such pleasant thoughts.

May God bless all mothers and those longing to be mothers.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Like many people in this country I have always been fond of America. The people are generous, accomplished in many ways and are unashamedly proud of their country, its beautiful anthem, and its flag. It has provided the world with resources especially in the field of entertainment, and its Forces assisted this country in the last war.

It produced the greatest preacher in Christian history in Billy Graham; still has some fine Churches, although it seems to have lost quite a bit of its religious zeal. The Episcopalian Church has offended most of the rest of the Anglican Communion with its policy of acting liberally against the teaching of Scripture.

How disappointing to see the way it has down graded. Boys who think they should be girls are by edict of a Federal agency been given authority to use girls’ facilities under pain of penalty to the schools who refuse to implement such appalling direction. Same sex marriage forced upon the individual States by liberal judges in the Supreme Court; punitive penalties imposed on those who show objection to the same on religious grounds, and an intolerant civil liberties lobby which has a phobia against Christians.

But how could a country which has such ability in some things ever come to have elected the President they have. Now they look as if they are going to do the same again. People here say why worry about them, but when America catches a cold we get pneumonia.

They have had some really sound men begging the Republican nomination; men like Marc Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, John Kasich, any of whom would have made a wonderful President, yet Donald Trump looks to have sealed it for himself, a man with no political experience of note, one who’s c.v. would be widely rejected in other places. I have heard him numerous times and yet to hear what his policies are; he has a great sound bite which resonates with the more macho, gung ho types. What a horrifying thought to think Trump has his finger available for the nuclear button, yet look at the alternative on the other side, so much a nightmare thought to lead the free world that even Trump seems acceptable.

God bless America might become God help America (and the rest of us)