Friday 27 December 2019

      Matthew 2 v 1/12    Luke 2 v.21/40
Last week we looked at the story of the birth of Jesus, the greatest story ever told, and this week there are three other stories closely related to the birth, which follow in later days.

Whenever the story of Jesus birth is portrayed in Nativity plays, the story of three wise men who went to give presents to Jesus is also included.

The wise men came from the East in that part of the world which is now called Iran, previously and for many years Persia.  They were teachers and men of holiness skilled in astronomy, philosophy and medicine. In their country no act of worship could be carried out without one of their tribe being present.  They believed a person’s destiny was determined by a star under which one was born.  This may be a nice legend, but there was an expectation they knew something great was going to happen and they looked for a star to guide them. God provided that star.

Herod who had been appointed by Rome to rule over occupied Israel became aware that a visit of wise men was taking place to look for a baby being born who would be king of the Jews.  He became very worried about his own position, as did all the people for they knew if Herod became upset, they would feel the effects.  He had already killed his wife and three sons, so there was justified   fear.  Herod sent for the wise men and told them if they found the baby to return and tell him so he too could visit him.

The wise men identified the star and followed it until it finally came to a rest. The story of Jesus being born in a stable is thought to be an exaggeration, and rather his parents lived in a house which was more like a part of a cave in a hillside, and animals were kept in a stable and brought into the house at night.

The wise men found the baby and on doing so ‘bowed down and worshipped him.’ They took gold to represent him being a King, for gold was associated with royalty. They took frankincense which was associated with God, whenever service was offered to God this was used, so in this case Jesus was being used in the service of God.   He would be a bridge builder between man and God, and enable men and women to enter into the very presence of God. Myrrh, the third gift was used in burial, so Jesus would one day face death in the service of God. 

How poignant is it that here were three men from a pagan country recognizing Jesus as a King, yet children in a so-called Christian nation in the Diocese of Essex were not allowed to call Jesus, king or Lord, but referred to as a baby Jesus. What an appalling, disgraceful, and shameful occurrence.  

The wise men were warned by God not to inform Herod but to return to their native land by a different way, which they did.

Another story which follows on is that of Jesus being presented in the Temple.
Luke 2 v 21-40

Like every Jewish boy Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day after birth, something that had been done for 2000 years and was very significant to a Jew as part of their history, which had been passed down the male line. This act was part of a promise made to Abraham by God,

God made the promise that Abraham would be the father of many descendants, and through him all nations would be blessed, and this would be accompanied by the sign, and Jesus was in that male line. If Jesus had not gone through this ceremony He could not have been accepted in the line of David.

The name of Jesus was given by special command of God meaning Saviour, so we know Him as one to deliver us from sin and evil.  He had submitted to this ancient ceremony although it was not strictly necessary as the Son of God, which should encourage us to make sacrifices and perform tasks readily in the service of God.
Jesus being the first-born son, made Him sacred to God, and every first born who was a boy was treated as such. According to Jewish custom the parents could buy back their son for the price of five shekels, which had to be paid to the priests within 31 days after birth.   This ritual was to remind the Jews that one night when the Israelites were in Egypt and all the little boys were slain, the Jewish children were spared.

God has the right to the first things in our life, so when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple, they did not buy him back, they said, ‘Lord this is your boy’, which meant from the age of twelve the Lord would have Him completely.
We move on now to meet two older people. The first a man named Simeon who is described as a devout man, but otherwise we know nothing about him.  We are only told that the Holy Spirit led him to the Temple when the child Jesus was taken there.  Simeon took the child in his arms and said the words which have been said in every Church of England since its inception, the words of the Nunc Dimmittus.
Simeon believed things had to be left in God’s hands, and God had through the Holy Spirit given him assurance that before he died, he would see God’s own appointed one. There was therefore excitement in Simeon's soul when he heard that promise that he would actually witness this great coming. He was the only Jew who knew when the Messiah would come.  Others had been anxiously waiting for hundreds of years and were guessing just as some are doing now, but one day as he was worshipping the Holy Spirit spoke to him. After all those years of silence, at last the promise was going to come true.   When he saw Jesus, he knew that time had come, and he was ready to depart in peace. 
But, Simeon finishes with some disturbing words. This marvellous salvation through Jesus had a dark side. There will be many who will not accept and follow Jesus; there will be a falling as well as a rising of many in Israel. Jesus will be a sign of division and will be spoken against. He will cause division and conflict; decisions will have to be made for him or against him. And for Mary a sword would pierce her heart he warned, referring to the crucifixion.
Anna too had been waiting.  She was a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very -old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. When she saw the holy family, at that very moment she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke shows us there is a place for everyone in God’s Kingdom.  Older people able to wait on the Lord; a young woman having a baby to dedicate to God; a husband going to Church with his wife (Not a very common sight now); every person having a role to play.
In this story we have read that Jesus was born into this world as a baby, offered to God as a child, grew into manhood and faced all the emotions of human life and able to empathise with us in every aspect of life.  And tells us He was the true Messiah who would one day give His life in a cruel death that we may be made righteous in God’s sight.
True Christians should be comforted by the fact that God never leaves the world without a witness. We have to remain hopeful and faithful that grace can flourish even when men and women who have been given the extreme privilege of serving God in His Church are in themselves traitors to the One they vowed to serve by instituting, endorsing and accepting false doctrine and forcing it on those in their charge.
The words of Simeon in which he saw the light of Jesus will one day shine bright if those who love the Lord work and pray.

Christ has been spoken against and had many darts cast at Him. He has been despised and rejected, but has proved to be the Saviour of many who at one time did reject Him.

Simeon and Anna were aged saints. They had kept the faith. They had run the course. They were pious and prayerful, devout and faithful. How much does that correspond with our experience?  Can we say, 'Lord, dismiss your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation'?

What sort of response best describes our attitude to the birth of Jesus? After all, we've heard it many times before. Are we sceptical? Unbelieving?  Dismissive? Or, like the godly remnant, faithful, believing and trusting?

The gospel He came to bring has saved many souls and lightened many hearts and bring to light the characters of many people.

The story is essentially a Jewish one with a Jewish father and mother; a Jewish baby, worshipping the |God Israel, taken from a bible written by Jews.  This should remind those rather indiscreet and foolish clergymen who pen criticisms of Israel that we are part of a great and long Judeo-Christian heritage which has served the world so well. We do not need anti-Semitism in the Church, there is enough of that in the political scene.

So, as we come to the end of the Christmas story, may its message leave on our hearts and minds an inspiration to commit our lives in the service of the Lord, King and Saviour, and not be afraid or ashamed to declare the same. 

May God bless all you who read this glorious story. Be at Church on Sundays

Thursday 19 December 2019

                                Matthew Chapter 1 v 18/25

The story we are looking at this morning is one of the greatest ever told, the birth of the Savior. It is a most controversial story for it is telling an extraordinary event, unique and once in all history. 

To the non-worshipping person, it is beyond their ability to accept, because no other person has been born so. But no other person was, has been or will be, like Jesus. He was by nature human in that he became tired, hungry, thirsty and weary. And yet divine by his miraculous deed; he was in fact God in the flesh. 

There are in the Church many hypocrites, who cannot accept the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, but will readily stand up in Church and recite the Apostles Creed each Sunday.

The Apostles’ Creed states: “I believe in Jesus Christ … who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” Here we come face to face with the Virgin Birth of Christ.  Both Church and nonchurch members claim to be Christian and believers in God, but believing means more than just claiming, even the devil believes in God.

The gospel of Matthew was written primarily for Jews, which explains the long line of descent in which the book opens, and many of those names would be to a Jew an historical one, and it also established the line of descent to Jesus through Joseph.
Jews were concerned for genealogies and in Palestine it was important to prove your Jewishness; and dependence on your line of descent was important in order to be allowed to enter parts of the Temple in Jerusalem.

David was so important in this lineage; the Old Testament said the Messiah would be born of David's line. The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus was believed to be the Messiah.

Isaiah predicted 700years earlier, that a young woman of marriageable age, who is also a virgin would give birth to a son - and he would be "God with us" - Immanuel. Matthew is wanting to teach us that Jesus is the fulfilment of the promises of God in the Old Testament.

God is directly concerned and involved throughout
history. God is faithful and always keeps his word. God promised to raise up a Saviour from the line of Abraham and the line of David.

Our passage opens at verse 18, where it is stated, ` now the birth of Jesus Christ took place this way.’ Such is the positive announcement, before it goes on to describe the betrothal of Mary and Joseph.

Betrothal of the Jews was something equivalent to our engagement in theory if not in practice.  The bridegroom and bride made a pledge in the presence of two witnesses, which was really the first step in marriage; the man and woman became husband and wife. The couple were then separated from each other for a period up to a year, and if during that time either became unfaithful, they were under Old Testament law adulterers liable to be stoned to death. 

If the marriage broke down, the couple were divorced, or if death occurred widower or widow. The marriage was consummated when they met again.  Often the parents caused the marriage by making arrangements, and same people think they do a better job.

This was in the New Testament  where the true marriage was heterosexual as ordained by God, one man one woman.

Before the couple lived together it was found that Mary was pregnant yet still a virgin. She knew she was pregnant, as an angel had foretold, she would be by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Joseph came to the natural conclusion that she had been unfaithful with another man, being unaware of the angel’s message.  He realized he could not live with her in such a case, but being a righteous man, he did not want to offend God, but was faced with the impression Mary had broken her pledge. He was however a compassionate man who loved Mary and did not want to expose her to public humiliation, so decided to divorce her or send her away quietly, which he did not really want to do because of his feelings for her. In addition, his place would be a stain in the line of David down to Jesus.

Whilst he wrestled on what he should do, he fell asleep and began to dream. During his sleep he had a vision in which he was told that it was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary was with child, and he should not hesitate to accept Mary as his wife.

Joseph was rewarded as he had turned to God in faith and his concern was ended.  The Bible states, ‘In all thy ways acknowledge God and he shall direct thy paths. This show us that Joseph obeyed. He not only trusted God, he obeyed. As the hymn states, trust and obey.

As so often happens when you honestly seek God's guidance and you plan to do things that seem right to you but are, in fact, wrong, God providentially corrects you.

The baby would be called Jesus for he would save his people from their sins.  Jesus is a name which helped many by giving inward peace and a rest for heavy heart; people have found Jesus has known their thoughts and hearts.

This passage begins the New Testament and contains the very words of God, who we must thank for giving us the Bible.  The poorest man or woman who listens and understands the Bible is wiser than many so called intellectuals and academics. We shall be judged one day by the way we have responded to God.

This means we should read the Bible honestly and reverently, and having done so, practice all it commands and pray the Holy Spirit will apply to our hearts.

These verses tell us of the entrance into our world by Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, and the doctrine of the Virgin Birth has been the doctrine of all denominations for centuries, and only in these liberal times has it been the subject of controversy. True, there were a few heretics like some modern bishops and clergy who deny these accounts in pulpits; don't be seduced by them. but we treat such talk with the contempt they deserve.

It is talk like that which does so much harm to the Church. Imagine you are on a jury and have to decide on evidence given. In such trial the Police will be represented by a prosecuting solicitor whose task is to lead the witness through their evidence.  The accused will be represented by their own solicitor, and his task is to get the accused off the charge. He will in a lot of cases put truth aside and make up all kinds of stories to refute evidence, which is par for the cause, such is the way 'justice' is defined.

If the prosecuting solicitor begins to cast doubt on the police evidence and suggested the policeman was mistaken or not telling the truth, wold you convict?  But this is what is happening in the Church when some of us are trying to follow our Lord’s commission and make disciples, bringing people to church, then we have clergy at all levels, challenging of all things, God’s Word. and we wonder why people are not attending.

Matthew and Luke are trustworthy. The evidence that they are giving you are facts - not myths. That brings us to Mary.

There have been denials of the biblical facts about Jesus' birth from the earliest years of the church's history. But people in the ancient world were able distinguish fact from fiction just as we can. The great body of believers said, they are not myths."

There are depths which are too deep for us to fully comprehend; be content to believe with reverent minds and not speculate that which we do not understand.  There are many things we do not understand, but fully accept without hesitation. How is it by holding a small plastic box without any outer connection, but by pressing a combination of numbers you can speak within seconds to someone on the other side of the world. Or by turning a switch on a television set in a room in any part of the world and watch one of the most exciting and greatest football teams in the world in Liverpool. Very few people can explain, yet we all use.

As we leave this passage, try to remember Jesus is both human and divine. He did the work God sent him to do, healing the sick and dying.

You will go on to believe Jesus has experienced more pain and suffering than we can imagine.  He endured a most horrific death on the Cross, the cruelest punishment man has devised. Prior to that he was lashed 39 times with a leather belt with steel studs and made to carry his own Cross.  Don’t be a fake Christian who lays claim to be a Christian just on the basis of believing in God, or by listening to Songs of Praise every Sunday.  Even the devil believes in God.

If you want the privilege of being a Christian you will fully believe as the Bible, which was given by God, states in this story in Matthew, and is also in Luke.  It is sometimes suggested it not to be correct as Mark and John don’t mention it, but they write on a different part of our Lord’s life. Many people follow the Sermon on the Mount and are deeply moved by it, yet that was only in Matthew and Luke.

They are drawing on different sources. It has been suggested that Matthew based his account information coming from Joseph, whilst with Luke was informed by Mary. But both agree about the central truth that Jesus was born of a virgin mother.  This information was before known by both Matthew and Luke. They did not make it up.
If Mary had not been a virgin and had a child by someone else, Luke who was a medical doctor, would not have suggested that she was a great example of obedience. He knew that in the moral climate of those days such an attempt would not have been well received.

It is by faith that, what we cannot see or words which cannot prove, we become true followers of our Lord, and millions of very clever men and women who have truly believed, have been prepared to go to the uttermost parts of the world and live hard lives in order to take the gospel to those who have not heard

People will sing carols, and over eat and drink and spend more money than they can afford; pop groups will sing of ‘chris.-ee-mus’ without ever giving a thought as to why it is Christ-mas. 

All very well Harry Belafonte telling us we shall live for ever more because of Christmas Day, when in fact we shall live for evermore because of what this baby Jesus went on to do on the Cross.
Above all trust in God and let this Christmas be one in which we remember the person it is all about—
The Lord Jesus Christ.

May you all have a happy and blessed Christmas

Sunday 15 December 2019

                Christmas Message

I watched an American news broadcast which reported on how the American Civil Liberties Union were going around posting anti-Christmas messages, calling for all references to Christmas to be removed from public display, and objecting to Nativity scenes. 

In Congress at this season of goodwill, the Democrats are rejoicing in the prospect of impeaching their President out of pure spite; some lack of goodwill there. What happened to the land of the free?

Here in Britain we have jumped up public officials who rejoice to be offended on behalf of other faiths and none, and object to Christian messages and expression, thinking their efforts will earn them some praise for political correctness and a few moments of fame; councillors who have never contributed much to public life other than to benefit themselves, objecting to prayers before Council meetings, replacing the word Christmas for winter festival or other ridiculous terms. 

What is it about these people? Why does Christianity strike such fear in their tiny minds?  Why do they not have the courage to attack other faiths?  Does a guilty conscience come into play when they consider the sort of lives they live?  Why is it that they have no reluctance to join in all the festivities which only take place because Christmas is an essentially Christian celebration? 

The vociferous secularists and humanists, whose publicity is out of all proportion to their tiny numbers, see any religious ceremony as a threat to their unworthy cause.  Is it not amazing that when an American evangelist came over here and offered to enter into debate with them, they all went into hibernation refusing to take part?

In a few days time, Christians will be attending Christmas services.  Some will be attending Midnight Mass, a glorious inspiring service of praise, as we herald in Christmas Day and celebrate the birth of our Lord.  Others will prefer to go to Church on Christmas morning, but at whichever service we will be thinking of God’s love in sending Jesus here, born of a young Jewish girl by the power of the Holy Spirit, in which we all glory.  I know that there will be difficulty for some in accepting the doctrine of the Virgin birth, which means of course they must explain how Jesus entered the world and then they could be on dangerous grounds. 

We remember the lowly circumstances of His birth and the reason He came, namely to grow into manhood and be our Saviour.

It is a matter of great sadness that now in the 21dst century the mass of people have forsaken the Christian commitment of previous years and chosen to ignore the religious significance of Christmas.  Some reject all religious belief with undisguised contempt, and just see it as an excuse for an orgy of drink and pleasure.

I look in amazement as I see trolleys in supermarkets  overflowing with food and drink, especially drink, and then hear and read of how protests are made regarding cuts by the government and how people are finding it hard to exist, and certainly cannot afford to pay more for their gold plated pensions.

 I accept everyone is entitled to have enjoyment, especially at this time of year, but let us keep it in proportion.  There will be many who just now see Christmas as a secular time for enjoyment. 

But let us remember with much compassion those for whom Christmas is a time of great sadness, namely those who have just lost a married partner, a child, parent or loved family member.  This will be a very lonely time for them and we should remember them in prayers and intercessions.

I wish all who read this posting a very happy and blessed Christmas; next week we will look at the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. May God Bless You

God Bless you.

Wednesday 11 December 2019

A Christian doctor has been vindicated after a concerted and targeted attack against him by a secularist campaign group was thrown out by the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC ruled that there was no evidence and that the doctor had done nothing wrong.
The outcome reassures Christian Doctors and professionals across the UK and provides guidance on how they can share their faith in the workplace without fear of losing their jobs.
In June 2019, the GMC wrote to Christian GP, Dr Richard Scott, 59, that it had received “some information” from the National Secular Society (NSS) and would begin a fitness to practise investigation in to him.
The NSS, targeting Dr Scott to get him de-registered, had lodged a complaint expressing 'concern' that he was "continuing to pray and promote Christianity during consultations in an attempt to convert patients", and cited an anonymous complainant.

However, after an investigation lasting three months, the GMC concluded that there was no case to answer, stating in a letter to Dr Scott:

“There is no first-hand account or complaint from any patient about Dr Scott’s practice. The NSS sent an anonymous hearsay account about how Dr Scott expressed his religious beliefs to a ‘highly vulnerable’ patient,” and “there is no convincing evidence that Dr Scott imposes his personal religious beliefs upon potentially vulnerable patients. 

They added: “There is no evidence that [Dr Scott] discusses faith in situations where the patient has stated that they do not wish to discuss these matters or that he has continued to discuss faith after a patient has indicated that they do not welcome such a discussion.”

The GMC clarified that Dr Scott’s medical practice “states that the majority of the Partners are Christians and that this faith guides the way in which they view their work.” For the futurethe GMC has advised Dr Scott to document any discussions of faith that he has with his patients and that prayer must only be offered within the guidelines of the GMC's explanatory guidance on personal beliefs and medical practice.

Responding to the outcome of this case, Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre commented, The outcome of this case not only gives reassurance to Christian doctors and professionals across the UK that they can share their faith in the workplace, but also clear guidance on  how they can share it without fear of losing their jobs
The agenda of the National Secular Society tried to have the Doctor removed Christian witness from the workplace is clear.  Yet this guidance from the GMC should now provide more protection allowing doctors to get on with their jobs without fear
“Dr Richard Scott is a brilliant doctor, loved and respected in his community and especially by his patients. It is because of his Christian faith that he is motivated to look after the person well beyond the consulting room.”

Saturday 7 December 2019

John the Baptist Matthew 11 v. 2-11

If you study your Bible you will find there is a gap of four hundred years between the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, and the first book of the New Testament Matthew.  There was no one outstanding figure, no one to prophesy to the people.

Then all of a sudden there comes on the scene a man called John the Baptist.  He was referred to in the Scriptures as one chosen to prepare the way for the Lord and in Luke we read that he was chosen before his birth.  He proved to be a very special person and on June 24th the Church remembers his ministry by setting that date to honour him.  If you are in Spain, or perhaps some other European Catholic country, they treat the day in a special way with processions and pageantry.

John was near the end of his life and kept in a dungeon at a place in the North East corner of the Dead Sea, an extremely hot and oppressive spot. He had criticised Herod for his immoral lifestyle and this was the punishment.

He was a sad and disillusioned man for his ministry was over, and he feels alienated as people appeared to have forgotten him, especially when Jesus was the focus of attention and he himself faces death.

John had always spoken strongly and faithfully about Jesus and he felt Jesus was doing nothing to help him, so he wonders if in fact Jesus was the promised Messiah. Doubt had entered his mind, which probably affects most people at times, for one senior cleric once stated that if you never had any doubts you had never done any serious thinking.

In order to clear his mind, John asked his disciples to see Jesus and ask Him if he really was the One they were expecting. Jesus told those disciples to go and tell John of what Jesus had actually done in answering prayer; to tell of the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lame walking and that things happen in God’s own time. He sought to reassure John and confirm his faith by telling that He (Jesus) was the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy. 

In every Bible story there is inevitably a lesson for us today.  John was a holy man who tried to live a worthy and good life and a Christians that should be our aim.

There is a lesson for preachers in that there was a man who was prepared to speak the truth and was not afraid to be criticised, and he didn’t seek to modify his message to please those around him.  How many would be prepared to speak forthrightly in our Cathedrals, indeed how many would be allowed to. 

John said what he believed God wanted him to say, what people needed to hear rather than consider what they wanted to hear.  People went to hear him because whether they agreed with him or not there was substance in what he said, and that is a difference in many Churches to day.

I listen to sermons today and sometimes I pray that no stranger was in Church that day or they would be put off for life.  The problem with many of today’s preachers they are afraid of upsetting people, but as long as a preacher is not offensive, for which there would be no justification, it should be remembered that a sermon should stimulate thinking and most reasonable people would welcome that however much they disagreed with content.

However hard to accept, God has His own plans and Jesus will return one day to pronounce judgement.

Jesus knew people could fall away and give in when things appeared to be going wrong for them. It still happens and we can be very cruel within the Church sometimes by careless talk but on other occasions deliberately. I had a lady in my Church who worked very hard for the Church and demonstrated her faith in a very practical way. She trained to be a Reader, was PCC Secretary, and if anyone fell ill was the first to offer practical assistance to help them through their illness. What you might say ‘an ideal Christian’.

Sadly, a new Vicar had a wife who was intensely jealous that some other woman could be more popular than her that she made life intolerable for her, causing my friend to leave the Church and fall away for a time. I am delighted to hear she has now returned. There can be no justification for animosity within a Church,.

If you have felt disappointed, or feel no one cares for you remember this passage, knowing there will be judgment one day and all who do goodness will be welcomed into His Kingdom.

There comes times of suffering and weakness in all our lives. We may suffer loss, or have some seemingly impossible matter to deal with. It is so easy to give in, but if you do give in, it can be so hard to get back.

There are so many ill minded people who long to destroy our faith, some within positions of influence in society, and too many politicians who want to take Christianity out of the public domain; their words may appear attractive when you are downcast. If you have trusted God and for some reason nothing has happened, your faith will be under severe attack.

John acts as a warning to us, but he came out of his difficulty. You too can. Think of that great hymn by Ray Palmer, ‘my faith looks up to thee.’ Above all, never let doubt lead you to a spiritual desert. It is sad when someone loses their faith, and like many Ministers I have seen it too often. You may think it can’t happen to you, but it can.

Be sure to be at Church on Sunday(s). God bless you.

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Saviour divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

Wednesday 4 December 2019

We are living in very dangerous times

This United Kingdom has a history of its citizens being able to express their beliefs and opinions freely, provided of course they were not threatening. Now, unelected and unauthorized bodies have taken control by having activists forcing their own agenda upon unwilling people by threats. The causes range over so-called environment issues, abortion, LGBT.

Recent instances have been when London was held to ransom by a ‘green’ body, determined to force their views; by a disabled man sitting in a wheelchair quietly praying for unborn children not to be murdered before birth; and by LGBT insisting on all people and businesses supporting their views.

Can we not live and let live?  If someone has a different attitude, be tolerant to the extent you would expect them to be to you. This should be sufficient and acceptable to any Creed.

Three years ago, a man took a pay cut from his role as an Estates Manager at one of Cambridge University’s Colleges to work as a caretaker at the Isle of Ely Primary School on agreements that he would combine his work with his duties as a Pastor at an Independent Church. He was respected as being a school asset, with experience in gardening, enabling him to organize lessons for troubled pupils who were disruptive, and he was qualified in fire safety policies.

On 1st June he wrote on a twitter account that ‘Gay Pride’ events were not aligned with biblical teaching and were harmful to children, so he advised so people should steer clear.

Within minutes of sending the tweet a journalist and LGBT advocate accused him of attacking LGBT people. When he refused to remove the tweet, another journalist visited him and he became front page news on the local paper.

This was followed by visits from funeral directors to arrange his funeral, estate agents to sell his home, accusations he was a child molester, and knocked off his bicycle by a woman driving a car.  Finally, for his family and friends’ sake, he deleted the post.

Ultimately, he was forced to resign his job, and is now pursuing a claim for unfair dismissal supported by Christian (Concern) Legal Centre.

How individuals live their lives is entirely a personal decision. Each person is given free will by God and will answer to Him one day, and in  the meantime, it is to be left to God. Other people may condemn the sin, whatever that may be from sexual and moral activity, to gossip, lying, being unkind and other misdemeanours, but not the sinner.
However, activists cannot accept other people may feel and believe differently, and such is the intolerance against tolerance for other people, that no other opinion must be allowed, and any expressed must be expunged and the person or businesses which have those views penalized. The following story reveals how far things have got out of reasonable control.

This cannot be fair, or excused, it is cruel. People on all sides must be treated fairly and equally; and ironically, activists lose support and defeat their own cause by such total intolerance.