Monday 29 May 2023




John 6. V 52/70
Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum and said, ‘I am the bread of life’, one of his seven ‘I am’ sayings. The bread Jesus is giving relates to his death on the Cross, and those who believe in him are made righteous before God. Jesus meant life to be more than mere existence, he was speaking of a new life in a relationship with God, which is only possible by accepting Jesus into your life as Saviour; without him no one can enter into a relationship with God. He is the bread in the sense that he nourishes us spiritually, and satisfies the longing of our souls. Those who accept him into their lives will not therefore hunger, because their spiritual longing to know God will be known.

This chapter gives us a vision of Jesus, whereby we can relate to him not just as someone we read about, but rather as someone we can turn to, and both he and God become a friend, as the hymn states, ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’. This invitation is extended to all people, but there is a stubborn resistance which refuses the offer, so that what the heart is really searching for is lost. This is where the Jews lost out, they could not believe that someone who came from an ordinary home could possibly be a messenger from God.

There is a memorable story about the famous T. E. Lawrence of Arabia fame, who was serving as ordinary airman in the Royal Air Force, and one day was visiting his friend Thomas Hardy the writer, and was wearing civilian dress. Whilst he was there the local Mayoress visited, and was affronted to meet a common airman without knowing of Lawrence’s fame. She spoke to Mrs Hardy in French saying, in all her life she had never sat in the company of a mere private, when Lawrence said in perfect French, ‘I beg your pardon Madame, can I act as interpreter as Mrs Hardy does not know French’. The woman was judging by external standards, and that is what the Jews did to Jesus as many people are doing now.

I have always been bemused by the general attitude of people within the Church who get overawed at the presence of a bishop, and who consider because of his Office assume he must be a superior Christian to a poor Vicar in knowledge and belief, when in fact it many cases it is the complete opposite case. Men, and now women, often achieve high Office through naked ambition, right contacts, projecting themselves, and serving in non-parochial positions.  The great names in Christianity have been humble men and women, serving often in harsh conditions following the example of the Galilean carpenter who is their inspiration.

When Jesus said he was the bread of life, he was saying he was essential for life, so to refuse to accept his offer means to lose eternal life in heaven. He was the mind and voice of God, who lived a human life among us and offers help to all who seek him. He spoke the words, ‘come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest’.

Jesus said he was the living bread, in that all who believe in him shall have their spiritual longing filled. He went on to say unless we ate the flesh and drank the blood, there would be no life within them. To eat the flesh means to believe in him, and to drink his blood means to accept his death on the Cross where he shed his blood.  In Jewish thought, blood stood for life, and when a body bleeds life flows out of it, and to a Jew blood belongs to God, which is why Jews will not eat meat unless it is has been completely drained of blood. Jesus wants us to take his life into the very centre of our hearts and life.

Some people were thinking God did not choose them and Jesus would turn them away, but he promises anyone who turns to him will never be turned away. Jesus said no one can come to him unless God sent him/her, which implies that no one has the moral and spiritual ability to come to Christ unless God the Father draws them, that is gives the desire and inclination to do so. All of us who have turned to Jesus and accepted him into our hearts and lives, were inspired to do so when God touched our hearts and gave us the choice of accepting or rejecting Jesus. All who truly believe in Jesus will be saved  and have eternal life, and on the day of judgement will be raised up to the fulness of eternal life.

You may have a precious book, which you never got down to reading it, just having left it in a bookcase. Eventually you do read it, it thrills, entertains and inspires you, and you are left wondering why you turned away from it from the start.

But people are still finding Christianity is a problem and staying away from Church, and what increases their resistance, is the demand he makes on our lives; we are bound to accept him as the ultimate authority and accept moral standards of purity.

 The reason the Church is falling apart is that fewer and fewer within are accepting those demands. God is not going to bless a Church which is acting and preaching contrary to that which he has laid down. We are making accommodation in our teaching and liturgy, for what is unequivocally rejected by God in his Word, (the Bible).

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have a man appointed to control a Cathedral, authorising an immoral function; we have another flying the rainbow flag to celebrate diversity for Gay Liberation, an organisation whose stated aim ‘is the abolition of the family’; no diversity or tolerance there, and in fairness not the aim of the majority it claims to represent. For senior representatives of the Church to act so, reveals the shallow nature of their belief. Christ is rejected because he challenges and condemns.

We need to seriously consider what we understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus, in other words, what being a Christian means and demands. A lady once said to me, ‘Vicar I heard a man say on Songs of Praise, he had attended church for years but had just become a Christian.

We must not accept Jesus as just a character in a book, but someone to whom we can turn to as the final authority in life. The invitation is given to all people, but there remains a stubborn something which refuses the offer. The human heart defies God, but when we accept him the heart finds what it has been searching for.

As we come to the last verses in this chapter we read that ‘many of his followers said this is very hard for us to understand, how can anyone accept it. Such followers were not true and genuine believers, but were following him for what he could do for them, such as healing and multiplying food.

Jesus knew there were some who were unsettled, and knew they would never accept the doctrines he expounded. Paul warned some people in the Church would not either, and would turn to those who were ready to say the things wanted to be heard, and how that is manifest in to-day’s Church.

Millions have been baptised, and such has been the mendacious meaningless procedure, that we have never seen them attending further. We live in an age of free thought and behaviour, in which the sole aim is pursuit of self-pleasure. Those who deceive themselves they are heaven bound, because they consider they are so righteous on spurious grounds, will one day see their judgement overruled by divine judgement. Jesus said human effort accomplishes nothing,

When Jesus saw people walking away, he asked his Apostles were they going to leave him, and Peter who loved the Lord asked, ‘to whom shall we go?’  Peter knew Jesus was the only way to God.

There is much to be learned from this passage.  The eating and drinking is not a reference to Holy Communion.  People place too much emphasis on ceremonial procedure, but Christianity makes the state of the heart the principal matter.

Flesh and blood means the atonement of Jesus, and eating and drinking means faith.  Faith in the atonement of Jesus is of absolute necessity to salvation, and we are united with our Saviour.

We see the hardness of people’s heart.  Even when the preacher was Jesus, who Peter describes as ‘the Holy One of God’,( that is the One set apart for service to God) yet was not accepted by so many. When Jesus spoke kindly and clearly, not all listened.

The true grace of God is an everlasting possession, and true followers do not fall away.  But there is also fake and unreal religion in the Church, which is why some people do leave. Like the ground spoken of in the parable of the Sower, the stone is hard and nothing can take root there. Many words and resolutions are made, but they have not had the grace of God.

If Jesus experienced so much, well might we do so, but do not be discouraged; do not let your faith be threatened, there have always been failures in the Church who fail and want to take others with them;  the remarks of Peter apply to us.

Casual Christianity is not enough to save our souls.  Grace is needed to make a true believer, which will enable us to serve God in the most difficult times.  Never rest until you have that grace properly established in the soul.  The words of our Lord come to us when he states, ‘ask and it shall be given you’.

All Christians should by faithful and loyal to Jesus, and demonstrate this by not being hypocritical in their way of living, rather accepting and practising his commands. 

May the Lord richly bless you, and help you to receive Jesus into your life.

Friday 26 May 2023

                                                              ACTS 2 v. 1-21

On this Sunday we celebrate the day of Pentecost, remembering that glorious time when the Christian Church was born.  

  Pentecost Sunday, the day the Church celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the believers in Jerusalem, which was effectively the birth of the Christian Church.

 The Apostles had been told to stay in Jerusalem and wait.  Jesus pointed out they would have to wait for God to give them the gift that had always been promised, when they would be baptised with the Holy Spirit.  All they could do was pray, which we later read they did.

 Imagine how the apostles felt as they waited. For three years they had been following the most unique person in all history. They had witnessed miracles and heard wonderful teaching from the greatest of teachers. They had suffered the sorrow of seeing Him die, but had rejoiced by His resurrection.

 He had told them to go to Jerusalem and to wait.  But would they be able to cope without Him by their side.   Eventually after ten days, the day dawned at Pentecost. On that day, God came down in power and changed the lives of them, and so many others.  The Church was born and carried on the life of Christ, and we see it was empowered to do so by the work of the Holy Spirit.

 We have now, no need however to wait for the Holy Spirit, it is freely available to all who choose to follow Jesus, and make Him Lord of our lives. We receive the Holy Spirit when our faith comes alive, but there may be a period before we have the power of the Spirit.  If God makes us wait there must be a reason, so giving us time to meditate and seek His will for us. Just as the Apostles had to realise their dependence on Jesus, so we Christians need to realise we too need His power. 

 Peter gave his famous sermon, which resulted in many people believing and asking ‘what shall we do?’  Peter replied, ‘repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 This was the real purpose of baptism, confession of faith, repentance for past sins, and accepting Christ as Saviour; not the situation we have today, where people come for baptism without knowing really why, and make promises they have no intention of keeping.  I personally do not do baptism services, as it upsets me to see the Church being abused.  I do however long to attend a service where the preacher gives a sermon in simple terms, to explain to those assembled the meaning of what is taking place, and indicating the seriousness of what is said and done.

 In the Bible we find a confession of faith and the gift of the Holy Spirit happen together. Nowhere in the Bible is there a separation.   I believe this means that within Churches we need to have a deeper understanding of baptism and confirmation.  Whilst I have often preached on baptism, I have never been at a service when this has been preached upon by others.  In fact I have never been in a congregation where the preacher gives an explanation of what baptism should mean.  We allow false promises to be made with impunity.

Three thousand people responded to Peter’s call, and we are told they ‘devoted’ themselves to the teaching of the Apostles, who were of course taught by our Lord Himself.  They were not coerced, they went freely.  God has graciously provided these teachings for our learning; they are called the New Testament.

 One sentence closes this chapter, ‘and the Lord added to their number daily, those who were being saved’.  This tells us that it is the Lord who builds His Church.

 God comes to us in different ways as we seek to serve Jesus.  There is the infilling of the Spirit, which is for all believers.  For some people there is indeed a dramatic experience such as Paul had on the Damascus Road, whilst for others there is a growing in grace. 

Charles and John Wesley, who are in our minds at this time, experienced the Holy Spirit in special ways, too. Both were ordained into the Church and ministered as such for some years, yet both had deep spiritual experiences which changed their lives in May 1738, and went on to do greater things as a result.  Charles wrote his most loved and famous hymns afterwards. Charles experienced a "strange palpitation of heart," and just a few days later John felt his heart "strangely warmed." From that time on, the Wesley’s were used powerfully by God to spread the news of salvation.

We may take as an analogy two situations from life.  A man and woman may meet at a social occasion, and such is the chemistry between them they fall in immediate love, and marry soon after, which may or may not last.  Another couple may meet, find they enjoy being with each other, and gradually become totally dependent upon each other and spend the rest of their life together.  (They may even have a diamond wedding)

 Thousands attended the great Billy Graham Crusades in the 1960s/80s, and were immediately affected by the atmosphere of massed choirs leading joyous praise with so many people, and hearing the preaching of the most successful preacher in all Church history.  They rushed forward to the altar call, committing their lives to the Lord, but on returning to their local parish Church found 1662 Matins, with chants of canticles and indifferent preaching, so were disillusioned. Others just grow in grace to love the Lord. We each come as the Lord calls us, but should know when there was that moment we understood what the gospel was all about. For me, it was being at a Pentecostal meeting in Mombasa in Kenya when also I first haerd one of the lovely hymns you are about to sing. I know not thy wondrous love to me thou hast made known

 When Pentecost came, it was a transforming happening when God took over, and filled all gathered with His power.  God came down in power, and the lives of all present were for ever changed.  Our lives will be changed when we have that same power.

   In the light of falling attendances in the Churches, it may be asked ‘why doesn’t the Lord add to the Church now?’   The answer is that He does, in Africa, South Korea, China (the country with the most Christians) and South America.  In those countries the Churches are not dismantling the Bible, and are keeping to the teaching of the Apostles, whereas in the West in a lot of places, the Bible is being re-interpreted and adapted to satisfy society, and to avoid criticising lifestyles which are contrary to biblical teaching. We are meant to be people of the Word, not people of the WorLd.  One might reverently say there is an L of a difference.

 In the absence of any charismatic figure on the national Church scene, each local Church is called upon to so make an impact.  Christian Research has just provided the results of a survey, which showed people preferred Vicars to preach sermons of biblical exposition of between 20/30 minutes, and to stop trying to be comedians. A survey carried out some years ago in America, found only the evangelical Churches preached for such time, and I notice from services shown on television that they are well attended.

 Jesus told the Apostles they were to be His witnesses, and that duty has now been passed down to His Church and all its members.  The Church can be His witness by faithful preaching of Scripture, as all its Ministers vow to do at their ordination, and offer people a credible and united teaching.  Individual members can do so by their manner of living, reflecting the image of Christ rather than the ungracious kind we too often see.

 This sermon complements the previous one on Methodism, and we would see a renewal in the Church if we followed the example of that first Church of Pentecost.

Monday 22 May 2023

Wednesday is Aldersgate day, and each year this date, and on a Sunday close to it, we remember this day, especially because it shaped the ministry of John Wesley, when he had a spiritual conversion three days after his brother Charles had a similar experience.
John had been to minister in America and it had been a dismal failure, so he returned to England. On this date, 24 May 1738 he had gone to a small chapel in Aldersgate in London when there was a discourse on Luther’s Letter to the Romans, and his spirit was strangely warmed and moved. He then understood that forgiveness of sins and acceptance by God was a free gift from God, and there was nothing we can do on our own to make us acceptable in God’s sight; this was all accomplished by God through the death of Jesus on the Cross.
We are called to believe, that we too can have the biblical doctrine of assurance, that we can by God’s grace and through faith know, our sins will be forgiven and be assured that by His death on the Cross, Christ has given us eternal salvation.
For some people there is indeed a dramatic experience such as Paul had on the Damascus Road, whilst for others there is a growing in grace. Charles and John Wesley, who are in our minds at this time, experienced the Holy Spirit in special ways, too. Both were ordained into the Church and ministered as such for some years, yet both had deep spiritual experiences which changed their lives in May 1738, and went on to do greater things as a result.
Charles wrote his most loved and famous hymns afterwards, and experienced a ‘strange palpitation of heart,’ and just a few days later John felt his heart ‘strangely warmed.’ From that time on, the Wesley’s were used powerfully by God to spread the news of salvation.
For others there is just a steady grow in grace. We may take as an analogy two situations from life. A man and woman may meet at a social occasion, and such is the chemistry between them they fall in immediate love, and marry soon after, which may or may not last. Another couple may meet, find they enjoy being with each other, and gradually become totally dependent upon each other and spend the rest of their life together without ever being able to determine exactly when that came about.
Thousands attended the great Billy Graham Crusades in the 1960s/80s, and were immediately affected by the atmosphere of massed choirs leading joyous praise with so many people, and hearing the preaching of the most successful preacher in all Church history. They rushed forward to the altar call, committing their lives to the Lord, but on returning to their local parish Church found 1662 Matins with chants of canticles and indifferent preaching were disillusioned. Others just grow in grace to love the Lord.
We each come as the Lord calls us, but should know when there was that moment we understood what the gospel was all about. For me, it was being at a Pentecostal meeting in Mombasa in Kenya.
I have always felt the greatness of Charles Wesley has been overlooked. It was in fact Charles who began the Methodist Church, but John developed it, and John has always been given much more praise and attention. However, millions now many years later still think of and remember the words of Charles’ hymns, but one needs to research to find the words of John.
Christianity owes so much to these two brothers, and it is tragic that what was once a great evangelical outreaching Church, has lost so much of the fervour of these two men. I believe if they could know what is being preached in some of the Churches, and the beliefs of members that they can live in accordance with society’s standard rather than those preached by them, they would be horrified. One of Charles’ standard beliefs was, ‘that the value of a person’s life was to be measured by their faith and manner of living and not only by Church attendance.’
Charles was born on 18th December 1707, and even at an early age was found to be academically brilliant. In 1716 he was enrolled at Westminster school London, and showed awesome talent in Greek grammar which earned him a scholarship to Oxford. He went up to Oxford, where he gained an M.A in 1732.
Whilst at Oxford he and some friends formed what became known as the Holy Club, and they would meet for the purposes of joining in worship, and also to visit the sick and imprisoned. Because of their methodical actions they were named ‘Methodists’. This group was started by Charles, so earning him the right to be called the first Methodist. This is contrary to general thinking which believes John to be the founder of Methodism, and indeed would be a surprise for many Methodist Church members to learn. John later joined the group and became the leader, and indeed developed it.
Following graduation, Charles became a college tutor before being ordained into the Church of England in 1735. Shortly after ordination he sailed with John to America, but there they disliked him and he disliked them, so causing him to return to England after only six months.
On Pentecost Sunday, 21st May 1738, a momentous event took place in his life. He was being spiritually influenced by his sister, and at the same time reading Luther’s commentary on Galatians, when he had a profound spiritual awakening. He wrote the first of his 6,000hymns ‘where shall my wandering soul begin’. The illness which had been debilitating him left.
Three days later John had a conversion experience whilst listening to Luther’s commentary on Romans. Charles then wrote that hymn so beloved down the ages, the one Billy Graham described as his favourite, ‘And can it be’ which described all Charles’ feelings. ‘My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose got up and followed thee.’
Exactly a year later on the anniversary of his renewal, he wrote the hymn which was always number one in every edition of the Methodist hymn book until the 1983 edition, ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing’
Charles Wesley's new spiritual life was transformed. He then began as curate without license from a bishop, at St Mary's in Islington. The Wardens however objected to his preaching and the Vicar was obliged to stop him preaching, causing him to leave after just a few months.
In 1739 with John he began to preach at open air meetings, joined by George Whitefield, an Anglican priest who had been expelled from the Church of England .Crowds of up to 25,000 people were reached. This offended many clergy who refused him access to their pulpits, and even led to him being driven from towns.
In 1745 at the age of 40, he visited Wales to preach, and there met the 20 years old daughter of the local Squire, Sally Gwynne whom he soon married. This was a happy marriage, and Sally accompanied him on some evangelistic meetings.
In 1756, he gave up the itinerant ministry, tired of wandering around the country, and settled in Bristol for a period with the Methodist Societies
In 1771 Charles resumed preaching when he returned to London
Having looked at the biographical details of his life, I want to speak about the ministry of Charles. Whilst they were close as brothers there were inevitably strong differences of opinion between such prominent characters. Charles was seen to be the stronger minded character, and more decisive in controversial issues.
.Charles and John were still Anglican priests and wished to remain so, but few clergy sided with them for fear of the consequences from the Church, so more and more lay preachers were enrolled. Charles found them to have little depth
He displayed his more Anglican mind when he showed his dislike when he wrote, ‘Such a preacher I have never heard, and hope I never shall again. It was beyond description. I cannot say he preached false doctrine, or true, or any doctrine at all, but pure, unmixed nonsense. Not one sentence did he utter that could do the least good to any one’
. If he were alive today, I think he would repeat that often, about preachers in general. On another occasion he stated, ‘John has made a preacher out of a tailor but I shall make him a tailor again.’
They differed over fees, when Charles felt he was entitled to receive fees for preaching, which John opposed.
Charles did not like the Methodist movement proposing to have an ordained ministry outside of the Anglican Episcopal structure, which was in direct opposition to John’s views. Soon after his death what he always feared occurred when Methodists separated from the Church of England.
Whenever people hear or think of Methodism, it is inevitably of John that comes to mind, and indeed many internet sites label John as the founder of Methodism. Possibly that is because in the writing of the history of Methodism, John has been portrayed more fully, whilst Charles has been seen to be just a hymn writer however prolific a one.
It has been suggested that Charles’ fondness for the Church of England caused the legacy of what he achieved in his writings, views and preaching, to be minimised and indeed covered up, and history made to record that Methodism was seen to be exclusively around John. One commentator described Charles as ‘the forgotten Wesley’. Charles was however just as involved and instrumental in spreading and sustaining the Methodist movement as his brother.
Few people still read John’s sermons, but the beautiful hymns of Charles are an enduring legacy. He may not have been the dominant figure of Methodism, but it was the practical theology of his hymns which drew many people to the Methodist Church. Also, in fact, many people reacted quite emotionally to his preaching.
No one can deny that the Wesley’s, and the Methodist Movement, had an effect on Britain at this time. Historians generally agree that the evangelical revival had a profound effect on stemming a revolutionary tide in the country. Conditions were improved by changing the hearts of the people; many of the wealthy became more caring towards the workers, and the artisan working classes acted more respectfully and civilised. On one occasion in Wales a group of theatrical people protested that Methodist preaching was proving too much of an attraction and was threatening their business.
Let us always see Charles as the one who wrote as he  thought, and 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 and manner of living and not only by Church attendance.
The Methodist Church in Great Britain, like all other Churches has been in decline, but in many other parts of the world is growing so that future Christians will like us be able to pay tribute and homage to this great man and his brother John.
I enjoyed enormously, taking services in the Methodist Churches, with the fond reception from kind members.  I could not continue when the leaders made the momentous betrayal of all Charles and John created and left as their legacy. More consideration was shown to please and accept society’s wishes than God’s, so accepting same sex marriages in Church.  Such will cause much division especially when the congregation differ from the Minister
In May 1738 John preached a sermons on Romans Chapter 1. Here are some words from that sermon They are all the words of John Wesley, not mine  Verse 23to Adam in a vision, when he was asleep, that this lovely creature,
 is now bone of my bones - Probably it was revealed to him, was a piece of himself and was to be his companion, and the wife of his covenant - In token of his acceptance of her, he gave her a name, not peculiar to her, but common to her sex; she shall be called woman, Isha, a She- man, differing from man in sex only, not in nature; made of man, and joined to man.Verse 24. The sabbath and marriage were two ordinances instituted in innocence, the former for the preservation of the church, the latter for the preservation of mankind.It appears by Matt. xix, 4, 5, that it was God himself who said here, a man must leave all his relations to cleave to his wife;It should seem they are the words of Adam in God's name, laying down this law to all his posterity.  All John Wesley’s words
In the Methodist Worship Book, the introduction to the Marriage service
A marriage ceremony is a formal occasion when a solemn, legal contract is made between a man and a woman. In a Christian context, it is also an act of worship in which marriage is celebrated as a gift from God and the joy of the couple is shared and their commitment to ach other I witnessed by family and friends. The Marriage Service’s themes of love, hope, faithfulness, sacrifice and trust are the heart of the Christian gospel
I t is beyond comprehension, that IF consideration had been given to the type of preaching of Charles and John Wesley, which people of any limited knowledge must have realized, that such action would never have been allowed; especially as only two years previously  survey of members revealed a noticeable majority was against.  There was no desire from committed members to justify such a decision.
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Friday 19 May 2023



In my previous message, I referred to broken homes, difficulties in families, all leading from failed marriages. In to-day’s message, I want to write on THE IMPORTANCE OF MARRIAGE. which was once the bedrock of society to maintain stability.       

Let us turn to some verses from the Old Testament in the book of Genesis, 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’

When God created the world He ordained marriage, He set out in His Word how we can have the best in that relationship. Marriage was intended as a sacred religious ceremony to be celebrated before God in Church, men and women giving a promise to live faithfully together until death parted them. 

Marriage was first mentioned in Genesis when God created man, and then said it was not good for man to be alone, so God made a woman to be man’s companion, and God said they should be united.  Therefore, marriage is a divine ordinance.  Our Lord constantly referred to the Old Testament particularly when referring to marriage.

 We are told the man was sleeping when God decided to make woman. 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.    Matthew Henry wrote, ‘woman was made not out of man’s head to rule over him, not out of his foot to be trampled on, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, near to his heart to be loved’.

 There is no indecision, God made man. God made woman. Complete fact. The greatest gift man could have.

The Bible states, ‘he who finds a wife finds what is good, and receives favor from the Lord.  

Today, in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America, there are public figures scared to answer the question, what is a woman? All terrified, devoid of any courage, thereby failing to respect women, in case they are criticized for saying a biological female.

Marriage was the first institution God created, before Church or anything else, From time immemorial, in every nation in the world, in every way of life and belief, the normal way of life was the joining of a man and woman, in a sacred service of matrimony before God, a once for all union, which would raise a family, and this has been the practice through the ages.

 God made two people, man and woman, Adam and Eve; not William and Harry or Sharon and Tracy. 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.  He made men and women to have a natural attraction, opposites attracting.  God planned the human heart to love, marry and have children. Most men if honest would concede how their wife has been of much help.

So we have two people, equal yet different, no question of superiority or inferiority.  They were not meant to be identical, men are generally stronger physically, more aggressive, with a greater propensity for leadership, women softer and sensitive and caring, specially equipped to be mothers. In all ways of life, men and women can however perform the same tasks, but God did give special gifts to each.  

In the film ‘my fair lady’, Rex Harrison playing a professor of phonetics asks, ‘why can’t a woman be like a man, and gets the answer, ‘because she wasn’t created to be’.  We are a mixture that complements one another.

The Bible states a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife.  Cleave suggests glued together, so the two should grow in love through the years in an exclusive commitment. As they do so they share likes and dislikes, and whilst they will have different strengths and weaknesses, each will help the other. They will find they can know the other’s feelings, and often anticipate what the other is thinking. They need to trust each other and have no secrets. The wife is now the one in the man’s life who takes precedence over all others.    

When two people appear together at Church for the wedding service, they pledge their faithfulness to each other and there is the giving of a ring(s).  The ring has no break, no ending, signifying unending love.  The ring is made of gold, precious and for longevity.  This is what God intended. They make vows to be true to each other, pledging  to stay together until death, not as the modern way of until we get fed up with each other.

Having become one, they were not to look for sexual pleasure elsewhere.  Marriage was meant to be for life, but now is under attack as never before, and not seen as a lifelong commitment, divorce is easy and generally taken as acceptable.  Jesus laid strictness on marriage, but ruled divorce out.  In Britain we have one of the lowest marriage rates in Europe, but the highest number of divorces.

     In the days of Henry Ford and the Model T, someone asked him to what formula he attributed his successful marriage. He said, "The same formula as the making of a successful car: stick to one model."

A problem these days is people watch television, and are unable to differentiate fact from fiction. There are movies where boy meets girl, or man meets woman, they enjoy time together, which means they jump into bed together, and usually leads to disappointment in their lives, or leads to a quick, unthought about marriage. There is often a situation where one or both have other partners .

Marriage is a gift of God, and needs to be respected. There needs to be time spent getting to know the everyday ways of the other, the irritations there may be. Billy Graham used to advise young people, who are Christians, to ask God to guide them and He would lead them to the right man or woman.

Some people would scoff at such a suggestion, but from personal experience I know it to be true. God must have loved me, for He gave me a girl with whom I shared a happy married life with for many years, until He recently called her back. .

Marriage is the bedrock of society, yet now long held beliefs are being challenged.   Marriage lends stability to society and builds a framework, which is held in high esteem.  It is one of the most important aspects of our culture.   Jesus highly valued marriage, and performed His first miracle at a wedding.    

Marriage is a solid foundation for the bringing up of children, who are a key factor in God’s intention for marriage. I worked in a big city, with a lot of different districts, and I once remarked to a Jewish Rabbi that I had never known a Jewish boy (or girl) get into trouble for anti-social or violent behavior.  I asked him what he attributed this to, and he said ‘the Jewish Mama, she keeps control of her family.’  I am sure that is true, but there are many Christian mamas too, perhaps not as many as hitherto


God has laid down total disapproval of divorce, which for  many years was not a practice the majority of people sought, they were more respectful of their vows, and tried to be reconciled. The Bible does in the New Testament allow divorce, if one partner in a marriage is unfaithful and commits adultery, leaving the innocent party to be free of blame. To obtain a divorce, it was necessary to show some worthy cause to justify.  How different now, that the government have  made it so easy, that man or woman can obtain a divorce without reason, or even seeking the other partner’s agreement.

We have now reached the stage where the whole of God’s original plan for men and women has been widely abandoned.  Just as in the days of Malachi described in the Old Testament, there is a spiritual decline with people forsaking God, and an alarming breakdown in family life.

When God’s plan for marriage is not followed, there are so many failed ones.  We need to return to the Biblical pattern, where the secrets of a happy married life are laid out.


 In recent days of the twentieth century, it became fashionable for two people of the same sex to create a same sex union legislated into law. It was inevitable that this would only be tolerated for a short period, before demanding to have this termed as marriage.  Supported politically and by the Church, who misinterpreted the Bible, to say God was a God of  love, so therefore included same sex marriages. This was a gross and false statement. The Bible in numerous passages, strictly condemns such unions unequivocally. It was wrong for the Church to mislead.

If two people want to live together, that is entirely their right to do so in a free society, and  should be allowed to do so without interference from anyone else. but not for the Church to comply.

God intended men and women should have children, which means having a father and mother.  Children need both for a balanced upbringing, and to receive the benefit of both characters in their lives.  Family meant husband, wife and children.  This is the ideal, which cannot be attained by two people of the same sex.

 The practice of a man referring to another man as his wife, or a woman referring to a woman as her husband, is an abuse of words.

We now have two people of the same sex adopting children, or paying someone to act as surrogate, with the aid of a third party to assist by providing the required alternative specimen.

 Research after research, has resulted in being agreed that a home without a father and mother, leads to a child’s failure to rise to its ability. Children have fallen into Crime, and other misdeeds when devoid of the two parents. Many children have grown up in a lot of sadness when their parents fall out and/or parting..  Grown- ups should act accordingly, and think of the children they created, and the responsibility they owe them.

Politicians have caused untold hardship to many abandoned children by their stubborn insistence, not only in giving two same sex people the right to adopt children, but making it illegal for Adoption bodies to refuse adoption by same sex couples.  Such action resulted in Catholic Adoption agencies, which did such fine work, being forced to close down because they found it unable to reconcile such servile policy contrary to their Christian belief. Such is the government’s idea of democracy and freedom of conscience.

 Casual sex, ‘partnerships’, and recognized homosexual relationships as ‘marriage’, are contrary to God creation.  Marriage was heterosexual, and co-habitation causes so many problems in society as many children do not know their biological father.

Politicians have now tried to replace God with their own discredited plans, and decided to redefine marriage on the spurious grounds of supposed equality.  People can be perfectly equal without being the same; God did this at the time of creation when he made both man and woman equal in His sight, but for different purposes.

David Cameron created the present chaos with his typical off the cuff action,  without thinking the issue through.  God created us different so children could be brought into the world, something same sex couples cannot do. Civil partnerships provided all the legal provision for people who wish to live together, and that is a matter for choice which we all accept is a personal decision. 

To disagree with same sex marriage is not homophobic or bigotry, such opposition is not based against sexual orientation, but on respect for tradition and biblical teaching. God made man and then made woman to be joined together with the view to producing children. Such is the purpose of marriage. Civil partnerships provide all that marriage can offer in law, there cannot therefore be any reasonable or justifiable cause to create massive disruption, conflict and controversy.                                  Why then have Church leaders in this country forced the introduction to be celebrated in Churches?               

The Methodist Church Conference made a momentous decision to change direction of the Church, without members being consulted because an earlier survey indicated  it would rejected.  I am sure they will come to regret this.  In the coming months the Church of England has indicated it will approve the introduction of such  unions, having already having approved blessings for couples who have gone through a civil ceremony.

The once great Methodist Church was built on strong biblical foundation. The great revival of Christianity in this country came during the ministry of John and Charles Wesley. If they were alive today they would have much to say at he at the way the Church has failed to proclaim the message they left. I am sure they would hardly recognize the Church today,  they did not have the technological wonders we have, but one thing would please them, there are still some of us who still believe the Bible.

John Wesley laid down much of the liturgy, and in the Methodist Worship Book his introduction to the Marriage Service states, a marriage ceremony is a formal occasion when a solemn, legal contract is made between a man and a woman. In this context, it is also an act of worship in which marriage is celebrated as a gift from God, and the joy of the couple is shared and their commitment to each other is witnessed by families and friends, The Marriage Service’s themes of love, hope, faithfulness,, sacrifice and trust are at the heart of the Christian gospel,

How can the leaders of the Churches and the Ministers allow this to happen? A Minister is in the Church to represent Christ and speak for Jesus. We are called to preach the gospel that Jesus commanded and ordered His Apostles to teach, not the wishes of society.  Has commitment and integrity been abandoned altogether in the Church.

There will be many Ministers who will not want to accept the decision made, and may be forced to move family and home, and also put their career at risk after years of devotion. There will inevitably instances where congregations will have a different opinion tan the Minister, so causing more division.The Bible states ,ALL Scripture is inspired by God and does not need any additions, subtractions or amendments.

It is impossible for Christians to support same sex marriage, when it is recognized that this was not God intended, as numerous Biblical passages spell out.  Yet the Bishop of Salisbury once told, we should support such unions, and stated we must view with a mix of bible, tradition and reasoned experience.  I agree fully with the bishop on the latter statement; although he is obviously rather confused.

Regrettably, there are those within and leading the Church, still campaigning for same sex marriages. A Labour Member of Parliament has introduced a Bill to force the Church to adopt the same. All this after the Church of England has been cast out of the Anglican Communion of Churches, because the bishops have already authorized blessings for such marriages.

The Bible is unequivocal that marriage is heterosexual; tradition is that marriage is solely man and woman; and reasoned experience has proved that marriage creates a stable structure and is the bedrock of society.

How ironic that Britain and America, with two misguided leaders of the two nations, which over the years sent missionaries to other smaller nations to teach Christianity, should want to lead other nations to forsake those great principles once given, for  their personal twisted misguided progressive ideas.

How pleased will God be in seeing missionaries from those countries, now coming to our lands to teach us what real Christianity means, and are preaching in Churches which are filled with devoted followers. 

From my pleasant association with Christians in Africa I see how the Christians in those nations shine so brightly, and are inspiring in their devotion to the faith, and find the lack of faith in Western nations disappointing.  They found recent action of the bishops of the Church of England to approve blessings for same sex unions, was one of disapproval for the violation of holy Scripture.

I close with the words used by the distinguished Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster in a pastoral letter, ‘we have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations.’


You are invited to make any comment


Friday 12 May 2023


Perhaps the greatest tragedy for the welfare and good of this nation, is the fact that marriage has been downgraded and the need for a stable family virtually ridiculed.  The well- established principle of a family being a man (father) and woman (mother) being joined in holy matrimony and bring up children together, has been cavalierly dismissed as old-fashioned.  We see so clearly the consequences.

     We constantly read and hear reports of young people between the ages of 7 and teenage years, terrifying whole neighbourhoods.  They abuse, assault, and families have been killed whilst defending their property.  Whole gangs terrorize and rob at will, and if anyone should remonstrate with them that person runs the risk of stabbing or serious injury. On several occasions men roam in the streets, seeking confrontation with other gangs and their members, which have cost the lives of substantial number of young men, sometimes innocent victims. 

     On so many occasions, broken homes have been a cause of such behaviour, with a mother unable to control or showing an utterly irresponsible line.  One 12 years old boy terrified an estate, and his mother said he was ‘her little Satan, but wasn’t really evil’. An unwitting contradiction in terms, but added he just needs understanding.  He certainly needs something, but more severe than understanding. Yet again an absent father.

      In the Old Testament, Joshua a great leader of the Jewish people, addressed the nation and said, ‘as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’

     ‘A nation is only as strong as its homes’, said Abraham Lincoln, and today our homes are reflecting the state of the our nation, which is in the deteriorating state of moral and social decay, which should make us fear for the future of our children and grandchildren.

       The first home was instituted by God before Church, schools, or government. God made man, and then woman to be his wife, to live together and have children. It was meant to be where father, mother and children lived as a family. It was a place where children first heard about God as parents told them about Jesus

     The home now doesn’t mean as much today as it used to do, and to so many people the idea of two people being married as the ideal is old fashioned and rather stupid.  .  Marriage was built on the foundations of the Bible.  It has been said that in 100 years from now, marriage will have ceased to exist, and if some politicians had their way, it would be in a lot less time.

     There are indeed powerful forces within the government and liberal establishment who are determined to destroy the traditional and biblical image of the home, marriage, and family, by stating two men can bring up children through adoption. God made quite categorical that man and woman should have children, and the suggestion that two men can do so, is quite ridiculous. A child needs the presence of both

     God has laid down clearly what He expects, and a mother’s nature was so made by God to have the gift of caring and guiding, and a child without a mother, has been deprived of a vital necessity.

     Homes are the foundation and bedrock of society, and they are being destroyed.  If evil forces win the battle for the home, there is nothing left worth fighting for.  We have to restore the home as the basic unit of society.

     An indication of how our judiciary thinks and views the Christian faith was displayed in the High Court when it was said, ‘marriage is not generally regarded as a sacrament and divorce is a statistical commonplace’.

      The Bible teaches that marriage is holy and sacred in the sight of God. I'm afraid that some enter into it like it's all a big joke. Others go into marriage for luck and they break up and there's trouble and there's disappointment.  That is wrong. Marriage should be preceded by the most careful thought.

      One of the nations’ favourite television programmes has been featuring two people, who are neighbours, conniving at having an affair as a major story line  People are so captivated by television stories they think they have to emulate them in real life.  I dread seeing weddings or funerals on television as I know some of the ridiculous actions will be asked for in the following weeks.

      You can’t have a relationship with God and be in an adulterous relationship. In the Old Testament it was considered so serious it was a capital offence punishable by death.  God wanted to show the world how serious was the marriage vow

     We have so much unhappiness and trouble in the home today because we've got away from God's laws, rules, and regulations governing marriage, When God performed the first marriage, He laid down the rules, and He said if you want to have a happy home, obey these rules. If you want to have trouble, disobey them.

     Having children means more than conceiving and bearing them. Raising children is a vitally responsible and important task.  It is more than being a novelty for some celebrity, or as a passport to the top of the housing list for a young woman.  A whole future life is in the hands of parents, yet we hear of multiple children of a woman from multiple fathers who have no interest in the poor children.

     It is reckoned that in the majority of homes no biblical knowledge or teaching is being given to children, probably as much due to the fact the parents have none.

     Each generation claims things are worse than in their time, but I can never recall a time when children were allowed to terrorise whole neighbourhoods and cause such fear vandalising, abusing and stealing knowing they are virtually immune from any punishment.  They are fully aware of the law which protects them, and little help is offered in most cases by police.  It is hard to comprehend how the police allow such behaviour to develop, they certainly wouldn’t when it was known as ‘the Police Force’ rather than what is now little more than a social service.   Society must decide what sort of a future we want as far as children are concerned.

     The Bible says listen to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.   We can learn so much from Jewish parenthood.  Father’s teaching to his children of the Ten Commandments, one for each of the ten fingers, and the history of the Jewish people from the Old Testament, and the mother controlling behaviour.  I have never known nor heard of a Jewish child being involved in violent disorder or crime.  When I asked a Rabbi why he thought that may be, I was told it is because of the Jewish Mama being in control  in the home.

     Mothers can indeed have a great effect on children.  I was often required to be away from the home for long hours, and it is a great tribute to my wife, that two of my sons became ordained, and have proved to be very wonderful and successful Ministers.

     Far too many children are left to their own devices.  How can teenagers roam the streets drunk and threatening people, stabbing other teenagers, and forming life threatening other gangs, without the parents knowing of it?  So why don’t they do something about it.  Yet again, in the days of an interested and efficient Police Force, action would have been taken under the Children’s Act for failing to control their children.

      Some feminist thinkers have said that motherhood will have to go in a new social order, and find a new way of raising children.  You may have seen women being asked on television what their occupation was, and sometimes you hear the reply, ‘just a housewife’   No apology is needed.  A housewife and mother is as great a calling as any in the world.  Like God, they are a very present help in times of trouble.  My sons have all held their mother in the highest esteem, and my son who died called Mum as his last word.

     Christian standards have gone from many homes. Everywhere people search for happiness from the wrong things and wrong places.  Many criminals have come from homes where there has been no peace, no discipline nor Christian values or teaching. The biggest cause of young criminals is due to marital breakdown and separation

     Children take up home values. When a father dodges working, a son will invariably copy.  God ordered us to work and there would be less poverty if more people were working.

     It is a matter of great regret that government is forcing councils, some of which don’t need that much encouragement, to foster and send for adoption, children to two people of the same sex.  A child needs a father and a mother, both of whom are essential to a child’s moral and social development and welfare.  It is therefore irresponsible to make such enactment and reveals contempt for God’s decree.

     The Bible says we have to have discipline in the home. It is a sign of the times that discipline has become non- existent in many homes, schools, and society in general, and has become a word considered vulgar. Children have a natural bias to do wrong; you never have to teach a child to say no.

     If Britain is to defend its values successfully, it must rediscover the Christian faith in which those values are ultimately rooted.  Marriage and the home are firmly part of those roots. When the founding principles are eroded, and the morality and biblical fundamentals are taken away, there is no foundation for society, which is a dangerous thing and we are seeing some of the consequences developing.