Thursday, May 26, 2005

Working for an Exclusive Brethren Company.

The company I work for is a family business. The family that own it are members of the Taylorite division of the Exclusive Brethren. This is a very strict Fundamentalist Protestant sect. That I work for this company is incredibly conincidental (the Lord's blessings, I suppose), as the subject of my PhD thesis is John Nelson Darby, who began and lead the Exclusive Brethren in the 19th Century.

The faith of the owners does make a difference to its life. The rules of the sect forbid the use of computers and fax machines; hence these cannot be allowed on the premises. However, the company makes use of a fax machine and computer that is operated by the company's accountant in a separate premise. The reason for this rule is that it is believed such machinery is part of the Anti-Christ system.

Not everybody who works for the company is a member (for obvious reasons it will be apparent I am not). The Exclusive sisters who work there wear skirts and long hair and put on headscarves when they leave, in compliance with the sect's rules.

The family are nice people. I am unhappy with some aspects of the Taylorite Exclusives, but I greatly respect their zeal and commitment. I think Christians ought to be more separate from the world in general. I agree strongly with their insistence on long hair and skirts for women and their commitment to Biblical headcovering (though some of the Excluisve sisters wear headscarves that do not really cover their heads as 1 Corinthians requires).

Friday, May 20, 2005

Shoes in Homes: A British Cultural Defect

Can a cultural practise be defective? In the case of British etiquette, I think so. In many cultures across the world, people do not wear shoes in homes. In virtually all of Asia, in the Middle East, in North Africa, in Scandinavia countries, in Canada, the North-western USA, and in Eastern Europe, it is usual to remove one's shoes at the door. But not in Britain. Not in Britain, where we have damp, wet and miserable weather for most of the year.

In Britain, most people will often wear shoes in their homes, ruining their carpets or marking their wooden flooring. It is certainly considered very impolite to ask your guests to remove their shoes. A lot of people will avoid wearing shoes indoors, but they rarely have a consistent policy of removing them at the door. It is common for people to offer to remove their shoes when visiting a friends home, but this is deceptive. The host, according to unspoken convention, must always enthusiastically decline this offer.

Perhaps I am being obsessive or I am anally retentive, but I think this is a serious defect in British culture. Wearing shoes in homes is simply stupid. Why have a carpet, or PVC flooring or fine softwood flooring if you intend to walk on it in shoes? Why not simply leave a concrete floor? If you walk on a carpet in shoes, it will wear out a lot faster. If you walk on other kinds of floors in shoes, you will probably leave marks.

There is a health issue involved. Dust is bad for you. One does not generally notice it, but one's shoes pick up dust. Children living in a dusty home have a higher risk of developing asthma. Carpets absorb dust very easily, but even if you dont have a carpet, the dust will build up unless you clean it regularly. Shoes also pick up other stuff, like pesticides, dog excrement (even just traces), petrol fumes and other toxic stuff. Is it really a good idea bringing all this stuff into one's house, or other people's houses?

Perhaps your guests might be embarassed to remove their shoes. Well, provide them with slippers. If people in Eastern Europe can afford to provide their gusts with slippers, I am sure people in Britain can.

Perhaps those bagless Dyson cleaners will help change the British people's attitudes. Those things enable you to see the filth that gets into your carpet. Perhaps also the increase in travel to Asia and the increase in immigration from Eastern Europe will have an influence in persuading British people to shed their shoes at the door.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Climate Change?

Is climate change real or not? I do not like to be too dogmatic. Most people seem pretty convinced that global warning is a real problem and is the result of carbon emissions. On the other hand, there are still a few scientists who challenge the theory of a link between carbon emissions and climate change. There is, of course the question of what to do about it if it is a real problem. There is a minority viewpoint, associated with Lindborg (have I got the name right?) which holds that though global warming is genuine, trying to make drastic cuts to emissions is a waste of resources.

I feel very sceptical about the whole climate change thing. The fact that the establishment is trying so hard to convince us makes me wonder if there is another agenda involved, such as European economic rivalry with the USA. There is also the fact that environmental groups are connected to secret societies and elitist foundations. The United Nations, which is at the heart of the New World Order agenda seems pretty keen on the idea of climate change. Environmentalism is a good way of forcing people to do things and to increase the powers of government and supra-national bodies.

None of this talk about a 'consensus' in the scientific community convinces me; these are the same scientists who tell us that humans evolved from apes and that the world is millions of years old.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Reasons Why Evangelicals Should Leave The Church Of England

1. Christians are called to be a 'peculiar people', a separate people from the world. The Church Of England is officially linked to the British state, a secular state that pays for the murder of unborn children. The Church should have no fellowship with the unfruitful powers of this world.

2. The Church of England has many members who are not really born-again believers. By taking communion these people drink destruction to themselves. Can a Christian have fellowship with them?

3. Discipline is a vital part of the life of a Biblical congregation. The Bible says 'Put away that wicked person'. Jesus gave clear instructions for the removal of unrepentant sinners from the Church to His disciples. How often are people put out of the Anglican Church? Many people live immoral lifestyles and believe all manner of false doctrine and yet remain active members of the Church of England.

4. Many ordained ministers in the Anglican Church teach various heresies. The present Archbishop of Canterbury has made negative comments on the Book of Revelation, has said suspect things about God, is a druid and believes that homosexuality is acceptable. I would myself question the validity of an ordained clergy, but even if one accepts ordained ministers,one must surely want ministers who are sound in doctrine in doctrine. Many of those Evangelicals in the Anglican Church seem rather soft on doctrine, such as the Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright who has severely compromised his stance on the doctrine of Justification. The compromise necessary to involvement in such a wayward Church makes their conservative stance seem hypocritical and forces them to apologize for their apostate colleagues. When my friends and I were preaching in Worcester once, my fellow preacher was challenged by an Evangelical Anglican minister who was 'deeply grieved' by his criticizing the Church of England.

5. The entire leadership structure of the Church of England is far removed from the structures we find in the New Testament. There is absolutely no way that one could read the New Testament and derive from it the authority of diocesan bishops, a general synod and parish priests. Do we follow the Bible or do we come up with our own ideas?

6. The Church of England titles its elders as 'priests'. There are only two priesthoods in the Bible, the Levitical priesthood and the priesthood of Melchizedek. The one has currently passed away until the millennium, the other is made up of all believers. Any other priesthood is a pagan priesthood. Some Evangelicals argue that the word priest is derived from the word presbyter or elder. However, it should be clear that there is some sort of priestly intercession woven into Anglican liturgy. The Anglican liturgy preserves the Catholic rite of confession and absolution. This is pure Romanism.

7. The Anglican leadership, including the Archbishop of Canterbury is committed to reconciliation and eventual unification with Rome. It is willing to accept the authority of the Pope if changes were made to the Vatican. Most Anglican clergy attend ecumenical meetings which include Catholic priests. Despite the teaching of the 39 Articles and the Homilies, the notion that the Roman Catholic Church is apostate and the Whore of Babylon is foreign to contemporary Anglican thinking.

8. Evangelicals in the Church of England have become deeply engrossed in an on-going debate about homosexuality. This is making a laughing stock of them and giving an impression that Evangelicals are obsessed with the issue of homosexuality. This is not the real issue. The real issue is the authority of the Word of God, however, in their desire to maintain fellowship with Liberals and apostates on their own terms, Evangelical Anglicans have had to make a stand on an issue over which their should be no debate.

9. Many Anglican building are full of religious images. The second commandment clearly forbids us to make graven images. What is more, many of these images are derived from pagan religion. To mix the worship of God with the worship of devils is to fall into the same error as the Jews of the Old Testament, who worshipped the Queen Of Heaven and took up the star of Moloch (that six-pointed star that they still use).

It is time for Evangelicals to recognize that Anglicanism is part of the same apostasy that holds Christendom captive everywhere. It is time for Evangelicals in the Church Of England to turn way from Satan and his unprofitable works and to make a wholehearted stand for the Gospel and the Word Of God.