Tuesday, November 29, 2005

National Service is an Abomination

I am very concerned. Conservative leadership candidate David Cameron has said that he is in favour of voluntary national service for school-leavers. Well, voluntary maybe for a while, but how long before it became compulsory? Even if it was not compulsory, I daresay there would be pressures to do it, such as getting better university places afterwards.

National service was abolished in Britain att he end of the 1950s. After the Second World War, young men had been required to serve two years in the army, navy or air force. In many European countries, such as Finland, young people have the choice of either serving a brief term in the military or else doing community or environmental work.

National serice, whether military conscription or community service, is essentially state slavery. The state tells young people-

'You will either join the armed forces, look after old people or pick up litter or else you will go to jail.'

Jail for what? Jail for excercising free choice. National service gives the state the power to determine the destiny of every individual. It is a denial that man is made in the image of God and responsible to Him foremost.

National serive is completely contrary to the principles of God's word-

Deutoronomy 20:5-9
'And the officer's shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, an another man dedicate it.
And what man is thehe that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in battle, and another man eat of it.
And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, let his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.
And it shall be that when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.'


So conscription is forbidden. The warning against kingship:

1 Samuel 8:11-18
'And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; ans ome shall run before hsi chariots.
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks and to be bakers.
And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
And he will take your menservants and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.'


Thats what I call national service. When a people give away their liberties to the state, they end up regretting it later. A people get the government they deserve. If you let the government get to big, do not be surprised if they take away your daughters to be cooks (or litter pickers).

National service is economically wasteful. It requires taxpayers money to sustain the bureaucracy involved. People doing national service are not economically useful; they create no wealth in the short term and the long term economic benefits are doubtful.

Lets be wary of these bright ideas from Europe.

People Not Places

Yesterday I realised my real attitude to travel and tourism. I realised I am much more interested in people than in places. I fyou tell me about your holiday, I would be much more interested in hearing about the sort of people you met than in the places and things that you saw.

When I went to Helsinki, it was wonderful to see the places that I had heard about. However, I was much more fascinated in the Finnish people and how they were so different from British and other nationalities. I spent little time before the trip reading my guidebook to places in Finland, but when I borrowed a book from the library on Finnish culture, I read it from cover to back.

I think my lack of interest in places explains why until the last year I have had so little interest in travel. As a tourist, it is easier to see places rather than people. The reason I was able to learn so much about Finnish life when I visited Finland was that I was staying with a resident. Had I stayed in a hotel or youth hostel I would not have learned as much.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Time for Some Disclaimers

I feel disturbed by the willingness of Evangelical Christian preachers and writers to shower praise and churn out quotations of CS Lewis without giving any warning about the fact that he was not Evangelical and not always very sound in theology. I have read very few books on spiritual warfare that do not quote CS Lewis' comment about the two dangers of either not believing in Satan or being fascinated by him.

Now, I do not want people to think I do not find CS lewis at all helpful. He made soem good points and his Chronicles of Narnia are always a pleasure to read. However, when recommending CS Lewis, it is necessary to make clear that there were many faults in his theology which can seriously mislead a Christian who is lacking in sound theology. As Lewis' books are probably most useful to Christians who are more immature there is the question of whether his non-fiction works should be recommended at all.

The serious flaws in Lewis' theology:

-He did not satisfactorily affirm Penal substitutionary atonement.
-He had no real doctrine of Justification, which is at the heart of the Gospel.
-He did not believe that the Bible was entirely the Word of God, holding that it contained errors of both fact and morals.
-He accepted the theory of evolution.
-He believed that false religions could lead to salvation.
-He was quite comfortable with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
-He spoke in positive terms about paganism.

I once mentioned the faults of CS Lewis' theology to a Pentecostal man. He warned me against judging other Christians. However, this man regularly criticised other Christians for not being pro-Israel enough and often made attacks against 'Replacement Theology'. Even he sometimes felt the need for attacking unsound theology.

I think the real reason for the unwillingness of preachers and Christian writers to mention Lewis' faults is sentimentality. We have all read the Narnia books and love them; nobody wants to criticize the man who wrote them. Well, I wish more Christians would have the courage to put a big disclaimer on CS Lewis.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Wrong Sorrow

Last night I felt really lonely. I just cried and cried. I just felt so unhappy.

After going to sleep for a while, I woke up and remembered that I had sinned against the Lord by neglecting to do something. I had gone for months without feeling any sorrow or guilt for this wicked omission. What right had I to weep over being lonely without the slightest trace of sorrow for leaving this thing undone? The Lord is most gracious to me, an undeserving sinner.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Against Traditionalism

Time for a post on aesthetics. I think Christians should beware of an aesthtic sensibility that is focused on ethnic traditions of one's own culture.

I am really uncomfortable with the kind of nationalistic, Romanticist aesthetic that delights in the traditional dance, music, dress and history of one's own culture. Christians should shun such cultural movements. Why? Firstly, because they create deep identification with this world. If I am a nationalistic, patriotic Englishman, I am grounding my identity in my native culture and am making it an object of affection and uniting myself to it as an object of loyalty. As a Christian I am united to Christ and to His body, the Church, who should find their identity in heaven with Christ. The Church is not of this world, it must maintain an identity that is separate from it. Therefore, we as Christians must beware patriotism in its identification with nations.

Secondly, such an aesthetic is exclusive because only those who belong to that culture can truly participate in it. Romantic cultural nationalism can go hand in hand with agressive, violent nationalism, as seen in the Fascism of the Second World War. In Christ, people from all nations become one in the body of Christ, in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile.

Some Christians attempt to resist this conclusion by arguing that in eternity the nations maintain a distinct identity, pointing out Revelation 21:24. It is certainly true that God has a distinct programme for the nations. They will indeed maintain separate identities for all eternity. It is part of God's plan since the Flood to create separate nations. However, to use this argument in favour of Christians identifying with their national and ethnic identity is to confuse dispensational differences. The nations will be blessed with earthly blessings in the Millennium and after. However, the Church is an ethereal, heavenly people, that will be translated out of the earth to dwell with Christ in heavenly bodies. There is no indication that Christians will maintain their ethnic and national identities after their resurrection or glorifaction.

Against traditionalism, I would argue that Christians should adopt an aesthetic sensibility that is essentially modernist. Romanticism looks to the past as a mythical golden age, it lacks a true future hope. In contrast, Christians look to the future as a source of hope and delight. Therefore we should not favour aesthetics that are built upon a longing for the past (as some Christians do with their delight in nostalgia, be it for the Middle Ages or for Scottish Covenanters). We are a people of the future. Is there a better example of modern architecture than the New Jerusalem in which God's heavenly people dwell in eternity? We amy certainly look to the past for examples of good tasste and art, but let us not exclusively do so and let us beware exclusively doting upon the culture of our own lands.

Lazy Theology

I get really irritated when some Christians attempt to dodge the issue of election by adopting a really vague position. You hear Christians say things like:

"The Bible teaches God's sovereignty in election and Man's responsibility and free-will. We will never understand these truths before eternity."

I appreciate that there are issues that may not be resolved and which we will never grasp the full depths of God's sovereignty before eternity. However, I think most people who make statements like the one above (a Calvinist might say that, but thats not all she would say) have avoided thinking clearly and carefully about the issues involved and examined carefully all that the Scriptures teach on election.

Questions I would ask the Both-Arminians-and-Calvinists-are right-ists include:

-Is election primarily to salvation or to privilege and position?
-Is election conditional upon faith?
-Is man able to respond to the gospel without regeneration?
-Is there any mediating agency in regeneration?

To avoid searching the Bible for answers to these is sheer laziness.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Eastern Europeans Please Come to Britain (Not all Right-wingers are Xenophobes)

According to the news today, there has been an increase in Eastern European migrant workers claiming child benefits. This means not all of them are single workers, but some of them are bringing families and children.

Some people will be worried about this, as immigration does bring with it problems. However, I for one would like to see an increase in East Europeans in this country. They seem like conservative, hard-working people. An increase in East Europeans would also provide a demographic balance to the rapid growth of the Muslim population in Britain, even if it means more Roman Catholics. East Europeans also tend to customarily remove their shoes at the door.

Nuclear Generators

It does look likely that Britain should build some nuclear generators. However, it is pretty certain that the prime minister is going to tread very softly on this issue.

I am disappointed that the two Conservative candidates have not spoken out clearly on this subject. To challenge the prime minister's hesitance would have been a good way for either David Davis or David Cameron to show some leadership.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Anvil and Fire

Anvil and Fire

Another good Christian blog.

Get Rid of GCSE Coursework

Public criticism has been made today of the role of coursework in school examinations (age 15-16). I quite agree with them. It is far too easy to cheat on coursework, as opposed to exams. Pupils can get help from their parents, from the internet and even from the teacher. It is not a fair system.

The other problem with coursework, I would argue, is that it can easily be marked on the basis of presentation, which tends to put girls at an advantage (they always seemed to produce neater work). Coursework also puts us Dyspraxics at a disadvantage, as we always tend to fall down on presentation.

Sermon on the Mount

I think that the Dispensational view that the Sermon on the Mount is not a rule of life for believers, but rather a call to Israel to repent, is brilliant. I love this view because it is so offensive to the pious. You get lots of people who are quick to claim that they live their life by the Sermon on the Mount, but they do not come an inch close. Likewise, Christian Socialists are quick to take the teaching out of context to promote their own warped view of economic relations.

The Sermon ont eh Mount is law, not grace. To preach the the Sermon on the Mount as a rule of life is to encourage either hypocrisy or legalism.

Mary and Prophecy

Psalm69:9
'For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.'


All Christians agree that this is a messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. However, is the previous verse not also part of the prophecy?:

v8
'I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.'


If this is a messianic prophecy it blows away Mary's supposed perpetual virginity.

It is strange how persistent the doctrine of Mary's perpetaul virginity has been in Protestant circles. Even the Scofield Reference Bible argues that James is a cousin of Jesus (the same person as James, son of Alphaeus).

Monday, November 21, 2005

Worldview

Worldview is a great buzzword to use in Christian circles. If you are discussing something with a group of Christians and you want to seem intellectual, just drop in the word worldview. Everyone will then know that you are being intellectual.

Bundaberg Australian Root Beer

It was absolutley lovely. It tasted similar to the root beer that I have tried so far. Delightfully medicinal.

I do seem to blog about food and drink a lot. I just enjoy eating and drinking. Stereotypically, nervous, thin men like me have little interest in food and drink, unless they are alcoholics. I guess I am not a stereotypical thin, nervous man.

Reindeer Salami

The Reindeer Salami that I brought back from Finland was wonderful (ihana in Finnish). You would probably not have guessed what meat it was if you did not know, but it was very nice. It was smoked, so I suppose it would not be something to eat too often (eating smoked food increases the risk of cancer). I wish I was in Finland, even with the cold weather.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Free Grace Theology: The Death that Christ Died and its Purpose

Free Grace Theology: The Death that Christ Died and its Purpose

Period After Church Services

The period after Church services is always really depressing. You are supposed to stand around drinking tea and talking to people. These conversations are always short and impossibly shallow. The people you talk to always forget everything you say to them. These days I make little effort ot get into conversation; it just seems a bit pointless. I tend to stand around wondering how long I should stay.

I suppose being Dyspraxic, social occasions like this are difficult. Dyspraxics tend to find it hard picking up social conventions and also find it difficult to follow conversations.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Advent Calendar

Would you believe it? My mother bought me a chocolate-filled advent calendar. It has pictures of the 'Simpsons' on. She also bought a Barbie-themed advent calendar for my sister (who is 23) and an Incredibles-themed advent calendar for her partner (who must be about 27). I think at the age of 24, I am perhaps a bit old for openning advent calendars.

My parents till insist on my leaving out a big sock every Christmas Eve, and then filling it with small presents, always including an orange and some Chocolate money.

I must get back to reading the 'Two Babylons'...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Root Beer

I sometimes get free samples from work. This week there was a crate of bottles of Root Beer in my boss' office. I decided I really wanted to try one, so I dropped a hint. I said 'Are you going to be selling that Root Beer?'. She said 'Should we?'. And, as I had hope, she let me take a bottle to try.

I am really looking forward to trying it. It is made in Australia. I have tried the Root Beer that they sell in Sainsbury's Supermarkets, but I doubt that tastes like the real thing.

Excommunication and Marital Separation

The most disturbing thing about that Raven/ Taylor Exclusive Brethren is their rigid insistence on the separation of married couples in the event of one spouse being put out of fellowship. Even the Jehovah's Witnesses are not so rigig as to enforce marital separation in these circumstances.

This was not the position of John Nelson Darby, the foudner of the Exclusive Brethren:

Darby said:
'Take a wife who's husband is put out. It may seem awkward, but her action is not keeping company with him as a case of will; it is a matter of subjection to authority.' Notes of Readings on 1 Corinthians, Collected Writings Vol.26, p.220

Darby is typically opaque here. I take that to mean that a wife does not remain with her husband because she wants to and loves him, but because she is subject to his authority, which the excommunication does not cancel.

Darby is clearer in another set of readings in the same volume:

'The separation applies to everything. Not to those who are married; we have instruction elsewhere about such, not to leave the one the other: "for what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"' Notes of Readings on 2 Corinthians, Collected Writings, Vol.26, p.347

So, Darby does not appear to take the position that excommunication must lead to maritial separation.

Early to wed may make marriage happy, survey says

Interesting. A lot of people think you should marry later in life, to be more financially secure and to be more mature for such a big decision. But is that really a good idea?

While, I cannot speak from experience, I think there are disadvantages to delaying marriage. More exposure to temptation. The danger of building up one's expectations of marriage too high. Also, by prolonging singleness, one may get too used to it and find marriage a big shock.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Addressing God as 'Thou'

I must be one of the few Christians under the age of 30 who addresses God as 'thou' rather than 'you'. I do have a friend who usually prays to God as 'thou', except when he is preaching from the pulpit (for some reason). He might just be about 29, but he has probably reached 30. Even Christians who are very conservative and who read the King James Bible who address God as 'you'.

Now, please do not expect me to judge anyone who does not do this. The Bible does not make the disitnction between an address for God and an address for men in the singular. So, I cannot tell you that you should do this. That would be legalistc and wrong. However, I think the old practise of retaining the use of 'thou' for prayer was good; it maintained a sense of reverance. I think is rather a shame that the you/thou distinction in general has been lost in everyday speech in English. I therefore want to hold on to it when I pray and recognsise that there is one God and to address Him as such.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tagged Anyway

Just a follow-up on the post about the teenage girl who got out of having to wear an electronic tag because she liked to wear skirts. She breached bail a second time, the silly girl. She has now been tagged. Apparently she went to the magistrates court in trousers this time. She is facing charges for assault.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Wordy Tracts

I find it odd that my fellow evangelists seem to favour veryy wordy tracts. Tracts that are popular with evangelists either have a long piece of text or else a large number of Bible verses. The problem is most people on the street will not spend much time reading a tract. I think the most effctive tracts are those with a very, short punchy Gospel message and just a couple or so Bible verses. Am I being too pragmatic? Obviously, very literate people will spend time reading a long tract, but I do not think this is the case with most people.

Is Cleanliness Next to Godliness?

Cleanliness is next to godliness. Is this old proverb true?

Against

-It is not in the Bible.
-Lots of godly people are not always very clean or keep their homes clean.
-It leads to a judgmental attitude.
-Christian ministry, for example, mission work, can often involve getting dirty (horror of horrors).

For (of course)

-Being judgmental is bad, even over more serious matters than cleanliness.
-If your body is God's gift, should you not keep it clean?
-Just read Leviticus if you think being clean does not matter (but do not forget dispensational differences).
-Living in a dirty house is very unhealthy. Can one be godly without being concerned about one's familiy's health?
-The statement does not say that cleanliness is godliness, only that it is the next best thing. The practical benefits of cleanliness speak for themselves.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Naughty Behavior

Some people say the riots in Paris are because of poverty. I say it is just because they are naughty. 'Poverty' sounds like an excuse.

Salami

The best thing about Europe, in my opinion, is salami. There is a whole continent full of the stuff- German peppered salami, pink Danish salami, French Saucission, Salami Milano. So much to choose from. When I went to Helsinki, Finland, I brought back a Reindeer Salami. I have not tried it yet. I am sure it will be nice.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Worship at my Congregation

At my Church (part of the Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches) we sing a mixture of modern choruses and hymns accompanied by singers and a few musical instruments. It is peculiar how the Church combines very conservative, moderately Reformed theology with contemporary worship. The pastor once said:

"I know that we get the worship right here when somebody afterwards complains after the service that we sang too many choruses and somebody else complains that we sang too many hymns."

With respect to the pastor, this is not a good attitude. Is true worship about pleasing different groups of people?

Sold Out

A good Christian blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Was Cain Eve's First Child? (by Special Request)

I would suggest that Eve may have been pregnant at the time of the Fall. This child must have been a daughter, as Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve. We are not told, however, that he was the first child that Eve bore. We know that Adam and Eve had daughters, one of whom would have been Mrs. Cain.

Now it is possible that a daughter was conceived in Eve after the Fall before the birth of Cain, but I would suggest that she may have been pregnant when the Fall happened. My reason for thinking this is that the Fall happened pretty quickly. Some Puritans suggested that the Fall occurred on the sixth day, demonstrating the wickedness of man in falling so quickly. However, it appears that everything was still good on the Seventh day when God rested. So, the Fall must have happened a day or two after Adam and Eve were created.

It may be that Adam and Eve delayed the consumation of their marriage for some reason (figuring it out?), but given that God had commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, they would presumably have got on with it.
As the world was at the height of fertility, it surely seems likely that the first marital act would have resulted in conception. So, I would suggest that Eve was already pregnant with a daughter by the time that Satan tempted her.

There is the problem of the effect of the Fall on this child. She would have been conceived in innocence without the taint of sin. However, she must have received both the guilt and fallen nature of Adam after the Fall. Therefore sin must have been communicated to her either through the womb or else supernaturally through Adam's spiritual headship. As the curse was communicated to the whole creation, I think there is no real problem with the guilt of Adam being communicated to the future Mrs. Cain (or Mrs. Abel) even though she had already been conceived.

Street Preaching Today

As usual for a saturday, I went out street preaching with my friends from Church. I preached twice and stayed out for about an hour. I saw the two Exclusive Brethren girls from work while I was preaching. The Exclusive Brethren in Worcester seem to have a lot of respect for my little team's preaching.

One of my fellow street preachers criticised me today. He pointed out that I used to preach for much longer periods, implying that I had lost a lot of fervour in the last year. I pointed out that most people at our Church did no street preaching at all. To this he replied "Yes, but should we compare ourselves with those who are weak or those who are strong?" But then he realised what he was saying and said "I am sorry. That was arrogant."

I think his criticism was unfair. It is true that I seem to get more tired out by street preaching these days. However, I used to find it tiring when I stayed out for 3 or 4 hours two years ago. My friend is a full-time preacher who has two days a week off. Saturday, the day that I preach, is almost my day off (I usually do a bit of studying on saturday).

Padded Cell

I happened to see a ridiculous pop music video today. It featured the singer pounding on the walls of a padded cell. Strangely, she was wearing hair clips. You would think the staff of any sensible mental hospital would take away a patient's hair clips before putting her in a padded cell.

John Nelson Darby and the Early Brethren

I guess you should write about what you know about, so I am going to do some posts on the history of the Plymouth Brethren.

John Nelson Darby was born in 1800 to a wealthy Irish family who lived in Leap Castle in the Wicklow Mountains. His father was a merchant with business in Russia. He received an excellent education, excelling at Trinity College, Dublin in the study of Classics. He began a brief career as a barrister, but felt a calling to the Anglican ministry. His father disapproved of this and disowned him.

Darby put great devotion into his work as a curate in the Church of Ireland. He spent much time fasting and lived a rather ascetic lifestyle. He was not during this time an Evangelical, rather he favoured Sacramental, High Church theology.

In 1827. Darby came into conflict with William Magee, the Archbishop of Dublin. Magee gave a charge petitioning Parliament for more protection for the Church against Catholic insurgency. He also demanded that converts to the Anglican Church from Catholicism should be required to take an oath of loyalty to the Crown. Darby was outraged by this nad wrote a letter of protest to Magee. He argued that the Church is an heavenly body that must be separate from the world. However, little notice was taken of Darby's protest.

The same year, Darby suffered a riding accident. During his recuperation, he began to re-asses his theology. He came to a realisation that Christ had sat down in Heaven and that he himself was identified wioth Christ, the Man in Heaven. Thus, he could be assured that his sins were forgiven. He became far more Evangelical and Calvinistic and abandoned Sacramentalist views. He also began to distinguish more strongly the true Church and Christendom, which he felt had fallen into apostasy.

Darby went to stay in Dublin in order to receive medical treatment. There he encountered several groups of Christians who met for prayer and Bible study. Some were Anglicans, others nonconformists. They included John Giffard Bellett, Edwin Cronin (an ex-Catholic) and Anthony Norris Groves (an ex-Anglcian missionary). They strongly believed in the unity of all Christians and they began to break bread together outside of denominational structures. These man were probably deeply concerned about the worldly state of the Established Church in Ireland. They were also likely dispappointed by the failure of Evangelicalism to bring about any change in this state of affairs.

The Dublin meetings were the nucleus of the Brethren movement that somehow (historians are baffled by this)exploded across Ireland and England with the formation of new assemblies for worship and the breaking of bread. In this movement, Darby adopted an almost apostolic role, writing many letters to the new assemblies giving them advise. Important new assemblies included the one at Plymouth (where we get the misleading name for the Brethren), Barnstable (the ministry of Robert Chapman) and Bristol (George Muller, founder of Bristol orphanage).

The leading Brethren took part in a number of conferences at the home of Lady Theodosia Powerscourt, a wealthy young widow, to whom Darby became briefly engaged during his thirties, though they never married. The Powerscourt conferences were intitially a non-sectarian affair, but eventually all but the Brethren dropped out of them. They gave Darby a space and a platform to develope his views on Bible Prophecy. He shifted from a conventional Historicism to a complex system that became known as Dispensationalism. He introduced the doctrine of the Pre-Tribualtional Rapture, a point which lead to some controversy within the Brethren.

Darby made his ministry international in 1837, when he went ot Switzerland. There he became involved in controversies with the dissenting Churches there. He planted a number of Brethren assemblies there, and the Brethren still have a presence in Switzerland.

I will post sometime on the controversies at Plymouth and Bristol that lead to the schism between the Closed and Open Brethren.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Spared Having to Wear a Tag

Worcester Magistrate's Court ruled that a teenage girl who breached bail conditions will not have to wear an electronic tag as she prefers to wear skirts, which would not have hidden the tag as trousers would.

No doubt lots of Right-wing people in Worcester will be outraged by the decision. I sent a letter today to the local press praising the decision. Skirts are a modest and femminine way to dress and the state ought not to discourage her from wearing them. Even a a woman breaking the law should not be forced to be unfemminine.

There was a photograph of the girl on the paper. The thought did cross my mind that perhaps she was a member of the Exclusive Brethren, given the size of the Exclusive community in Worcester and her obvious fondness for denim skirts. That was a very naughty thought. And highly unlikely. Still, it does amaze me how the Exclusive Brethren in Worcester never get any mention in the local press.

Statement of Belief

I am concerned that some Christians may not be aware of where I stand on the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. They may fear that they are reding the writings of some heretic or the follower of a cult. To re-assure everyone, I will give my Statement of Faith to show my orthodox credentials.

1. I believe that the King James Bible, as published by the Trinitarian Bible Society is 100% the word of God, except for the misleading chapter headings at the top of the page.

2. I believe that it is highly possible that Eve was pregnant at the time of the Fall with a daughter. We are not told specifically that Cain was the first child she bore, only the first son. Besides, do you not think Adam and Eve would have consumated their marriage before Satan got round to tempting them?

3. I believe that the Nephilim were angel-human hybrids and that we may see a return of such hybrids, possibly in connection with UFO activity.

4. I believe that the Song of Solomen is not about Christ and the Church but about human relationships. Solomen is the villain of this story, because he tries to seduce the Shulamite away from her shepherd lover.

5. I believe that the Message inserts a magic formula into the Lord's Prayer- 'As above, so below'. This is derived from alchemy and shows how dodgy that paraphrase is.

6. I believe that Christian women should wear a cloth headcovering during worship (a hat does not count) and it would be good for them to wear one most of the time in public.

7. I believe that a Christian woman should wear her hair long and avoid wearing trousers.

8. I believe that most modern worship songs teach shallow Charismatic theology.

9. I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon.

10. I believe that the Mark of the Beast is probably that Star of David symbol.

This confession of faith should clear any questions as to my orthodoxy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Somebody who is Evidently as Obsessive as Me

There are lots of us Obsessive-Compulsive types in the world.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Colman's Mustard

I think Colman's Mustard is the best mustard in the world. A couple of years ago, my mother would sometimes buy me all sorts of posh mustards. I had to tell her- 'Please do not buy me any more fancy mustards, I just like COlman's.'

Monday, November 07, 2005

Social Problems in Europe

A lot of Left-wing people make out that the USA has far more social and racial problems than Europe. Have they not heard the news about the rioting in Paris? A lot of European countries are worried that the same could happen outside of France.

During the Katrina disaster I heard British people talking about the plight of poor and Black people in New Orleans. They said that such inequality of suffering would not have occurred in a European city. Oh Yeah? About the same time as Katrina, a fire broke out in an overcrowded block of flats in Paris, inhabited mostly by African immigrants. Most European cities have large numbers of immigrants who are poor, live in overcrowded housing and often get involved in crime. If a disaster hit a European city, these folks would suffer just as much as Black people in New Orleans.

I have heard Left-wingers make out that Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark) are paradises on earth because of their huge welfare states. Yet Finland, has lots of alcoholism, lots of depression, lots of suicide and even lots of murders.

Socialists do not know where the real world is.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Guy Fawkes Night

Today we British remember the failure of the Gunpowder Plot and the execution of Guy Fawkes. We may not have an Independance Day to celebrate, but we can at least celebrate the failure of a plot to overthrow our government and our Protestantism.

Those who sought to destroy our parliament, our government, the bishops of the established Church and the life of the King and Queen were attempting to carry out the most heinous terrorist atack of history.

They were Roman Catholics. They followed a false gospel, believing that God saved sinners through the sacraments of their false church and their own righteous deeds.

Those who seek salvation through religion often carry out terrible atrocities. Thinking that their god will save them through their deeds, they will do anything in the hope of appeasing him. Hence, the cruelty and bloodshed of the Crusades, more fruit of Roman Catholicism.

The same fruit is seen in the work of Islamic terrorists, the followers of another false gospel. These people hope to appease their cruel god by destroying the lives of 'infidels', even if they kill their own folk in the process. This week several men appeared before magistrates, charged with conspiring to carry out acts of terror in the name of Islam.

When confornted with the terrorism of religion we must contend for the truth of Scripture, that is, that man is fundamentally corrupt. He has no chance of pleasing God by any of his own actions, no matter how awesome or fanatical. No, if man would find peace with God, he must seek it through God's own righteousness displayed in the work of Christ in His death and resurrection.

This is the truth that true Protestants contend for. It is that truth that motivated many great Englishmen to go and preach the Gospel in so many nations. Perhaps Britain, above every other nation has contributed to the spread of the Gospel. If the Gunpowder Plot had succeeded, none of that would have happened. The Reformation in Britain would have been overthrown and the darkness of the Papacy would have cast its shadow over England again. God spared our nation from such a fate and Guy Fawkes was caught.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Spared Jail

A British woman was this week given a suspended sentence for killing her son who suffered from Downs Syndrome. This woman had suffered severee stress from the strain of looking after him, as he had tried to harm himself many times. She had tried to kill herself after carrying out the manslaughter. She accused social services of failing to help her.

I cannot imagine what this woman had been through. She must have suffered terribly. However, the fact is that she murdered her son and made excuses for it. She took a life. According to God's Law she should forfeit her own. The judge said that the grief was punishment enough. Is it? That is very subjective, when the law must be objective, fixed and definite. Let her face the just punishment of her crime and let God be the judge of her case.

How can young people learn to take responsibility for their actions when judges do not send a woman to jail for murder just because they buy her excuses?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Third Graduation Ceremony

I have got my third graduation ceremony today.

My first was my theology degree, my second was a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law. This one is a Post-Graduate Certificate in Research Methods. I am just collecting qualifications.

Hopefully, I shall get my doctorate in the next couple of years.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Finland or the USA?

When I have finished my PhD, I really want to get out of this stinking country (Britain). But do I go to Finland or the USA? Theres arguments for either one:

Reasons to emigrate to the USA

-More job opportunities for theologians.
-They speak English.
-More sound Churches
-Less authoritarian state.
-Lower taxes.
-You can own guns (to be honest I do not know what the gun laws are like in Finland)
-Bourbon and Tennessee Whisky.

Reasons to emigrate to Finland

-More need for Fundamentalist Christians
-Not many missionaries at work in Finland.
-I am learning Finnish. How many people do that?
-I am obsessed with Finland. Why?
-As an EU resident, I have the right to go to Finland and seek employment.
-Finnish people are more like me- quiet and serious.
-Cheap housing.
-Saunas
-Ice cream with Bilberries
-Vodka. Lots of Vodka.
-It is a very clean place.
-A very orderly place.
-It is normal in Finland to remove shoes at the door and expect visitors to remove theirs.

Maybe God will make it easier for me to decide and call me to Thailand.