Archive for category England issues
One of the many things I appreciate about Britain, is her incredible amount of archival and documented history. She’s remarkable. Whenever I visit any town or city, something of history can be found on almost ever street. Whenever I see a statue or plaque, if it interests me, I take note.
Most of the time I find my way to the Parish Church and work my way from there. This is how I learned about William Salesbury.
About 2014 I visited St Asaph Cathedral. I had recently completed the production of my documentary Martyr George Marsh and while visiting the Translators Memorial, I was taken back by the history. There before me stood the 19th century memorial, and the proud image of the 16th century Welshman. Salesbury is depicted holding his New Testament in one hand and his letter from Parliament in the other. He is alive and well. Immaculately dressed, holding firmly on to what he, by the grace of God, achieved. I was immediately drawn to this striking artistic representation.
While visiting the Cathedral, I learned more about his New Testament translation and could see similarities between William Salesbury and William Tyndale. From then on, I knew there was a story and I needed to make a documentary about him.
I read books, numerous biographies and as many articles as I could. But I always returned to the statue on every visit.
This statue features throughout my present documentary and in this film, I wanted to bring the man behind the statue down to a viewable level, that his story could be brought to life, made known and understood.
May Britain never forget her own past. Good or bad, evil or righteous, may she never forget her own history. May it stand strong and clear, bold and powerful, lest she find herself, through ignorance and foolishness, condemned to repeat it.
History may not always be good, many may not like it, but when we know the truth, things generally get a little better.
Cultural secularists in 21st century Britain have implemented radical changes upon the people of this nation.
More often than not, certain political and social reforms reflect the views of ‘the powers that be’ rather than the traditions and beliefs of the people of Britain.
More often than not we find that anyone who publicly speaks against certain winds of change and presents views that differ to the cultural mainstream are labelled “uneducated” fanatical” “fundamentalist” being victims of ‘ad hominen’ attacks, branded with the hot irons of the powers that be and the penetrating growth of media mind seeds.
The contradiction must be that ‘freedom of speech’ appears to have more flexibility in Britain with those who agree with cultural secularism than those who don’t.
Shamefully, the people of 21st century Britain are seeing more and more of this prejudice directed toward them. People are being emotionally blackmailed into keeping their opinions and beliefs silent, lest they cause offence. Even many within the state Church are falling into these deceptive political snares. Many ‘Anglican Churches’ are failing to reflect the beliefs and traditions of the Christian community or the Bible on the whole, presenting a more politically correct form of Christianity rather than an authentic position.
Many’ ‘Anglican’ churches fail to represent authentic Christianity in favor of religious and cultural liberalism. This decline has been forming for many years and we regularly hear ‘Anglican’ Bishops presenting positions and beliefs contrary to authentic Christianity.
This certainly the case with one of the current affronts to the Christian faith. On Sunday 14th February 2016, St Chrysostom’s church in Manchester, presented a play featuring a “transgender Jesus”. This play is called “The Gospel according to Jesus, Queen of heaven”.
Despite the fact that this play is “blasphemous” and inconsistent with Christianity and “repugnant” to the Word of God and the 39 articles and Cannon Law, St Chrysostom’s had decided to re-interpret the cannon, and stage the play.
However, I’m not going to overstate the play and insult them, that’s just what they want. On the contrary, it is they who are attacking Jesus Christ and they would not do this with ‘Mohammad’. Thus, they pick on Christians knowing they can get away with it in this life. Yet insults to the Christian faith are nothing new and fallen Churches are nothing new. People have been insulting Jesus since He first came to earth and they will do so until He returns to judge them. Likewise, St Chrysostom’s Church is ‘liberal, inclusive and anglo-catholic’ so I don’t expect anything else from them however, St.Chrysostom’s claims to represent the Christian church and are part of the Anglican communion and the Parish of Manchester and have clearly broken the clear meaning of article C1X of Canon law (Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical) and its laws on plays being “consonant with sound doctrine”. A penalty for failing to observe canon law is the “removal from such office or membership as afore said” (Constitutions and Cannons Ecclesiastical 1X)
I am convinced this is but a glimpse into what is coming in the future. It is clear that somewhere behind the scenes, the ‘Anglican’ communion is being either forced or persuaded to bow her religious and political knees. But “there’s an East wind coming all the same”. The question is, what’s the bigger agenda?
Recent reports have stated that a Christian street preacher was arrested in Scotland this week for simply preaching on the street. He was accused of being “in breach of the peace”.
Reports also suggest that the man was not actually using any amplification yet he was accused of having an MP3 too loud. When the preacher stated he was not using amplification, the police officer stated the noise was not the issue but that a complaint had been made against him.
This is not the only time such an event has taken place recently. This is one of three wrong arrests of this nature which have taken place in three months.
Clearly something is wrong. This is a violation of our ‘Freedom of speech’ and ‘human rights’ and is evidence of Britains growing bad attitude towards Chrisianity and Christians who are willing to spread the faith.
What is clear is that history is repeating itself, since in history it was common place for Protestant Christians to be arrested for preaching. In 1658, John Bunyan was arrested for street preaching yet he was not imprisoned for that. He did however spend many years in prison for his faith.
Clearly Britain is marching back even further, not only into the 17th century but into those glorious days of the 16th century where Protestants were arrested even for believing the truth.
It clearly shows signs of religious intolerance and inconsistency of thinking, since the police officer stated he arrested the man for being in ‘breach of the peace’ yet are the authorities going to arrest street musicians, buskers, street entertainers and all people who take part in noisey street events and festivals also? Since they certainly make a lot of noise! Could it not be argued the preacher caused offence? Yes, but could it not also be argued that many public events and festivals cause offence? Are those partakers too going to be arrested?
I am offended everyday by things I see in Britain. I am offended by attitudes, language, blasphemy, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance, yet do those offences matter? No, clearly not to some people. Or maybe my offences do not matter because I am a Protestant and perhaps, a very loyal one.
Here are a couple of links to articles on this troubling matter.
This comment was not made in any context on his part or historic reference to dinosaurs as creatures of importance or anything like that, but a very childish and immature insult on his part toward those people who are genuinely concerned about upholding a historic and proper view of marriage and freedom. Clearly Mr Clegg likens people who uphold to traditional views of marriage as ancient obscure beings who are from the past.
The immature and childish insult given by Nick Clegg offer the people of Britain a further insight into just how childish British Politicians can be at times. Perhaps it just goes to show how much a mess Britain is in, when its apparent leaders embrace such immaturity that they have to insult people who do not agree with them, while at the same time profess to be Liberal in the name of democracy? Clearly liberalism is just another word for a default position, which embraces anyone but those who do not fit in with their worldview.
As if the people of Britain do not tire enough at seeing the leaders of this country arguing week after week like teenagers in the house of Lords, Mr Clegg feels now to insult millions of people in a childish non-intellectual way because they do not agree with his world-view.
Is it not enough that people who stand up for their right to defend traditional marriage have to put up with being labelled ‘bigots’ as victims of some kind of stupid game which uses fear based words to accomplish its aim rather than plain reason?
Is that democracy? Well, in order to find out the answer to that, we Protestants should be consulted, after all democracy in Britain came from us in the first place.
Nick Clegg should really be more careful with what he says and he should remember that the wind of the air and the tide of the sea can change direction very quickly. People are generally like fish, they swim in shoals with the tide, and when the tide changes, they go with the flow.
Mr Clegg should remember that time is only but a moment and what is present now will later be past and what is seen as modern now, will later be history.
The times will change Mr Clegg, and they are changing, and when the time of this generation is over, a new generation will come and when all our bones are in the ground, a new people will rise up and the winds of change will fill the streets.
Mr Clegg should really have a care, for come election day he will find, he may need these dinosaurs.
“For the time is come that the judgement must begin at the house of God”
1 Peter 4: 17
In the immediate context of the given passage of 1 Peter 4: 17, we can derive from the text that Peter is addressing the now historical Temple in ancient Jerusalem and the destruction which Jesus prophesied would come about upon the temple, as recorded for us in Matthew 24: 2.
This prophecy was fulfilled in AD 66-70 when prince Titus by order of Vespasian destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem with his army and not one stone of the historical Temple complext was left standing upon another. Yet, aside from the historical aspect and literal reading of the text, we can derive from the following text of 1 Peter 4 and verse 17 “and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” that the Lord’s aim of rebuking and judging His church is that the church might be restored so that judgement might begin upon the world so that they too may come to Him and repent. This initial context of this passage being the Jews who did not obey the gospel, but rejected Jesus as Messiah. But on a broader and wider application of the text, this can also apply to judgement falling upon Christ’s church who so often fall, as did the ancient Jews by either denying Jesus, continuing in sin or denying what is written in favour of their traditions. Jesus is the Word of God, so deny the Word, you deny Christ. Thus, Christ so often calls out for His people to repent that safe territory and good teaching may be offered them who are new to the faith. But how can this come, when the much of the church is fallen and those who stand are not teaching accurate doctrines?
We see that in the days when Jesus walked upon the earth, the established Jewish church was in an ungodly condition, they were very prosperous, critical scholars, arrogant, believing that they were chosen and others not, the pharisees were ruling by their own authority, they were wealthy and they were ‘to speak in modern terms’ the head professors of the scriptures, the literal interpreters of the scriptures, yet as common with powers up at the top, they were the ones who were actually denying the scriptures and leading others away with them in their errors.
CHRISTIANITY IN ENGLAND TODAY
Now, today within the body of Christ there is much confusion and division. From a perspective viewed from England, some Protestant congregations within the UK are falling in numbers, and the many evangelical congregations who are holding to Biblical truth are forced to separate themselves and form independent gatherings of their own, these gatherings often happen in houses and other venues such as public halls and rented rooms. The churches which succeed in these areas are often flourishing in numbers.
The more established official state church such as the Church of England are largely divided and many are liberal in thinking and hold to modern ideologies and theologies and I certainly would argue are re-interpreting the Bible in favour of evolutionary science, feminism, varying times, passing winds, popular cultures and so forth.
The Church of England today certainly does not hold to its foundations and the likes of Pilkington and Cranmer would turn in their graves if they could. There can be little doubt that the Church of England is in desperate need of reform, a reform which may be happening from within. However, I fear that unless the Church of England is reformed, then Christianity in Britain will be reduced to a powder within the next 200 years and a less tolerant religion will take its place in an England that will never be the same again.
Yet, unlike the Church of England and its attempts to re-interpret Biblical truth with modern evolutionary science and feminism and so forth, some Baptist churches which are loyal to the Bible and have a good grasp of Biblical Theology are growing in numbers and God is with them. Whereas, independent Congregational and reformed gatherings in England are largely stuck in the puritan past and lack the Biblical movement and the presence of the Holy Spirit and more modern visual presentation. All too many reformed gatherings in England are greatly lacking and will not move from 20th century presentation to 21st century. Many even fail basic evangelism due to some form of hyper Calvinism.
In short and with all these denominations and people in mind, to sum the situation up with a few lines: one congregation follows one doctrine and another follows another doctrine. One Christian believes one doctrine and another believes another doctrine, both being faithful to the Biblical narrative in one way or another.
Yet many evangelical churches within England are influenced by the more leading figures of Christian teaching which is coming out of America. Today however in contrast to England, in America cults are fast growing and many Christian denominations are also popular and spreading. However, research reveals that many of the more faithful larger and modern American churches, from denominations such as Baptist, reformed and even Arminian Churches, many are moving and growing fast, much of them being reformed or Arminian in doctrine and young in their approach are multiplying. Celebrity pastors are on the rise.
Yet much division can still be seen amongst the people, and far too many genuine Christians are all too often at war with each other, un-reasonable, often slanderous and yet both sides are part of the same coin. Many being faithful in some way to what they see in the Biblical narrative.
Yet Modern Reformed Christianity, often linked with so-called ‘Calvinism’ particularly in America claims to hold firm to the ideals of the 16th century Reformation, yet many within that denomination are so systematised by their own interpretation of the scriptures that they make a heretic out of anyone who does not agree with their theology. When all the time, it may be they who need reforming!
It is my opinion that Reformed doctrine in its 16th century form is very Biblical, yet much modern reformed doctrine has moved away from its 16th century stand point, but even still, I think modern reformed doctrine is much more Biblical than the Arminian view, and I hold to much Reformed doctrine as good doctrine and agree a great deal with the principles and Theology of the 16th century reformation. However, I believe with the authority of scripture, that some modern Reformers do greatly err on doctrines such as double predestination and limited atonement. However, modern Reformers believe they are correct and often present themselves as almost exclusive to the truth and often claim that ‘Arminians do not worship the God of the Bible’. Yet at the same time many embrace John Wesley and sing Weslyan hymns. Thus, the claim that Arminians worship another God is pathetic, since some of the greatest revivals in church history came through the likes of John Wesley, so how can anyone claim that God stand not with Arminians? Likewise Arminians also fall into this pathetic argument when they battle against Calvinists and believe they are more Biblically accurate and often refer to Calvinists as worshipping another ‘god’ which is not the God of the Bible. (Note: I use the lower case ‘g’ in referrence to both arguements) However, this arguement of Calvinists and Arminians worshipping two gods, is pathetic and untrue. Differing on interpretation of certain doctrines such as predestination, election, universal offering of salvation, limited or un-limited atonement is one thing, but worshipping another god is another matter.
The question I ask is this: Is not possible that both Calvinists and Arminians could be correct in some way and what the areas which lack in Arminianism can be answered in Calvinism? And the areas which lack in Calvinism can be answered in Arminianism?
Many may laugh or hate my asking that question, yet if we look at the original Reformation teaching of Wycliffe and Tyndale, many modern Calvinistic reformers who limit the Bible to their systems would say that both Wycliffe and Tyndale were Arminians, and although Wycliffe, Tyndale and Luther believed in predestination, neither believed that anyone was predestined to hell. So which doctine is truly reformed?
It seems to me that what is said to be reformed doctrine in the 21st century, is not 100% reformed, but 5 point Calvinism, a system of thought which Calvin himself may not have actually taught and dates back to the 17th century and not 100% accurate to the original 16th century Reformation teachings which were held in 16th century England by Tyndale, Cranmer, Pilkington, Hooker and so forth. This can also be said of Luthers reformation which certainly did not agree with 5 point Calvinism.
One problem is, that many today think of the word reformed as implying Calvinism, which is untrue. That is just one branch of reformed thinking, made popular by our American brothers and the revival of Puritan books.
“If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
Mark 3: 24-25
Jesus said a house divided cannot stand, yet Christianity today is massively divided and much of this division comes through a wide number of issues, some are loyal to the Biblical narrative, some are not. Some are honest, some are lying. Who then is correct?
Thus, I must ask: Where is the Bible and the Holy Spirit in all this muddle? Is the Holy Spirit who leads a man into all truth as found in the Biblical text itself not what the heart of the reformation was all about? That the Bible was to be in the hands of everyman, and that the Holy Spirit who reveals all truth would guide a man into the truth of God? Thus, the Spirit and the Word, the Word and the Spirit. If yes, then why is there so much doctrinal and personal division within Christianity today?
Thus, division is nothing new, we can find it throughout church history, and if we look at today’s church, we will see that many of the same errors happening in our time as what we saw during the time of the reformation.
There is little doubt to me that the church has gone around in circles and needs to return back once again to what the Bible actually teaches, and to cease from denying what is actually written in favour of personal bias, traditions, established creeds, confessions and ideas of men both from history and from the moderns.
Thus, if the church is to ever move forwards and be truly united in Christ and in His truth, then the leading sides of Arminians and Calvinists, need to cease from denying texts in re-interpreting them, to fit their doctrines and many of today’s major leaders within Christianity, who’s influence upon Christendom is vast and, must return to the actual Biblical narrative once again.
Thus, this is not a call out to dismiss all that has gone before or what God has done throughout the history of His church, but more a call out for the leaders to move on and return to the future.
In total contrast to the desire many have for revival, it will not come until the house of God is put in order first. It is reformation we need, not revival.
For, I believe the time is now that God by His Spirit is calling out for a fresh reformation of His church and her doctrine and is calling for the leaders in both England and America to whom He has given great authority and power to lead His people, to seek Him more now than ever before, and to awake and prepare for the reality of a coming reformation of Christ’s Holy Church.
Keeping journals can be of great value in the Christian life and life in general. All too often, much time can be given over to the affairs of everyday life and needs, and the spiritual quality of thoughts, ideas and feelings are not remembered. All too often people spend time either in their own pasts or in their plans for the future, and the present is somehow lost.
One afternoon I was in a store and the shop owner spoke to me on the issue of ‘original thought’. That an unrecorded thought or an unwritten letter can be lost forever, if the thought is not written down. I found his point to be true, for, each time a person write’s there is a certain degree of originality to the words.
It is for a beneifit in the Christian life and life in general, to record and keep a journal of thoughts and feelings, events and meetings, ideas and devotions. You can look back at them in the future and the memory will remain. Maybe even your children and people you both know and don’t know, will in the future will read them and be inspired by them.
Take some time and if you do not keep a journal, buy one or make one and start today.
The Apostles at Paphos is a Biblical and Historical documentary filmed on location at Paphos, Cyprus. Here I visit the ancient sites associated with St Paul, as written about in Acts 13: 4-12.
Pass it on, lets challenge the popular ideas and fables which deny the Bible as history.
The late and somewhat outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens in his popular book “God is not great” made many claims from both history and the present and from historical texts, religious texts and books regarded as sacred by many, out of which he attempted to dismatle the walls of religion brick by brick by applying the written content towards his criticism based upon his logic and interpretation of which his claims towards history. It is clear that his understanding of religious narratives have impacted the lives of many modern atheists and religious folk today.
Hitchens certainly wrote a book in which he attempted to grind his axe against all things religious and Christian. Yet the problem is that many folks regard this book as somewhat dynamic and excellent, yet many of them are ignorant of the clear cut errors of Hitchens work.
One such error is in his claim that devout Christian men such as John Wycliffe, Myles Coverdale and Tyndale were all burned alive at the stake.
In his book, “God is not great” Hitchens writes the following, quote; “Devout men like Wycliffe, Coverdale, and Tyndale were burned alive…”
This is simply not accurate at all. Although he was correct that Tyndale was burned, he was not burned alive, on the contrary, Tyndale was strangled first, then his body was burned and the facts remain that early English Bible translator John Wycliffe was not burned alive at all, but suffered a stroke on 28 December 1384 during a service at Lutterworth Church and died the last day of that month. Wycliife was not burned alive at the stake.
Likewise, early Bible translator Myles Coverdale was not burned alive as Hitchens claimed but died on 20th January 1569 at London of natural causes.
What is clear to me is that Hitchens was so intent on lashing out in a war of words against all thing religious, that his own bitterness towards Christianity is demonstrated by his total lack of ability to even present accurate research into the historical facts behind one of the religions which he was so vehemently attacking.
Atheist Richard Dawkins is widely known or said to support moral living. Moral living is a consistent claim made by modern atheists, who arguable do live somewhat moral lives. However, the question I would like to ask is what is the standard of morality offered by modern atheists?
What is the measuring line of their morals?
In a recorded interview, atheist Richard Dawkins stated that he supports infanticide and can see no moral objection to that at all. Quote
“What about infanticide? Morally, Strickly morally I can see no objection to that at all. I would be in favour of infanticide.” Richard Dawkins
Obviously we have to take the context of the infantide he is speaking about into consideration, but in reality, this is totally depraved of him to make such a claim.
The problem with this type of so-called morality and logic which discerns this so-called morality is that it is based upon the opinions of men, who, by themselves are depraved, according to the natural depravity of man. Thus, when morality is discerned by men, then it moves downhill and has in fact, moved downhil and it is only a matter of time before it hits rockbottom.
Thus, I post the video of Dawkins in my comment box and leave his words for you to judge for yourself.
Remember the past!