Hashkama #64 Britain – Land of the gods
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (55:6-7)
It is the first time that England has gone out at the group stage of the World Cup since 1958. Those fans that paid the price and travelled the distance feel particularly sad and disappointed. Football is our national game, and has brought pleasure to millions of fans over the years. Margaret is the football fan in this home. I watch football, but under sufferance, unless it is a very good match – which is rare these days. What is termed the “beautiful game” has turned into the “ugly game”, in my opinion; but I grew up in the era of Stanley Matthews, and when sport included sportsmanship. There is so much fouling and questionable refereeing that I don’t enjoy watching the game. If a manager has a bad season he is dispatched without mercy. Soccer fans have often been described as worshipping the game, a description that some of them at least, would agree with. The game has moved from being a sport to becoming an idol, a god. The poor showing of the England team reflects England as a nation. Our glory is in the past, along with the God we once acknowledged.
I am concentrating on the downside of life, because we are rapidly going downhill. My aim is to encourage people to return to the Lord. If we refuse to do so and continue on our present path it will lead to certain disaster. From top to bottom, as a nation, we are completely careless of God. The beast in Daniel 7:4 reminds me a little of what is happening to the British lion – Britain. What was once proud and powerful has been brought low, cut down to size with no power or influence.
Britain is fallen!
The signs of a fallen power are all around and we are a shell of the nation we once were. Geographically Britain remains where it has always been, but the life and light of the Gospel that shone so brightly in the time of the Wesley brothers and George Whitfield, has all but died. The blind are leading the blind into an unperceived and unprecedented darkness.
Matters of interest in the media this past week
Home Secretary, Theresa May has warned that organised criminal gangs control parts of Britain and run their own security and justice systems.
She said that brutish and violent gangs have taken over the provision of housing and security as they fill a “vacuum of authority”, which has gone unchallenged by police and the government. The way crime gangs controlled some areas was a “profound” concern.
In London, it is said that the gang structure takes the place of the family in inner-city areas where there are a lot of absent fathers. It offers income, discipline, and a sense of belonging.
A Home Office spokesman said it would not identify specific areas where the problem was most acute. However, the home secretary is believed to be referring to parts of inner cities in which drugs gangs run protection rackets around pubs and clubs.
Speaking at a conference in London on 11th June, Theresa May said: “Some organised criminals in some of our communities have been able to fill a vacuum of authority. They have established themselves as alternative providers of justice, security, housing and livelihoods. Some have become, perversely, a kind of role model. This is quite profound. It troubles me greatly, as it should other national, political and civic leaders.”
Her answer to this problem is to expand the powers of police and intelligence services to spy on the internet. “We will try to find innovative ways of [explaining] the importance of these activities to members of the public. People talk about national security versus civil liberties, but you can only enjoy your liberty if you have security.” Nothing is said about us abandoning family principles that are laid down in Scripture, which is the cause of absent fathers (and mothers too). There is no plan to readdress this problem except to deprive us of more freedoms. The roots of the various problems we are faced with in this nation are never addressed; what we get is a reaction to the symptoms. Treating the symptom does not cure the disease.
An African warlord who presided over a regime that left tens of thousands of people dead is suing Britain for denying him the right to a family life.
Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president who is currently serving 50 years in county Durham prison for crimes against humanity, says his incarceration keeps him from his wife and 15 children in Africa. The UK agreed to imprison the 66-year-old after he was convicted in 2012 of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape, and using child soldiers during a civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s.
He has now lodged legal papers with the United Nations’ Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, according to the Daily Mail.
Britain has become a nation of nuts and bolts that neither match nor fit one another, and are completely at odds with sanity and common sense.
Winston Churchill said, “We shall never surrender!” Those days are long gone. It is as if we live in another nation, and not one that is under God. We valued family – one man married to one woman, freedom, justice, fair-play, free speech, value for life, the right to life, and freedom of thought. These were among those values and qualities that made Great Britain such a wonderful place to live in, and to be a citizen of. We have renounced those for EU Human Rights and political correctness.
Ann Widdecombe has said that “quite militant secularism” and concerns over political correctness have left many Christians afraid to express their faith. She said that a concern about “political correctness” meant that people were reluctant to express their faith to others because “they think strong belief offends them”. Christians also faced a “sort of atheism” that “wouldn’t once have been said” she said, speaking at an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live with Stephen Nolan. There used to be a view that “we’ve all got freedom of conscience, we’ve all got freedom of expression”, she said. “No matter how strongly we felt as a nation at the time, we’ve always respected the right of people to their own views and I do feel nowadays as a combination of political correctness and equality law and all the rest of it, we’ve started suppressing the expression of conscience.”
God, our Creator has no rights in our modern world. We have forgotten Sir Winston Churchill's words, and have surrendered to tolerance, to injustice, to Islam, to unrighteousness and godlessness. One senses that these days, anything is good as long as it doesn’t include what were long held, established British values. We have developed a great sense of foreboding because of our government's capitulation to the spirit of Islam. Terrorist Islamic strikes against Britain are a real threat according to David Cameron. He said last Tuesday that British and other European Islamists fighting in the Middle East posed the biggest threat to Britain's security. Meanwhile Prince Charles is preparing himself by taking lessons in Arabic! We have surrendered our values and belief system to the flesh, to sin, and to Satan. We have handed over the future of our children and grandchildren to the devil himself. We have neglected our duty to God and to His image on earth. We have defaced His Word and His Laws and now lawlessness is setting in like gangrene.
London has become a major centre-point for voodoo rituals using children trafficked from Africa, a United Nations watchdog has said. Hundreds of boys and girls have been kidnapped and brought to the UK for religious rituals, with thousands more being smuggled in for sexual exploitation and slavery.
Kristen Sandberg, the head of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, said that the police must do more to tackle the problem.
“We’re concerned about reports that hundreds of children have been abducted from their families in Africa and trafficked to the UK, especially London, for religious rituals,” the former Norwegian supreme court judge said.
Adding: “They are used in so-called voodoo rituals, and are also raped and sexually abused. The number of convictions is extremely low.”
Police are reported to have recorded scores of cases over the past decade of children who have faced torture and abuse as part of witchcraft rituals. Among them is that of Victoria Climbie, the eight-year-old girl who was brought over from Ivory Coast, who in 2000 was killed by relatives claiming she was a witch.
A year later, police found the dismembered corpse of a Nigerian boy in London’s River Thames, believed to have been used in a ritual.
And in 2010, 15-year-old Kristy Bamu died after being tortured by his sister and her partner, both originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who claimed he was cursed.
Sandberg said child trafficking for rituals was part of a wider problem, with thousands of minors brought into Britain every year for sexual exploitation and labour.
The CRC also expressed concern that “There are continued reports that United Kingdom citizens, including some convicted sex offenders, set up charities or travel abroad, where they sexually abuse children,” said Sandberg.
She said Southeast Asia —namely Cambodia and Thailand — was a favoured destination and that orphanages were a source of victims.
Britain’s New Best Friend
Foreign Secretary William Hague has said plans to re-open the British Embassy in Tehran are an “important step forward” in relations with Iran.
Mr Hague said the “circumstances were right” following an improvement in bilateral relations in recent months. “Our two primary concerns when considering whether to reopen our embassy in Tehran have been assurance that our staff would be safe and secure, and confidence that they would be able to carry out their functions without hindrance,” Hague told MPs in a written statement. This is what makes politics so interesting – politicians can wear so many different heads. At the moment they are wearing their wooden heads, rather like the wooden tops. The establishment’s ignorance of Islam will be a cause of our destruction. The Ayatollah Khamenei presides over the world's most aggressive state sponsor of terrorism, and Iran's brutal regime is the epicentre of Radical Islam of the Shia variety. Diplomatic ties with Iran have been cut for more than two years since the UK embassy in Tehran was stormed by protesters in 2011. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. They are terrorists wearing a cloak of respectability…of sorts.
David Cameron warns that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is planning to attack England, but pursues new ties with radicals in Iran. We show concern for a terrorist group called ISIS and want to put the Middle East to rights when Islam is threatening our nation from within! We have a serious situation building up in our own shores. How can we warn of the dangers of ISIS and then make peace with Iran? The answer is that the developing situation the Middle East is facing is seen as an opportunity for the West to work for the unity of that Region, and that Iran is an important nation to deal with, particularly as it is under new leadership. Claims are that the nation has changed since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left office.
According to a CBN News report, ISIS is known as the “world's most brutal jihadist group,” and they have sent terror—especially for non-Muslims—throughout Iraq, and now Syria as well. According to the report, ISIS has issued an ultimatum to Christians living in the two countries: pay a tax for being a non-Muslim; leave the area, or lose your life.
Fahrenheit211 reporting on the mega-mosque in Newham state:
“Wherever the ideology of Islam sets up shop there is violence, the threat of violence and corruption in all its diverse forms. It has been the bitter experience of those who live in the London Borough of Newham in East London to see how the Islamic ideology has caused problems there. In Newham there has been a steady Islamification of the borough with at least two of the major political parties suffering from Islamist/Jihadist entryism and at least one of the local Members of Parliament relies on the whipped mosque vote to survive politically. Although not as ‘Islamically bent’ as the neighbouring borough of Tower Hamlets, it is still a place that has been made so uncomfortable for British people that nearly all those who are able to, have fled the borough. British people make up just over 16% of Newham now and even those Muslims who speak out against extremism are coming under threat.
An extremist Islamic group that believes in separation from British society and a decidedly third class status for women wants to build a 9,000 capacity ‘megamosque’ in Newham and this has stirred up bad feelings and also brought out into the open Islamic religious violence.”
Mufti Shah Sadruddin, a London Islamist leader, who wants to build the biggest mosque in Europe, is standing in local council elections as a Tory candidate, having had no previous connections with the Conservative party. He is also known to be a supporter of Respect MP, George Galloway, and openly promotes sharia law and the practices of Islamic states. Will he wear the blue tie of the Tories, or the green tie of Islam?
The Crescent in the Classroom – the Crescent over Parliament
A Muslim emailed me and said that the green ties of Islam will rule in Parliament. They see their opportunity to rule Britain. Their god will be the god of Islam and their laws will be sharia. They have tried to take over schools in what has been branded the “Trojan Horse”, and Michael Gove was warned about this developing situation a few years ago, but took no action. It is reported that one of the schools taught that white women were branded ‘prostitutes’. It has been well-reported in our newspapers – which also ignored the warnings. Israel has fought the Islamic oppressor for years but the Western media demonize Israel. Islam is a determined foe. What we have to grasp is the fact that it is an “enemy”, and will be relentless in its attack on the nation and people of Britain and Europe. Human rights and human secularism handcuff us and shackle us to the point of impotence. We have bound and gagged ourselves by our own clever laws, while the enemy runs riot.
I think it is very likely that the Islamic situation in Britain has been allowed to develop to the point of no return. The facts are there for all to see. Islam is a great threat, not just to Britain, but to Western civilisation, and we have to face that. The British establishment has been in denial concerning the threat of Islam, and that really is the crux of our problem. It is true also that many Muslims are in denial of the facts, including British converts to Islam. It is astonishing to behold.
The call one hears very often now is that Christianity be banned from our schools. It is really a very puzzling suggestion. Sunday schools were originally literally schools: they were places where poor children could learn to read. The Sunday school movement began in Britain in the 1780s. It is a great pity that people do not read today, because they are burying the truth in their ignorance. There are such biased opinions floating around, based upon nothing but vapour.
During the Industrial Revolution many children were spending practically every living moment working in factories. It took Christians working together to free these children from a life of illiteracy; and to improve their quality of life, to introduce hope and a future. Well into the 19th century, working hours were extremely long. The first modest legislative restrictions came in 1802. This resulted in limiting the number of hours a child could work per day to 12! The limit was not lowered again until 1844.
Saturday, being part of the normal working week, meant that Sunday was the only available time for these children to gain some education. There was no other time or opportunity for them otherwise. We have Christians and the Christian faith to thank that there was any education at all for children.
Certainly Britain turning its back on the God of the Bible, and His Word, has not improved our lot. Britain has renounced its God-given freedoms for secular humanism and other man-made gods, including the god of Islam. We have much to be concerned about; and returning to God and Jesus Christ, is the only way that we can have hope to stand during the mounting chaos we face. David Cameron has ordered that every pupil be taught about the Magna Carter following the Trojan Horse scandal, but when he himself was questioned about the Magna Carter on foreign TV, he was quite perplexed and gave the impression that he didn’t know anything about it himself! Perhaps he should sit in on the lessons.
When we consider Britain and the enemy within, we must stop to consider the Church and the enemy within. I have laboured over this in previous articles, so will not go into depth here. We cannot manufacture the presence and the power of God in our midst. I shudder when I see this happening. Leaders that want to see miracles and so they try to conjure them up one way or another. Then there are the false teacher and false prophets. There are Christians that are proposing various answers; that we need to do this, and we need that, but what does the Lord require of us? “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
A vicar who left his wife and mother of his five children for his married curate was in shock yesterday after his 800-year-old parish church burnt to the ground. The fire may have been caused by an electrical fault.
The Rev Royston Such was abandoned by his congregation when he married the Rev Tana Riviere nearly 20 years ago. Last Thursday night, however, they stood by him as he watched while flames destroyed the roof and bell tower of the Church of St Peter, in Ropley, Hampshire.
Mr Such, who has been the vicar of St Peter’s for 24 years, said: “It’s absolutely devastating. The building has so many memories attached to it. It’s not just my church, it’s everybody’s church. It hasn’t sunk in, and it doesn’t feel real. It’s utterly catastrophic.” How does God feel about His Church and its condition in this nation?
In the mid-1990s, five years after he arrived at St Peter’s, Mr Such shocked his congregation by divorcing his first wife. The break-up divided parishioners and led to the resignation of most of the choir. The vicar denied any improper relationship with his curate while he was still married, and said he divorced his first wife so she could remarry. I haven’t attended a wedding service for a long time and am wondering if the oath has changed from “... for better or worse…” to, “until I find someone I like better”. Does the Minister now offer a pick-n-mix variety of words so that something more in tune with our times can be said, using “accessible language”, as the Church of England is to do in their Baptismal service? There is this dumbing down of the Christian faith creeping in, like Islam is creeping in everywhere.
There is such an expression of sadness over a destroyed building. God however is more concerned about our right relationships and that they should not be destroyed. Is the Lord speaking to His Church through these circumstances? There is the appearance of church with the walls still standing, but its empty and lifeless inside.
The Office of National Statistics say the divorce rate is rising with 118,140 divorces in 2012 – an increase of 0.5 per cent on the previous year. Thousands of those divorces each year, it is claimed, are Christians. When the world looks at the Church, it simply sees a reflection of itself.
Statistics cover up the pain and heart-searching that is involved in the break-up of relationships. Jesus was sent to bind up the broken hearted, and in Him there is hope, forgiveness, and healing from all that afflicts us. (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1).
Moving from the enemy within, to Christ in you the hope of glory
One of the great tragedies is – I am quoting Steve Maltz again – is that some ‘start well but they finish badly.’ I call this a ‘great’ tragedy because no-one need finish badly. If you have gone into sin, no matter how deep you consider that sin to be, there is forgiveness in Jesus. Repentance is the way back into God’s arms. There is a great myth about ‘overcomers’. The myth is that these are super-Christians. There really is no such animal. An overcomer is someone that has learned repentance. They overcome by the Blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 12:11). There is no need for anyone to hide from the presence of God. If we confess our sin, and if we repent of our sin, God is there for us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins” (Isaiah 59:20)
There can be no hiding from God. In fact, we have to learn that one’s only chance of restoration lay in that fact that there can be no hiding from Him. We cannot escape either from His Law or His love. The only safe hiding-place from the holy wrath of God is in the wounded heart of God. There is place in His heart for you, and for me.
The name “halakha” is derived from the Hebrew halakh (הָלַךְ) meaning “to walk” or “to go”. Taken literally, therefore, “halakha” translates as “the way to go” rather than “law”. In Judaism it speaks of the established norm for right conduct in a community, a “prescribed manner of living”. Daily, we are learning to walk with the Lord, and to walk in His ways. We must come out of hiding, and learn what it is to be the people of God, and to walk in His ways – the way that is straight and narrow.
“Who is like You, Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?!” (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 71:19)
*Please contact me if you read the “Hashkama” or “Walking with the Lord” articles. I would love to hear from you whatever part of the world you are from. Is it time for me to stop writing these columns and to move on to something else? My email is: Hashkama@virginmedia.com
Blessings and shalom,