Stockport Evangelical Church

Stockport Evangelical Church
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9 KJV)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Standing Up to the School Bullies

A successful Christian school could face closure for failing to uphold “British values”. The Telegraph reported that the small independent Christian school was told by Ofsted that it was not in step with new rules intended to teach “British values," because it was not trying to promote other faiths. Trinity Christian School, a small independent school in Reading, was rated “excellent” for its provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in November last year. However, following an inspection this month it was deemed not to be meeting the revised Department for Education requirements introduced in late September. (Source: The Christian Institute.)

So let's see, last year the school was deemed excellent for meeting a whole variety of pupils' needs, this year it faces closure for not being British enough. Is it un-British to be a Christian?

Take an independent Christian school, the foundation of which, amongst other things (quite obviously) is to preserve and teach children the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith; salvation in Christ alone, the inerrancy of the Scriptures, love thy neighbour etc. and Ofsted's observation is, "you don't seem to be promoting other faiths." Ofsted's solution, by the way, is beyond absurd; they told the school to invite an Imam to lead assemblies! Genius!  What's next? How about advising Jewish schools to introduce pork-sausage making in their cookery class; or Muslim schools to offer bacon "butties" at break-time? Why not offer free contraception to Roman Catholic schools, or invite Marilyn Manson to open an assembly at your local C of E primary! There seems to be a gross ignorance here of what tolerance actually is. Tolerance is "the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with." That does not eliminate our right to criticize ideology, or object to practises we find repugnant; but it does mean that people are entitled to be different. This government seems to think that "tolerance" means manipulating minorities through legislation and coercion until everybody thinks the same... and then we can tolerate them!

 And what exactly are "British Values?"  Shouldn't that be for Britons to decide, not the government? The whole thing smacks of McCarthy's "Un-American activities." But this is nothing new for Christians in Britain. Attacks against Christian values and the marginalisation of Christians themselves is becoming more and more prevalent in the sphere of education.

Here are a few examples.
Christian Values Under Attack
According to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Nurseries are at risk of being taken over by "religious extremists," (even though there is no evidence to suggest this is the case.) She announced that toddlers are to be taught “fundamental British values.” In the England, all three and four year olds, and some two year olds, can receive free part-time early education, which is mainly delivered by school-based nurseries or those run by private and voluntary sector organisations.  However nurseries that teach creationism as scientific fact will be ineligible for taxpayer funding, under the new rules.
Secular Marginalisation
The National Secular Society (NSS) said schools shouldn’t be allowed to admit pupils according to religion, and said schools should be stopped from holding assemblies “associated with a particular set of religious beliefs”.
Moral Marginalisation
Sex between 13-year-olds is “natural, healthy and a part of growing up”, claims a sex education resource funded by the Department for Education. The resource describes acceptable behaviour for 13 year olds as “having sexual or non-sexual relationships” with people of the same or the opposite sex (despite the legal age of consent being 16.)
The resource for teachers was created by pro-abortion sexual health charity Brook. I find this advice utterly outrageous, not just from a Christian moral point of view, but also because the government funded "resource" is telling teachers to endorse young people breaking the law!
Professor David Paton, an expert on teenage pregnancy rates, described the resource as “both misleading and potentially dangerous”.
Stonewall Attack
Ruth Hunt, the new head of homosexual pressure group Stonewall, says she wants to put pro-gay books into all preschools.
The pro-homosexual storybooks include titles like The Sissy Duckling and a book about two princes who fall in love and live happily ever after as King and King.
It also suggested that primary schoolchildren could act out such books as school plays.

No wonder many Christians in the UK are turning to Home Education as one of the few morally palatable alternatives left!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Don't Waste Time On Internet Ignorance

New Religious Icke-on?

As I sat drinking an Americano in one of Stockport's nicer Coffee shops, I grappled with Anselm of Canterbury's Ontological argument for the existence of God. Since most people are not typically sitting in Coffee houses up and down the UK, wrestling with theological/philosophical conundrums, I can see how this might sound a bit pompous. However, time is a precious resource and frankly, there are far worse things to do on a wet Wednesday afternoon!

"Dark" Disney.

On a table not too far away, I could hear a conversation between two people whom I would guess were in their late thirties, or early forties. The conversation revolved around whether or not the X-Men (Marvel comic book characters) were becoming less "dark" and if they were, what was the reason for it? The man leaned over to his female companion and in hushed tones explained how everything had changed since they had been taken over by Walt Disney. "No!" She exclaimed, obviously mortified. He looked to his left and right and then (in even quieter tones) began to explain how he had heard of a conspiracy about to be worked on the unsuspecting peoples of the world, with far reaching and cataclysmic consequences of fiendish skulduggery! As I looked down at Anselm's Proslogion, I began to reflect upon the mental and spiritual chasm between God's people and the people of this world. Not in terms of intelligence, but in terms of focus. Christians are taught to have a single eye; an eye that is solely and intently fixed on Jesus Christ.  We have neither the time, nor the inclination to follow the ways of worldly men. Now, one cannot express surprise at unsaved people being caught up with the things of the world; yet more and more, I am hearing professing Christians speaking in the same hushed tones, about the same/similar conspiracies with a kind of "one day you'll thank me for this," nod and wink.
Pink Pedagogue?

There have always been conspiracy theories. As Andrew Marr reveals in his book,"The Making of Modern Britain,"  during the First World War, an eccentric aviator called Pemberton Billings, claimed that "the Germans had a Black Book containing the names of 47,000 highly placed perverts and that the Kaiser's men were undermining Britain by luring her men into homosexual acts." Implausible though this may seem, it does not sound a lot different from many of today's outlandish internet theories, such as claims that Hitler was a Gay, Jewish, Satanist who "invented the state of Israel!"

Whilst we may laugh, it is sadly the case that many professing Christians are wasting their time on the internet, reading and then checking and verifying (then rereading, rechecking and reverifying) claims such as these in the belief that they have tapped into a vast Satanic conspiracy. There are sadly "Ministers" who are only too ready to exploit the gullible (Paul warns about men who "became fools" and women who became "silly women") giving sermons, seminars and entire conferences divulging the latest doomsday developments of diabolical intrigue.  I remember one of them preaching against triangles (about time, eh?!!) He said that wherever a triangle is seen, this is an indication of satanic activity, particularly when used by a church. Really? Do you think it might be possible that they were just looking for a simple geometric shape that symbolised the Trinity; and that maybe they thought the Greek letter "Delta" (the capital of which is a triangle) would be a fitting emblem? I have been astounded and horrified at the simplistic conclusions espoused by some conspiracy preachers. One said, "The Devil wants to bring opposites together, but God wants to keep 'em apart." Well, that's not what the Bible teaches, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) Those sound like opposites to me! I think it is highly dangerous, that Christians are being drawn into an area of fascination and interest, previously the domain of Branch Davidian supporters like Alex Jones and Theosophical, neo-occultists like David Icke! Is your eye still single?

There is something in the pride of man, in the corruption of his flesh that likes the idea of being privy to some "special knowledge." This is how the Occult works, the promise of knowing things that others are ignorant of can be a powerful temptation, "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." But is that how Christians should be "redeeming the time?"

Redeeming the time.

In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Do you spend as much time thinking about things that are true, lovely, of good report etc. as you do thinking about the Illuminati? Are you as much an expert on Free Grace, as you are on Freemasonry? Please answer honestly.

Study the Bible, not the internet.

As I prepared to finish my coffee and leave, I overheard the woman say to the man, "Well, that's just what someone has said on the internet, we've no real way of proving that." How true, yet question the validity of the conspiracy and you become part of it. How clever the devil is! As the man got up to leave, he nodded in agreement with the woman. Very occasionally, "the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."

Paul Jennings.