Monday, June 6, 2016

It's here.

It's here.

If the internet is to be believed, then a church in Europe has removed the Cross from its front because the Cross, the symbol of Christianity, might offend Muslims. It's difficult for me to express the sheer contempt I feel for such craven sanctimony, denying the emblem of the Saviour to placate people who claim the right to take offence at other peoples' beliefs. But it's happening, the report says. The people responsible talk about conciliation, about seeking to live in peace with the migrants who have flooded into Europe, but that conciliation would be at the expense of peoples' right to hold their beliefs publicly.  Then the article explains that the 'pastor' who made that decision, a woman, is a lesbian activist. Claiming the authority of the church, wearing the traditional clerical collar, she denies the teachings of Christ and sets out to deny the church its mission, to speak the Word in truth.
The Abomination of Desolation is standing where it should not. That was foretold in the Book of Revelations. It seems to me that it's happening now. In a country which supposedly allows freedom of worship, Christianity is supposed to be muted and gagged. And in the name of the church, someone is advocating what the Bible rejects. The church is being subverted.
Perhaps this has happened before. We keep expecting the end to come, and yet we know that only God knows when the Second Coming will be. We can't claim to know the hour. But there are times when it seems to me that we must be in the end times.
Am I wrong? If anyone reads this, feel free to tell me what you think. But there is something right out of order about someone calling themselves a Christian leader and denying the proclamation of Christ, in the shape of the Cross marking a building as a church. And there is something quite wrong with a supposed Christian leader claiming the authority of the church to advocate for what God's word rejects.
What's going to happen in Europe? Will it collapse like the civilizations in the past, and enter a new dark age? I hope not. Or will people see the need to turn back to the true God and speak out? People in the West have had it pretty easy by the standards of this world, and it seems to have made them complacent, not grateful. Is this how God is calling them back to Himself? Or is it a sign that the end is near?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

We're in this together.
The question was posed: "Why should the Australian Aborigines have to give up their culture and way of life because this land was taken over by Europeans?" The same could be said about any number of cultures lived by indigenous people before their land was colonized or taken over by those from outside. It is a legitimate question in some context but it can be used for guilt inducement, not as a call for justice. It needs to be viewed in other ways, as well.
One answer it that the same thing happens to ALL of us. It's not always so obvious, but it's going on as we sit here. Things are changing in the world, changing the way we live whether we like it or not and not always making things better. Change is not always fair or good, but it is part of the human condition. It may not be by physical invasion. Technology invades privacy. Modern employment patterns intrude on private and family life. Alterations are imposed on us, not always for the best. It can be inaccurate to point to certain examples only.
If you want, you can keep the superficial aspects of the past. That's what the rockabillies do. They still have Bakelite radios and other things from a past era. But if I'm rightly informed they also take advantage of modern medicine if needed. So be it. They are allowed to dress in period styles if they wish. They should be, too.
If people want to really avoid being affected by the changing world, then in a free society you can live as the Amish do. They eschew modern technology, drive horse drawn buggies and live without telephones or electronic media. It can be done, if not easily. Important to note is that the Amish are able to do this because the wider nation around them, the United States, protects them and their right to live as they do. What they are avoiding also confers certain protection on them. That is worth considering before people beat up on Western civilization.
In Australia, there are still settlements where Aboriginals live their traditional way, or as close as they can or choose, and likewise, that choice is given them because the modern nation of Australia allows and even supports them in doing so. There have been cultures in the past who were completely swept away by invaders, or just by circumstances changing. The original people of the Chatham Islands, off New Zealand, were wiped out by the Maoris, who came later. The original inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands were wiped out by the Caribs, who were there when Europeans arrived. No-one was there to stop the complete annihilation of a people in those days. They are gone from the world forever. Other indigenous or First Peoples survive because the modern nations that formed over them now protect their right to keep their identity. The Australian Aboriginal people survive as an identified, ongoing people because a modern nation which invaded their land now protects them. There are Aboriginal communities in inland Australia which continue to live in the traditional way, or as close to it as they choose, but the certain added things like cars, mobile phones, alcohol and Western medicine. There were some abominations in the past, with massacres of Aboriginals, stealing of their children, and racist rejection of some who tried to adjust to European society. It does not undo that or cancel the misery it caused to say this, but it is still true that such things happened everywhere on Earth. It is a good supposition that any human being alive today had some ancestors who were invaded, and some who were invaders. The conclusion to be drawn is that the world forces change on all of us, some of it good (like forbidding infanticide?) and people such as Aborigines are quite prepared to take up those parts of European life that suit them. The world we are all born into has been wrought and shaped by all sort of horrors and evil, as well as some humane changes and progress. We all have to live with what we know, and try to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We all might wish we could bring back the past, especially if it is romanticised.  The hippies of the 1960s wanted to go 'back to the earth'. Before the Industrial Revolution most people did live close to the earth. They lived in villages, small agricultural settlements, and farmed. The coming of industrialization changed that.  There was much misery in the process, too. But if you REALLY want to go back to the earth, to the past, give up your mobile phone, the internet, antibiotics, access to kidney dialysis, and modern surgery.  Get the point?
The age of King Arthur is over for Britain - if it was really so good.
The age of Brian Boru is over for Ireland - if it was really so good.
The age of Pemulway is over for Australia's first people - even if it was really so good. What happened in those days to people who developed glaucoma or cataracts? Did traditional healers have effective remedies? What happened to a child born with hole in the heart? Could they treat it effectively?

History is full of sadness, All our ancestors suffered. We all have to endure change, whether or not we benefit from it. Sometimes it is for the worse. But look at the wider context to understand it properly.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

So we're useful after all.

We're living in the technical age, so they keep telling us. Teach your children to code, to use computers. We must be the clever country, and learn all about computer applications. It goes on and on. Okay, I'm glad to have the use of computers and technology, Facebook, blog sites, web pages and all those things. But my area is arts. The two things I did best as school were English and History. The way people talk sometimes, those areas of study are a waste of space. No, we insist, those of us who prefer history and literature to maths and physics.  Literature and history deal with ideas, debates about ethics, about right or wrong. It's not only about HOW to do things. It's also about WHY do things, or even SHOULD we do them. Knowledge without conscience is a dangerous thing. Michael Crichton expounded an important idea when he wrote "Jurassic Park". One of his characters explains that knowledge too easily gained is like inherited wealth, the people who gain it do not properly respect what it took to gain it and they sometimes use it recklessly and dangerously. Since we now learn in a few hours what took people like Isaac Newton years to learn, the human race uses the power that comes with knowledge without proper respect for that knowledge. It's not so hard to understand. If you are good at painting or engraving, you can be an artist or a forger. The difference lies in your personal ethics and conscience. So we keep insisting that our areas of study have a place, but it doesn't seem that people take much notice sometimes.
Then in the newspapers I read something quite stark, which should be a bit of a warning.
A high proportion of the killers fighting for ISIS, or Daesh, have high educational qualifications - ins the sciences. They've studied and learned, they know HOW to do things, and that makes them dangerous, because they do not have a good conscience in WHAT they do with what they know.
So those of us who believe philosophy has a place, who say it's important to study history and see how the past shapes the present, and how things happen; and read the ideas of writers who aim to enlighten through their literature; we stand vindicated. Knowledge is not all it takes to make a good world. Conscience and understanding are needed too. It's now enough to know how to do things. We must also think about why we do things, or what we should do with what we know.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Breaking out.

I'll speak with proper respect for other nations and their peoples' right to choose their own leaders. So this is not an out of order comment on the U.S. and its people.  It's an observation about politics in the Western world, which some of us dare to call the 'free' world.
One of our columnists in Australia wrote recently that 'the left made Donald Trump'. Her reasoning seems quite sound to me, and what she wrote worth considering. It's a fabulous irony, spiced with poetic justice, if it's true. If anyone reads this, I'd be glad to know what you think.
The argument goes that the left movement, collectively, has set itself up as some kind of thought police, out to squash any commentary or movement they do not approve of; and in their determination NOT to be gagged, the usually silent majority go to the other extreme and support whatever the left hates most, whatever it really is trying to suppress. Donald Trump says the things a lot of people try to stop anyone saying. He proposes things that make the politically correct flinch and gasp with pretentious displays of horror. He dares. He will not be intimidated. And I am happy to say that I admire it. Someone who can't be gagged by the self appointed umpires of the debate, the wanna be mind controllers who think they can mess with other peoples' heads and tell them what to think. We had a phenomenon in Australia something like it when Pauline Hanson launched the One Nation Party. She rejected multiculturalism and all the other pet projects of the self proclaimed progressives. She gained a huge vote, more than the Greens and one other small party put together, and rattled a few cages in the process. She said what people are not supposed to, such as that too much migration might be bad for Australia, especially when it came from cultures unlike our own. Mr Trump dares speak critically about migration from non English speaking places, and as with Hanson, he provokes howls of sanctimonious condemnation from people who claim the right to tell us what we can and cannot say. Someone I know well who is living in the U.S. at the moment said that if he was voting he would vote for Trump. The first reason: no one owns him. He is self financing, so he's beholden to none and can take whatever position he chooses. Myself, I love seeing the loud mouth, self righteous left getting told, the rest of us do not have to think what you want us to. We do not have to accept your standards of political correctness. We do not have to agree with you about how a country should be governed or its people should live. We can think what we think and if you don't agree you will be reminded that freedom of belief goes for everybody, not just whoever the left approve of.

Where does the Western world go from here?  Those who called themselves free thinkers did all they could to eliminate the influence of Christianity but did not have something better to replace it with. They told us they did, and let the show down badly. Will the people of the free world return to what gave them so much good in their society? Christianity teaches respect for all, altruism and peace among people, and that is where we get individual rights from and civic sense in communities. Will we go back to it or keep following the braggarts and jackals in sheep's clothing who tell us their political ideas are better. I look at some people who think they know how we should all live and recall the teaching, "Believing themselves wise they made themselves into fools."  (Parapharasing).
God be with us. Jesus forbear with us. Perhaps the Second Coming is near. Only He knows.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A new outlook.
I'm glad I never had to go to war, but if I ever had to, or if I ever do find myself in combat, I hope it is against a group like ISIS (Daesh). I could fight them with resolve! If I'd been at war against Germans, Italians, Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans or any other nation Australia has fought against I might have been in combat with individual people I had nothing against at all. But if I fought against the Islamist terrorist calling themselves ISIS then I would know: they really are BADDIES. They chose to be where they are, they personally chose this war. They have done what is abominable, in the murder or children and the persecution of Christians, or any other religious group for that matter. If my nerve did not fail me, if I did not prove to be a coward, I could fight against them with certainty that this is a just fight. Stopping them from doing the vile things they do is a just cause. I pray that God gives victory to all who take up arms against them. I pray that if they are ever a threat to my family or friends God will give me the means to fight them effectively, and not fail to withstand them. Just as the world has faced Nazis, Fascists, Communist terrorists and other monstrosities, so it now faces the renegade Islamists who want to oppress the entire human race. God give us victory against them. The mass murder attacks in France have brought it home to Europe: they can't dissimulate any more or hide behind sanctimonies about conciliating with Islamist grievances. We have to stand up to it. May the only true God be with us all.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

When will we ever learn?

When you're under twenty one, or so, it can be really annoying to see older people dismissing your views as if you know nothing at all. And sometimes the oldsters who dismiss you can overlook something they need to know. Their rude disrespect or arrogant sense of superiority can blind them and cost them. But having said that, I'm old enough myself to see why it happens sometimes.
The same old things go around and come around.
I'm a nineteen fifties model. I was born in 1953, the same year the Korean War ended. I can remember newsreaders talking about President Eisenhower. And I can remember one of the catch cries from the time: "Ban the bomb." That was the anti nuclear activism of the day.
I can't recall the exact order or the times when the different politico-social fads went round, but in the sixties and seventies the Western world went through phases of concern about global crowding and famine, then pollution, especially in the very late sixties with acid rain. There was concern about heavy metal poisoning of soils, of water ways, all legitimate concerns, but the point is: these themes came and went, and then came again. There was even a global warming alarm sometime in the sixties. People were afraid the number of humans would generate so much body heat that they would raise the planet's temperature and it would start killing crops and causing starvation.
If you live long enough, you see the same things come and go and then come again. If it's the first time someone's heard it, they think it is new. They don't understand why older people are less impressed. To them (us!) it's a case of 'here we go again.'
I'm convinced the world will end, when Jesus Christ comes again. It will end when God decides the time has come. Nothing humans can do will stop that, nor should it if they only knew what was right. Nor will that day come any sooner than God decides, no matter how much humans think their behaviour changes things. So we have a finite span on this planet, no doubt; but it is rather vain for people to think it all depends on them.
How long before people get it?

Monday, September 21, 2015

It tells you something!
Thousands of refugees heading to Europe, trying to get a new life, are heading straight into the homeland of their supposed enemy - Christendom! It tells you something, doesn't it? If they wanted to live in an Islamic society, there are stable Moslem nations like Saudi Arabia which are closer. Many of them are living in Turkey after fleeing Syria, or other Islamic nations racked by war, and Turkey is a peaceful Moslem country. So why the West?
Could it be because Christian societies, or even societies with a Christian past, seem to be better places to live. Human rights are better protected. Toleration of belief and opinion are observed. The individual cannot be killed for changing religions, or stoned for (alleged) adultery. Women have the same legal rights as men and are not forced to cover their heads in public, or even their faces. In short, the West with its centuries of Christian tradition is a much safer and happier place to be. It's a cruel irony that so many westerners become jaded and depressed, amidst all that they have. They don't know how bad it can be. And they have been deluded by 'intellectuals' into rejecting the creed that gave us all so much, Christianity. But even so, the West attracts people from nations like Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as some countries in Africa. Seeing all this, wealthy Moslems promise funding to build mosques for them in Europe. Not help where they are and rehoming, but mosques in the heartland of the enemy, Christian lands. And here's some news I found really heartening, reporting in one Australian newspaper. There are a number of Moslem immigrants in the West, notably Germany, attending Christian churches and wanting to become Christians. So the Islamic nations could not only lose some of the people they will need to rebuild their war-mangled countries, they could see some of those they call theirs becoming Christians instead. I pray it's true. I would rejoice in seeing new brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus redeemed for those who want to overthrow and enslave us, forcing us to bow to their religion and attacking ours. How marvellous if that all backfired, and instead of Islam colonising and invading Europe, Christianity took people from the Islamic world.  Some of the leaders of the Moslem world could do with asking themselves why it should be that their people want to move to the West, why Moslem style government does not appeal to those they need to populate what they think are the lands of the faithful.
God will be glorified, no matter how His foes try to bring down Him and His.
Come again, Lord Jesus.