I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing – John Newton
Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation(s) – A Prayer for the Decade of Evangelism
Nothing in my and I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Saviour, or I die.
Rock of Ages.
1. The Bain vs. The UWI issue continued to dominate the news in my country this week. A former Prime Minister, well known for his negotiating skills and a man who would seek to escape confrontation if at all possible, weighed in on the matter; calling for tolerance on both sides.
PJ urges tolerance – Former prime minister calls for understanding in …
3 days ago – Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson addresses a Rotary Club of Spanish Town weekly meeting, held at the Police Officers’ Club in St Andrew …
His call was welcomed by the an Editorial in the Daily Gleaner on Sunday; and which writer took the opportunity to castigate another former Prime Minister for being indecisive and lacking in conviction – my words- on one aspect of the issue – the buggery law.
The link to which contribution by Mr. Golding was shared last week. The former PM has since made a spirited response. We await the continuation of this public debate.
EDITORIAL – Mr Golding’s Waffle On Buggery
2. Interestingly, at a time when at least one newspaper has placed the spotlight on Prostitution in general, and in particular the lure for young and underage girls,
Mr. Patterson also lamented the ‘breakdown in the morals of the nation. This coming from he who launched the ‘Values and Attitudes” way back in 1994, in response to a similar observation about the state of the nations morals.
3. Finally for me, and most importantly, though not a major news item, this weekend in Ocho Rios at the Jamaica Grande was the time for another Annual Anglican Healing Conference. A time of prayer, teaching, fellowship, discussions, absolutely wonderful music – you would never believe it’s an Anglican event…folks from other denominations also attend….so too folks from the Caribbean and North America… testimonies of healing, all climaxing in a Healing Service this morning, where people came to have ‘hands laid on them’, and prayers were offered for healing. For individuals, for families, for communities, for the church and for the nation(s)
So in the midst of all of these happenings in my country, what did The Lord say through His Word or His inspired Word? A lot, even though I was not led to write much this week.
FIRST FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS – well known for his devotionals ” My Utmost for His Highest” – which even wickepedia reports as ‘one of the most popular books ever written’.
1. One of the observations which I read this week, and which truth led me to spend a lot of time reflecting on it, sharing it with others and seeing how it applies to the world around me, came from Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers.
” Nowadays the great passion is the passion for souls, but you never find that in the New Testament, it is the passion for Christ that the New Testament mentions. It is not a passion for men that saves men; a passion for men breaks human hearts. The passion for Christ inwrought by the Holy Spirit goes deeper down that the deepest agony the world, the flesh and the devil can produce…….When the passion for men obscures the passion for Christ, Satan has come in as the angel of light.
Though written to primarily young Christians in training for the ministry, I believe this profound truth has resonance far beyond the the doors of the church, and ought be a ‘philosophy’ taught and understood in the secular world. For not only are church workers often guilty of ‘taking their eyes of the cross of Christ’, in their attempts to evangelize – to bring the good news that Christ died for the sins of all mankind – but equally guilty, are those who believe that they have more care and compassion for the ‘vulnerable’, the marginalized, the ‘minorities’, and suffering humanity than God.
And herein lies the crux of the debate about the homosexual lifestyle, the current abut how best to reduce HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, the repeal of buggery law, Professor Bain vs. the UWI, and also the abortion debate – to which a young colleague, MP, and a ‘man of faith’, made a contribution yesterday in the newspapers. Calling for the removal of the ‘backward’…my word…law which criminalizes women, physicians, and families who assist in the termination of pregnancies. A law justified by ‘religious absolutism’, and which contributes to the death of so many young women, who, according to the MP, have ‘botched abortions’, on account of not being able to access legally, quality medical care and some end up dead.
Further, not only do these groups apparently believe that they have more compassion than the God whose Son Christ Jesus died for all mankind, gays, straight, pregnant teenage girls, underage prostitutes, those who commit incest, the murderer, the thief, the unbeliever, the ‘fallen Christian’, the backslider – so that they may sin no more. But also that they have more sense than He does! Therefore, any law which had it’s genesis in the Judeo-Christian ethic and ethos, and which is a barrier to their way of thinking, ought to be removed. In the name of progress and compassion and science and the findings of ‘epidemiological studies’. Not realizing, of course that, this was the same mindset which led mankind into trouble with God in the first place. ” Did God really say that…..”? – the story of Adam and Eve and the master deceiver – Satan
And so the young Oswald Chambers, who wrote this truth way back in 1910-17, must have been led to warn people in his age and in our age, when the manifestation of ‘ our passion for men, rather than for Christ’, both in the religious and in the secular, has ‘come of age’.
2. Another one from Chambers had me thinking also:
” Never sympathize with a soul who finds it difficult to get to God; God is never to blame. We have to so present the the truth that the Spirit of God will show what is wrong. The element of judgment must always come out; it is the sign of God’s love. the great sterling test of preaching is that it brings everyone to judgment; the Spirit of God locates each one”.
One of the arguments used by the Gay Agenda – and those who are sympathetic to it, is that we – the segment of Christian community opposed to same sex marriage and who deem the act to be sinful’, according to our understanding of the Holy Scriptures, and others, ‘ ought not to so concerned about what happens in the privacy of peoples bedrooms’.
Could it then be sheer coincidence, that one night, last week, during one of those early morning wake up calls by The Lord, I was led to read the following passages of Scripture:
THE WORD OF GOD
Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.” The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” (2 Kings 6:8-12 NIV)
“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:13-17 NIV)
The reality is that, not only do we represent a God who can see and hear what is happening in the privacy of peoples bedrooms, but that He sent His only Son to die for sins committed in such privacy, and hoped for, secrecy; together with all those committed in the full glare of public scrutiny. In fact this issue of what happens in the privacy of bedrooms, goes to heart of the current debate of Bain vs, the UWI. In the sense that what provoked and outraged the Gay Lobby, I would suggest, is not so much Bain’s testifying on the behalf of those opposed to the repeal of the buggery act. But rather his highlighting of the well known fact that homosexuals, MSM’s, engaging in anal sex – in the privacy of their bedrooms – are engaging in risky behavior which facilitates the spread of the HIV. Further, as Dr. Figueroa pointed out on public radio, that homosexual men who then have sex with women, and who have contracted the HIV, in that act – in the privacy, and perhaps secrecy, of another bedroom – pass on the HIV to (unsuspecting) women. And so on and so forth! So as they said in Angola, ‘la luta continua”. The struggle continues, as we seek be obedient to the a verse in the bible which mandates us to spread the good news of Christ and His love for all mankind; and the judgment which awaits those who are disobedient to, and do not believe in the ‘ one who was sent by God.”.
” Since, then, we know what is is to fear The Lord, we try to persuade men”. 2 Cor. 5:11 NIV
For the problem here is not a gay thing, nor a ‘woman’s right to choose’, but that people no longer fear God. That’s the real issue which former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson who is lamenting the fact that our morals are in a serious decline, does not understand. As it is only those who do not fear The Lord would advocate that the ends justify the means in the abortion issue – the crux of the matter. For who else but Satan, masquerading as an ‘angel of light’ and a person of compassion for others, could so move men to advocate and encourage others to commit murder, to take the life of an unborn child – an early form of life that only God can make – in order to prevent the ‘blighting of the future’ of another and more mature form of life.
Do we understand how many women have tried for years to have a baby, and failed? Do we know how many black and brown Jamaicans and prominent Black Americans were born because someone raped their mother. Does this justify rape? My God no! Never! But the fact is that, despite the horrible circumstances, only God can make life. People having sex, in and by themselves, do not! People forced to have sex do not. As in the final analysis, regardless of the wickedness of mankind, only The Lord giveth and only The Lord taketh away life. Do we then fully understand the ways of God? No, ‘for my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than yours’, says The Lord God of Israel.
It is only Satan masquerading as an ‘angel of light’ and compassion would move men, out of heartfelt compassion and love for the human rights of gays, would seek to make right and acceptable, regardless of how ‘ high the powers be that subscribe to that heresy’, what the Bible describes and an abomination.
No wonder then the wisdom in Proverbs, or is it Job, warn us that ” the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”.
So men who abandon their children, or do not take responsibility for them, do not fear God. Men who influence inner city youths to ‘fire gun for them’, in pursuit of power, do not fear God.
Men, big men, who roam the streets at nights and ‘buy sex’ from underage or mature prostitutes do not fear God.
The Uptown big man who steals electricity does not fear God.
The ranking Don who controls a community and ‘makes duppies’ of his opponents and rakes in millions from taximen, busmen and othes does not fear God.
Top ranking D. J’s who get ‘a forward’ by singing under clothes lyrics and gun lyrics and rakes in millions of dollars and has a big following does not fear God.
This is the problem Mr. Patterson. People no longer fear God. Even in the church. Have mercy!
Thank God then that ‘those who are with us are more than those who are with them’. What a comforting thought in the middle of the madness!
SECOND FROM THE ANNUAL ANGLICAN HEALING CONFERENCE
God – Our True Rest and Healing. What a theme to be considered as we left the business of Kingston and the restlessness of nation and motored over to Ocho Rios, located in the peaceful northern Tourist part of Jamaica.. I tweeted as the weekend progressed from the opening session on Friday night, to the teaching and discussion sessions on Saturday. Took a break during the heartfelt and emotionally draining, on the one hand, and uplifting testimonies of healing on the other hand. Then respectfully tweeted only during the sermon at the Healing Service on the Sunday.
@lucienforJesus: Anglican Healing Conference in Ocho Rios Canon Horace Ward speaking about God our True Rest and Healinghttp://t.co/xA2oQcQmp1
@lucienforJesus: Confront tired; confront busy……deadens the heart and kills the spirit #GodOurTrueRestandHealing
@lucienforJesus: Come learn again…. Come to me and I will give you rest….Jesus is offering the gift of rest and healing this weekend….
@lucienforJesus: Lord, You are a present help in trouble. Come revive, redeem, restore.
@lucienforJesus: Bishop Wright from Belize speaking at the Anglican Annual Healing Conference… Let’s hear what he has to say.http://t.co/l51ZBpCx8T
@lucienforJesus: You are never truly healed unless you are also transformed. ..drunken man got converted…. Told his friends about Jesus
@lucienforJesus: Not too impressed….were you there when He healed the sick, . I was not there but in my house I’ve seen Him turn beer into furniture
@lucienforJesus: After God created He rested. When we rest God can recreate something new….God’s recreation of the new day…awesome thought.
@lucienforJesus: As we gather we entrust our care to Jesus. Matthew 11.Come to me all ye are weary…are you tired worn out by religion..come to me for rest
@lucienforJesus: Jesus himself knew the value or rest and of finding time for yourself …He would sometimes run away from even the disciples
@lucienforJesus: The Spirit of the Lord is up on me….God cares was at the heart if Jesus’ teaching….on an average day found in scandalous places
@lucienforJesus: Challenge you to think about the excluded groups in the society….if Jesus is there so should the Church…are we? Went were God was needed
@lucienforJesus: No barriers….Come to me….not surprised….thousands left him. Teaching to hard….but Jesus would not compromise.
@lucienforJesus: Jesus says after healing people….go ye and sin no more. @Petchary @daddyfervet @djmillerJA @souldancing
@lucienforJesus: If you want healing Forgive everyone who is involved in your healing…Forgive yourself.. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the real problem
@lucienforJesus: Ret. Bishop Reid speaking at the Anglican Annual Healing Conference on In God alone we find our true rest and healinghttp://t.co/8kURDfb9TW
@lucienforJesus: Given the importance of Sabbath keeping in the Bible there must be more to it than keeping the Sabbath. Exodus 20 is not the only reference
@lucienforJesus: In the 20th Century a whole new religion was formed based on the text by Ellen G White.
@lucienforJesus: The true meaning of Sabbath is the verb….to rest. Not merely a day, nor about worship but about rest…..Bishop Alfred Reid.
@lucienforJesus: The Exodus version of one day vs one year or Jubilee does not fit with the rest of Scripture. People have organized to suit their purposes
@lucienforJesus: Sabbath is the redemption of work. Not our work but God’s work. To do the will of Jesus is rest. Freedom from the clock, material things…
@lucienforJesus: My God is Awesome – Charles Jenkins; heard this song a lot over the weekend at the Healing Conference-awesome indeedhttp://t.co/iGiANvq7um
@lucienforJesus: Bishop of Belize now about to preach
@lucienforJesus: Disciples in the early book of Acts were waiting on the next big thing that God was going to do. They were never to see Him again
@lucienforJesus: We too like the Psalmist need to wait on the Lord expectantly… Through prayer and steadfastness. Wait until God reveals His purpose for us
@lucienforJesus: Letter by Peter written to Christians under persecution to encourage them. Persecution and hardship are part of our journey.Fast and furious
@lucienforJesus: Trials come to test just how committed we are. . praying for years… No relief,..our sufferings are elevated to the sufferings of Christ
@lucienforJesus: Look at Christ.See how He suffered.view of the sanctification of suffering. ..Will end in our glorification.Entrust ourselves to our Creator
@lucienforJesus: Then carry on the work to do God’s Will… When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word. ..trust and obey as there is no other way
@lucienforJesus: End of sermon.,.. Now for the laying on of hands for those who come asking for prayer and healing. My God is awesome indeed
When you combine the profound nature of the debate which really, as I understand it, centers around the fact of whether or not people fear God, with the Rest is to be found only in God, we begin to understand the true nature of the journey of the Christian in today’s society. Work for The Lord, have a passion for Christ, try to persuade men, but always know that True Rest and peace in this world come only from The Lord. I pray God that those who mean well for the nation and our people will come to the profound understanding that, ‘passion for men will lead to heart break’, and if we are not careful sin and and a loss of fear of God – and restlessness and strife. But passion for Christ always ends up in Rest. So come to Christ all ye are heavily laden, and He will give you rest. True rest. But like Matthew the tax collector, when called, we must leave our old life behind. We must be transformed. For the God who called us is holy, and would make us in Christ holy also.