Of Taximen, Thanksgiving, Weddings and Good ( not Black) Friday

My experiences this week were a mixed bag. Taxi drivers, the most indisciplined, outrageously reckless and impatient people on God’s good earth, went on strike in my country this week.

Why? #fakenews and a move by the government to put some amount of discipline into the transportation sector, and introduce new technology. All in an effort to stem the rising carnage on roads where to date, 324 persons have died. Gone too soon, according to the famous song by the late Michael Jackson.

And in the midst of the heated national debate, came the ‘ bite of the week’. ” Ah Taximan run Jamaica”. Ostensibly because of their role in moving people, lots of people, from point A to point B. Everyday! Which brings to mind a popular Janaican saying, aphorism even:
” Duppy know who fi frighten”. In this instance the target was the Jamaica Government and certain ‘offending ‘ provisions under the new Road Traffic Act.

And so I was moved to post this message on Facebook.



Two passages of Scripture instructed me, following last night’s ‘ revelation’ on #TVJ that ‘ taximan run Jamaica’. Yes they have some legitimate issues. A place to let off and pick up passengers where they will not be ticketed by the police for example, is true in some cases.
But their sense of power, slaked by the wine of the lawlessness of some, and the facility with which some of them constantly provoke law abiding road users to wrath by their indiscipline, and get away with it, has gone to their heads.

So too some policemen and women who believe that they too run this country and are above the law. Add to that list some politicians, some professionals, some business men, some journalists and some Intellectuals, and other would be tyrants, including organized crime, and put them in a pot and boil them, and we get a poisonous brew or stew of hubris, arrogance and unfettered evil which has become a pervasive and destructive force in this country. Almost unstoppable. Except for God:

” See now that I myself am He!
There is no god beside me.
I put to death and I bring to life.
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand”
Deuteronomy 32: 38

” When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17&18. An extension of the one of the Scripture readings for the worldwide Anglican church this Sunday – Christ the King.

Then as the change in climate, thank God the nights are a bit cooler, ” it beginning to look like Christmas”. The most wonderful time of the year. Better than Thanksgiving in the USA. To Whom do they give thanks? How? And for what?
Better than #BlackFriday when hordes of shoppers flock the stores to cash in on tremendous savings.
And so I shared the post of good and faithful man of God, Rev. Rawley Tyson. Which would definite deserve a repeat of another popular Janaican expression. ” Nuh say nutten”. No need for much comment.


No doubt then, that the Lord was working His purpose out when He inspired this post on Facebook. For our commercial and feel good, and ” every thing going to be alright”, Bob Marley kind of understanding of Christmas may be quite different from the message from the songwriter, and of God.

” Hush ye men of strife and hear the Angels sing ” ( about Peace on Earth to be wrought by the Blood of the Lamb who came on earth as a baby). Ye men of indiscipline and who rebel against the Word of God!


Not 4:00 am but 4:30. Nothing dramatic. Just a quiet urging. To get up and read. Randomly. Joel 2.

” Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near – a day of darkness and gloom…. .

Before them people are in anguish all faces grow pale…..

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows if he will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him……

Then John the Baptist came to mind, and by now the gentle rain which attended my awakening had ceased. So I turned to John and then to Luke 3:

…….the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah……He went into all the region around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins as is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah.

Then I recalled the message from 2 Peter 1:20-2, my bedtime reading:

First of all to must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Then Luke continued:

” The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…….

John says to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance……
And the crowds asked him, ‘ what shall we do’?

Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none, and whoever has food must do likewise….. ( sounds almost like Socialism, but….)

Collect no more prescribed for you – Tax collectors.

Do not extort money from anyone by threats and or false accusations – Soldiers ( and police….what a thing if they would repent).

John has the final word. John 1.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man but of God.

Comment: Lots to say. But not allowed. Too much ” right hand in the shot” is not good cricket form.
Deja Vu! The more things change, except we be in Christ, and become a ” new Creation “, the more they remain the same. Why! Listen to the music: ” It’s beginning again to look a lot like Christmas “; Jesus coming to his own, but yet his own receive him not.
So where are they turning to. And to whom.are they looking for a savior? Perhaps at Confernce tomorrow….figuratively! JLP and PNP.
Perhaps to Cashpot everyday. Even to ‘let the music blow your mind’. Literally! Kartel. Tommy Lee. Buju. The Home of the brave and land of the free….who knows! Perhaps even our own ‘ reasoning ‘, and unaware of the caution of one of the most brilliant minds in history, Blaise Pascal…..” The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it”…..he who at the age of 12 had worked out the equivalent of many of Euclid’s geometrical theorems.

O Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us.
Minutes to 6. Time to get ready for church.
In obedience.

Finally, not tomorrow, but today, I am going to a wedding. With my wife! I just love weddings. And the song from My Fair Lady: ” I’m getting married in the morning, ding ding dong the bells are gonna chime….” O how I wish I could sing.

I spend a lot of my time at work encouraging people to get married.
But more importantly, to commit to the Jesus who I love with all my heart. And get Baptised! Why?

Read carefully the words of a hymn which came into my mind in the wee hours of the morning this week. A hymn we sing often during or before Holy Communion. But a teaching hymn, and a hymn for the ages.
A message of Hope for the sins of taxi taxidrivers and all who cause mayhem on our roads and in our lives. A message for each and every one of us. ” For all have sinned….not just taximen or Chucky Brown or Donald Trump….and fallen short of the glory of God”. And ” the wages of son is death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus “.

That’s why Jesus came. At Christmas. To die! On Calvary. #GoodNews And to invite us to a Wedding Banquet. And if you don’t have on proper wedding clothes, not just the high heel boot and nails, but covered by the Blood of the Lamb, you can get in. Not even if you win Lotto and can buy a house in Beverley Hills in Los Angeles! Or even if you ” run tings” in Jamaica and big and bang bout yah.


And now, O Father, mindful of the love
that bought us, once for all, on Calvary’s tree,
and having with us him that pleads above,
we here present, we here spread forth to thee
that only offering perfect in thine eyes,
the one true, pure, immortal sacrifice.

The second verse is the one which entered my soul.

Look, Father, look on his anointed face,
and only look on us as found in him;
look not on our misusings of thy grace,
our prayers so languid, and our faith so dim;
for lo! Between our sins and their reward
we set the passion of our Lord.

Verse three is a prayer for those we love. At home. And at weddings.

And then for those, our dearest and our best,
by this prevailing presence we appeal;
O fold them closer to thy mercy’s breast,
O do thine utmost for their soul’s true weal;
from tainting mischief keep them white and clear,
and crown thy gifts with strength to persevere.

And so we come; O draw us to thy feet,
most patient Saviour, who canst love us still;
and by this food, so awful and so sweet,
deliver us from every touch of ill:
in thine own service make us glad and free,
and grant us never more to part with thee.
Peace. And please pray for all of us who will be journeying across the island, and all who use our roads. And all who need to know about the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Death on our Roads: Faith in the God Who is The Light in the Darkness

Came in late last night. Harvest Supper. Slept until late. Got up, opened my Classics Devotional Bible, randomly, and found a meditation by Brother Lawrence, one of the early mystics of the church ( c.1605 – 1691).


Isaiah 38:16

I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains, but I pray God earnestly that he would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as he pleases. Comfort yourself with him who holds you fastened to the cross.
He will loose you when he thinks fit. Happy are those who suffer with him. Accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from him the strength to endure as much, and as long as he shall judge to be necessary for you……

I wish you could convince yourself that God is often ( in some sense) nearer to us, and more effectually present, in sickness than in health……

He often sends diseases of the body to cure those of the soul. Comfort yourself with the sovereign physician of both soul and body.

A reflection from ” back in the day”, which reminded me that I had not yet written the weekly blog – inspiration and instructions come in different ways.

So what touched my heart this week. And everyone in Jamaica who heard the story?
Tiana and Tiara ( Thompson ) and Latisha ( Willians). 8 years old, 10 years old, and 8 years old respectively O Jesus!

Two sisters and a best friend. All perished in a terrible crash, imcluding the driver, who reportedly was speeding and lost control of the ill fated car, on the western part of Jamaica on a famous road. Which on reflection, bears a name full of irony; The Elegant Corridor.

What struck me though, among many other issues emerging from this nightmarish event, was the father’s reaction, in part :

As painful as losing two of his children is, Curtis Thompson is happy that they were baptised even though their mother felt they were too young to take that route.

“I want people out there to listen to their children when they ask to be baptised,” said the father.
He said that both Tiara and Tiana asked to give their lives to God two years ago.

A reaction to a parent’s worse nightmare become an awful reality, which was even more powerful and impactful on television, when this obviously distraught, but full of faith in his God, referenced Job. And how that Biblical character had suffered! And placed himself and family in the hands of the God who allowed such suffering. For His own purpose. Thus employing the same kind of understanding of God, that
Brother Lawrence wrote about in the quoted meditation.

Amazing! Not a road safety message. Although the context was inherently so. But a message about trusting God in the midst of ” the fire”. Just like Daniel, Mesach and Abendigo!

Makes one ashamed of the doubts and fears and even panic, which attend everyday circumstances which are unfavorable, inconvenient and even distressful. Talk about perspective!

It’s a subject which us 21st century Christians often shy away from discussing. Or even accepting that it is an inevitable part of the journey with Christ. And so we ” bun fire on Diabetes” and every illness and circumstances known to man ” in the name of Jesus”.

Not so, Tiana and Tiara’ s dad. An example that needs much thought and prayer and a matter which ought to attract more correct teaching.

Finally, no doubt influenced by this terrible tragedy, I posted two messages on:


One a call to be vigilant and alert. The other, perhaps in anticipation of God’s hand being reflected in the faith of Tiana and Tiara’s parents ( as both of them spoke of their trust in God, and also the faith of one of the surviving sibblings).


“Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come”. Mark 13:33. An extended reading of the Gospel for the worldwide Anglican Church this Sunday. One of the key messages that our Lord sends to his Church. The Redeemed!

Be alert. Do not get distracted. Do not lose your focus on Christ your Redeemer. And the distractions are many, varied, personal, corporate and intense.
Just like the cell phone and driving. And it’s not only Netflix and WhatsApp, not only a fascination for ” What did Trump do today”, or the latest ” suss”, not only the ” prosperity gospel” and a spiritually unhealthy fascination with Angels and Demons ( losing connection with the Head……Colossians) but as our Lord said, ” False messiahs and false prophets producing signs and omens to lead astray, if possible the elect”. The question is what is the nature and location of these false prophets who would dethrone Jesus and Him Crucified from being Sovereign over our hearts and mind. And cause us to ” forget our first love”!
Promise-keeper, way-maker, miracle-worker, Light in the darkness, My God, that’s Who you are…..been in my head this week.


” When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord”. Acts 13:12.

” The hand of God shows up in many ways. Sometimes it’s a deep impression in the heart, a timely word for someone’s need, or even a supernatural phenomenon like this one. But a mission which is not backed by the hand of God will be fruitless. People simply don’t believe in a radically new way unless there’s evidence for the belief itself”. Chris Tiegreen.

Then I went to do my early morning walk. And this came into my mind:
Lord help all of us who work together to promote road safety to be evidence of your mercy and your love and faithfulness.

Especially to the poor and needy and powerless, as road safety, according to the influential research organization World Resources Institute, is a ” issue of poverty”. As most of those who are killed, live in poor countries, and are pedestrians, motor cyclists and pedal cyclists, and very sadly our children ; 21 of them to date. #JohnRollinsThree

So we pray Lord that you may stretch out your hand and make us bold to do your work, as you perform signs and wonders, great and small, dramatic and incremental, in the name of your holy servant Jesus Christ.
Grant us additional resources, so that even though we are not doing well now, 260 – 2012 vs 321 – 2017 and 311 to date, in due course we will see the evidence of your continued grace and mercy on, the ” wretched of the earth”, who for the most part are those who suffer loss of life and terrible injuries. In Jesus name we pray, and ask the faithful to pray for us and for safe passage on our roads.

Evil in California and in Westmoreland: Give to Trump what belongs to Trump, and to God what belongs to God


“The Joy of the Lord is your strength ”

Part One

This week, Shakespeare’s prophetic voice, ”

Each new morn
New widows howl, new orphans cry,
New sorrows strike heaven on the face”,

was so real, as, once again terror was unleashed in California USA, and Westmoreland Jamaica.

And once again came the plaintiff cry. Why! Why kill 12 in California? Why murder 4, in one house, in Jamaica. Why?

Perhaps Chris Cuomo on prime time on CNN said it best, when he declared, ” We can do better than this”. His context was gun control. And clearly that’s our context also, but with a slightly different perspective. As our challenge is to try and stop the inflow of these weapons of death. Whereas, in the USA, their challenge is to prevent easy access. Especially to high powered guns, whilst protecting the right to bear arms.



The key question remains, however, can we do better than this? Can we stop being so murderous? With well over 1000 persons murdered already for the year. And almost one mass killing in the USA daily; not all receive national, read, attention from CNN.

By way of an answer, under divine inspiration, I sent an email and posted two messages on Facebook this week.

In response to, yet another egregious act of wickedness came this:



Not necessarily ” out of his mind”! But that the same spirit of wickedness, that caused the murder of over 1008 of our people, invaded his soul, all because, Jesus Christ is not his Lord.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear –
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Woke up with this song in my heart, as we continue to grieve for our country. #Eyewater #Jamaicalandwelove.

And lament that not only Carlene Davis has been warning this country in song, for so long, #ThisislandneedJesus, but also the Bible believing obedient church has been calling this nation to repentance and to be reconciled to God in Christ. For years!

But our stubborn hearts, and proud minds have sought solutions to this national crisis of murder, and murder most foul, in Politicians and Police and rogue police ( It’s amazing how many people, support the self confessed dastardly acts of ” Chucky Brown”, perhaps out of desperation) and soldiers and in ourselves. And our ” International Partners”!

All this madness taking place, whilst Jesus waits on us with open arms, and nail scarred hands, ” The Friend of a Broken Heart”.

For if our hearts aren’t broken by the egregious wickedness of the murder of this young boy, and we return to business as usual, cash pot, I will follow de leader, Netflix, rum and boom, bun church and God, whatever lives, listening to solutions posited by well meaning but in the scheme of things, powerless to fight against evil, folks, upright and bright folks, and more, then our corner dark. But if one or two, continue to cry out to the God of all consolation, then who knows, He might turn and heal this land. And grant us peace in Christ Jesus. A Friend indeed!

Then the message continued, as I prayed for my country:

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
calling for me and for you…
Why should we linger when Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me.
Come home! Come home! All you who are weary, come home….
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me.


This week I learned a new word. Unfrustratable! I’ve inserted it into this discussion, for it is extremely disappointing, and yes, frustrating, from a human point of view, since the battle is not mine, nor yours, but the Lord’s, to witness so much mayhem and pain, when we could do so much better. And the frustration is not with those Republicans who voted for Trump, much to the chagrin of the Democrats who wished for a Tsunami and only got a Blue Wave.


But with my fellow fellowman in the USA, Jamaica and all over the world, who continue, in the face of unfettered evil, to ignore the words of the Psalmist who wrote this truth:

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor is in vain who build it”.

And so I included the verse in the following post on:


Interesting, and even important news. The results of the mid-term elections in the US yesterday. And we should all pay attention. But, ultimately, the most important news that mankind needs to heed is:

” ……And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting on him.” Hebrews 9:24-28 NRSV….one of the readings for the worldwide Anglican Church for this Sunday.

Why? Because death upsets the plans of everybody! And all will perish one day. Those who make the news and those who live in ” obscurity”. And only those who trust in Christ and Him will live forever when He returns.

And God alone is the giver of life….” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son”. Ruth 4:13…the OT reading for this Sunday.

” And thou child, shall be called the Prophet of the Most High ( John the Baptist …and every believer) for thou shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people: for the forgiveness of their sins…..To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death ( be they Democrats or Republicans, Shower or Comrade). Words from The Benedictus…..Zechariah, Luke 1: 67-79 KJV.

So Trump and his colleagues, elsewhere, are just ” shadows “. Mists, which are here today, and gone tomorrow. But the Word of God lives forever. And ever. Amen.

Then the next day, came this message sent out by email:


But there is more. Much more for us to explore as a people, ” who do not know the power of God”.

For this verse ought to set us on fire! Thinking, probing, wondering, and repenting. That we have not fully grasped the instruction to be in this world but not of this world, viz.,

” Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Which in this context, at the very least, means that we ought to ascribe to God all honor and glory and power. Note the ” Power”. And give to Andrew Holness, Donald Trump, and the institution of government, respect, obedience to laws and qualified support, and prayers ( spell check wrote protest…maybe that too) ; so there may be peace in our land.

The challenge, in this context, is for us to believe, and act on that belief, that God can ” raise the dead”! The beleaguered nation in which we live! The beleaguered nation up north, where many of our loved ones and friends and christian brothers and sister live. How and when and in what form, this ” deliverance ” will take place is God’s affair?

But until then, we must ascribe to God, all power to defeat evil…..the collect for Sunday. For in Christ, even in the midst of trials and temptation and persecutions, we are ” much more alive”, now than before. And through us new and abundant life continues to flow, as we intercede for our nation and the world……Oswald Chambers last night. For if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation! And much more alive than when we were without Him.

Peace, and in obedience


This week, as I pondered on these acts of violence which created mayhem, thousands of miles away, and nearby at home, I was led to read the following verse in 2 Peter, which perhaps offers a clue why we have not, in the words of Chris Cuomo, ” done better”.
“Listen” carefully:

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8‭-‬9 NIV

Question is then, not, can we do better, but, ” where is the manifestation of the Joy of the Lord who is our strength “? Where is the inexpressible Joy, that Jesus has come to ” destroy the works of the evil one”?

Where is the glorious Joy, in the face of evil in California and Westmoreland, that one day, one fine day, all of this wickedness will come to an inglorious end.

For with Joy and Hope in our hearts, we, the Baptised, have to be in the vanguard of the struggle to stop the flow of guns into our island, and prevent such easy access to high powered weapons in America.

Be in the vanguard of the struggle to speak Truth to Power. Whether in the US, or in Jamaica. Anywhere! Anytime! Whether there is a Blue Wave, Red Wave, Green Wave or Orange Wave.

With Joy and Hope in our hearts, we the children of God, have to be in the vanguard of the struggle to construct a fair, humane but firm Immigration policy in the USA. And be in the forefront of the struggle to end Squatting and Poverty and Injustice and Unemployment in Jamaica; all of the factors that depress the souls, and stymie the hopes and dreams of the ” wretched of the earth”. Those who make up the ” Caravans ” marching to the land of the free and home of the brave. Seeking better for their families! And those who block roads in Jamaica and legitimately cry ” We want Justice”. All part of the celebrated novelist, Franz Fanon, in his book ” The Wretched of The Earth”. The Forgotten People!

With Joy and Hope in our hearts, we have to escape falling prey to the pervasiveness mood of hopelessness and despair, which Jamaicans are now feeling in respect of conquering the evil of murder which has taken over the minds of so many young men in our country. For we know that the God of Jacob is still Sovereign over this land. And also in America where many are asking not just Why, but How, to fight against the evil of mass killings.

And then finally a song from the world famous Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, inspired by Psalm 121, gives the Benediction. For indeed, my help, all of my help, in this confusing and frustratable world, comes from the Lord. The One who died on the Cross of Calvary to defeat evil. And who will come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead. Then our Joy and Hope and Faith in the cleansing Blood of the Lamb will allow us to see God’s face. But not so for the wicked and the unbelieving!

That’s why ” Because we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men“. But as frustrating as it is, we can only lead people to the well, but we cannot force them to drink from the ” living waters” that is Christ and Him Crucified.

But maybe if they see our Joy and Hope and Love, in the lives of Christians, who walk by the Spirit, and not by the flesh, in the midst of the madness, who knows, they may come to know Him who is ” Softly and Tenderly is calling”. The whole world! Come home, come home, all ye who are weary, come home! To the Only One Who can give rest in this evil generation. The Only One Who can raise the dead, and give new life in a seemingly impossible situation.

O dear Jesus have mercy. Have mercy. Have mercy.

The Abortion Dilemma: The late Rev. John Stott wrote a profound note on this issue

Abortion is a now a red hot topic in Jamaica land we love. And extremely controversial! Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health has challenged the Parliament to make a ” Firm Decision “. This coming during a debate in the House of Representatives following a submission by MP Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn calling for a revision of the current law which makes it a criminal offence for a woman to attempt to abort a child.


“The law we are operating under is sections 72 and 73 of the 1864 Offences Against the Person Act. It says that women and their doctors can be charged with felonious assault for procuring or facilitating an abortion, and they can be imprisoned for life if they are found guilty. “.…quote from an article written recently in the Jamaica Observer from a reporter who covered a forum organized by human rights activists early this year.


Then for me, after recommendations from this group, came a question which goes to the heart of the issue:

“Is taking the decision to terminate a pregnancy really a crime?”

Inspired by the Old Testament reading for tomorrow Sunday, November 3, 2018, in the worldwide Anglican Church, I sent an email on the issue of Abortion to our Parliamentarians and Church leaders captioned; Abortions, State and Church.

And reacting to a Daily Gleaner Editorial on this issue, I posted a response on Facebook.
These two heartfelt ” letters” are shared. You can read at your convenience. Neither one is lengthy.


But, perhaps more importantly, this:

I recalled that the late Rev. John Stott, an eminent Anglican theologian of an Evangelical bent, a former Chaplain to the Queen of England, and a prolific writer, shared his views on this issue many years ago:

Opening lines of the chapter on The Abortion Dilemma ( First Edition of Decisive Isdues Facing Christisns Today 1984):

” The debate over abortion is admittedly complex. It has medical, legal, theological, ethical, social and personal aspects. It is also a highly emotional subject, for it touches on the mysteries of human sexuality and reproduction, and often involves acutely painful dilemmas.

Yet Christians cannot opt out of personal decision-making or public discussions regarding this topic and merely because of its complexity. Instead, two factors should bring it to the top of our agenda.

First, what is involved in the abortion issue is nothing less than our Christian doctrine of both God and humanity, or more precisely, the sovereignty of God and the sanctity of human life. All Christians people believe that Amighty God is the only giver, sustained and taker-away of life. …To the Christian, then, both life-giving and life-taking are divine prerogatives….

Hence Mother Teresa’s strong feeling about the evil of abortion:

…only God can decide life and death….That is why abortion is such a terrible sin. You are not only killing life, but putting self before God; yet people decide who has to live and who has to die. They want to make themselves almighty God. They want to take the power of God in their hands. They want to say: ” I can do without God. I can decide”. That’s the most devilish thing that a human being can do….

Further on John Stott wrote:


Those who campaign for a lax policy on abortion, and those who campaign for a strict one, begin their arguments from opposite positions.

Proabortionists emphasize the rights of the mother, and especially her right to choose; anti-abortionists emphasize the rights of the unborn child, and especially his or her right to live.
The first see abortion as little more than a retroactive contraceptive, the second as little than pre-natal infanticide. The appeal of proabortionists is often to compassion ( though also to the justice of what they see as a woman’s right); they cited situations in which the mother and/or the rest of tge existing family would suffer intolerable strain if an unwanted pregnancy were to come to term.

The appeal of the anti-abortionists is usually also and especially to justice; they stress the need to defend the rights of the unborn child who is unable to defend him/herself.

Then Stott makes two important points.

” Those who oppose easy abortions are not lacking in compassion however. They recognize the hardships, and even tragedies, which the arrival of an unplanned baby brings, for example…..an already big family with financial constraints…..sick husband….violent cruel husband…..single mother …schoolgirl….adultery….rape ..incest ….Down’s syndrome.

All of these cases, and many more ( and the driving force behind the modern argument ….maternal mortality), cause great personal suffering, and arouse our sincere Christian compassion. It is easy to understand why some women in such situations opt for the abortion which seems to them the only escape, and why some doctors interpret the law as liberally as they can, in order to justify one.

But….and herein lies the rub….

Christians who confess Jesus as Lord, and who desire to live under the authority of his truth and compassion, can never be pure pragmatists. We have to ask ourselves what principles are involved. Our compassion needs both theological and moral guidelines. If it expressed at the expense of truth or justice it ceases to be genuine compassion.

The key issue, then, is a moral and theological one. It concerns the nature of the fetus ( foetus is Latin for offspring). How are we to think of the embryo in the mother’s womb? For it is our evaluation of the fetus which will largely determine our attitude to abortion.

Then Stott turns to the well known and often quoted Psalm 139 in order to unearth four theological truths.

1. Creation….You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

2. Continuity…He is now an adult, but looks back over his life until before he was born. He refers to himself both before and after birth by the same personal pronouns I and me, for he is aware that during his antenatal and postnatal life he was and is the same person.

3. Communion Covenant…for he, the Psalmist is conscious of a wry personal and particular communion between God and himself….in fact Communion may not be the best description of this …awareness, because the word implies a reciprocal relationship, whereas the Psalmist is bearing witness to a relationship which God has established and which God sustains. Perhaps therefore ” Covenant ” would be a better word, indeed a unilateral covenant, or covenant of ” grace ” which God initiated and which God sustains. For God our Creator loved us and related himself to us long before we could respond in a conscious relationship to him. What makes us a person, then, is not that we know God, but that he knows us; not that we love God but that he has set his love on us. So each of us was already a person in our mother’s womb, because already then God knew us and loved us.

It is these three words ( Creation, Continuity and Communion or Covenant) which gives us the essential biblical perspective from which to think. The fetus is neither a growth in the mother’s body, nor even a potential human being, but already a human life, who though not yet mature, has the potential of growing into the the fullness of the individual humanity he already possesses.
Other biblical passages express the same sense of personal continuity due to divine grace..

Turning to the New Testament, it has often been pointed out ( as I did in the email to our Leaders…..before going back to read John Stott) that when Mary and Elizabeth met, both were pregnant, Elizabeth’s baby ( John the Baptist) ” leaped in her womb” in salutation of Mary’s baby, Jesus and also that Luke here uses the same word brephos of an unborn child ( 1:41,44) as he later uses of the newborn baby ( 2:12,16) and of the little ones whom people brought to Jesus to be blessed by him ( 18:15).

In closing Stott makes the following recommendations.

A. That we ought to repent – as a society, for condoning such a wrong. ……quoting a UK official John writes….I am personally convinced that the destruction of the unborn on this massive scale, deliberate scale is the greatest single offence perpetuated in Britain today…..

further..we need to repent of selective campaigning. We lack integrity if we fight for the life of the unborn and care little for the life of the born – for example, of abused and neglected children, battered or abandoned mothers, slum dwellers or refugees. Christians are committed to human life, both the defending its sanctity and to promoting its quality.

B. That we need to accept full responsibility for the effects of a tighter abortion policy, if it can be secured. To agitate for it without being prepared to bear its cost would be sheer hypocrisy. We must not occasion an increase of illegal ” back street ” abortions. Instead, we shall want to help the pregnant woman overcome any reluctance she feels to have her baby, and see that is given every possible personal, medical, social, and financial support. For God tell us to ” carry each other’s burdens, and in this way …..fulfill the law of Christ ( Galatians 6:2)

C. We need to support a positive educational and social campaign, not least in the schools. Christians must not be shy to teach thoroughly and constantly the biblical understanding of humanness and of value, indeed the sacredness of human life ( Stott I think lived long enough to see that ” door shut” in British Schools, and is well on it’s way to be closed in Jamaica….if we are not careful)…..

More important in the end than either social education or social action, vital as both are, is the good news of Jesus Christ. He came to bind up the broken-hearted and support the weak. He calls us to treat all human life with reverence, whether in the newborn, the infant, the handicapped or the senile.

I have no desire, says John Stott, in his majestic final words of the chapter on The Abortion Dilemma,
to stand in personal judgment either on women who have have resorted to an abortion, or on the men whose sexual self-indulgence is responsible for most unwanted pregnancies. I want to say to them instead, ” There is forgiveness with God” ( Psalm 130:4).

For Christ died for our sins and offers us a new beginning. He rose again and lives, and by his Spirit can give us a new, inward power of self-control. He is also building a new community characterized by love, joy, peace, freedom and justice. A new beginning. A new power. A new community. This is the gospel of Christ.

Me? Forever grateful to my mentor, and late Anglican Bishop of Kingston, Herman Spence, for introducing me to the mind of John Stott. But more importantly teaching me by word and deed to love my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. More than anyone or anything else in life! For in Him, I have life; and life more abundantly.