Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christians needed: urgently

It's a sad thing to have to say, but the authorities in this nation appear to be determined that this nation's children will grow up to be sexually promiscuous.

The authorities don't care that children have sexual intercourse among themselves - even when it's illegal on grounds of age - so long as they use contraception. Free contraceptives, morning-after pills and abortions are readily available. Sex education in schools, which has little or no moral content, ensures that children know where to get free contraception and how to use it.

The Christian Institute found the Primary School Sex and Relationships Education Pack, recommended by East Sussex Council, which includes explicit descriptions of anal sex, oral sex, homosexuality and bisexuality, for use with children from seven years old and upwards.

It discovered a video advising pupils to "try experimenting with other boys and girls and see who you feel most comfortable with," and teacher-led discussions with pupils on sadomasochism, bondage and sex toys.

An NHS leaflet called Pleasure advises school pupils that they have a "right" to an enjoyable sex life and that regular intercourse ("What about twice a week?") can be good for their cardiovascular health. It uses the slogan "An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away."

Steve Slack, of NHS Sheffield, one of the leaflet's authors, said it could encourage young people to delay losing their virginity until they are sure they will enjoy the experience. What kind of twisted logic says that telling youngsters of the pleasure of sex will encourage them not to have it?

The majority of parents apparently have no idea what their children are being taught in school, and many of them are not concerned. Currently parents have a right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons, but the Government is considering making the lessons compulsory for all pupils from the age of five.

This, according to one pro-family organisation, would give parents less control over the content of lessons because schools, being compelled by law to provide sex education, would have less incentive to consult parents.

The Family Education Trust has produced a new 52-page booklet called Too Much, Too Soon: The Government's plans for your child's sex education. It tells parents what is happening in sex education, explains the law, and considers the Government's proposals for change. It argues that young people do not need to be presented with a menu of sexual options from which they can make "informed choices." It says the whole matter needs to be approached with honesty, modesty and within a clear moral framework that shows a proper respect for parents and for marriage.

I consider that it is a brilliant piece of work and that every parent ought to have a copy. Printed copies can be ordered from Family Education Trust, Jubilee House, 19-21 High Street, Whitton, Twickenham (telephone 020 8894 2525). Better yet: you can read the whole booklet and download it free of charge from the trust's website (

Some worthwhile things are happening. There is a great organisation named Challenge Team UK ( which sends teams of well trained young people into schools with presentations promoting saving sex until marriage, and is looking for more volunteers for training. The advantage of these teams, it seems to me, is that this is not adults preaching at children but young people talking to young people. Some 75,000 teenagers have already been reached. An organisation called Lovewise ( goes into schools promoting chastity outside of marriage, and is also looking for more presenters.

Children will follow an example, whether it's a good one or a bad one. Youngsters in this nation are being bombarded with sex from every conceivable angle. The great tragedy is that the majority of them are not being reached with a godly alternative.

Christians, where are you?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

'One of the least of these'

Casper ten Boom repaired watches. He had a watch shop on the Barteljorisstraat in Haarlem.

He was an old man, with a long white beard. Every morning and evening he would read from the Bible and lead family prayers in his home above the shop.

When the Germans overran Holland and Dutch Jews began to be sent off to the extermination camps, the house became a hiding place for Jews. The Dutch Resistance built a wall in a bedroom at the house, behind which the Jews could hide if the house were searched.

One day Germans stormed the house and the old man and some of his children were arrested. The chief interrogator at Gestapo headquarters seemed to wonder about the necessity for the old man's arrest. "You, old man!" he said. "I'd like to send you home. I'll take your word that you won't cause any more trouble."

"If I go home today," the old man replied, "tomorrow I will open my door again to any man in need who knocks."

His imprisonment continued. Ten days later he was dead.

How much good was achieved by the old man's reply? What could one old man do against the might of the Nazi machine?

Not much. But what Casper ten Boom did will be remembered in heaven. "Assuredly, I say to you," Jesus said, "inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."

Contrary to what many believe, when Jesus spoke about "the least of these my brethren," He wasn't talking about Christians. He was talking about the Jews.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

So which married lifestyle would you prefer?

I was reading an article by John Piper in which he described life in his family home as a boy.

I grew up, he wrote, in a home where my father was away for about two-thirds of each year. He was an evangelist. He held about twenty-five crusades each year ranging in length from one to three weeks. He would leave on Saturday, be gone for one to three weeks, and come home on Monday afternoon. I went to the Greenville airport hundreds of times. And some of the sweetest memories of my childhood are the smile on my father's face as he came out of the plane and down the steps and almost ran across the runway to hug me and kiss me (no skyways in those days).

This meant that my sister and I were reared and trained mostly by my mother. She taught me almost everything practical that I know. She taught me how to cut the grass without skippers and keep a checkbook and ride a bike and drive a car and make notes for a speech and set the table with the fork in the right place and make pancakes (notice when the bubbles form on the edges). She paid the bills, handled repairs, cleaned house, cooked meals, helped me with my homework, took us to church, led us in devotions. She was superintendent of the Intermediate Department at church, head of the community garden club, and tireless doer of good for others.

She was incredibly strong in her loneliness. The early sixties were the days in Greenville, SC, when civil rights were in the air. The church took a vote one Wednesday night on a resolution not to allow black people to worship in the church. When the vote was taken, she stood, as I recall, entirely alone in opposition. And when my sister was married in the church in 1963 and one of the ushers tried to seat some black friends of our family all alone in the balcony, my mother indignantly marched out of the sanctuary and sat them herself on the main floor with everyone else.

I have never known anyone quite like Ruth Piper. She seemed to be omni-competent and overflowing with love and energy.

But here is my point. When my father came home, my mother had the extraordinary ability and biblical wisdom and humility to honor him as head of the home. She was, in the best sense of the word, submissive to him. It was an amazing thing to watch week after week as my father came and went. He went, and my mother ruled the whole house with a firm and competent and loving hand. And he came, and my mother deferred to his leadership.

Now that he was home, he is the one who prayed at the meals. Now it was he that led in devotions. Now it was he that drove us to worship, and watched over us in the pew, and answered our questions. My fear of disobedience shifted from my mother's wrath to my father's, for there, too, he took the lead.

But I never heard my father attack my mother or put her down in any way. They sang together and laughed together and put their heads together to bring each other up-to-date on the state of the family. It was a gift of God that I could never begin to pay for or earn.

And here is what I learned - a biblical truth before I knew it was in the Bible. There is no correlation between submission and incompetence. There is such a thing as masculine leadership that does not demean a wife. There is such a thing as submission that is not weak or mindless or manipulative.

It never entered my mind until I began to hear feminist rhetoric in the late sixties that this beautiful design in my home was somehow owing to anyone's inferiority. It wasn't. It was owing to this: My mother and my father put their hope in God and believed that obedience to his word would create the best of all possible families - and it did.

Two minutes after reading John Piper's article, I picked up a newspaper and noticed that "a hardline feminist" had been appointed the UK Government's new chief spokeswoman on families. Dr Katherine Rake, the paper said, had long declared her intention not to support parents as they are, but to revolutionise their lives; wanting to change not just what child care the state provides, but who changes the nappies at home.

"It is only when men are ready to share caring and work responsibilities with women that we will be able to fulfil our true potential to form equal partnerships in which we have respect, autonomy and dignity," she was reported to have said. But a critic claimed that Katherine Rake's agenda was more about reversing sex roles than helping parents.

Dr Rake, said the paper, does not publicise her personal life, but is married. Her husband said he hoped he was a hands-on father, but refused to comment further on his wife's remarks. "I'll have to check with her," he said, "before saying anything."

Of the two married lifestyles - the married lifestyle described by John Piper and the one presumably recommended by Katherine Rake - which would you prefer?

Just for fun (1)

Did you hear about the plastic surgeon who sat in front of the fire and melted?

(If you don't appreciate this man's sense of humour, apologies.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

So do you believe it?

I expect you will have heard the suggestion. The suggestion, that is, that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, and that the apostle Paul added all that later, turning a Jewish teacher into the head of a new religion.

So did Jesus claim to be the Son of God? Yes He did.

He forgave sins (Mark 2:5 - 12; Luke 5:20 - 25). He accepted worship (Matt 8:2; 14:33).

Remember when Jesus was with His disciples in Caesarea Philippi and He asked His disciples who people said He was? Some said John the Baptist, they said; some Elijah, others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. But who, said Jesus, do you say that I am? "And Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven'" (Matt 16:16, 17).

Remember when Jesus was talking with the unbelieving Jews about Abraham? Jesus told them "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM," using the name God used of Himself (Ex 3:14, 15). Some would dispute that Jesus was using God's name there, but the Jews understood what He meant all right. They took up stones to stone Him for what they saw as blasphemy. "But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by" (John 8:58, 59).

Remember when Jesus was on trial before the Jewish authorities, how the high priest asked Him specifically "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed"? He answered "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:61, 62).

Jesus is eternal (John 1:1). He was there at creation (John 1:3; Gen 1:1; Col 1:16). He is one with the Father (John 17:11). He is the giver of eternal life (John 10:28).

Not only His words, but His miracles spoke of who He was. The Old Testament law, for instance, gave detailed instructions in Leviticus 13 and 14 of what was to happen if a Jew was healed of leprosy. But from the completion of the law of Moses up to the coming of Christ there is no record of a Jew being healed of leprosy. The rabbis taught that only the Messiah would be able to heal a Jewish leper. So Jesus healed one and sent him to the priest (Luke 5:12 - 16).

The very basis of the Christian gospel is that man, being a sinner, was unable to save himself, so God came in the form of His Son, lived a perfect life and gave His life so that man's sin might be forgiven.

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory" (1 Tim 3:16).

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).