Monday, March 28, 2016

No genocide, says Britain

In Iraq, Christians, who totalled 1.4 million, are down to about 30,000. In Syria, where there were 1.25 million Christians, figures are down to about 500,000. 

Pictures may no longer appear regularly in the newspapers, who have other themes to take their interest. But the rape and the butchery at the hands of ISIS continue. Even children are crucified and beheaded. One Iraqi Christian woman reported last week how she saw her husband crucified on their front door.

Last month the European Union decided unanimously that the persecution of Christians by ISIS in Syria was genocide - an attempt to exterminate an entire group of people. Two weeks ago the US House of Representatives voted by 393 to nil to call on the Obama administration to declare ISIS guilty of genocide.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has described ISIS actions as genocide. (Although  President Obama has not yet managed to do the same.)

A UN decision that ISIS activities constituted genocide would demand action from signatories to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and require prosecution of perpetrators when hostilities were over.

Last week Lord David Alton proposed an amendment to the Immigration Bill in the House of Lords which would have led to a High Court ruling on whether ISIS' actions amounted to genocide. The decision would have had implications on priority for asylum seekers.

The Lords voted against the amendment 148 to 111. The Government is said to have imposed a whip on Conservative peers to vote against the amendment. Lord Carlile described Labour's refusal to support the amendment as "supine" and "chickening out." 

"Surely parliaments such as this should recognise the suffering of victims of genocide, and not merely by wringing our hands with rhetoric about those victims. Where else have they to turn to if not to parliaments and governments such as ours?"

Many of the Lords were said to be furious over lack of support for the amendment. 

Lord Alton said  "This was a day when Britain neither salved its conscience or offered practical help, but chose to look the other way. When historians come to consider the lamentable failure of both Parliament and Government to speak and act they will surely conclude that we failed to recognise the crime above all crimes."

A Home Office spokesman said the amendment would have created a dangerous loophole. The presumption of status could have made it more difficult to exclude those that were a threat to our communities.

Pray for Christians who are still suffering in the Middle East. Please sign Barnabas Fund's petition for the genocide of Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq to be recognised. You will find it here.    

Friday, March 25, 2016

The problem of the universe (2)

It's remarkable how scientific discoveries simply confirm what the Bible has been saying for centuries.

People once had all sorts of strange ideas about what supported the earth - until scientists discovered that it floated in space. It says in the book of Job, one of the oldest books in the Bible: He hangs the earth on nothing (Job 26:7). 

It was once believed that the earth was flat. Aristotle (384 -322 BC) suggested it was round, partly because of the round shadow of the earth on the moon during a lunar eclipse. The fact of a spherical earth was finally demonstrated by Magellan in the 16th century. The book of Isaiah, written about 700 BC, says He. . . sits above the circle of the earth (Isa 40:22).

Only in comparatively recent years has it been discovered that the earth is winding down as energy reduces. The Bible has been saying so for centuries in at least three places:

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure; Yes, all of them will grow old like a garment (Psa 102: 25, 26).

The heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment (Isa 51:6).

You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands; They will perish, but you remain; And they will all grow old like a garment (Heb 1:10, 11).

By the way, the Bible says that Jesus rose from the dead. Let me ask you something. Do please answer the question. Have you studied the evidence for His resurrection?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Speaking up for traditional marriage

Fifty years ago, homosexual practice was illegal. Today, it is widely accepted, and the general attitude is that you mustn't say anything about it. How does such a complete change come about in 50 short years?

There is no doubt that the homosexual lobby has had a definite agenda. Let me mention some of its aims.

One has been to force society to accept their lifestyle as normal and healthy. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention statistics say that sexually active men and boys aged 13 to 24 were over 1,000 times more likely to become infected with HIV than their heterosexual counterparts. There have been rapid increases in syphilis and gonorrhea in the homosexual community. These facts are played down.

Another has been to get the homosexual agenda into schools. Hundreds of primary and secondary schools in the UK are introducing courses produced by the leading homosexual lobby group Stonewall.

A third has been to attack churches and re-interpret Bible teaching.

Another has been to see same-sex marriage legalised. Same-sex marriage is not really marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. God invented marriage at creation, and no amount of shouting can re-invent it.

A fifth is to shout down all opposition. If you oppose same-sex marriage or the homosexual lifestyle, you are automatically a bigot and a homophobe. People don't like being called bigots and homophobes, and so keep quiet.

Are you going to speak up for traditional marriage? It's not too late. If you do, you may be accused of hate speech, which will probably not be the case. (Someone said "We have fallen victims to two big lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must hate them, and the second is that to love someone you must agree with everything they say or do. Both are nonsense.")

There are two reasons why you should speak up for traditional marriage. If you don't, the homosexual lobby will win by default. And if you don't, who will?

Listen to Dr Lisa Nolland, of Anglican Mainstream: "Jesus. . . spoke a good deal about sex issues - even more than about poverty or love.

"Jesus condemned porneia, which meant any sex outside heterosexual marriage. Incest, fornication, gay sex etc. His hearers would have known that.

"Moreover, Jesus claimed to fulfil Old Testament law, and clearly endorsed and extended its core ethical and religious values - among them the sexual. He showed mercy to sinners, but took sin seriously. So should we."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

How daughter's death changed an abortionist's life

Dr Anthony Levatino is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who has done more than 1.200 abortions. When he was younger, he married and he and his wife wanted to have children. 

They found they had an infertility problem, so decided to adopt. They found the process difficult, until they found a pregnant 15-year-old who wanted to give up her baby. They adopted the baby girl, and decided to call her Heather.

When Heather was five, she was playing one day in the back yard. Her parents heard a squeal of brakes from the front of the house. Heather had wandered into the road and been hit by a car. She died in her parents' arms in the back of the ambulance.

"People who have children may think they have some idea of what that feels like. I guarantee you," says Dr Levatino, "if you haven't been through that yourself, you have no idea what it feels like, and I pray you never find out."

When he next did a D and E abortion, he looked at the pile of body parts on the table. He didn't see what a wonderful doctor he was helping the mother with a problem; he didn't see her wonderful right to choose; he didn't see the money he had just made in 15 minutes. "All I could see was someone's son or daughter."

 From then on, he did mainly suction abortions. But a change had come that he couldn't take back. "When you finally figure out that killing a baby for money is wrong, it doesn't matter if the baby is this big, this big, this big or this big, it's all the same."

Dr Levatino is the former abortionist interviewed on the videos I mentioned in my last blog post.

"I haven't done any abortions since then," he says, "and I never will."

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How abortions are done

So British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the UK's biggest abortion providers, have launched their campaign to have all abortion legislation swept away and women free to choose to have an abortion at any time, for any reason.

No other medical procedure, they claim, is so out of touch with clinical developments and the moral thinking of the modern world.

They don't mention, of course, the sudden shock of an unplanned pregnancy; the number of women pressured into abortion by husbands, partners, parents and friends; the increased risk of mental health problems and suicide after abortion. Or the medical complications. Or the fact that abortion kills a baby.

By coincidence, a matter of days after their campaign was launched, a series of videos was published on a new website - - showing just how abortions are carried out. A former abortionist describes what happens in a suction D and C abortion, a D and E abortion, a late term abortion, and an abortion using abortion pills. 

There are no bloody photographs or pictures of live action; the procedures are demonstrated using animated diagrams. The videos are said to be medically accurate.

The video on D and E abortions has been viewed more than 2,700,000 times in the three weeks since it was placed on YouTube, and some viewers are said to have changed from pro-abortion to pro-life.

You can watch the videos here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Israel: Dark days ahead

A Palestinian ran amuck in Jaffa this week and stabbed 10 people. There were other Palestinian attacks the same day. Two Israeli policemen were shot.

Jewish residents near the Gaza border have heard the sound of digging underneath their houses. Terrorists from Gaza have been digging terror tunnels underneath the border. A number of tunnels have collapsed, killing the men working inside.

The battle for the land seems to be intensifying, as one Jerusalem resident put it.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's annual visit to meet President Obama in Washington has been cancelled, and no one seems clear why. One Israeli news source says Obama, as one of his last acts before he leaves office, will use the UN Security Council to force Israel and the Palestinians to negotiation, seeking to force Israel to divide Jerusalem and the Palestinians to recognise the Jewish state.

Whether Obama does or he doesn't, all nations will eventually turn on Israel. Israel will be invaded, and Jerusalem will be taken. The Jews will flee to Jordan, and the invading armies will follow. Then a remarkable thing will happen. . . The Lord Jesus Christ Himself will return and fight against the armies from heaven.

What days we live in. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psa 122:6).

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Providing 'spare part' babies

Women whose babies develop fatal defects in the early stages of pregnancy will be given advice on going ahead with the birth so the NHS can harvest the babies' organs, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Many mothers opt for an abortion after being told the child has no hope of survival once born. Now, the newspaper claims, mothers will be supported to have the baby at nine months so the child's organs can be taken for transplant.

Speaking of obtaining organs from newborns, transplant surgeon Niaz Ahmad, of St James University Hospital in Leeds, said "We are looking at rolling it out as a viable source of organ transplantation nationally."

At the moment, doctors will not raise the issue of donation first with expectant mothers, but wait for the women to approach the NHS themselves. However, that could change, Mr Ahmad is reported to have said.

A lead nurse has been appointed to co-ordinate efforts to educate NHS staff about talking to parents about such a sensitive issue.

In some cases, where donation had been agreed, babies could be certified brain dead, but their bodies kept alive by artificial ventilation, so organs removed would be fresh and have more chance of successful transplant.

I have previously expressed the view that brain death is not in fact death and donors would still be alive when the organs were removed.

Dr Trevor Stammers, lecturer in bioethics and medical ethics at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, said "It would be frankly abhorrent if transplant doctors were to ask women whose unborn children have been diagnosed with severe defects to let their baby go to term for the sole reason that its body can be raided for its organs.

"Mothers electing to carry babies with such severe defects to term - because they would love the child for as long as it should live - have, up till now, often been pressured to abort anyway. They have been regarded as foolish to continue the pregnancy. 

"It is concerning that mothers will now be encouraged to go to term with the express intention of the  child's organs being taken. What happens if they change their mind once they see their newborn son or daughter?

"It is a ghoulish suggestion. The concept reduces the baby to nothing more than a utilitarian means to an end - a collection of spare parts - rather than respecting life for its own sake.

"I know those organs can potentially save the lives of others, but at what cost to our humanity?

"The integrity of transplant medicine has already been compromised by using organs from euthanised adults. Raiding the bodies of children born only for their organs will further tarnish the profession."

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The power of forgiveness

In 2006, a young man walked into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, ordered the teacher, a teacher's help and the boys to leave, shot the 10 girls one by one, then turned the gun on himself.

Two years ago I wrote about the almost incredible love and forgiveness showed by the Amish people to the gunman's widow. Now the gunman's mother, Terri Roberts, is telling her story.

On that never-to-be-forgotten morning, after hearing a garbled report of the shooting on the radio, she drove to her son's house, where she met her husband and a state trooper. She asked the trooper "Is my son alive?" The trooper said "No, ma'am." She collapsed in a heap on the ground.

That afternoon her husband was saying "Those poor parents, those poor children, we will have to move far away from our Amish neighbours. . . " Henry, their Amish neighbour, insisted the Amish wanted them to stay.

"The Amish. . . attended our son's burial, surrounding us and protecting us from the media cameras. The first parents to greet us that day had lost two daughters at the hand of our son. They asked us how we were doing."

The following July many of the Amish attended a picnic at her home. "The loving atmosphere was incredible, demonstrating how, even through the hardest of situations, we can surrender our angst and discover peace and joy.

"Knowing that I am battling stage four cancer, this past Christmas a school bus pulled into my driveway with 35 Amish friends singing carols to me."

Her conclusions?

"Bitterness and anger are worse than any cancer, eating away at our souls. Even in hardship, praising God for His provision changes our perspective, granting grace for the 'next step.'

"Surrender and submission have become words of great strength to me. By submitting to a higher plan I've found joy in the midst of the trials of tragedy and health.

"I've been in the lowest pit, in the deepest depths, but God's grace provides a way out through daily surrender - and I see His goodness."