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Showing posts from May, 2010

The Normalization of Murder

Tonight British society changed forever, and yet it has probably gone relatively unnoticed. For tonight the first ever ad for abortion was shown on British television. I don't have a TV so I didn't see it when broadcast, but I've just watched it on the website of one of the broadsheet newspapers. And I'm saddened, deeply saddened. I can't say that I'm shocked and appalled, for I'm not. There is nothing shocking about the ad and I was already appalled that (through a legal loophole) it was to be aired. But I'm deeply saddened, perhaps mostly by the fact that there is nothing shocking about the ad. It's just so normal. Words like 'abortion' or 'termination' aren't used. There's no hint of any 'procedures'. All you see are images of women in everyday situations. Normal situations. They even show a mother pushing a baby in a pushchair! And then at the end comes the voiceover saying: 'If you're pregnant and not s

A Whitsuntide Song

They were gathered in an upper chamber, As commanded by the Risen Lord, And the promise of the Father There they sought with one accord, When the Holy Ghost from heaven descended Like a rushing wind and tongues of fire: So, dear Lord, we seek Thy blessing, Come with glory now our hearts inspire. Let the fire fall, let the fire fall, Let the fire from heaven fall; We are waiting and expecting, Now in faith dear Lord we call; Let the fire fall, let the fire fall, On Thy promise we depend; From the glory of Thy presence Let the Pentecostal fire descend. As Elijah we would raise the altar For our testimony clear and true, Christ the Saviour, loving Healer, Coming Lord, Baptizer too, Ever flowing grace and full salvation For a ruined race Thy love has planned; For this bless├Ęd revelation, For Thy written Word we dare to stand. ‘Tis the covenanted promise given, To as many as the Lord shall call, To the fathers and their childr

Sunday's the Day

Tomorrow morning we're going to be singing an old chorus at the beginning of the meeting. It's old, but it's also particularly appropriate for the Lord's Day and especially for Whitsun. What is it? This is the Day . Our songbook only has one verse to This is the Day , but we're going to resurrect the other two verses as well to get the full meaning of the song. It's not just the day that the Lord has made, but also the day that He rose again and the day that the Spirit came. In other words, it's not just any old day, it's the Lord's Day. The first day of the week is indeed the day that the Lord has made. In fact, it is the day He made days, as well as being the day He made the heavens and the earth. But more than that, it is a day of great importance in Redemptive history. It is the day that Jesus conquered the grave and rose from the dead. And then seven weeks later, it was the same day of the week on which Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit from h

A Service Centred on the Breaking of Bread

On the Lord's Day morning we have a Breaking of Bread service. But what does that mean? Is it simply a service that contains the Breaking of Bread, or is it something more? Acts 20:7 shows us that for the early Christians, the Breaking of Bread was the purpose of their meeting together on the Lord's Day. On this occasion the apostle Paul was in Troas. Yet, although he did preach (and at considerable length), the primary purpose of the meeting was to break bread. If the goal of our Lord's Day morning meeting is to break bread, then that should have an effect on the whole meeting. Therefore everything in the meeting should contribute to this purpose. Hence, the focus of the meeting should be on Christ and above all on His Cross. This means: · Songs – we should sing about Christ and His Cross. The focus should be on Him and what He has done, rather than on us. This means that some songs which would be very appropriate at other times are not so appropriate on the L

A Vital Day to Pray

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 In order to 'lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness' we need to pray for 'all who are in authority'. So may the next 24 hours not only be a day of voting, counting, watching, and waiting, but also a day of prayer.

Pentecostal = Protestant; & that's important

Some people are probably tutting at me already. Why would I say such a thing? It seems that the Protestant label is being more and more eschewed by Pentecostals. Yet Pentecostals are Protestants. They always have been, and I hope they always will be. You see, being Protestant isn't about a label. It's about theology. Protestant theology is the theology of the Reformation (even though some 'protestant' churches no longer hold to true protestant theology, and thus today we often have to specify that we're evangelical protestants). Being Protestant is about holding to the 5 Solas of the Reformation. Sola Gratia (Grace Alone) Sola Fide (Faith Alone) Solus Christus (Christ Alone) Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone) These five points which define what it means to be Protestant show us that we should not be ashamed of our Protestant heritage, because it's all about the Gospel. Having grown up in Northern Ireland where 'Pr