CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
England No Longer a Christian Nation as Atheism and Islam Make Gains – Census
November 30, 2022 — Breitbart.com reports: “Less than half of people in England and Wales are Christian, the census has revealed, with both atheism and Islam making major gains.
The majority of people in both England and Wales are not Christian for the first time probably since the 7th century AD, data from the 2021 census published on Tuesday has revealed.
According to the information released by Britain’s Office of National Statistics, both England and Wales have lost their status as majority-Christian nations, with only 46.3 per cent of the population of England reporting themselves as being Christian, while only 43.6 per cent of the Welsh population now describe themselves as being adherents to a denomination of Christianity…” (…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? – Luke 18:8. The article, and the one that follows, makes one wonder what the answer to that question would be. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. – Amos 8:11-12.
Thankfully, God always has a faithful remnant. In I Kings 19 following the victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah fled to the wilderness after hearing a threat from Jezebel. We read: …he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. – I Kings 19:4-18 [Emphasis mine]. Thank God for His faithful remnant. See the next report.)
Parts of the Bible are ‘no longer appropriate in modern society’, says Crown Prosecution Service
November 23, 2022 — ChristianToday.com reports: “The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told lawyers defending an arrested street preacher that parts of the Bible are ‘no longer appropriate in modern society’.
The astonishing claim was made in a document sent by the CPS to the Christian Legal Centre, who defended John Dunn after his arrest over comments he made about homosexuality.
When preaching in Swindon town centre on 1 November 2020, two women walked past holding hands, to which Mr Dunn said: ‘I hope you are sisters.’
When they informed him that they were in a same-sex marriage, Mr Dunn quoted 1 Corinthians 6 and told them, ‘It says in the Bible that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.’
The women were offended and reported him to the police. They also alleged that Mr Dunn shouted that they would ‘burn in hell’, despite his use of a voice box after surviving throat cancer. He denies the allegation.
Mr Dunn voluntarily attended a police station for interview where he was warned that he would be arrested if he tried to leave. He was then summonsed for an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act, which covers threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour or words.
The CPS alleged that Mr Dunn had committed hate speech that offended the women, and its lawyers argued that prosecution of Mr Dunn was ‘necessary’ and ‘proportionate’…”
Outcry over sermon about ‘trans’ Jesus
November 28, 2022 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Worshippers were reportedly left in tears by a sermon at the University of Cambridge’s Trinity College chapel that suggested Jesus had a ‘trans’ body.
The sermon was delivered at a recent evensong service by guest speaker Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow.
In the sermon, the researcher explored depictions of Jesus in Medieval and Renaissance art and suggested that the wounded side of Christ ‘takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance’.
He used the 14th-century painting Pietà with the Holy Trinity, by Jean Malouel, to support his argument.
‘In Christ’s simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these works, if the body of Christ as these works suggest the body of all bodies, then his body is also the trans body,’ said Heath, according to The Telegraph.
Despite complaints of ‘heresy’ from members of the congregation, the sermon has been defended by Dean of Trinity College, Dr Michael Banner, who said that the interpretation was ‘legitimate’ even if people might disagree with it…” (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away – II Timothy 3:1-5. See the next report.)
Franklin Graham slams ‘repulsive, shameful’ claim that Jesus has ‘trans’ body
November 29, 2022 — ChristianPost.com reports: “The Rev. Franklin Graham rebuked the notion that Jesus Christ has a ‘trans body’ after a research student at the University of Cambridge made that assertion during a sermon, offending many churchgoers in the process.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Graham reacted to the outrage that ensued after Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow at Cambridge, delivered a sermon at the school’s Trinity College on Nov. 20, likening Jesus’ side wound and blood flowing to the groin in Jean Malouel’s 1400 work Pietà to looking like a vagina…
Graham joined the chorus of criticism directed at Heath’s sermon, which he described as ‘repulsive and shameful.’ The prominent televangelist and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse asserted that ‘to insinuate that Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God, is transgender or to sexualize in any way His sacrificial death on the Cross for the sins of mankind is utter heresy.’
Noting that ‘the Bible warns us about false teachers,’ Graham maintained that ‘this speaker and the dean at the University of Cambridge who defended him are false teachers, preaching heresy.’ Graham insisted that ‘people don’t need messages from the pulpit that are trying to interpret art like this speaker was — people need the truth of the Word of God that has the power of God to change hearts and lives for eternity!’
‘The Bible warns us to beware … ‘there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction,’’ he concluded. As Graham alluded to, top officials at the University of Cambridge stood by Heath following the firestorm that erupted due to his remarks…” (Amen! Well said Franklin Graham!)
Persecution of Christians worldwide is getting worse, report warns
November 17, 2022 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Christians who live in parts of the world that enjoy peace and religious freedom must speak up for the suffering Church in the face of increasing persecution, a new report by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) pleads.
‘Persecuted and Forgotten?’ examines the situation in 24 countries between October 2020 and September 2022, and concludes that in three-quarters of places the oppression or persecution of Christians grew worse during this period.
The countries are mostly located in Africa, the Middle East and Asia but the report finds that a factor in the worsening climate is a denial in the West that Christians are the most persecuted religious group.
The situation for Christians was found to be worse in all seven of the African countries reviewed by ACN, which cited the spread of Islamic extremism and ‘a sharp increase in genocidal violence from militant non-state actors, including jihadists’.
A particular country of concern is Nigeria, where ACN says the level of violence against Christians ‘clearly passes the threshold of genocide’.
‘Jihadism is one reason why Nigeria teeters on the brink of becoming a failed state, with kidnappings, priests killed and deadly attacks on churches becoming increasingly regular,’ the report says…” (If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I have said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me – John 15:18 – 24; 16:1 – 3.)