Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


Sex, money, power

series on temptation of speakers

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

tory wolf

I have been thinking about blogging on the electoral process for years, but never managed to get my thoughts together on it!  It amazes me how little people know about politics and voting, someone i know, who is a teacher, was clueless about the whole process and suggested that they may write a message to the candidates on their ballot paper! Just so everyone is clear, the only thing candidates care about or see is that you have made a “mark”!  If you are gonna make a mistake by voting for too many candidates or scribble insults on the ballot paper, your paper will be only recorded as “spoilt”, the counters may laugh but the new MP doesnt know or care!

Since I was 16, I have been a keen voter for the Liberal Democrats, at the time I thought “they haven’t been in power recently, the Tories and Labour are making a hash of governing, so why not give them a chance!”  I was delighted (to a point) that they did so well in the 2010 election, and that Nick Clegg had a well deserved “taste of power”, I would still prefer to see his face as PM than Cameron or Miliband.  Unfortunately for him and the party, being part of the coalition meant that although they tempered the Tories desire to attack the poor, the Liberal Democrats got all the blame for the cuts and savings which were made, they didnt have enough impact, so this election they were massacred politically! Even locally the councillor ratio is now 10:1 Tory to Lib Dem!

My wife and I have become involved with one of the growing number of food banks in the UK, it is almost impossible to argue that welfare cuts have sent people in that direction, added to the “buy now pay later” society we have become, debt, poor wages (despite both parties saying that they would ban zero-hour contracts) and living costs on the increase, its not surprising we are in this mess!

I freely admit that I am not an expert in politics, but i have been involved with the electoral process for over a decade! As a couple, we have realised that we cannot sit back and not get involved any more. I am no longer going to be a “cheerleader from the benches”. We are going to get involved!

There is a poem which a lot of people would want to compare to the new government

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

That was written by Pastor Martin Niemöller, about the cowardice of Germans under Hitler maybe more contemporary way would be

They came for the poor, and i did not speak out because i was not poor

They came for the disabled, and I did not speak out because i was not disabled

They came for the single parent, and I did not speak out because i was not a single parent.

They came for the students, and I did not speak out because i was not a student.

They came for the unemployed, and I did not speak out because i was not unemployed.

They came for my pension, and I did not speak up because I am not a pensioner

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I overheard this week someone saying “its fine for the richer to become rich because then i can pay the poor to do odd jobs for me“! Seriously?! The Conservatives are the party of the rich, without doubt, but unfortunately no other party was a credible threat! Bizarrely if you have been on facebook in the last week, the Tories seem to be considered “the big bad wolf” but almost the whole of the East of England voted them in!

Which is why instead of moaning about the state of the nation, signing petitions, criticising “selfish tory voters”, I am gonna get involved, try to help those who didnt vote, or didnt know who to vote for, discover why and what they should be voting for! The “Big Society” was a ideology that they tried to encourage in the coalition, but people are as selfish as ever!  I may not agree with your politics or ideology but surely the Godly Christ-like way to live, is loving your neighbour and looking out for those in need, remember Jesus spoke more about widows than sin! So stop criticising  others and get off your butt and look for those in need in your area!!

We should not think we are like the Israelites in Egypt but more like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo, become a Christian in politics and fight for what matters to you and your family!  Jesus respected those in authority but he was answerable only to God, so go and do likewise.


False Prophets Today


There  are only a few occasions when I have gotten angry about the actions of/comments from a Christian that many people hold in high regard. I am fully aware that if you compared my life to Jesus, I would wear a (metaphorical) muddied, filthy sinful rag, compared to the pure white robe he wants us to dress in, so I have no right to judge, but certain things that are put into the media and displayed as “Christian” are far from biblical!

Last Sunday, a Church leader was on a popular discussion tv show and was reported to say the following

“I cannot bring myself to believe in a Satan who is an embodied angel thrown out of heaven”

(Jesus saw him fall!)


“My God has no space for some kind of tempter”

(explain the forty days in the wilderness then?!)

What bible are they reading?! The church leader even said that “the devil in the book of Job is a kind of Joke figure”, how on earth can you possibly say that the Devil is a joke?! I was even more amazed that people said how well she did, and one person who stepped in to defend the minister, when they were criticised, wrote “you are an inspiration!”  Has the Anglican church’s resolve to be in “communion” with as many people as possible, really allowed bizarre theology to be preached from the pulpit?! Have they not heard the phrase “if you try to please everyone, you actually please nobody”?

A few years ago, there was a preacher with a massive healing ministry, the top evangelical leaders in the USA supported him and there were thousands of people flocking to his events, a few weeks after one his largest “events”  it was revealed that  he was cheating on his wife, with one of his staff, and there were reports of him not actually “slaying people in the spirit” but using physical force to push people over and disorientate them instead, 6 months later he was back on the “God channel”?!  I am sorry, but if your actions behind the scenes are ungodly and you show no remorse when they are revealed, there has to be questions about your theology and integrity!

There is another man with a ministry, which appears to have no beneficial dealing mainly with “getting drunk on the  Holy Spirit” and “getting high on the Holy Ghost”, (apparently he was a former addict to drugs and alcohol, then he discovered how much happier the Holy Spirit made him, so wanted to get “high” everyday!) He went to Bethlehem and sniffed the dust from the places where Jesus was supposed to have lived, he came to the town where I live, fortunately a family in the church, where he was due to run a weekend course in “mysticism”, flagged up their concern and many others then looked into it.  The leadership team of that church were  still willing to invite him to preach and teach, despite most of the long-standing members of that church “fleeing the ship”. Ironically, one of his “disciples” went off and created his own even more extreme ministry which even the original guy had to admit was OTT and un-biblical (acts included smoking from a lego brick?!)

Finally the ones that really get my hackles up are the “tele-evangelists”, they ask for money, “bribing” you with a CD or a book, (and even a green handkerchief!)  They will broadcast from anywhere including stadiums with revolving globes and man-made waterfalls, to studios that have their own private security company guarding the compound.  Where did Jesus tell us to do that?!

The bible says in Matthew 24:11 -12

11-12 “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

I had a conversation, a few years ago with an Anglican priest who informed me that, according to their theology, priests are accountable to God for their parishioners, in the same way, if we know the truth and allow deception to be spoken through us, we are ultimately going to have to face up to that on Judgement Day. But if we hear deception preached from the front or in the public and we do nothing about it (the best way is to challenge the speaker quietly and respectfully) we are also going to have to deal with the consequences on Judgement Day!

The devil is a “tempter” and a deceiver telling us “half-truths” to start us on paths that seem all innocent and before we know it we are knocked off-track and in a mess that only God can help us with!  The Devil cannot  control us unless we allow him to, if we allow thoughts like:-

Like it or not we are in the world, we are meant to engage with the world, but not conform to the world’s standards (because we all know what the “world” considers “acceptable” is not actually beneficial to society!

The challenge for us all is to speak up! Be ready to give the reason for the hope that you have in Jesus but also be ready to challenge un-biblical beliefs and actions from fellow believers (with respect and gentleness)!

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