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Monday PrayerCast 27th June 2022


News and Prayer Update.(#1#)

Good morning! It’s 20th June 2022 and this is the weekly look at what’s happening, and a little bit of perspective from a Christian standpoint.

Let’s start with the Pope! As I’m writing the script for this episode there is a rumour circulating that Pope Francis is intending to resign on health grounds. I wonder what Catholics will think of that, if it is true?


Some may be happy enough to see the back of him. The circumstances of his elevation to the office were somewhat strange to start with, but as his term of office has progressed, Francis has proved to have more in common with the ideals of the globalist elites than the people he is meant to be serving. His views on homosexuality, on climate change, on so-called ‘social justice issues’ certainly have a globalist flavour to them. They certainly bear little resemblance to what’s taught in the Catholic Catechism. I recently came across a blog post on ‘The Acorn’ – a long read, but worthwhile, detailing how Francis places far more confidence in Big Pharma than he does in God. ‘The Acorn’ blog reports, “In his interview book ‘Oltre la tempesta’, Francis, along with MSM and politicians, tells the public to ‘Believe in science.’ … “We need to regain our hope and faith in science today: thanks to the vaccine, we shall slowly find back our way to the light”. The language is both revealing and alarming. Real Christians do have hope, and we do have faith, – hope in God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, not in the super-rich global corporations that are driving the agenda at the World Economic Forum, not in politicians and governments. We remember the words of the prophet Jeremiah, who said, Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in and relies on mankind, Making [weak, faulty human] flesh his strength, And whose mind and heart turn away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5. Maybe even more disturbing is Francis’s comment that through vaccination we can find our way ‘back to the light.’ That’s blasphemous, coming from a man who claims to be a Christian, who should know that only in Christ do we find ‘the Light’ and everything and everyone else walks in darkness. Whatever your personal opinion about vaccines, – they are NOT the Saviour of the human race. Jesus is, and no-one or nothing else.   

And some common sense has broken through, in the world of athletics. Several media sources were reporting, earlier last week, that male swimmers and athletes allegedly ‘identifying’ as women, would no longer be allowed to take part in female competitions. Earlier this year, a ‘transgender’ athlete calling himself Lia Thomas won a major swimming competition in the USA, provoking outrage among feminists and Christians alike. In the UK, ‘The Sun’ reported, “Transgender women will only be eligible to compete against other women if they complete transition by the age of 12. They must also have not gone through male puberty. The decision means US male-born swimmer Lia Thomas has been barred from competing against women. Thomas, who controversially won an American college championship in March, had previously hinted she (sic) would compete in the 2024 Olympics. Prior to her transition, Thomas was ranked 554th in the male 200 yard swim rankings.”

As I say, a very small victory for common sense. But let’s pray that the tide has begun to turn, and the madness will end.

And, over to Edinburgh where the Daily Record and a number of other dailies are reporting on a sexual assault in a primary school. The incident, which occurred occurred in May, happened when two P7 boys attacked a P6 girl in the toilets, holding her down and assaulting her. The website “Edinburgh Live” reports, “Parents at an Edinburgh primary school are “disgusted” after claiming reports of a pupil being abused by older children were hidden from them. Police Scotland confirmed officers are investigating a “sexual assault” that was reported to them on Friday May 27 with a report to be handed into the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration (SCRA).” The timing is significant, for the boys had just attended a ‘sex education class.’  Now these children must range in age from 10 to 12 years of age, so one wonders what they were being taught in that class. Children are being sexualised at early ages, and Scotland is leading the way in this. Why can’t we get back to the tried and tested practice of leaving sex education to parents, not to the state? But then, parents might teach conservative, even biblical values and the secular state hates anything that teaches children decency and morality.

More common sense! In the Republic of Ireland, and a small but encouraging victory for free speech in a Dundalk court. The Belfast News Letter reported that, “A judge in Dundalk has dismissed the case against three NI men for preaching against homosexuality – prompting their solicitor to accuse Garda of a ‘bogus prosecution’.”  The three men had been preaching in Dundalk town centre, (for those from further afield, Dundalk is a border town, just a few miles from Newry, in NI), and they had been declaring publicly that homosexuality is a sin, which brings those who practice it under the condemnation of the Law of God. They had been arrested and charged by the Irish police, An Garda Siochona, and had been brought to court. However, video evidence of what the men were saying and of the arrest by the Garda had already circulated on social media. It was this video evidence that was later shown in court and which prompted the judge to dismiss the case after viewing the footage.

The News Letter reports one of the defendants, Mr Williamson, as saying that he, “…showed the judge video footage of the preaching and the arrest from his mobile phone. After watching the video, she said ‘I don’t see any public disorder, and I think you are quite within your rights to say what you said.’ Within a few minutes of seeing the video she said, “Case Dismissed.” The video evidence proved conclusive. The tone of it, and what I actually said completely swung the case.

It’s a pity we don’t have more judges to cut through the wokeness of policing policies and actions these days. Whether you agree with such straightforward preaching or not, there is no right to not be offended, and there is an absolute right to say what you believe whether others like it or not, that that applies equally to others who do not believe what Christians teach, believe and confess. But the practical lesson for Christian witness, going forward, seems to be that we should make sure that when we are confronting the public with biblical morality, whether on the gender issues, sexual issues, abortion, or whatever, we need to have videos running. Malicious complaints, bogus arrests and vindictive policing will not ease up in coming days. We must be ready for that.  There needs to be photographic evidence. 

Talking about a rare example of common sense among the legal classes; over in the USA, the United States Supreme Court has struck down the controversial Roe V Wade ruling of 50 years ago, which legalised abortion in all 50 states. It’s too early to see what the result will be on the ground, as individual states will have to issue their own response, but the BBC is already upset, with it’s headline reading, “Millions of women in the US will lose the legal right to abortion, after the Supreme Court overturned a 50-year-old ruling that legalised it nationwide.” We shall see. Perhaps more on this and some background next week.

Links to all these stories are available so you can read and research them for yourself. Follow the weblink in the episode notes to www dot Semper hyphen Reformata dot com to learn more.

Today we have a Bible reading from Colossians 3:1-4 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory!”

Let’s pray…

Lord, we bring the troubles of this world before you, a world where religious leaders, purporting to be Christians are betraying your cause, and leading millions of people astray, a world where common sense seldom prevails, where industry is in chaos and children’s lives are being destroyed by liberal, immoral philosophies and beliefs being forced upon them by those who should know better. We know, O God, that we need a time of revival and turning to God, but we know that revival must start at the house of the Lord. So we pray for a reformation in our churches, a recommitment to the teaching and preaching of the Word of God, and the courage to proclaim it without fear. Lord, send us your Holy Spirit, to bring conviction of sin, bring mankind under the weight of the broken law of God and warn of judgment to come.

That’s all for now! Catechism class is tomorrow – Tuesday at 1pm, and there should be a sermon podcast on Saturday. Join us for worship, if you are free, each Lord’s Day morning at Ballymacashon Church, 78 Saintfield Road, Killinchy, Co.Down, at 11.30am. 

Don’t be discouraged, – let’s redeem the time, and keep praying, keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, for greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world…

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