Sunday, 25 December 2011
'He hated dead orthodoxy with a perfect hatred. "The living dog" of an earnest though faulty revivalism was in his opinion better than the "dead lion" of a heartless orthodoxy. Truth no doubt is truth; but the letter killeth: it is the spirit that giveth life. Water is water; but better surely is a cupful from the living well than a pitcherful from the stagnant pond. Dead orthodoxy is but the maker of decent graveclothes for dead souls. At best the teacher of lifeless doctrine is but the master tailor of pharisaism. Some men worship the truth of God instead of the God of truth. Dead orthodoxy is the worship of truth, and is the most subtle of all kinds of idolatry...Our evangelist was grieved to see men splitting hairs while souls were perishing. Are the disciples nodding and sleeping while the cause of Christ is bleeding at every pore? Are men piously wagging their heads because the Lord's work is nailed to a cross? Alas! it is even so.'
Duncan Matheson The Scottish Evangelist. Page 251.
Friday, 23 December 2011
For years it has been illegal to carry a camera into a Scottish courtroom. I remember this from back in the day when I was a press photographer. I used to have to leave the kit in the car and come rushing out just before the end of proceedings to take my photos as the people emerged onto the street. That was allowed - but I had to wait until they were actually off courthouse property. Now, I ask you - what on earth is the difference between taking the photos of the accused/convicted inside or outside the courthouse? Thankfully, these days a glimmer of good sense has prevailed and they are currently considering permitting the televising of court cases. But we have the old problem, that because the status quo is what we've been used to, they they find it nigh on impossible to get out of it - even though they don't know why.
I don't mind telling you - I hate censorship. To quickly define censorship in my own words: censorship is when an individual or group decides that they know best, and deliberately withholds the truth from others.
THE PUBLIC GALLERY EXISTS FOR A REASON
On the one hand, in this country we have a public gallery in every courtroom and the general public are welcome to come in and spectate if they wish. Also the names of the accused/convicted are available in the media. On the other hand, no cameras are allowed, so, of course, viewing proceedings on the TV is out of the question.
In America and other countries it is common practice to televise court cases. In America we had the famous trial of O.J. Simpson all over the TV. In Inverness the trial of two ordinary young men is held in private. 'Private' though, is not the right word, they should use 'secret'.
Why hold it in private - who or what are they trying to protect?
We criticise other countries for doing things in secret, and rightly so - particularly if elections are not held openly and fairly, or if we think they might be making nuclear weapons. We send inspectors to check on them because we don't trust them. We ought to preach by example, and allow justice to be 'seen' to be done as it ought to be - and not be hypocrites.
I much prefer the Biblical method: "...PROVIDE THINGS HONEST IN THE SIGHT OF ALL MEN." (Romans 12: 17); THEM THAT SIN REBUKE BEFORE ALL, THAT OTHERS ALSO MAY FEAR. (1 Timothy 5: 20).
Every detail of the trial of Liam Aitchison's murderers should be completely open for all to see - and televised - it's everyone's right. We all have an interest.
Sunday, 18 December 2011
"WITH ALL MY HEART I PROTEST AGAINST WHAT I HAVE KNOWN - MEN RECEIVED WITH ALL WARMTH OF SIMPLICITY, AND QUIETLY LEADING UNSUSPECTING ONES AWAY TO THEIR PECULIAR VIEWS, LEAVING AFTERWARDS A LEAVEN OF DIVISION INJURIOUS IN ITS RESULTS...BLESS GOD FOR SCOTTISH CAUTION; BUT IT IS OFTEN AT FAULT...STEREOTYPED MODES OF ACTION, IF NEED BE, MUST BE LAID ASIDE, AND THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT MUST BE RECOGNISED...ESSENTIALS MUST BE HELD AS WITH A DEATH-GRIP; BUT NON-ESSENTIALS MAY BE SCATTERED TO THE WINDS.
"I ONLY RETURNED A FEW DAYS AGO FROM THE SEA-SIDE...I USED TO SIT AND MARK THE EBBING AND FLOWING TIDE. WHEN IT WAS OUT EVERY INEQUALITY IN THE SHORE COULD BE SEEN, HIDDEN ROCKS WERE LAID BARE, AND THE TANGLE-COVERED BOTTOM EXPOSED. WHEN IN, ALL WAS COVERED. THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE SEEN BUT THE BLUE SEA - THE ONE GREAT OCEAN. SO, WHEN THE HOLY GHOST SHALL PUT FORTH HIS ALMIGHTY POWER, A SUBJECT SUCH AS THIS WILL NOT BE RAISED."
Duncan Matheson The Scottish Evangelist, page 235 - 236.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Friday, 9 December 2011
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
Monday, 17 October 2011
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Monday, 22 August 2011
Friday, 19 August 2011
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT.
What is man's biggest problem?
Man's biggest problem is making assumptions.
The sinful heart of man - the carnal mind, has an agenda. The agenda is that it wishes certain things to be true and certain other things to be untrue.
That fact alone isn’t the worst of it. We go further – much further. We act on our silly desires and put the cart well and truly before the horse.
We make our desires our yardstick – we make them the acid test for what is true and untrue – what is right and what is not right. We have a quick scan of the things we come across in life and we make our assumptions based on what we like and what we don’t like – nothing else.
A worse foundation for belief you will not find.
In Genesis chapter three we find Satan (the serpent) tempting the woman.
She knew very well that what he said contradicted God’s word. She also knew very well who God was. So what motivated her to act as foolishly as she did in choosing to believe Satan’s lies?
Simply this: she wanted them to be true. And that sinful desire was all-consuming.
Let us not underestimate the power of sin to deceive.
She wanted so much for them to be true that she took the fateful step – she made the great assumption.
And from that moment on, every member of the human race (bar one) has continued to make assumption upon silly assumption based on exactly the same rotten foundation.
You don’t need me to tell you that if you go through life assuming things to be true just because you want them to be true, without having any good reason to believe them your house of cards will come crashing down. The facts bear it out.
So why do it with the things of God?
Because life in this world won’t let us do it. If we try to live like that (as some do) life will turn around and bite us. Common sense is king in the physical world – whether we like it or not – political correctness or no political correctness.
But with the things of God, the unseen, the spiritual, there is an idea of distance and time. So man makes his assumptions based on his desires. By nature we afford ourselves this false luxury. We decide what the truth is and believe it. Everything in our imaginary garden is lovely. Square peg, square hole – done and dusted.
It's like having our cake and eating it.
If only life was so simple. Have our cake and eat it?
We need to wake up and smell the coffee.
“BUT THE NATURAL MAN RECEIVETH NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS UNTO HIM: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED.” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Thursday, 21 July 2011
WHAT IS A HATE CRIME?
As we see from the news reports, it can be uttering something which touches anyone’s cherished ideas in a way in which the person does not like.
You know the script – if I say, “Homosexuality is a sin” I am in trouble. I will be arrested and convicted of a “hate crime” and have a criminal record.
IT IS NOT OPEN TO DISCUSSION. DEBATE IS NOT PERMITTED.
This is not just stupid, it is not only absurd, it is social engineering and evil. It is a subtle form of what we today call fascism. It may be more subtle, but it is most certainly fascism.
Fascism is intolerance of different opinions under penalty of law, (or forcing people what to think). And therein lies the difference: fascism (or plain old bullying, which is what it is), only becomes this when actions are taken under law to enforce these opinions.
If no action is taken it is merely an opinion, and regardless of how abhorrent it may seem to others, it is only that, an opinion. A thought in the head, a word in the mouth, a vapour in the air: in and of itself - harmless. And this is the crucial thing: in this world - legitimate to hold.
FREE SPEECH IS GONE.
As Voltaire said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
This is a basic principal of democracy.
IF THEY HAD THE MEANS THEY WOULD ARREST YOU FOR JUST THINKING THE THING.
The jails would be full.
This principal is precisely what a previous generation resisted to the death when they fought against Hitler and the Nazis.
When Margaret Thatcher was asked for her thoughts on religion, her reply was simple:
She was right.
God places a choice before us, he says:
"I CALL HEAVEN AND EARTH TO RECORD THIS DAY AGAINST YOU, THAT I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING: THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, THAT BOTH THOU AND THY SEED MAY LIVE." (Deuteronomy 30: 19).
He doesn’t force us.
But he does make us willing.