Tuesday, 19 November 2013

IS THIS MARINE A MURDERER?

I've just been reading about the Royal Marine charged with murdering a wounded Taliban fighter. I think the important word to remember here is 'mitigation', as in there were 'mitigating' circumstances. No one, I'm sure, is going to excuse this act. But before we don the black cap and pronounce sentence, we ought to ask ourselves: "do I understand what it was like? How would I have felt if I had been in his shoes?"
This brought me back to when I was serving in Northern Ireland during the troubles. In 1990 I was on foot patrol on the Falls Road when I was hit square in the chest with a large rock. It had been thrown with some force and really knocked the wind out of me. After I got my senses back I looked at it lying on the pavement at my feet, it was about the size of a rugby ball. It had struck the bullet-proof chest plate under my smock but still winded me and knocked me violently backwards. That experience coupled with months of frustration and the realization of the damage it would have done had it hit me in the face had the effect of enraging me. In a fury I looked behind a high wall and saw three men walking away drinking bottles of wine and laughing at me. My first and immediate impulse was to shoot all three of them dead. I was close to doing it. I had the means. They were the enemy. I hated them. At that moment of time there was nothing I wanted more. I fingered the trigger and began to raise my weapon. I then realised if I shot them that I would be jailed for murder. Common sense prevailed: I lowered my weapon and turned away. That realisation was the only thing which stopped me.
But boy, at that moment, I would have shot these guys with pleasure.
I can empathise with him. If I had seen bits of my friends hanging from trees I know how I would have felt. It's human nature.
At the end of the day, the truth is this: in ordinary civilian court mitigation is always taken into account, often to great effect. In this particular situation, knowing what we know about P.T.S.D, its effects and the nature of the job he was doing, we have a DUTY of leniency. Unless we have tasted something of what he experienced, we have no right to condemn - because we simply do not understand. If mitigation is accepted in ordinary criminal cases, then in this case it ought to be doubly so.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW

I went along to a sermon today preached at Trust Housing association flats on Lewis Street in Stornoway. The man preaching was Iver Martin. He happens to be the current minister of the huge Free Church here in Stornoway. During his prayer before sermon he said that God happily accepts our worship. He spoke for all present.
I must challenge that statement.
In psalm 19 we read: "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression." The important word here is "presumptuous". My understanding of this text is that it is crucial in matters which pertain to God and our salvation that we don't make assumptions. For example, scripture also tells us: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3: 3). We know from this text that we are to "make our calling and election sure", (2 Peter 1: 10) and leave nothing to chance.
Nowhere in scripture are we told that God accepts worship from all and sundry. On the contrary, the Bible makes it very clear (text above) that unless we are born again we are hateful to him - he cannot even look upon us. "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity..." (Habakkuk 1: 13). It is vital we understand this. It is similar to the alcoholic who has to understand he has a problem before he can be cured. Our problem is that we are sinners before God's holiness. We also must know this fact before we can be delivered from our condemnation. Before we can be born again. God alone can do this. Without this miracle of grace we can only take his name in vain - and increase our condemnation.
This doctrine is not popular. Human nature rejects it. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7).
There are two kinds of gospel preached: popular and unpopular. The popular tends to fill churches, the unpopular empties them: because the unpopular is the truth and the truth is a hard pill to swallow. "...Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits." (Isaiah 30: 10).
This is the big, big problem in the churches: lies preached as gospel.
In short, unless we are converted, God does not accept our worship at all.
We can spend our whole lives attending church and still end up in hell.
Many have done so.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

BE YE ANGRY, AND SIN NOT.

Problem neighbours. Ever had them? Pain in the neck. Don't get me wrong, this ain't the old 'noisy' or 'nuisance' thing. No, this is personal - it's me they've got it in for. I was wicked enough to tell them to their faces that I objected to drunken abuse and wilful damage to my property. Then Evil of evils - I told the police. That really escalated the hatred. The latest barrage of verbal abuse came after I asked the younger boy if he could stop kicking his football against the front of my house very close to windows. This was no harmless bouncing by the way, we are talking full force penalty kicks. He did this on two occasions. The first time he did it he could clearly see me looking out of the window at him while he did it, but this made no difference, he was even jumping over my wall into the garden to retrieve the ball. I was initially shocked by his behaviour. It looked to me as if he was deliberately trying to provoke me.
Now I'm sure most people would object to anyone doing this, but when it's a member of a family with a grudge, then it takes a whole different perspective. Anyway, I was looking out at him wondering what the best course of action would be, but as I considered my options he stopped and went into his house. So I was content enough to leave it there, but it did make me feel uneasy as I had already had major trouble with his older brother. Was this now the younger one deciding to join in? Sadly, it looks very much like it. My concern is what he might do if he takes after his brother whom alcohol turns into a raging moron.
The second time he did it, just a few days later - exactly the same rigmarole as before - it was enough to really annoy me and I went outside and challenged him. I asked him if he could stop kicking the ball at the front of my house as it was rather close to the windows. What I got in response could only be described as cheek. He stalked off muttering as he went. I walked after him saying "hey wait a minute I want to talk to you for a few seconds." He ignored me and carried on. Then his mother appeared and started to hurl accusations at me. Accusing me of causing her trouble and so on. Well I have to say that to me it sounded pretty rich, considering that I am convinced that her son slashed all four of my car tires just because I complained to him about the fact that he had deliberately broken the window of my van in a drunken rage. Something he has never denied and is currently paying me compensation for through the court in dribs and drabs.
It was difficult for me to keep a cool head while she spoke. Especially when I reminded her of her son having slashed my tyres. Her response was to tell me that it had been "proved" that he had not done it. As if the cops being unable to nail him is proof of innocence. That's when I lost my cool and raised my voice. I felt I had to go back over afterwards and apologize to her for that. But the latest one was one of her daughters shouting over at me earlier this evening words to the effect of: "Hey you, don't you have a go at my mother again..."
Again, it was hard to keep a cool head. I didn't. These days perhaps it's less easy with one thing and another. I had to endure her verbal abuse and lies flung in my face.
God's word tells us: "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." (Ephesians 4: 26).
Yep, I get angry all right. I have to admit, stupid people do sometimes make me angry. But if the Lord is with me I can get angry (the Lord knows I don't want to) and still be his.
God's word also tells us: "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." (Hebrews 12: 6). So if we belong to God he will send us trouble. He does this in love - it is good for us and necessary. We must rejoice in it and be thankful.
"...we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5: 3-5).

Friday, 28 June 2013

LIAM AITCHISON MURDER TRIAL PROCESS QUESTIONED.

The very sad case of the murder of teenager Liam Aitchison has been brought before us again by the sentencing today of the pair convicted of his killing.
But a question mark has been placed above the process which led to the conviction.
Local journalist Iain X. Maciver points out in the article below some areas which concern him.
Now don't get me wrong, all things considered I have to say that it really does look like the convicted pair are indeed guilty. But is that enough to convict? That is the question.
Iain makes a valid point.
Now in my view (this view is based on my reading of the Bible. In days gone by, all UK laws were fundamentally based on the Bible - what else would you base it on?) all justice must be seen to be done before it can possibly be called justice. The only way we can do this is to make it completely public. In the olden days before modern technology existed, we had the area in courtrooms reserved for the general public so that we could say that justice had been witnessed by the people and therefore had been 'seen to be done'. A crucial point. As soon as something is done in so-called 'private' we have crossed the line. When used in this context the word 'private' is just a euphemism for 'secret'. We have the same problem in churches. Self-important and self-righteous people assuming they know best and imposing their will.
So what's my point?
Well it's this. That all courtroom proceedings should be open to every means of facilitating public scrutiny. We still have the public gallery of course, but nowadays we have something more. We have the god of the age - Television. We have the technology - let's use it. They've been televising court cases in America for years. Remember O.J. Simpson? This is not for entertainment. Just because some people get a thrill out of the wrong things doesn't alter what's right.
Public scrutiny - the only process which can protect us from the abuse or misuse of power.
Link to Iain X. Maciver's article.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

DAFT BUREAUCRACY

I have misplaced my car registration document so I've had to fill out a form for a replacement and send it to DVLA Inverness. In the same envelope I sent them an application for a new tax disc. Today, I received the whole lot back in the post with an accompanying letter regretting to inform me that I had failed to write my vehicle chassis number on the log book application form. That sounds reasonable enough, until you realize that along with my application for the replacement log book I was also required to include my MOT and insurance certificates because I was applying for road tax. Recorded very clearly on the MOT certificate is my vehicle chassis number. Were they unaware that my MOT certificate includes my chassis number? Could they not have done it the easy way and just copied the number from the MOT form? Perhaps they have rules which say I have to write it myself.
I wouldn't be surprised.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO APOLOGIZE AT ALL FOR YOUR FAITH!"


With our politicians guilty of this kind of blindness they are certainly the problem rather than the cure. How do they expect to be able to tackle Islam-inspired murder and mayhem when they wilfully reject the truth. And the truth is that every bit of this problem has been caused by what is written in the Koran. I repeat:

STOP TALKING ABOUT MUSLIMS, PEOPLE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM - THE KORAN IS THE PROBLEM - THE KORAN COMMANDS THEM TO KILL UNBELIEVERS - THAT'S YOU, ME AND THIS SILLY WOMAN.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Question: Which would win a drag race, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade or home made Harley chopper?


Thanks to Colin Macalpine for link.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Monday, 27 May 2013


GIVE NOT THAT WHICH IS HOLY UNTO THE DOGS, NEITHER CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, LEST THEY TRAMPLE THEM UNDER THEIR FEET, AND TURN AGAIN AND REND YOU. (Matthew 7: 6)

What is the difference between those that God wishes to hear the gospel and those that he wishes do not hear the words of eternal life?
At which point do people cross the line and stop being those that should hear (if they ever were) and become swine?
There are plenty of people who profess to be Christians that would call me all sorts of things for suggesting this. But the truth is the opinions of these people don't matter if we have the backing of the word of God. The truth is that if we have God's word on our side then these people are wrong - "...let God be true, but every man a liar..." (Romans 3: 4)

...WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE YOU, NOR HEAR YOU, WHEN YE DEPART THENCE, SHAKE OFF THE DUST UNDER YOUR FEET FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM. VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE FOR SODOM AND GOMORRHA IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, THAN FOR THAT CITY. (Mark 6: 11)

God is a God of love but he is also a God of judgement. We may not like that, but that's our problem, not God's. The lives of many professing Christians today consist of continually praying that all and sundry would be saved. But I would ask - is this God's will? I mean the texts above make it quite clear that there are many who simply place themselves outside of God's mercy. If God commands us - as he does above - not to attempt to preach to certain ones and to cease from preaching to others - can it then be right or logical for us to pray for the salvation of these people?

I think not.

It is clear in scripture that we are to pray for certain people. It is also clear that there are certain people that we are not to pray for.

...SUPPLICATIONS, PRAYERS, INTERCESSIONS, AND GIVING OF THANKS, BE MADE FOR ALL MEN; FOR KINGS, AND FOR ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY; THAT WE MAY LEAD A QUITE AND PEACEABLE LIFE IN ALL GODLINESS AND HONESTY. (1 Timothy 2: 2)

But what are we to pray for for these people? Well, the reason given for praying for those in authority is, "that we may lead a quite and peaceable life..." My understanding of this is that we are to pray that God would give them wisdom to rule in a right and fair manner. If it means (as many think) that we are to pray for their salvation - then why are we nowhere told to pray for the salvation of any common people? Why only rulers? Especially as 1 Corinthians tells us: "...not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." If it comes to that why don't we just pray that the whole world would be saved and be done with it. But we know that that is not God's will. Where it says that we are to pray for "all men", I think this means all manner of men.

No. The emphasis is clearly on preaching the word.

My understanding of scripture is that it is God's will that we preach the word in and out of season. But I find neither precept nor example of prayer being used for the conversion sinners.

I think God wants us to leave election to him. He will choose whom he will convert and whom he will condemn. He has in fact already chosen them.

THEREFORE HATH HE MERCY ON WHOM HE WILL HAVE MERCY, AND WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENETH. (Romans 9: 18)

I think the following verse answers the question about why some are not to be preached to (or prayed for).

...BECAUSE IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN. (Matthew 13: 11)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

MAN SENTENCED FOR POSSESSING INDECENT PICTURES OF CHILDREN - DEPRAVED YES - BUT IS THIS THE THOUGHT POLICE?


Yes it's sick. Yes, it's depraved. The man deserves to be utterly shunned and left in no doubt about his depravity. But punished by the the law? I'm not so sure.
I mean where is all of this thought-police stuff going? All very Orwellian isn't it?
Where do we draw the line? Who says what should be prosecuted under law and what should not? What do this man's actions prove?
I'll tell you what they prove - they prove he's a sicko - that's what they prove - a poor, sad sicko.
It's obvious that he's a risk to kids - but has he actually done anything to any? Is dreaming about committing a crime a crime? By having sick images of kids in his possession has he actually harmed anyone bar himself?
The things that are beyond man's ken God will judge. Let's not play God - there are things we should leave to him.
Do you know what the cause of this confusion is? I'll tell you the cause. It's Atheism. If society wasn't so stubbornly and stupidly God-hating things would be a lot better.
Because of this state of affairs the approach is always to think that we must pull out all the stops to create a perfect society - a Utopia - a heaven on earth. If people weren't so stupid they would look at the Bible where they would find that God informs us that because of the depravity of man's heart perfection is impossible in this world. Understanding this basic fact would help us get things into perspective to say the least.
The purpose of the law is not to create a perfect world. The purpose of the law is to educate. To teach the difference between right and wrong. Punishment is the deterrent. But man's law must have a point at which it stops. That point must be where reason and logic dictate (if we're wise these will be guided by God's word).
To make it a crime in law to privately possess sick pictures is ludicrous. This effectively means that we have crossed the line from actually having to physically commit a crime before we are guilty under law to now being guilty for just thinking about it.
Because, after all, in reality, regardless of how distasteful it might be - that is all that he is guilty of - thinking about it. There is a world of difference between thinking about a crime and actually committing it. As soon as we start down the road of making thinking something a crime under law immediately we have become dangerous bigots.
Remember the Nazis? They did that.
It's the same as the hate-crime thing. To beat someone up is a crime. But to beat someone up because you don't like his race or beliefs is a worse crime. Who says? Where did this logic come from? I thought a crime was a crime irrespective of what was going on in the chump's head at the time. So a broken head is worse if it's broken by a racist than by someone who just wants to steal your phone is it? Who says we're to analyse the nuances of the depraved thoughts of every screwball we catch.
Are we also going to send out undercover officers to listen in to conversations in pubs, streets and smoke-filled rooms and arrest anyone heard talking about anything anti-social? If we're going to go down that road - maybe we could start with the Muslims raging about cutting people's heads off over cartoons.
It reminds me of the Woody Allen film Bananas: after the revolution the rebel leader becomes president and in his maiden speech he orders everyone to speak Swedish and change their underwear every half hour ordering them to wear them over their clothes so that the police could check that they were clean.
Only they can't make people wear their thoughts on the outside - but wouldn't they just love it if they could?

Imagine how overcrowded the prisons would be then.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

EU - "WHY WOULD WE WANT TO JOIN THOSE LOSERS?"
ICELAND SHOWS US HOW TO DEAL WITH THE BANKING CRISIS.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

THE LIES OF OSCAR PISTORIUS

OK, here's the case for the defence. You share your bed with your girlfriend. You wake up in the middle of the night. You hear sounds of someone in the bathroom. You don't bother checking whether your girlfriend is still next to you in the bed or not. There's someone in the bathroom and it doesn't even occur to you that it might just be your girlfriend (and you still haven't bothered to check whether she's in bed or not). You decide it's some kind of intruder - and what do you do? Why, of course, without any word of challenge or warning you start shooting through the bathroom door.
What else would you do?
SIR, YOU ARE A LIAR AND A MURDERER.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

OSCAR PISTORIUS:
WHY DO PEOPLE COMMIT MURDER?


I'm afraid the case for the defence is just to wild and far-fetched for me to believe. Anyone who's ever appeared as a witness in  a serious court trial and listened to the crazy stories people make up to try and get away with crimes will know what I mean. I've been there. I was stabbed in a gang fight in '85 and afterwards had to endure listening to the cock-and-bull-stories from the defendants as they did their level best to lie their way to a not guilty verdict. For the record, they failed.
I find it equally pathetic listening to pistorius's sad yarn about accidentally shooting his girlfriend four times. Oh yeah, and just how stupid do you think we are?
The truth is of course - there are no other witnesses - apart from the accused. Big problem. Something similar happened in Uist a number of years ago when two men were out goose-hunting. One was shot dead by the other - no witnesses. Oh dear. How did it go? I don't remember whether it was "he fell on the gun and shot himself", or "I accidentally shot him." Both sound stupid to me. The one at my court case was, I had tried to stab him and fell on the knife. Funny eh? Ha ha.
Anyway, on to my point. Why do people commit murder on a whim?
If we think back to the account of Cain and Able in Genesis 4 we are told that Cain was angry at his brother because God accepted Able's offering but not Cain's. To put it simply, his pride was hurt. God's revelation to Cain that he had not done well made him so angry that he lost all reason and murdered his brother in a jealous rage.
Proverbs 27: 4 states: "Wrath is Cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?"
The Bible makes it plain that the only problem the human race has is sin - that's it - nothing else. Who can fully understand it? To get so mad at your girlfriend that you want to kill her. It happens. But oh, spare us the sad, wretched stories about how it was an accident. Pathetic.
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16: 18).
Pride. Men love it with a passion. They'd give up anything before that. They'll even kill for it.



Monday, 4 February 2013


"JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED."

I think the following text may be the most misquoted in the Bible. People quote the first sentence - the first seven words - leaving out the context. When read in its context we can see that it's a warning against hypocrisy. What it does not mean is 'never judge'. The idea of going through life never making judgments is absurd and the opposite of what the Bible requires.

JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED. FOR WITH WHAT JUDGMENT YE JUDGE, YE SHALL BE JUDGED: AND WITH WHAT MEASURE YE METE, IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU AGAIN. AND WHY BEHOLDEST THOU THE MOTE THAT IS IN THY BROTHER'S EYE, BUT CONSIDEREST NOT THE BEAM THAT IS IN THINE OWN EYE? OR HOW WILT THOU SAY TO THY BROTHER, LET ME PULL OUT THE MOTE OUT OF THINE EYE; AND, BEHOLD, A BEAM IS IN THINE OWN EYE? THOU HYPOCRITE, FIRST CAST OUT THE BEAM OUT OF THINE OWN EYE; AND THEN SHALT THOU SEE CLEARLY TO CAST OUT THE MOTE OUT OF THEY BROTHER'S EYE. (Matthew 7: 1-5).

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

TAX: THE RUSSIANS SHOW US THE WAY


Like me, you may have been wondering why the government are so determined to have a different (higher) rate of tax for the rich (and not terribly low for the rest of us either) if it's not just gesture politics. I'm sure any accountant worthy of the title would agree. The above picture is an example of someone rich and famous (Gerard Depardieu) upping sticks and moving from France which has high taxes to Russia which has lower taxes. The story points out that Russia has a flat tax rate of 13% across the board. Genius? No, just basic common sense.
It seems obvious to me, that this situation of having higher and lower bands of income tax is not only pointless, but a recipe for discontent and argument, which it has proved to be.
It's simple business logic. Why are the biggest, most successful companies those that keep their prices low? Because it attracts custom. In the same way, if taxes are lower people will be more willing to pay them which means less tax avoidance. It also encourages local and attracts foreign business. The supermarkets know this very well because they must operate in the unforgiving atmosphere of the real world. Unlike our pampered politicians who, comparatively speaking, occupy cloud-cuckoo land.
POLITICIANS, LOOK AND LEARN, LOOK AND LEARN.