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JULY 2005

Like most people my thoughts this month are taken over by the London bombings. What a nightmare situation for those involved! Our prayers are with relatives, friends and loved ones who have been injured or suffered lost.

It is very difficult to imagine the thoughts of the young men who were prepared to kill themselves together with others as suicide bombers. If their motivation was religious it must be misguided. All the world's major religions venerate life, and view the taking of human life as evil or sinful.

Religious leaders must teach and preach moral values with eternity in mind. It is unusual to hear about hell in Christian pulpits today. The easy 'come to Jesus' preaching omits the reality of sin, the need of repentance, and the doctrine of eternal punishment.

If young people are looking for a challenge - an ideal to live and die for - then Jesus Christ (who died for us) offers the greatest challenge. It is simple this: die to yourself and live for others! He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34).

God bless you,



AUGUST 2005

My concern this month is for the witness of the Christian Church in England. A recent report published by the University of Bangor entitled "Fragmented Faith" reveals that hundreds of clergymen in the Church of England do not believe in God! (300 out of 9,000 are atheists.) Further, two thirds don't believe in miracles. Atheists and agnostics in Christian pulpits! The report reveals that congregations are more believing than ministers, accepting biblical morals and the record of the virgin birth.

In August Simon Heffer of the Dail Mail challenged the failure of the Established Church to defend the Christian faith. At the time the issues of taking Bibles out of hospitals and removing crosses from crematorium chapels was under discussion. His headline read: "Why won't the Church of England defend this country's historic faith?".

But my concern is for the whole Church in our land. This year a Keswick speaker noted that belief in the wrath of God is being excluded from our pulpits so that teaching on propitiation, reconciliation, imputation and expiation is being lost.

A timely text? "It is time to seek the LORD" (Hosea 10:12).



SEPTEMBER 2005

Katrina heads the news this month. The category 5 tropical cyclone hit the shores of the Bahamas and Florida (USA) on 29th August with tremendous force. Winds, which gusted up to 160 mph, caused widespread damage as they travelled northwards for about 100 miles. Some 90,000 square miles (an area about the size of the UK) has been affected. When the storm breached the levee system 80 per cent of the city of New Orleans was left under water. Katrina has caused a humanitarian crisis on a scale unseen in the US since the Great Depression of 1935. Over one million people are displaced and thousands have been killed.

The natural disaster has revealed many things. First, our weakness and vulnerability as human beings. Secondly, the dark side of human nature. Can we understand how people can loot, kill and rape in these circumstances? Thirdly, the fact that there are still kind people in the world, who give themselves when there is a need. Fourthly, the meaningfulness of Jesus Christ's teaching in one of his parables. He said: "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me" (Matthew 25:35-37). So churches are responding to the emergency by offering care and assistance.


God bless you


         Vernon                                                                     Bible



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