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All articles in category Comment

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January 2019
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COMMENT: New year, new design, new editor, but some things must never change

It’s a new year, and we have a new design for ET — we hope you like it  — and myself, Mike Judge, as the new editor at the helm. But there are some things that never change. God never changes, the gospel never changes, and our commitment to the Reformed Evangelical faith will, God willing, never change. It’s only since I have sat in the editor’s seat that I have truly appreciated all the hard work that Roger Fay has done over the years. So, let me put on record my admiration for his many years of faithful service to this paper, and my...

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November 2018
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Victory against compelled speech, but it should never have got this far

As we mark 100 years this month since the end of the Great War, it would utterly shock some of those men who gave their lives that we are living in a nation where we are fighting a battle against compelled speech. Yes, we rejoice that Ashers Bakery won their case at the Supreme Court last month, but it should never have got this far. It is blindingly obvious to anyone who cares to look at the case, this was never a matter of discrimination against the customer Mr Lee. He had been served before in Ashers Bakery, and no doubt he will be welcome...

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COMMENT: Boris, burkas and bans

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October 2018
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COMMENT: Boris, burkas and bans

The discussion sparked by Boris Johnson’s burka comments raises some important points. I want to defend religious freedom, so I don’t like politicians telling people how to observe their religious practices. I want to defend free speech, so I don’t like the way people wanted Boris to be ‘investigated’ for his remarks. I am concerned about the rise of radical Islam, so I don’t like women being forced to hide their faces (yes, I know not every Muslim woman who wears a burka is forced to do so, but many are). All these things are swirling around in my head as I consider this latest...

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COMMENT: Respect those in authority

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September 2018
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COMMENT: Respect those in authority

I don’t personally know Allan Coote. He’s the man who has been told he’s not allowed to read the Bible on the doorstep of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. As far as I can tell, all he does is read aloud from the Scriptures to members of the public. But security officials at the cathedral say they have standing instructions to remove him whenever he appears. I’ve only watched two videos on YouTube relating to this ongoing matter. Maybe there are more. In the first video I watched, an officer from the City of London Police attempts a compromise. He asks Mr Coote if he...

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COMMENT: When disaster strikes

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August 2018
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COMMENT: When disaster strikes

‘Behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead’ (Job 1:19). Open places of the desert, with few or no trees, are conducive to very strong winds. A blast of wind just before a rainstorm can bring down a dozen or more electric pylons. Mountainous areas where some of the rocks are exposed to the sun’s searing heat and others are in the shade, are favourable areas for whirlwinds to form. A whirlwind can easily raise a heavy ladder, needing two men to lift, and let it...

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June 2018
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COMMENT: Millennials are failing the church

A recent press release landed in my inbox suggesting that churches were failing millennials. On the contrary, I believe millennials are failing churches. For those of you who don’t know, ‘millennials’ are young people reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. Research for the Church of England says this group is the ‘hardest to reach’. The picture may or may not be different in independent evangelical churches. Premier, a media company with various Christian radio stations, has announced that 52 per cent of its audience is made up of millennials. Justin Brierley, one of Premier’s presenters, says millennials tune in to his programme because they...

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May 2018
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COMMENT: The right priorities

Only divine wisdom could have enabled the apostle Paul to handle a church like Corinth. And today we need biblical wisdom to avoid the sort of errors prevalent at Corinth. Things were bad in Corinthian culture — in Roman society ‘to Corinthianise oneself’ meant to abandon yourself to unbridled immorality. And things were bad inside the church; Paul’s two letters to the Corinthians reveal how much was at stake. But perhaps that church’s biggest problem was how it viewed itself — as actually in pretty good shape, and considerably wiser than the others! It is this flawed self-knowledge that accounts for Paul’s irony about the...

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April 2018
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COMMENT: A dangerous new buzz phrase

‘Spiritual abuse’ is a new buzz phrase that is gaining momentum, and I believe it is a dangerous idea. It will become another stick to hit evangelicals with. I first came across this phrase when I heard about the case of Timothy Davis, an Anglican clergyman who was convicted by a church tribunal for the ‘spiritual abuse’ of a teenager in his congregation. Specific case In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, the tribunal held that Rev. Davis had acted inappropriately by, among other things, holding one-to-one Bible studies with the youth over a period of 18 months. Did Rev....

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March 2018
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COMMENT: Drifting back to the Test Acts

We are drifting back to the era of the Test Acts. For those who don’t know, the Test Acts were a series of laws which set a religious test on holding public office. In effect, nonconformists and others were banned from a number of roles in society — simply because they were not Anglicans. Unless you were taking communion in the Church of England, you were deemed unfit for public employment. Also, you could not be enrolled at Oxford University and you could not graduate from Cambridge. Similar laws applied in Scotland and Ireland. Unless you subscribed to the beliefs of those in power, you...

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February 2018
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Intolerance in science

Well known evolutionist Professor Richard Dawkins once stated: ‘One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun’ (Natural History, November 2005). Following the evidence He is quite mistaken. Thousands of real scientists around the world either reject evolution or have serious questions about it. However, those who dare to express this publicly often face ridicule or verbal abuse, and in some cases the loss of jobs and careers. There is a high degree of intolerance...

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January 2018
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Something easily overlooked

Last year — 500 years on since the Reformation — was one of joyful commemoration, focusing on the exhilarating truths of the gospel. Scottish Reformer and martyr Patrick Hamilton, explained in his little treatise, Patrick’s Places, why the gospel is such a glad herald: ‘The [moral] law saith: “Pay thy debt. Thou art a sinner desperate. And thou shalt die”. The gospel saith: “Christ hath paid it. Thy sins are forgiven thee. Be of good comfort, thou shalt be saved”. ‘The law saith: “Make amends for thy sin. The Father of heaven is wroth with thee. Where is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction? Thou art...

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December 2017
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The Royal Speech

More than eight million people in the UK watched the Queen’s message on Christmas day last year. Millions more throughout the Commonwealth saw her, some in different time zones many hours before our 3 o’clock slot. Always eagerly anticipated, the Queen’s message has a certain predictability about it. She reflects on the world scene, shares some family moments and commends those who sacrificially serve. She anchors all she says in the first Christmas, when God came into our world in the person of Jesus, born in Bethlehem and destined to die to ‘save his people from their sins’. 1939 Christmas message The tradition of our...

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