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All articles in category Cultural and Ethical

Article

February 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Are churches keeping our children and vulnerable adults safe?

Safeguarding practices have been an important part of churches since the late 1990s, but as society has changed, has the way we safeguard our children changed? Paul and Sue Harrison, who started Christian Safeguarding Services (CSS), are concerned that some churches are ‘stuck in a time warp’ when it comes to this area. ‘As we started to work with churches’, said Paul, ‘we realised that there were some significant gaps in safeguarding knowledge and practice’. Many churches established safeguarding systems in the late 1990s to early 2000s, and have continued at the same level; assuming that they are still in line with legislation and guidance,...

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Thinking it through: Crying out for justice

For the next twelve months, we have asked Stephen Rees – an experienced pastor – to share some thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his words and opinions are his own and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Evangelical Times. What is the most important duty of a government, any government?  Is it to make sure that the country becomes and stays as wealthy as possible?  Is it to keep the citizens happy?  Is it to provide education, health treatment, an efficient transport system for all? Well, a government may rightly aim at...

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What is the transgender agenda?

No one can ignore the current demands for ‘transsexual rights’. Both the UK and Scottish governments are considering proposals to make ‘changing sex’ as easy as buying a TV licence. Our instinctive reaction may be to assume that the demand for ‘transsexual (or transgender) rights’ is mainly about protecting a tiny minority of troubled people from unfair discrimination. But, in reality, the underlying ideology of ‘gender identity’ is toxic. Ultimately, it aims to legally eliminate male and female sex distinctions. This ideology is now promoted in primary schools. The Gender Fairy, a story written for four-year-olds, says: ‘Only you know whether you are a boy...

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Article

September 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The men who would not bow, budge or burn (2)

The Judeo-Christian heritage, which gave us the freedoms that we have enjoyed for many decades, has now, for the most part, gone. Consecutive governments have worked at eroding the foundations and the Ten Commandments that laid those foundations. We may not yet be experiencing persecution, but the pressure on Christians is mounting. We are going back to ‘normal’ Christianity. Certainly, if we are looking for an easy life as Christians, we have been born in the wrong era! Conservative evangelicals have been booed and heckled at the Church of England’s synod; open-air preachers are feeling the effect of daring to speak in public about traditional...

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Article

September 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Responding to the attack on the family

It’s some months now since I read a headline in The Daily Telegraph.  “We should applaud the end of the nuclear family, says top judge”.  I read the story with interest and a growing sense of anger and then checked to see what other newspapers were saying about it. The story concerns Sir James Munby, the President of the High Court’s Family Division and Head of Family Justice.  Munby oversees the operating of Family Courts in England.  As the papers put it, he is our ‘top family judge’. Sir James had just given a public lecture at the University of Liverpool.  It was offered as...

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Article

June 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

God’s Word in a Wikipedia World

I was taken aback by a conversation I had recently following a Sunday service. In the course of the sermon I had made reference to the Great Fire of Rome.  I quoted a Roman historian by the name of Tacitus. Tacitus wrote about the Emperor Nero’s attempts to blame Christians for the fire and detailed the persecutions Nero unleashed against them.  And in passing, Tacitus mentioned that these Christians derived their name from Christ, a criminal who was executed by Pontius Pilate, governor of Judaea during the reign of Tiberius. After the service a visitor approached me. He had found my reference to Tacitus interesting,...

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Article

April 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Who is perverting education?

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector of schools, in a speech to a Church of England foundation (quoting Psalm 119), commended educationalists who made the focus of their schools the teaching of ‘knowledge and good judgment’. She also said, ‘Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education’. Since Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God, one might assume Amanda Spielman was targeting those who try to remove or twist God’s Word. But no, her target was those who ‘actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law’.1 She went on to identify the Christian Institute...

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Article

March 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical > Uncategorised

On worship as entertainment and ‘Evangelicoolism’

As one animated sitcom in America wryly pointed out, Christian rock music doesn’t make Christianity better, it just makes rock and roll worse. It’s a fair summary of pretty much anything we try to do as Christians in the name of marrying Christianity to whatever passes as ‘wicked’ or ‘wizard’ among the youth these days. Trying to make Evangelicalism cool is something of a hiding to nothing. As Dick Lucas once averred, ‘Christians are weird, so don’t be weirder than you have to be’. Given the inherent peculiarity of being a Christian, whilst we shouldn’t be stranger than the gospel inevitably makes us, it does...

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Article

January 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The rainbow flag20

There was a time when the world was overwhelmed with wickedness and the evil of man spread across the face of the globe. The wickedness was so great that God determined to wipe out mankind, together with animals, birds and everything that moved on the ground. His chosen method of judgment then was a catastrophic flood that covered the whole earth. However, there was one man on earth who still trusted God and strove to be holy, preaching righteousness to an unheeding world. God determined to save him and his family, and in addition representatives of all created kinds of creatures; and he did just...

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News

November 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical > News > Ethics > Society

50 years of shame

Anniversaries are how we mark out our history. Some are welcome, others are not; some are humdrum, others are special. This year, two are extra special: a 500th and a 50th. Both changed our world. The first ushered in the wonderful gospel freedoms of the Protestant Reformation. The second is the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, which ushered in the hideous practice of legally killing unborn children in England, Scotland and Wales. The story of the Augustinian friar has been retold many times; the slaughter of the defenceless pre-born is a more veiled story. The history of UK abortion law is long but simple....

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘He shines in all that’s fair’

Psalm 24:1 proclaims, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it’. Our world was made by God and belongs to him. The evidence of our Creator is all around us. As Romans 1:20 says, ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse’. So, we can say of God that, ‘He shines in all that’s fair’. This line comes from a hymn penned over 100 years ago by the American pastor, Maltbie D. Babcock: ‘This is my Father’s...

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Article

May 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Britain’s moral mess

The wrath of God against sin results not only in occasional catastrophic punishments, but sometimes in unrepentant communities being given over to vile and outrageous immoralities. The widespread push in the UK for ‘gender-fluidity’ exemplifies the latter type of judgment. It is a sign, if ever we needed it, of God’s displeasure with our nation for its atheism and contempt for the gospel. A freedom of information request from the Christian Institute has now revealed that, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as many as 11.5 per cent of BBC bosses and 10.6 per cent of BBC staff are lesbian, gay, bisexual or...

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