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All articles in February 2019

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February 2019
Articles > World Mission > Africa > Eastern Africa > Mozambique

Mozambique: Visit from the Former Vice Minister of Health

When I arrived in Mozambique back in 1990 the government was still Marxist and aligned with the former Soviet Union. Throughout the 1980s the nation was the poorest country on earth. At the beginning of that decade, only two countries had fewer doctors per capita than Mozambique. So Americans were rare and trained surgeons even scarcer. From 1990 to 1998 the Lord brought a lot of attention to the surgical program in the small government hospital where I worked five miles outside of Nampula. The work being done at this 150-bed hospital became known throughout the north of Mozambique. People trekked from all over Nampula...

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February 2019
Articles > Guest column

Healthy Christianity: Transformed Life and Conduct

In previous articles we have been looking at the importance of balance in the Christian life, following the lead of William Williams, Pantycelyn (1717-91) who wrote a letter at the end of his life in which he said, ‘I have come to see that true religion consists of three parts: first true light respecting the plan of salvation; … [second] intimate fellowship with God … Lastly, … life and conduct, such as would reveal to the ungodly that there is a great difference between us and them’. This month, I want us to consider the third element Williams identifies, the practical character of the Christian...

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February 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

Freed, but at a price

Just days before Easter 2018, Redouane Lakdim, a 25-year-old Moroccan criminal, opened fire on passengers in a car in southern France, killing one.  Minutes later he fired on a group of police officers who were jogging near the castle in Carcassonne. He then drove to the town of Trèbes and stormed a supermarket, shooting dead the shop’s butcher and a customer, a retired bricklayer, whilst screaming ‘Allahu akbar’. Police arrived shortly after the start of the siege, managing to get some people out.  But the attacker kept one woman hostage. It was then that Arnaud Beltrame, a 44 year old lieutenant-colonel in the gendarmerie, offered...

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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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February 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘You once were, now you are not’

Practising homosexuals who profess to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are demanding that they should be welcomed as equals in faith into the mainline denominations. They also argue they should not be excluded from enjoying the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as heterosexual believers, including the role of pastoral leadership within the local church. ‘Our faith’ they say ‘is a real faith in Jesus’. How should the local church of Christ respond to such statements? Firstly, local congregations, generally speaking, will welcome all persons who attend their Sunday worship services without distinction of age, ethnicity or gender, in the hope that those who...

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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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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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February 2019
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We must be on alert to the transgender agenda

You may be tempted to think the transgender ideology has come from nowhere. From relative obscurity, it is now dominating the equalities agenda wherever you care to look: schools, government, media, public services. But the truth of the matter is, the transgender agenda has been simmering away in the background for many years. And keen observers of the sexual revolution have known for a long time that it would be the next big issue to challenge social norms. Make no mistake about it, the socio-political goal of the movement is to dismantle the biological reality that human beings are either male or female — and...

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