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All news in January 2019

News

January 2019
News > Conferences

‘God’s Glory Our Joy’ conference 2018

For the last 18 years, the ‘God’s Glory, our Joy’ conference has been held in the North West of England. This year’s trio of talks was on the theme of ‘Courage and Consistency’. Mike Judge (pastor of Chorlton Evangelical Church in Manchester and editor of this august publication) gave the first talk on ‘Cultural Shift and Evangelical Compromise’. He charted some of the major changes in UK society over the last 60 years and some of the ways in which evangelical Christians and churches have gone soft. Mark Stocker (pastor of Spring Road Evangelical Church in Southampton) gave a talk with a title borrowed from...

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January 2019
News > Events

Grace Baptist Mission Day

‘Facing a task unfinished, that drives us to our knees, a need that undiminished, rebukes our slothful ease’. Although written almost 90 years ago these words from the hymn by Frank Houghton are as true today as they were then. Some 700 believers from Grace Baptist Churches all over the UK gathered for the 2018 Grace Baptist Mission Annual Mission Day, the theme of which was ‘Every People, Every Nation — Committing Ourselves to the Task Unfinished.’ During a stimulating and challenging day missionaries spoke of their work including church planting in Poland, Bible translation in West Africa, ministry to Asian women in the UK,...

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January 2019
News > Conferences

Almost 900 attend FIEC leaders conference

Almost 900 people attended the annual FIEC Leaders’ Conference in Torquay in November. The theme was ‘Here and now: communicating the gospel in our post-Christian culture’. Don Carson’s outstanding exposition of Isaiah 6 brought a majestic view of the holiness of God, and also a sense of reality to gospel ministry. There is a note of hope for Isaiah in the chapter, but it would be fulfilled 700 years later in the coming of Jesus We are also caught up in the wider sweep of the rise and fall of nations and cultures, within God’s good purposes, and we should view our ministry in light...

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January 2019
News > Conferences

Scottish Reformed Baptist Conference 2018

As Christians gather from often small and scattered churches, few things refresh and bless the soul as gathering with like-minded believers and spending time together under the ministry of God’s word. The theme of the third Scottish Reformed Baptist conference in Pitlochry was ‘Lessons for Life’. Stephen Rees, pastor at Grace Baptist Church Stockport, was our main speaker. He spoke about Samson as a man of faith and deliverance. Samson grew up with every advantage, with godly parents in a godless Israel, but despite this, he went astray. We were encouraged that those with ungodly children can trust the sovereignty of God, as God was...

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January 2019
News > Conferences

Presbyterian Reformed Autumn conference

‘Why Creation not Evolution? The Bible and Science’ was the theme of the 2018 Autumn Conference of the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Stockton-on-Tees on 27 October 2018. Addressing the interdenominational gathering of 80 people, Pastor Roger Fay spoke from Psalm 19 and Genesis, saying that God’s revelation of Himself in creation impacts everyone everywhere. Though non-verbal, the revelation concerning the Creator’s eternal power, goodness and Godhead is absolutely clear, universal, and eloquent. Genesis 1 reminds us that the creation was a work of the Triune God: Father, Son and Spirit. The account is not metaphor or myth but historical prose — miraculous, ex nihilo creation...

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January 2019
News > Conferences

Belarus: Reformation Day conference

Reformation Day was commemorated at a conference in Minsk organised on behalf of Evangelical Press Missionary Trust (EPMT). Around 40 attended the Belarus conference chaired by Pastor Slava Viazovski. The speaker was Jonathan Stobbs, chair of EPMT and pastor of Penzance Baptist Church. He spoke on Martin Luther and John Calvin, and how these men helped to shape the reformed faith throughout Europe for generations to come. The truths of the Reformation remain highly relevant to today’s church today. The enthusiasm of all attendees and their desire to see the gospel spread throughout the Russian-speaking world was encouraging.

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January 2019
News > Persecution

Europe: Christians marginalised across the continent

Christians across Europe, including clergy, have experienced hostility, marginalisation and violence, with 500 documented cases of intolerance and discrimination recorded in 2016-17. The finds come in a report from the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe. Its 2018 report states that since 2005, it has documented more than 2,100 cases of Christians killed or attacked for their faith, fired, sued or arrested for exercising their freedom of expression or conscience. Christian-run business have been ruined financially. Christian student groups have been silenced, and Christian symbols and celebrations have been removed from the public square. Churches across Europe were vandalised, robbed and...

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January 2019
News > International

Netherlands: Man fails in bid to legally change his age

A 69-year-old Dutchman who tried to argue he should be allowed to officially change his age because he ‘feels’ 20 years younger has lost his legal bid to do so. Emile Ratelband claims he faces discrimination as a 69-year-old. He said, ‘We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?’ He also wants to change his legal age so that he is more appealing to younger women on dating websites and apps like Tinder. However, a court in the Netherlands refused to allow him to legally change his age. The judges said,...

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January 2019
News

Nigeria: Thousands of Christians slaughtered in worsening attacks

Fresh back from a fact-finding mission to Nigeria, Baroness Cox reports that thousands of Christians have reportedly been killed in escalating attacks led by Fulani militia. She visited the Anguldi Refugee Camp in Jos, Plateau State, which provides shelter to 2,600 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and spoke to a number of survivors. Deaconess Susan Essam in Jos said, ‘They shot Sarah’s husband and children and so she begged them to kill her too, but they refused, saying that they wanted her to cry and bear the pain.’ Margaret from Ngar village said, ‘My sister was raped and her wrists cut off before she was shot...

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January 2019
News > Church news

Derby Cathedral ‘bans’ evangelical preacher, Melvin Tinker

An evangelical Anglican minister says he was banned from preaching at a carol service in Derby Cathedral because he had criticised the Archbishop of York for liberalising the church’s approach on gay and transgender issues. The Rev. Melvin Tinker, 63, who had been lined up by the University of Derby Christian Union to give a sermon at the event, was told that permission had been refused because of his relationship with the diocese of York. Rev. Tinker said this could only refer to a dispute between his church, St John Newland in Hull, and the archbishop, John Sentamu. Derby Cathedral has attracted controversy in the...

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January 2019
News > Society

BBC accused of distorting news and promoting a liberal agenda

A new book by a man who worked at the BBC for more than 25 years asks whether the broadcaster is a fair arbiter of the news, or a conduit for pervasive and institutional liberal bias. In his book, The Noble Liar: How and why the BBC distorts the news to promote a liberal agenda, Robin Aitken doesn’t pull any punches. He writes, ‘The BBC has wholeheartedly thrown its lot in with the liberal reformers; there has been no “impartiality” on any of the big moral issues of the past half-century. ‘In every instance, the socially conservative argument has been depicted as callous, reactionary and...

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January 2019
News > Education

Faith schools top primary league table

Faith schools account for almost half of the top 500 state primary schools in the UK, latest league tables show. Out of the top 100 state primaries 48 are faith schools. The good performance comes in the face of pressure from humanists to end the Government funding of faith schools. Professor Alan Smithers, Director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research, said faith schools were doing so well because they shared a set of religious values, based around a moral work ethic. He said, ‘Faith schools are our best schools as these tables show and it would make no sense to dismantle some of...

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January 2019
News > Ethics

Young woman with Down’s syndrome campaigns against disability screening

Heidi Crowter, a 23-year-old woman from Coventry, has voiced her experience of life with Down’s syndrome and spoken out against disability screening, in an interview with The Christian Institute. Heidi said that parents ‘are being told lies’ about Down’s syndrome and she hopes that her example of life and faith will challenge the misconceptions. She is actively involved with ‘Don’t Screen Us Out’, a campaign group highlighting that Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is likely to result in a large number of abortions in the UK. Latest figures for Great Britain reveal that around 92 per cent of pregnancies, where Down’s syndrome is identified, result in...

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January 2019
News > Ethics

Government launches ‘safeguarding’ consultation for Sunday schools

The Department for Education has launched an open consultation to write a draft code of practise on safeguarding in out-of-school settings, Premier Christian Radio reports. This will affect various groups like the Scouts, but it will also include any religious settings which offer education in their own faith, such as Sunday schools. The Department for Education is asking for contributions of opinion to try to provide a sector-wide safeguarding framework for all out-of-school settings, saying, ‘While the majority do behave in a safe environment, there are some settings which do not.’ The department said, ‘We are inviting the views of out-of-school settings providers, staff and...

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January 2019
News > Society

School wanted boy to take part in ‘gay pride’ march. Mum told to ‘be quiet’

Christian mum, Izzy Montague, went to her child’s primary school to raise concerns that her five-year-old son had been asked to take part in a ‘gay pride’ march, but was confronted with a member staff wearing an insulting T-shirt. The T-shirt carried the slogan, ‘Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?’. Mrs Montague has since removed her five-year-old son from the school. She is taking legal action against the school, claiming victimisation. She is being backed by the Christian Legal Centre. Mrs Montague told the Mail on Sunday, ‘Given the nature of my complaints it was obviously a deliberate...

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January 2019
News > Society

Pro-life groups banned by Student Unions at two Scottish Universities

Pro-life groups at universities in Glasgow and Aberdeen have been banned from affiliating with the Student Unions, denying them access to facilities and resources available to other groups. Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) says it has a pro-abortion policy and will not offer ‘funding, facilitation or platform’ to the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society. Glasgow Students for Life applied to become a registered society, but were turned down by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). The decision means the pro-life group will be denied funding, and barred from using meeting rooms, advertising events, and even having a stall at the Freshers’ Fair.

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January 2019
News > Society

Church of England begins new services for transgender people

The Church of England has issued new pastoral guidance, creating baptismal-style services to welcome trans people into the Anglican faith. The guidance urges clergy to refer to transsexuals by their new name and suggests presenting them with gifts, such as a Bible inscribed in their chosen name, or a certificate. The guidance notes, ‘For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service.’ It says a special service would enable trans people to ‘renew the commitments made in baptism and in a public setting and provides space for...

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January 2019
News > Society

Government closes consultation on no-fault divorce

A public consultation on the government’s ‘dangerous’ new proposals to introduce radically liberal no-fault divorce laws was closed last month. The government wants to change the law in England and Wales so that married couples no longer have to prove the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Instead, the government proposes to replace the current ‘fault’ system with a notification scheme which will make divorce quicker and easier. This would mean that one spouse would be able to unilaterally end their marriage whenever they wanted by notifying the court. Then, after a short period of time, a spouse would receive a final divorce decree. This amounts...

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January 2019
News > Ethics

Assisted suicide appeal denied at the Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to legalise assisted suicide. The ruling by Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Reed upholds the decision by the Court of Appeal, which rejected the same arguments in June 2018. The Supreme Court’s decision means that Mr Conway’s case cannot proceed any further in the British courts. Right to Life spokesperson, Clare McCarthy said, ‘We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision. ‘Our current law protects people with disabilities and vulnerable people from being coerced into ending their lives. This ruling upholds previous decisions by Parliament and judges making it clear that the current protections provided by the current...

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January 2019
News > Society

Consultation launched on plans to criminalise smacking in Scotland

A proposal in Scotland to criminalise parents who smack their own children is being put out to public consultation. The consultation, which ends on 25 January, asks people for their views on the ban which has been proposed by Green Party MSP, John Finnie. The government says it will support Mr Finnie’s bill — The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill — meaning it stands a prospect of becoming law. The Scottish parliament’s equalities and human rights committee wants to know what the public thinks about the plans. Under the proposals, the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ would be removed from the law and parents...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics > Uncategorised

Peers criticise PM over failure to grant asylum to Asia Bibi

In a letter to The Times, members of the House of Lords have strongly criticised the UK government over its handling of Asia Bibi’s plea for asylum. Asia Bibi was convicted in Pakistan of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to death, but was recently acquitted. However, there are fears she will be killed by hardliners unless she flees the country. Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Cox and other peers said in their letter that failing to offer her sanctuary here was a ‘serious betrayal’ by the UK. They wrote, ‘We are deeply concerned by reports that Theresa May is refusing asylum to Asia Bibi, who...

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News

January 2019
News > Media

Roger Fay retires after 11 years as editor, succeeded by Mike Judge

Roger Fay has announced his retirement as Senior Editor of Evangelical Times, effective from this January 2019 issue, a post he has held for the past eleven years. Roger’s involvement with ET stretches back over some twenty years and he will continue as Chairman of the Board for a further period. During his time as editor he has successfully guided the paper through many changes, not least in the recent economic climate where all newspapers have experienced a decline in circulation. As he hands over the work of editor to Mike Judge he does so in the knowledge that ET continues to be in a...

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January 2019
News > Society

Indoctrination not education as schools follow trans agenda

A teacher has revealed that 17 pupils at a single British school are in the process of changing gender, and most of them are autistic. The teacher felt compelled to speak out, but has chosen to keep her identity hidden for fear of dismissal, she told the Mail on Sunday. She says that schools and some politicians have swallowed ‘hook, line and sinker’ a politically-correct ‘fallacy’ peddled by a powerful transgender lobby. She says she was advised to keep parents and other teachers in the dark if a pupil claimed to be transgender. And she claims that older pupils at her school who changed gender...

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News

January 2019
News > Guest Column

GUEST COLUMN: Healthy Christianity: Fellowship with God in the Whole of Life

Last month we began considering the whole issue of balance in the Christian life. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and strength and mind. This means that the truth of God’s Word, under the blessing of God’s Spirit, needs to be grasped by the mind, ascend to the heart, and be worked out in the life. This is true Christianity, and Christian growth is merely this process happening more deeply, and affecting and transforming us more profoundly. William Williams, Pantycelyn (1717-91), shortly before his death, identified the three parts of true Christianity as follows: ‘first true...

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