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News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Global rugby stars under siege

Polynesian Christian rugby players have spoken out against the draconian manner in which Australian rugby star Israel Folau has been treated over an Instagram post. Mr Folau – an international player with 73 caps – looks set to be kicked out of the sport by Australia’s rugby authorities after posting an Instagram image which was claimed to be homophobic. His code of conduct hearing was held in May in Sydney. Following this, other rugby players have come under pressure. Ireland and Connacht centre Bundee Aki was forced to apologise for mistakenly ‘liking’ the post and for any ‘confusion or offence’. Similarly, Fiji-born Wallabies player Samu...

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News

June 2019
News > International

Sri Lanka: Churches rebuild after Easter bombings

Churches and Christian communities have begun to rebuild after the devastating Easter weekend attacks by Muslim extremists, which saw 253 killed and more than 500 hospitalised. The Islamic State terror group said it had carried out the attacks, with some social media posts claiming this was done in retaliation for the much-publicised Mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year, which sparked mass coverage in Western news. The attackers in Sri Lanka targeted three churches which were packed out for Easter, and three hotels, killing many Sri Lankans and 42 foreign nationals in the bombing attacks. One of the churches targeted was Zion Evangelical...

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Article

June 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Thinking it through… the wisdom of withholding judgement

Oh no. I dread phonecalls like this. It’s from a friend. Ian’s ringing to tell me that he and his wife have left the church they’ve been attending for the past twenty-odd years. It’s a sad story. They were pillars in that church, working faithfully, doing the jobs no one else wanted to do, supporting the leadership loyally:  until two years ago when the church called a new pastor. He came in and changed everything. Introduced all sorts of new ways of doing things. Pushed his favourites into the key positions in the church. Suggested to older folk like them that it was time to...

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Article

June 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A shrink thinks… Pastor vs psychiatrist?

Am I in conflict with myself? I am not referring to Romans 7 and wrestling with my sin, but rather to a potential role conflict. As both a serving elder with some pastoral responsibility and a practising consultant psychiatrist, do I experience a tension between these two roles? Do I find that my ‘psychiatrist self’ has a set of views and practices which are in opposition to my ‘eldership self’? I do not. But if you read my recent article on ‘Unconscious sin’ then you might respond that I am not best placed to answer my own question! For I may unconsciously be working as...

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News

May 2019
News

Parents’ opposition to relationships lessons in schools is spreading

An increasing number of primary schools across England are experiencing opposition from parents to new ‘relationships’ lessons. In recent months, Parkfield Community School in Birmingham has been at the centre of controversy over its ‘No Outsiders’ programme of lessons which pushes an LGBT agenda. Now parents in Manchester, Oldham, Blackburn, Bradford and other areas are also protesting against similar classes. But the Education Secretary has weighed into the row, warning that parents should not control what schools teach their children. Damian Hinds said that although it was right that parents were consulted and involved in developing how schools deliver relationships education, he insisted ‘what is...

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Article

May 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

THINKING IT THROUGH: Christians facing exams

Over a twelve-month period, we have invited Stephen Rees — an experienced pastor — to share his thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his views are his own and may not necessarily reflect positions held by the Evangelical Times. It’s exam time. Over the next few weeks most of the youngsters who attend the church I pastor will be sitting exams of one sort or another. SATs, GCSEs, A levels, university assessments, music exams: from early childhood into our twenties we face one daunting educational hurdle after another. And some of us then go back...

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Article

May 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A SHRINK THINKS… God’s gift of time

Time is egalitarian. On each new day we are all allocated the same amount of this precious gift from God. We receive our 24 hours. And we are all responsible every day for how we use this gift in his service. Of course, from a lifetime perspective we are allotted different amounts in this world since God ordains our days and gives each of us our own special portion of time. But the same truth applies. We are given our allocation of this ‘talent’ and are accountable to God for our use of it. We are taught to use our time wisely (Psalm 90; Colossians...

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