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John Benton on Conspiracy Theories

I preface my reblog of John’s post with the following brief comments of my own about conspiracy theories, addressed first and foremost to John.conspiracy theories

Even the devil himself has rights. His diabolical rights include that he is entitled not to be falsely accused. To falsely accuse even the devil would be a sin. “The archangel Michael, when he disputed with the devil over the body of Moses, did not presume to bring a slanderous charge against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ ” [Jude 1:9] How much more the Rothschilds, or Bill Gates, or Boris Johnson.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven though. [Ecclesiates 3] A time to theorise conspiracy and a time to refrain, perhaps theorising coincidence instead, or not bothering to observe the signs of the times at all..

In all things, good and bad, God works for the good of those who love Him. Therefore, I testify with Isaiah, “… this is what the LORD has spoken to me with a strong hand, instructing me not to walk in the way of this people: ‘Do not call conspiracy everything these people regard as conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not live in dread. The LORD of Hosts is the One you shall regard as holy. Only He should be feared; only He should be dreaded’ …” [Isaiah 8:11-13]

If we believe in conspiracy theories, we are in good company, as the wording of the poster I made and exhibited in 2004 at the Labour Party Conference at the Christians Against Mental Slavery stand 212, goes to show:

World-famous “conspiracy theorists”

President Theodore Roosevelt
“Behind the ostensible Government sits enthroned an invisible Government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”
An Autobiography, 1913

President Woodrow Wilson
“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
“The New Freedom”, 1913

J. Edgar Hoover, ex-Director of the FBI
“The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”

The Apostle Paul
“ … that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed … the secret power of lawlessness is already at work … [there will be] all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders … evil that deceives those who are perishing … [and] a powerful delusion …”
2 Thessalonians 2

The Lord Jesus Christ
“Why are you trying to kill me?”
“You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?” *
John 7:19-20

* (Before long, we did kill Him.)

A prominent conspiracy theory this year was that Donald Trump had incited insurrection clandestinely. Another, still doing the rounds, is the conspiracy theory that so-called conversion therapy is being practised in the UK nowadays, even though none of those who claim this seem to be able to cite a single evidenced examples of any such thing happening in real life. (At least, none of those whom I asked to cite examples of real-life conversion therapy, for example, Stonewall, Jayne Ozanne, the Ban Conversion Therapy campaign, and Steve Chalke.)

Enjoy John’s post. Please comment there on his words, and here on my words in this preface.

Evangelicals Now

Our lives take place increasingly against a background of conspiracy theories.

From the vaccines altering your DNA, to the accusations that the US election was ‘stolen’, to QAnon, we seem surrounded by frightening scenarios of all kinds. It is not that conspiracies never ever happen. It is more our willingness to believe them so readily which makes me wonder.

Why is the contemporary world so awash with these things? And why should Christians think twice before buying into them? Here are some general thoughts to bear in mind.

First, we should realise that the Postmodern mindset, which informs modern society, sets us up for conspiracy theories. Unlike a Christian worldview, it doubts that there is such a thing as truth, and sees all communication as manipulation of the weak by the strong. If we accept this, then everything is actually a conspiracy.

Second, because a lot of people like to…

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Do the science, Mr President, to give peace a chance

In the still-unfolding, still-unfinished aftermath of the bitterly disputed US Presidential Election of 2020, it seems like only yesterday – because it was only yesterday – that the United States of America was reportedly teetering on the brink of turmoil on the streets.  Turmoil that would be at least a nuisance and, perhaps, far worse, internecine.   The nation had also seemed to be in peril of the state meting out repression upon those who manifested their heterodox belief in a theory opposed to the alternative theory in which believe those who now have the upper hand politically.

Today, President Biden spoke fine words of peace, unity and reconciliation in his Inauguration Speech.  This is welcome, but we’ve already seen how he is capable of that in one breath and saber-rattling in the next.  (In fact, he did it today.)  Biden’s sincerity will be tested.  Actions speak louder than words and sometimes contradict the actor’s words, or tell us which mutually contradictory sayings of the actor to believe and which to put down to empty, schmaltzy virtue-signaling.

It wasn’t a promising sign that Biden characterised his inauguration as a “victory for democracy”, knowing that tens of millions in the USA still consider it to have been a defeat for democracy and many more than that all around the world don’t know what to make of it.

A real victory for democracy would bring peace.  But that peace would be at a heavy price for a politician, an unfashionable curiosity as to the truth in a post-truth world.  For democracy to win and unanimously to be seen to have won, experts in probability and statistics must first do some data collection and analysis that the new Administration has ordered to be done.  Both Biden and Trump alike will have to agree to follow the science, whether it brings good news or bad for their political ambitions. 

No science, no peace.  Or at best precious little peace, because any peace will be founded on ignorance and fear, not truth and respect.

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Dying for a drink

How easy it can sometimes be nowadays, to listen to a locked-in patient’s silent answers to questions! (If the doctor can be bothered, that is, because he cares what his patient thinks and is feeling.)

Dying for a drink isn’t a pleasant way for anyone to be forced to spend Christmas, but it is the fate chosen by his British NHS doctors, his wife, and the British judiciary, for one unfortunate Polish fellow, despite the objections of the Polish government and his Polish mother and two sisters.  This patient has been prescribed death by thirst.  The slow taking of his life began yesterday, a Christmas present for him which he might well have said was unwanted, if only he had been asked.

To describe dying of thirst – not a nice way to go by all accounts (even when it’s not Christmas) – as “euthanasia”, is something of a euphemism.  But it appears to be the best treatment the British NHS can offer this unfortunate patient, or so they told the courts.  I am suspicious that the NHS didn’t try all that hard to discover the patient’s own preferences as to how and when he’d like to die.  As you will learn, if you continue reading, there was quite a lot the NHS could have tried, if they’d wanted to find out what the patient thought and how he felt about his situation.

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Filed under Alfie Evans, Law, Pro-life, Star post, Targeted

Who really won, Biden or Trump?

“I see no evidence of vote fraud”

WHAT WOULD SOLOMON DO?

Why aren’t Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the unhappy Americans one encounters online these days all clamouring for science to be used to find out objectively which candidate would emerge as the real winner of the presidential election if only valid votes could be counted?  (It wouldn’t be necessary to weed out all the invalid votes and start the counting all over again in every state, just to answer this simple question.)

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Why you must speak up

John Benton’s piece sets out an important principle. At this point in history, it has a potentially controversial application, so his raising of the matter is timely.

This year, the UK’s secular government forced the leaders of every church in the land to take prompt and draconian decisions, without consulting the rank-and-file congregants of their churches at any sort of meeting.  I am referring to the decision whether the church lockdown sought to be imposed fell within the God-given remit of “Caesar” set out in Romans 13 (and was therefore to be obeyed), or was akin to the prohibition placed upon Peter and John mentioned in Acts 4:18 (and therefore to be disobeyed, replying to the authorities in the same terms as Peter and John replied to the “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel” – verse 8 – in Acts 4:19).

Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 

 

Twenty-two clients of Christian Concern, predominantly in positions of church leadership, brought a test case in the state’s courts in June, challenging the secular legality of the government’s church lockdown. When I applied, a week ago, for the court’s permission to give evidence and to make representations in that case, I learned that the case had been disposed of by way of a consent order behind closed doors.  I have asked the court, the solicitor for the claimants and the Government Legal Department for a copy of that final outcome.  (The Christian Concern website continues to publish that this is still a “current” case.)

My evidence in support of my application to participate in the proceedings that, unbeknownst to me, had been closed with an outcome that the parties seem to want to keep secret, highlighted a difference between the interests of clergy and those of laity (so-to-speak). I feel that difference of interests feeds into the decision on how to apply the wisdom that John has rightly exhorted in this most timely meditation of his.

I wrote [sic]:

The Claimants are predominantly in positions of leadership, office and/or influence within particular churches of a particular type. They are so-to-speak a sample of the clergy, though not numerically representative of all clergy in the UK as regards their churchmanship.

During the lockdown, I searched high and low for a church that continued to meet, despite the regulations that I judged t the time were unlawful, for more-or-less the same reasons as are now pleaded by the Claimants. I sought out local churches all of which I had previously attended, including Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal, Brethren and Eastern Orthodox – types of churches I had attended locally in recent years.

I am a lay Christian, with a loyalty to Christ rather than to this or that church. I am a fairly good representative example of the Christian laity as a whole. The adverse affect of the impugned decision upon me and the rest of the laity isn’t identical with its adverse affect upon the Claimants. It would add value and save costs if separate counsel [to] represented me directly at the trial of the lawfulness of the regulations, and hence indirectly represented the separate interests of all lay Christians in the process.

 

The original legal papers are here.

My application to give evidence and to make representations is here.

As things stand, my application isn’t being processed at the court, because the court had already “closed” the case before I applied, although the public and the media had not been told this.  However, the subject matter is far from closed as far as I am concerned. When I have more to tell, I’ll post an update on this blog.

In the words of the barrister who spoke for me at the Birmingham trial of Birmingham City Council v Afsar et al (a case about RSE in which we and the public won, although the three named Muslim defendants lost), “losing is winning”. When a secular judge hears a righteous cause pleaded, the secular law is on trial, against the criteria of Romans 13, and God’s holy purposes are served, even if the secular judgment goes against the righteous cause.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.   Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.  For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.  Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.

Evangelicals Now

Abuse of power is a hot topic these days. And church leaders are able to misuse their authority just as much as anyone else. We believe ‘all have sinned and fall short…’.

In the congregational form of church government (see Matthew 18.15-20), the church meeting acts as the final court of appeal. The elders, or leaders, have a certain authority in the church (Heb. 13.17), but it is an authority subject to the word of God and to the church. Hence it is the gathered church which appoints elders and to whom they must answer if they go astray (1 Tim. 5.19, 20). So the church meeting provides a mechanism for checking and balancing the leadership’s power. It is, I suppose, similar to the House of Lords, which can return Parliamentary Bills to the Commons with the message to ‘think again’.

In a climate which is now extremely sensitive to…

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Defending the Christian opposition to “same-sex marriage”

A respectful reblog of DEFENDING THE FAITH by Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEFENDING THE FAITH

A Grain of Sand

We have all been there. We have had a discussion with an unbelieving friend or relative on some aspect of the faith and come away thinking that we really screwed it up and utterly failed to present a coherent Christian position.See the source image

When reflecting on the discussion later, we come up with all the sharp answers, all the convincing responses. Every discussion I have ever had about the Christian faith I have won brilliantly, but only in hindsight. Unfortunately the reality is different. But there is groundwork we can do to become more effective.

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The Manufactured Crisis of Police Racism

Presumably our leaders, who have banned church services and even funerals, but who then tolerate (and, in some cases, encourage) #BlackLivesMatter mass gatherings to protest about this “manufactured crisis”, already know the truth. But I didn’t, and my readers might not.

Anti Oligarch

This article is an expanded version of the script for this video.

The United States is in an uproar over the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. There have been demonstrations in over 400 US cities, and looting and arson in every major city. Why are so many people in the streets? Because they believe that American society is systematically racist and that the police brutalize and even casually murder black men.

The media constantly tell people the police are racist, and many people think the gruesome video of the death of George Floyd bears this out. But let’s look at the facts.

Every year, American police officers have about 370 million contacts with civilians. Most of the time nothing happens, but 12 to 13 million times a year, the police make an arrest. How often does this lead to the death of an…

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Boris Johnson “acted unlawfully”. ~ Does that make him a criminal?

Star post

“Mummy-eee … it said on the news that Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully.  Does that mean he’s a crook and will have to go to prison?”

“I don’t know, darling.  Mr Corbyn and his party will have to decide that.  Let’s wait and see what they say.”

 

^ click to watch Lady Hale reading the official summary of the judgment ^

Read the official summary of the judgment yourself

Read the official judgment in PDF or HTML format

Comprehension questions

  1. Has Boris been “found guilty”, of “breaking the law”?
  2. Is Boris now officially a “criminal”?
  3. Should Boris be impeached? Continue reading

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The queering of primary schools

In 2017, on this page, in connection with my fifth Parliamentary candidacy, I referred to the threatened queering of primary education.  We have since begun to witness this.  For example there is a well-researched article here about one now-c0ntroversial project, called No Outsiders, that was set up in 2006 with the aim of “queering” primary education.

There has been a rumpus at two of Birmingham’s 258 primary schools, where indoctrination of the children aimed at procuring LGBT-acceptance had been introduced clandestinely, without the knowledge, let alone the permission, of the parents of the children who had thus been indoctrinated.  Or so it has been said.

There has been a jolly informative debate about this in the House of Commons.  The MP who brought that debate has been rewarded with calls for his deselection and deprivation of the party whip.  Charming. Continue reading

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What would it take to “block” Brexit?

Another court case I brought because nobody else did:

There has been renewed talk lately of “Parliament” (meaning the House of Commons) somehow “blocking” a so-called “no-deal Brexit”, the outcome for which Parliament (meaning both houses) has already legislated, unless the Commons, in a “meaningful vote”, approves a withdrawal agreement that is actually on offer, before the statutory “exit day” arrives.  Exit day has been 29th March 2019, either 12th April 2019 or 22nd May 2019, definitely 12th April 2019, and is now 31st October 2019. Continue reading

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