Archive for the ‘Current Issues’ Category

Human Rights In Christian Britain; Now Accommodating Pluralism

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YOUR MEAT AND MEALS : A SERIOUS JOKE ?

What’s Really in our Food?

Recently, the outcry arose over meat sold and eaten. The question in many people’s mind is that Who can vouch in the UK as having not eaten Horse Meat? If you eat MEAT you might as well have eaten anything as follows: (1) Chicken +Beef + Pork = MEAT. (2) Frog Meat+ Horse Meat + Beef= MEAT. (3) Camel Meat + Dog Meat + Horse Meat = MEAT. BUT everyone deserves to know which combination or composition he/she is eating. PERIOD.

BBC Panorama reports that this is not the first time. It happened way back in the Forties.The News was carried under the banner’What’s Really in our Food?’

CONDOLENCE: SHOCKING TRAGEDY AT SANTA MARIA

The news of the tragic death of hundreds of people in the night club fire incident at Santa Maria in Brazil was received with shock. May the Lord God comfort the bereaved families, the local authorities and the entire nation. The fact that only one exit was available in such a public facility makes the horrific incident more painful. What an agonizing way to die. We hope all efforts would be made to avert a repetition of such tragedy. We send our heartfelt condolences to all.

AMIDST CONDOLENCES: WE CRY ALOUD; BLOOD OF THE INNOCENTS AT NEWTOWN CRY TOO!

Once again,we send our condolence to the bereaved families, including the family of the gunman and the entire community of Newtown Connecticut.Without any doubt,the barrage of news flow following the massacre of 20 innocent children and some adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School increased the anxiety, shock and sorrow over the unfortunate incident.In the flurry of reactions,unconfirmed reports had claimed that the gunman’s parents had been killed; one at home and the other in the school inside her classroom.The gunman’s elder brother was also initially wrongly named as the killer. Latest local authorities’ reports now confirm a more reliable picture. The 20-year old gun man,who was alleged to have killed himself later,has been identified as Adam Lanza, while the elder brother was found to have been elsewhere at the time of the shooting. The parents were no longer together and the father was quite safe and alive. The gunman was reported as having shot and killed his mother. Agape Focus is sorry to have included the unconfirmed reports as such in our initial reactions. Our primary concern at Agape Focus was about review of gun laws in order to avert a recurrence of such massacre. We appreciate the reactions of the State Governor on gun laws.The expressed deep concern of President Barack Obama is also highly appreciated and noteworthy.The previously expressed views of the Mayor of New York City,Mayor Bloomberg,are also highly appreciated. We hope that gun laws would be reviewed very soon. WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION,THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENTS CRY ALOUD FOR A REVIEW! Tears alone cannot avail. We are deeply concerned and so WE CRY ALOUD TOO! When the time comes for gun laws to be reviewed, we do pray and hope that restrictions, monitoring and stricter measures would be put in place to avert another massacre. May God Almighty comfort the bereaved families and the horrified community. May abundant grace and wisdom be given to the Law Makers at the various tiers of government in the USA to make the right review. Amen.

DOES GOD FORBID WOMEN BISHOPS IN THE CHURCH?

THE CASE FOR WOMEN BISHOPS IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: THE WAITING CONTINUES
The General Synod of the Church of England has voted not to have women bishops, until it deems it otherwise fit. The decision comes in spite of the two decade-long or more deliberations on women ordination as priests. Interestingly, it turned out that it was the Laity which voted against the plan; no matter how small the majority was. For the benefit of the worried ones among the laity who are skeptical about having women bishops, it would be quite interesting to go along memory lane in the course of Church history regarding the various roles women have played and posts which they have held. A cursory examination of the Church during the First Century would be helpful. Biblical records show us that in pre-church era women had important leadership roles and posts in religious settings and society. Then it would be good to look at church membership and the position of women in church and society today. Another vital consideration is to ask what Jesus Christ would have said and done today. Having to wait for another General Synod decision for some years is a long, unnecessary but inevitable wait.
During the exodus of Israel under the leadership of Moses, he responded to Joshua’s anxiety and jealous, protective concern for him, while he urged Moses to forbid those who were prophesying outside tent where the select group of leaders and Joshua were with Moses. Joshua was not aware of the fact that those men were appointed by the LORD also. Moses was quick to encourage his assistant and said: ‘‘Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them.’’(Numbers11:29). The Lord’s gifts and ministry appointments were not and still are not the exclusive reserve or monopoly of a select few. The gifts are inclusive of the women too! Early In the Exodus, great Miriam was a Prophetess!(Exodus 15:20). Deborah was a Prophetess and a Judge in Israel during the early formative years of nationhood. By that she was NUMBER ONE person in the whole nation.As prophetess and Head of State,she heard from God and gave instruction to men and women,including Barak,who was the newly appointed military commander.Barak as a man called upon to lead the army was afraid,until this notable woman accompanied the army into battle. It should never be forgotten that whilst Barak was fearful,Deborah was full of courage and faith in God.Victory was won and all the prophecies of Deborah came true.In addition,a woman had the glory of putting finishing touches to the war(Judges 4:4-10, 21-23).
As a woman highly favoured of God, the Virgin Mary,was the vessel through whom our Lord and Saviour was born. Mary was submissive and obedient to the will of God.Greater than all other women before and after her,the Virgin Mary occupies a pride of place in the Church and an extra-ordinary place in Roman Catholicism.Eamon Duffy,in his book ’The Place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Roman Catholicism’,opines that the central Catholic teaching about Mary originates largely from the Gospels of Luke and John,from certain portions of the Pauline corpus and from the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation.He asserts further that the Roman Catholic tradition almost deifies Mary and near elevation to that of the Christ.There is much controversy over the teaching,which is not acceptable to Protestant belief.However,the fact of Mary’s greatness has never been in contention.Shortly after the birth of Christ, his circumcision and the purification rites for Mary his mother, Jesus was brought to the Temple to present him to the LORD,being the first male child that opened the womb.That was done in obedience to the Law of the Lord.Prophetess Anna was in the temple when Jesus was brought in.Like Simeon,Anna also spoke of Jesus in the hope of redemption for Israel (Luke 2:25-38). Many women were responsible, committed and reliable supporters as well as facilitators in the earthly ministry of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Who would forget so easily the ministries of Mary and Martha of Bethany, Mary of Magdala and the additional unique ministry of Mary, the mother of Jesus? These were women who stood their grounds where most of the male leaders went into hiding,soon after the arrest, crucifixion and burial of Jesus! Mary of Magdala was the first to see Jesus after he rose from the dead and the first to testify about the resurrection. (Matthew 28:7-10; Mark 16:9-11; Luke 23:55-56; 24:1-11; John 20:1-18). Did the men believe her report or testimony? Certainly not; until Jesus appeared to them later(John 20:19-20).What a pack of timid men they were before Pentecost! The fact that Mary of Magdala was sent by Jesus to the Apostles made her qualify as a SENT person. It is asserted by some that she was the Apostle to the Apostles. How true indeed! Who and where then are those ignorantly undermining the status of women in the church? A Christian woman should be able to rise to any post in the church as a Priest.A Bishop is first and foremost a Priest. The same is true of an Archbishop,Patriarch, Prelate or Pope;they are all basically Priests!The Church of England should repent and retrace her steps in the unscriptural stand which informed the decision taken at the General Synod,to prevent women from being consecrated as Bishops.
In the upper room,in Jerusalem,on the day of Pentecost,there were women among the 120.Men and women alike were all filled with the Holy Spirit(Acts1:13-15,2:1-4). The first Christian in Europe was a woman,called Lydia(Acts 16:14-15). Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles recognizes and pays respect to Aquila and Priscilla,Christian couple,who had a church in their house (1 Corinthians 16:19) at Corinth. The couple were makers of tent as their means of livelihood alongside Paul, hence their closeness. Another notable couple; Andronicus and Junia were highly respected among the Apostles and older in the faith than Paul(Romans 16:7)!
Twenty-first Century observations in the church across the world show that majority of worshippers are women. Agape Focus observes in the United Kingdom and Nigeria that female worshippers and members are in overwhelming majority.News from around the Christian world prove this also. Statistical studies by the Christian Research confirm this fact for England.The Church, by the ordination of women as Priests has already set the stage for the elevation of deserving female priests to episcopal status! To act contrarily,is a negation of the original act of the General Synod, which ordained women as priests.The conservative members of the church coming to mess up Synod decisions should reread their Bibles,revisit the past synod decisions, repent and behave better next time!
It is a fact of the Twenty first Century that women in society do hold very important posts. Her Majesty,Elizabeth II,The Queen,is by the grace of God,the Official Head of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Spiritual Head.The United Kingdom has been privileged to have a female Prime Minister,in person of Margaret Thatcher. In her days in office,she was no push over and she was able to hold her place in the committee of nations.Women in England and across the world have proved and still continue to prove their mettle in various fields of endeavor;as educators,economists,politicians,soldiers,scientists,sportswomen,astronauts, responsible parents,priests,bishops,nuns,deaconesses,evangelists,and pastoral leaders.Women indeed are a formidable component of any category of human activity in past and modern societies. In spite of the array of evidences,one wonders yet why some so-called conservatives seem to present a stance of unawareness or ignorance about the significant roles and high potential of women!
However, it should be noted that it constitutes a disservice to Christ to appoint homosexuals as female Bishops.What is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.Having halted the consecration of a homosexual male earlier, the same standard must be upheld for any lesbian. There should be no double standard.This is not being sexist in any way! Any man or woman in true practice of celibacy qualifies for consecration as Bishop. For other prospective aspirants to the office of Bishop,such a person must be the husband of one wife(or the wife of one man). Christ,who loved us and washed us from our sins by his own blood has also made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5-7). Let the women never be hindered again from holding higher positions(Bishop inclusive)in the ordained ministry;be it in the Church of England,other Anglican Communions,Methodist Church Nigeria,the Roman Catholic Church or any group of Churches! Which male Roman Catholic Priest in the Twenty first Century is able to match the exploits of the late Mother Teresa? Notable,diligent,zealous and faithful female priests do abound,who are competent to be made Bishops.There is neither Jew nor Greek,there is neither bond nor free,there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28-29). In the words of the Apostle Peter we read: ”But you are a chosen generation,a royal priesthood,a holy nation,a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praise of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people,but are now the people of God:which had not obtained mercy,but now have obtained mercy.”(1 Peter 2:9-10); Earlier he described us as living stones, spiritual house and holy priesthood(1Peter 2:5). Jesus Christ,the chief cornerstone,elect and precious, is the owner of the Church. He never underrated women;neither should the Church do so this Century or ever again. Those who have ears should listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to the entire Church and not only the Church of England!

CAN HOMOSEXUALITY BE HEALED BY GOD? -Part 3

Yes.God can heal homosexuality now. In the previous posts in this series, we asserted that God is not only able to heal homosexuality in this world today, he is willing and eager to do so. Jesus said that those who are whole have no need of a physician. Conversely, it is the sick who need the physician.If a person sick of migraine goes to see the doctor and complains of belly ache, he only deceives himself and exposes himself to wrong medication or treatment! Such a person would have only himself to blame at the end of the day. In this 21st Century world, the multitude makes a lot of noise.Each person needs to be focussed and be sure of his or her goal or destination.Following the multitude to do wrong does not make such actions right in any way. Truth is very powerful, because it is full of light which cannot be dimmed by any degree of darkness such as wilful disobedience to God.Truth is also very strong,firm and constant.No matter how much truth is resisted or suppressed, it remains constant and unchanging!No government,group of individuals or negative pressure groups is able to succeed in suppressing or eliminating truth,because truth is of God.Human violations of the natural order in any form creates chaos and havoc to happy human existence. God Almighty,Maker of Heaven and Earth would not twist the hands or minds of anyone to obey his truth.However,each person would reap the consequences of his or her actions.It is common knowledge that sexualy transmitted infections and deseases are relatively more common amongst male homosexuals than males in heterosexual relationships!The anus is described as the hole in your bottom through which solid waste leaves your body.That solid waste is called excrement,faeces or dung!This is true for all human beings of male and female sexes.The anus is not a sexual hole,but the last part and opening of the alimentary canal,which starts at the mouth(It is hoped that this bit serves as a good reminder).No male dog,goat,cat,lion,elephant,sheep,monkey or gorilla would insert its genital into the anus of another male of its own kind!This is not an attempt to win an argument,please.It is definite chronic confusion and self deception to indulge in homosexuality.It is not a natural order,but chaos.In all these glaring state of confusion,God understands where you or that friend of yours are.He understands where you are coming from and this same God offers solution and victory.Some,since their formative years,had not enjoyed the blessing of a caring and loving father or mother.Sadly enough,some persons have not met their biological parents.This has created a vacuum in the lives of many,craving to be filled.The fact that you chose to find fulfilment in another person,as a substitute for your missing dad or mum is known to God.The fact that your relationship became so bent or skewed into sexual expression with a person of the same sex as you,is well known to God.The physical acts of masturbations and indecent massages plus insertions of abnormal objects into female genitals by lesbians are well known to God.All these inappropriate sexual inclinations and orientations are not hidden from God and he is not pleased with them!Though God knows all about you,he is willing to help you as soon as you ask for his help!The anger,protest,frustrations,fear,disappointment,sorrow and anxiety which many are passing through as a result of distorted sexual orientation is well known to God Almighty,our Maker.God has made a way of escape for you into victory.That shall be your experience as you call upon the name of Jesus Christ,Saviour of all human beings! Call upon Jesus now; just as you are and where you are. Burdens,sorrows,fears,anxieties and captivating habits are lifted,sorted out or broken in the life of whosoever comes to Jesus. We are praying for you.God bless you.

CAN HOMOSEXUALITY BE HEALED BY GOD? Part 2

Last month we posted the first part in a series of articles on the now sensitive topic of homosexuality.We assert that homosexuality is definitely a deviation from the normal, natural and old tradition of heterosexuality,as originally made by God Almighty.We uphold the conviction that God is willing, ready and able to heal and set free all those in any degree of homosexual inclination or relationship.We also know that no homosexual habit is inheritable!A homosexual man or lesbian lady cannot transmit his or her practice or behaviour through natural or biological inheritance.Traits or characteristics can only be transmitted when a man and a woman come together for procreation in a normal heterosexual relationship.Come to think of the new practice of making babies via surrogate mothers or fathers.It is self-deception that a rich and influential lady who chooses to be a lesbian goes to have babies via In-vitro Fertilization(IVF),making use of the sperm cells of a man. Similarly a rich man who elects to have babies by having his sperm cells introduced via IVF,into a willing surrogate mother,who donates her ovum and who after a nine month pregnancy plus a short period of maternal care, releases her baby to a homosexual male couple? In other procedures,sex cells from separate male and female persons have been brought together with the resultant zygote introduced into the womb of a surrogate mother, who allows her womb to be used for the development of the foetus.That has been used to help heterosexual couples who have problems with pregnancies. It is not right for homosexual couples to adopt this method. It is the peak of utter ridicule and self-deception! Why not stick to their chosen form of sexual orientation. If later on they choose to have babies, then they should repent and reject homosexuality entirely!They should not try to eat their cakes and have them at the same time! Modern society may legalize various forms of absurdities, but legalism or modernity cannot successfully naturalize all those deceptions outlined above, which run contrary to the plan and counsel of God Almighty, our Maker! Anatomical and physiological abnormalities are not the works of nature, but the effects of the stubborn, defiant manipulations of nature my human beings, under the guise of experimentations and some via geniune mistakes of drug abuses! Incomplete cleavages during gestation, have been known to produce physical deformities.There is only one human calamity and that calamity is sin! The practice and experience of sin have made human kind live in rebellion to God our Maker. This negative stance has brought many problems to human society today. We talk of global warming, green house effects, pollutions of various kinds, and the race for nuclear power. All these are on-going in the midst of glaring poverty in most parts of the world. There is the problem of deforestation and the massive ecological disasters in our world today. Many poor countries of the world have found their shores being inundated with poisonous industrial wastes from the developed countries.The distruption of the ecosystem in the poor nations eventually have a cyclic effect on the so-called perpetrators of these ecological crimes! Do these affect sexuality? Knowingly or otherwise, the long term effects of distruption of our ecosystems is capable of producing various traits in human beings who are less capable of mounting lasting resistance.Congenital deformities have been reported in few individuals. Some of these have been found to develop sexual deformities. There have been cases of siamese twins which have been separated with some aspects of corrective surgeries. There have been cases of other forms of corrective surgeries on the palate, ear, face, heart and some other parts of the human body. This is also true for domesticated animals.Certainly, not all of these have inheritable traits. It is our firm belief that none of all the forms of homosexual life syle is hereditary.We challenge anyone to prove otherwise!Human manipulations have created distortions about sexuality and sexual orientations in this 21st Century world. Dear friend, if you are willing and obedient,God is ready now to set you free from your present homosexual life style. Mark you,we do not condemn you. If you insist on your present life style,you would only have yourself to blame at the end. The whole counsel of God Almighty forbids homosexuality totally;no half measures.Anyone,group,community,society,civilization,generation,religion or government which condones homosexuality is working against God! (Deuteronomy 23:17;Leviticus 18:22; 20:13;Romans 1:18-32). It was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah; two great cities in earliest centuries,which practised homosexuality,for which God destroyed them! How then can you or your homosexual friend or family member be set free from the strong grip of the chronic problem? Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Homosexuality is an anti-God life style.Therefore it is a sin.Adultery,lying,theft,pride,racial discrimination,tyranny and such like are all sins.It is no worse sin than other sins.God says: Look unto me,and be ye saved,all the ends of the earth:for I am God and there is none else Isaiah 45:22. God is angry at all sins.This same God loves all sinners.Jesus Christ said:For God did not send his Son into this world to condemn it,but that through him the world might be saved (John 3:17). Special prayers can be prayed for you if you are willing and ready today.Please, get in touch with us. We love you sincerely and think well about you and offer you the free life line through Jesus Christ now.Please do not resist your Maker.Pray in your own words,or pray this simple prayer:O God,I come to you now in the name of Jesus Christ,who died on the cross as a substitute for me.I confess my sins to you,though you know them all.I renounce my wrong sexual orietation and lifestyle.I renounce homosexuality and I call on you Jesus Christ to save me.I believe you died for my sins and rose again the third day.Come into my life now and be my Lord.I confess you are my Lord.Thank you Jesus. A change has started in your life.Get a Bible if you do not have one already.Start to read it from the gospel as written by Matthew, Mark,Luke and John. Please,get in touch with us for additional support and encouragement. We shall also link you up with the nearest Christ-centered church to you.