Posts Tagged ‘human-rights’

Human Rights In Christian Britain; Now Accommodating Pluralism

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NELSON MANDELA DEPARTS : TRIBUTE TO A GREAT GLOBAL ICON OF PEACE

President Nelson Mandela, the indefatigable, resilient, freedom and human rights champion has departed the world stage at the age of 95 years. He passed away 8.50 p.m. on Thursday, 5th December 2013, after a long battle with lung infection. Current President, Jacob Zuma made the passionate announcement to the world. We salute his courage, boldness,vision, forgiveness, patriotism and humanity. A great global icon of peace has departed. In his humility and politics, neither was he selfish nor power-drunk. May the Almighty God comfort his family, the Republic of South Africa and lovers of peace, freedom, democracy and justice all over the world. South Africa, Africa and the World has become impoverished by his departure. For all eulogies to be meaningful, his legacies must be upheld and practically passed on to succeeding generations across the world, especially in South Africa. Death is inevitable. Let each person, whether in public office or not; in close relationship with Madiba or not; bear it in mind: that the bell of summons would ring for each one of us sooner or later. In the words of the Psalmist; may God teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom(Psalms 90:12). In the Letter of James in the Bible, it is written: Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins.James 4:13-17. And so Nelson Mandela departs.

Relationship With In-Laws

By in-laws we mean the parents, siblings, and both close as well as distant family members of your spouse. In most parts of the Western world, especially in the United Kingdom, the extended family members are excluded. This is not so in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. What should be the relationship between a man, his wife and their in-laws? It should be cordial. However, the experiences of many people built from first-hand interactions, plus verbal and written reports of others, have proved that some relationships could be far from being cordial. As Christians we are to seek peace and pursue peace(Psalms 34:14). That means we should do everything within our God-given abilities to be at peace within ourselves individually and between ourselves and other persons. In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is written: Follow peace with everyone and holiness without which no person would see the Lord(Hebrews 12:14).

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife(united with her and cleave together)and become one flesh[Genesis 2:24]. – And the woman too. There is nowhere in the Bible where permission is given to the woman to remain with her father and mother after getting married. Does that imply a break up with one’s parents and siblings or cousins? Not at all. It is the drawing up of boundaries and the recognition of such boundaries by all the parties involved. It is the giving of respect and honour to the rights and independence of the new couple as another unit created by God for companionship, for pure and holy mutual sexual pleasure and fulfillment; and for procreation and the raising up of disciplined children.

We see the examples of Moses relating well with his father-in-law. Jethro counselled Moses in administration when he was over working himself. Thus he was able to delegate part of his duties and work more efficiently. Jethro earlier on brought Moses’ wife Zipporah and their two sons whom Moses had left behind when he went to meet Pharaoh. The relationship between Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, was very cordial. If Naomi had been nosy and critical or unfriendly, that responsible, loving and highly respected daughter-in-law of hers would never have opted to leave her homeland of Moab for Israel; more so after their bereavements. She chose to remain with her mother-in-law after her father-in-law and later her own husband have died. She was a strong and faithful supporter and source of comfort. She got rewarded with a loving husband in the end. In fact both King David and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ were in her lineage!
Examples also abound in this generation. There is the example of initial misunderstandings between the writer’s mother and his wife. These were later resolved to the extent that the two women became friends and confidants till the old woman died. During the period of misunderstanding, the writer stood his ground and protected his wife without being disrespectful to his mother. We have seen other examples where the husband or the wife chose to be rude to elders, whilst protecting their spouses. That is not proper.

Writing under the topic ‘The Expected’ and ‘The Unexpected’ in our marriage journey; and making references to parents-in-law, Drs. Thomas and Agnes Odejide wrote in their book

40 YEARS AFTER I SAID

I do

, published by Jesus Joy Publishing, 2011; pages 33-34

:

-my father died in 1990 at the age of 75. We did not regard his ‘home call’ as a tragedy even though we would have wished he had lived longer. It was expected that we would survive him so we celebrated his life during the burial ceremony. My mother followed about a decade later in 2000; she was 80 years old. My mother-in-law followed in 2001; she was over 80 years old. My father-in-law was the last to pass on in 2005 at the age of over a hundred years! We felt happy at the ‘home callings’ of our parents at very ripe ages We were particularly happy that God gave us the opportunity to take care of them. Although none of them lived with us permanently, we were not far from them and our home was always open to them. To God be the glory.

That is another example of honouring our in-laws as well as keeping necessary boundaries.
We cannot afford to lose our focus. God and posterity depend on us. The marriage institution must not be toyed with. Therefore those whom God has joined together, let no man; let no woman, let no legal, social, cultural or governmental policy or establishment toy with nor put asunder! Amen.

UNCOMMOM OCCURRENCES IN 2013: PAPAL RETIREMENT

The Papacy of Pope Benedict XVI ended at 19.00Hours GMT today, 28th February 2013. As Papal authority passed away from him, the Roman Catholic World awaits the end of the selection process by the Cardinals, starting from next Monday. He is now Pope Emeritus. His humble, intellectual, emotional input into ecumenism and the unconditional firm stand for Christian ethics and morality would be remembered. His Pontificate, which has not been free from some controversies within the Church would also be remembered. Earlier today, he bade farewell to his loyal staff, addressed the Cardinals and more importantly, addressed a large crowd of Catholic Faithfuls. He boarded the white helicopter owned by the Italian Government, tagged ‘Republica Italiana’ and left for his temporary abode; Castel Gandolfo. He would be in the castle during the Papal Conclave by the Cardinals. He has already pledged his allegiance of unconditional obedience and reverence to the new Pope, yet to be elected. The entire world is eagerly waiting and watching development of events as they begin to unfold over the next few weeks, years and decades! For the first time in 600 years, a reigning Pope retired voluntarily and elected not to die in office as majority of Popes have done right through Church history. Pope Emeritus would later move into a secluded part of the Vatican to spend the rest of his life. We wish the Pope Emeritus happy retirement and pray God’s abundant grace be upon him. May God bless the entire Roman Catholic Church as a new Pope is elected.
Election has just taken place in Italy. This is not a mere coincidence. It is another uncommon occurrence!

When Two Elephants Fight, The Grass Suffers

Elders world wide often say that ‘When two elephants fight, the grass suffers’. The saying is often quoted when two heavy weights in a relationship are engaged in a quarrel, conflict or fight. The relationship may be pre-marital, marital, business, political, local, national, international, or in any other vital field of human activity. The dependents, dependants or those in close proximity to the two chief antagonists usually bear the brunt of the blows from the fight. When nations wage war against each other or when there are civil wars, it is the innocent children, women, the weak, sick or handicapped ones who suffer most. In the context of conflicts or quarrel in the family setting or home, it is the children who suffer most. In a family, we think of a man, his wife, who is a woman, and their children. Where they live is the home. In a normal home therefore, the ‘two elephants’ are the man and his wife, as father and mother respectively; while the children represent ‘the grass’. In the other examples referred to above, the dependents, dependants and the weaker ones, all of whom are the more vulnerable ones, represent the grass. Modern society holds the wrong view that a relationship should not be based on children who are the products of the relationship. Why, in the first place did the couple bring forth the child or children? It is simply equal to gross irresponsibility, selfishness and cruelty not to consider the children as being the most vulnerable and therefore the ones to give the most consideration! No committed Christian should go all out for divorce. Misunderstandings are inevitable in any human relationship. When misunderstandings arise, the persons involved should endeavour to resolve them. In the family, greater responsibility rests upon the shoulders of the father and mother. The family is an essential structural as well as functional living unit of any community or nation. God set up the family unit as such. Any community or nation is therefore a product of its functional unit, the family. Any damage done to the family structure is a gradual death-blow to the fabric of stability and health in the community, state, region or nation! Where persons hold the family in high esteem, no effort would be spared at maintaining its stability. The reckless abandonment with which many couples in this generation handle their marriage disputes or misunderstanding spells disaster for many homes. Resorting to divorce is not the solution. Rather, more chaos and problems are created than solved when either parent presses for divorce. Handling marriage as a trial by error affair, as a business contract or as a ‘cat and mouse affair’ would certainly lead to failure and divorce. Looking for the least form of excuses to press for divorce is not a Christian lifestyle. Consequently, the children from such homes have their lives virtually truncated and left in disarray. Many of such children grow up to become confused, angry, rebellious and retaliatory. It is much better to bring up children in a home with both father and mother positively and actively involved. No father can successfully combine the mother’s role with his. The same is true of any mother. No mother can successfully replace the father. God has given each person in the home his or her own special responsibility. The father, mother and the children make up the family which lives in the home. Teaching and supervising house chores helps parents to lay the foundation for good work habits for the future. It is easier to play than to work, but it is rather more uplifting and confidence-boosting as well as character-building in the child. Setting standards as well as boundaries in behaviour also helps in children upbringing. The father is the chief disciplinarian. The mother upholds discipline under the umbrella of the father. In the father’s absence, she is in charge. Both parents uphold discipline together, but the hierarchy of the two parents should never be in question. Words are very important in giving instructions. Clear, simple direct instructions should be given. No negative, degrading or abusive words should be used at any time. Chores should be practically taught by showing example or demonstrating it to the child. Parents should never wait on the school to teach their children chores. Schools should buttress what parents have already taught as appropriate with the child’s age. Violations of these set boundaries and standards should be frowned at and sanctions given. Good performance should also be rewarded. Firm stands should be maintained. Children are wise to detect any loophole on discipline and would like to take advantage of it. It is the responsibility of parents to eliminate such loopholes. Being in agreement in words as well as in actions is one of the sure ways to plug or avoid loopholes. The Bible states:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)

The training must be given first, from which the child would not depart later on in life. No training; no knowledge and no discipline. It is a pity that some ladies and young men who never learnt how to cook whilst growing up have to rely on cookery books for almost all their cooking. The problem is from the home background. They probably had things too much their own ways at home or the parents indulged them with the services of paid chefs and other paid domestic servants! It is not too late to learn from friends or enrol for short-term courses. Please do not be shy or ashamed to learn. It is also written:

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

Correction is best applied when it matters most and not when it is too late. Before a child starts school a good foundation should have been laid. Postponing training and discipline or ignoring them altogether breeds conflict, rebellion and sorrow later on. Every time the family comes together, some teaching and learning takes place. The family that prays, eats, worships and plays together, cherish each other and therefore stays together. The opposite is also true. The family that neglects praying, eating, talking, worshiping and playing together seldom stays together. Some families do not have time for cooked meals because they claim to be too busy. Some are too busy, making money to such extent that they seldom see each other except during Christmas or in an emergency.
To abandon the role of the two parents to only one is not only irresponsible, it is wicked and criminal. Examples abound of human failings by mothers or fathers. More often than not, the abandoned or partially neglected children have a permanent vacuum in their lives. Only God, by his mercy can fill that vacuum when each vulnerable person in the marred relationship opens the door for Him to interact. Various communities in different parts of the world suffer from the effects of strained or broken down relationships in the family. A corrupted form of the family has become the vogue in many parts of the so-called civilized world! There can be no satisfactory substitute for the real family. The original family setting consists of the man as husband and father; the woman as wife and mother and children as important products of the loving, cherished relationship called marriage, which binds the family together. When each member does his or her role properly, the family would be happy, peaceful and flourishing. In a Christian home, all come under the umbrella of the Almighty God, who is the Maker of Marriage and the Family. In the normal family and in this 21st Century, it is challenging, demanding and difficult to bring up children. It demands great commitment and selfless giving, especially from the father and on in the descending order of mother down to the children. How much more difficult would it be for only one parent to try bringing up children. In some quarters, people think it is their position, riches or affluence that would place them in good standing to be good parents. Money, gifts, holidays and status cannot replace good parenting which demands selfless love, positive and protective discipline, with boundaries, rewards and sanctions. A lone-ranger parenting could be likened to a motor car with two good alternate tyres. What horrible ride that would provide in a family. Such a ride would not only be uncomfortable, but unsafe. When each member does his or her role properly, the family would be happy, peaceful and flourishing. Are you a Christian? Stop any further action towards divorce now. Humble yourself before God. Seek the face of God. Seek Christian counsel. Do not join hands with Satan to mess up Christian marriage and the Family setting.
The Bible states:

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wife be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word[Ephesians 5:21-26].

It is a mutual submission to each other and not a one-way affair. The husband who expects his wife to submit to him, must be exemplary and lead the way in humble submission; not insisting and defiant. He should only insist where the Bible may be violated! Christ washed the feet of his disciples. He also prepared breakfast for them on the beach, even after his resurrection; just before his ascension back to Heaven. The wife should be cautious not to take her husband for granted. A humble, serving, caring and protective husband deserves to be respected and obeyed. He is to be followed, unless he walks contrary to the Bible. A man usually gets the commitment of the kind of wife he loves selflessly, nurtures and cherishes. A woman usually gets the commitment of the type of husband she adores, cherishes, respects and obeys. A selfless, loving, cherishing, diligent and responsible husband would be obeyed. An adoring, caring, virtuous, cherishing and obedient wife would be loved and honoured. The relationship, based on reverence for God and patterned after the love of Christ for the church, would succeed in the face of hardships and challenges of this life and especially this challenging 21st Century. A significant portion of the cases of juvenile delinquents in society is made up of children from broken relationships or from divorced parents. Out of frustration some of such children become confused, disappointed, rebellious, addicted to drugs and violent. Their confidence, security, self-esteem and in deed future have been violated! Many have need rehabilitation.
A significant problem which confronts the family of the 21st Century is the distortions or corruptions in the interpretations given to the family. Those who call evil good and call good evil shall be punished by God. Those who enact anti-God laws are seeking divine punishment also.[Romans 1:18-32, Exodus 23:1-2, Isaiah 10:1-2, Genesis 19:1-26]. The modern day violations of the family setting breed confusion and make healthy child-upbringing very challenging and difficult. Attempts by various governments to redefine marriage are calculated efforts by Satan to destroy family life, which constitutes the essential unit of human society. Such governments and the leadership only think that they are being modern and in line with what some others around the world are doing. Unfortunately however, the so-called vogue is anti-family, anti-procreation, and anti-societal well-being! Such leaders and nations are fighting against God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. There is arrogant and flagrant disregard to the words, and will of God and his plan for the betterment of humankind. Severe consequences as a result of the disregard are very imminent. The great ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality, violence and disobedience. Judgment is coming very soon on the arrogant and the disobedient, take it or leave it! This is an urgent warning and call to repentance to all the nations of this world celebrating or condoning homosexuality, especially the political leaders. Majority of the populace in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, taking just two examples, are against homosexuality, but some of the political leaders are bulldozing their own will through, against common sense, against natural order and against the plan of God Almighty.
Whilst concluding this post, the news of the proceedings in the House of Commons was received. It is unfortunate that the House of Commons passed the bill to allow gays to be fully married in the same way as heterosexual couples. This is a significant negative landmark and a notable additional setback for humanity! The odd and horrible likelihood of calling a man wife and the same person also as husband is the peak of human deception. The same thing goes for calling any woman husband and the same woman as wife. It is confusion master piece! Although God has been very merciful in waiting patiently for people and nations to repent over the calamity of homosexuality, his patience must never be taken for granted. Judgment is coming very soon over anyone, group of persons or nations who violate the plan of God. It is not a mark of achievement to follow a multitude or group to do evil. The correct, natural, reasonable and God-given will of the overwhelming majority has been brushed aside in order to please a significantly erring minority, all under the guise of “keeping up with the Joneses”, with the tag of human rights. It is another example of two elephants fighting, with the grass suffering. That was a setback for civilization! Perhaps the next thing for the United Kingdom and other similarly compliant nations is to pass a bill in favour of polygamy! A U-turn back to God and the time-tested Christian statutes of the United Kingdom is necessary and not too late. Agape Focus as one of the voices for God and the well-being of humanity in this generation opposes and condemns the significant error because it opposes God! We do not know the details; only God knows, but God Almighty says he would judge over this action! Signs to follow soon would be like the ANCIENT HANDWRITING ON THE WALL as in the days of Daniel. Watch out. A word is sufficient for the wise. Enough is enough! Who is a God like the Almighty that pardons iniquity? He still forgives sins today. Repent therefore that you may be forgiven. Retrace your steps back to God.

Travel Light Please

You have made up your mind to travel. Have you made adequate provision for your journey? Have you packed your luggage? Do you remember the contents in your bag or suit case? Will your luggage pass through security checks without problems? Unnecessary excess weight should be laid aside or discarded. Whatever your means of transport, you are strongly advised to travel light. It is unwise and unnecessary to take along what you would not need for your journey. The story was told of an old lady who boarded a coach traveling from one city to the next. She paid her fares, got the very heavy suitcase placed in the luggage compartment, but insisted on placing a medium-sized bag on her lap. She ignored the advice to place the smaller luggage underneath the seat or overhead space provided. She was most uncomfortable throughout the journey because she ignored the provision made for her comfort and convenience. We are all on the journey of life. We move along day by day. We carry some materials and drop some. In addition we do carry other issues which are much heavier than luggage. Issues such as anger, anxieties, hatred, pride, vain glory, unforgiving attitude, tyranny, greed; inclusive of other vices all of which we would describe as PSYCHO-TOXIC and therefore poisonous to the mind. Severe sicknesses of the mind develop in a prevailing psycho-toxic situation. These would lead to physical death and with stubborn neglect, these could lead to eternal or everlasting death. You are of three parts namely spirit, mind and body. The spirit is the real you and links you more closely to God , your Maker or negatively to Satan, the arch enemy of mankind. Your mind is centered in your brain and helps you to think, learn and respond to the intellectual realm. Your body helps you to respond to the physical realm. Anything or power which brings your spirit under the control of your mind or body is not good for you; it is sin and therefore makes you estranged to God. These vices are only being managed by human efforts, with limited success. If you must get rid of a bad tree, it is best to attack it at the roots. Clipping off the leaves periodically cannot do. Depending on human efforts alone leads to intermittent frustrations. The power of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone is able to help mankind to overcome these vices. It is tragic to travel through life with avoidable heavy burdens. Unfortunately many travel through life like the old lady in the story, ignoring the safe provisions made for comfortable travel. God has made adequate provision for you through Jesus Christ. Each person travels through life daily and at the end of all life’s journeys he or she would meet his or her Maker. At last, it would be payback or accountability time; when you would render to God how you spent your life on earth. Whether you accept this or not, it is very true. It could be disastrous to wait until the last minute before embracing God’s provision. The reason is that you do not know if you would be conscious enough to make any useful decision during your last few days, or hours in this world! For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). All who receive Jesus , he gives to them the power to become children of God(John 1:10-12). Receive freedom today through Jesus Christ. Go Free. Travel smooth and Light.
Jesus said: Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light(Matthew11:28 -30). Jesus Christ is the burden and sin bearer for you and all other human beings. No one can afford to ignore him,because God has so appointed him. The Bible states: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:6-7). For prayers or counselling, contact us at Agape Focus. All private questions are treated confidentially. God bless you.

OUR SALVATION IS NEARER THAN WHEN WE BELIEVED: JESUS CHRIST IS COMING SOON

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.The night is far spent, the day is at hand:let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof(Romans 13:11-14).
Jesus Christ said: When these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your head for your redemption draweth nigh [Luke 21:28]. Paul was encouraging Christians in Rome on the Christian life and responsibilities and he touched the issue of love and civic responsibilities. As we go about our lives, the spiritual,domestic,vocational as well as the civic aspects must be properly taken care of. We cannot be heavenly focused, while being irresponsible citizens or irresponsible in the domestic front. There must be a reasonable balance.
In this 21st Century, we see more frequently,events the confirmation of the end of the age. Men’s hearts are already failing them for fear. The frequency of earthquakes,violent storms,tsunamis,volcanic eruptions,landslides,forest fires,hurricanes,floods of waters, famines and pestilences, Strange and frequent natural disasters are abound. There is unprecedented and massive pollution of our environment. Ethnic, sectarian, inter-tribal and civil wars are on the increase. Acts of terrorism across the earth are on the increase. Economic chaos is affecting the entire world. There is the reign of immorality, increasing incidence of divorce in which Christian homes are not spared. Children as victims of parental separations and divorces grow up to become rebellious youths, exhibiting domestic disobedience and violence. There is increase in civil disobedience; increase in satanic worship and idolatrous practices all over the world. There is the desecration of the holy marriage instituted by God, with abominable associations such as cohabiting, and same sex relationships! An attitude of compromise to evil and tendency to be lukewarm by the church is already here! Jesus said that because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold,but he that shall endure to the end,the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations;and then shall the end come [Matthew 24:12-14]. The nations of the world are gathering up against Israel,the nation that pointed us to the one and only true God.Israel is highly favoured by God because of covenant promise to Abraham. The meetings decisions taken and future consequences these constitute major signs of the end of the world system and an impending battle! PRAY for the peace of Jerusalem. We are to be watchful so that we do not get carried away with eating and drinking and other cares of this life,to such an extent as being caught unawares and unprepared.We are to be prayerful and focused on Jesus Christ,the author and finisher of our faith.He will see us through the coming difficult days by the prevailing powerful presence of the Holy Spirit,the ministry of angels and the all-encompassing intercession of our living High Priest,Jesus Christ.
ALERT: We need to be reminded and alerted that the technology to be used by the anti-christ during his short reign,is already in place and already in use! The number 666 can be easily implanted into people’s skin or forehead by your will or against your will. Already, if you own a smart phone or better still, if you own the more sophisticated ones, everything about you can be easily tracked, including your movements and other private activities. Already there are some people who voluntarily had microchips implanted into their hands. With that they do incredible things such as opening the doors of their cars and homes through the implants! ARE YOU WATCHING? The Obama Care health programme would be adopting the technology in 2013 for US Citizens. The economic world is already working at it to bring it to perfect use. Security operatives have already introduced the microchip human implants. Doors and security outfits could be easily accessed by staff using the devices.Religious groups,especially Christian churches have expressed grave concerns about the use of microchips implants and therefore have opposed the compulsory usage or legislation for common use.The size could be as small as two grains of rice! ARE YOU WATCHING? Those who refuse to have the number on them would be denied access to many amenities and services and be unable to buy and sell,when the plan is fully in operation!
Wikipedia states as follows: ‘‘A human microchip implant is an integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body of a human being. A subdermal implant typically contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information’’
Be ready, because you do not know the hour the Son of man (Jesus Christ)would come[Matthew 24:44]. To be continued…..