The Scottish Covenanters had the right priorities Matthew Vogan explains…


They were on a Scottish hillside in fear of government troops arresting or killing those at this “illegal” worship service. Why would the young preacher pause his sermon and begin to pray for the restoration of the Jews?

When we looked back over our 2015 archives, it was clear which media outlet deserved this year’s Dishonest Reporter Award. The honor goes to perennial contender, BBC News. At any given time, the insidious nature of the BBC’s anti-Israel bias is its constant drip, drip effect. But this year, the pipes burst with some genuinely shocking moments of coverage that generated a huge amount of anger and offense.

Isaiah shows God's mercy triumphing over His judgments, by describing the time of His gracious acceptance as a 'year', while His vengeance is seen as a 'day'. We are in that day now. 

Yesterday I watched a cricket match in my local park and I thought of the Church. A purposeful collective dressed in white striving together for a common goal? No, rather one group of people thrusting missiles at the other, hoping to score points against them!

Do we see unity in the Church today, or a common purpose? No, rather we see 40,000+ variations of a simple theme, competing against each other, all claiming divine authority and many having as much impact on the wider world as a “silly mid on”, whatever that is!

By Thursday, November 3, 2016

On Oct. 25, I witnessed an event at the House of Lords (the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom) in which the Jews who died during the Holocaust were staggeringly held accountable for their own fate.

While public meetings of this kind are typically innocuous enough, this one was different. The event at the Palace of Westminster was put together by the Palestine Return Center, a United Kingdom-based non-government organization that focuses on Palestinian refugees. It was hosted by Baroness Jenny Tonge, a life peer in the House of Lords and (at the time) a member of the Liberal Democrat Party. She resigned soon after because of massive worldwide criticism of the event and of her apathy. Tonge is no stranger to controversy about the land of Israel. During the past 12 years, she has been rebuked and sanctioned several times because of her comments about the issue. After Israel sent medical help following a disaster in Haiti, she was linked to claims that the Jewish people had taken that opportunity to harvest organs.

This is part one of a two-part series. The second part will examine what we Arabs can do differently today.

In the current state of the relationship between the Arab world and Israel, we see a patchwork of hostility, tense peace, limited cooperation, calm, and violence. We Arabs managed our relationship with Israel atrociously, but the worst of all is the ongoing situation of the Palestinians.

Our first mistake lasted centuries, and occurred well before Israel's declaration of independence in May 1948. It consisted of not recognizing Jews as equals. As documented by a leading American scholar of Jewish history in the Muslim world, Mark R. Cohen, during that era, "Jews shared with other non-Muslims the status of dhimmis [non-Muslims who have to pay protection money and follow separate debasing laws to be tolerated in Muslim-controlled areas] ... New houses of worship were not to be built and old ones could not be repaired. They were to act humbly in the presence of Muslims. In their liturgical practice they had to honor the preeminence of Islam. They were further required to differentiate themselves from Muslims by their clothing and by eschewing symbols of honor. Other restrictions excluded them from positions of authority in Muslim government".

Believers must find new, more radical ways to practise their faith (by Rod Dreher)

Hannah Roberts, an English Catholic friend, was once telling me about her family’s long history in Yorkshire. She spoke with yearning of what she had back home and how painful it is to live so far away. I wondered aloud why she and her American husband had emigrated to the United States from that idyllic landscape, the homeland she loved. ‘Because we wanted our children to have a chance to grow up Catholic,’ she said.

It’s not that she feared losing them to the Church of England — it’s that she feared them losing Christianity itself. She and her husband Chris, an academic theologian, are now raising their four young children in Philadelphia, a city with a historically large Catholic presence. Even so, Philadelphia is no safe haven, as the Robertses freely acknowledge. Christianity is declining sharply in the north-east of the United States, one of the nation’s least religious regions. The most recent studies confirm that the country is, at last, firmly on the same trail of decline blazed by the churches of Europe.

Jeremiah’s warnings to his nation fell mostly on deaf ears. John McLaughlan sees parallels in today’s UK Church

In the book of Jeremiah certain dates locate his ministry in the history of Judah. Not every prophecy has a date attached, but one particular date occurs four times. It is the “fourth year of Jehoiakim” – according to 46:2 the year that Nebuchadnezzar finally defeated Pharaoh Neco at the battle of Carchemish.

Our God is a God of history. He creates stories for us, sequences of events that teach us more about Him. Many of these are in His book, the Bible. The problem is that we are not always aware of the big picture, the back story behind some of these events. A very good example is the Feast of Pentecost. We all know what happened to that group of Jesus’ disciples as they were gathered together in Jerusalem.

(By Melanie Phillips)

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, appears to be a genuine supporter of Israel. In which case she needs to address the fact that her Foreign Office is not.

The Palestinians have been demanding that the British government apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration which supported “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

This declaration was embodied in the 1922 Mandate under which Britain accepted the administration of Palestine and the obligation to settle the Jews there.

The demand for an apology led to a British petition signed by more than 13,000 people. A few days ago the government dismissed it. “The Balfour Declaration”, it said, “is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologise. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel”.

Let’s put to one side that, in the 1930s, the British actually reneged on the Mandate, betrayed the Jewish people and instead of settling them in Palestine kept them out during the Holocaust. The statement dismissed the demand for an apology. So far, therefore, so good.