Latest updates on Current Affairs

Freedom To Speak About Transgenderism

Many in our society speak about gender ideology as if everyone must agree. Christians are being put on the spot, aware that anyone who objects is quickly labelled hateful or transphobic. It’s no surprise that people are reluctant to say what they really think. A key tactic of activists is to silence debate by declaring it to be intolerant or even unlawful. So it’s crucial to take note of the many times when the freedom to disagree is affirmed by the courts. Recent cases prove there is space to disagree with transgender ideology – and also demonstrate the need for us to speak. Click below to read the March 2021 update on freedom of speech in relation to transgenderism from the CI.

Court blasts Blackpool Council for discriminating against Christians

Blackpool Council has been criticised by a judge after she ruled that it discriminated against Christians by banning bus adverts for the Lancashire Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham.

The adverts, which simply displayed the message ‘Time for Hope!’, were controversially removed by the Council and Blackpool Transport Services Limited over Graham’s biblical views on marriage and sexuality. It followed this up by lighting up Blackpool Tower with the colours of the rainbow flag to show support for LGBT activists.

But Her Honour Judge Claire Evans of Manchester County Court ruled “overwhelmingly” in favour of Graham and the Lancashire Festival of Hope, stating that the Council’s actions in removing the adverts and taking sides against local Christians were “the antithesis of the manner in which a public authority should behave in a democracy”.

Click below to read more.

Victory for Scottish church leaders as judge rules government acted unconstitutionally when criminalising gathered worship

In an historic judgment, on March 24th 2021 a judge has ruled that the Scottish Ministers’ decision to ban and criminalise gathered church worship during the current lockdown was unconstitutional and a disproportionate interference of Article 9 ECHR rights.

The ruling is believed to be the first successful legal case against Covid regulations in the UK.

Handing down judgment, Lord Braid also ruled that online worship is not real Christian worship, stating that it is not for the Scottish Ministers to: “dictate to the petitioners or to the additional party, that, henceforth, or even for the duration of the pandemic, worship is to be conducted on-line. That might be an alternative to worship but it is not worship. At very best for the respondents, in modern parlance, it is worship-lite.”

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, 27 Scottish church leaders, from a range of Christian denominations, had brought the legal action stating that the unprecedented closures were unlawful and breached Human Rights law and the Scottish constitution.

Click below for more details.

Canadian Pastor Imprisoned For Preaching In The Church Building – February 2021

James Coates, a minister of the gospel in Alberta, Canada, has been arrested and imprisoned for preaching to his congregation in the church building. Listen to Jared Longshore and Tom Ascol of Founders Ministries as they speak with Erin, James’ wife, about the events and how we can pray for them. The persecution of the churches in our atheistic and aggressively secular western cultures is gathering pace and we must all be mindful, courageous and prayerful.

Govt announces tough new measures on uni free speech

The Government has announced a range of tough new measures to ensure that free speech is not restricted at universities.

After an increasing number of students, staff and academics have been silenced or no-platformed, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson warned of a “chilling effect”, leaving people feeling they cannot freely express themselves.

Places of higher education will now be subject to a new free speech condition in order to be registered in England and access public funding. If universities and colleges break this condition, the Office for Students (OfS) will have the power to impose sanctions upon them, including financial penalties.

Activists Attempt To Silence Gospel Witness Using “Conversion Therapy” Arguments

Nelson McCausland, a former minister in the NI Executive, recently used Facebook to share the testimony of Becket Cook, an American who lived a homosexual lifestyle until he turned to Christ. LGBT activists denounced Mr McCausland as a proponent of ‘conversion therapy’. Some, including elected officials, called for him to be sacked from his position on the Board of the NI Education Authority.

But Becket Cook’s testimony is about his Christian conversion and has nothing to do with ‘conversion therapy’. The vitriol experienced by Nelson McCausland shows that the real target for these activists is the gospel.

As a church, we have been calling our members to a greater awareness that targeted persecution is now upon us, and that government is using newly-acquired powers to try and silence the sound of the gospel in our land. Listen to Nelson’s account of his experience in this interview with Ciarán Kelly of the Christian Institute and let it be a spur to renewed prayer and courage in these challenging times.

How are Christians going to impact society in the 21st Century? Why is it crucial that they do? An introduction by Les Yates.

How are Christians going to have an impact on society in the twenty-first
century? The answer to this question must surely be the faithful proclamation of
the Christian gospel, changing hearts and not just influencing moral behaviour
is surely the greatest priority of God’s redeemed people.

However, as Christians, we are also urged, indeed commanded, to pray for our
national leaders and for those who have the responsibility of enacting laws that
affect us all. Christian involvement in national and local politics has been a
factor in bringing a steadying and stabling influence in the United Kingdom for
many centuries; the salt and light of Christian witness and influence cannot be
overestimated.

(pictured above is Les and his wife Anne)

During my lifetime, sadly, I have witnessed a marked decline in Christian
influence on society both locally and nationally and at the same time have seen
an increase of influence by pressure groups promoting their own secularistic
ideologies. The main purpose of secularism, by the way, is to separate the state
from religious institutions; hence we see Christianity increasingly marginalised.
One of the most ‘successful’ pressure groups of recent times must be Stonewall,
representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights (LGBT).
Stonewall has only been in existence 30 years and yet they have helped to bring
about changes in our society that no one would have thought possible. One
cannot criticise the role they have played in alleviating the discrimination of the
aforesaid groups, but, like all secular agendas there comes the inevitable clash
of ideals with the principles and morality of Christianity. One recent example
has been the issue of gender, children are now taught in our schools that they
must now have the right to choose whether they want to live life as a boy or a
girl. Regardless of the biological problems faced by some unfortunate members
of society the Bible teaches a completely contrary view from the one LGBT is
taking us.
The clash of religious convictions and compunctions with libertarian choices
have already resulted in Christians having to face court proceedings, a recent
example is the refusal of a baker to decorate a cake promoting gay marriage
in compliance with homosexual couple’s wishes. The marriage ordinance, with
its emphasis on procreation and the replenishment of the human race has been
the bedrock of all stable societies, but now has been seriously undermined and
weakened and the consequences of this folly have yet to be fully realised.
Abortion is also a major issue, the right of a mother to have an abortion means
that the rights of the unborn child are eliminated, not only the child’s rights, but
it’s very right to life is taken away.

Just like the fight of Christians against slavery, child exploitation and many
other evils in the society of past generations the Christian community must make
their voice heard. Abortion, euthanasia, religious freedom, the fight to maintain
Biblical foundational truths are worth fighting for, not just for ourselves, but for
future generations. That is why we support Christian groups such as the
Christian Institute. The Christian Institute has been very successful in helping
Christians who have faced discrimination in various contexts and has been most
informative in drawing attention to the current challenges and threats posed by
the secular anti-Christian agendas.

In our fight to protect Christian values, one has to say that the battleground has
changed dramatically over the last few years, certainly since I was fighting for
the preservation of the Lords’ Day nearly 50 years ago. We have lost much of
the legislation that protected Christian principles and we are now finding that
legislation is increasingly becoming more anti-Christian. In the case of Sunday
football in my early days, there were at least laws that I could refer to in
curtailing Sabbath desecration. There are still things that we can do and must do
if we are to have any relevance on the direction of our society and the way in
which it is now heading. Every individual citizen has the right to contact their
local M.P., every individual citizen has the right to complain to the BBC and
ITV over moral issues that demean and corrupt our society. A remark I read
recently in a local newspaper on some lewd scene on a television programme
said that there had been no complaints from members of the public.

The following quotation was quoted by J.F. Kennedy, the President of the
United States in 1961: ‘the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good
men to do nothing.’

The Christian Insitute. Christian Influence in a Secular World.

The Christian Institute are a non-denominational group which seek the “furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom” and “the advancement of education”.

https://www.christian.org.uk/

Christian Concern- Equipping you to be an effective ambassador for Jesus Christ in today’s culture.

Christian Concern, like the Christian Institute, protect the interests and freedoms of Christians in the 21st Century.

  • They speak and influence.
  • Challenge and protect.
  • Mobilise and equip.

“We’re passionate about bringing the love, justice, truth, freedom and hope of Jesus Christ to the heart of society. And we’re building a movement of Christians who share that passion.

We believe that Jesus Christ is good news for society and as relevant today as he has ever been. We believe that a flourishing future is a future shaped around him.

But we also know that it’s becoming harder to be a Christian in the UK today.

So, we’re at work to make Jesus and his ways known, to protect the freedom to live and speak for him, and to empower Christians to be compassionate and courageous ambassadors.”