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PM David Repenting Like King David?

Posted by addisethiopia on April 23, 2014

 
david-confessingAt an Easter reception for Christian leaders at Downing Street, Mr Cameron said he finds his “moments of greatest peace” at Eucharist services at his children’s church.
 
He went further in an article below, in which he said Britain should be unashamedly “evangelical” about its Christian faith and give churches a greater role in society.
 
I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country,” he said.
 
He said he had experienced the “healing power” of religion in his own life and insisted that Christianity could transform the “spiritual, physical, and moral” state of Britain and even the world.
 
“Christianity could transform the “spiritual, physical, and moral” state of Britain and even the world.”
 
Mr. Cameron seems to have done something right by upsetting these ‘public’ figures (AKA – homosexual militants, champagne socialist’s, Marxists, weirdo academics, Greens) they collectively accused the PM of sectarianism and division in a letter to The Telegraph last Monday.
 
These militant atheists should be grateful and thank God that they live in a Christian country. If the authors of the letter had tried writing it in Saudi Arabia, Iran or Pakistan, they would’ve quickly learned the benefits of living in a merciful, compassionate and tolerant Christian society.
 
Cynics might call Cameron, blatant hypocrite, after he officially endorsed the introduction of the so-called gay “marriage”, and expressed his willingness to promote it globally. How dare he call himself a Christian or even speak of the moral state of Britain when he passionate in saying, “I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” ?
 
Is the PM only making leap-service like Prince Charles? The Prince of Wales made last December the following statement, “I have for some time now been deeply troubled by the growing difficulties faced by Christian communities in various parts of the Middle East,” and, a month later continued prancing about in “Laurence of Arabia” garb as a charitable advocate for the Christian-persecutor Arabs when he performed a sword dance in Saudi Arabia.
 
After noticing his, mostly, anti-Christian actions in the past couple of years it is very difficult to understand why Prime Minister David Cameron is now saying what he is saying. His pushing for the re-definition of marriage has seemed to undermine the Christian cultural heritage of the UK, his administration and the militant “intellectual” atheist gangs are using the Islamic plague to exterminate the Jedeo-Christian identity of Britain, beyond repair. When we read the official report that in the Christian land of Britain, State schools isolate non-Muslims, we learn that it’s dangerous keeping this sort of people close, because it’s like keeping a crocodile as a pet and feeding it till it’s big enough to kill and devour you
 
I believe, a truly Christian society can forgive and give him the chance to correct his mistakes through acknowledgment and repentance. I don’t dare to compare PM David Cameron with our dearest Biblical King David. But it’s possible to draw some parallels in the lives of PM David Cameron and King David. I think, Mr. Cameron made many mistakes since he came to power four years ago. I also think that the elected PM is probably waking up because something tragic happened in his private life these past five years that might have forced him to go on a soul-searching mission like the anointed King David of Israel. There is something especially tragic about the death of a child. First, the PM lost his six-year-old son back in 2009, a year later, he mourned the sudden death of his father.
 
After becoming King of Israel, things were going very well for David, perhaps too well. He seemed to have the Midas touch — everything he touched turned to gold. God had given him success in all he undertook. Like Israel of old, David appears to momentarily forget that his success was the result of God’s grace, and not a tribute to his efforts alone.
 
David becomes more and more arrogant. This is most evident in 2 Samuel 11. Israel is at war with the Ammonites, and in the Spring (the time that kings go to war), David sends his army to besiege Rabbah, the capital city of the Ammonites, where the last of the Ammonite opposition has sought refuge. David does not go to battle with his soldiers, but stays at home in Jerusalem, indulging himself in the good life while his soldiers camp in an open field. David gets up from his bed about the time his soldiers (and others) usually go to bed. As he is strolling on the roof of his palace, David happens to see something that was not meant to be seen — a young woman cleansing herself, most likely a ceremonial cleansing ceremony done in keeping with the law. The woman is beautiful, and David decides that he wants her. He sends messengers to find out who she is. Their answer — that she was Bathsheba (House of Sheba), the Ethiopian, wife of Uriah the Hittite — should have ended the matter, but David had no intention of being deprived of anything he wanted. He sent for the woman and lay with her.
 
For David, it was all over after that one night of self-indulgence. He did not want another wife; he did not even appear to want an affair, just a night of pleasure. But God had other plans. Bathsheba conceived and eventually sent word to David that she was pregnant. When David’s efforts to deceive Uriah (and the people) into thinking Uriah had fathered this child, he had Uriah killed in battle with the help of Joab. After she had mourned for her husband, David brought Bathsheba into his home, taking her as his wife. Now at last, David hoped, it was over.
 
This thing which David had done displeased God, however, and God would give David no rest or peace until he had come to see his sin for what it was and repented of it. After some period of distress (Psalm 32:3-4), God sent Nathan to David with a story, a story which deeply upset David. David was furious. He insisted that the rich man who stole the poor man’s pet lamb deserved to die! Nathan then stopped David in his tracks with the words, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). As David heard Nathan’s recital of his sin, he broke, declaring to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13).
 
Nathan’s response to David’s confession was both comforting and disturbing. Although he deserved to die for his sins, David would not die because God had taken away his sin (12:13). What a relief these words must have been. But what followed would pierce David through: the son his sin had produced would die. It is David’s response to the death of this son that will be the focus of our lesson.
 
This is the first of a number of painful events David will experience as a result of his sin regarding Uriah and Bathsheba. In our text, David will suffer the loss of the child conceived through the sinful union of David and Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. Next, David’s daughter will be raped by one of his sons. In retaliation for Amnon’s sin, Absalom murders him. Later, David’s son, Absalom, will rebel against his father and temporarily take over the throne. In the process, he will sleep with some of David’s concubines, before all Israel, and on the roof of the palace from which David first looked upon Bathsheba. All of these things are directly or indirectly the consequences of David’s sin with Bathsheba.
 
The tragic death of David’s son is a consequence of David’s sin, but it is not the penalty David deserves for his sin. The penalty for adultery and murder is death, on each count. David deserves to die, on two counts: adultery and murder. But Nathan has made it very clear that David’s sin has been “taken away.” The death of this child is a painful consequence of David’s sin, but it is not punishment for his sin, per se. That punishment has been taken away, borne by the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
My faith in the Church of England
 
British Premier, David Cameron expresses his pride in its openness, beauty, social action, and pastoral care
 
StGeorgEngland3LAST week I held my fourth annual Easter reception in Downing Street. Not for the first time, my comments about my faith and the importance of Christianity in our country were widely reported.
 
Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn’t talk about these things. I completely disagree. I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.
 
First, being more confident about our status as a Christian country does not somehow involve doing down other faiths or passing judgement on those with no faith at all. Many people tell me it is easier to be Jewish or Muslim in Britain than in a secular country precisely because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths, too.
 
Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none – and we should be confident in standing up to defend them.
 
People who, instead, advocate some sort of secular neutrality fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality, or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code. Of course, faith is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality.
 
Many atheists and agnostics live by a moral code – and there are Christians who don’t. But for people who do have a faith, that faith can be a guide or a helpful prod in the right direction – and, whether inspired by faith or not, that direction or moral code matters.
 
SECOND, as Christians we know how powerful faith can be in the toughest of times. I have known this in my own life. From giving great counsel to being the driving force behind some of the most inspiring social-action projects in our country, our faith-based organisations play a fundamental role in our society. So, in being confident about our Christianity, we should also be ambitious in supporting faith-based organisations to do even more.
 
That is why we are not just investing £20 million in repairing our great cathedrals, but also giving £8 million to the Near Neighbours programme, which brings faith communities together in supporting local projects. I welcome the efforts of all those who help to feed, clothe, and house the poorest in our society. For generations, much of this work has been done by Christians, and I am proud to support the continuation of this great philanthropic heritage in our society today.
 
THIRD, greater confidence in our Christianity can also inspire a stronger belief that we can get out there and actually change people’s lives, and improve both the spiritual, physical, and moral state of our country, and even the world.
 
I am a member of the Church of England, and, I suspect, a rather classic one: not that regular in attendance, and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith.
 
But that doesn’t mean the Church of England doesn’t matter to me or people like me: it really does. I like its openness, I deeply respect its national role, and I appreciate its liturgy, and the architecture and cultural heritage of its churches. My parents spent countless hours helping to support and maintain the village church that I grew up next to, and my Oxfordshire constituency has churches – including some medieval masterpieces – that take your breath away with their beauty, simplicity, and serenity. They are a vital part of Britain’s living history.
 
I have felt at first hand the healing power of the Church’s pastoral care, and my children benefit from the work of a superb team in an excellent Church of England school.
 
Some fault the Church of England for perceived woolliness when it comes to belief. I am not one for doctrinal purity, and I don’t believe it is essential for evangelism about the Church’s role in our society or its importance. It is important – and, as I have said, I would like it to do more, not less, in terms of action to improve our society and the education of our children.
 
THE fact that, at a time of great economic difficulty, the UK has met the 0.7 per-cent target of Gross National Income on aid should be a source of national pride. Other countries have dropped that target, or failed to meet it. But every few seconds a child is being vaccinated against a disease because of the decision we have made in this country to keep our promises to the poorest people in the world.
 
The same is true of our Bill to outlaw the despicable practice of modern slavery. It is happening because we are actively working to bring all the legislation together, to toughen the penalties, and drive out this scourge that is still all too present in our world.
 
Some issues such as welfare are more controversial. I sometimes feel not enough is made of our efforts to tackle poverty. Of course, we have been through some tough economic times in turning our country around over the past few years. But it is through the dignity of work, the reforms to welfare that make work pay, and our efforts to deliver the best schools and skills for young people, that our long-term economic plan can best help people to a more secure future. And that is why today there are 1.6 million new private-sector jobs, unemployment is at its lowest level in half a decade, and there are more than 500,000 fewer people on out-of-work benefits.
 
So, I hope that, even when people disagree with specific policies, they can share in the belief of trying to lift people up rather than count people out. I welcome the debate with church leaders and faith communities about some of these issues, because in the end I think we all believe in many of the same principles. Whether it is the support people want to give their families, or the determination not to write anyone off, I believe these values and ideals are really important to all of us.
 
As politicians, I hope we can draw on these values to infuse politics with a greater sense of evangelism about some of the things we are trying to change. We see our churches as vital partners. If we pull together, we can change the world and make it a better place. That to me is what a lot of the Christian message is about – and it is a confidence in our Christianity that we can all reflect on this Easter.
 
Source
 
Would Human Life be Sacred in an Atheist World?
 
Christians-vs-AtheistsWhat was your reaction recently when it emerged that thousands of unborn foetuses had been burnt by NHS trusts? And that some had been put into ‘waste-to-energy’ incinerators and so used to heat hospitals?
 
Revulsion, I would imagine. But why? I would hazard that it is either because you are religious or because your customs and beliefs are still downstream from faith, even if you reject it. Because if you grant that an unborn foetus is not a life and that once aborted it could have no further use, there is at least an argument that these bodies might as well be put to use. Why not use unwanted babies to keep a hospital nice and warm?
 
It isn’t such a ridiculous argument. And it is time that atheists and non-believers began to take such stories — and their follow-on questions — as seriously as believers do. As Jonathan Sacks wrote in this magazine last year, when he was Chief Rabbi, atheists tend to imply that there isn’t much work to do after discarding God. On the contrary, after discarding God, all the work of establishing morals is still before you — just as after demonstrating mankind’s need for ethics, the work of proving a particular religion is true remains before you.
 
We continuously see the uniqueness of life being whittled away at all ends. With each year that goes by in increasingly post-Christian societies abortion becomes less and less of an issue. Too few atheists make arguments as passionate as those of believers over the aborting of unborn infants if they are of the ‘wrong’ sex, have some birth defect or a harelip. Even in America, which remains a significantly more religious country than ours, initially there was limited outrage at the trial last year of Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia physician discovered to have been carrying out ‘post-birth abortions’ — or child murder, as we might once have called it.
 
At the other extreme of life, we watch euthanasia become ‘assisted dying’ and the argument tilting in its favour. More and more it is about granting people a ‘humane’ end, rather than focusing on what such a move does to the significance of life as a whole. The treatment of bodies after death is another example. We have never cared less about what happens to our bodies after death. And this unconcern applies retrospectively. When digging up ancient burial yards, the fact that many of the bones being flung around come from people who went to their graves in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection isn’t enough to dampen our appetite for eviction if a property development is at stake. Does an atheist lack of concern for the physical body show a great devil-may-care attitude — or demean the significance of the vessels we spend our lives in?
 
And so it goes, on and on. Most obvious at the extremities of life, the decline of the Christian concept of the self can be seen everywhere, not least the concept of human love as a quasi-divine thing.
 
The more atheists think on these things, the more we may have to accept that the concept of the sanctity of human life is a Judeo-Christian notion which might very easily not survive Judeo-Christian civilisation. Those who do not believe in God and who stare over that cliff — which as Theo Hobson points out, very few atheists actually do — may realise that only three options remain open to us.
 
The first option is to fall into the furnace. Another is to work furiously to nail down an atheist version of the sanctity of the individual. If that does not work, then there is only one other place to go. Which is back to faith, whether we like it or not.
 
Continue reading…
 
 
The Return of God: Atheism’s Crisis of Faith
 
This-is-Enemy-eWhen we talk about morals, we end up back talking about religion. That’s a good thing
 
Like any movement or religion, atheism has ambitions. Over the years it has grown and developed until it has become about far more than just not believing in God: today atheism aspires to a moral system too. It comes with an idea of how to behave that’s really very close to traditional secular humanism, and offers a sense of community and values.
 
But as pleasant and rational as this all sounds, the new atheists are now hitting the intellectual buffers. The problem that confronts them is as stark as it is simple: our morality has religious roots. Put another way: when God is rejected, the stakes are gulpingly high; the entire moral tradition of the West is put in question.
 
This was the insight of Friedrich Nietzsche — and for all the different atheist thinkers and philosophers since, it remains just as true today. It’s all very well to say that blind faith is a bad idea, and that we should move beyond it to a more enlightened ethical system, but this raises the question of what we mean by good and bad, and those ideas are irrevocably rooted in Christianity. Nietzsche saw this, and had the courage to seek a new ethos amid the collapse of all modern systems of meaning. Did he find one? Yes, in pagan power-worship — the sort that eventually led to fascism. We think of him as mad and bad — but he was brave. Imagine Ed Miliband trying to follow in this tradition, gazing into the abyss of all meaning, the dark crucible of nihilism.
 
The trouble is that too many atheists simply assume the truth of secular humanism, that it is the axiomatic ideology: just there, our natural condition, once religious error is removed. They think morality just comes naturally. It bubbles up, it’s instinctive, not taught as part of a cultural tradition. In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins tries to strengthen this claim using his biological expertise, arguing that humans have evolved to be altruistic because it ultimately helps their genes to survive. But in the end, he admits that no firm case can be made concerning the evolutionary basis of morality. He’s just gesturing with his expertise, rather than really applying it to the issue at hand.
 
The new atheism has reached the limits of what it can achieve because it is attempting to renew secular humanism in anti-religious terms. This cannot be done. It’s a paltry and dishonest attempt, because it avoids reflecting on the tradition of secular humanism. Such reflection is awkward for it, due to its muddled claim that morality is just natural, and so no special tradition is needed. And yet — felix culpa! The atheists have unwittingly raised the question, which we generally prefer to evade, of what secular humanism is, how it is related to God. By tackling this big issue ineptly, they have at least hauled it onto the table.
 
Continue reading…
 
 
China on Course to Become ‘World’s Most Christian Nation’ Within 15 Years

_3When I see Chinese and Ethiopian laborers respectfully work side by side in the streets of Addis Abeba, my immediate thought was, „no European dared in the past to clean our streets alongside „dirty Africans“ but, the Chinese seem civilized enough to swallow that empty, primitive pride the vast majority of European folks demonstrate – I don’t ask their motives but, I was positive that these folks could one day be somehow blessed or rewarded” This is what’s gonna happen: the ‘proud’, wicked and ungrateful Europeans, who seem to have decided to get rid of Christianity that keeps Europe from being a hell on earth, are now unconsciously throwing down the ladder by which they themselves have climbed. There are some signs now that The Holy Spirit is departing from the West to the East, in the direction of China, and there is no reward more expensive and precious than the Christian faith.
 
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you“ [Genesis 12:3]
 
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America
 
It is said to be China’s biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshipers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.
 
The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a “miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church”.
 
The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China’s breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.
 
“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence,” beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi’s altar in the lead up to Holy Week.
 
“If everyone in China believed in Jesus then we would have no more need for police stations. There would be no more bad people and therefore no more crime,” she added.
 
Continue reading…
 

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