March 2013

 

 Monthly topical articles kindly supplied by a regular visiting speaker from Northampton:    Stan Burditt  .

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

           

  greenpastures@ntlworld.com  

                                                          

 

 

                                                             VIEW FROM THE PULPIT                      March Issue 2013

Waiving The Rules    A number of years ago my wife and I were in Antigua where I was holding Gospel meetings. One day our host took us to Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbour. Two things stick out in my mind. Firstly, the Officer’s quarters and other general buildings were built with London Stock bricks. Apparently, boats that carried sugar cane, cotton, bananas and other produce to the UK did not return empty, they carried loads of bricks to build and construct the Dockyard.

The second thing was, as we walked down the road to the quay there were ladies selling T-Shirts, one of which had Mickey Mouse having dreadlocks, with the words emblazoned ‘Mickey Gone Dread’. The artist turned Mickey into a Rastafarian!

One of the buildings had some historical dockyard artefacts in it and other interesting museum pieces. There was a visitor’s book to sign and record comments. In that section I wrote these words relating to Nelson’s day and our day, ‘In that day Britain ruled the waves, today, Britain waives the rules!’

Also dating back to 1735 is the prison in Antigua, where I have preached a couple of times. I would not think that an inmate there would relish a second custodial sentence, it was quite foreboding. When I preached at the prison in Doncaster UK, the facilities by comparison were 5* plus! Not only are there contrasting conditions between St. John’s prison in Antigua and Marshgate prison in Doncaster, but also the sentencing carried out. Murder in the UK carries no death penalty whereas a current murder case of a 38year old mother of five, being investigated in Antigua is subject to capital punishment. ‘Antigua & Barbuda is to begin actively enforcing the death penalty after a 22-year lull’, is one comment on Caribbean 360 (28th.Feb.)
Britain waived the rule on Capital Punishment in the sixties when Sydney Silverman’s private members bill became law, and a major plank of moral law, “Thou shalt not kill” was revoked.

More recently the legalizing of same-sex marriages has violated the law of marriage. This abominable decision destroys the sanctity of marriage between a male and a female. Marriage of a man and a woman has been since the dawn of time. God created male and female. It is good to refer to Genesis ch.2:21 to 25, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Clearly, this pattern of Adam and Eve coming together in marriage was set for time immemorial. Never to be between Adam and Steve, or, Madam and Eve which is totally unnatural.

The marriage service from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer reads,DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.

Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.

Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.’

I know that there can be variations of wording in the marriage service but up till recently it has always concerned the coming together of a man and a woman, this has now changed to make something that is unholy in the sight of God to be acceptable in the sight of the law.

 Already the consequences of this law-change have impacted upon the lives and occupation of some Christians. In America two women officials have vacated their position of assisting in same-sex marriage.  Rosemary Centi said, "I am Catholic, and my definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. It is a sacrament," Centi told the New York Post.

Her boss, Ken Runion, says he was taken aback and wonders if Centi is possibly breaking the law. “Regardless of personal beliefs, same-sex marriage is now legal and we have to follow the law,” Runion told CBS 6 last Thursday.

Just days earlier, another town clerk handed in her resignation; also saying her faith prevented her from doing her job with a clear conscience. “I cannot put my signature on something that is against God,” Laura Fotusky, town clerk for Barker, said in a statement in regards to issuing marriage licenses. The statement was made available on the website of conservative group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom. This waiving the rule leads to confusion and corruption of morals.

Jesus told a woman taken in adultery, “Go and sin no more” following with, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Wave good-bye to a life of sin and follow Christ. God bless.

Stan Burdit