Fourth News Update of 1998


  • Birthpangs grow stronger
  • Crisis Management
  • Jesus Asleep in the Boat!
  • Truth our only ally
  • Waiting on the Lord
  • Pressure brings Growth
  • Are You SAD?
  • Melatonin may be the Culprit
  • Melatonin Should Be Avoided
  • The Bible under Attack
  • Alpha Course goes Nationwide
  • The Insufficient Gospel
  • Confession is not just Words
  • Millennium Dome News

  • A short while back, I said jokingly to a friend "Soon be Christmas!" and she groaned, as did I - the thought of the Spring and Summer shooting by, and yet another Christmas coming round seemed dreadful then.

    Not long afterwards she told me, "I just saw the first Christmas cards in the shops" - this was early August!

    Now - well, what can I say? What little bit of Summer we had is gone, the cold winds are back, soon there will be no leaves on the trees, the nights will draw in again and Christmas will no longer be a distant joke but a reality. [And by the way, I intend, at last, to turn my Christmas File into a PDF and place it on the website. For many years I felt the time was not right and that my thoughts and beliefs about Christmas were a private thing between me and God. This year I feel the time has come to go public, and I'll be starting work on the Christmas Report when I next have a free slot.]

    Another year nearly over and gone. We remnant Christians seem to be in an extended limbo (perhaps this is what the Lord meant when he said we would be dozing off, feeling the time of waiting was overlong.) Nothing much appears to be happening, yet at the same time, under the surface, so MUCH is happening. As in a volcano, there are rumblings and movements under the crust and the occasional puff of smoke out of a vent, all speaking of something yet to come.

    The "birthpangs" are coming stronger and closer together each year:

    • Nations shaken by financial breakdown and economic decay - especially in Asia and Russia; threat of global economic catastrophe and a recession to match the 1930's.
    • Year 2000 bug set to cause chaos all round the world.
    • European Unity marches on, trampling all objectors. Single currency due to be launched shortly, causing yet more chaos in the financial markets.
    • Unusual and devastating weather everywhere, including floods, hurricanes and heatwaves; increasing disturbances of the earth such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
    • Unusual activity in the sun. Threat of disruption to satellites and electronic devices when sun-spots hit soon.
    • President Clinton's authority severely damaged. Yeltsin - ditto. Communism likely to reappear in Russia. Helmut Kohl of Germany also on the way out.
    • Wars continue to ravage African states, and other countries, with thousands being killed by direct violence, famine and the effects of warfare.
    • Ever-increasing threat of chemical and/or biological warfare. More nations developing nuclear warheads, including some unstable empires.
    • Violence and persecution against Christians increasing, with fundamentalist Muslims butchering many in Egypt and other African states. The media, including advertising, becomes ever-more anti-Christian with blasphemous attacks on God and ridicule of Christians. The Bible is eroded in the public eye, and children are no longer taught about Jesus Christ.
    • Virulent new diseases and viruses appear, and at the same time antibiotics and other weapons against disease are becoming less effective.
    • Peace policies failing in Israel and Ireland, and increasing desperation to force the issue.
    • No let-up in the advance of unbiblical doctrines, and ungodly activities in the Church worldwide. The push for unity continues.
    • First public trial run of a microchip implanted into a human being. Increased use of "biometrics" for PIN numbers, and increased used of Smart Cards; surveillance devices increase year by year, and privacy is eroded little by little.
    • Computer technology linking with TV and other media to form one united interactive network, worldwide. The internet becomes more widespread with the aim of linking all people in a global network. Online banking and e-cash raises the spectre of electronic devices being the only access to funds in the future.
    • Marriage, morality, the family, the Church and all kinds of decent behaviour increasingly despised. Children are out of control, poorly educated and without discipline. Education is failing. Homosexuality, pornography, perversions and indecency floods in, along with drug and alcohol abuse. The arts are steadily being degraded, fashion becomes a parade of near-naked anorexic young girls, music becomes ever more degenerate and demonic. Satanic religions are allowed to flourish with no real check. Violence in society increases annually, and becomes ever more vile.

      And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (Luke 21:28-31)

    Time and again, through many people and in various ways, the Lord keeps warning us to be on guard because a crisis is on the way. He keeps saying "be prepared - be ready!" But He's not telling us EXACTLY when, nor EXACTLY what (that's why we need faith.)

    The problem is, while we know we need to make ready, the trials, stresses, worries and anxieties are making it terribly difficult to stay on track. At the very time we most need a solid foundation, the floor is moving beneath our feet!

    It has recently been remarked that the greatest new movement today is of Christians leaving their churches! I'm sure this is true, and I don't see it as an entirely bad thing. What COULD happen to all these people is that they are forged by God into the most devout and spiritually powerful group of intercessors and evangelists the world has ever seen. A group called out to do a short, sharp work in the endtimes, just before they are taken home.

    Crisis Management

    I want to do a little speculation on the prospects for that mission, and its result. If things go on as they are in this world, then a crisis will undoubtedly come, created either by man's arrogance and stupidity or by a direct catastrophe allowed by God, such as massive earthquakes or an asteroid strike. Whatever it is (perhaps a combination of things) the whole world will be thrown into turmoil and panic.

    This is the time the satanists know as "helter-skelter" when everything breaks down and the New Order emerges; it's also the time looked for by many religions as the crisis that will bring to birth the New Age. My point is, this crisis will not be unwelcome in some circles, and the prospect of millions being killed is actually a cause for rejoicing with some. A global catastrophe is JUST what is needed, they say, to clear the decks for a whole new humanity that thinks in a different way.

    At that time, there will be two stark choices facing mankind. Repent, and turn to God, or pull together as a Global Community to weather the storm and create a transformed society for the survivors.

    Of course we Christians already know from the Bible two things about this time of world crisis: (a) mankind won't repent and (b) there's NO prospect for human survival outside of God.

    That is what makes US such a powerful force for prophetic evangelism, and also a terrible thorn in the side of the globalists.

    So, it seems obvious to me that, if such a crisis does arise, we will be called upon to preach an uncompromising message in order to issue the last warning from God to mankind. While the media is calling people to believe in the power of human ingenuity, and all governments are working together to face up to the crisis, WE little band have the audacity to tell them it's a judgement from God, and they must either repent of their wickedness or suffer the consequences.

    Can you picture the scene? Everywhere you go, there's panic, and the only hope on offer is "believe in your leaders, trust in the innate love and strength of mankind, and in a massive demonstration of world harmony, visualise and activate deliverance from this evil day."

    Then along comes some unknown little man or woman and cuts across this positive message of hope, with his/her insane babblings about the Bible and sin and judgement, as if adopting the rituals of an outmoded and moralistic religion like Christianity could make any difference!

    Even worse, as the leaders explain, this negative thinking is destroying mankind's only chance for survival. It's bad for morale! It's spreading doom and gloom! It's contradicting our unified message of peace and goodwill.

    So the only thing to do is confine these pesky Christians and shut their mouths before they can do any real damage.

    Interestingly, if you look at what Jesus said about ministry leading up to the Coming, it speaks of just these things.

    Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

    Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement than for that city!

    Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

    But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

    Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

    When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matt 10:11-23 NKJ)

    Now if there's any truth in this scenario of mine, it helps me to understand two things - the reason for this prolonged time of preparation and purging, and the reason for satan's great hatred of us as a group of remnant Christians. If we are indeed going to be God's voice of warning and rebuke, then we can understand why these vicious attacks are coming against us, trying to make us waver off the path of obedience.

    Is the task of "snatching some from the fire" a mission you would happily accept from God? Do you have a love for the unsaved? Do you have a deep yearning to reach out to any remaining souls who might turn away from the wrath of God in the last days? Is your heart still filled with love and pity for Christians who have unwittingly been caught up in error, and are now looking for deliverance? Then maybe God is preparing you to be his minister of the gospel!

    Maybe we could be used by God to make a positive contribution in the last days, instead of just hunkering down and waiting for the Rapture? Maybe when things get really rough, some of our friends and neighbours, and fellow believers, will look to us for guidance, help, support - and we'll be able to help in time of need? I'd love to believe that. I do believe in miracles - and that's what it will take!! A miracle will be needed to knock us into shape!

    I don't see any real signs of strength in the Remnant at this time - quite the reverse. I feel a lot of the Christians who are coming out of their churches are in danger of getting sucked up by the next popular move. (I hope I'm wrong.)

    As for those who are still "in the wilderness" - what is the state of play? Difficult to say, but if my experiences and those of my contacts are anything to go by, there's a lot of struggling going on. People are confused, without real direction. They are spiritually dry, and very weary.

    Now, it's one thing to say that we are in God's hand (we are) and to see that at the end of the road there is purpose in the shaking (there is) but to live through despair and trials is never pleasant.

    Some are having difficulties and even tragedies, and have no real answer to their prayers. Some feel desperately lonely, even abandoned. Some yearn for genuine worship and fellowship but just can't find it. Some have had their faith shaken and no longer know what to believe. Family troubles? Marital problems? Financial need? Maybe you are suffering and hurting, but you're keeping these things under your hat, fearful of being judged as "weak" or "lacking in faith"? Maybe you even think God has rejected you, or that you have sinned, somehow? Take courage, believer - you are NOT ALONE. God's blessings don't come easy now, and life is an uphill struggle - but not because God has changed his mind towards us! Something is happening that is putting us through the wringer.

    I have known periods of dryness before (none as bad as this present one) and each time it was a preparation for a new move of God in my life, though I failed to see that at the time. As we shall see in a moment, under trial we human beings tend to forget the long focus and get caught up in the anxiety of the moment.

    It was not easy for the Israelites, either, to see why God sent them through a waterless desert but there was a purpose behind it:

    And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (Deut 8:2-3 NKJ)

    Jesus Asleep in the Boat!

    Everything we hold dear, everything we believe, is being tested. And I mean everything. But God has not deserted us. I think I can best illustrate this with a Bible event - one that the Lord brought to mind when I was seeking Him for answers:

    VERSION ONE: On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:35-41)

    VERSION TWO: Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? (Luke 8:22-25)

    VERSION THREE: And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. (Matt 8:24-27)

    If you will, put yourself in the place of those disciples - and remember these were men who were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. They loved and trusted their Master, and depended on Him - and when the storm arose, HE WAS ASLEEP!

    Compare the accounts above. This was no slight breeze - they were in danger of being overturned and drowned. Many of these men were fishermen, used to sailing and the water. They had been in storms before, but here was something terrible that they felt unable to handle. Something altogether beyond their experience and abilities as men. And at the moment they needed Jesus most, He didn't seem to be there for them. "Don't you care, Lord? Don't you care that we are in danger, in jeopardy, perishing?"

    "Here we are, tossed about, in the worst storm we have ever known - and all this while we have followed you, watched you do miracles, seen your power and authority. We KNOW you could save us! We KNOW that you love us and care for us. So how can you let this be happening to us, your disciples? How can you be asleep at such a time as this? Wake up, Lord, and do something!!"

    And what was the Lord's response? Well, apart from calming the storm - he REBUKED THEM. "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"

    I have been trying to grasp this. Why are you so fearful? DUH! The boat is sinking! I know if I'd been there I would have reacted just as they did - I would have been afraid, and perhaps blamed Jesus for being able to sleep through it, and not helping bale out the boat with me.

    Obviously that's the wrong answer. Jesus would not rebuke his followers if there was no need. They failed. I've failed - because on occasion that's my reaction too. I'm hurting, I'm afraid and I want him to bale me out - and he doesn't. Are you guilty of this, too? So we need to learn from this passage of scripture.

    This story is a perfect description of what we are going through now, and our reactions are just like those disciples. (You could even see this as a parable, if you like - for it took place "in the evening" - the endtimes of the world - and they had separated "from the multitude" and set out to "go over to the other side".)

    Truth Our Only Ally

    I think my days of trite answers are over. I've had my balloon of hot air punctured by reality. Just lobbing scripture verses at one another is not enough - now we have to be grounded in the TRUTH. There are no easy answers to the problem of suffering.

    We just MUST face up to the facts and be truthful about our situation - truthful to God, and to ourselves. (Even if not to others! Sometimes it's wise not to draw attention to our situation and receive hurtful comments about things that others do not understand. Remember Job's comforters?)

    If you are crying inside, let it outside, and cry out to God. He understands. If your prayers don't seem to be answered, tell God. He isn't afraid of your confusion and doubts, nor even of your anger, if that's how you honestly feel. I am sure God would rather have you rant and rave a bit than bottle it all up and be a hypocrite.

    Admit it - there are things that you don't understand; prayers you make that are not answered; times when He seems far away. His blessing come, but at imprecise moments and for no particular reason. You can't work things out. You can't decide what to depend on any more. Everything seems to be in flux, moving around you and slipping. What once seemed easy is now hard, and you appear to be moving backwards instead of forwards... any of this sound familiar?

    Have you felt like the disciples in that boat? There are times it seems like God isn't listening. There are times it seems like He doesn't care. (Go on - be honest.) The waves are worse than you have ever seen, and the one Person you depend on to protect you does not appear to be home to callers!

    Some have preached a message about suffering that left Christians ill-prepared for today. It has been suggested we could reach a point of spiritual maturity and have such deep revelation of the Word that we could overcome every troublesome thing and live in continual victory. Then - shock! Horror! We discovered it's not true.

    There's no guarantee that you and I will never suffer in this life! [Job discovered that.] Look for it in the Bible, but you won't find it.

    For the disciples in that rocking, sinking boat, there was no scriptural reason to believe they would not be overturned and possibly drowned. Jesus had never preached a "positive confession" message that kept them out of harm's way. Indeed, when he called out Paul to be his Apostle he said:

    ... he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." (Acts 9:15-16 NKJ)

    However, the disciples had committed themselves into the hands of Jesus, the Messiah. They had been chosen by Him. They had become the sheep of the Good Shepherd, and no shepherd lets his sheep be destroyed for want of watchfulness. Jesus may not have been actively doing anything, but that didn't mean he was uncaring, or unaware, or unable to help. He simply chose not to act until the appropriate time.

    Jesus the Lord had no problem with the storm. He wakes up, rebukes the storm and so much as says "What's the fuss? What's the panic? Why are you afraid - why are you not in faith that God is in control of everything?" But in the midst of the storm, we look at the boat, and the wind and the waves, and we get caught up in the moment, lose sight of the long-term goal, and fail to trust in God.

    And that's precisely what the devil is banking on! Can he shake us to the point of making us lose our nerve? Can he panic us? Can he make us look at the fierce storm raging around us, and take our eyes off the long-term Plan for our deliverance? While under testing, we have to "wait patiently on the Lord" But it's not easy.

    Waiting On The Lord

    Waiting on the Lord can be nerve-wracking, but we must never allow ourselves to get to the point of blaming him for his inactivity. Our sufferings are often of our own making, and even if they are not, if we are being asked to walk through the fiery trial it is for a good reason, and the Lord is allowing it for a purpose. He knows everything; He sees everything, and He will act when he chooses.

    Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret-- it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Ps 37:6-11 NKJ)

    The temptation is to blame God for not taking us out of trouble, but that's because we know so little of God's higher purposes. The crucifixion is a good case in point. How much did the disciples understand about the need for that terrible death?

    On the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus said to his followers:

    Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:32-33)

    Isn't that a contradiction, Jesus? If you have overcome the world, then why must we endure tribulation? Why don't you just eliminate suffering and protect us from harm?

    That's what the disciples in the boat must have thought. He is the Messiah. He has miraculous power. Then why isn't he awake and protecting us from the storm?

    That is what the disciples at the time of the crucifixion must have thought. He is the Messiah, the Saviour, the Redeemer. He can do all things. He even raises the dead. He says he has overcome the world, and yet he's under the power of his enemies, being nailed to a cross. It just doesn't make sense.

    But Jesus never promised that storms would not arise, but that HE WOULD BE WITH THEM in the storm. So it was for their lack of faith IN HIM that he rebuked them, and their inability to grasp that "all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and walk in His purposes". We do not put our faith in being REMOVED from trouble or suffering, but in being WITH HIM through it all. Jesus and His Bride are both "in the same boat", storms and all. We believe that He is the LORD, and therefore that nothing happens to us without his knowledge or permission.

    Right now, Jesus (metaphorically) may have chosen to take a nap in your boat, but that doesn't mean He has abandoned you. It's just that, this is His will - to put you under trial and testing, to humble you, to prove you and to know what is in your heart.

    It may FEEL like Jesus doesn't care about your terrible situation, and is not bothering to listen to your frantic cries for help - but remember that He has promised "I will never leave you nor forsake you". So you have a choice. Either He's still there, or He was lying! Which?

    At the appropriate time, Jesus did rise and still the storm. He saved them from death. Then they saw that Jesus was the Lord of the storm! He has authority over the wind and waves, and at his bidding they cease. As long as Jesus is in control, then there is nothing to fear - even in the storm!

    If you are going through troubled times (and are yet obedient and not backsliding) then you can be sure that God is controlling the amount and type of suffering you endure, and using it to produce something fine in your life.

    Pressure Brings Growth

    Biblically, pressure (tribulation) is needed to create something fine and good. Think how many of the bible's good things are produced under intense pressure and trial:

    • GOLD: purified through fire
    • WINE: produced by trampling the grapes
    • OIL: produced by pressing the olive
    • BREAD: produced by grinding the grain and kneading and firing the dough.

    Jesus Himself spoke of the need to pass through death in order to become fruitful. (True in both a literal and metaphorical way). The seed, he said, does not germinate and grow, nor produce a harvest, until it is hidden in the soil alone. This speaks of isolation and seclusion, being hidden in the darkness for a season, until God brings new life. Yes, the analogies are all there in the bible - we cannot avoid the conclusion that tribulation and trial comes before growth.

    So - if you are being pressured, maybe you are producing oil or wine? If you are going through the fire, maybe it's because God wants to refine you like gold. One of my favourite scriptures was spoken by Job, suffering even though righteous:

    Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:8-10 KJV)

    Let that be your confession and belief as the shaking continues.

    NOTE: you might be helped by David Wilkerson's recent article "A Message For Christians Who Have Bad Days" which is to be found by going directly to this site: http://misslink.org/chapel/teacher/ts980803.html

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    SAD people - help is at hand!

    Now a practical note.. I believe it might help some living in Northern climes, and even in the UK since we had such a dull, cool Summer.

    There is a recognised physical condition - the symptoms of which are a sense of lowness, depression, sleepiness and sluggishness - brought on by the lack of sufficient daylight entering the brain. Some people seem more susceptible to it than others. I did read that the Swedish Prime Minister is having a problem with depression after their long dull Summer - so I guess he may be a sufferer. Many are.

    This is no fanciful new-age health fad - fear not! Indeed, many people bear out the truth of this syndrome by remarking how much lighter and more go-ahead they feel with a few days of sun. This is not simply an emotional reaction, but a physical one. There is actually a measurable chemical effect in the brain when a sufficient amount of the right kind of light enters through the eyes. The production of serotonin is increased and boosted. This chemical (serotonin) produces feelings of well-being, calm and self-assurance. It also increases energy levels.

    On the other hand, levels of the "sleep-chemical" melatonin rise when there's not enough light on the eye. This makes us drowsy and slow. (It may account for the phenomenon of winter hibernation is animals.)

    (It has also been shown that jet-lag, insomnia and other problems are caused by disruptions to these particular brain chemicals.)

    When people do not receive enough of the right kind of light (because they work in an office all day, or are housebound, or live in countries with low levels of light, or are just more susceptible to it than others) they can suffer bouts of winter depression. This condition has been known about for many years, and it has been labelled S.A.D, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    Some people can have acute reactions, and even become suicidal. More commonly the symptoms are a craving for starchy foods such a bread and potatoes, over-sleeping, inability to get up in the mornings, tiredness, irritability, insomnia, depression and lack of concentration. These symptoms arrive with the Autumn and become progressively worse throughout Winter, until the longer days of Spring appear. NoSAD homepage lists the symptoms as:

    • depression starts when days get short
    • tired all the time
    • you just canít get going
    • increased appetite
    • weight gain
    • craving for carbohydrates
    • withdrawal from relationships
    • inability to concentrate or focus
    • anxiety and despair

    Many have suffered this for years, without knowing what it is, or what to do about it. Remedies have been tried, but the only real answer is to get enough light. The most effective cure is to make sure you spend more time outdoors. Second to that, you can buy a "light-box" and switch it on for about 20 minutes a day, to top up your levels.

    Ordinary light-bulbs will not work, however strong. It is necessary to buy special light-tubes with the correct spectrum of light, but thankfully these are becoming more available as the syndrome is recognised more and more.

    I myself bought a light-box many years ago, though I only need it in the darkest winter days. I find that if I use it at night (to light my office, for instance) I get TOO MUCH, and get hyper, then I can't sleep. Obviously something is happening that bears out the official findings.

    If all this rings a bell with you, try visiting the SADA websites, and finding out about light-boxes, and their availability in your area.

    Here are a couple of articles on the subject: (If you if not interested in knowing more about Seasonal Affective Disorder, click here to go to the next major subject.)

    Melatonin May Be The Culprit

    The pineal gland, whose exact function eluded scientists for centuries, senses changes in light and helps control the cycle of sleeping and waking. The tiny gland senses when light is shifting to darkness and begins to change one hormone - serotonin - into melatonin, which signals the body to sleep.

    Exactly how melatonin does that is still not fully understood, said Dr. Yomg Park, a paediatric neurologist and associate director of the Georgia Sleep Center. The hormone lightens the skin pigmentation and inhibits oestrus. Sunlight inhibits its secretion.

    Melatonin may be the culprit behind the "winter blues." Augusta researcher Albert Milliron and others studied soldiers in Alaska, where the amount of daylight varies from 21 hours a day in the summer to three hours in the winter.

    Studying soldiers who followed a highly regimented schedule, they found that during the summer the soldiers had trouble sleeping and were producing little melatonin.

    During the winter, melatonin would peak at 8 a.m., when soldiers were supposed to be coming wide awake, leaving them depressed.

    The hormone may also play a part in depression among some people as days grow shorter and winter approaches, a condition known as seasonal affective disorder.

    If you would like more information on melatonin on the internet, Augusta's Albert N. Milliron has a world wide web site at http://members.aol.com/mindbend2 or http://www.geocities.com/hotsprings/6013

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    Melatonin Tablets Should Be Avoided

    • Date: 1996-12-06 13:59:32 EST
    • From: NetProphet News Service Press Release
    • For More Information, E-mail: Mindbend2@aol.com

      Melatonin is being fashioned as the new wonder drug throughout the country. [USA] Melatonin has been featured in Newsweek, Time, 20/20, and is the subject of many new books. It is being paraded as the Hormone to cure sleep disturbances, halt the ageing process, and a cancer deterrent, but according to Albert Milliron known researcher on Melatonin in Alaska, "high Melatonin is one of the underlying causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)."

      [NB: Melatonin is not available as an across-the-counter health supplement in the UK]

      "What the health food stores are not telling you is that Melatonin may cause decreased cognitive functioning, increased depression, and may be a contributing factor of other psychiatric disorders such as alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and others".

    What you may find, with the approaching Winter months is that people who normally had no symptoms of winter depression (SAD) will experience increases in sleep, depression, decreased libido, and lack of productivity. Hibernation in animals during the winter months is directly linked with Melatonin. So what may happen is a hibernation type response.

    Lack of sunlight naturally increases Melatonin in the system and allows for other hormones like Cortisol to decrease. If a person is talking this natural occurring hormone orally, a phase shift in hormones may take place, and cause symptoms like Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    In the Northern regions the incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder or Winter blues occurs in nearly one in four. There is also an increase, much greater than the national average, of domestic violence, depression, alcoholism, and suicide that may be linked with Melatonin.

    The symptoms of SAD are treated with full spectrum light therapy (to reduce Melatonin) and antidepressants. Milliron states, "I have great concerns regarding the use of Melatonin orally due to underlying physiology being tampered with and causing possible hormone imbalances during the winter months. I strongly recommend people consult a Doctor prior to using Melatonin."

    (Albert N. Milliron is a Seasonal Affective Disorder researcher whose work is found in Arctic Medical Research, The Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, and is quoted and referenced in the Books, Melatonin The Anti-aging Hormone, by Suzanne LeVert and Melatonin, Natures Sleeping Pill, by Ray Sahielian. He is also a well known speaker on the subject of melatonin and alcoholism. )


    NoSAD homepage

    S.A.D Home

    IN THE UNITED KINGDOM - write to the following address:

    SADA - the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (UK)

    SADA is the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association. It is a UK registered charity (No. 800917) which is there to help people with SAD by providing information. It organises meetings for sufferers and professionals, it has a nationwide network of support groups, it provides SAD information packs to sufferers, to health professionals and to the media. It keeps an eye on scientific developments in the field. SADA was founded by Jennifer Eastwood in 1985. SADA has now grown into a professional organisation. The annual membership fee is very reasonable, and well worth it.

    To obtain information send a Self-addressed Stamped Envelope to: The Secretary, SADA, PO Box 989, London SW7 2PZ.

    Bible Under Attack

    A new Bible series (KJV version) with lengthy critical introductions is causing a stir, and Paul Slennett, who runs SCB Services in Essex has resigned as the sole distributor of the Pocket Canons, published by Canongate, after reading the introductions.

    In his letter of resignation, Slennett claims the introductions to the books are irreverent, and in some cases blasphemous.

    He has enlisted the help of a Christian solicitor (Tony Bennett) to take Canongate to court on charges of blasphemy if the sale of the books goes ahead next month as planned.

    Tony Bennett has circulated a six page analysis of the introductions to Christian booksellers, asking them to boycott the books.

    The Pocket Canon, licensed by the Scottish Bible Board, is supposedly "thought-provoking" but the introductions, written by various non-Christian personalities, are critical of Christianity, the Bible and in some cases God.

    In particular, the introduction to the book of Job by Louis de Bernieres (author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin) says that God is "an unpleasantly sarcastic megalomaniac" and a "frivolous trickster".

    Jamie Byng, the Publisher at Canongate says the complaints would not halt the publication. "This [the Bible] is not a text they own, as Christians" he said.

    Excerpts from the introductions were printed in the Sunday Mail last Sunday (5th September). The three featured were by Will Self, (journalist and writer) Nick Cave (a musician) and the writer Fay Weldon.

    Fay Weldon writes a vitriolic piece against the Apostle Paul whom she considers a turncoat, slippery, power-obsessed and "the very Mandelson of religious politics, demanding his united front".

    Will Self tells a lurid story of early experiences with drugs and sex, and of a young man who became obsessed by the Book of Revelation (though not a Christian). Will Self himself read it "once" and "found it a sick text; I never want to read it again" He says "there's something not quite right about Revelation..."

    Nick Cave tells of his repugnance of the Old Testament and its "maniacal God who dealt out to humanity punishments that had me drop-jawed in disbelief at their vengefulness". He concludes that God is malign, even evil. He says that he left this stage behind, having tired of "watching a whacked out God tormenting a wretched humanity."

    On being advised to read the book of Mark, he then sees Jesus Christ as a human being with all the frailties of mankind and warms to him, only to berate the Church even more for "denying Christ his humanity".

    These three extracts illustrate the problem we have before us. The only reason anyone should chose to introduce the scriptures to people unlikely to have read them before with these scurrilous attacks is surely to denigrate the scriptures even further and cause them to descend to the place of "classical" but unwanted fiction, rather like the works of the Marquis De Sade.

    One can only hope and pray that for some people the scriptures will speak for themselves and rise above these attacks! God needs no apologetics, and his Word still has that ancient power to convince, convict and convert. So maybe the publishers will shoot themselves in the foot?

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    Alpha Course Goes Nationwide

    The Alpha Course is going to be the vehicle for a major push in "evangelism" this Autumn. It's being used by hundreds of participating churches throughout England and Scotland to attract unbelievers to the Church.

    Article in The Scotsman newspaper, 10th September 1998:


    Photo: Advertising hoarding - "You're born. You live. You die. End of story? The Alpha course. Starting soon at a church near you."

    More than 4,000 churches of all denominations started a £1 million advertising campaign yesterday to get more people interested in Christianity. It is the biggest interdenominational advertising campaign organised in Britain. From next week, 5,500 billboards will carry slogans such as "You're born. You live. You die. End of Story?". Adverts will also appear in more that 100 newspapers.

    Churches around Britain, including about 130 in Scotland, will try to encourage non-believers or those curious about Christianity to attend a ten week course for one evening a week.

    All the churches will be running the "Alpha course", which was developed at Holy Trinity Church in Brompton, London, more than 20 years ago.

    A total of 6,143 churches including Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and Anglican are registered to run the course, which is described as a light-hearted introduction to the Christian faith.

    The Alpha course has been credited with reviving church membership in areas where it has been taught. Mark Elsdon-Dew, the communications director of Holy Trinity, said that each church had been invited to donate £100 in order to take part, though some gave more. In addition, church members who were involved in the advertising industry donated their time without payment.

    The courses have attracted people from a range of backgrounds, ranging from those who do not believe in any religion to those who think there might be something in Christianity.

    "It is an evening out and there is a presentation each evening on some aspect of Christianity, but it is presented in a light hearted way", Mr Eldson-Dew said. "We are almost certain that there has never been a campaign before where so many different churches have all come together supporting the same initiative."

    The Rev. Nicky Gumbel, the Alpha course chaplain at Holy Trinity, added that he felt there was a "spiritual hunger" in the country. Not everyone would become a committed Christian because of the course, but all the participants would take something with them.

    "It's an opportunity for people to explore issues, to ask questions and to find out more. No one is pressured into making decisions."

    Father Tom Connolly, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said it was not involved in the Alpha course on a national level. But he added: "It sounds like an excellent initiative because anything that can attract people to the Christian Gospel is to be welcomed."

    Andy Lawson-Johnston, of St Andrews Episcopal Church in Alford, Grampian, one of the co-ordinators of the campaign in Scotland, said "By making a modest individual commitment, but by making it collectively, churches in Scotland have been able to join with churches throughout the UK to mount a powerful national campaign which we hope will bear fruit directly in towns and villages throughout the area."

    The campaign starts as a survey revealed that Sir Cliff Richard was a more famous Christian than the Pope and is just 1 per cent behind Jesus Christ in the recognition stakes. Of the 253 people of all ages in Downham Market, Norfolk, who were asked to name a famous Christian, 9 percent went for Jesus followed by 8 percent for Sir Cliff. Mother Teresa was third with 5 percent and the evangelist Billy Graham and civil rights leader Martin Luther King each came fourth, followed by John the Baptist, St Peter and John Wesley. The Pope came ninth and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was 14th.

    (For those unfamiliar with the Alpha Course, there's an article on this website to explain it.)

    In a climate of uninformed and undiscriminating spiritual hunger [* but see this note], we can perhaps thank God that this campaign is at least in some terms broadly Christian, though we now face the prospect of yet more people making "a commitment" to a religion (albeit Christianity) to the established Church (mostly apostate) and to a spiritual experience (of a spirit, not of the Saviour Jesus Christ in most cases.)

    It's a known fact that it is more difficult to evangelise nominal Christians, and people who believe they are already saved, rather than out-and-out heathens. Once people get some kind of satisfaction for their spiritual yearnings, they settle into a routine, and look for nothing more. It will ultimately prove difficult if not impossible to convert people who think they have found the answer for their needs..

    And the kind of churchianity now on offer has much to please the nominal Christian - welfare schemes to soothe the trouble social conscience; music and entertainment a-plenty for the worldly soul, new friends and acceptance in a comfortable atmosphere of superficial love, and a spiritual buzz at almost every meeting. On top of which there's a glorious goal of transforming the world into a better, safer, prettier place.

    That's enough to satisfy the longings of almost every man and woman - especially since he or she will not have to give up the love of the world, nor conform to "outdated modes of morality" in order to participate.

    Rarely, churches might come across a person who can see through the hypocritical, superficial dross that Christianity has become today. This person will NOT be satisfied (though he or she will probably not know why, at first.)

    This person will chafe and squirm, feeling only guilt that he can't fit in. He'll endure some meetings, always wondering why he "can't get it". He'll be looking around at the others, thinking "why am I so different - what's wrong with me?" His desire for truth and reality will only grow more desperate, and so he'll go on looking until God leads him to the TRUE Saviour of his soul.

    The sadness is, this person will have to seek alone, and endure the criticism, rejection and disgust of the modern-day Church. Many "enlightened" members of the new movements in the Church actively dislike true biblical faith and spirituality. They pour scorn on a heavenly outlook, or love of and adherence to biblical doctrine. Such things, to them, are "old-fashioned". Increasingly, if people are born again of the Spirit of God, they will have been saved DESPITE the Church, not BECAUSE of it.

    I believe the churches (maybe unwittingly) have been sucked into a plot to create "members" instead of born-again Christians!

    With perhaps the best of intentions, they are colluding with a plan to liberalise the Church and to make it a place where anything goes (except dissent!), where people give their allegiance to a christianised religion, instead of to Jesus Christ; where people follow and obey their Pastors and Priests, instead of God and the Holy Spirit.

    As a result, true evangelism is going to take place more and more outside conventional churches. It will be once again as it was in the early days of the Church, where individuals speak to their neighbours and friends, without courses and bible study books, simply with a heart of love for others, and with the anointing of the Spirit. They will just feel led to invite somebody home for a cup of tea, and a chat about this glorious coming Lord.

    The real spiritual hunger is for peace, forgiveness, assurance of salvation, and a personal knowledge of the living God. THAT can only be answered by biblical faith in Jesus Christ. While there are still British churches (thank God) who DO know the true gospel and who ARE reaching out to the lost with a biblical redemption, there are so many more who are not.

    So if there is really to be a short time of evangelism to harvest the lost before the Lord comes, I expect it to be a one-to-one personal outreach rather than a huge advertising campaign and a suspect course that triggers the desire to "have a spiritual experience".

    NOTE: Although we are constantly being told (primarily by the Renewal Movement) that the world is spiritually hungry and looking for inner fulfilment, is this borne out by the facts? Holy Trinity Brompton, home of the Alpha Course, conducted a survey which suggests just the opposite is true. It revealed that most people feel contented and fulfilled (at least in the UK.)

    The survey showed that most people are not religious, nor do they have a desire to seek for inner meaning for their lives. Eleven percent of people felt "totally fulfilled", 64 percent were "somewhat fulfilled" and only 5 percent were "totally unfulfilled". Less than one in five people felt the need to explore the meaning of life, and they valued the daily newspaper and TV soaps more than the Bible.

    Although a majority of people in England still put "Church of England" on official forms when asked their religion, 39 percent said they were "not religious" and 42 percent were only "somewhat religious" - that's a massive 81 percent of the population that have little to no interest in religion, let alone Christianity.

    Spiritual revival? Are you kidding?????

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    The Insufficient Gospel

    Have you noticed that biblical evangelism is a lost art? While many big ministries have carefully crafted statements of faith that comply with biblical doctrine (vetted by their lawyers and scholars to make sure there are no loopholes!) in practise they do NOT preach a sound gospel message of salvation.

    One case in point is the "salvation message" of Kenneth Copeland, to be found in one of his recent magazine issues ("Voice of Victory") and also at this website: Heaven or Hell?

    The prayer of salvation according to Copeland is as follows:

    Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).

    I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.

    I am now reborn! I am a Christian - a child of Almighty God! I am saved!

    You also said in Your Word, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: HOW MUCH MORE shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13).

    I'm also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me the utterance (Acts 2:4).

    Begin to praise God for filling you with the Holy Spirit. Speak those words and syllables you receive - not in your own language, but the language given to you by the Holy Spirit. You have to use your own voice. God will not force you to speak.

    Now you are a Spirit-filled believer. Continue with the blessing God has given you and pray in tongues each day. You'll never be the same! Find a good Word of God preaching church, and become a part of a church family who will love and care for you as you love and care for them. We need to be hooked up to each other. It increases our strength in God. It's God's plan for us.

    To summarise, you (a) believe and say that Jesus is Lord, and (b) ask for the Spirit, and start speaking in tongues. Then "I'm born again" - but ARE YOU?

    This prayer is wrenching scriptures out of their context and presenting them as a ritual - doesn't the Bible warn us against such superficiality? Even the demons believe that Jesus is Lord, and they tremble! Of course Jesus is Lord - and confessing it (in the sense of saying it out loud) is no magic cure for sin. It is only to state the obvious.

    First of all, the scripture from Acts used in the above prayer is in the context of the destruction of the last days and the Coming of Jesus, when men will seek deliverance from wrath:

    The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:20-21)

    This scripture comes originally from the book of Joel, (2:31-32) and was quoted by Peter at Pentecost, and by Paul in Romans 10. In Joel, the great and terrible Day of the Lord causes everyone to make a decision either to deny Jesus and to look to humanity and other gods for deliverance, or to humble themselves under the hand of God Almighty, acknowledging their sin, their culpability, and their total inability to save themselves.

    Nobody in that crisis situation would be unaware of the power of God, the wrath of God, nor the penalties for sin. Nor would they be unaware that Jesus Christ was indeed the Lord, the Messiah, the Saviour. Therefore, whoever consciously and deliberately turned to Jesus and called upon him for deliverance would be rejecting all hope in human means of salvation. By their calling upon Jesus they would be acknowledging their desperate need, which no other Person but He could satisfy.

    All this is a far cry from the casual, emotion-driven, self-centred "call" which a reader might make after reading the Copeland page! This trivialises the promise of salvation and turns it into "one-stop-shopping".

    Confession of Jesus as Lord is MUCH more than a form of words, a mantra, or a "positive confession" . It must come from an intelligent examination and an understanding of what that Lordship entails, and what it implies. It must come in the context of having heard the full gospel message, understood it, and believed it.

    Let's put that scripture of Copeland's into its biblical context (Rom 10:12-17)

    For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? ... So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Confession is Not Just Words

    The term "confess Christ" in the bible is NOT just "making a positive confession". Far from it. It is not about words, but about a binding covenant, intelligently agreed between two consenting parties.

    To make confession is in Greek HOMOLOGEO. It is made up of two Greek words 1. HOMOU (together) and 2. LOGO (to speak); thus to "assent, be in accord with, agree together with".

    This means that a person needs to KNOW and UNDERSTAND the meaning of the life and death of Jesus Christ, before he can possibly AGREE with that meaning personally. In order to confess Christ, a person has to see the need for redemption from sin, and see that Jesus is the only Way of Salvation.

    To confess means that a person gives unqualified allegiance to Jesus as LORD (over every part of his or her life) and to accept him as GOD - that is, putting him in first place in worship, love, devotion and obedience.

    For a first-century Jew to confess that "Jesus is Lord" he would have to deny his culture, synagogue, heritage, religion and probably his family, too. (Maybe even his life).

    John 9:22 ... the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he [Jesus] was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

    John 12:42-43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

    Being Re-Born is Not Trivial

    I take issue with Copeland in leading a person to say "I am reborn" simply because he or she has repeated the prayer above, probably without understanding the deeper issues.

    To be "reborn" is to experience a Second Birth - and that event can be as momentous and traumatic as the first birth. The Holy Spirit of God is involved. God is being asked to bring the person's spirit to life in a crucially important and everlasting way. This cannot be treated lightly. It is a very solemn moment in anyone's life, not to be taken for granted. There is no looking back from the point of rebirth, and it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

    If anyone were to repeat Copeland's prayer, lacking understanding of what this entailed, he would not be "born again", yet he would THINK he is. Then his REAL problems would begin - especially if immediately afterwards he is led to "begin speaking in tongues"!!!

    The Dumbing Down of Conversion

    The whole trend in the Church seems to be to trivialise the salvation offered in Jesus. It is often claimed that "thousands are saved" at renewal meetings and the like. No doubt something is happening to "thousands" but is it the salvation we read about in the Word of God?

    Are these people really reborn? Or is it that the eager thousands feel the need to be part of an exciting event, are swept up in the thrill of a powerful new movement, sense their inadequacy as human beings, see that God can offer them more out of life, and sign up to "get" what they can out of it?

    These fair-weather Christians are like the plants that result from seed sown upon the pathways. They spring up quickly, but as soon as the heat of the sun strikes them they wither away and die.

    If the decision has not been taken in the full light of reason and intellectual consideration, knowing all the implications, and taking stock of what it might mean, then the commitment to Jesus will wear off at the first trial.

    Feelings fade; faith never does if it's genuine. Feelings of satisfaction soon pale into boredom, and the next thrill has to be even greater to keep the new convert's interest.

    It's not hard, at a large meeting, to engage a person's feelings (because most people do have secret feelings of guilt, longing, despair, inadequacy, loneliness and so on). It's not very difficult to persuade a trusting soul to come forward and get a blessing, but that blessing seems hollow the next morning after the razzmatazz and noise and excitement of the meeting are over.

    Then what? That poor trusting soul is as empty as before, but now he or she has to keep up a charade of "being a Christian" and "going to Church" in order not to appear hypocritical or a failure.

    When they tire of this new form of religion, and lose interest in meetings, how loyal will they be to the Saviour? (Or, indeed, to their fellow church-goers?)

    When persecution arises, and they are called upon to lay down everything for Him, how "christian" will they be then? As Jesus said "they have no root..." and that's because they have never been introduced to the roots of the faith that they profess.

    The real blame is in the leaders, who are manipulating the "thousands" to rush into something superficial they are not really ready for, which they neither understand nor fully appreciate.

    And the real problem is that afterwards these people - now church-goers and nominal believers - will resist any further efforts to evangelise them because they think they "are reborn".

    Some of them will turn into liberal scholars who will dissect the Bible and tear it into shreds; some will grow bitter against Jesus and the Church and turn into open enemies of the gospel; some of them will simply plod on - confused, inwardly despairing, and frustrated - and they will plunge ever deeper into "spiritual experiences" seeking the answer they can never find.

    Pity them! Pray for them! But also beware of them because the Church is filling up with disaffected, brooding, bitter, repressed souls that will take out their anger on YOU if you give them half a chance!

    One final piece of ongoing news:


    The Spirit Zone looking for Sponsors.

    Despite all the criticism about wasted money, and the disgust of two-thirds of the population, building on the Millennium Dome is continuing apace.

    Speculation about the enormous statue that would dominate the Body Zone ended when it was decided (true to my predictions about it!) that an androgynous, half man-half-woman figure would be used, joined at the hip.

    But the most important Zone for Christians was of course the Spirit Zone, with its black glass pyramid and Zen gardens, and so forth. It looks like no real Christian content will be seen at all, since the Church as a whole seems (as usual?) locked in disagreement/discussion and slow to take any appropriate action.

    The search for sponsors willing to fund development in the Spirit Zone came up with a big zero. It seems nobody wants to be associated with spiritual things! Then, a major Sponsor appeared on the horizon (but the rumour was quickly denied) - "unlimited millions" were on offer from a radical Sikh political party willing to save the Spirit Zone. The Sikh Council for Interfaith Relations. However, said it was unlikely that the small Sharomani Akali Dal, a group with about 50 members, would be able to fulfill their promises. (So I guess the Spirit Zone is still open to offers? I wonder if any of the big, loaded, Christian ministries would like to funnel some of their millions into the Zone, to make sure it's not hijacked by other religions. Nope, probably not!)

    One Church venture for the millennium is to send a candle and a "prayer" on a card to every household in the UK. This "prayer", to be recited over the burning candle at the moment of transition into the new year, owes more to new-age doctrine than Christian, and fails to mention or even allude to Jesus Christ or the Christian gospel. (See below)


    (Steve Doughty, Social Affairs Correspondent; Daily Mail 3/8/98)

    Church Officials have left God out of their main millennium campaign to avoid imposing the Christian message on the nation.

    They are planning to send a candle and a 'resolution' to every home in the country to spread a spiritual message amid the celebrations. But yesterday it emerged that the resolution will make no mention of God, Christ or any other Christian symbol.

    Instead it will say: 'Let there be respect for the Earth, peace for its people, love in our lives, delight in the good, forgiveness of past wrongs and from now on a new start.'

    Officials of Churches Together in England, the interdenominational group behind the £7million campaign, said it was important not to force Christianity on those who might otherwise be pleased to light the candle in their windows a few minutes before midnight on December 31 1999.

    The Rev.Stephen Lynas, one of the group's leaders, said: 'We do not think it is right to impose on people something with which they do not feel comfortable. The packages will contain letters saying they are a present from the local Christian church.' But the traditionalist Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev. John Broadhurst, said: 'It is extraordinary that the Christian leaders should secularise their unique contribution to the Millennium.'

    The move will undermine the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, in his battle to get more overtly Christian material in the Millennium Dome.

    In order to attract tourists to the Dome site, the British Tourist Authority is launching a worldwide campaign of advertising, but without promoting the religious or Christian aspects of the year 2000.

    It's seeing the millennium as "the greatest tourism opportunity this nation has ever known" but mention of Jesus Christ would be a real dampener. Over three million pounds is to be poured into the BTA advertising campaign, promoting the Dome and other cultural and environmental events, but they are deliberately leaving out the Christian aspects (what few there might be!). In their opinion, people can go to Israel to celebrate the 2000th birthday of Christ, if they choose, but to mention Christ in this country is a big turn-off, and wouldn't be so profitable.

    Personally, I don't see the year 2000 as the "birthday of Jesus" or anything especially Christian, so it doesn't bother me that the supposedly Christian elements are being ignored. What DOES bother me is the lily-livered Church that dares not speak of Jesus or the Gospel, and the anti-Christian attitude of the Government and Business world.

    Still - par for the course these days, isn't it?

    Come soon, Lord Jesus!

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