CHRISTIAN MARTYRS ARE GROWING THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA

The death toll for Christians in Nigeria continues to rise to catastrophic proportions as the nation seems helpless or unwilling to stop bloodthirsty Islamic radicals targeting Christians in the region. Despite the Islamic terrorists group’s violence, thousands are coming to Christ according to Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs.

“Thousands of Fulani are following Jesus Christ. So this traditionally Muslim tribal group, ethnic group, thousands of them have left Islam behind and are now following Jesus Christ. So the church sees that and that tends to bridge some of these gaps, Nettleton said.

I have previously reported how the vicious Fulani Herdsmen reportedly marauded through Christian villages wearing camouflage and brandishing AK-47s, and burned down as many as 160 homes, leaving a trail of at least 39 murdered Christians in their wake.

Nigerian President Muhammed Buhari condemned the massacre of Christians on Twitter, calling them “vile, evil and satanic” and agreeing that the attacks seemed “clearly calculated” against Christians.

But despite President Buhari’s words, it appears the government has done little to stem the violence against Christians. Local religious leaders have even called for the president to resign, accusing him of leniency on the terrorists.

Another jihadist group Boko Haram—the vicious Nigerian jihadist army pledged to ISIS—orchestrated a deadly attack by disguising themselves as “preachers” and inviting Christian villagers to a service where they then massacred 45 congregants.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram violently abducted 110 schoolgirls from their village. Of those, five girls were killed while captive before 104 were ultimately released. Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu is still their prisoner because she refuses to bend to her captors’ demands that she renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

The violence against Africa’s Christians is spreading beyond the borders of Nigeria, and if no action is taken, will likely continue to sweep across the continent. In the natural this looks catastrophic which it is, but rest assured God is using it for His purposes.

In a recent deadly bus attack in Kenya the Al-Shabaab terrorists forced passengers to recite an Islamic oath and those who identified as Christian were mercilessly executed. Do these terrorists think this does the cause of Allah any good? Is this the God you would want to serve?

American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has gone directly to the United Nations, delivering a critical written submission asking for intervention for Nigeria’s Christians and warning of the grim outlook if action isn’t taken.

The least we can do is get our churches praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ in both the Middle East and Africa. Pray that they may understand what God is doing in each of these countries and cooperate with Him, to accomplish His purposes.

 

200 CHRISTIANS MURDERED IN PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

In a 60-hour killing spree about 200 Christians were slaughtered in Plateau State even as the U.S. ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback was departing Nigeria.

Sam Brownback’s one-week visit was pockmarked with six suicide bombings by Boko Haram in one day (the largest single day detonations), deadly Shiite clashes with the police, altercations between local Muslims and a community, and continuing killings by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.

 

The grand finale of this perfect storm of violence was the triple-digit massacre in Plateau State. 

Overnight, I have been inundated with photos too gruesome to share here of horribly mutilated bodies of children hacked to death and even after death for maximal horror effect, charred corpses and bodies stacked in mass graves.

Already the Fulani have justified this heinous crime against humanity.

The sad thing is this is not the first time, nor will it be the last. In 2012 when Fulani massacred over 60 Christian villagers in Plateau State, an executive of the same cattle-rearing group said the same thing.

Worse still, some of the communities attacked this weekend were attacked previously. One community was part of the notorious 2010 Dogo Na Hawa Massacre in which 500 Christians were killed.

That massacre eight years ago spurred me to launch the “Justice For Jos” project that has evolved to covering Boko Haram atrocities. Ironically, the Herdsmen atrocities have continued unabated while Boko Haram hogged the spotlight.

We hear reports that authorities have ordered mass burials to hide the true casualties.

In amongst the horror, a kind-hearted and brave Muslim cleric told the BBC how he saved about 262 Christians from being killed in the last attack in villages in Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen. He said “upon seeing victims fleeing from suspected herdsmen who attacked Nghar Yelwa village, I opened the door of the mosque and hid them.”

Report by Emmanuel Ogebe founded Jubilee Campaign’s Justice for Jos Project, in Abuja, Nigeria. 

A MESSAGE TO ALL PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

A Coptic Christian church’s worship service turned into a blood bath after a gunman opened fire, killing at least 11 people.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and many Christians were left wondering if they will ever be safe enough to worship Christ without fearing terrorism.

One young girl, Nesma Wael, was there when the attack happened and wrote a heartfelt message to the world published by BeeCatholic

“After Mass ended, I left the church with my cousin and my mother. My mom wore a cross around her neck, and all three of us were not wearing veils. In poorer neighborhoods, Muslim women often wear veils so they are distinguished from Christian women.

“As we turned into a side street, we saw someone on a motorcycle heading toward the church. The next thing we knew, the man crashed his bike after hitting a pothole. My mother ran up to him to help, reassuring him, as she said: ‘In the name of the Jesus Christ, are you okay?’ He got up quickly and in a blink of an eye he opened fire on us with an automatic weapon he pulled out from under his vest.

“As soon as my cousin and I saw the weapon, we hid behind mom, who shouted at us to run away; the terrorist first shot her in the arm, while she was trying to protect us; as we ran away, she fell down and could not escape with us. The distance between us and the terrorist when he first took out his machine gun was no more than a few feet. My cousin and I ran into a small supermarket, where the sales girl hid us behind the refrigerator; from our hiding spot, we watched the attacker looking for us. When he couldn’t find us he turned to mom again and fired more shots at her.

“All this happened in a few minutes. After the gunman left, we ran to my mother. Many people had gathered, but they all refused to touch my mom, to turn her over, even though she was still alive. I kept screaming for someone to help me, but no one did. I reached my uncle, who came right away.

“An ambulance pulled up, but the emergency workers refused to move Mama into the ambulance until they got permission from the security officials who were out in the streets, hunting for the terrorist, as well as another shooter who had attacked people in front of the church.

“A gun battle erupted, and people fled. My cousin, my uncle and I stayed with my mother. She looked at me, saying: ‘Do not be afraid, I’m with you. Obey your father and take care of your sister.’

“My mother remained laying in the street for about an hour. After the shooting stopped, I went back to the church to fetch my younger sister Karen, who is eight and had remained in church because the service for children had not finished yet—I saw three people I knew laying in pools of blood in front of the church; I knew they had been killed.

“By the time Mom was taken into the ambulance she had died.

I miss my mother desperately—I am happy because she is a martyr and I don’t feel afraid of the terrorists anymore. I was with her at the time of the attack and did not even get injured: it was God’s will to specifically choose her to go to heaven.

“I do not want to leave my country, but I certainly want to find a better chance to live and study, especially since our financial situation isn’t good. My dad, who is 35, works as a driver, but he has no regular work; my mother provided the main source of income for our family; she was a nurse at the Cairo Kidney Center. I hope to become a doctor of nephrology; that was my mom’s dream for me.

This is my message to all the persecuted people around the world: ‘Do not be afraid! Our lives are in God’s hands and we have to adhere to our faith.'”

PREPARE FOR THE NEXT ONSLAUGHT AGAINST THE BIBLE

Response by Dr Michael Brown, host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program to media on Attorney General, Jeff Sessions quoting Scripture.

“No sooner will we quote a passage from the Bible to a non-believer (or, to a believer of a different persuasion), then they will respond, “You can make the Bible mean whatever you want it to. Remember what Jeff Sessions said?”

Jeff Sessions

In case you somehow missed the massive, swirling controversy surrounding Sessions’ use of Romans 13, the headlines are everywhere.

  • In The Washington Post: “Jeff Sessions defended family separation with the Bible. John Oliver countered with Dr. Seuss.”
  • On CNN: “What does the Bible verse Jeff Sessions quoted really mean?”
  • In USA Today: “Why is Jeff Sessions quoting Romans 13 and why is the Bible verse so often invoked?”
  • In the Huffington Post: “Jeff Sessions Has Got the Bible All Wrong.”
  • In the Star Tribune: “Jeff Sessions, immigration and the Bible: The problems with citing a passage to support an opinion.”

On and on it goes, almost endlessly. Just search for “Jeff Sessions Bible,” and you’ll be flooded with relevant links.

In short, Sessions quoted Romans 13, which calls Christians to submit to the governing authorities, to explain to “church friends” why we must uphold our “zero-tolerance” immigration laws. His exact words were, “I would cite you to the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

If Sessions was simply saying that we are a nation of laws, and the Bible reminds us of the importance of obeying our laws, he was saying nothing extraordinary or outlandish.

Context will not matter. Sound interpretive methods will not matter. Logic and reason will not matter.

Instead, no matter what we say and no matter how accurately we say it, the rebuttal will be instant: “The Nazis quoted the Bible too.” Or, “You’re twisting the Bible, just like Jeff Sessions did.” Or, even, “Yeah, you sound just like Trump!” (Let’s be realistic. This will ultimately be tied back to Trump. So, if you’re a conservative evangelical— especially if you’re white—and you quote Scripture, you’re guilty of whatever sins Trump committed in his lifetime. I’m hardly exaggerating.)

I’ve watched over the years as anti-Bible lies become popular memes, which then become enshrined as established truth. An example would be, “You can’t trust the Bible. It’s a translation of a translation of a translation.”

Another would be, “Constantine changed the Bible in A.D. 325. We don’t have the original Bible today.”

Today, millions of people take these falsehoods to be gospel truths, while millions more misquote Jesus’ admonition not to judge. (For what He really meant, see here and here.)

And despite the apparent reverence for Scripture reflected in the liberal response to Sessions’ use of Romans 13 (as if the liberal media were grieved that the Bible was misused), what we’re really witnessing is an outright hostility to Scripture. That’s why Tom Gilson wrote a perceptive article titled, “The Washington Post Hates the Bible. If You’re Christian, It Hates You Too.”

You can expect to see that hatred manifest in the instant dismissal of our appeal to Scripture in the days ahead.

When we quote the Word, we’ll be compared to people who want to separate children from their parents (as is happening with the immigration crisis). We’ll be likened to brainless Trump supporters (regardless of the topic under discussion). And we’ll be reminded that the Bible really has no intentional message. “It means whatever you want it to mean.”

Watch and see.”

 

PASTOR GETS FIRED – IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT NEW WINE IN OLD WINE SKINS

When the church reaches out to the community, God turns up and Holy Spirit gifts are manifest. Why then would the pastor who started this move out into the community be fired. Listen to this pastor tell his story and decide what is the truth about the church in these “last days”.

Jesus said we will see division and strife in the church: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” Luke 12:51. As the church moves away from the inerrancy of Scripture we will see more division in the church. Come out from your church if you see compromise. It is impossible to put new wine into old wine skins.

The unity movement in the church in these “last days” is a move to one world church submitted to the Antichrist as revealed in Biblical prophecy. Deception is rife, but remember Jesus said in the “last days” that even the elect will be deceived.

GOD’S VALUES/GOD’S WORDS ARE NOW UNACCEPTABLE

“Happy pride everybody!” Canadian television host Jessi Cruickshank begins, while being met by a throng of cheers from the impressionable young children who took part in the video celebrating gay pride month.

This video is produced by the Canadian government. Take a look at the video and you will realise that this generation is being taught that God’s values/God’s Word are unacceptable, they are offensive and teach hate. At the same time, the Canadian government is beginning to ban certain “offensive” Bible verses. This is all happening at such an alarming rate, it just reinforces we are in the “end times” and need to know we are in the centre of God’s will for our lives. We need God’s heart for the lost, and have a sense of urgency to complete the great commission.

After asking the kids if they know what gay pride means, she says “that’s absolutely right, it’s a celebration of sexual diversity,” She then explains, “I’m not gay, but I’m a gay ally.” Cruickshank then puts the children on the spot and asks them if they, too, are gay allies.

“Are you gay allies?”

“Definitely!” the children respond. Cruickshank then goes on to ask the children a series of questions, including if they know what it means to come out of the closet and what their views on gay marriage are.

The conversation then takes a turn to gay icons, which ends up being a list of gay celebrities. But things take a darker turn when Jodi Foster is mentioned, and one of the kids thinks Foster is a boy. “Jodi Foster is a woman,” Cruickshank interjects. “And she made me question my sexuality when I was a child, because I liked her so much. And she was nude in the film Nell, not that I remember watching it several times as a child.”

 

LAST DAYS CHURCH WILL BE THE REMNANT THAT BELIEVES IN THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE

This video reveals what happens when you stand up for the authority of Scripture particularly when it challenges the church about going out to preach the Gospel – disciples making new disciples.

Jesus clearly says that new wine in old wine skins doesn’t work (Mark 2:22). It will burst the wine skins and the wine is spilled. What we are seeing now is that churches are splitting. It is the work of the Holy Spirit and we will see much more of it in the future. The more the kingdom of God grows, the more families and churches will be divided.

We hope this video will bless you, encourage you and help you to not compromise for the sake of a false peace, but stand firm on the truth and on the word of God. You can see that Joel and Torben love the church,  but there is a church system and a compromise that is not from God. Joël – a senior pastor – tells about how he got fired from his church after trying to reform it. Torben Søndergaard is also telling about how Christian leaders in Denmark are warning against and spreading lies about him and The Last Reformation. There are really a lot of lies and manipulation going on in churches. Let’s work together in the name of Jesus.

CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES COMPARED TO 9/11 TERRORISTS

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. 

This abbreviated article has been taken from his article When Christian Conservatives Are Compared to the 9/11 Terrorists in Charisma Magazine. It reveals how far and how quickly the west has departed from God’s righteous statutes. Fortunately, God warns us in His Word that this would happen in the “end times” just prior to His return.

“When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he stated clearly that marriage was the union of one man and one woman. And he knew he needed to do this to win the conservative, black vote. Today, you are branded a radical and a dangerous fanatic if you espouse that same view. You will be grilled by the tolerance inquisition!

Caitlyn Jenner poses at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Los Angeles.

Caitlyn Jenner poses at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Los Angeles. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Ten years ago, you would have laughed me to scorn if I told you Bruce Jenner would become Caitlyn Jenner and be named Woman of the Year. You would have ridiculed me if I told you the federal government would punish schools that refused to open the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms to boys who identified as girls.

Today, “transphobic” is a household word, a gender-confused teen has his own reality TV show and drag queens are reading stories to toddlers in libraries.

Ten years ago, you would have said “Impossible!” to the idea that a minor with unwanted same-sex attraction would be forbidden by law to receive professional counseling, even if that child expressly requested it and even if that child had been sexually abused. And you would have dismissed completely the notion that some states would seek to bar such counseling from adults as well.

Today, a number of states have outlawed this much-needed counseling for struggling minors, while California is poised to make it illegal for anyone of any age to receive professional help for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-confusion. That is the unvarnished, unembellished truth.

And what happens when we draw attention to this outrageous California bill? We are attacked as maniacs.

As one gay activist put it (specifically, in the context of my opposition to the California bill), “Brown is a religious zealot—a Christian convert—who is barely distinguishable from the folks who flew airplanes into buildings for their god. Unlike them, Brown is nonviolent. However, like those 9/11 maniacs, Brown substitutes literalist religious belief for logic, science and common sense. Brown, I think, relishes the negative attention and while I say that he is nonviolent he does equivalent violence to LGBT people every day through misinformation.”

This is what comes your way when you oppose radical LGBT activism. This is what you can expect when you take a stand for liberty and freedom. This is what happens when you tell the truth.

This same gay activist wrote, “In the final analysis, Michael Brown is an advocate of pseudoscience in order to conform the world to his religious beliefs. It should be noted that Brown sports a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages. Obviously, he has no training or work experience relative to human sexuality.”

And after claiming that there is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed through counseling or that gender-confused children can, with help, become at home in their own bodies, he writes, “If Michael Brown knows of more compelling research, he has not cited it. He has failed to make any meaningful argument in support of conversion therapy. Promoting the existence of this mythical approach only creates prejudice and discrimination. It serves no useful purpose. Come to think of it, Michael Brown serves no useful purpose. It is a cheap shot, but the guy rails against LGBT people all day, every day. Maybe he needs a new hobby.”

Actually, I and others have been citing scientific literature for years, along with an endless number of personal anecdotes from friends and colleagues. (I’m talking about former homosexuals and former transgenders.) But whoever we cite gets discredited immediately, since the psychologists and psychiatrists and therapists and scholars do not adhere to the standard LGBT talking points.

Ryan Anderson provides ample scientific literature about transgender issues in his new book, while a major review of scientific literature by two prominent psychologists addresses broader issues of sexual orientation change as well. Be assured that the science is there.

This, however, is not to deny that there are many gays and transgenders who have tried to change, without success. They have suffered depression and fear and self-loathing, spiraling even deeper into hopeless after unsuccessful therapy efforts. I do not minimize their struggles, I do not pretend to be able to relate to what they have endured, and I constantly call on the church to show great compassion to such strugglers.

But to each of them—and to the critics who attack us with such venom—I make a simple appeal. Allow others to find their own path.

When you try to pass laws that will take away essential freedoms of those you differ with, and when you demonise those who oppose your values, you only discredit yourselves. In the long run, this will work against you. We will overcome your venom and anger and bills and laws with grace and truth and love—and God’s help.”

PERSECUTION INCREASES IN THE “LAST DAYS”.

Israel Folau can testify to this truth. Earlier this month, Folau wrote on social media that gays would go to hell unless they repented their sins. He followed it up with another tweet, using a Bible quote from Matthew 5: 11-12 to suggest he was being persecuted for his beliefs. “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake, Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Israel Falou celebrates after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the Argentina Pumas last year.

Picture: Israel Folau celebrates after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the Argentina Pumas last year.

The comments sparked widespread debate over Folau’s right to free speech and threats by rugby’s main sponsor Qantas to pull its support for the code if the star player continued to make similar comments. Rugby Australia chief executive, Raelene Castle and Waratah’s boss Andrew Hore held crisis talks with Folau last week in Sydney. Following the meeting Castle conducted a press conference in which she said Folau’s social media posts were at odds with the code’s inclusion policy.

“This is not about money or bargaining power or contracts. It’s about what I believe in and never compromising that, because my faith is far more important to me than my career and always will be.’’

“I felt Rugby Australia CEO, Raelene Castle misrepresented my position and my comments, and did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia,” he said.

“I love rugby union. It has allowed me to travel all over the world and meet some fascinating people along the way. It is one of the best things about the game in my opinion.

“I do not want to bring hurt to the game and want as many people playing it as possible, so when I spoke to Raelene about walking away, it was to help the game, not harm it, in the event we couldn’t come to an understanding. Anyone who knows me knows I am not the type to upset people intentionally.”

Specifically he denies claims that he is homophobic or that he has a problem with gay people.

“I fronted the cover of the Star Observer magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition for both men and women. I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone.

“Every individual in this world is different and we have all experienced things that have shaped us in unique ways.

“I don’t pretend to have all the answers in life. It can be difficult making the right decisions. You are always trying to reconcile the truth from the Bible with things you feel inside. But I have faith that God’s path is the right one and that path is outlined in the Bible.”

Folau used the Players Voice article to explain his deep religious conviction. People’s lives are not for me to judge. Only God can do that, I have sinned many times in my life. I take responsibility for those sins and ask for forgiveness through repentance daily. I understand a lot of people won’t agree with some of the things I’m about to write. That’s absolutely fine. In life, you are allowed to agree to disagree. But I would like to explain to you what I believe in, how I arrived at these beliefs and why I will not compromise my faith in Jesus Christ, which is the cornerstone of every single thing in my life.

“I hope this will provide some context to the discussion that started with my reply to a question asked of me on Instagram two weeks ago. I read the Bible every day. It gives me a sense of peace I have not been able to find in any other area of my life. It gives me direction. It answers my questions.’’

Folau says he considers “it is a loving gesture to share passages from the Bible with others. I do it all the time when people ask me questions about my faith or things relating to their lives, whether that’s in-person or on my social media accounts’’.

“Two weeks ago, I tore my hamstring quite badly in the opening minutes against the Brumbies. I was told I would be on the sidelines for a month. Finding out I would miss three or four games so early in the season was disappointing and frustrating, but I accepted the news and started looking ahead. That afternoon I put up the following Instagram post, referring to James 1: 2-4:

“Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, because the testing of your faith produces endurance … so that you may be lacking in nothing.”

“In the comments section of that post, I was asked a question by somebody about what God’s plan is for gay people.

“My response to the question is what I believe God’s plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

“I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn’t matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.’’

“I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him. He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. But if you don’t tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole. What do you do?

“In this case, we are talking about sin as the Bible describes it, not just homosexuality, which I think has been lost on a lot of people.’’

“I would sooner lose everything — friends, family, possessions, my football career, the lot — and still stand with Jesus, than have all of those things and not stand beside Him.’’

Folau says he doesn’t “expect everyone to believe what I believe’’. “That goes for teammates, friends and even family members, some of whom are gay,’’ he writes. “I don’t pretend to have all the answers in life. It can be difficult making the right decisions. You are always trying to reconcile the truth from the Bible with things you feel inside. But I have faith that God’s path is the right one and that path is outlined in the Bible. I will keep sharing that.’’

Will we stand up for our faith as Israel Folau does? God has enabled us with the Holy Spirit, so we need to allow Him to direct our steps this day and onward. Lord I pray, not my will but Your will be done in my life.

POWER & VICTIM NARRATIVE PERMEATING SOCIETY

When people believe they are victims, they can’t do anything about it, and it’s someone else’s fault, they first resent then ultimately hate the “someone else.”

You may have heard the terms “Political Correctness” or “Cultural Marxism.” These things are dangerous for the same reasons old-fashioned Marxism was.

No longer are the evangelists for these ideas parroting lines about rich and poor. The lines of oppression are now divided between many more categories.

Women and men, trans* and cis, gay and straight, black and white, poor and rich… Or perhaps more accurately, women against men, trans* against cis, gay against straight, poor against rich… Female victims at war with male oppressors. Trans* victims at war with cis oppressors. Gay victims at war with straight oppressors. Poor victims at war with rich oppressors… You get the idea.

The narrative of power and victim-hood is starting to permeate everything, including religion.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) recently produced a children’s song called “The Privilege Bridge.” The video shows two women dancing to a story about “Ross” and “Stevie” who both want to cross a river.

Fortunately for Ross, he is a man, he’s white, he’s straight, he’s wealthy… So he gets to use teleportation to cross the river. Handy! Sadly for Stevie, she is a woman, she’s not white, she’s a refugee, she’s not well off, she’s marginalised. So Stevie has to swim. That’s unfair.

The song concludes with a quick lesson, telling children that Ross got a “free ride” because of “privilege.” That is, some people get a free ride “just because of how they were born.”

Aren’t they just teaching kids to think more compassionately? The simple answer is no. Children who grow up believing that life is all about power imbalances between victims and oppressors grow up with a quiet sense of resentment towards certain groups of people. It breeds tribalism and anger.

We see it in the changes taking place in social life.

This is why debate in Australia is becoming less civil and more polarised. People are getting angrier and more resentful. This is why activists are shutting down opposing voices. They are waging war with oppressors.

Every week a new story seems to emerge that brings these ideas to light. Yesterday we heard that New South Wales hospitals will now be required to have segregated “Culturally Appropriate Spaces” for indigenous patients to use as waiting rooms. Again… compassion? Or fuelling a narrative of victim-hood? Apparently going to a “culturally inappropriate” hospital waiting room is a form of oppression.

The narrative is made worse by the fact that, according to these ideologies, none of these groups can resolve their differences through dialogue. Dialogue is just a ruse of the powerful to keep on oppressing.

Small wonder then that the societies who go all the way down this road descend into a pit of conflict, oppression, war and terror. Some humans become more equal than others. Speech and dialogue are suppressed by the state. Anger, resentment and arrogance are the order of the day.

South Africa should be a grave warning to all who would engage in identity politics. Not only for its history of apartheid, but also due to emerging tensions between white and black communities. White farmers are having their properties broken into, robbed and their families brutalised and beaten. They are targeted because they are white. The Australian carried a story last week of a white South African woman who had her feet drilled through with a power tool, chunks of flesh cut from her skin, and her property stolen. It told the story of a man who was beaten and bound whilst his wife was raped in front of their three children. People told of their security precautions – regular perimeter checks, concealed firearms, sophisticated security systems. The end of all this is very serious.

Jesus warns us in the Sermon on the Mount that the escalation from resentment, to hatred, to murderous intent and murder is one that we shouldn’t dismiss lightly. These are all species of the same state of heart and they are all related to the sin of murder itself.

If we have come to a point where we teach our children, through animation and song, that there are categories of people in our community to be resented and brought down from their pedestals of power, we are asking for terrible trouble.

It stands in stark contrast to Christ’s message that what really matters is not privilege, tribe or birth. What really matters is the condition of one’s heart before God, and in that is great blessing.

We must teach our children what Christ teaches us: blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

But we have taught them instead that privilege is what matters and we have divided them against each other in tribal battles.

In one generation we have seen reasonable public debate and principles of tolerance begin to collapse spectacularly.

Where will we be in another generation? Will it take that long?

Surely, as God and His Word is increasingly rejected by the world and His church, it is proof positive, we are in the Biblical “last days”.

 | April 05, 2018 – Privilege Bridges, South Africa And Identity Politics