Saturday, 18 May 2019

Israel Folau is being persecuted for his mainstream Christian beliefs

Israel Folau has expressed Christian views that are found in the letters of Paul in the New Testament. He stands by words written by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10.

Now he has lost his job and Rugby career. Israel is not willing to compromise his beliefs in what he understands is the word of God on homosexuality. He did not single out homosexuals, but mentioned those sinners listed in 1 Corinthians 6. He believes what people in other religions believe, that homosexuality is sinful and will incur the judgement of God. Many Muslims and Jews would agree with him. Yet now he is being persecuted for deeply held beliefs that have been part of orthodox, mainstream Christianity for centuries. Romans 1:26-32 could be cited along the same lines.

Israel Folau could be seen as acting honourably, charitably and lovingly in warning people of the consequences of their sins. And come the day of judgement, then he will be proved right.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Still too many gambling adverts are linked with football

There is considerable evidence that gambling is blighting the lives of the poor and the young. Children, as I've stated before, are growing up thinking that gambling offers easy money and it is part of football.

Gambling addiction is a serious problem. We must see it as a threat to social health and welfare.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

What a night! What a match in Manchester for Spurs.

High drama, suspense, tension, great goals, agony and euphoria, this match had so much. It will go down as one of the most exciting games in the history of football. It was an emotional roller coaster ride. Tottenham triumphed and came from agony to ecstasy in the final minutes. City went from ecstasy to agony when VAR ruled out Sterling's strike. He was denied a hat trick.

Manchester City thought they had won with a late goal, but technology came to the rescue of Tottenham. The goal was ruled offside and Spurs go marching on in the Champions League.

Manchester City won 4-3 on the night, but Spurs won on away goals. Spurs had won the first leg one nil at their new stadium. Manchester City were the favourites and hoped to win four trophies, but they have never defeated an English side in the Champions League. They have lost to Chelsea, Liverpool and now Spurs.

Spurs will now play Ajax in the semifinal. Liverpool will play Barcelona, the favourites.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Martin Keown, master football commentator and pundit

Whether he is on BT Sport commentating on the UEFA Champions League or on BBC Match of the Day, Martin Keown shows his knowledge of the game and brings wisdom and excellent insights.

He was spot on during the Shalke v Manchester City match last Wednesday. Certain fans who read the Daily Express do not agree. They used crude insults and not sound reasoning. He knew that City would not settle for a draw but would go all out to win. Was he not right about VAR and final result?
Did he not recognise City's superior quality and the ability of Leroy Sane to set them on the path to victory?

On tonight's match of the Day his analysis was brilliant. His contribution deserves praise.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Children growing up thinking that betting and football go together

It was refreshing to watch World Cup football in the USA without any betting advertising. I did get to hate the crass Volkswagen adverts on the Fox channel. We, in the Uk, are constantly bombarded with betting adverts on commercial channels like ITV, Sky and BT. Children see it at football matches, on football shirts, on the television, on the web and in newspapers. The adverts make betting appear to be great fun. There is the lure of free bets and endorsements by film stars, media personalities and even a well respected football manager. The consequences will not be good for our society. It will breed gamblers addicted to betting. Some will experience debt, family feuds and poverty.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Evangelism, the means of spiritual reproduction

Some churches that once thrived reached a stage of senility, sterility and impotence. They lost their reproductive capacity. They failed to share the Gospel, to win people for Christ, to engage in evangelism. Consequently they became inward looking, comfort zones for the converted, and faded into obscurity and geriatric decline. Many closed. I have written about the Brethren of Havering but I could produce evidence of church decline and demise in the former Congregational chapels that became United Reformed churches (URC). It was sad, to me anyway, to find that URCcongregations  in Essex and North London no longer exist. The closure of Wethersfield and Finchingfield URC chapels hurts. Some Baptist chapels had to die, in my opinion, because they had clearly lost their candlesticks, their living witness in the community. Dead churches, I'm sorry to say, are not a positive force for good, but a waste of resources: energy, money, time and electricity etc. Failure and survival without Holy Spirit blessing merit closure. Some churches exist without any evidence of Holy Spirit activity. Some are museums or places of historical/architectural interest, but they are not places of vibrant fellowship and evangelism.

If a church wishes to survive and to thrive then it should evangelize, by the Holy Spirit. It should be unapologetically conversionist. "Kindness evangelism" as I call it, may be sweet and cheerful, but the mission of the Kingdom is to proclaim the authentic Gospel message of repentance, conversion, regeneration, eternal, abundant life in Christ, spiritual life from God. That is not to deny the social and ethical dimensions of the Gospel, the God given Good News in Christ Jesus the Lord.

Every Christian church or fellowship needs to ask the questions:
what is the evangelistic strategy?
what is being done to share the Gospel?
what is in place to see conversions and spiritual growth?

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

An Open Letter to Nigerian Christians in the UK

Dear Nigerian Christians in the UK

I have noticed significant church growth among churches in the UK that have Nigerian leadership. They have a vision for more growth and more churches in the UK. This is commendable.

However, there is concern, and it has been expressed by other Nigerian Christians, about the lack of Gospel preaching, ministry, church work in the north of Nigeria. When my friend travels around the north he does not find Christian workers, evangelists or preachers working there. So charity does not begin at home when it is the north! They seem to avoid it. Like the plague?

I don't know why there is so much focus on UK ministry when there is an enormous mission back home in Nigeria, northern Nigeria. Please explain this. I find it hard to understand, especially when Nigerian preachers have prophesied a mighty revival in Nigeria.  When such preachers talk about Nigeria do they mean southern Nigerian and never the north.

Do the Nigerian church leaders in this land invest money, time and effort in projects to evangelise the north of Nigeria? Are there any plans to work in the north?

Love Nigeria? Well, what about the north of the land. It needs your help.

Yours fraternally

Johli Baptist


River Stour