Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Hell in Helmand? More hardship ahead for British troops

British troops expect to continue fighting in Helmand province for another five years.  Over 250 service personnel have died and the situation is predicted to get worse before it gets any better.  I wonder if we will see any improvement in the next five years.   I really doubt it.

Casualties and deaths will certaintly increase.  The violence could intensify this summer, according to US military sources.  The country is very unstable, even after our involvement over the past eight years.  It is hoped that things will improve over the next five years, but this may well be a vain hope and false expectation.  A bright future for the Afghan people is not assured by any means.  The UK is contributing around 10,000 troops and that is over 50 per cent more than Germany.  In fact we send more troops than Germany and France combined.  The Afghan Army totals over 97,000.  It should be for them, with assistance, to sort out the mess in their own country.

There is talk that the leading insurgents, which means Taleban backed fighters and certain warlords, are to receive hundreds of millions of pounds, i.e. loads and loads of money, in what amounts to bribes to stop them fighting.  That will enrage war widows, the wounded, relatives of the fallen and many others on meagre allowances, poor pay and parsimonious pensions.  It would be outrageous to see a great deal of money going to criminals, terrorists and bandits.  Perhaps it has already happened.  Would it surprise you?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Sound teaching on the Trinity

Some people are rather snobbish about the internet and YouTube.  If you know where to look and if you are eager to find it, then you can come to some fine Bible teaching and sound doctrine on YouTube.  Yes, there is plenty of rubbish, examples of shallow thought and badly presented material, but there are some real gems and pearls of wisdom.

I would recommend Alistair Begg's series of videos, Reflections on the Doctrine of the Trinity.  His sermon is presented in four parts and well worth viewing.  You can get to the first part by the hyperlink below and then follow the links for the other parts.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Afghanistan quagmire

Can we believe that fighting in Afghanistan will make the streets of Britain safer?  I would have thought that the reverse is true. With no clear exit strategy and the frequent loss of life by British servicemen, how long will this conflict continue and how many more servicemen and women will have to die? For what?  Why are we fighting this war?

We seem to be asking a great deal of our servicemen.  They have been inadequately equipped.  The costs are enormous in terms of helicopters, daily weaponry, logistics, injuries, deaths of highly and expensively trained personnel, and medical support.  Is it worth sacrificing our people in a country where there is widespread corruption, political turmoil, administrative bedlam, systemic failures and factional fanaticism?  There is no end in sight. We are regarded as impostors, invaders and an occupying force.  For hundreds of years the tribal groups have been fighting foreign invaders;  we are seen in the same light.  Will we succeed where others have failed?  The infrastructure needs a radical overhaul which we are not able to provide.  The people of Afghanistan must eventually solve this mess, this quagmire. There should be far more support for internal democratic institutions. Education rather than military action should be given much more thought. Hearts and minds need to be won. Warfare will not change minds but will cause resentment and the desire for revenge, spirals of violence. The massive cost of military investment in Afghanistan would be put to better use in our home intelligence service, health service and our educational system.  That investment would make Britain a safer and a better place.

The Second Coming of Jesus will be after the tribulation

The clearest teaching of Jesus about the Second Coming taking place after the tribulation is found in Matthew 24: 29-31.  This is no secret event at all.  The passage indicates that this is a very public and glorious occasion.  Let's look closely at the words of Jesus.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall down from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And He will send His angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather up His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end.

If the tribes of the earth see Jesus, and His coming is with power and great glory, and also with angels and the great trumpet sound, then it will not be a secret event.  Far from it!  His elect will be gathered up (επισυναξουσιν τους εκλεκτους αυτου).  In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 its says caught up in the clouds (αρπαγησομεθα εν νεφελαις) which refers to the rapture.


River Stour