(August 21, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, challenges us not to forget…
Last Saturday in various countries throughout the world commemoration services were held reflecting the surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945 which signified the end of World War 2.
World War 2 Below is a photo taken shortly after that day back then in which a celebration party was arranged for the children in the street where I lived in Belfast.
I just about remember that day… the street lined with tables filled with ‘goodies’
that, because of food shortages had been in limited availability during the war years, yet the mums somehow managed to turn the meagre supplies into a celebratory meal! I do remember the sense of joy in all the mums who, after six years of suffering, were so elated to celebrate this wonderful news with their children.
And what a time of suffering those six years were. My father worked at night in an engineering factory in Belfast and most nights German planes tried to bomb it. When my dad went out to work neither he nor my mum knew if he would be returning home the following morning. Just before I was born, German fighter planes would try to shoot civilians; my parents described their fear as they covered my brother and the unborn ‘me’ with their bodies as they watched the bullets rip along the ground close to where they were under cover.
World War 2 was the most lethal military conflict in history. Around 75 million people died (that is about 3.3% of the world population in those days) and that included around 20 million of those who served in the military and 40 million civilians, many of whom died because of deliberate slaughter, mass-bombings, disease, starvation and limited medical services.
We must not forget the horror and the social consequences of those years and the years that followed nor must we forget the sacrifices that brave men and women made to rescue us from ruthless domination. It is right that we from time to time reflect on those events – lest we forget!
(February 12, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares more on this timely subject…
Last month (link: The Early Days) I referred to the great price Christians in the early church had to pay for being followers of Jesus Christ. For 2000 years Christians have been opposed, intimidated, abused and slaughtered because of their commitment to Jesus Christ.
The reason has been an age-old conflict in which Satan continually attempts to destroy usand the work of God in and through us.
History is repeating itself While many of the accounts of past persecution of Christians are horrendous, we actually see much the same kind of thing repeating itself today. Christians are in the ‘firing line’ (metaphorically and literally) throughout the world today.
The number of Christians in Sri Lanka who were killed when worshipping on Easter Day last year was sufficiently large that the world media had really no alternative but to mention it – but literally hundreds of other acts of persecution and killing of Christians throughout the world today are wholly ignored by most of the world media. There are more Christians being killed today than ever before in history!
Surprisingly The Guardian newspaper included an April 22, 2019 article titled, ‘As the Sri Lanka attacks show, Christians worldwide face serious persecution.’ The writer wrote: ‘We are living though one of the most serious phases of Christian persecution in history, and most people refuse to acknowledge it.
‘During the past century, Christianity has been all but driven out of the Middle East, the place of its birth. … From 1894 to 1924, the Turkish authorities systematically murdered some 2.5 million Christians. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, Christians have been driven from the Middle East with bombs and bullets, and with hardly a bat squeak of protest from the secular west. … Christianity remains the world’s most persecuted religion. … all around the world Christians are subject to real and sustained violence for the profession of their faith …’ (more…)
(February 15, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, considers Australia’s future…
Recently Australia Day, January 28, resounded with the singing of our national anthem, the last line of which the first verse is ‘Advance Australia fair.’
However, in reflecting on Australia – its past and present, and thinking about its future – I sense that a moreappropriatefinal line is not a statementbut would be a question – ‘Advance Australia where?’
So the question is… As a nation where are we going? In what direction are we heading?
Before Australia had been put on maps, for over 1500 years many people had speculated that there was a large continent in the southern hemisphere for which there was no documentary evidence. Then, just over 400 years ago in 1606, the Portuguese explorer Fernández de Quirós sailed into the southern waters and, discovering that large landmass, called it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo which means ‘The Southland of the Holy Spirit.’
The Southland of the Holy Spirit
What a great name for a country! How wonderful it would be if the Spirit of God really had sovereign authority over this nation!(more…)
(January 15, 2019) Brian Bell reflects on winning tactics against an enemy …
We’re two weeks into 2019 already!
Over past months I’ve been reading and meditating on Old Testament scriptures and have been encouraged and challenged as the Lord has reminded me of encouraging truths I can apply to my own life as I seek to victoriously move ahead in 2019 – as can the body of Christ,those believers who make up the church.
In particular I’ve been reminded of spiritual warfare and, knowing my own battles and that if the Lord tarries the enemy will continue to be active in 2019, I share some brief thoughts based on 2 Samuel 10: 6-13 that I trust may be helpful.
I won’t include a historical overview other than to say that Joab was King David’s general. In the verses I mention here, Joab has been sent by David to meet a large army made up of Ammonites, Arameans and others. The story opens as Joab approaches the place of battle… let me share from his winning tactics what I see as lessons for the church.
This thought is in the words of verse 9: ‘When Joab saw he would have to fight on two fronts…’
It’s good to be wise and not underestimate the approach and tactics of an enemy – as believers we need to remember that the ‘enemy’ is not ‘people of flesh and blood’ (as the apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12). So, for example, people with whom we may disagree even on some point of doctrinal theology should not be seen as enemies!
We can be sure the enemy willalways seek to display his best and most subtle attack formation – the word ‘appraisal’ is a way of describing how Joab sized up the situation. (more…)
(November 10, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a challenge…
Dr Jim McClure’sTeaching article this month is timely as tomorrow is Remembrance Day – which remembers that the horrific WW1 came to an end a century ago and the tragedy of the sacrifice of so many lives so young and not so young!
Yes WW1 freedom came at a staggering price… Dr Jim also reminds us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, willingly paid the greatest price of all in dying for every sinner.
In our modern society many may not be engaged in outright war but there is a great enemy that grips many, even Christians – fear! Pastor Jeff Benson in his article encourages us that God can set us free from personal fears and weaknesses.
(July 24, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, brings another wake-up call…
Recently I watched Britain’s Got Talent. The act that won was of a ‘comedian’ whose whole routine was about his homosexuality. The judges thought it was hilarious! The audience stood and applauded! And the voting public declared him the winner! (In another performance a man demonstrated his ‘skill’ by removing his clothes in a provocative way.) The show was concluded by a female guest singer who sang about wanting to kiss girls.
Another popular singer, Ariana Grande, has a new sexually explicit song on the market called God is a Woman. Some of the lyrics are a mockery of Christianity, such as, ‘Baby, lay me down and let’s pray’, ‘So, baby, take my hand, save your soul’ and ‘And boy, if you confess, you might get blessed.’ In her music video of the song Ezekiel 25:17 is misquoted. And Grande is portrayed in a flesh-coloured body suit with multiple breasts at which men suckle.
Disrespect for spiritual beliefs and standards Sadly in recent years we have seen a disintegration of social principles and disrespect for spiritual beliefs and standards that have established a sound foundation for many nations for hundreds of years –(more…)
(August 3, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, renowned theologian, challenges churches to their responsibility to alert people to the demonic activity around them that is cloaked in what appears to be ‘nice.’
In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote a book that he called, A Tale of Two Cities. It is set in the conditions that led to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror and the two cities are London and Paris. It begins with the famous sentence: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’ (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, calls for a Christian counterculture in today’s crazy world…
What a wonderful world this could be! There are many things for which we can be grateful, so many benefits that we can enjoy as we live in the 21st century. But …there is also a darker side!
How things have changed in recent decades! In today’s topsy-turvy world solid moral values, which have stood the test of time,have been turned upside-down. In the name of political correctness decency, sound ethics, common sense and free speech have been sacrificed.
Consequently a spirit of depravity, deceit, confusion and misrepresentation has been sweeping through the world. (more…)