24 May 2017
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Institutionalised anti-Semitism in the church
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God's purposes in Israel?
The enemy is within the church
Trip to the Holy Land 2010/2011
The 'Flotilla' video some people don't want you to see
Chuck Cohen: why do the nations rage?
Welsh fellowship evicted from village hall
A small fellowship which met in a village hall in North Wales claims that it has been pushed out from the premises because of the support that it shows for the Jewish people and the establishment of Israel in the land.
THE last weekend in October saw the final service the Christian congregation
Gwernymynydd Village Centre, North Wales
as a consequence of being evicted after 11 years because the management Committee disagreed with their beliefs concerning Israel.
Pastor Mike Fryer
and the Fathers House stand firm in their support of Israel and belief that the land of Israel was given to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession in accordance with the Scriptures. The congregation are not willing to compromise in expounding these scriptures and in making their support for the Jewish people and the establishment of Israel in the land.
The management of the village centre had made it very clear in Spring this year that the views expressed in the church website were enough of an issue for them to evict the congregation from the Council-owned centre.
The letter in May stated:
"There has also been great concern expressed about the content of your web site, and the very controversial views it contains. "The Village Centre Committee does not wish to be associated with your views."
Pastor Fryer who presents programmes on
"We have been there for more than 11 years. We pay more money in than any other group using the hall, and we probably do more for the community than any other group. "We normally meet on a Saturday from 2.30pm until 7pm, but we have said we're happy to meet earlier, and have even cancelled some meetings when necessary. "They wanted us to use the hall on a Sunday, knowing very well that our Sabbath is a Saturday.”
Fathers House is disinclined to rent any other public facility in the County of Flintshire for fear of similar action and have now rented an Industrial Unit in the Deeside Area of North Wales in which to meet temporarily whilst looking for a more permanent home.
On February 5, 2010,
then Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the record-breaking rise in anti-Semitic incidents
that occurred in 2009. He urged Britons to be alert to anti-Jewish hate. He also stated: "Anti-Semitism is one of the most ancient of hatreds – and yet it constantly adapts to modern times requiring ever greater vigilance from all of us who are determined to stand up for tolerance and for the truth."
Christians Together conducted a short telephone interview with Pastor Fryer and it can be heard here.
As we evidence within our nation a rising hostility to the Christian message and God's word we are likely to see an increase in incidents like the above. The pressure will come on preachers and churches to water-down the messages that they seek to proclaim in order not to offend.
A fellowship like the above is obviously vulnerable when renting premises. However churches which depend on retaining charitable status and the corresponding tax reimburshments to fund expensive church building programmes will be equally vulnerable if their message 'offends'.
Christians Together, 19/11/2010
PS. My comments are general and are not aimed at the particular church headlined in the above article.
Tom Meeks (Guest)
Re 'passwords' I was just meaning that a church could not be accused (by the authorities) of giving gratuitous offence if its sermons needed a password to access i.e. the person who claimed to be offended would have to explain how they accessed the material (by hacking into the site).
Re 'courting controversy' I agree that we should be wise and polite; and not go looking for trouble. However 'preaching' means 'public proclamation' and the Gospel is an 'offence' (1 Peter 2:8). So while we should not court trouble, we will inevitable attract it.
"If a church decides to put controversial stuff on its webpage it should be prepared beforehand for the likely consequences."
So, we shouldn't publish on the internet what God has already revealed in His Word (which is available to anyone who buys a bible)?
I didn't say that Peter. I said you should be prepared. And I wasn't thinking of publishing bible verses so much as some of the other sort of statements which we all know can cause controversy!
Tom Meeks (Guest)
"statements which we all know can cause controversy!"
I'm afraid the Gospel is full of 'offence' to the carnal mind. What Christians would see as a basic statement of core beliefs or a sermon on the divinity of Christ would be quite enough to cause offence around the world. We cannot tip-toe around the Truth lest we offend someone, somewhere, somehow.
Any church worthy of the name 'Christian' (and sadly many have deserted the faith) needs to boldly preach the Cross of Christ.
All this is of course not new. It's just that (after such a long period where the Christian faith was an integral part of the nation's life) we are now faced with a hostile environment - in politics, multi-faith religion, the media, the legal system, etc. etc.
All we need to do is recognise the change and keep going.
'All we need to do is recognise the change and keep going.'
Tom, yes, because if we don't own Him now, He might not own us at a moment more important to us than right now.
We have not been given leave to desist from preaching the Gospel, or making disciples of all nations. It goes on.
'Any church worthy of the name 'Christian' (and sadly many have deserted the faith) needs to boldly preach the Cross of Christ.'
In the final analysis, I wonder how many churches are 'Christian.' I've been around so many in recent years and am left wondering, 'where is Jesus in all this?'
My point about hacking is, nothing is secure on the net! You would be surprised (I think) what may be learned from an email, or even just accessing a website. What records are kept. And the state has a very long memory. It was always thus.
Tom said, "All we need to do is recognise the change and keep going."
Amen! The Gospel (God's Word to all nations, and all people everywhere) is full of offence to those who refuse to be reconcilled to their Creator on His terms. We only need to faithfully proclaim, publish and generally let it be known what God's will is in order to cause offence. But it must be done sensatively, but also without compromise!!
Matt 28: 18 - 20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I don't think I would disagree with the last 3 posts. I just think we should also heed the injunction to be as wise as serpents. Part of that is recognising that things have changed. I've been reading through the gospels recently and am struck by the way Jesus interacted with the Pharisees and other enemies. He was always in control of the situation. He never reacted. Sometimes he responded to their accusations, sometimes he didn't. He never let the Pharisees set the agenda - instead he did his father's will. That's what I think we should be aiming to do.
Rosemary said, "I've been reading through the gospels recently and am struck by the way Jesus interacted with the Pharisees and other enemies."
Matt Ch 23 is always worth a revisit in this respect!
Charles Cottam (Guest)
I had the great pleasure of meeting Mike Fryer last week and learning of his excellent work. What an aggravating trial he is undergoing. But as a former elder of a congreagtion that met in council property I am not surprised.
Contrary to received Evangelical-free- church wisdom of the past decades I can see sense in wisdom in the way that the old denominations sought to arrange their affairs. If you own your own building no one can cast you out. It has always been that way. Why did we come to assume otherwise?
I love the immediacy of vibrant praise, even in a village hallor a local rented school building; but does it linger? As a young person I knew that a church was a holy place, the chancel even holier and the altar(presumably)was where God lived. It was certainly a place to approach with great reverance. I amnot sure that we should be surprised at the way we feel the worldis treating us if we look anew at theassumptions and decisions we have madeover our lifetimes
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