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Letter from Australia 55 – BLM, Birds, Butlers, Bairns and Irn Bru

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As I write this, I am listening to the Sunday morning service on BBC Radio 4.  Why do I put myself through this torture?  The programme is entitled  Sunday Worship – but there is little worship.  It should just be called Sunday Woke.    Entitled The Cross and Black Liberation it is just a combination of simplistic history, emotive social justice commentary and almost nothing of Christ.   It’s embarrassing that this political propaganda goes under the name of Christian worship.  As my discerning better half as just said “what relevance does the Cross have to anyone listening to this?”

Wokeness is all around us in Sydney as well.  Walking through the Botanic gardens I came across this flower display.

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I looked around in vain for the flower displays for the many Christians being massacred in Nigeria (I guess not all black lives matter equally?), or the one for the Uighur Muslims.  It strikes me that BLM has largely become a movement of the white progressives seeking to atone for their guilt at being white.   ‘It wasn’t me gov…it was systematic racism’.

It’s strange how wokeness leaves out the class issue – the economic divide which has far more impact than the ‘diversity’ issues so beloved by the middle-class progressives.  These diversity issues enable them to feel radical, revolutionary and virtuous, whilst not having to give up any of their privileges.  Speaking of wealth privilege- as I walked around our neighbourhood this week, I came across this van – I had never heard of a ‘Pet Butler’.

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But I guess needs must!  But why have a dog if you don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to walk them?

The Birds

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This time last year we were already into the  Bush fire season, with over 50 bushfires underway in NSW.  Not this year.   It’s cold and wet.  Tasmania had its coldest recorded day ever – (-14 C), and areas of NSW that have seen little rain in the past years are grateful for a right soaking.   I have no idea why but the birds outside our apartment decide to start singing at 4:30 in the morning at this time of year.   They look beautiful – and in most cases sound beautiful – but not at that time of the day!

 

Woke Womxn!

After the Woke Worship for the BBC we are now into our Woke essay – telling us all about gender stereotypes and how we are to dress.  Apparently, we should all wear gender neutral clothing, women are womxn, and trans philosophy must be supported; as the ‘gender affirming revolution’ gets underway.  Can you imagine the BBC allowing someone who is opposed to the gender fluidity philosophy, being given 15 minutes to state their case?!  It will be a cold day in Hammersmith before that will ever be permitted!     It’s such a mixed and confused world.  It’s no wonder that so many people are confused.  I think especially of our young people – being brought up in a world where the Woke religion is the sea in which they swim.  The ‘lecturer’ I am listening to on the BBC is boasting how her ‘young people’ are ‘receptive’ to her teaching.   God have mercy on our young people when they are taught such irrational, scientific nonsense.  She has just stated “put gender in the blender’!

I’m afraid the ‘Sunday Worship’ of this morning will not help either, because it does not offer them Christ.    I am so thankful for biblical churches that invest in young people seriously.  The church we attend here, St Thomas’s, does just that.  It has one of the most impressive and effective youth works I have witnessed.   A good leadership team which is involved with the young people, a real sense of community, great fun and superb bible teaching.  It was a joy to do a Q and A with them last Friday. You can hear the whole thing here.

 

The questions were intelligent, thoughtful and showed a degree of understanding and compassion.   These young people give me real hope.  They need to be taught radical biblical Christianity – not the baptised woke secularism that is the diet of so many Churches – nor the right-wing conservatism which masquerades as defending Christianity.  Preach Christ, and him crucified.

See you next week,

David

PS.  Please remember the situation here – in Victoria, there is now widespread community contagion – today 400 more cases and 17 deaths.  In NSW we have had only 10 but things are still considered to be on a knife-edge…Follow the bi-weekly prayer notes if you want more information.

PPS.  Sometimes it’s the small kindnesses that mean most! A good friend bought us this nectar of the gods….along with English mustard its British cuisine at its best!

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27 comments

  1. Whilst not disagreeing with your general opinion of the so-called “Sunday Worship” on BBC 4, I have to remember that it was the accidental tuning in to such a programme that introduced me to your good self!! As you may recall, I even sent a complimentary message to the producer!!

    Still having to confess to jealousy that you are in the country to which I thought I would emigrate – many years ago. Be blessed.

  2. Any ‘Christian’ programme broadcast by the BBC should come with a warning these days! I avoid them like the plague. Blessings

      1. For me personally I would describe right wing those who believe in Scripture, those who believe in the traditional marriage, those who believe that God is ‘just’ and we will be judged, and those who believe it’s okay to challenge fellow believers lifestyles when their living contrary to Scripture

  3. David – I find as I often do in your posts this resonating powerfully with me. I laughed on reading your “Sunday Woke”. I’ve spent enough time crying and being depressed and I figure now, worrying is not going to change things, so it’s probably better to look on the kind of thing you talk of like that as what comedians call “material”. I walked away from a prayer meeting on Zoom yesterday for not dissimilar reasons.

    It is of course an offence to truth and compassion which could lead anyone to despair id not sustained by strength in the joy of the Lord.

    Also with BLM I find your “not all black lives matter equally” resonated with my all black lives matter on seeing how black Americans who don’t adhere to the BLM narrative (which in the 70s would be called anarchy) of de-funding police and disrupting the nuclear family are cancelled. There was a comedic moment this week of a post made by a policeman of a protest to de-fund the police that wanted police protection. You couldn’t write this stuff.

    Thankfully by faith, truth and justice will prevail and love never fails.

  4. Thank you, David. I switched yesterday morning’s Sunday service on Radio 4 off, within a few seconds of the start, as I had a strong sense that it would be much more about ‘wokeness’ than Jesus. Rarely listen to the POV slots. I agree with your comment that the 8.10am Sunday services on Radio 4 are often good, though.
    The Q and A session with the young people was good, and I was impressed with the young leader who asked the questions, and thought his added comments and prayers were very appropriate.

  5. Thanks David for an excellent assessment of yesterday’s BBC Radio 4 8.15am ‘Sunday worship’. I too listened with grief. My wife and I were on caravan holiday, pitched in the Brahan Estate nr Dingwall – without internet access. This was my worship for the day and it was woke-woeful – pseudo-Christianity of the worst sort, progressive claptrap dressed up with a religious veneer. The ‘point of view’ essay that followed at 8.50am was indeed more BBC gender-blender woke-ness. The Lord have mercy on us all.

  6. Listened to you today (Monday) on Janet Parshall. Always find your insights enlightening. Found your blog and just finished listening to the youth Q&A. Good session.

  7. I heard the title of that ‘Sunday Worship’ programme, and immediately listened to a previous edition, from Virtually Keswick. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000l7bt
    Entitled Great is Thy Faithfulness, and broadcast on 26 Jul, the preacher was Chris Wright of the Langham Partnership.
    Available for the next 13 days.
    The whole service was a great comfort, encouragement and challenge to me. It included that wonderful new worship song from 2019 “Take Heart”, and also featured a worship song which was completely new to me – Songs of Healing.
    Many thanks again for your Wee Flea blog. It continues to be a blessing to many of us.
    Greetings from the Western Isles. Here in Scotland our schools return this week, and we are much in prayer for pupils and staff.
    A

  8. A less than fair comment on BBC’s Sunday Worship IMO. Take the four available on Listen Again and next weeks and you have:

    * A Roman Catholic service from the Diocese of Leeds celebrating the Catholic Church’s ‘Year of the Word’ and the importance of scripture.

    * ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’: A service preparing for a “Virtually Keswick” Convention.

    * ‘Encountering God in abandonment’, The Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, an early victim of Covid-19, reflects on the stories of Jesus healing the woman with haemorrhage and Jairus’s daughter (the first time I’ve ever heard someone draw out the contrast between long term debilitating sickness and the sudden onset of a fatal condition.)

    * ‘The Cross and Black Liberation’ – see below*

    … and next week:
    * When our plans change… A service led by the chair of the Wales synod of the Methodist church

    I’d like to suggest that taking these en-bloc rather than focussing on just one shows a remarkably well balanced taste of British Christendom.

    *I have issues with BLM but understood where the speakers were coming from. I remember visiting Clapham URC in South London 40 years ago and being told by a West Indian member that his first experience of a British church was being turned away at the door of the first one he went to with “your church is down the road”. In Washington DC I attended a Baptist Church which in 1954 (my lifetime) had a church meeting to decide whether black people could be church members (fortunately they made the right call, but that such a question was being asked is shocking). But 200+ years of missionary history have shown that much of the church hasn’t talked about BLM; it’s shown it by the giving of believers and the sacrifice of many who gave up secure lives to serve those in foreign lands. Whenever we sing ‘Holy, holy, holy’, I remind myself that it’s by Bishop Heber, went out to serve the people of India in 1823 and was dead three years later at the age of 42. And he’s just one.

  9. David,
    As a result of reading your comments about the BBC Radio four Sunday worship, I decided to listen to it. I began listening with very negative expectations and was surprised by how challenging and inspiring I found it. The personal testimony of the impact of the Cross I thought was a rare and precious thing for a BBC religious programme. There were some things I had reservations about, but overall I thought you judged it too harshly and I might suggest you listen again and approach it with a more open mind.
    I make these comments as someone who greatly values The Wee Flea and who finds your writing educational and challenging and a brilliant antidote to the current developments in our culture.
    Your courageous and at times insightful reflections could do with being a little less hard edged especially when commenting on our Christian brothers and sisters who may have different perspectives than you.

    1. This was not about the cross of Christ as atonement for human sin…it was about all our ‘crosses’. I did listen and I did approach it with an open mind. It was and still is Christless. This is not about a ‘different perspective’ amongst Christian brothers and sisters. It is about a different gospel! And I won’t apologise for saying that.

      1. David, do these quotes show Christlessness or ‘a different gospel’?

        ‘As I finger my cross, through the pain I am reminded that Christ died on the cross to put humanity right with God, and that the cross of Christ stands for his resurrected glory, and for justice, mercy, love and hope.’

        ‘The Apostle Paul’s words are as true today as they were when he wrote them nearly two thousand years ago – the cross always means different things to different people – but it is a source of life and hope for all of us. As Pauls reminds us in Colossians chapter 1 verse 9 10 for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.’

        Maybe you were out of the room and didn’t hear these statements??

      2. Yes – they do. They are meaningless waffle – summed up with ‘the cross means different things to different people’ – but it is a source of life and hope for all of us. Paul said that to most people the Cross is foolishness or indeed blasphemy. The cross is not just a symbol….it is the power of God…

      3. Ummm, ‘the cross means different things [blasphemy or foolishness] to different people’ [Jews or Greeks] ‘it is a source of life and hope for all of us’ [as in Col 1:9-10 which was quoted]. How is this ‘meaningless waffle’?

      4. And what did the person who quoted from Colossians understand by life and hope (and love and peace). What did they indicate in WHAT THEY SAID that might suggest otherwise than what Paul meant by life and hope in Colossians? Why should we understand YOUR inferences as their intentions?

      5. I was commenting on the service – which was empty, banal, and far removed from Christ. You can make the Bible say whatever you want – as long as you are dishonest and ignore logic, language and rationality.

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