Bible Evangelism Theology

ASK at the Cathedral – 1 – Nothing New Under the Sun

Last week we began a new ten part series ASK at the Cathedral –  on Ecclesiastes – God’s Word to Today’s World…

This coming Tuesday we will be looking at Ch. 2   “No Satisfaction!- (Why are wealth, wisdom and sex not enough?)” .  Feel free to pray wherever you are in the world, come along if  you are able (12:15 on Tuesday – bring your own lunch!), bring a friend…invite others…

This is our promo for this week –

Here are the notes from the talk – the notes are fuller than the actual talk – because of the time limit…And here is the video – apologies for the sound quality – we will be doing live stream next Tuesday…

Philip Yancy  – Carl Jung tells us that a third of his cases were suffering from no other neurosis other than the ‘senselessness and emptiness of their lives”.

Despair – Why do people commit suicide? Why do people evince such despair? Walker Percy “ Why do more people commit suicide in San Francisco the most beautiful city in America, than in any other city? In Europe the suicide capital is Salzburg, Austria. Why does a man who has a good house, a good job and enjoys unprecedented cultural and recreational facilities still feels bad without knowing why? Existential despair did not come from Auschwitz but from the cafes of Paris, the coffee shops of Copenhagen. Philip Roth – “In the West everything goes and nothing matters. In the East nothing goes and everything matters.”

Wendell Berry speaks of his comfortable US upbringing “we knew and took for granted: marriage without love; sex without joy; drink without conviviality; birth, celebration and death without adequate ceremony; faith without doubt or trial; belief without deeds; manners without generosity…such humanising emotions as pleasure in small profitless things, joy, wonder, ecstasy were removed as by an operation on the brain.

This is a book written by someone who is called The Teacher. It is mainly written by Solomon – or someone in the Solomonic tradition – ch. 1 v. 1. The book is called Ecclesiastes because it means assembly – it is the word from which we get ‘ecclesiastical’ or church. It is a gathering of people who want to listen to the wisdom of the teacher. That is what we are doing here this morning.

Everything is meaningless – or vanity – The word meaningless appears over 35 times in the book. The rich get richer the poor get poorer. Evil people prosper, tyrants reign, disease spreads, everyone dies and turns to dust, life is unfair, nothing makes sense the whole world is twisted. Eat, drink and be merry. What is the point of working hard/ besides which we all die in the end. What is such a book doing in the Bible?

The Dialogue of Pessimism

There was an ancient school of literature which was known as the Pessimistic school. In the Dialogue of Pessimism (a Babylonian work of the fourteenth century BC) suicide is the only answer to the problem of life. In the Epic of Gilgamesh the god Shamash states bluntly ‘The life you pursue you shall not find’. There is a school of writing today which reflects that – Jean Paul Sartre. Camus. Nietzsche. The hopelessness which is felt when you see nothing that will save you – the people jumping out of the Twin Towers building. The elderly Jewish couple who realise what the smoking chimneys at Auschwitz mean and throw themselves upon the electric fences.

Ecclesiastes belongs to this school – yet it has a very different conclusion and meaning. In fact there is a great deal of joy in this. Not the kind of joy that is brought about by ignorance – just ignore it and it will go away. The scene in Schindler’s list where the women are discussing in their barracks the rumours of gas chambers – no it cannot be. Nor the joy that is brought about by illusion, false hope. This is a book that faces up squarely to the reality of life but does not result in despair. Sometimes it seems as though we are only presented with two choices in life – either face up to life with all its bleakness, horror and meaninglessness, or escape into a world of illusion, false hope etc. Whether that illusion might be.

One other point in terms of style. What is happening here? It could be that the Teacher is having a debate with himself. Torn between what he cannot help seeing and what he still cannot help believing. There is a great deal in this. Who of us has not wrestled with doubts and fears?

Or it could be that the Teacher is challenging us – asking the man of the world to think through his position to the bitter end. It is a challenge to the secularist. The Teacher burns at the injustices and wrongs in life, he mourns the passing of youth and the inevitability of death but he looks for something more. The secularist view – which is the prevailing majority opinion in our society – at least by those in power and with influence has a different take. What the teacher is doing is taking what the secularist thinks and asking them to work it out to its logical conclusion. It is a direct challenge. Can you take it?
So let’s go on to look at this first chapter

1) What goes around comes around – v. 2-11.

Everything is meaningless. It is a quote from  Psalm 39 – “You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth— each man is but a breath. Selah” (Psalm 39:11) Each man is vanity. Hebel. Used 39 times in this book. In this first chapter we see two evidences of that. This meaninglessness/vanity means brief, insubstantial – perhaps froth. Empty, Unreliable. Frail. Futile. Lack of discernible purpose. Absurd. The word is related to wind and mist and is used for things that do not last, cannot be grasped or are not worthwhile. A breath. That is what human life is like. So much of existensalist literature reflects that – Yancy “flat emotions, a radical indifference to others, the sensation of drifting, numbness to pain, a resigned acceptance of a world gone mad” Donnie Darko – Mad World. Camus’s L’Etranger Meursault says – the outsider. “It makes little difference whether one dies at the age of thirty or threescore and ten, since in either case, other men and women will continue living, the world will go on as before”

What about work? What do we gain? The toil here is both physical labour and mental anguish. It is hard work. Trouble. Misery. What is the dividend we get at the end of life? None says the Teacher. On our tombstone is the inscription ‘No Profit’. It is a big zero – when we ad dup the plus’s in our lives and the negatives the balance sheet comes out zero or negative. If there is no meaning there is no profit.

Contrast this with ‘nature’ which seems to go on forever. There is an irony in this verse. Jerome “What is more vain that this vanity: that the earth, which was made for humans, stays – but humans themselves, the lords of the earth, suddenly dissolve into the dust?”. The restless circularity of nature. There is actually though no gain for creation in her toil. The wind blows, the streams flow, the sun rises, the sun sets, the ocean is never full. This last idea is indicative of weariness – everything flows but it is never full. All this activity does nothing significant.

V.8 then goes on to express the human experience of this restless weariness. Despite the activity of the creation it is unable to provide us with any lasting satisfaction. Emotional and psychological satisfaction. There is always more to hear and always more to see. We are never there. And we are always exhausted.
Now we go on to the circularity of human history. The generations come and the generations go – and there does not seem to be much purpose to it. There can be nothing new – history is a closed circuit.

v.10 – But what about that which appears to be new? It is an illusion. But what about nuclear power for example? The technological advances may be new but the people who wield them are not. We get really excited about new inventions that are going to change the world but they soon sink down to our former level. In fact the only reasons things seem new to us is that we have forgotten the past.

v.11 – nihilism. Past events are forgotten. Future events will be forgotten. More personally we will be forgotten. Over 50% of Britain’s under 35’s cannot tell you anything about the Holocaust and do not know what Auschwitz was. Secularism will lead to the same again – “He who does not learn from history is destined to repeat it”.
There is no real progress. .

2) Chasing the wind v. 12-18.

When he tries to understand all this – he grows in knowledge but it does not get him anywhere. His first avenue of escape is philosophy.

v.12 – Solomon as the king had all the resources necessary. He had the libraries, the power and the money. He set his heart – he studied hard and this is what he found. His search project leads to frustration rather than enlightenment.

a) There is a heavy burden God has laid on men. Could also be translated ‘grievous evil ’or‘ miserable businesses. We may live as secularists but the problems we face have been ordained by God. Mankind thinks and plans. We have been wired that way. We want to understand. The problem of life is for us all not just a hobby for philosophers. The quest of meaning is a quest for God and it is something that God has placed in our hearts. Acts ch. 17 v. 26-28. “The creator has instilled in every human being the desire to know the answers to life’s ultimate questions. Part of that which distinguishes humans from animals is the desire to know origin, destiny and purpose; to understand the why and how of all things. Even those who have no walk with the Lord feel this compulsion to discover the truth”

b) Humans are frustrated – v.14 – we desire gain, satisfaction and a sense of progress but that keeps eluding us. We end up chasing wind. Ambition for the unattainable.

c) There are twists and gaps in our thinking – v. 15. More than our thinking. In human life and in the environment. Our wisdom may help in many things but it cannot solve the fundamental problem of life.

The end result of all this was that he also looked at other alternatives – folly, pleasure, money etc. But it all still ended up with the same result. “The more you understand, the more you ache” The wise man becomes ever more conscious of the scope of his ignorance and impotence, of the uncontrollable power of nature, of great evils which he is powerless to remedy. To a certain extent, ignorance is bliss (1:18).

Conclusion: Is that it?

Is there no ‘but’? This is all true. This is the position of the secularist. But is that it? No. You will notice the key expression – ‘under the sun’. It is used 29 times in this book. It means without God. That is the old perspective. With a NT perspective we can see things differently. We still groan, the creation still suffers, and yet we know what is happening and why it is happening and we wait for something different.

Go back to the question of the Creation. Without God it is meaningless. The OT sees the creation as being full of God. But take away God and there is only meaninglessness. No God – what is the point? We are left with Tsunamis and natural disasters, with no explanation and no help. The OT loved the idea of admiring the skies, seeing nature sing for joy and the lessons taught by animals, grass, wind and trees. But without God none of it makes any sense. Look at Romans ch. 8 v. 20 – which refers to Ecclesiastes.

Come back to the idea of history. Is it all pointless? Going nowhere? The Israelite believed that God was in control of history – that it really was ‘His Story’. History is traveling to a goal. Without God there is no purpose and no new thing.
Again with God there is remembrance – we develop a longer term perspective. Later we are to be told by the Teacher to remember our Creator. That is all pointless if he does not exist.

And what about that weariness and exhaustion – that burn out of nature. What did Jesus say? Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest!

And what about you. Are you like the people Job describes..”They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?” GK Chesterton – “All men matter. You matter. I matter. It’s the hardest thing in theology to believe.” But it is what Jesus teaches us.

 

 

 

 

31 comments

  1. What a horrific thought. Going to the grave deliberately refusing God in one’s life.

  2. ― Carl Gustav Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul:-“I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life – that is to say, over 35 – there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook.”

  3. Best wishes for this outreach, Pastor.

    ” @theweeflea

    David Robertson Retweeted
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    @Ayaan

    “The deeply divided society we now live in increasingly reminds me of clan or tribal behaviour in Africa.”

    My latest for @unherd:https://unherd.com/2021/05/tribalism-has-come-to-the-west/ …”

    This reminds me of something that was mentioned in that long discussion on the uber-woke Tasmanian writer, Philippa Moore. The fact she was actively blocking and unfriending followers on social media simply for having different political views just reinforces echo chambers and tribalism. If she is no longer able to even tolerate having people of different views follow her or engage with her on social media, that really isn’t too far from a ‘civil war’ mindset. Ie, if you no longer tolerate any differing views from your neighbours, it isn’t that far a step from wanting to silence them permanently if a civil war situation were to arise. 🙁

    This really shows the liberals at their most intolerant and potentially dangerous.

    1. Yes, that was an interesting thread with all those Tasmanians critiquing Philippa Moore’s incredibly woke and bizarre tweets. I just had a look at her Twitter and that of her husband again. She is just lamenting the fact she is too scared of COVID to jump on a plane to the mainland for a shopping trip:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/philippa_moore/status/1390086933389275138

      I know a lot of poor, working class Tasmanians who could never afford to fly to Melbourne for something as frivolous as a shopping trip. I am just fortunate I have been able to travel to places like Tassie and Europe a lot for my work – my parents were too poor to travel much when I was young despite years of suffering, sacrifice and hard work.

      Anyway, that aside, there is one interesting new Tweet there from her husband which might give some insight into why he is the way he is:

      “… during the 90s she [his mum] got into New Age which probably inspired me the most leading into my love of ambient and electronica.”

      https://mobile.twitter.com/tomschoon/status/1391511353769140228

      I am not sure if Tom Schoon means his mother was into New Age just as a mysical genre or if he means she was into the religion, too. If he meand the latter, it kight explain his ultra-woke position on every subject inder the sun.

      Anyway, I thoroughly agree, Jean, that the ceasement of dialogue and increasing poparisation of positions can set the stage for a civil war. Look at France and the USA in recent months. It seems unthinkable in Australia at the moment but that kind of attitude of middle-class and upper middle-class liberals like Philippa Moore no longer listening to working class conservatives is a worrying sign, even if she is an extreme outlier.

      PM Morrison is right – social media can be a tool of the devil with the way it is leading to this polarisation and narrowing of views. So ial media has been around long enough now that we can gauge its effects and see the enormous harm it can do to the cohesion of our social fabric.

      It is harder to ignore a contrary opinion in face to face conversation in real life. You can’t hit an ignore button on someone in real conversation.

      1. Yes, I am not sure from that tweet if Tom Schoon means his mother was into New Age music, New Age religion or both.

        I searched for more information. His mother, Julia Schoon, passed away a few years ago and his father died earlier this year. Please pray for this poor young man that he may come to know Christ, accept Him as Lord of his life and be saved.

        I cannot believe Philippa Moore’s tweet though. For all her promotion of environmentalism and caring for the planet, she thinks nothing of jumping on a jet plane and flying to Melbourne for a shopping trip. So it turns out she is just another sanctimonious hypocrite, telling us poor plebs how to live our lives while she jets around. How many times have we heard this from celebs? Shades of Harry and Meghan there. 🙁 I wonder how she justifies it to herself.

        It does show the difference in lifestyles between social classes as you say, too. I lived in Tassie for a while. With its high unemployment in the 1990s and lower than average standards of living, I knew many, many working class battlers in Tassie who could not afford to fly to the nainland on a whim, let alone for a shopping trip. For them, it was a once-in-a-decade experience, at best. Airline deregulation made some difference, lowering the cost of fares, but it still wasn’t something most Tasmanians could do on a regular basis.

        At any rate, please pray for Philippa too that she may come to know Christ and be saved, along with her husband.

        Yes, the polarisation caused by social media is very worrying. Once people of different classes and political outlooks no longer even talk to each other, I worry about recourse to violence to make opinions heard as dialogue breaks down.

      2. The other orryjng thing is that Philiippa Moore is very vocal on social media in support of the Aboriginal cause and, as I documented elsewhere on this site ( https://theweeflea.com/2021/03/08/letter-from-australia-84/ ) , she was recently on an ABC radio prigram with Michael Mansell. Mamsell was, of course, infamously cahoots with Colonel Gadafi.

        “In 1987 and 1988, Mansell had gone to Libya seeking funding for his organisation from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He also sought to join Gaddafi’s Mathaba worldwide group of insurgents…”

        https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_MRE170_a&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnational-affairs%2Fopinion%2Fquestioning-credentials-of-an-aboriginal-elite%2Fnews-story%2Fbb46a8c580ea5e77d752f895c5aa0214&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&nk=7685e3a1435843a1e50565338e1362ff-1620682753

        “So, surprisingly, has Michael Mansell, who in 1988 went to Libya to attempt to link his so-called Aboriginal Provisional Government with Colonel Gaddafi’s network of 87 militias and insurgency groups worldwide.”

        https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_MRE170_a&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnational-affairs%2Fleft-wingers-change-their-tune-on-gaddafis-regime%2Fnews-story%2F964024ce34efa378c6a4450dbae93a76&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&nk=7685e3a1435843a1e50565338e1362ff-1620682160&v21suffix=160-b

        “In April 1987, at a conference sponsored by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya called “A Conference on Peace and Revolution in the Pacific”, Mansell spoke to a large international audience.”

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Mansell

        “Mr Mansell subsequently claimed Gaddafi’s support for a separate Aboriginal nation.”

        https://www.9news.com.au/national/libya-seeking-to-fiddle-in-sth-pacific/a289c433-8976-456b-8710-bc6ae9c7fbe4

        “When Michael Mansell visited Libya in the late 1980s to seek aid for his Aboriginal Provisional Government from the Muslim dictator Colonel Gaddafi, the Australian media treated him as a joke. But if Mansell had been an officer of a sovereign Aboriginal state, and if he had gone there at any time in the past decade and a half, it would not have been so amusing.”

        https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2016/11/break-australia-part/

        “… in the 1980s, driven by strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist world view, Libya sought to parlay oil cash into influence in a range of struggling Pacific Island nations.

        Cabinet documents for 1988 and 1989 – released by the National Archives of Australia – show the government was quite concerned that a pariah nation and terrorist supporter was meddling in our part of the globe.”

        and

        “In Australia, Gaddafi had his supporters on both the far right and far left.

        They included Victorian Labor figure Bill Hartley and indigenous activist Michael Mansell who in 1987 attended Gaddafi’s conference on peace and revolution in the Pacific.

        Mr Mansell subsequently claimed Gaddafi’s support for a separate Aboriginal nation.”

        https://www.sbs.com.au/news/libya-seeking-to-fiddle-in-sth-pacific

        I assume Michael Mansell is still on anti-terrorism watchlists. I just hope and pray Philippa Moore never becomes so radicalised she ends up going in this durection. We know from her other tweets and posts she has no problem with violence for a political cause (celebrating the female agent who strangled a man with her bare hands and promotion of WW1 and attack on political pacifism in her blog post). Given Moore’s extreme woke left political views and willingness to go on air with Michael Mansell it is a genuine worry to me. I will continue to pray for her.

      3. Yes, that and Tom Schoon’s cartoon drawing of the decapitated politician and his praise of Antifa add up to… not a good look.

        From what I’ve read, I doubt Philippa and Tom would ever become radicalised to the point of violence (at least I certainly hope not) but their extremely woke views, liberal authoritarianism and shutting out of opposing political views show they are *some* way down this path already.

        Rest assured, I will continue to pray for them, Jean. Christ will work in their lives and lead them away from this dark path. God bless.

      4. I’ve just been reading through Tom Schoon and Philippa Moore’s Tweets and blog posts. They are very odd people and very much in a ‘woke’ echo chamber as you say.

        I can’t see them ever becoming radicalised enough to be terrorists thankfully but cheering on Antifa is bad enough since it could spur someone else to do something. Tom Schoon and Philippa Moore obviously DO support political violence in some circumstances, namely opposing the far right. They ned to be far more responsible with their social media posts, especially Philippa Moore, since she has a sizable number of ‘followers’.

        I can see the liberal left in general becoming progressively more violent in general through the echo chamber effect over time as you say. The fact that Philippa Moore would be willing to deliberately drive away ‘followers’ because they have different views is worrying enough, as you rightly point out. It is indeed a kind of ‘civil war’mentality, equivalent to a Croat not wanting to dialogue with Serbs anymore. Social media causing a ‘Balkanization’ of society and leading to a real Balkans-like scenario is a real risk but I wouldn’t read too much into these two eccentric social media gurus in general. They seem fairly harmless by themsrlves, unless they prove to be the canaries in the coalmine and the rest of the liberal left start to head down the same path. Thanks for the heads-up about them though.

      5. I was reading this and the other, long discussion. Yes, very extreme woke-ists.

        I did see another little bit of hypocrisy that is worth noting – for all of her discussion of her weight and body image pressure on women, Philippa Moore is quite prepared to turn around and write articles for Cosmopolitan. Do you remember the disgusting, foul-mouthed 1992 novelty song by rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot, “Baby’s Got Back”? Well, for all its crudity and lustful lewdness, he specifically singles out Cosmo magazine as a publication that puts pressure on women to conform to a certain body image ideal and it was one of those publications that was alleged to have helped provoke the anorexia/bulimia epidemic of that time, so for Philippa Moore to then turn around and write for that publication reeks of opportunism and hypocrisy, unfortunately.

        Other than that, yes, they are quite extreme people. I will pray for her and her husband as you ask.

      6. A great discussion here and on the other page. Yes, it is easy to poke holes in all of the hypocrisy from this Philippa Moore woke writer – concerned about the environment but flies everywhere, concerned about body image pressures on yiung women but writrs for Cosmo, anti-police violence but pro-military, leftist but an opponent of the pacifists opposing the two most blatantly imperialist wars of the last 100 years, WW1 and the Invasion of Iraq. Add to that airing all of the dirt in public about her marriage with her first husband and shameful divorce and her subsequent sex outside of marriage and you have a very distasteful, unsavoury young woman riddled with contradictions and hypocrisy.

        It makes you wonder if these wokesters really believe in any of the causes they advocate or if it all really is just insincere virtue signalling and making a show – a kind of peer pressure on speed to show how hyper-conformist to the new morality they are while not really believing in any of it in their hearts of hearts. It is sad really that they are so insincere and shallow. The insights about her mother Sylvia Moore and sister Liz Graham on the other page give some hints about how she ended up like this but at some point people have to take responsibility for their own actions and have to let go of their childhood. Yes, I will pray for this girl, too. I truly hope she and her family come to Christ.

      7. I should add I feel more sad for this Philippa Moore than anything – appalled by the hypocrisy of course and the authoritarianism of the wokesters but saddened by this writer’s life and its shallowness and emptiness of true morality. Dear Father, please let Jesus reach out to Philippa Moore and her sisters and parents and help them and save them. Please, by Your irresistable grace, may they invite You into their lives. Save them and transform them. Thank you, Lord. Amen

      8. I was going to say Philippa Moore seems to be as woke as Meghan Markle, then it occurred to me she is just like Princess Diana. Maybe I have Di on my mind because of her 60th birthday and the unveiling of her statue but the similarities seem uncanny. Consider:

        1. Both had very difficult mothers.

        2. Both had unhappy school experiences.

        3. Both had bulimia.

        4. Both had psychological problems.

        5. Both married young and unhappily.

        6. Both divorced young.

        7. Both then fornicated.

        8. Both have aired their dirty laundry in books.

        9. Both have courted the media.

        10. Both have dabbled in consulting psychics (and in Philippa Moore’s case other weird occult stuff like hypnotherapy and that whole Eats, Loves, Prays phenomena)

        11. Both became social justice gurus of a sort – Diana with her Queen of Hearts campaigns and Philippa Moore with her woke social media posts about every topic under the sun.

        12. Like Diana, despite all of her glaring flaws, Philippa Moore remains a likeable person, almost in spite of herself.

        I’d be interested to know if other woke people are coming from the same kind of background as Philippa Moore. Is this phenomena the result of a generation of young people who had unhappy childhoods? Moore seems very fixated on her past to the point of being unable to let go of the fact teachers told her to be quiet in school or had to weigh her. Are the so-called snowflakes people who lacked resilience from their earliest, formative years? Her book and posts and the discussions here give rise to all kinds of questions like this.

        If only Chris t were in the lives of people like her and her generation, to say nothing of Lady Di. She doesn’t realise what she really needs to help her. Like the rest of you, I wish I could reach out.

      9. Yes, she does have some striking similarities with Princess Diana! One can see the resemblance in their mindsets and approaches to the difficulties they have faced in life. As I said in the other thread, there are a lot of similiarities between Philippa and I in terms of our interests and study and career paths. I hope that doesn’t mean I am a Diana-like figure as well! 😛

        On a much more serious note, as I mentioned in the other discussion, I met Philippa Moore briefly a few times when she was in some of my lectures at university. What I did not say was that, some years prior to that time, I also knew the mother and the younger sisters from an organisation of which I was a member at that time (Hobart is a small town so everyone tends to know everyone else). As you say, the mother was a very aggressive woman and caused a lot of harm at the organisation through her over-the-top behaviour unfortunately. I was one such victim as a kid as were other people I knew. Later on, I would sometimes see the mother in the street and she would walk past and not even speak to me, which is a weird way for an adult to treat a kid (I was just a teen at the time.) Later on, someone she and I both knew from the organisation passed away and she didn’t bother to go to her friend’s funeral so she was a woman with a heart of stone. A very strange woman.

        At any rate, irrespective of the pain and damage Sylvia Moore caused in my own personal life, I can see how Sylvia’s behaviour adversely affected Philippa. Add to that, her mother loving Philippa’s book according to the latter’s tweets despite it being full of immoral behaviour and foul language and you can see how Philippa’s moral compass was badly skewed. 🙁 🙁 🙁

        I realise what I have just said is very critical but that isn’t what I wanted to say at all. I really do feel concerned about Philippa Moore as I said in the previous discussion, though I barely knew her.

        I am an evangelical Christian myself and self-identify as Calvinist on most doctrinal points. Obviously, I therefore disagree with Philippa’s opinions on most issues, as people documented in the previous discussion on this blog, though I am largely apolitical myself. I am definitely opposed to her promotion of war, fornication and political correctness at any rate.

        Despite my opposing opinions, I truly do feel nothing but kindness and compassion in my heart towards Philippa Moore herself. On those few occasions I did meet her, I had no idea she had so much pain in her life and so many troubles haunting her from her past. Heaven knows, at that time I had a lot of serious problems in my young life myself but I definitely would have tried to befriend her and support her in any way I could had I known, no matter how wary I was of her mother. I wish I could have been her friend.

        As I said, I was only a teen when I knew the family and in my early 20s when I met Philippa Moore at university. Now, with age and wisdom, I realise I should have taken a different approach to her family and tried to evangelise to them. I am a very quiet and introverted person, so heaven knows God has given me no great gifts in spreading the gospel but I wish I could have tried in that family’s case. I do know Philippa attended a Roman Catholic school, then a Quaker college before starting uni. Before she married her first husband, I am led to believe she attended an Alpha Course in our local evangelical Anglican Church, so she has had three exposures to Christianity, two very imperfect and one that is quite good, so at least she is not totally ignorant of true religion. I am grateful for that and pray she will come back to it later in life at the right time of God’s choosing.

        From my limited meetings with her, Philippa Moore did strike me as a genuinely kind and empathetic person despite what she has been through in life. I believe therefore that some of her posts and tweets are probably a result of misguided empathy in to the wrong causes through a naive desire to help, rather than anything truly malicious. When you see things like her critique of the old man’s Christmas funeral notice, or her airing her dirty laundry about her husband in her book or her attacks on pacifists (of whom I identify as one) it can become a little harder to maintain this sympathetic stance towards her but I do believe her political correctness and extreme political views come out of a genuine desire to help rather than out of a sense of maliciousness or desire to bully , tyrannise or harm others.

        I therefore feel nothing but deep compassion and empathy towards this young lady and wish I could have befriended her more deeply to help her when she was going through so much emotional and psychological turmoil in her late teens and early twenties. I feel that if she does turn to Christ one day, with her gifts and kind, loving disposition, she has the potential to be a truly great person and do much good in the world. That good person within Philippa is just waiting to come out. Hopefully, her mother and the rest of her family can be saved too.

        I just wish Philippa every kindness and blessing in life and hope she is saved. As I said at the outset, I feel nothing but compassion, empathy and friendship towards that girl and I hope she can overcome all the hurt in her life. May the Lord bless her and keep her and may she come to saving faith in Christ and let Him be Lord of her life. May she know she is deeply loved by God and cared for by her friends, even by people who barely know her.

      10. Bah! For a writer/editor, I really didn’texpress myself well yesterday so I will try again now to say what I really wanted to say.

        For starters, Old Sylvia was definitely an overbearing bully who caused me a lot of grief. However, what I wanted to say was that is all in the past now as surely we must forgive and forget and that seems to be something Philippa herself has trouble with since she is so haunted by things from her past. At any rate, it is unlikely I will ever see Sylvia again so there is no point in holding onto past grudges, no matter the damage she did. It is better to let go of these things. I am however still genuinely concerned about the damage Sylvia may have done to her daughters through her mixture of pushiness and spoiling them. 🙁

        As for Philippa, I truly meant what I said. She definitely struck me as a genuine, empathetic person. That is why I find it hard to reconcile what she was like with all of the PC rubbish she puts out on social media as people documented on various posts in the previous discussion. The fact that she promotes evils like homosexual marriage, abortion, a tyrannical degree of censorship, promotion of sexual immorality/fornication and the Liz Gilbert spiritualist/occultist material is hard to reconcile with the person I met, however briefly. It just goes to show that Calvin’s doctrine of “Total Depravity” is correct: no matter how nice or kind a person is their heart is tainted to some degree by evil and rebellion against God. That of course goes for my own heart as much as anyone else’s.

        As was also discussed in the other thread, it is hard to make sense of her politics – she despises Thatcher but she loved the same economic policies when the ALP introduced them in Australia. Furthermore, she is a feminist but she lauds the former Prime Minister Bob Hawke who was a notorious womaniser. As I said yesterday I, myself, am emphatically apolitical and she is of course entitled to her opinions but they do seem like a mass of contradictions to me.

        I am very grateful to find kindred spirits on this site who are worried about Philippa Moore and who are praying for her. Whoever you are, whether former school friends or people who know her from Tasmania or London or the regular Scottish and Aussie folks who visit this site, it is lovely of you. I will join you in your prayers.

        I don’t think Philippa’s promotion of her social justice hobby horses are attention-seeking or an attempt to play the sympathy card. I believe she is genuine in her beliefs albeit somewhat naive and misguided at times. I definitely don’t think she’d be dangerous but I can see how the extremism of some of her views and her consorting with Michael Mansell can lead some people to think so. I couldn’t imagine her becoming radicalised to the point where she’d use her blog to promote political violence though.

        When I met Philippa Moore those few times at uni, she seems a very caring, kind, warmhearted individual and I really wished I could have come to know her better, wary though I was of getting too close from having known her mother. I had no inkling whatsoever she was hurting so much and in so much pain until I read her book relatively recently though. Knowing now what I wish I had known then I definitely wish I could have befriended her and given her the support and friendship she clearly needed and craved at that time. I will always regret that. I also wish I could have shared Christ’s love for her with her.

        It grieves me and worries me deeply that she has now gone down this very anti-Christian, “woke” path. I know she has had some exposure to Christianity through the Quaker school, her Anglican minister (a wonderful man) in pre-marriage counselling and, I believe in the Alpha Course. She also attended a Roman Catholic school early on in her life which, I fear, probably did more harm than good but at least she would have received some vaguely Christian education there, however grievously erroneous their doctrines and beliefs.

        At any rate, I was going through much pain at that point in my own life too when I met Philippa and I wish I could have shared some of my own burdens with her as such an empathetic and caring girl would, I think, could genuinely have helped me as much as I could have helped her. We could both have supported each other with the deep pain and suffering we were both feeling over various different things.

        I therefore remember her as a gentle, kind person. I wish I could have befriended her and shown her support and love (in a brotherly way). I feel nothing but warmth and kindness towards her and wish her every success in life. I hope she comes to know Christ and is saved before this present path of woke/PC, unChristian values and hedonism burns her too badly. I don’t wish to see her suffer any more.

        Since she is a clearly a psychologically-fragile person, I would ask that people on her please refrain from posting about her anymore. I know her PC posts are a worry as is the fact she has a sizeable social media following but I don’t think rigorous criticism will be productive in this case since she is a vulnerable, gentle person without much in the way of resilience. Her impact outside of Australia is negligible apart from her occasional HuffPost or Guardian piece anyway.

        Please continue to pray for her. I have very confidence she has the potential to be a truly good person if she lets Christ into her life and I have nothing but kindhearted thoughts and warm feelings of compassion and affectionate friendship towards her and eep, genuine concern for her well-being.

        God bless.

      11. Beautiful, heartfelt words full of warmth, love and concern, DL.

        Yes, I will definitely pray for this poor, dear girl. I hope she is healed of all her pain and sorrow and that she comes to know Christ as her Saviour and Lord and comes to understand His true moral value system.

        My heart breaks for poor lost kids like this.

        I will pray for her family too. You are obviously full of anxiety and concern for them and their eternal fate, despite the pain the mother caused you.

        Dear Lord and Father

        Please make yourself known to Philippa and her family. May they be saved. Please may their names be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Heal this troubled girl and help her to use her social media following for true good.

        In the name of Your Son Jesus Christ,

        Amen.

        Don’t worry now, DL. Leave it in God’s hands and let Him work in her life and that if her family. Your warmness and love towards Philippa and her family radiates through your posts. You are a true friend to care for Philippa so much – despite your troubled experience with her mum – whether or not she ever realises it. Anyway, these things will ultimately be revealed to her on the Last Day. On that day she will know you are a truly caring brother in Christ to her and her family whether or not they appreciate that now in this life. Make sure you continue to pray for her and her family too. Your hidden kindness to her will reap rewards eventually, whether you ever see it or not.

      12. I should add my own thoughts about this. I think the two discussion threads provide an excellent case study on the background of a “woke” person and how they have ended up that way. As you say, DL, Hobart is a small town and everyone onows everyone else so it is good to have captured here points if view from people who know this writer well.

        We often speak figuratively on sites like this about the “insanity” of woke beliefs and views. I guess thecone question is whetger this girl really does literally have a mental illness. Hmmm… I’m no psychologist but I really do suspect so in this case, I’m sorry to say about your friend, DL. She has the background of bulimia of course but therr are othrr things like vlinging so tightly to the past she still holds a grudge against teachers for telling her to be quiet in class and runs to SBS or the Guardian to complain about critics of her book and ger trolls. Trolls can be hurtful but this is such an extreme level of sensitivity it comes across as bizarre. On top of that, there is the lack of restraint and compliance with social norms when talking about sexual matters and feminine hygiene products.

        She’s an intelligent person but is easily dupedcand used by the Aboriginal industry and con artist like Liz Gilbert and trying out New Age stuff like hypnotherapy and yoga and trying to be both hedonistic and environmentally conscious simultaneously which leads to charges of blatant hypocrisy.

        I had a thought: I obviously don’t know these people like the mother but have you considee maybe it was the other way around? Her aggressiveness and bullying behaviiur moght have been in order to protect a daughter who she knew was mentally ill rather than a contributing factor to it? Just a speculative thought.

        Also I know a lot of people who went to Catholic schools who were put off religion either by having it constantly pounded into them, the cruelty of the nuns or the bad false unChristians doctrines of tge catjolucs.

        Finally, you are a good Christian person, DL, to stand by your friend Philippa when there is still a stigma around mental illlnrss and when you obviously disagree with her anti christian views.

      13. Came here after reading Latte Years and Philippa Moore’s tweets and blog and finding myself doubting my own sanity. The two discussions here are like a breath of fresh air. I agree with what you all are saying – it is hard to tell the difference between social justice warrior lunacy and real life mental health issues these days. Add to that the fact that Philippa Moore’s husband is a marketing guru and I don’t know if she is saying provocative stuff just to gain more social media hits or if she really has a psychological problem but I’m leaning towards the latter.

        I agree with everyone else those are beautiful and very kind words DL. You are very caring. I would urge caution to you and the people on the other discussion who were contemplating reaching out towards Philippa Moore though. Here’s why –

        https://twitter.com/philippa_moore/status/1427804235299573764

        From what I can see she claims to have been bullied by classmates, teachers, online trolls, work colleagues, bosses, and her ex-husband and has even lashed out against people who have written negative reviews of her books. She is so sensitive about it she has written an article for the Guardian, appeared on SBS and tried hypnotherapy. Now in this post she’s saying her neighbour bullied her to the extent she had to move house. Some of these instances may well be true but I can’t help thinking she is paranoid and deeply disturbed. No one is bullied that much by that many people so it seems like her perceptions are distorted. Look at that discussion on the other page about how she wrote an entire blog post about how she felt repressed because of her teachings telling her to be quiet at school. That to me reeks of a persecution complex. It may well stem from the overbearing mother people have been talking about – who knows. Given her bulimia and the other probs she mentions in Latte Years though I think it is best not to be involved or to contact her directly. The reason is she might lash out at you and falsely accuse you of bullying her too. Unless you are trained in counselling and know how to deal with someone with these issues you probably can’t handle her. I’ve seen people with paranoia and psych problems turn on those who have genuinely been trying to help them in the past. I don’t know if it gives them a sense of empowerment or control or if they genuinely believe it but they will turn around and make fake claims of bullying or harassment against people who would never dream of doing such a thing and are genuinely trying to help them. Like I said, I defeinitely don’t know if Philippa falls into this category but she obviously has had a history of problems with bulimia, etc, and her posts seem to me to give the impression of a persecution complex and I know this kind of person can be bad news. The difficult mother adds another complication.

        Since this is a Christian website, my advice is the same as the pastor’s and the other people’s on the previous page: pray fervently for Philippa and help her in that way but don’t contact her directly.

        BTW, some people talked about her sister Liz Graham on the other page. What is she like. Is she okay. Sounds like she had some troubles too but a different kind. I couldn’t understand what people were saying on the other page. Maybe she needs prayers too.

        I agree with you all – it is frightening someone like this gains such a big social media cult following. It seems like the more bizarre the opinion the more people listens to it in this day and age.

      14. Thank you for your very kind words, everyone. Yes, I understand what you are saying about persecution complexes/neuroses and how people suffering from them can misunderstand genuinely good intentions. We had a mentally ill person like that at our church once, many years ago. It is dangerous because they can make false claims against people.

        I definitely wouldn’t reach out to Philippa since I barely knew her and, as you say, she might take things the wrong way. At any rate, prayer is the most important thing we can do for somebody. I firmly believe that. God has provided enough answered prayers and true miracles in my own sinful life for me to know He is real and the power of prayer.

        Yes, I agree that the more outrageous an SJW statement, the followers it is likely to get. We live in a time of strange social media-fueled political cults from Trump on one side to the Wokesters/PC Professional Outrage Industry on the other. I don’t know if Philippa Moore is mentally ill or not; I sincerely hope not but her postings – as people documented on the other page – are truly bizarre at times and very extreme in their SJW stances. I sincerely hope she is okay.

        It is extremely gratifying to know that other people on this page and the other one are also praying for her well-being.

        Regarding Philippa Moore’s sister, Liz Graham, I don’t want to say too much her because she isn’t a public figure like her journalist/social media blogger sibling, or a radio personality like her father. It wouldn’t be appropriate to talk about a private person too much behind her back. All I will say is this: she was still Elizabeth Moore when I knew her since she was just a teenage kid back then. I knew her only through the organisation with which I was involved. She was a sweet kid and I was fond of her. She was a very extroverted chatterbox but I suspect some of that was nerves. Anyway, I always tried to be kind and supportive of her. She didn’t have much willpower or dedication though and she was a bit lazy but I suspect that was because of the mother who ruined those girls. 🙁 Later, she ran of the rails and became very rude. It was extremely sad and hurtful to see for those who had supported her. She later became pregnant outside of wedlock. I think she was still just a teen. Another teenage girl from the organisation, a vision-impaired girl named Bernadette, became pregnant at exactly the same time so that caused a big double-scandal. Note I was very sick with a serious illness at the time so I am not aware of all the details of what went on. I lost contact with them at that time anyway.

        Whether this Graham person Elizabeth Moore is married to now is the father of her first child, I have no idea. I don’t know who he is and in fact I didn’t even know she was married until I read it on the other thread. I did previously hear she had become a kindergarten or prep teacher though.

        I do know she didn’t go onto uni. I simply think it is really heartbreaking that a sweet little kid would become so enmeshed in sin, especially sexual sin, later on. That’s all I know about her really.

        My heart truly, deeply grieves for her.

        According to the discussion on the other page, Elizabeth Moore has now become a devout Roman Catholic. I have really mixed feelings about this. Partly I feel great joy that she is turning I towards God, of course. However, I am more than aware that Roman Catholicism is a highly errant, heterodox religion given its huge doctrinal deviations from Biblical Christianity and the anti-Christ nature of the office of Pope. Add to that the fact that the Roman Catholics savagely persecuted my ancestors – on both sides of my family – and you can see where my feelings lie. The facts that the Roman Church has been prepared to twist God’s word, blasphemously proclaim the Pope to be “Christ’s Vicar on Earth”, suppress the Bible, murder the body and imperil the soul make it the most evil organisation that has ever existed in my opinion. What can compare to those crimes?

        More importantly than my personal feelings about Catholicism though is my hope that Elizabeth Moore can come to saving faith in Christ even if it is through this wicked, deviant “Church”. If she can come to faith alone, through Christ alone, despite Rome’s misleading, soul-endangering works-righteousness doctrines and idolatry, I will be extremely grateful. I only want what is best for that poor child. I pray she can learn Christian morality and repent of her sexual misdeeds and come to saving faith in Christ. I wish that dear child nothing but the best in life and wish I could convey my deep love to her. Again, I would not reach out to her or her family though in case it was taken the wrong way and because of what the mother was like.

        I want nothing more than for Elizabeth Moore to come to her senses and be saved. I will pray for her too and even for her mother that her heart may be softened so that she may repent and be saved also. That is the best way I know to show genuine, heartfelt love and support for Elizabeth Moore, even though she will never know how I am helping her. That wayward child and prodigal daughter has potential for great good in her, I am sure. I wish I could help her and support her and guide her and show her the deepest, warmest Christian brotherly love and help her save her soul. May Christ have mercy on her and fill her life with His joy and every kind of blessing. I hope she receives all the help and support she needs in life. I wish that girl nothing but the absolute best. I wish she had a sense of how deeply she is cared for and how much former friends still think warmly of her despite all of the pain she and her mother have caused through their attitudes and actions. I wish her only the best and feel nothing but pure love towards her.

        Please, please join me in prayer for Elizabeth and Philippa Moore, that Christ may come into their lives, that they may put their faith and trust in Him and make Him Lord of their lives and thereby that they may be saved. That would mean the world to me. Thank you so much. Their salvation is of the utmost importance. Please God, fill Elizabeth with a sense of your great love for her and wash her sins away. Likewise, make yourself known to Philippa too. Please save both these precious girls. In the name of your dear Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen. May Elizabeth know and understand former friends care for her and feel nothing but the warmest love for her and deepest concern for her welfare and hope for her eternal salvation too.

        I trust Christ will work in Elizabeth Moore’s life and save her and fill her with knowledge of His love for her. God bless you all.

      15. Those are beautiful words again, DL. I can tell you really care deeply about Elizabeth Moore. Your prayer for her is really heartfelt.

        Yes, I agree we should not gossip about people, especially if they are not public figures. I was just curious about her as Philippa Moore’s sister when people mentioned her out of the blue on the other page and she isn’t really mentioned in the Latte Years at all or on Philippe’s blog.

        I agree about the crimes of the Roman Catholic Church too. I was reading a while ago about how they suppressed reading of the Bible, and punished people praying privately at home or singing Psalms. It was shocking. Maybe Roman Catholicism is the path that God has mapped out for Elizabeth for some reason. She might be saved in spite of Rome and move to a better denomination later on. At least it sounds like she is actually attending a church even if it is one that has been so cruel and murderous to people like your ancestors.

        I hope Philippa receives professional help too if she needs it. I wonder what editors think of her articles and opinions? I suppose as long as SJW stuff sells they’ll keep printing it. Let’s hope she one day comes to embrace Christian morality too.

        I can tell you really care for those two girls so they must have made a big impression on you. Your warmhearted concern and care for Elizabeth Moore really shines through your post. I hope she one day appreciates your Christian love for her and your concern for her soul. God bless. xxx

      16. Heya my name’s Aria. When my friend Hayley showed me your words, DL, I was really deeply touched.

        I really, really hope Liz Graham reaches out to you one day and you are reconciled. I pray you two will be friends again.

        I understand what it’s like when a young person you feel protective of goes off the rails. It is really sad when a sweet young person rebels and ends up in a sinful lifestyle. The good thing is it sounds like she’s getting her life back in order now and has repented of her sinful lifestyle.

        The Roman Catholic Church is rotten to its core, I agree, but at least she will learn about sexual morality from them. Later, when she’s ready, I’m sure God will lead her to a more Christian church. she’ll just have to unlearn some of the erroneous doctrines she’s been taught and learn about faith alone and the Bible in more detail.

        Your care for her is incredibly touching and beautiful.

        I’ll write more about Philippa Moore and her blog some other time. I have more to say on that and wokeness and the PC agenda in general.

    2. I should have added before that I will of course pray for these poor, deluded kids, too. I want to see them saved as much as you do. God bless.

      1. Hey again guys

        For whatever it’s worth, these are my thoughts on Philippa Moore’s writings. I’m no psychologist so these are just personal opinions and speculation s based on the impression her writing gives me.

        I basically think she’s an attention seeker. Having read the Google Books version of the Latte Years this arvo she talks in it about how she and all her sisters were always desperate for attention. She seems like a very needy person so her blog and the controversy it causes might be meeting that need. Add to that her constant talk about bullying, her need to appear on SBS and do newspaper promos shows she is a very publicity-hungry person.

        I think the blog itself and her Tweets might be a bit contrived. According to one of her latest Tweets, she recently turned 40 yet here she is talking about SJW causes, generally an obsession of millennials.

        Her writing and opinions come across as naive, even childish at times, but this is an intelligent woman (member of Mensa) who is well-travelled and has worked in the cynical world of journalism for rags like Cosmo. Therefore, I suspect the childish tone of her writing and general silliness of her Tweets might be a deliberate attempt to write for the specific market of teens and people in their early twenties.

        Her book is very much written for that market since she is talking about weight loss and bulimia and body image, all issues that affect this age group and again, she adopts that naive style though this time there is more excuse since she is reflecting back on that time in her own life.

        Otherwise her thoughts are truly frightening – in her Tweets she calls censorship of non-woke books and films, advocates that men accused of sexual harassment be treated as guilty until proven innocent, promotes sexual licentiousness, wants to push all right wing voters away from her blog, etc, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. All of this is being directed at young people.

        Of course, the other option is that she is mentally ill as some of you have speculated which would account for her more irrational and paranoid posts and hysterical tweets. In her book, she certainly talks about her demons from eating disorders through to hypnotherapy to block troubling memories.

        She also portrays her mother as a nightmare if a woman in her book, reading her private diary behind her back, snooping through her personal belongings and instilling discipline “by fear”.

        As bad as the impression of her mother is, even if it is realistic, surely she is violating the Fifth Commandment to “honour thy father and thy mother” by depicting her mother in this very public way in her autobiography? Shades of Meghan and Harry there.

        She appears to be a bit hypocritical on the issue of bullying too since she was quick to gang up in JK Rowling in a recent tweet when the latter was in trouble with the woke crowd because of her views on transgenders. Professional jealousy?

        On an issue of much lesser significance, I notice she’s against the Mount Wellington Cable Car. I know this has been a long running issue in Tasmania. My one question about these anti-cable car activists is are they also against the existing television transmission tower on Mount Wellington? Do they want that removed too? You never hear them mention that in the media Does Philippa Moore’s father’s radio station use that tower to broadcast?

        There is also all of the hypocrisy mentioned above of Philippa working for Cosmo despite her body image problems and her self-indulgent shopping trip flights to mainland Australia whilst still advocating a green environmental lifestyle for us plebs. How any of her social media followers take her seriously after that I’ll never know.

        Her views are more extreme than most people but she just seems to really reflect the upper-middle class, privately educated inner city hypocrite we’ve seen so much of over the last decade. A sensitive snowflake who bullies and berates others but runs to the media at the first moment she herself feels oppressed and seemingly oblivious or uncaring about her blatant hypocrisies.

        Ultimately, yeah I don’t know if Philippa Moore’s an attention seeker writing deliberately provocative and shocking social media posts in a cynical attempt to appeal to her presumably-youthful social media following or whether she is a troubled young writer with a mild mental illness who is oblivious to how irrational, extremist and bizarre some of her Tweets and writings are. Neither answer would surprise me If it is the latter, I really hope and pray she receives the professional help she needs. Either way, her extreme views are dangerous and she is a very poor role model for young people. I hope they see through her hypocrisies and realise the dangerous implications of what she is saying very soon. Either way this is a very sad situation.

        To end on a brighter note, I wish to reiterate again that I really hope Liz Graham takes the initiative and reaches out to you DL. You need to keep praying for her and support her and guide her in Christ Ian faith if she ever comes to you for help and advice.

        I hope Philippa gets help and love too whatever her problem is.

      2. @Aria

        I tend to agree with you. I would be very uncomfortable if my teenage daughter was following Philippa Moore on social media both because of her constant promotion of ‘woke’ values and the occasionally sexually-explicit material in her posts that runs counter to Christian sexual ethics. I agree that her book is very much targeted at the teenage and early-twenties market so these are the very audience she is trying to capture.

        In terms of the constant claims of bullying, it is hard to know how much truth there is to her claims. I am certain some instances, at least, likely happened but how much they are being blown up due to a persecution complex that is blowing minor slights out of proportion or a cynical attempt to play the victim card, I don’t know. She was dwelling on the issue yet again yesterday though so it seems like an unhealthy fixation with her past and an inability to move on:

        https://mobile.twitter.com/philippa_moore/status/1437954953100750850

        At any rate, her woke agenda and self-promotion of her own victimhood definitely make it seem like she has learnt a lot of the tricks of the trade from Meghan and Harry. I won’t say any more in case she or her colleagues ever read this and misconstrue my thoughts here as as ‘bullying’. Anyway, I honestly feel more pity for her than anything, even if all her victimhood claims were to turn out to be just cynical self marketing. I honestly mean that. She seems trapped in the anti-Christian worldview she has constructed.

        @DL – this is a really tricky situation you have. Here are my thoughts. Firstly, your obviously heartfelt concern and deep affection for Liz Graham (and, by extension, Philippa Moore) is really touching. My advice is the same as that of @Aria and @Hayleybaby – don’t reach out to them. Just pray earnestly for them and wait for Liz Graham to hopefully make the first move and contact you one day. I will pray that she realises what a good friend you were one day and that she reaches out to you.

        If she does, always be a good Christian role model to her and lead by example. Also, share the Gospel with her if you can but listen to her pont of view too with empathy about her personal issues, if she feels like sharing things such as the history of her pregnancy. Also, listen to her point of view openly on her hypothetical conversion to Roman Catholicism. Don’t drive any wedges there or spark any animosity. Be supportive of her.

        @DL, no matter how badly Liz Graham’s mother treated you, remember that as Christians, many people may be our enemies but we are too be enemies to no one. Do not return evil for evil. Model Christian love and patience to Liz Graham (and her mother if you ever encounter her again). be long-suffering and patient and always turn the other cheek, no matter what hurt Sylvia Moore inflicts on you. Do it for Christ’s sake and also do it as a good Christian witness for your friend, Liz Graham, to show her you live your faith. After all, she of all people, should know what her mother is like. Maybe you will win the mother to Christ too and bring out a more loving, compassion side in her. At any rate, I will pray for the mother too.

        On the matter of Roman Catholicism, of course the Roman Church is a twisted, corrupted version of Christianity. Anyone who can read can see that the Office of the Papacy has most – if not all – of the hallmarks of Paul’s “Man of Sin” from 2Thessalonians. Even if the Papacy is not the antichrist, the fact it beats so many attributes condemned by God is a cause for alarm for any thinking Christian, to say nothing of the fact that many of Peter’s own words point holes in the whole idea of a papacy (for instance his declaration we are ALL “little stones” and his rejection of the idea of people genuflecting or bowing towards him, to say nothing of Mariology, idols, Purgatory, and various other unbiblical doctrine, the general corruption around the Vatican Bank and child abuse cover-ups etc, all issues that have been pointed out ad infinitum since the Reformation without Rome ever reforming itself. The greatest weapon against Rome is the Bible. Encourage Liz Graham to read God’s word for herself to see these truths with her own eyes and pray that she will open her her heart to the Lord. Of course, there are good people who are Catholics – usually moderate ones – but whether they can be saved, I don’t know. If they are, it is *in spite* of Rome’s man made rules and obfuscation of Christian doctrine and Biblical teaching. That is the real tragedy. 🙁 🙁 🙁

        Since Liz Graham is a teacher, encourage her to read and study God’s word for herself. A teacher, of all people – even if she is “only” teaching kindergarten and prep – should appreciate primary sources and freedom of education and expression and be concerned about how Rome prevented the common man from having access to the Bible for centuries and banned prayer and Psalm singing at home. Most of all, as I stressed before though, guide Liz Graham in gentleness and love, be prepared to listen to her questions or objections and answer everything in total, heartfelt honesty. Share your own thoughts and concerns and what Christ has done in your own life and transformed you and answered your prayers and needs over time and also the hardships, challenges and doubts you have faced as a Christian to give a complete, honest picture. Most of all, share the wonderful news of Christ’s love for her and her need to accept Him into her heart and His ability to forgive her sins through His sacrifice on the cross and wash her as white as snow.

        Even if Liz Graham doesn’t reach out to you ever, pray for her every night anyway so that these things will happen in her life anyway and that she will be saved. God knows what is best for her and has predestined her path since before she was even in the womb so He will guide her to reach out to you if that is in her best interests or work in her life in another way if that is what He deems is best for her. Above all, if she does reach out to you, share in God’s love for her through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for her sins and always treat her with gentleness, total empathy and true friendship and utter respect, which I can tell you would do anyway from the tone of your posts and your palpable, genuine concern for her wellbeing.

        I too will continue to pray for Philippa Moore, Liz Graham and their families in Tasmania. I hope they come to Christ and find salvation and peace of mind and joy in Him.

        God bless, @DL.

      3. By the way, @DL, you might enjoy these old PuritanBoard discussions on the notion that the Pope is the antichrist:

        https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/papal-antichrist.81149/

        https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/do-you-believe-the-papacy-to-be-the-anti-christ.42389/

        Personally, I think the office of pope is the Man of Sin of 2 Thess, unless a better candidate comes along one day. It certainly has most of the characteristics of the Man of Sin and titles like “Vicar of Christ” are downright blasphemous.

        I’d be cautious about introducing a Roman Catholic like Liz Graham to these issues early though because they might be offended. Don’t aggressively challenge their beliefs unless they prove open-minded and comfortable with robust discussion. Be tactful with people! Remember what the Apostle Paul said about milk and solid foods. Help her with all gentleness and kindness and love, not confrontation and aggression. You are there to help Liz Graham and save the girl’s soul, not win points over her. (I’m sure you wouldn’t do that anyway – you sound like a very kind and caring young man.).

        By the way, Hobart is a beautiful town. I hope to visit Tasmania again one day, post-COVID.

      4. Yes, pray for Liz Graham and Philippa Moore, DL. I agree with Alan that, sadly, Moore is not a good role model for teens due to her extremist SJW/woke views and immoral beliefs on sex, etc. Thankfully she is only a minor commentator and her social media following isn’t all that big. Ihope she learns to let go of her past too and does not cling to old slights and feelings of having been bullied.

        I pray she comes to Christ and finds real purpose in her life one day.

        I also really hope Liz Graham finds Christ and reaches out to you one day and reconciles with you. You must let go of any bad blood or animosity her mother caused too. I will pray for that. And Yes, Hobart/Tassie is beautiful.

        Christ be with you.

      5. Regarding Liz Graham and Roman Catholicism, page 69 of this book is as good a summary as you’ll ever find of the issues at stake. It is very concise and covers all the points at issue in a few brief words. This would be a good summary to use to explain to Liz the issues that are at stake for her:

        https://books.google.com.au/books?id=8NkDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA69&dq=%22religionists+are+not+trivial+ceremonious+particulars%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJy_3rupzzAhUeSPUHHT2OCYcQ6AF6BAgDEAM#v=onepage&q=%22religionists%20are%20not%20trivial%20ceremonious%20particulars%22&f=false

  4. The Aborigines wish freedom from Colonialism .

    They will achieve it in a couple of decades .

    China will liberate them

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