Chapter 177 [Day 368]: Sunday 21 March
Good morning everyone
Three days ago, marked the first anniversary of our emails: initially we were sending them daily, but then from last Summer we reduced to 2 per week. Sometimes compiling the emails with a suitable theme was not easy but after I have struggled to bring together relevant thoughts, often the response from you has been really encouraging when I hear that the theme was entirely appropriate for your particular situation on that day. So that has helped to strengthen our faith that God is very much at work among us and through us, which then makes the next email or recorded service a fresh opportunity for blessing rather than a uphill challenge.
Our service today includes a talk given at the Chapel exactly 2 years ago in March 2019 which briefly follows the story of Abraham who is commended in Hebrews 11, along with others, as a man of great faith. The word ‘Faith’ is used in many contexts in our world today with Faith Schools, Faith Charities, and Christian churches are listed as ‘Faith Organisations’ along with Islamic mosques, Jewish Synagogues, Sikh temples, Buddhist shrines and others.
As a representative for the Chapel, I am sometimes addressed in communications from government departments or local authority when they don’t know my name as ‘The Faith Leader’ which implies a status of which I feel most unworthy.
Whilst much of the nation's attention has been focussed on Covid-19, a concerted effort has been launched by humanists, atheists, and the LGBT lobby to restrict through new legislation the activities of faith organisations, but particularly targeting evangelical Christian churches.
At Westminster this week there was a debate about ‘Conversion Therapy’ which seeks to ban Christian prayer and counselling of individuals and several MP’s spoke out to restrict the influence of Christians on other individuals. It was even said that telling a person to pray or fast should be classified in law as emotional rape, and parents who pray with their own children could be open to prosecution.
Also this week, the Welsh Assembly passed new law to end traditional RE lessons in schools from 2022 and replace with a new syllabus of teaching about atheism, humanism and ethics (CVE) with less than 20% of teaching time to cover Christianity. At the same time the right of parents to choose to withdraw their children from this new syllabus or from sex education lessons will also be removed making both subjects compulsory. All this has become law despite an overwhelming majority of respondents to the Welsh government’s own consultation process being opposed the new CVE proposal.
We need to pray over these serious situations that could seek to ban all Gospel preaching and limit Christian churches to only practicing religious rituals and ceremonies. The danger of Britain becoming another nation where Christians are persecuted for their faith is gradually becoming a real possibility, so we need to pray for national repentance and revival.
Last evening, as we have been doing on Saturday evenings, we watched a Christian film God’s Not Dead which reminded us that the Christian message is under attack even in ‘Christian’ societies considered to be open to sharing about faith in the living God. Abraham certainly understood the conflicts of faith but despite all the trials and dangers he encountered, he demonstrated his unshakeable faith in the Living God, albeit sometimes questioning some of God’s promises for him >>> https://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/21760708
· We are still unsure whether or not to open the Chapel for an Easter Sunday service. It seems the majority of other churches in this area will not be opening their doors at Easter and we remain cautious about when it will be appropriate to reopen.
· If you haven’t already completed your Census return, today is the day to get it done
More snippets from us on Wednesday