Book Sale

Saturday 30 September 2023

Stalin Fooled So Many


Image: Unsplash

I have been enjoying reading Victor Suvarov’s book The Chief Culprit recently, where he shows in great detail how Stalin was planning to invade Europe, how he had managed to turn the European powers against each other, and how he was set up for the invasion, had all of his military assets either on the border or heading towards the border with Germany, and how Hitler’s surprise attack actually brought the whole invasion undone. Hitler could not beat Stalin, but Stalin was not able to get as far into Europe as he was clearly intending to go. It is a fascinating book and very well researched and written.

But it also makes you wonder. If there was a mastermind like Stalin, who was such a master manipulator and able to push all of these major powers almost into the exact right position for him to strike prior to WW2, could there possibly be someone in today’s world who is doing the same thing with the war in Ukraine and the western powers? Suvarov proves conclusively that Stalin wanted war and did everything he could to put the Soviet Union into the best position for that war, ready to strike while Europe was weak. Are there leaders on the world stage today who could be thinking the same way?

The Americans clearly want war, because they believe it will bleed the Russian forces and are probably hoping that the war in Ukraine will do to Russia what the war in Afghanistan did to the Soviet Union.

Russia clearly are willing to fight to defend their sovereignty in their region and are not afraid of facing off whoever would seek to threaten that independence and influence.

But what about China? What about Britain? What about India? What about the other countries who are lining up on either side of the conflict? Are any of those nations capable of pulling off the same kind of manipulative strategy as the Soviet Union? Better, are there any statesmen who could be planning such a long game? 

The longer Russia is forced to fight in Ukraine - where yes they will win - the more it will cost their economy, and though they appear capable of maintaining this war for some time, there still must be limits on how long they can go or want to go. America is in an even worse position, because they do not have anywhere near the level of production they need for a prolonged war. However, their arms industry must be salivating at the money that can made at least in the short-term. Even if it causes an economic crisis which breaks more and more people in the West. They also do not want to lose their hegemony over the world, which they currently are. 

China has more productive capability than anyone else. How do they benefit from America and Russia bleeding each other in Ukraine? I can't help but think greatly. 

It is interesting to ponder. If there was a Stalin around today, someone who was able on a grand scale to get his opponents almost completely dancing to his tune, who would it be?

Friday 29 September 2023

Sex Is Too Powerful To Leave Unrestrained In Society


Image: Unsplash

The Bible is incredibly rational.

There is a very simple yet incredibly wise passage in 1 Corinthians 7:2 which says this, “2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” Many people have called the morality of the Bible puritanical. But it is just practically wise and sensible.

In a “free love" society, or a sexually free market, you create a situation where a large percentage of women will simply default to being whores, that is they will trade sexual favours for monetary gain and status, and a smaller percentage of men will default to being polygamous chiefs, that is a smaller percent of men will corner the market on most of the young and attractive women.

This creates a monopolizing market system. That is a system where a vast number of men fail to succeed with the vast number of women, and where many women struggle to be monogamous with a man because of the promiscuity they practiced with men in their younger years, to capitalize on their sexual capital. This is why a large percentage of women become whores, that is, they turn their sexuality into capital to use to move upwards in society, as much as they can. This is why a large percentage of men fail with women, especially when younger, because they do not have much social capital to trade with, but a small percentage become monopolisers.

The damaging effects this has on society are manifest for all to see. You do not need to be a Christian today to see the inherent problems that a sexual free market causes. All kinds of people from all over the political and religious spectrum are talking about them. The more sexual partners women have the harder they find it to have a monogamous marriage. The more that the top percentage of men monopolise the women, the more that many other men are becoming jaded with our current society.

This is why every truly Christian society - that is a society that openly professed Christ and almost everyone was part of the church - highly regulated the sexual marketplace. Because a free sexual market undermines pretty much every other relationship in society by creating a perpetually increasing cycle of broken homes, families and relationships.

So, what is the solution to this ever-growing problem in society? The answer was given to us by Paul, “2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” I know for some people this feels like something that is easier said than done. But many societies have largely managed to fulfill this. Not perfectly, there will never be a perfect society in this world. But largely they succeeded and their societies succeeded because they regulated sex in wise ways, by keeping it in a marriage between a man and woman. Sex is too powerful not to be restrained. The Bible’s answer to sexual temptation is a good answer: have sex in the context of marriage, with one spouse. This is a good answer.


Thursday 28 September 2023

Almost All Immigrants Do The Same Thing


Image: Unsplash

You don’t have to live in China to experience a little of what it is like to live in China, you can go to any number of China towns around the world where Chinese people have set up their own little versions of China for themselves to enjoy and live in. You don’t have to go to Africa to experience what it is like to live in Africa, you can go to any number of suburbs or urban areas in the world where African immigrants have made little versions of Africa; this is true whether they are South African or African. You don’t have to live in Ireland to live in Ireland, you can go to major cities like Chicago and New York and live in areas where there are so many Irish immigrants it is like living in Ireland, in smaller measure. This is what many immigrants do all over the world. They take their way of life with them. Most of them do not assimilate to the culture around them, they change part of the society to look like their place of origin.

I often find Australians will get offended at this suggestion, but just think about the heritage of our own nation, which was founded by the English. The people who are probably the most prolific at changing wherever they settle anew are the English. Wherever you go in the world where English people have emigrated, you can see England in one variety or another. From Canada, to South Africa to the dry land of Australia, you will see the impacts of English immigration. If any people does not assimilate more than any other, it is the English people. As this example from the Daily Mail highlights,

“A new documentary is lifting the lid on how Brits starting a new life in France aren't always greeted with the warmest of welcomes from their French counterparts.

The series, which airs on French and German channel Arte, is called Little Britain in the Dordogne, and follows the journeys of Britons who've moved to towns and villages in France's South-West - now dubbed 'Dordognshire' - to enjoy a taste of the Gallic life, and cheaper property prices. 

The show shines a light on the tensions that have crept in between locals and the Brits who have snapped up country estates at bargain prices.

While the French locals are apparently bemoaning the infiltration of British culture - including the arrival of English butchers and barbers in their rural villages, the cultural differences are also felt by the ex-pats moving in.

One former Norfolk handyman, Graham Parker, airs his frustrations with the local French workers he's tried to employ to work on his £1million 18th century gite - saying they take two-hour lunch breaks and return to the job 'half-drunk'…

…Although they've tried to learn French, they operate the stall in English and most of their customers are English, they say. Their meat comes from locals French farms.”[i]

I laughed for several reasons when I came across this article. I laughed because I have been to France and I have seen how the French respond to the English. It’s fascinating, and good on them, it is their country after all. While I was there we stayed with some American missionaries and they played us a TV show they had which was all about this English couple moving to France and then trying to come to terms with the ways the French did things. Getting trades people to come was one of the hardest things they found they had to deal with, along with many other differences. I also laughed because I remembered that show. 

And herein is the point, people of different ethnicities are different, and because of this we create different kinds of societies. French people create one type of society and English people another. And though someone looking in from Asia might think that they look almost the same, for the Brits and the Franks, the differences are stark. English people like certain things done a certain way, they like their tea, their bacon, their cottage pies, they want their tradesmen to come on time, and they think that drinking wine with lunch is a wild extravagance and irresponsible. The French see things a little different again. I was amazed to see how long lunches with wine were just part of French culture, at least where I stayed in Paris.  

Because people are different, even though they may like the idea of living in another country, they will also find themselves congregating with those who are like themselves in that new country. Very few immigrants actually assimilate. If they come in in very small numbers then they will assimilate over time, by the time their kids have kids they are part of the society. Some immigrants work really hard to assimilate as much as they can, and some can even pass for a native of their new land. South Africans can blend in very well in Australia. But if you talk to people from countries like South Africa, even if they have been here since childhood, they will talk about how different Aussies are and they think of themselves still as South Africans. The same is true for many Brits, or Yanks, and others.

Immigrants change the place they go to, because those changes are the result of their impact on the environment. And it is not wrong for the locals to not appreciate all or some of those changes,

“A trader selling French baked goods at the stall next door to the Robbins admits that the locals in Eymet aren't all enjoying the impact on their village the new residents have had…Another villager expressed frustrations at the Brits' reluctance to try and learn French, saying: 'They learn French slowly. They would need more lessons but they keep to themselves. So we have to speak English or there is no sale.'”[ii] 

It is not fun to have to live like a foreigner in your own land. People think of things like a “Little Britain” as an oddity, because they think of people from other ethnicities doing this sort of thing. But if you step back you can see that Canada, Australia, NZ and other countries really are just big “Little Britains”. The language, culture, legal traditions, and much of the rest of these societies have the stamp of Britain all over them. The British have changed every single place they moved to. But then so do other peoples.

But, again, the point is people are different and because of this they create different kinds of societies. People, on the whole, don’t really assimilate. And sometimes this works out ok for a time. Cultures that are generally similar to each other, or neutral to each other can succeed for some time in this situation as long as there is prosperity for all to share. But what happens when the good times start to come to an end? History is very illustrative here. The history of the fall of Rome, or Byzantium, or other empires shows that when times get tougher people tend to coalesce to those who are more like them. We live in an era of ridiculous and unprecedented prosperity. But if this prosperity goes, how will all of these divisions work out?

List of References

[i] Jo Tweedy 2023,

[ii] Ibid. 

Tuesday 26 September 2023

When the Wicked Repent


Jonah Sermon 4. The Sign of Jonah Part 2 – When the Wicked Repent

You can watch the video of this sermon here.


Last week we looked in some detail at how Jonah points to Jesus. Jonah is, in a very real sense, a type of Christ. That is, he points to Jesus in a very clear and powerful way. This is not true with his whole life of course, because he was not perfect, but there are aspects of his life which point clearly to Jesus. For example, we saw how powerfully his own experience in the bowels of hell points to Jesus, because just as Jonah was in the fish for three days, so too was Jesus in the grave for three days. We also saw that even more than this Jonah’s own Psalm about his experience in the belly of the fish, points to Jesus. Almost every point in his Psalm finds a correlation to Jesus’ experience in his suffering and death. Which is remarkable.

Note, this teaches us something too, doesn’t it: when you are in distress cry out to God, and when you are still in the midst of that distress glorify God. Cry out to him and praise him, the words of that great Casting Crown songs capture this sentiment really well, “And I'll praise You in this storm, And I will lift my hands, For You are who You are, No matter where I am.”[i] Both Jonah and Jesus teach us this very well.

We also saw that in essence all of the prophets point to Jesus, some more explicitly than others. But the way in which they all consistently point to Jesus is that they all tell people to repent and trust in the Lord, and Jesus is the Lord that people should trust in. All of the prophets have the same message at the end of the day. They might have different situations, but whether the flood is coming, or the plagues are coming, or the Nephilim are coming, or the Assyrians are coming, or the end days is coming, as God’s people, what should you do? Repent and trust in God. As pagans who have no history of belief in Jesus, what should you do? Repent and turn to God. It is a pretty simple and consistent message. From the days of Noah till today the message has not really changed all that much.

And this leads us to our sermon today, The Sign of Jonah Part Two – When the wicked repent. I want to show you one other way in which the book of Jonah points to Jesus, and this is actually every bit as important as the sign of the three days and the three nights. And it is a vital message that we need to be continually reminded of. So, let’s begin where Jonah picks up his ministry,

Jonah Goes To Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-5) – After rejecting the call of the Lord, after his ordeal in the storm, then in the belly of a big fish, Jonah finally does what he should have done all along, he goes to Nineveh,

“1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.”

This is what a prophet is meant to do. We see way back in chapter 1, that God said, “2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” And we know that Jonah rejected the call of the Lord, completely, and did the absolute opposite of what God wanted him to do. But now he does what he is told. “3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.”

I remember when I was back in Bible College, and the lecturer was reading through one of the gospels, and Jesus did a miracle and then something interesting happened. Jesus told those there to tell no one. It was a passage like this, Mark 7:35-36, “35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” I remember asking my lecturer, “What would have happened to those who disobeyed a command of Jesus so openly?” He responded, “Haven’t you just as openly ignored the commands of God?” I was like, “Good point.” And ouch.

Don’t just skip over what happened with Jonah here. God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh and he was going to get him there. It was just a matter of how. If you have the Holy Spirit in your heart, then you know that when you are going against the word of the Lord, that he is not going to make it easy for you. He is going to prompt you, he is going to bring you back around to his will. He may even bring hardship upon you, till you take heed of him. That is part of the role of the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit, in different measure, was still active in the lives of believers in the Old Testament.

But also note this, God used Jonah’s rebellion, not just for good, but also to forge him into a great witness and testimony to Ninevehites, the Israelites, and to us. Without Jonah running from the Lord, we would not have this wonderful Psalm from Jonah, this image pointing to Christ, and so much more. God does this a lot in the Scriptures. He turns what man meant for evil into good, again and again. This does not mean man’s evil is ok, it just shows how far above it all God is.

God uses the sinfulness of his people in the Scriptures as great lessons for us, but also he uses our sinfulness as great lessons for us, if we will humbly listen to him. God is in the business of refining us, but he is patient, and he works with us, despite all our flaws. What he is looking for is repentant people who know how to overcome their faults, as we covered several weeks ago. This is evident in God’s heart for the Ninevehites as well. So let’s look at that now.

The Great City (vv.2-3) – There is something incredible here in God’s perspective of this Ninevehites, and this will help us eventually see how this book points to Jesus, so, let’s look at it again, “2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey in breadth.” In verse two, God described Nineveh as “that great city” and then again in verse 3, it is described as an “exceedingly great city”. How should we read this?

One person might think well, it is just talking about its size. After all, it is the most prominent city in the world after all. And it would take about three days for Jonah to reach everyone with his message, and he only get’s a third of the way through the city.  

Another might mention, well it’s the dominant city in the world, so God is just referring to its reputation as the great city. But is God swayed by the reputation of men, let alone pagan men who do not know him? Remember how God mocks the Tower of Babel, the great tower meant to reach the heavens, by saying that he has to come down from heaven to come see it? We don’t see God recognizing the greatness of human cities like man does. I think Jonah is saying something else.

What is fascinating about what Jonah says here is that the Hebrew word behind “exceedingly” is actually “elohim.” What does “elohim” mean? It is the plural for God, it can mean gods in some contexts, but in this context it means “mighty God.” So, it means something like this: this city was “a great city to God.” In fact, if you read the NASB, you will see it has a footnote, which translates it precisely this way.

The reason some commentators translate it “exceedingly great” is because this can be also be a Hebrew idiom meaning as such. But we already know from the context that God has great regard for this city. Not because he thinks it is so big and awesome, he is far bigger than it. Not because he cares about its reputation, because God is no respecter of man, and regards no man’s reputation. No, it is because God cares about this city.

Greatly Considered - This city is great in God’s eyes, because it is filled with people, he tells us this directly, Jonah 4:10-11,

“10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

God is concerned with this city not because it is the most powerful city in the world, not because it has a great reputation, but because there are so many men and beasts in this city which face destruction if they do not repent. He cares about this pagan city. He has concern for it, compassion for it. Enough so that he sends one of his top men to go and warn them.

The Warning (3:4) – Hence the warning, God told Jonah to go and preach to the Ninevehites whatever he told him to preach, now that Jonah is repentant and ready to obey, this is exactly what he does, finally. And this is what he proclaims: “4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” The shortest and most effective sermon ever. Really simple isn’t it. It is almost as succinct and means much the same thing as the old movie sidewalk prophets sign, “Repent, for the end is nigh!”

What a message, a short message. Jonah warns the Ninevehites that destruction is coming. No big illustrations, no meandering, no side-issues, no pleading with them. Just a straight up warning about the coming wrath.

This is also how we know that God loved the Ninevehites: he really wanted to warn them about their coming destruction. This is the key linchpin to understanding this whole passage, this whole book. In reality, this is the key linchpin to understanding the word of God: God cares. God does not want people to perish, he does not want people to be destroyed. As God tells us in Ezekiel 18:32, “32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” The fact that God wants to warn the sinner shows that he cares.

Why do you warn someone about the danger that is coming? So that disaster will not happen. So that they can be rescued from it. Warning someone of danger can sometimes be the most obnoxious thing they experience from you, and it is often a necessary act of love. One that might even make them hate you.

This allows me to address a serious issue that many Christians face in the world today. Some Christians, and this is terrible, think that when you have a non-Christian friend who chooses a destructive way of life, or a dangerous path of life, that the best thing to do is just be nice to them and love them no matter what, and affirm them, no matter what. These Christians think this is loving.

The reason they think this is loving, is because the world’s definition of love is affirmation no matter what. In fact, the world will say that if you do not affirm their way of life, their every decision, their sexuality, their greed, their gluttony, their arrogance, their narcissism, their gender identity, or whatever, you are hateful, bigoted, or evil.  

But the truth is to affirm destructive behaviours is hateful. Because it helps move the person towards destruction. Would it have been loving for God to affirm the evil ways of the Ninevehites? No, because this would have guaranteed their destruction would come sooner. So, we can see how clearly God cared about this city, so much so that he warned it. This is how God acts, this is how God even extends mercy to the most wicked of cities, before he is going to judge a city he will warn them again, Amos 3:6-7, “6 Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it? 7 “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”

God did the same for Sodom, Lot was there to warn people. God did the same for Egypt. God did the same for Moabite and Edomite cities. God even warned Babylon in many ways before it was judged. He did this a lot for Jerusalem.

You could even argue, that such is the mercy of God, that the more wicked a city is, the more concerned he is to warn it. Imagine how he feels about our transgender affirming, abortion promoting, war-mongering Australian cities? God will continue to send people to warn this nation until he decides it is time to judge it.

When The Wicked Repent (vv.5-10) – And as we all know these wicked, evil and powerful people actually repent,

“5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”

It is hard to get across, just how monumental an event this conversion was. And we know it is a genuine conversion, because Jesus affirms that the people of Nineveh will be vindicated on the day of judgement. Perhaps helping you to understand some of their evil might help.

The Assyrian empire was the most terrifying force in the ancient world. It was so evil and so brutal, the eventually many of their allies and enemies joined together to turn on them. And they destroyed their cities completely, wiped them from the face of the earth.

When the Assyrians captured a city, if you resisted, they would brutalize the captured people. We read this in Amos 4:2, “2 The Lord God has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.” This is not metaphorical. This is what the Assyrians actually did to prisoners of war; stripping them down, putting big hooks through their mouths or noses, and then chaining them to their fellow prisoners, to march them into slavery. This happened to Manasseh, the King of Judah at one point,

“10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon” (2 Chronicles 33:101-11).

No cruelty or humiliation was kept in reserve when they were punishing their captives. Reading the ways the Assyrians tormented their captives is like reading an ‘R’ rated horror movie script. Dismemberment, flaying’s and worse. Think Aztecs or modern day Mexican drug cartels.

The book of Jonah does not ignore this violence, when the King tells everyone to repent, he says this, “Let everyone turn form his evil and from the violence that is in his hands.” It is not like their level of violence was acceptable according to the standards of their day, they went above and beyond. As we noted three weeks ago, they even painted, in detail and carved in detail what they would do to you on their palace walls if you were defeated by them. Can you imagine what living amongst those violence scenes did to their souls? It would be like living in a horror movie.

And yet - And yet they repented. They genuinely turned from their bloody and violent and evil ways, and sought the forgiveness of the Lord,

“5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

If you ask people what the most remarkable miracle in the word of God is, I am sure they would think of the resurrection, the 10 plagues, Elijah calling fire down from heaven, the feeding of the five thousand. But few would probably list this one, even though it is up there with some of the most remarkable miracles in history.

This is as remarkable as if all of Hollywood repented and destroyed their idols and repented of their evil ways. This is as remarkable as if Stalin had have turned to the Lord, and all of Communist Russia had repented as well. Imagine the celebration of the angels as this wicked city repented. When one lost soul turns we read this, “10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). How much more joy when over 120,000 sinners repent in a couple of days?

God rewarded their repentance – “10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”

Why did the king of Nineveh repent, because he thought, maybe God would change his mind and relent from destroying them. But when you think about it, this is not really God changing his mind, because forgiving the sinner is actually God’s default position. Not destroying us when we deserve it, is his default setting. Not giving us what we deserve is his default setting. Not writing off sinful man, is his default position.

The Sign of Jonah Part 2 (Matthew 12:38-42) – But we have come all this way, and you must be wondering, ok Matt, this is great to see, but how does this point to Jesus. Well turn again to Matthew 12, verse 38 and read with me,

“38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

We focused on the first part of this passage last week, showing how the 3 days and 3 nights image points to Jesus, but how else does the sign of Jonah point to Jesus?

Well, who repents in the book of Jonah? The wicked pagans. Don’t miss this. The Israelites at this point were ignoring the word of God and the prophets, but the most wicked pagans in the known world heard it and repented.

The sign of Jonah, therefore, also points to the fact that God’s own people would mostly reject Jesus’ message, and this is exactly what happened. On the final day the Ninevehites will judge the Jews of Jesus day, because they rejected Jesus.

This should be a big warning to us, as believers today, because it is often the case that the people of this world understand the mercy and grace of God, better than those of us in the Church. This was true in Jonah’s day, it was true in Jesus’ day, and it is true today still. We need to be constantly reminded to repent before the Lord, and also to extend his mercy and grace to each other and to the lost. The one who is forgiven much loves much, but the one who forgets what they were forgiven of can start to get a calloused heart. 

Application – So, how do we apply what we have learnt today?

-        Recognize God’s great heart for the lost.

-        Have God’s same heart for seeking to warn the lost. It is not loving to fail to warn the lost, if you have the opportunity. You cannot affirm the sinner in their sin and call it love, biblically that is hate.

-        Be careful, you don’t stagnate in your faith and miss the grace of God. God will always move to new wineskins, if the old become dry and useless. Seek the Lord to refresh your Spirit often.

Conclusion – Jonah points us to Jesus in so many ways. And most of all in this passage we see God’s great heart for the lost. Pray that if you first love, your love for sharing Jesus has died off, or quietened down, that you would get it back again. Pray it happens before God decides you need a testimony like Jonah. Let’s pray.


[i] Casting Crowns, I Will Praise You In This Storm

Monday 25 September 2023

A Whitewash


Image: Unsplash

One of the most consistent things those in high places do is look after each other, across both sides of the isle. And though an inquiry has been called into the Covid pandemic response in Australia, already, straight from the gate, it is going to avoid looking at those who were the most responsible for mandates and lockdowns that devastated lives, cities and economies, as the Guardian reports,

“Anthony Albanese has announced a Covid-19 inquiry to consider commonwealth responses to the pandemic but excluding “actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments”.

On Thursday, the prime minister announced the one-year inquiry will be headed by epidemiologist professor Catherine Bennett, health economist Dr Angela Jackson, and the former director general of the NSW health department Robyn Kruk.

The scope and powers of the inquiry have already sparked a war of words with the opposition, which has warned it is “a complete waste of time” if states cannot be compelled to give evidence, a criticism Albanese dismissed as “absurd”.

At a press conference in Adelaide, Albanese repeatedly deflected questions about whether the inquiry will have compulsory powers, telling reporters that seeking “conflict” is “completely contrary” to its aims.

The proposed scope of the inquiry includes “the role of the commonwealth, responsibilities of state and territory governments, [and] national governance mechanisms”, including the national cabinet.

Potential topics for the inquiry include: vaccine supply; “broader health supports for people affected by Covid-19 and/or lockdowns”; financial support for individuals, industry and business; community supports; international policies to support Australians at home and abroad; and “mechanisms to better target future responses to the needs of particular populations” including First Nations Australians.

But the scope excludes “actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments” – which would exclude state border closures and could exclude the length and severity of lockdown restrictions – and “international programs and activities assisting foreign countries”.[1]

Reading the way that some of our leaders in Australia are talking about this, it looks like they want to investigate how they can do socialism harder and faster next time, because this time they did not feel like they had enough things like masks and vaccines when they were needed. In other words, this is not the kind of inquiry that we have been hoping and praying for and that our nation needs. This is the kind of inquiry that allows the current government to critique the responses of the first government and tell us all how they plan to be more efficient next time. While at the same time overlooking how states, represented by governments on both sides of the isle, were responsible for many of the harshest measures.  

This is a whitewash. What we need is a genuine inquiry, a Royal Commission with broad terms of reference, that is given the powers it needs to investigate how Australians natural and constitutional rights were crushed by the Covid policies.  

There are still people who cannot work in their jobs. There are still people who were damaged by the vaccines. There are still people whose lives and businesses were ruined by disproportional uses of state power to turn Australia into the biggest open-air prison in the world. If they are not investigating this, then the inquiry is nothing more than a political point scoring exercise which will be of no benefit to anyone.

“Where is real justice!” This is the cry of many of the righteous men and women in the Bible. It is the cry of many righteous men and women throughout history. And it is the cry of many Australians today. Where is the real justice?

List of references

Saturday 23 September 2023

The Yes Campaign Are The Moderates


Image: Unsplash

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that as radical as something like the Voice to Parliament is, the Yes campaign is the moderate wing of the “progressive” left, and there are some who want to go further, much further. Here is one example published in Crikey,

“The “racist” No campaign embodies the reality of this settler colony and reflects the ideological foundation and spirit of the Australian nation. It highlights the deeply vicious, anti-Indigenous sentiment that resides at the core of the Australian national identity. To be Australian is to accept the narrative about us as a dispossessed and defeated people, as boongs, petrol-sniffers and dole-bludgers in need of care and control by the white man who knows best. It is to want to eradicate us, whether that be by extermination or assimilation.

This is the reality that Yes campaigners refuse to reckon with, the reality too many mob live with every day. A colony that kills us, that steals our children, that destroys our land, that poisons our water, blows up our sacred sites, throws us in prison and then tells us that we are the problem. It is a nation that tells us we do not belong on our own land.

The “progressive” No campaign embodies the spirit of revolutionary justice by demanding we confront the history of the Australian nation. The Yes campaigners will do well to remember that this is a history that has never been reckoned with in any meaningful way. We do not want to be recognised by the colonial constitution. We do not want to be part of it at all. Those who say that this inclusion would be a meaningful step do not speak for us. We do not want reconciliation. We want a reckoning.

Sovereignty was never ceded

When we say that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded, we do not simply mean that our spiritual sovereignty remains intact regardless of the colony’s existence. We mean that we maintain our legitimate claim to the lands and resources of this continent and the right to determine our own lives and future and we do not recognise the sovereignty of the illegal invader. We view the colonial federation as an occupying force whose existence to this day is predicated on the ongoing theft of our lands and the genocide of our people. Sovereignty is both our right to our lands and resources and our own self-determinate governance structures, and First Nations peoples have not ceded our sovereignty.

The Yes campaign is living in an illusion, where Australia is a progressive nation, where unity can be found through democratic participation and racism can be addressed through voting.”[1]

This is a radical position. This is the position of some on the hard left, people who do not support the Yes campaign for the Voice, but for very different reasons than those who are on the right side of the isle in politics.

I think it is important to amplify voices like this one represented in this piece, because although the author does not associate themselves with the Yes campaign, they are giving us a window into some of the more radical views of some of the people whose voice would be seriously empowered if the Yes campaign were successful. The Yes campaign has gone to great lengths to distance itself, at times[2], from more radical calls for more land rights changes and a treaty and other policies like Indigenous sovereignty. But the Voice would be designed to give a constitutionally protected place with influence in parliament to people who had such views amongst the Indigenous and progressive communities. And they do not like Australia as it is and want drastic change, as the Crikey piece notes,

“This idea being promoted today that First Nations peoples have been calling for constitutional recognition since back then is not accurate. We know that, because we know the history of the political movement was always about land rights, treaty and self-determination. Political struggles are not fought over symbolic gestures.”[3]

For some the Voice does not go anywhere near far enough. It is viewed as tokenistic symbolism, and a “powerless advisory body.”[4]

Views such as those expressed above are so far outside of mainstream[5] Australia, that their association with the Yes campaign has turned many moderate Australians away from it. And one can understand why, if you berate everyday Australians as racists and bigots for not agreeing with your political designs you will turn them off your cause in massive numbers. Especially when they have no ill will to any one in this country of any particular group or nationality. Which most Australians don’t. This is one of the most open and least racist places imaginable on the planet. I know some people will be shocked to hear that, but our country’s accommodation of varied cultures proves that most Australians are pretty tolerant and accepting of people from a large variety of backgrounds. This is not true in many, many places around the world.   

Statements like this for example, “The constitution is not a progressive document, and this state is not a progressive nation that we can be proud to be included in”[6] will create great headaches for those who are trying to allay fears that the Voice is really a window to far more radical change. There are many who support the Voice to Parliament who do simply want to grant more ability for indigenous Australians to be heard. But even some of them will balk at being told they have to go much, much further. Australians are a radically moderate nation, that is Australia goes out of its way to be very moderate.

We should also recognize that a no vote will not stop the radical left from going further, as this piece again notes,  

“What should we do in an Australia that has voted No?...

…As a start, we need to demand truth-telling across this continent. We need an end to the theft of our babies and the locking away of our children. We need to stop the murder of our people at the hands of police and lynch mobs, and we need to take police guns out of communities. We need to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, and poor health from our reality. We need to demand reparations for slavery and stolen wages, and ultimately, we need to take back the land and natural resources that are rightfully ours.”[7]

There are those who see Australia as a totalitarian state with a thin veneer of liberalism painted over it. The writer of this piece is seeking to paint child protection programs and dealing with youth crime as a form of oppression. I know people who live in indigenous communities and some are a pleasure to live in and others are not, and the levels of crime in the latter drive everyone, indigenous or not, crazy with frustration. I have spoken to police officers firsthand about some of the issues of youth crime and it is a genuine problem, especially in some indigenous communities.

No one denies our nation is not perfect, and that it has a long way to go in many areas. But I suspect many of us would disagree about what those areas are. Medical authoritarianism is one I would advocate for solving, whereas others would disagree. There are other big areas that need addressing, like our over reliance on foreign trade and immigration, and many other areas well.

Australians need to recognize that the Yes campaign is the moderate wing of a far more radical progressive movement who would like to go a long way in dismantling the society we currently have. Be aware of this. A no vote will not stop their advocacy, indeed, it may even deepen their support and motivate them to advocate more. This does not mean we should vote yes, because we should not, it just means we need to recognize that our nation has other challenges coming ahead.

List of References

[1] Keiran Stewart-Assheton, 2023, “We don’t want reconciliation. We want a reckoning”, Crikey,

[2] At some other times it has appeared to align itself with the more radical policies.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Which let’s be honest, Christians do not always align with anyway.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

Friday 22 September 2023

Preach It Sam Newman


Image: Unsplash

Welcome to country is insufferable, and acknowledgement of country is just as insufferable. And most Aussies I speak to feel the same way. If I talk to someone who is in an upper management position in an organisation they will often profess support for things like WTC and AOC in very corporate speak, saying things like, “Well, I think many people do appreciate this”, or “It’s our culture here to acknowledge the heritage of indigenous this or that…” But if you talk to ordinary Australians they are sick of having these rituals done at the start of every significant footy game or event, they just want to watch the footy or go to the theatre, or go to church, without being told this is not really their country or land.

And it is good to see Aussie icons saying the same thing,  

Former footy great Sam Newman has launched another extraordinary attack on First Nations people and the AFL over 'welcome to country' speeches before matches.

Newman urged Australians to boo the traditional ceremony at not only this year's AFL grand final, but anywhere it is publicly performed.

'If we are at all serious about the welcome to country and the nonsense that has suddenly taken over in the last 20 years from a completely harmless introduction by Ernie Dingo some years ago and people have latched onto it,' he said.

'What about this, next time you go to a public event like the grand final or a football game or any public event in an auditorium and they trot out the welcome to country, start booing ... or slow hand clapping.'

Newman doubled down when he was challenged by podcast You Cannot Be Serious co-host Don Scott.

'Because we don't want to put up with it. We are not going to be patronised,' he said.[i]

Newman did not, as far as I have seen, in any of his comments attack first nations people at all. He simply said he is sick of these rituals being done at every significant sporting event. And many other Aussies feel the same way.

But my favourite comment of his as quoted in this article is this: “'But the virtuous, patronising nonsense that the AFL go on with - a patronising campaign to foster this feigned indignation to divert from their own paranoid white privilege - all they do is drive a wedge between the footballing public, yet we see through it”[ii] (emphasis added). Newman is right that many white Aussies have a sense of “paranoid white privilege” and because of this they over compensate by supporting any progressive push to lift up this or that minority group and particularly indigenous Australians. It is like they are afraid of the fact that they are white and they are terrified of being attacked as racist or some other -ist, so they go out of their way to preach these completely irrelevant messages and agendas at every event they can. They wave their, “look at me, I am among the virtuous” flags incessantly, and many Australians, whether indigenous or not, are simply sick of it. 

I personally think this is one of the best side effects of the Voice to Parliament debate. Corporate Australia has bent over backwards to get behind the ‘yes’ campaign with such gusto they have put these indigenous rituals so often in the face of so many people, that it has provoked a backlash. I am a minister of the gospel, I prioritize the ministry of the Word over my enjoyment of football and many other things. But I would completely understand how annoyed people would get if every time they turned the footy on someone was preaching to them before they were allowed to enjoy the game. I love it when I see players pray and thank God, and publicly exalt God on social media and in the media, it is great, and I would love to see more of it. But there is such a thing as pushing the message too much so as to turn people of. And the elites have done that with indigenous issues. 

People could tolerate welcome to country or acknowledgement of country when it was sparingly done. We saw it as an oddity, but now people are sick of it. And especially now that many of us realize that the promoters of these rituals genuinely believe they were morally superior. I think we have the Voice campaign to thank for this situation. Pagan ceremonies really have no place before a footy game, or stage play, and before a church service they should be anathema. It is time to be done with them completely. 

List of References


Thursday 21 September 2023

Expect More Of This

Image: Unsplash

Expect More Of This

Export more countries to make more moves like this. Politicians making grand calls about the ending of petrol and diesel cars are really just an advanced form of virtue signalling. The technological base is not really there yet to change the entire vehicle fleet from oil based to lithium based.

“Rishi Sunak has announced major changes to the UK’s key green policies.

The Prime Minister has confirmed he will be delaying a ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars and phasing out gas boilers until 2035.

He said in a speech at Westminster that the UK has ‘stumbled into a consensus about the future of our country that nobody seems to be happy with.’

He said he is ‘confident’ the UK can lead the world in green policies, and that there is no doubt that climate change is visible due to the high temperatures seen in the UK this summer.

The PM said he would put back a ban on new fossil fuel cars by five years in a major U-turn among a raft of measures.”[1]

The idea of “green energy” is a bit of a myth anyway. Lithium and other battery minerals have to be mined in large mines, just like coal and uranium. And they are very difficult to dispose of. Often these minerals are found in parts of the world that are underdeveloped or even hot war zones. They require the construction of a massive energy base load system that cannot rely on things like solar panels and wind farms, especially in a nation like Britain. Even in Australia such technology is not enough to run our entire electrical grid, plus the addition of every vehicle being converted or changed to battery based technology. 

For so long now so much of the media, politicians and academia have been just asserting that the future is devoid of fossil fuels, and just ignoring the reality of what it will take to move western nations over to such technology. Many of the problems are very well known, it is as if these groups just think that there will be people who have come up with solutions by 2030, or 2035. But as time moves on it is becoming clearer and clearer that the technology we currently have is far superior in many ways, and much more reliable, and therefore very difficult to replace.

Electric cars are likely here to stay, and are kind of cool in some ways, as long as you are nowhere near the things when they catch on fire in an underground carpark or apartment block carpark, of course. But getting rid of oil based cars is a pipe dream at our current technological levels. These dates are going to keep getting pushed back, politicians are going to keep hoping that someone invents something that solves the problems created by their false promises. In the meantime, countries like China, Russia, India and others are making use of the whole range of electrical grid and fossil fuel offerings to turn their once underdeveloped economies into some of the most advanced economies in the world. One day soon, the West is going to wake up to the fact that it kneecapped itself, technologically speaking, and the rest of the world has taken advantage of its arrogance and complacency to overtake it.

List of references.

[1] Liam Coleman 2023,