This afternoon, my mum and I attended the Episcopal Ordination (Consecration) of Bishop-Elect Reverend Justin Duckworth (previously blogged about here) and his Installation (Enthronement) as the 11th Bishop of Wellington at St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington.
It was a spectacular occasion. More funny hats than you can shake a stick at. The stick, on this occasion, being the impressive Pastoral Staff, shaped and carved (out of matai) by Huitau te Hau. Justin recounted that he had received the Pastoral Staff the previous morning, at Rimutaka Prison. It was gifted with a message, viz., “Remember who you serve,” or words to that effect.
It was a joyous occasion, but also a serious one. The seriousness of the occasion was evidenced by one of the three readings, viz., John 21:15-19.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
The part of the service that impressed me most occurred shortly after the ordination and installation of the new bishop. Justin was greeted, welcomed, and his wife Jenny was presented with flowers, and then (from the event programme)
Bishop Justin responds and then symbolically washes the feet of three members of the Diocese.
That’s right. His first significant act as Bishop was to kneel before those whom he has been appointed to serve, and wash their feet. This is true humility. Being a libertarian, I could not help but be reminded of Matthew 20:25-28 (also Mark 10:42-45).
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
If I had my way, every session of Parliament would begin in a like manner, with every Member of Parliament washing the feet of one of their electorate constituents. Just to remind the bastards who they’re there to serve.
From the information I have received on my distant perch, I must say that I would hope the Jury will find Ewen Macdonald Not Guilty.
Simply put: The Crown’s case is Piss weak!
That the Prosecutions final summery was an appeal to ‘common sense’ rather than real evidence says everything.
Yet we live in a country which loves to make convictions irrespective of such principles as ‘Beyond reasonable doubt’.
We have even abandoned the safeguard against wrongful conviction… the principle of unanimous Jury decision! Now that they may convict a defandant even when One Juror thinks the man is innocent is such a massive concession towards injustice it may be likened to changing the wining factor in lotto by only getting any 5 out of the six numbers…ie They have removed *a whole tier* of protection and though I am no mathematician, to my thinking this deviation from established principle is statistically worse than simply reducing the Jury numbers by one yet still calling for a unanimous decision, because They now have a whole tier that is equivalent to one Guaranteed Juror finding the person *guilty *.
(I would appreciate a Mathematician to confirm or correct me on this last point)
The whole point of these safeguards is to reduce the possibility of wrongful conviction, the event of which multipies injustice, and is the very opposite Desideratum of having a justice system. Ie these things are essentials!
It is better to err on the side of Individual Liberty than State authority. (In this case the desires of the police)
*It is Better to allow the odd guilty defendant escape conviction because of lack of evidence, rather than convict innocent defendants*
The reasoning behind removing the protection of unanimous jury decisions was not to improve justice, but to make it easier for the State to get the convictions it wants and save the state money from retrials!
Yet of course that will not save many convictions from applying for appeals!
It really was a stupid and conniving rule change in favour of tyranny.
Will Macdonald be convicted because of the New -1 jury Rule? I believe the defense has correctly assessed the Prosecutions case and established reasonable doubt.
We live in such an age of petty mindedness…such an unenlightened age of ignorance…. Such an age where all the Crown has to do to get convictions is simply via a process of Character assassination.
And Ewen Macdonad has immerged as a bit of a Dickhead… a bit of a devious bugger.
Thus many people simply don’t like him.
And many mistake the stories of lies, theft, and vandalism, as reason enough to convict him of murder!
Our justice system is called ‘the adversarial system’.
When the Police struggle to find an offender, they are in a habbit of grabbing the closest person and Fabricate a case against them!
This is what happened with Scott Wilson, and David Bain, neither of whom were convicted on incontrovertible evidence, and in both cases evidence, and witnesses which suggested both were innocent were systematically kept out of court by the Prosecution.
With the process of time will it emerge they have done simalar things in this case?
It interests me to note that when the Police first charged Ewan, that His wife, and The widow of Scott Guy both disbelieved that he was guilty, and were united in expressing the Police were crazy… and had the wrong guy!
Yet in the process of building a case against Ewan, The Police have been successful in turning his Family against him!
Is anyone surprised to discover that Ewan lied to his wife about the vandalism?
Is anyone surprised… in the light of the murder … that Ewan lied about it to the police?
Now this may have been the wrong thing to do, yet we ought to be able to understand why. And that he is guilty of these childish activities does not *Prove anything* in respect to the murder. How many of us have ‘ugly’ personal and professional relationships?
Does this mean that if someone we know meets a foul end that we could be pinned with their murder?
The crown has no case. This much is clear.
Update 3-7-12 The NZ Herald ran a front page article in todays edition, regarding the Judges summary of the case for the Jury.
He vidates much of what I have written in this Blogpost.
Following my complaint about the Advertising Standards Authority Society misrepresenting themselves as an authority the ASS has ruled that it can not consider a complaint about its own name because it has NO JURISDICTION.
It’s an ironic ruling. My complaint is that they claim authority when they have no authority i.e. the ASS have no jurisdiction at all, however this would be the one occasion where the ASS actually have authority because the complaint is about their business – they own it – they have complete authority over themselves. They just don’t have authority over anybody else.
Martin Luther King was one of many Civil disobedient Activists who found himself in jail for resisting Racial segregation. Ultimately He gave his life for the righteous cause of racial equality before the Law.
Dakta Green is behind Bars tonight because of his stand for the rights and liberties of Cannabis users.
If it were not for the High morals and defiant yet Peaceful Civil disobedience of brave and enlightened People like Dakta Green, Western civilization would never have risen out of Barbarism.
Yet the quest for Freedom and justice is not yet won.
We may have to a large degree escaped many of the Classic evils of Bygone days yet only naive and foolish sheeple do not appreciate the fact that corrupt political powers and Subjection to tyranny still abounds.
There are plenty of Righteous causes and oppressed minorities in dire need of champions.
And when such champions arise, they face a vicious multi headed beast!
Bigorty and Tyranny.
Though they know they will be mauled, yet still their Conscience and love of humanity moves them to put themselves in jeopardy for the sake of Liberty and Justice.
One thing Political Evil cannot tolerate is defiance!
In Cold resolve of self preservation the tyrants move to crush the righteous, to break their spirits, and trod them under… as an example to the rest of the sheeple to stay in line…or else!
And when this happens… and the champions of Liberty and justice are in chains… who will rise up for their sakes?
I am not Surprised….yet still it was with shock, Depression, and Indignation that I received the news tonight that Cannabis Law Reformer Dakta Green is back behind bars.
It was to be expected given the fact that though Dak had only just been release from Prison for his Activism to end Cannabis prohibition, and ‘Living like it’s legal’… had declared that though he did not wish to go back to jail… he was resolved to continue his civil disobedience and crusade to end the oppression of Cannabis users.
This could only result in one thing.
The Machine is determined to break Him… and so acting under pressure from the Polit bureau the ‘Bastards in Blue’ paid him another visit. He was arrested for ‘breach of bail conditions’… I am not sure if this means he is facing new charges in relation to cannabis use. I do know
I am not writing this blog merely to report it travesty.
I am writing it to ask all decent and liberal minded people what they intend to do about this?
We must Rally!
Our Man needs Backup!
Will you sit back in front of the telly and do naught?
I am sitting here wondering what I am going to do about this…and I will be doing something more that typing about it!
Activists must Act! (peacefully and with all respect for good law)
I will report back when I have decided what I can do.
I suggest those of you who care… those of you with a spine… that you contact talk to your friends and families about this, and rally them to the cause! Contact Norml.
Oh it’s not convenient right now for you to do anything?
*Slap yourself for me!*
When is it ever convenient to stand against Evil powers?
Dak needs us *NOW!*
I implore you to rise up!
I will see you at the front of the picket line!
Mayor Ann Johnston told the city council which endorsed the move it was “the most difficult and heart-wrenching decision” they had ever faced.
As has become the Norm these days Stockton Officals attempt to pass the blame upon the ‘Global market collapse’ rather than their own gross overspending, Yet a quick search of the Net reveals the same old story of Grand scheming…Heavy handed Government. They got into debt building and running Parking buildings… which as usual was *a fail*… just like it was for the Hamilton City Council. The City of 300 000 carries a debt of $700 Million.
Which, by comparison ought to show Hamiltonians just how grievious is their own situation being a Population of 152641 and city debts of $400 million
When the population of Stockton and US exchange rate is factored, This ruffly equates to an equivelent debt of $450 million to Hamiltons $400 Million.
We will be there by the next Local Body elections!
Thus We can safely say Stockton was brought to it’s knees by the same Pig headed Political Folly as has plagued Western democracy in General… including Hamilton New Zealand. If only Hamiltonians had listened to me!If only The Waikato Times had been able to grasp the reality of what I was saying, and given me equal time with the other candidates in their paper to present my arguements to the Ratepayers of Hamilton!
We would not be facing such a finacial catastrophy as we do now!
Is this a legitimate evaluation of The God of Israel and Chriatianity?
After having a short discussion with my fellow Blogger Richard Goode (in the ‘Comments’ of Part 2) I realized that I will not be able to wind up this topic in three parts.
I need to take the time now to clarify several important points about what I hope to achieve, and then move forward.
The primary purpose of these blog posts under the heading ‘How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world’… is to present to you how I deal with this issue as a *Dispensationalist King James Bible believer*
In the process of doing so I hope to show you that it is possible to *trust the scriptures*, and this is a completely different approach to the problem than how many Christians choose to deal with it. Ie Their solution is simply to tear out portions of the scriptures that in their opinion are incompatible with the idea of a Good and loving God.
In my view this is not only an unnecessary retreat which represents a victory for atheism and unbelief, but is also that most gross Human folly….Idol making… Man fashioning God to suit his own ideas!
This is to turn the Universe upside down and makes a mockery of Religion.
By this means they validate the atheist assertion that Religion is merely subjective whimsical Human fabrication.
Though the Bible expressly condemns the addition and subtraction of text (eg Rev22vs18,19)
as a heinous crime… nonetheless this is exactly what many people do! They think that by deleting and retranslating portions of the scripture whereby God visits mankind with harsh judgments that they are ‘helping God’… by sanitizing the bible from what they assume *Must be* corrupt additions and poor translations… on the authority of their own conscience.
They think that by this way they ‘save God’ from appearing a monster… and make ‘the Christian religion’ more agreeable to the sensitivities of mankind. Richard Goode Believes Hell in the Bible is a mistranslation for the grave. Matthew Flannagan Believes Old testament references to God ordering the genocide of the Canaanites to be merely Hyperbole.
Yet does This ‘Bible Doubters solution’ really work?
The answer is No!
I say you can piddle about rewriting the Bible as much as you like yet this does absolutely Zero in mitigating the very real evils and injustices suffered by mankind! And it is the existence of evil in the world which is the real challenge to the proposition that God is Good.
Ie Even if I were to grant Richard his assertion that hell is a mistranslation, that cannot alter the fact That God (if he exists) allows Hundreds of people, including children to be burned alive in fires every year.
One of the reasons I believe the Bible is God’s word is because it correlates with grim reality!
ie it’s not written like a fairy story in which ‘everyone lives happily ever after’
Ie it is not written like Richard would like it to be!
This adds weight to it’s objective crediblity!
The Bible is as ‘Raw’ as reality. And the God of the Bible is not simply an invented character…’a jolly nice old bloke’…yet he’s no Monster either. Yet still He is someone you had better take seriously!
“I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” A Einstein.
A common accusation against a Good and loving God is that it appears that he does not care about the evils going on ‘down here’ie the faithless believe he does not intervene when he ‘ought’, but allows people like Hitler to commit genocide…and get away with it.
Yet God as described in The Bible cares a great deal about sin and evil in the world… and justice! The faithless fail to appreciate that God *Did* bring an end to Hitler’s tyranny (death ends the evil works of us all), and the Bible teaches that even after physical death (which our spirit survives) we must face The judgment of God Almighty.
Ironically… because God cares a great deal about the morality of our deeds, and passes severe judgements upon them… this is then taken to mean God is a tyrant!… thus He’s Despised by Man ether way… Both for not caring and for caring too much!)
When considering the horrific realities which plauge mankind (which cannot simply be ‘deleted’ from our conscience as Richard so easily deletes hell from the scriptures) My Bible believers position on these things is thus:
*‘Things happen on Earth (like the Australian bush fires) which are not Gods will’*… yet he allows ‘reality’ to take its course.
And I argue this same principle holds good in respect to Damnation… “God is not willing that any should perish… though he allows reality to take it’s ‘natural’ course.
This does not mean he sits on his hands and watches.
The entire Bible is a testimony to God’s intervention to save mankind from Damnation… without removing mankind’s freewill moral agency.
It is important to understand that the God of the Bible is not insulated from the Human condition. Though it is true that in the process of creating a moral reality, he allows Murderers to work their evil upon mankind, Yet still he allowed morality to ‘take it’s course’… even when it was his *own son* whom was being murdered!
Thus He has not put mankind through anything he was not prepared to endure himself.
(The truth is God has had to endure All sin and evil… It is all against him!)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perrish, but have everlasting life” (John 3vs 16)
2000 years ago God stepped into history, and meekly made a voluntary offer to End Human tyranny and oppression, and set up a completely just government under ‘The Prince of Peace’ … yet he was rejected!
*Contemplate this for a moment*
God did not impose himself upon Mankind but gave him a choice.
All the misery of the past 2000 years could have been avoided, yet Mankind loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were Evil.
What more when God stepped in he took upon himself the punishment for all mans Sins, so that he might be able to forgive every single person whom wanted to be saved from damnation… without denying Justice, or negating our Freewill moral agency.
Though it is God’s will that everyone receives salvation, yet still he does not impose his will upon us or reality.
All this shows that God is not desirous to torture anyone in hell.
It also shows that God is not indifferent to the misery and evils we suffer.
It also shows God’s utter integrity and objectivity, and respect for us his creation… as freewill moral agents. Ie He respects us to the degree that he will allow us to damn ourselves rather that force us to love and respect him.
These biblical truths destroys Richards assumptions that If hell is real God *must be* a Heartless Monster.
And the Work of Christ changes everything.
The sin that Damns the soul is not pick pocketing, not looking at Porn, But the Rejection of Christs work on the Cross…and rebellion against God.
Those lost souls whom end up in outer darkness will be free to curse God for eternity. They will never have to look at his face. Yet they will be in such a circumstance where their evil and malicious hearts can cause no further harm or chaos. They will be miserable because they will know that they forsook the Loving God who made them, and that they put themselves there!
Having lived ungreatful lives never giving thanks to God for the many blessings they enjoyed, they shall spend eternity with nothing.
And this will all be just.
It is at this point where I posit the Question: Was it possible for God to create Freewill moral agents capable of having a loving relationship with him… without making sin and evil, possible?
I think the answer to this question must be No!
Thus I ask you. Would you prefer to be an automation rather than a freewill moral agent? Understand that as a Robot you could never have a loving relationship… or even claim responsibility/ credit for your own thoughts and actions.
Furthermore God being sovereign it is *his right* to decide whether or not to create Free will Beings capable of Love and morality.
Insodoing he had to weigh up the cost/ benefits involved.
On the plus side he would have loving children to enjoy and share reality.
On the negative side Evil could become a reality, and some of his children could be damned.
That God chose to go ahead with creating such beings is self evident.
I will leave one final passing word in respect to The Great judgement of God for Sin.
It is this. I think Richard is greatly mistaken to think that God must bare all the responciblity for the Damnation of anyone and everyone.
Responciblity primarily lies with the Individuals themselves and their choices, and furthermore God has placed a measure of responciblity in respect to the Salvation of the Lost upon us Christians!
We are under the moral Obligation to preach the Gospel of the grace of God to the lost. We are to be witnesses for the truth… ‘living epistles’ shining the light of Christ in this world of darkness. Thus I say it is ‘rich indeed’ to blame God for the Damnation of the Lost when we ourselves know the truth, yet fail to warn our friends, neigbours, and family.
St Paul says in Corinthians 1vs 21 “it pleased God by the Foolishness of preaching to save them which believe…”
And again in Romans (10vs 13-14)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Thus I say to those people like Richard that if they are really serious about it being unconscionable to think that people might end up being Damned for Eternity (And I agree the proposition is frightful!), they ought to be like St Paul… ie be so burdened as to preach the gospel without ceasing… day and night! The gospel ought to be number 1 on their scale of importance!
Only when this is so can they look in the mirror and absolve themselves, believing they have fulfilled their Moral duty… which knowledge of such gravity demands.
In part 4 I will raise the question of what ground (if any) is there to stand upon whereby Men may condemn the judgements of Christian God?
I will discuss another verse from Leviticus which Richard does not like and propose an argument which may shock him. Ie That God’s theocracy is *not Libertarian!* …none the less Libertarianism is right for us today.
I will present some scriptural arguments which teach us to have faith in Gods word… even when/ esp when there are tuff things to swallow.
And I will start to develop the Bible story about The origin of evil.
If God exists, why doesn't He stop rapists from raping?Why doesn't He stop suicide bombers from bombing?Shay He has all the power?Abi is He indifferent?Then, why worship Him?Are these your questions?Dr Zacharias, by the Holy Spirit, doth answer thee.Watch.PS:Seated beside Daddy Ravi is Professor John Lennox, a British Mathematician, Philosopher of Science, Christian Apologist and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.God's gat people, mehn.God's gat people.?
Posted by Uju Okorie on Tuesday, February 16, 2016