Front page: Church members deliver open letter to British PM

By Dixon Cartwright

Five members of the North West Church of God, Chester, England, hand-delivered a letter to the official residence of Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair July 14 to urge Mr. Blair to change public policies that promote "rebellion and perversion," to work for laws that allow proper discipline of schoolchildren and to inspire and implement justice in the land.

Gerald Kirby of Wirral, England, pastor of the North West COG, was among the members who requested and received admittance to Mr. Blair's residence at 10 Downing St.

"Downing Street is not open to the public, being secured by large, very strong ornate railings and gates across the entrance," Mr. Kirby told The Journal.

But guards admitted the five members and a member's son after they had requested to personally deliver the letter, which was signed by Mr. Kirby.

The policeman outside the door to the residence was "very welcoming," Mr. Kirby said.

"Take all the time you need," said the officer, and "by all means take photographs. After all, it is your money that pays for all of this."

"Several strokes of the very heavy knocker brought a swift response," Mr. Kirby said, "and we delivered the letter into the hands of another official to take to Mr. Tony Blair, our prime minister."

On leaving, the Church of God contingent stopped at a nearby mailbox to post a copy of the same letter to Queen Elizabeth, along with a personal note to the queen also signed by Mr. Kirby.

The letter to the prime minister noted that historically Britain has been instrumental "in carrying knowledge of [God's] Word around the world," but "now we are leading the way in rebellion and perversion."

The gravity of the rebelliousness and corruption will lead to Britain's destruction, the pastor warned.

Examples Mr. Kirby cited to make his points included:

o The reluctance and inability on the part of Church of England officials "to proclaim God's Word" because doing so "has become politically incorrect."

o The injustice of the imprisonment of a British farmer named Tony Martin. Mr. Martin, whose house had been burgled several times, caught two housebreakers in the act of ransacking his residence one night and shot them both. One died, one lived.

The surviving burglar served 18 months for the crime and was released. The farmer is still in prison for killing the other burglar.

"Clearly, common sense tells us that Tony Martin did not gain justice," Mr. Kirby wrote to Mr. Blair, "but, when this occurred, did you act when many protested and are still protesting?"

Mr. Kirby answered his own question: "No. You remained silent. Tony Martin was even denied the parole which almost every prisoner gains because he is a man of principle."

o The Church of God pastor chastised Mr. Blair because of his apparent unconcern with British children's lack of discipline.

"Over recent years the government has consistently undermined respect for authority among our children and young people," Mr. Kirby wrote, "so that a whole generation has grown up to have little respect for law of any kind."

An atmosphere conducive to learning is absent in Britain's government schools, continued the letter. "Today almost any form of chastisement is effectively prohibited, and almost any kind of behaviour is uncorrected."

o Mr. Kirby also admonished Mr. Blair for his stance concerning homosexuals and his accommodation of homosexuality.

The prime minister recently appointed a new archbishop for the Church of England, Mr. Kirby noted.

"Despite protest from Anglicans around the world, you chose Dr. Rowan Williams, the one candidate who supports homosexual relationships," Mr. Kirby wrote.

Mr. Kirby quoted Leviticus 18:22: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination," and Leviticus 20:13, which directs that both parties to a homosexual relationship be put to death.

"You are a man who goes to church and reads the Bible, as well as the Koran, but has knowingly appointed as Archbishop of the Church of England a man who defies the clear words of the Bible," wrote Mr. Kirby. "What does God say about such leaders?"

He then quoted for the prime minister's benefit Isaiah 5:20-21: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

Then Mr. Kirby commented: "The shifting moral sands of society can provide no excuse before our God."

Mr. Kirby ended his 2,300-word missive with a plea for Mr. Blair to "once again display courage" and "to confront the evil within" so Britain can "avoid the just chastisement God has promised" if Britons continue in their ungodly practices.

"The members of the Church of God around the world pray that their political leaders might have courage to be guided by the Word of God in the Bible," Mr. Kirby concluded.

The five North West Church of God elders (elders because of their longtime COG membership) who made the visit were Mr. Kirby, his wife, Lynne, Rex and Lorna Newnham and Michael Storey. Also in attendance was Mr. Storey's 16-year-old son, Lachlan.

This issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.


Church Links  -  Addresses  -  Church Logos  -  Finances  -  Photos  -   Memorial

The Study Library  -  In Transition  -  Messages Online  -  Live Services

Back Issues  -  Subscribe  -  Email List  -  Ad Rates  -  Site Map

© The Journal: News of the Churches of God