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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Strange how it's always Jews and Christians that get targeted

Regulations designed to protect schools from jihadist takeover have ended up targeting Jews and Christians. More on the 'Trojan Horse' scandal here and here.

Are we surprised?


Archbishop Cranmer has expanded his operation in recent weeks. There is an interesting post on the new blog by a Gillan Scott who is Cranmer's deputy editor. It appears that faith schools have been told the following:

  • That representatives of other faiths should be invited to lead assemblies and lessons in order for the school to demonstrate compliance with the Standards;
  • That evidence needed to be provided, including within the curriculum, that the school “actively promoted other faiths”;
  • That the school should actively promote the principles of the Equality Act 2010, that pupils must learn about people with protected characteristics and that the school must not give a viewpoint that certain lifestyles are wrong. Nor should the school promote a particular lifestyle; and
  • That the promotion of a principle, namely the Christian principle that all people are equal before God and have inherent dignity as human beings, was not enough to demonstrate sufficient  respect for other people, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.
Translation: teach that religions other than your own are equally valid; teach that  lifestyles once called immoral are now to be accepted even encouraged.

Quoting from the blog of Adrian Warnock  at Patheos.com

Mr Jonathan Rabson, Executive Director of NAJOS (The National Association of Jewish Orthodox Schools) said: “This confrontational approach by inspectors is a worrying trend that has never been seen before in the history of the UK Jewish community and we fear that this suggests a shift in policy towards faith schools . . . Ofsted inspectors have asked hugely inappropriate questions and bullied the pupils into answering insensitive and anti-religious questions.”  (Source: Press Release NAJOS 8 October 2014.)

It seems that if these reports are accurate, the inspectors paid no regard to the fact that these orthodox Jewish children were being raised in a very conservative manner, to not interact with those of opposite gender, and to not have TVs or Internet devices. The idea that a young child from such a sheltered background should be asked whether they had a boyfriend or girlfriend by a stranger is preposterous, and frankly bordering on being abusive towards such young children.

NAJOS claims “30% of maintained Jewish secondary schools have received unannounced visits from Ofsted, and many of our independent orthodox Jewish schools have also received no-notice inspections.”  This seems like clear evidence of discriminatory targeting which, unless there really was good cause, surely breaks the very Equality Act these regulations were designed to protect!

It is unsurprising in such circumstances that the Jewish community fear anti-Semitism may have played a part in these decisions. (Source: NAJOS Letter to Nicky Morgan re inspections – 24 September 2014.) The 30% figure is disputed by Ofsted. (Source: Full Response from Ofsted re letter to DfE.)

A Guardian report , not known for their support of Jewish causes, is equally damning.

The Christian Institute is reporting on Jewish and Christian schools affected by the new regime. (See also here).

According to Christian Concern the guidelines have been shelved, note, not scrapped just shelved.

Why should we be worried by this semantic difference? The LibDems, coalition partners with the Tories, have voted to scrap Christian Assemblies. They may never govern in their own right, but they are a seed-bed for secular liberal ideology.  That very small, but vocal, group, "The national Secular Society" just loves it (here)

Christians and Jews need to be alert. The secularists will use Islamic terrorism and the accusation of Islamophobia to drive the God of Abraham out of schools.

When did you last hear a sermon on Helpers and Administrators?

Thought so. Me neither.

At church we are currently working our way through Exodus in the evening service. It fell to me to preach on Exodus 17: 8 - 18:27. I have preached on the Exodus 17 verses before and you can find that here. It's all about prayer triplets (also here). But the Word of God is a never-ending well-spring of blessing and riches. This time, I was shown the seeds of what would become a nation of priests, a royal priesthood.

There is a direct parallel to Exodus 18 in  Acts 6. Factor in what constitutes priesthood and kingship, examine the ministries of the Holy Spirit (see here) and a sermon on Helpers and Administrators was born.

The overall theme of the series is "The God who rescues." Here we see Israel beginning to grow into maturity. The lessons are key to Christian maturity as well.

I forgot to record the sound, but the PowerPoint is fairly comprehensive.