“A Nurse could be sacked and even struck off for offering to say a prayer for an elderly patient” reports the Daily Mail. “Caroline Petrie, a community nurse and devout Christian, has already been suspended for an alleged breach of her code of conduct on equality and diversity. She now faces disciplinary action, even though the patient involved did not make a formal complaint.” To view the rest of this Daily Mail Article click here .
I guess this news report is yet another indication of the decline of the freedom of religion for Christians in Britain. Muslims have struck fear and terror into the British government and much like the IRA did during the troubles in Northern Ireland, the weak and largely impotent British government ever-steadily is allowing those who threaten with the sword to have victory…albeit a subtle and silent one. To be honest as Christians we should not expect to be liked by the world. Jesus himself said it. Yet it is somewhat striking that we now live in a society that tries to put a ban on people’s beliefs, even though it claims equality for all.
Melanie Phillips, journalist for the Daily Mail, has written an insighful article on this area titling it “BRITISH POLICE RUN FROM MUSLIM DEMONSTRATORS, A CHRISTIAN NURSE FACING THE SACK FOR OFFERING TO PRAY for a patient- this is the way a society dies.
She goes on to write
“In our allegedly multicultural society, there is one religious group which is apparently not to be afforded equal respect, let alone treated for what it embodies – the foundational creed of this nation. That group is Britain’s Christians. Somerset community nurse and committed Christian Caroline Petrie has been suspended and faces being sacked and even struck off for offering to say a prayer for an elderly patient. Although startled, the patient – herself a Christian – did not make a complaint and was in no way offended. Suspension and dismissal are sanctions to be used for mistreating or neglecting patients. Yet here they are being used against a nurse for offering to bring a patient a form of spiritual solace – which the patient was able easily to refuse and which caused her no problem. Is this not an utterly idiotic over-reaction? I am a Jew; but when my mother was in the last stages of her terminal illness she was cared for by deeply devout Christian nurses who regularly prayed for her. Far from being offended by this, I was touched and comforted by this signal that they cared so much about her. Moreover, this is not actually about upholding professionalism in nursing. It is all about foisting upon nursing the sinister and politically correct ‘diversity’ agenda – which means in effect treating Christianity as inherently offensive. Demonstrating ‘a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ apparently means that offering Christian solace to anyone at all, even if they don’t belong to another faith, somehow damages ‘equality and diversity’.
Would the same action be taken, one wonders, against a Muslim nurse offering to pray for a Muslim patient?It is but the latest in a growing line of incidents where people find themselves singled out for opprobrium for expressing their Christian faith. These include the Heathrow check-in worker who was banned from wearing a cross around her neck at work; the Relate counsellor who was sacked for refusing to give sex counselling to homosexuals; and the woman who was forced to stand down from an adoption panel because she disapproved of gay adoption. It was particularly telling to compare this incident with the astounding video footage featured in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday, showing police officers running away from chanting demonstrators who took part in a violent protest in London against Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip. The ten-minute amateur film shows 30 officers being chased by a crowd of up to 3,000 people who broke away from an official protest march last month. Absurdly, the police claim they were ‘going backwards’ but not running away. But the video clearly shows the police retreating under fire, being chased through central London by protesters chanting ‘Allahu akhbar’ as they pelted officers with traffic cones and screaming ‘cowards’ and ‘they’re going to get it’. It is hard not to reach the dismal conclusion that a society faced with violence in pursuit of the goal of overturning Christian values and conquering Britain for Islam turns tail and runs away – while at the same time coming down like a ton of bricks on any expression of those Christian values which underpin British society, in the interests of ‘equality and diversity’.
This is the way a society dies.”
Yes indeed. Yes indeed. Britain is in societal meltdown. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato once said “The city is the soul magnified”, and if we look at the state of this nations’ cities it does not take long to notice the grave immorality and the societal decay that is taking place. The cause? Liberalism. By in large. Rebellion against authority, plain and simple. Authority in the form of government, authority in the form of Law and Order, authority in the form of Schooling and authority in the form of the family and male headship. Charles Haddon Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle, two great men of God in the 19th century, voiced their fears that all would be lost if the onslaught of theological liberalism that was rising in their day be allowed to continue, that is not preached against. Spurgeon’s wife Susannah would later share her belief that it was this battle, known now as the “Downgrade Controversy”, that eventually killed her husband. This Liberalism wreaked havoc in the Church of England, havoc from which the Church has never recovered from and is still marred by. Liberal preachers, preaching a liberal gospel, with liberal “left-wing” beliefs has led to a famine of the word of God in this land. The only words I can muster up at present that I feel do justice to describe liberalism are those like “sinister”, “malicious”, “evi”l, “destructive”, “heretical” and “disgraceful”. Liberalism has sought over the years to attack EVERYTHING that the British people once stood for- for morality, for the family, for work ethic, for the protection of the unborn….everything. In fact theological liberalism is an open attack on God himself, and it is about time that British Christians seeking to be faithful to the Word of God are warned publicly about it. Pastor’s and Teachers cannot and must not remain silent about this and must preach the word of God as it is. Where are the Spurgeons, the Ryles, and the Llyod-Jones’ of these Islands? Where have these great voices and proclaimers of Gods truth gone. Why is there a silence about the state of the UK church. I hear our American brothers and sisters speaking out against what they see happening in their country. Why then do we British remain relatively silent? Thankfully “Pierced for Our Transgressions” was relased last year by some of the guys at Oak Hill defending the doctrine of Penal Substitution against the attacks it was receiving from British “evangelicals” such as Steve Chalke. We need more of this. We must take a stand for the truth of God. Yet often our middle-class churches prefer an attitude of “niceness”. They come to our churches because “they like the young man that is preaching”. Yet Jesus said “Woe to you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26).
We must put aside this nicey niceness and just preach the gospel. Yes be loving and love others but don’t water down or soften a hard hitting message that God has placed on your heart because you are afraid people won’t like you. Preach the word IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON. Britain is definitely out of season and we dare not change our message to make it more palatable for our out of season hearers. If all men hate me because I have sought to be faithful to the word of God, to the conviction of my heart, to my conscience and to the leading of the Holy Spirit then so shall it be. “Do not fear them who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead fear him who can kill both the body and soul in Hell” (that’s God if you don’t get it- Matt 10:28). We must pray for revival and labour for reformation in our churches. Who will stand up and say “Here I am God..send me”. My hand is up…..now I wait. I wait for God to make clear his calling, if he has been merciful and gracious to me by calling me to preach and teach then I dare not water down what is on my heart and in his word….for one day I must give an account. One day we all must give an account. To be honest I couldn’t care less what you or others might think of me, because when I stand before God I want to hear those words “Well done good and faithful servant. You have run the race well and finished strongly. You were courageous in standing for the truth, and you did not deny me from the pulpit”. And the amazing thing about this is that I will only be able to do this and finish like this because he first loved me, died for me, called me, saved me, enabled me, guided me and kept me through all circumstances right to the end. That is the God I serve, unlike the tyrannical Allah of Islam whose followers kill by the Sword and seek to strike fear into the hearts of the “infidels”. No….my God says “those who live by the sword die by the sword” (Matt 26:52). Christians let us humbly and quietly face whatever persecution comes our way. Let us instead be more focused on being wholly faithful to God’s word, even if your church and pastor is not. God will do the rest and he will keep you.
Update: The National Secular Society has backed the suspension of Mrs Petrie. The group, which represents the interests of atheists, agnostics and other non-religious groups, said it was inappropriate for health workers to ‘evangelise’.