Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Scriptures both of the Old Testament and of the New are rich in very many ways, and not least in their handling of issues of THEODICY, which an online dictionary defines as “the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil”. 

In the Scriptures, such as the account of Joseph in the book of Genesis, the book of Job, the Psalms, the prophets notably including Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and in the Gospels and the writings of St. Paul and St. Peter, we see these issues being raised and presented at many angles. These we find to be especially helpful when we personally encounter some real difficulty or roadblock to the way we have been accustomed to doing things or to the way we want to move forward. Through these writings the Spirit may move us to think more patiently and more widely about some circumstance that has caused us immediate annoyance. Indeed, we may find that the very circumstance that in our short-sightedness we have been annoyed about, comes in the long run to be seen to be something very beneficial.

The Scriptures show us that such considerations may apply also to whole countries or societies. A circumstance of law that we may judge in the short run to be disadvantageous can turn out to be advantageous to the society in the long tun. I think this is where we as a society are currently being fed the “human rights” line in a very immature and faulty way.

The media, especially in the big western countries but also in Cayman because of the reach of television and social media channels, not to mention the ownership of local outlets, tell us such things as people having the “right” to suicide or purposively to abort their pre-born babies, or to “marry” their companion of the same sex. In the last case we commonly see “Divorce Court” programmes and house renovation agency programmes being totally indifferent as to whether or not the couples before them are married or not or in what sexual configuration, male-female, male-male or female-female. It is true that we may not yet have seen “throuples” or incest in these programmes, but I have little doubt this is just a matter of time in the overall agenda. What we do usually see is the presence of children to help the viewer think, “Well, this is just another sort of normal family.”

Here in the Cayman Islands the first “Gay Pride” parade is scheduled to take place on the 31st July, and true to form our “progressive” Governor has already in the media been supporting the “rights” of transgenders, and both he and our new Premier have been reported as going to speak supportively at this parade. 

And no doubt lots of children will be involved as well, just to give the impression that all of this is so normal. Just like the visits of drag queens to children’s library sessions that go on overseas and the “progressive” sexualising of children in the new “Sex and Relationships Education” curricula that basically teach them that whatever you both want to do together you have the right to do it.

We started out by looking at “theodicy”, and indeed the fundamental issue here is, How will the divine goodness and providence be vindicated in view of the current ascendance of such evils here in the Cayman Islands? I am hoping that by setting it out in this way, which perhaps will be painful to us, the “penny will drop”, as we used to say. 

The “penny will drop”, and the locked door of our minds will be released, when we see that the “rights” that are being claimed for those who practise these things are gained only at the huge expense of the true rights of the truly vulnerable - our children who unquestionably have the right to be protected from such spectacles, such teachings - in the case of deliberate abortion, such murder, and in the case of same sex activity, such obscuration of every child’s need of personal mothering, fathering and very identity. It is part of the “creation covenant” that the God and Father of us all designed in the very cells of our bodies. Adults who “pro-created” a child have special responsibilities for that child, and cannot rightly claim any “right” for themselves that is going to injure him. 

O God our Father, vindicate Thy goodness and providence in drawing the Cayman Islands back from this test of the evil one!

The Collect for St. James’ Day the 25th July is

Grant, O merciful God, that as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

and the Collect for the week of the Eighth Sunday after Trinity is

O God, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth; We humbly beseech thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday falls on the 25th July and we shall be celebrating St. James’ Day. Perhaps there could not be a more appropriate prayer for the theme that we have been considering. Those who claim “worldly and carnal affections” of any sort as a “right” that trumps the will of God for us (and our children), are harming the lives of children and displeasing God. However, “through Jesus Christ our Lord”, our merciful God will “grant" the prayer to be “evermore ready”, “leaving” any contrary inclinations, to follow His “holy commandments”.

The Collect for the week is amazingly appropriate also. In spite of the circumstances in which we may be situated, God’s providence (we must affirm by faith) is “never-failing”, ordering all things and providing for us abundantly by the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We believe, even beyond where we can see.

For directions about the services this Sunday the 25th July, St. James the Apostle’s Day and the Eighth Sunday after Trinity, please see the website  .

In reliance upon the mighty power of the Triune God to keep us faithful to and in all truth, I am in your service 

Bishop Nicholas