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Not every miracle is true

Boko Haram militants descended on a village in northern Nigeria recently. Seventy six men, women and children were removed to the terrorists’ camp where some were tortured.

Their homes, schools, shops and clinics set alight.

It is a familiar pattern – armed men descend on a Christian village throughout the land causing death and mayhem.

The four male leaders of the group were ordered at gunpoint to renounce their faith in Christ and revert to Islam. They refused and were fatally shot.

The following week the widows of the four martyred men were ordered to renounce Christ or their children would face the same fate.

As the mothers struggled under this terrible burden, the excited children revealed that the Lord Jesus had appeared to them and told them “all would be well”.

According to the account, the Lord Jesus then appeared to all of the group and told them not to fear, that He would protect them.

They should not renounce Him, but stay strong knowing that “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life”.

Next morning the children were lined up against a wall but the mothers refused to renounce Christ. The soldiers taking aim started to grab at their own heads, screaming “Snakes!” Some ran away, others dropped dead.

One of the Christian men reached for the gun of a dead militant but a four year-old girl, put her hand on his arm and said, “you don’t need to do that. Can’t you see the men in white fighting for us?”.

Critics ask whether such a wonderful story can be true.

Why were the four men executed and the others saved? But then “His ways are not our ways” (Isaiah 55:8).

Not every ‘miracle’ is true, however.

A Discernment Committee was set up to examine the story told by the survivors.

One of the actions was to create a book of 26 pictures of Jesus.

The book was shown individually to each of the 72 men, women and children, who were asked to choose the image that most resembled the man who had appeared to them that night.

All 72 picked the same image.

Jeff Adams

Bloomsbury

Swindon

Who’s clearing up?

What a disturbing, but unfortunately not a surprising headline “ its only the tip of the iceberg” (SA, May 17).

And where you highlight ward by ward in Swindon the worrying scandal of children living in poverty, it’s not a surprise has it goes hand in hand with a report by the United Nations rapporteur Philip Alston on a visit to the UK last year.

He said that by 2022, 40 per cent of the child population will be affected.

Another report also said that by the end of this year child poverty in the UK could reach a record high.

The reason behind these horrific figures are put down to welfare cuts, benefit freezes and the austerity implemented by the Tory government.

A few weeks ago in his weekly column South Swindon MP, said the Tory government always has to clear up the mess left by the previous Labour goverment.

Please may I ask Mr.Buckland who is going to clear up the mess and total destruction of this country that your government has created ?

Mark Webb

Old Town

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