Archive for the ‘false professors’ Category

A parcel deliveryman who convinced his friends, families and even his wife that he was a Metropolitan Police officer was jailed for 20 months today

January 8, 2010

A parcel deliveryman who convinced his friends, families and even his wife that he was a Metropolitan Police officer was jailed for 20 months today.

Stuart Howatson, 31, was so confident of his impersonation that he gave a talk to schoolchildren about the work of the police while wearing a uniform partly bought on eBay and carrying a baton.

At his 2006 wedding, he told guests that Sir John Stevens, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, would be in attendance and set out a place for him at the dinner reception. When Sir John did not appear, Howatson claimed in his groom’s speech that the Commissioner was absent because of “security issues”.

When questioned by friends, Howatson claimed variously to be a firearms officer, a dog handler, a senior officer on sabbatical leave, and a protection officer for the Queen.

But the real Metropolitan Police became aware of his activities in 2008 after he offered to buy the £720,000 Spanish villa where he spent his honeymoon. He created false bank statements showing monthly deposits from “Met Police” and “MPA” as proof his sound finances while taking several free breaks at the £1,200-week villa.

After two years of bounced cheques and excuses, the owner of the villa, a friend of Howatson’s who was convinced he was being scammed by a genuine police officer, reported him to the Metropolitan Police’s Anti-Corruption Command.

A Met spokesman said the Command at first believed they were dealing with a corrupt police officer. “It was only when we looked into it further that it became apparent he was not a Met officer,” he said.

The Times

The article continues:

Looked like the real thing. Talked like the real thing. Wanted to be the real thing. Wasn’t the real thing.

In sentencing, Judge Hooper, QC described him as “a common trickster and a conman”.

Today he pleaded guilty to possession of articles of police uniform, false accounting, fraud by false representation and possession of and making indecent images of children. He also admitted a charge of possession of an offensive weapon for the baton he had brought to the nursery school.

Detective Inspector Claire Moxon, of the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “Howatson went to great lengths to maintain a long-running deceit, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by the people around him.

“His behaviour has not only deeply affected his family and friends, but risked undermining the integrity and professionalism of genuine police officers everywhere.”

The fake policemen undermines the credibility of the true. That’s another reason why false prophets should be exposed – for the credibility of the gospel.

November 23, 2009

(Having come under conviction of sin, Bunyan ‘cleaned up’ his life and ‘got religion’. Realising he had broken it, he was now trying to keep God’s Law. His neighbours were impressed – but he was still a child of the devil; now whitewashed but yet a tomb)

…my neighbours were amazed at this my great conversion, from prodigious profaneness, to something like a moral life; and, truly, so they well might; for this my conversion was as great, as for Tom of Bedlam to become a sober man. Now, therefore, they began to praise, to commend, and to speak well of me, both to my face, and behind my back. Now, I was, as they said, become godly; now, I was become a right honest man. But, oh! When I understood that these were their words and opinions of men, it pleased me mighty well. For though, as yet, I was nothing but a poor painted hypocrite, yet I loved to be talked of as one that was truly godly. I was proud of my godliness, and, indeed, I did all I did, either to be seen of, or to be well spoken of, by man. And thus I continued for about a twelvemonth or more.’

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.75

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers

October 9, 2009

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers. Nor did the ferment thus excited subside quickly, as it often does, into pity or contempt. He had the pain very shortly after, of being personally attacked from the pulpit by some of his brethren, whose zeal hurried them into the violation, not only of an express canon of the Church, but of the yet higher law of Christian charity, and led them to make an intemperate attack upon him and upon many of the truths of the Gospel. Even when he was himself present at Church, Mr. ______ spoke with sufficient plainness of him and of his doctrines, calling them inconsistent, extravagant and absurd; drawing a vast variety of false inferences from them, and thence arguing against them — declaring, for instance, that to affirm repentance to be the gift of God— and to teach that nature is wholly corrupt, was to drive men to despair — that to suppose the righteousness of Christ sufficient to justify, is to make it unnecessary to have any of our own. Though compelled to listen to this downright heresy; to hear himself described as knowing neither what he said, nor whereof he affirmed — and as speaking only to gratify self-sufficiency, pride, and uncharitableness, — “I rejoiced,” said this meek and holy man thus unjustly aspersed, “to receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper afterwards — as the solemnities of that blessed ordinance sweetly tended to soothe any asperity of mind; and I think that I administered the cup to ______ and _______, with sincere good-will.”

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, John Sargent, Banner, 1985, p.154-155

Things have come to a pretty pass if religion is going to interfere with private life

October 7, 2009

Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s first PM, once went to hear an evangelical preacher who severly denounced some of the crying iniquities of the time. After the service the statesman was heard to remark, with some indignation, “Things have come to a pretty pass if religion is going to interfere with private life.”

Raymond Abba, the Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.24

As long as religion is all externals the natural man is content to be religious. But if religion does not begin in the soul and transform my behaviour towards other, of what value is it?