Author Archives: Jeff

What is the most painful, unintended consequence of Martin Luther’s rebellion again Rome?

Tomorrow, Halloween, is the ironic date the world typically marks as the anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation that shattered the Roman Universalist Church’s 1,000-year-long spiritual monopoly over Western Christianity. The man who launched that spiritual revolution is the fascinating, but not always loveable Martin Luther. Luther was courageous, intellectually energetic and sometimes even humorous. But he was also pig-headed, argumentative, egotistical, and an infamous anti-Semite. Luther ’s greatest theological legacy to Protestantism is his teaching that justification, being made right before a righteous God, is through faith alone. To Luther, salvation was an open-and-shut case: Believe and you are justified. Once justified you are saved. Once you are saved, you remain saved without any influence of works—good or bad.

Five hundred years on, the painful, unintended consequences of Luther’s justification theology include the failure of the Protestant Church—including most “born-again” evangelical organizations— to make a significant moral and ethical difference in the lives of those attending its worship services.

To discover the answer as to why this has happened and what can be done about it, see the link to my recent video about this shocking crisis in contemporary Christianity .

View Video

No right to save the life of one’s own child

A distraught British Columbia father is pleading for the right and the power to force his drug addicted 15-year-old daughter into drug rehab so she doesn’t overdose another time and die. But the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and it would seem the B.C. government, prefer less obtrusive ways, such as controlling the supply of addictive drugs and then handing them out to the addicts on a prescription basis.

The policy director of this civil liberties NGO, Michael Vonn said, “We are concerned about the notion that parents should be making health-care decisions for their mature minors.” He then suggested that forcing a minor into drug rehab is as much a non-starter as denying a “mature minor” (who they say might be just 12 years old) the right to access birth control without parental consent.

But citing what should be self-evident natural law, the father retorted: “It’s our responsibility as parents to take care of our children. And we can’t, if we can’t make them get the help they need.” Poor man. Didn’t he know that in B.C. parents no longer have the right to use “tough love” in a desperate effort to keep their children from ending up as a statistic in the morgue—a victim of the current, so-called “health crisis” of opioid overdose deaths.  Evidently in the 21st Century it’s the State that knows best—NOT father knows best!

When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice.

But when the wicked are in power, they groan (Proverbs 29:2 New Living Translation).

Who is Undermining Our Western Civilization?

Recently Conrad Black wrote a “must read” opinion piece—which is fascinating for both its language and its conclusions.

Black argues that increasingly aggressive atheist banshees, who seized control over most of the Western world’s government, academic, and media institutions, are close to dangerously undermining the roots of the West’s Judeo-Christian civilization. The implications of this worldview shift that has taken place among our leaders will have profound implications for everyone.

Up until now, the Judeo-Christian tradition has had a remarkable influence on the course of our history —promoting the role of conscience, free will, freedom of religion, the practice of justice, mercy, and forgiveness, along with intellectual curiosity and personal initiative.  The conceptual roots from which our 21st Century understanding of rights, freedoms, and political constitutions emerged from the teachings of the Judeo-Christians Scriptures about love, covenant, justice, and equality in law.

Surprising, Black noted, even the most militant of atheists feel obliged to swaddle themselves in commendable precepts that are generally rip-offs of the Golden Rule about loving your neighbour as yourself—which is found in both Old and New Covenant scriptures!

It is ironic that while the unbelieving, hyperactive philistines vociferously denounce the Judeo-Christian values, they nonetheless seem perfectly content to enjoy the benefits of Judeo-Christian civilization even while hypocritically denying its basic tenets.

Black warns that the Judeo-Christian influence on Western society is fast weakening. He wonders if the moral relativism substituted for biblical morality—which has resulted in a massive erosion of social cohesion and backbone among those buying the so-called “progressive,” politically correct ideology— could rally sufficient moral confidence to confront what Conrad Black calls “sociopathic Islam.”

If Black sounds harsh, well, would you, a liberal Westerner who despises our Judeo-Christian heritage, like to migrate on a raft (or even just get on a plane) to  a Muslim majority country like Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia (which is 100% church and synagogue free), Iran, Iraq, Syria, or Libya because they’re such great places to live? Or even better yet, how about decamping to North Korea, which is an atheist’s paradise and totally free from any religious values, whether Judeo-Christian or even Muslim? I understand the North Koreans love to imprison “superstitious and subversive” Korean-Christian ministers who obviously threaten the state by providing a little material assistance to their starving neighbours. How despicable those with Judeo-Christian values! I jest!

Conrad Black, “I put this as simply as possible: Many atheists are excellent, but atheism itself is hurting the West,” Apr. 7, 2017; http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/conrad-black-i-put-this-as-simply-as-possible-many-atheists-are-excellent-but-atheism-itself-is-hurting-the-west

The next PC idea about how to “improve” society: morality pills!

A CBC radio program called The Current, recently lent itself as a megaphone to the provocative idea that a pill is the next best thing to improve the “human animal.”— That’s the label Neil Levy, deputy director of psycho-babble at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, in the U.K. applies to you and me. He wants to formulate and administer a “morality pill” to targeted segments of the population.

To bolster his case, Levy cited research that shows drugs prescribed for anxiety, depression or even high blood pressure, “have been found to amplify characteristics such as empathy, self-control and increased trust; even an improvement in attitudes towards people of other races.” Neil Levy’s enthusiastic pill-pushing reminds me of the Jefferson Airplane hippie anthem “The White Rabbit” with its advocacy of the pharmaceutical lifestyle—or some of the stoner rants of Timothy O’Leary about LSD. I found Neil Levy’s advocacy of “morality pills” to be truly mind-blowing.

To the CBC’s credit they did balance Levy’s unbridled enthusiasm for mind-altering drugs with some sober second thoughts provided by Kerry Bowman of the The University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics. Bowman commented:

“It’s a very difficult, difficult concept because if you look at what occurs when a person has moral intuition … what they do with the moral intuition and the moral feelings and the space between that and moral action — meaning the decision that is made — that’s a very deep and powerful human experience.”

Bowman thinks there could be some serious push-back if the elite tries to increase its social control over the Canadian public by pushing such “morality pills.” One of the big reasons there might be some push back is that Levy’s idea denies the spiritual and even material importance of free will to humanity. When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), one of the most important features of His divine nature that He gave us was our ability to choose between obedience and disobedience, right and wrong.

When the Apostle Paul thought to accept a runaway slave named Onesimus into his service, he first wrote a letter to Philemon, Onesimus’ master. Paul wanted Philemon to give Onesimus his freedom to further the preaching of the Gospel. Paul said to Philemon:

“But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will,” (Philemon 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible).

To be virtuously moral of necessity requires, first of all, that one is capable of choice—and then through the exercise of free will one chooses to do the right rather than the wrong. There is nothing noble or Godly about someone being drugged into conformity with someone else’s idea of what is politically correct.

When justice degenerates into injustice!

What happens when a justice system devolves and becomes unjust, and contemptible?

Christie Blatchford, a columnist with the National Post—which is the more conservative of Canada’s two national newspapers—has recently been running a series that have been probing the depths of the dysfunction that predominates throughout much of Canada’s family law system, especially in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The situation has gotten so bad that even insiders working within the system will admit to a newspaper columnist that it is “utterly broken,” “expensive,” and “convoluted.” Instead of being places of fairness—after all Lady Justice is supposed to operate with blind impartiality and fairness—far too many Canadian family courts have become depressing, “soul-crushing places.”

Child custody disputes now commonly drag on for 10, 12, even 18 years. Many of the custody disputes in Ontario will cost about $45,000 per litigant just to walk into court day 1. And that’s just the beginning of the financial hit. Many non-custodial parents—mostly men—end up in bankruptcy while being pursued for the rest of their lives by a provincial family maintenance and enforcement agency. Blatchford cited this sad comment made about one such man whose despair ended in suicide: “His bank accounts were locked, he lost his homes, his vehicle, his business, his pension. You emasculate a man and take away his ability to provide … he’s a human being. He has limits. Yet if he could have just seen his girls, he could have handled all this.”

Citing case after case, Blatchford carefully documents the perversion of justice being wrought by such “family” courts. And what are the results when a justice system degenerates into an injustice system?

One post in response to Blatchford’s articles says, “We have a whole generation scared of getting married. Was that the system’s plan to break the family unit? In my area the young men are going around having babies with different moms and collecting welfare. Neither party wants to get married. Single guys with money are afraid to get married. What a cesspool!”

Society is suffering under the unjust judges of Canada’s various provincial family court systems. But eventually there will be a turn about and those who have perverted justice will be called to account. As it is written:

Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;

Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 Amplified Bible

Articles commented on by this blog: http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/christie-blatchford-getting-to-the-root-of-ontarios-family-law-mess

And http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/christie-blatchford-b-c-man-blamed-cruelty-of-family-court-battle-for-driving-him-to-suicide

 

Material progress without moral development equals….

Can the network of cellulose veins in a spinach leaf, when stripped of its plant cells and replaced with human heart tissue, someday be used to repair the damage caused by heart-attacks? Or can the cellulose structure of broccoli or cauliflower, when stripped of their plant cells, be used as growing platforms for replacement lungs? Though it sounds like pure science fiction, bioengineers at the Massachusett’s Worchester Polytechnic Institute and at other research centres are working feverishly to make such ideas a reality.

While the idea of repairing or replacing failing human organs by exploiting various species of the plant kingdoms for their tissues sounds infinitely preferable to hurrying the harvest of human organs from various classes of vulnerable people—the sick, the accident victims, the criminal, and the poor—the unanticipated consequences of such technological innovation can never be fully seen at its beginning. Who would have thought that  when our scientists first started studying physics to understand the nature of our physical world that such knowledge would eventually lead to the production of today’s horrific weapons of mass destruction?

The Scriptures recount that the Ultimate Bioengineer of the Universe once intervened in humanity’s technological development to slow us down. Why? Because He understood in observing our material “progress” that “Nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them” (See Genesis 11:6). Until our moral and ethical development catches up with our materialistic abilities, unanticipated consequences will render our current civilization increasingly subject to problems and disasters.

The news story which is the basis for this commentary is at: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/scientists-convert-spinach-leaves-into-human-heart-tissue-that-beats

Two Trees and Two Worldviews


When I got up this morning, after losing an hour’s sleep with the start of Daylight Saving Time, I turned on CBC’s Sunday Edition. While fixing breakfast, I began listening—but promptly turned it off. It was just too much to swallow, before I’d even had my morning cup of tea.

What is it about these liberal “thinkers” that so aggravates? Perhaps, it’s because they’ve fallen for the world’s oldest con, and I hate to see people deceived and used. Seemingly, the “leftie” pundits can only speak about those things that come from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This source of understanding is pollinated solely by human reason—”I make up for myself what is right or wrong.”  Sincere liberals think their “Tree” will only produce progressively good fruit. But this tree of good and evil produces a variety of fruit and some have not been good.

Our world’s increasing plague of promiscuity, impurity, indecency, hostility, strife, jealousy, violence, selfish ambition, envy, substance abuse, and riotous behaviour, are they not just the progressively rotten fruit of that old tree? It’s painful to listen to liberal commentators who’ve forgotten, or never knew, that if one just goes a little deeper into Eden’s Garden there is a much better source of understanding: the Tree of Life whose fruit is pollinated by Divine Revelation.

The Two Trees at Eden symbolically represented two completely different worldviews. The Tree of Life produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This good fruit is a stark contrast to the fruit of the other tree – The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. A recent survey by the Barna Research Groups says only 4 percent of North Americans know about the Tree of Life and its worldview that makes for a happy, fulfilling life.

If you’d like to learn more, follow this link: http://cogwebcast.com/sermons/video-archives/a-biblical-worldview-where-many-christians-fail/

 

Where is Personal Responsibility in all those “harm reduction” strategies?

man-with-headIn Canada, and in British Columbia, we’re being told there is a public health “crisis” or “emergency” over the perils of addiction, over-dosing, and death. Recently, intravenous drug users having been dropping dead in significant numbers in B.C.–about two a day due to the appearance on the streets over this past year of the drug fentanyl–a cheaper, far more powerful, artificial opioid. This cheaply manufactured drug is being smuggled into Canada from China.

To counter this “crisis” among those ensnared in opioid addiction, many of the so-called experts are calling for more “harm-reduction” strategies. The governing liberal elite wants more supervised safe injection sites–I think they’re asking for 4 or 5 just on Vancouver Island! And now some druggie activists are calling for the Government to supply free heroin to the addicts in order to cut down on the number of deaths due to the flood of cheap opioid knock-offs like fentanyl. But this “harm-reduction” approach begs the question–Is it perpetuating rather than solving the addictions problem? For some time the liberal media’s gatekeepers have bought into the harm reduction strategy as the best way to go, pushing anyone who might raise an objection to this strategy onto the digital sidelines of what’s being touted as “wisdom” and “compassion.”  However recently, some respected Canadian media commentators like Les Leyne are now having some doubts about whether this “harm reduction” ideology is, in fact, just perpetuating addictions and making things worse!

This past week, CBC radio aired a “compelling interview about two young women who sounded like seasoned and,  from the voice of one of them, mentally scarred veterans of the illicit-drug scene. One of them was in her mid-30s and gushing with enthusiasm about her drug use, whether this was at a “safe” injection site or not. The other was an 18 year-old doper whose only goal in life seemed to be “get high and relax.”

Commenting on these CBC interviewees, Les Leyne noted, “Safe sites or no, they’re both staring death in the face. The question is whether the latest effort to protect them from themselves by reducing some of the danger associated with routinely using drugs mogueamounts to just perpetuating behaviour that leads in only one direction–an inevitable trip to the morgue subsidized by the government and generous private individuals.

“The concept of personal responsibility seemed so distant that you feel like an old fuddy-duddy just thinking about it” (Les Leyne, “Are we perpetuating addictions,” TC, Nov. 16, 2016)

Responding to Leyne’s newspaper column, a 61-year-old self-confessed “addict enabler” with more than 300 years of addiction exposure among family and friends wrote in a letter to the editor:

“Whether heroin, cocaine, meth, or medical marijuana, all levels of government actively support the illicit drug industry. The city (of Victoria) and Province of British Columbia can’t afford to eradicate hard street drugs because addiction and its related services and products is very big business here, employing many. Truly, neither the addict, nor community at large is protected.”

“Counsellors I saw about the addiction issues of my family members, and friends recommended tough love: stop financing the addiction destruction by paying bills, buying groceries, providing clean needles–and other cheap drug equipment— providing free clothing, meds, housing, furniture, transportation–and soon a safe place to shoot up, too.”

rising-heroin-deaths“It’s time for something completely different and revolutionary that’ll give addicts the tools and desire to care about themselves. Pay addicts to get clean and to stay clean–instead of using ridiculous amounts of money to keep them addicted. If we care about addicts, we must motivate them to heal and discontinue the self-destructive habits whatever way we can.”

Our governing elite would never embrace such an idea that explicitly insists on druggies taking personal responsibility for their situation.  I dare say Mr. Leyne has been taking a certain amount of flak for his comments because they just aren’t politically correct.

The Scriptures point out there is a big difference between those who subscribe to the concept of personal responsibility and those who don’t.

Proverbs 9:7-9 (AMP) 7 He who corrects and instructs a scoffer gets dishonour for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man gets insults for himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer [who foolishly ridicules and takes no responsibility for his error] or he will hate you; Correct a wise man [who takes responsibility and learns from his error], and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser; Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.

If you’d like to hear more about this subject, click on the following link to take you to an in-depth message on this subject entitled PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY—God’s Perspective.

Personal Responsibility – God’s Perspective

 

True confessions from a journalist as the plain people change history

trump-with-armsIn the aftermath of the unexpected electoral trump of Donald Trump, leftists all around the world are in shock. They were all assured by the mainstream press that Hillary Clinton would become the 45th president of the United States. How could they get it so wrong? Well, I’ve decide to quote at length from a professional journalist who confesses that the pride and arrogance of the elite and the loonie left rendered them blind to the facts. But, of course, that’s not all! Hope you enjoy this refreshingly honest look at what’s really been going on in the newsrooms of our Western media. Be sure to see my conclusion at the very bottom for the real reason why Mr. Trump prevailed last night.

Quotes from Rod DreherSenior editor, The American Conservative at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37924687 accessed Nov. 9, 2016.

During the decade-long debate over same-sex marriage, I often argued with other journalists about our openly slanted coverage of the issue, which amounted to cheerleading for the pro-gay side. Don’t we have a professional obligation to tell the other side of the story? I would ask. Well, came the reply, do you think the media had an obligation to be fair to the Ku Klux Klan during the Civil Rights struggle?

It was just that simple for so many journalists. We pride ourselves on being realists, but in fact media-arrogancewe have a fatal weakness for construing the world as crude morality plays. This left many of us in no position to understand why people might resent the Obama administration ordering public schools to open up locker rooms of the opposite sex to transgender students, or why white people might see the Black Lives Matter movement as a racist and illiberal response to the problem of police brutality.

The people who run newsrooms agonise over diversity. They will go to any length to increase racial, gender, and sexual diversity, but care nothing about viewpoint diversity. In one newsroom where I worked the only religious conservatives besides me were the African-American secretaries. Nobody there thought this was a problem. To the contrary, they believed that religious conservatives, among other undesirable demographic categories, were the problem.

hilarys-basket-of-deplorablesBut yesterday, these undesirables, Trump’s forgotten people, proved to be a majority of the electorate. If they believe that news coverage is – what’s the word? – rigged against people like them, well, they’re more right than wrong.

Will this catastrophic failure of the media cause soul-searching and, dare I say it, repentance? Forget it. To do so would require the press to face up to its worst prejudices, none more deeply held than the belief that its members are on the Right Side of History.

A confession

Yet I have to confess my own fault here. In the summer of 2015, I sat with my elderly, working-class parents at their rural house, watching Trump’s rally in Mobile, Alabama, carried live on Fox News. My folks watched it because they were eager to hear what he had to say. I watched it for laughs. Having worked for five years in the New York media, I was wise to Trump’s ways. It would take a while for the rest of America to catch on, but surely it would.

My folks thought Trump made a lot of sense. “Give it time,” I told them. “He’s going to destroy himself, just watch.”

On Election Night, after voting, I took my mother to dinner (my father died later in 2015). She voted enthusiastically for Trump, and said she thought he would win this thing. I did not cast a presidential vote, because I couldn’t bear either Trump or Hillary Clinton. But look, I told her, Clinton has this election won by a mile.

My mom is a widowed grandmother and former school bus driver who knows nothing about politics. Her son is a conservative pundit who writes about politics and culture for a Washington magazine. And yet – and yet! – the little old lady from the middle of nowhere got it right. For better or for worse, plain people like her just changed the history of the world.

Actually, Rod Dreher’s conclusion is only partly right. Again as I implied a few days ago, the liberals got it wrong because–shock of shock– God is not dead and He can and does intervene in history as it suits Him. He has the final word on any man or woman’s plans, including those of Hillary Clinton and everybody else. This is a bitter lesson for the lefties today.

Proverbs 19:21 (HCSB) Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.

 

A Day of Decision

 

forkinroadProverbs 19:21 (HCSB) Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.

Last week a private Christian university  won a controversial victory over its enemies who have been trying to force out of the public sphere any institution that upholds Judeo-Christian morality. The Appeal Court of British Columbia, B.C.’s highest court, ruled unanimously, 5-0, in favour of Trinity Western University, describing efforts by the B.C. Law Society and sexual circus activists to deny the accreditation of the Christian university’s new law school as “unreasonable.” 

For years now, the dispute has revolved around the Christian university’s community covenant that bans its students from having sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage. The court held that to rule against Trinity Western would have a severe and negative effect on religious freedom that would far outweigh the minimal effect accreditation of the new law school would have on gay and lesbian rights, saying:

“A society that does not admit and accommodate differences”–in this case religious values that conflict with those of the politically correct sexual circus– “cannot be a free and democratic society: One in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal,” said the 66-page judgment.

“This case demonstrated that a ‘well-intentioned’ majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal,” (Geordon Omand, “Christian law school wins key legal victory,” Canadian Press, Nov. 2, 2016).

In a written reply, a disappointed B.C. Law Society spokeswoman, Vinnie Yuen, held that the Appeal Court decision added “another dimension” to an already complex issue. 

 “Lawyer and self-described queer activist barbara findlay, who doesn’t use capitals in her name,” was also disappointed by the Appeal Court’s conclusion, and takes issue with how the decision weighs religious liberties against freedom from discrimination. findlay retorted:

“In my view it is not acceptable to exclude gay and lesbian people from the discourse in that university”–a privately funded institution established on Christian principles–”by putting up a barrier of making them sign a discriminatory code” (Ibid).

The decision by any student to attend Trinity Western University is, of course, completely voluntary as is also agreeing to sign and abide by TWU’s community covenant. No one is forced or required to go to this private university. Yet it is certain that the enemies of Judeo-Christian morality will appeal this provincial appeals  court decision and take their arguments to Canada’s Supreme Court because they definitely want to impose their views on any institution or person who stands in the way of their activist agenda. Nevertheless, the inspired Word of God makes the point that while there are many contrary plans made in such people’s hearts, still it is the Lord’s decree that will prevail.

In two days there will be another day of decision. This time in the United States of America. The outcome of the elections on Tuesday will determine whether the pace of America’s degeneration will accelerate or perhaps, be slowed down somewhat. While I’m sure many have made many plans to push the outcome of these elections between Hilary Clinton and Donald valley-of-decisionTrump in the way they want, nevertheless, it will be the Lord’s decree that will prevail. Is destruction nigh or is the evil day to be delayed for mercy’s sake? We’ll soon find out.