Category Archives: Weekly Column

The World Tomorrow Weekly Column with Jeff Patton

Canada’s leaders risk nation’s health in an “uncontrolled national experiment”

When I get up tomorrow, Wednesday morning, October 17th, recreational cannabis use will be legal throughout Canada. Curiously two days earlier on Monday, October 15th, the Canadian Medical Association Journal decided to play Cassandra warning in an editorial that marijuana’s legalization is nothing less than “a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”

Health Canada estimates we can expect that recreational cannabis use will cause problems for “nearly 1 in 3 adult users and an addiction in close to 1 in 10, with higher risks in youth.” Researchers all know that there are “many unanswered questions about the consequences that will arise from the short-term and long-term use of cannabis” (see CMAJ, editorial, accessed May 15, 2018, http://www.cmaj.ca/content/190/41/E1218

In a classic case of hypocritical “double-speak” P.M. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals justified their legalization of recreational cannabis because they believed it would “protect public health and safety, by keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and enhancing public awareness of health risks associated with cannabis use.” (Language from Bill C-45). I’m not sure how removing any sort of stigma from using this drug would make youth less inclined to use it. The plain truth of the matter is that the Federal Liberal Party of Canada felt during the last election that a promise to legalize cannabis use would help propel them into power since about 1 in 7 Canadians (almost 5 million) were already using the drug.

So is this “uncontrolled national experiment” really in the best interests of the Canadian people? Just because the government makes something “legal” doesn’t mean it’s good for you—or righteous, moral, or even just plain healthful! Tobacco smoking, gambling, abortion, and assisted suicide are cases in point. Governments do what they think is in their best interests—not yours! Perhaps we all should reflect on this Proverb from the Bible before allowing ourselves to take advantage of some governmentally legalized, but perhaps personally harmful scheme:

“Wisdom rests [silently] in the heart of one who has understanding, But what is in the heart of [shortsighted] fools is made known. Righteousness [moral and spiritual integrity and virtuous character] exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:33-34 Amplified Bible)

 

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The One and Only Way to Stop Mass Murders at School

All this past week most of the mainstream press has been pushing the idea that what is needed to stop today’s school shootings and other mass murders is to inaugurate effective, total gun control—which is to say, to confiscate all firearms from the American public. The idea is “no guns equals no murders.” President Trump, however, has called for arming teachers at schools, and to more tightly control the vetting process for buying guns. He would eliminate some types of firearms that facilitate a mass murder spree, and do a better job with handling the mentally ill. Will any of this work to really change the situation on the ground? Frankly, at this stage of the game, I have my doubts, because all those suggestions don’t get at the heart of the problem..

After all, as far as gun control goes, if would-be murderers can’t use guns they’ll use trucks — or knives, screwdrivers, hammers, poisons, and any other means that a bloody-minded individual can devise. When you think back on history, humanity has often resorted to some of the most basic, brutal tools in order to murder others. The root of the problem is not the fact that there is a stone, a baseball bat, or a gun in every American home. The root of the problem is the spirit of murder and lawlessness that is now stalking America. The problem of mass murder is a people problem, not a tool problem.

When I was a youth in the 1950s and 1960s, guns were readily available to practically anyone who wanted one. My Mom (a divorced woman) kept a holstered, loaded handgun hanging on her bedpost, which she took with her when out horseback riding by herself in the boonies—it was for shooting snakes or other varmits. Don’t you know that we boys never would have dreamed to touch much less play with Mom’s gun. It never would have entered our minds because we knew better—and we also knew how to use guns ourselves. Of course, my brother and I also never would have dreamed about telling any of our teachers to F— off or to ignore an instruction in class. We showed our teachers and school administrators respect and, our parents expected nothing less of us—or else!

Mom only had to use that pistol once when a would-be thief was trying to steal my motorcycle parked in the carport. The fella saw that Mom had spotted him and he took off to hide behind some bushes in our large backyard. Mom, who was a crack shot—Annie Oakley had taught her grandma to shoot and she in turn had taught Mom—put a few rounds into the ground at the base of those bushes where the guy was lurking. Immediately he leaped over the 6 ft. tall back fence in a single bound and took off like a bat out of hell down the alley. Mom didn’t want to hurt anyone, but she did want to communicate that she wasn’t fooling around. The thief never returned. I wonder why? Low-lifes figure out pretty quickly who to respect and who not to.

For $20.00 in the 1950s and 60s you could buy on demand without a background check a “Saturday night special” and a box of shells at the corner hardware. But I can’t remember any dreadful mass shootings at schools during that time period that even remotely approached today’s problem in Florida. It just didn’t happen. The problem is that the American people have changed—and not for the better. Why? What’s the root of the problem?

In a letter to the editor of my local paper last Saturday, a fellow wrote:  “While its consequence might manifest on the roads [or in schools], discourtesy is a much deeper problem in our civilization that has worsened during my lifetime. Whereas people detest each other as much today as at any other point in history, today’s citizens no longer feel a duty to be courteous to each other for the sake of the community.

“I blame the decline of our civilization’s traditional moral-reinforcing institutions. People might or might not like churches, but it’s hard to deny the role churches played in our society as sources of civil order, and as touchstones of right conduct.

“It is also hard not to correlate declining church attendance with rising aggression and apathy across the whole spectrum of our civilization… We need a politically independent moral industry today, more than ever” (D.S. Victoria, Times Colonist, Feb. 24, 2018.)

 

So dear reader please take to heart this warning from the Apostle Paul that we ourselves should not be caught up in the same spirit of violence and disregard for human life that is sweeping our society:

“Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men will be lovers of self, loves of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having an outward appearance of godliness, but denying the power of true godliness [that transforms from the inside out an authentic believer’s life]. But as for you, turn away from all these” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, The Holy Bible in its Original Order trans.)

As a society, we must return to teaching Judeo-Christian morality and ethics in our homes, in our schools, and in our churches and synagogues—day in and day out. America was built on and positively refined by Biblical values for close to 190 years. By abandoning these founding values and breaking faith with the God of our ancestors we risk destroying everything that once made America a shining city set on a hill—a good example to a world wallowing all too often in darkness and despair.

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Why the Messiah and Jerusalem are stumbling blocks to the world’s leaders

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how is it that after so many thousands of years you can still command the attention of a Postmodernist, unbelieving global elite in the 21st Century?  Could it be because the Biblical narrative that prophesies of something beyond the present world order scares the heck out of them?

President Donald Trump recently received an extraordinary rebuke from a curious assortment of America’s friends and foes at the U.N. Security Council—who though normally as harmonious as a bunch of feral cats and stray dogs in an alley—discovered that they could join hands in an effort to publicly humiliate not only Trump, but also all those presumptuous Israeli Jews who dare to call Jerusalem their eternal capital city? In reply to this slam, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defiantly said, “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy!”

Ouch! Evidently some Americans can be as uppity as those stubborn Israeli Jews when it comes to standing up for a worldview that’s different from their own—and this angers their adversaries. It angers them a lot. Why?

Jerusalem is a stumbling block  to this world’s governing elite. Because, it occupies the centre stage for a host of biblical prophecies and teachings  that promise to completely overthrow not only their political authority, but also their ideology of political correctness. If you would like to understand some of the ways in which Jerusalem is so important to  believing Jews and Christians, click on this link to see my video Why the Messiah and Jerusalem are Stumbling Stones http://cogwebcast.com/

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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

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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).

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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

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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.

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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

 

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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

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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/

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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Globalism= Trade Deals = Ceding National Sovereignty

trade with teethThe Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) that Canada has been negotiating with the European Union (EU) is about far more than just products and service.  It’s also about ceding sovereignty, making our mere national laws subordinate to those of the EU’s.

The way it seems to work these day is that when a single nation state like Canada with 36 million inhabitants wants to make a trade deal with the supranational EU power block with 743 million residents,  it comes with strings attached. More and more It seems the EU is pushing its political goals on its wanna-be trading partners. So, when a  deal hinges not, on tariffs or quotas, but rather a sovereign nation’s welfare or immigration policies , what was touted as a trade deal has really morphed into an unequal negotiation over the surrender of that small nation’s sovereignty as the quid pro quo payment demanded to gain access to the much bigger foreign power block’s single market. It’s merely the updated 21st Century version of the ancient practice of a weaker vassal state paying tribute to a stronger domineering Empire. First comes the gold, then comes the forced labour or slaves.

Recently, of course, the British electorate voted to quit the E.U. after being in it for almost 40 years. The British woke up to realize that they were fast losing the sovereign power to control their own destiny. They were having to dance to the tunes called by the faceless E.U.bureaucrats in Brussels. The new British Prime Minister, Theresa May said on October 1 that she is going to introduce a “Great Repeal Bill” intheresa-may the next Queen’s Speech to the British Parliament, which will overturn the act of submission which took the U.K. into the E.U. This bill, a renewed political affirmation of the U.K.’s independence, will remove the European Communities Act from the statute books and end the supremacy of EU law over British law..

 But money being money, in Canada’s CETA negotiations with the EU, our international trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, completely caved to the EU’s demands to surrender bits of our sovereignty. She promised the EU’s Brussels bureaucrats that the Liberal government in Ottawa will change our Canadian labour and environmental standards in order to make them conform to the EU’s standards. Our current Liberal government in Ottawa seems content to walk the path of appeasement, surrendering some of our national independence for the supposed material benefits of a trade deal with the EU.
But changing our business practices to satisfy the EU — for example by compromising our nation’s econombeligerant-cartoony with carbon taxes or a carbon market that the European left demands — will erode our ability to compete with the Americans who  are far more important than the E.U. in our trading volume.  And this might become extremely important to Canada if Donald Trump is elected the U.S.’s president in the upcoming election.

Curiously, the book of Revelation has a terrible end-time prophecy about the rise to prominence of a great economic power, whose core is composed of 10 nations or groups of nations. The bible calls this power block “Babylon the Great.” This revived Babylon’s strategy to dominant the world seems to focus on using trade as the means to suck away the sovereignty of the world’s nations,  and subsequently the freedom of all individuals in those nations. All who want to mystery-babylontrade with it and within its single market must submit to its authority and receive what the Scriptures call a “mark” on their hand or in their forehead in exchange for the opportunity to buy and sell. Might this be an implanted computer chip of some sort to facilitate digital transactions because there’s no longer a cash-based society? This is pure speculation on my part. But such a means of digital control over the world’s population is now possible,although it was unimaginable during the time of the original Babylonian or Roman empires. What a neat proposition “Babylon the Great” seems to make! You follow my rules and grow wealthy and secure. You don’t really prefer the economic uncertainties outside of my wonderful single market do you?  

Read about it and wonder in Revelation chapters 17 & 18.

The EU in its present form is not “Babylon the Great.” This organization has very serious problems and its not even sure it will exist 10 years from now. But will a failed EU morph into a “new and improved” economic powerhouse that will then turn into a global oppressor of all who love freedom? One thing is for sure, the Canadian government is willing to trade our national sovereignty in return for trade access to a major economic power’s market. However, the EU is in a crisis. It cannot continue for long with its current problems. Big changes are in the wind.

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Helpless at Fort Mac

ft mac truck burntThe CBC newscasters say that Fort McMurray, Alberta, looks like a war zone, a place that’s been burnt out and destroyed. Three days ago more than 80,000 people, the city’s entire population–were ordered out by the authorities. A RCMP “SWAT” team has been sent in to make sure the diehard laggards comply. The 25,000 residents who had to initially flee north of Fort Mac are now being herded south in tightly controlled convoys run by the police—no turning off the main evacuation route allowed.ft mac car lines

There is irony in this disaster story. While Canada just finished accepting 25,000 Syrian civil war refugees, we now have better than 3x this number of our own internal refugees.

While it is only a minority of houses and structures in Fort Mac that have burned, key parts of the infrastructure like hydro-electricity powerlines have been destroyed. The true cost of this fierce wildfire at Fort Mac will not be known for some time. Insurance companies are ft mac apartmentsbracing for a potential hit of $9 billion in claims—making this fire the most expensive disaster in Canadian history. Economists are saying they’ve revised down by 1 percent the entire Canadian economy’s GDP to just 0.5 percent for this second quarter due to oil production facility shutdowns, lowering production about 1 million barrels of oil per day. These are huge losses. This is a major hit to the nation.

Why did this happen? Lack of moisture always turns the spindly conifers surrounding Fort Mac into overgrown matchsticks waiting to be struck. And when a fire breaks out and the winds roar ft mac treesthe results always have the potential to be disastrous. Why didn’t the Fort Mac planning department insist on creating a 2 kilometre-wide belt of prairie grasslands around the city to protect it by having an effective firebreak?

The writer of the biblical book of Proverbs notes: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18 King James Version).

The “law” in this case can certainly include natural law. Some environments, like the conifer forests surrounding Fort Mac, are meant to burn from time to time. A lack of forethought and action got one of Canada’s most important economic hubs into its current problem.

But there’s more to say about why our leaders lack vision. Let’s look at how another Bible version renders Proverbs 29:18:

Where there is no ·word from God [L vision; prophecy], ·people are uncontrolled [T the people perish],
 but those who ·obey what they have been taught [L guard the law] are ·happy [blessed].

During the last few day of March this year my video production company had a contract to cover a conference put on by an Aboriginal group in the northern B.C. city of Prince George. We noticed how bone dry the north was. even though it was so early in Spring that many lakes were still partially frozen. (BTW: There are currently about 50 fires burning in N.E. British Columbia. My province, unfortunately, doesn’t have any firefighters to spare to help out our neighbours in Alberta, so they say.)

The keynote speaker at this conference made a remark about how public schools in Canada used to strengthen the moral character of their students by starting the day with a reading from one of the Psalms of the Bible to give the young people both vision and humility. On the other hand, the speaker remarked, the teachers also had a leather strap to discipline students who stepped beyond the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Sadly, the speaker noted, since our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect in 1982 Canadian young people have been deprived by our politically correct politicians of both this vision and discipline.

ft mac trudeauEveryone is agreed that the fierce wildfires of Fort McMurray will only be contained and then extinguished with rain. Who is it that causes drought or provides rain? You can find this answer in the Bible. Check out in the Old Covenant scriptures 1 Kings chapters 17 & 18. We don’t have to be helpless in the face of wildfires. Instead of egotistically turning our backs on the Bible’s God, maybe we should return to Him in humble prayer and ask for both forgiveness for our increasing sinfulness and, rain! Yet somehow, I don’t think our leaders in Canada could publicly humble themselves before the Bible’s God and actually do this. So I guessft mac fire at night we’re going continue to burn for a while.

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How You, too, Can Avoid All Taxes!

MossackThe media this week has been full of chatter about corporate inversions, the Panama papers, Mossack Fonseca, shell companies, and the mountains of $$$$ and other currency units that the world’s elite has anonymously stashed in some 70 to 92 swarmy tax havens worldwide. We’re talking about maybe $21 to $32 trillion according to the Tax Justice Network, an international research and advocacy organization.

Oh yeah, for years, governments have talked about cracking down on the elite tax cheats. The U.S. government famously requires all “U.S. persons” to report annually all their foreign-based financial accounts and assets and has conducted a high profile shakedown campaign against a variety of large overseas banks that had previously provided their American clientele with banking privacy, i.e. tax avoidance. But while Uncle Sam self-righteously collects $billions in fines from those cheating foreign banks, it overlooks the tax-avoiding shell game run by its own states of Delaware, Nevada, and South Dakota! Talk about hypocrisy.

Most nations’ governments realize that they just can’t keep up with the high-priced and highlysecreting cash creative “financial gunslingers” that the rich and infamous hire in order to keep their money safely beyond the reach of national revenue agents. So the tax man often resorts to making deals in order to collect even a token amount from the wealthy elite. As the CBC journalist Don Pettis noted:

“If you have enough money to move your funds overseas, you have enough money to retain lawyers and accountants and, rather than fight, because of a lack of resources the revenue agency folds like a cheap suit,” said PEI Senator Percy Downe in a CBC interview. Governments need revenue to go on operating. If corporate tax goes abroad and rich people’s taxes go abroad, who is left paying the taxes? Well, you and me, of course.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/inversions-panama-revenue-quandary-1.3521358

It’s painfully easy for governments to collect their taxes from us. We can’t hide our salaries, pensions, property, or the daily goods and services we need in order to live. For the most part, the ordinary citizen is pretty transparent, while the wealthy elite is mostly opaque to the government’s tax man. The core message about ubiquitous taxation in the Beatle’s 1960s song “Taxman” remains contemporary.

Anywise, we already knew that the rich and powerful elite who run this world — these One and Two Percenters who also own the majority of this world’s assets — avoid much of their lawful tax obligation. After all, they’re the aristocracy of this present society, and we’re just the peasants. We are made to pay the bills. This has been the story throughout the history of humanity. Kings and their ruling elite make ordinary “Joes” pay the taxes. Jesus of Nazareth understood this perfectly:

“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax (a tax equal to two days’ work) came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”  “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offence, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours,” Matthew 17:24-27 (NIV).

Jesus’ point to Peter was that for now, in this world of darkness held captive by the Adversary and his collaborators, we, the people of God, pay taxes and put up with what is unfair. This is not our kingdom. And that’s a good sign because we’re looking for a new world in which righteousness dwells and a never-ending life of peace and prosperity that no amount of the ruling elite’s money could buy. Consider, once again, this updated story about Jesus and taxes:

Ben FranklinThe rich and the powerful of the world’s ruling elite sent some of their agents, along with some of the national government’s tax collectors and informants, to meet with Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favourites. Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus knew their evil motives [they were looking for grounds to accuse him]. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used to pay your tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, [like a U.S. $100 bill with Ben Franklin’s image on it]  he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied.“Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply amazed them, and they went away. Matthew 22:16-22 (my paraphrase).

There is a spiritual payoff for those who now give God His due. In the coming Kingdom of God they will become the children of God the Father, and brothers and sisters of the King of kings [Christ] and so will be far freer from the exaction of every debt and obligation than even this world’s elite is today from the tax man.

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Was St. Patrick a “good” Catholic?

green beer

Was St. Patrick a good Catholic? Most would say that you might as well say is the Pope Catholic! But often truth is indeed stranger than fiction, or even green beer.

Many of the tales and lore associated with St. Patrick come from Tirechán’s LIfe of Patrick, which was written about 700 A.D., or roughly 250 years after Patrick’s death. Unfortunately Tirechán’s book is not only completely revisionistic but also primarily fictitious. Tirechán’s work mostly reflects the priorities of an 8th century Catholic hierarchy who were at that point desperately trying to claim Patrick’s missionary legacy as their own in their campaign to pressure the remainder of the stubbornly independent Celtic Christian congregations in Ireland who were refusing to “enter into unity with Rome,”

Far from being a part of the Roman hierarchy, Patrick of Ireland ran a self-funded independent ministry. He never answered to Rome’s direction. Patrick was a part of the 5th to 7th century Celtic Christian movement in the British Isles, which followed a decentralized form of church organization. Deliberately maintaining isolation for over 150 years from the Catholic form of Christianity on the continent, the Celtic Christians of Britain and Ireland steadfastly refused to obey the Roman church’s hierarchy either administratively or doctrinally, according to York University professors Michael W. Herren and Shirley Ann Brown in their book Christ in Celtic Christianity.

It’s noteworthy that Patrick’s own grandfather, a married Christian priest, and his father, a married Christian deacon, did not buy into the Catholic Church’s Augustinian theology about original sin and infant baptism. Patrick’s family did not baptise him as a baby, according to Patrick’s own testimony. Rather Patrick’s family followed the theology of Pelagius, Augustine of Hippo’s theological nemesis. Pelagius taught that Adam’s sin at the Garden of Eden did not result in human nature becoming utterly depraved and, consequently, sexual intercouse did not transmit Augustine’s fictitious “original sin.” (This was the origin of the “sex is evil” idea in Catholicism.) Consequently,  baptism, according to Pelagian theology, was only for those with mature minds who could fully appreciate the level of commitment required from one who repents of a sinful lifestyle.

Leslie Hardinge in his book The Celtic Church in Britain notes that unlike the strongly anti-Semitic leprechanattitudes held by the Roman church, the Celtic Christian churches strongly valued their faith’s Hebrew roots. Accordingly, the Celtic Christians held their Pascale (Passover) ceremony of taking the Lord’s Last Supper with the bread and the wine on “the 14th moon” (Nisan 14 on the Hebrew calendar) rather than following the Roman churches calculations based on the pagan Roman Julian calendar. The Celtic Christians continued to “remember the Sabbath to keep it holy” on the 7th day of the week, which the Roman Christians did not.

Hardinge also writes, “Wherever Patrick established a church he was believed to have left a copy of the books of the Law and the Books of the Gospel. The Leber ex Lege Moisi is the only work surviving from Celtic sources which answers to the description “books of the Law.” Each of the four extant manuscripts of this work has an Irish provenance. The earliest has been dated about 800, and had apparently been copied from an earlier manuscript. It commences with the Decalogue and contains selections from the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which are filled with citations from the Old Latin.” (Hardinge, pp 49-50).

Such a practice clearly reveals that Patrick had a strong “Scripturalist” approach to his religious understanding. The Scriptures were his authority. According to Profs. Herren & Brown to be a Scripturalist was typical of the Celtic Christian movement but radically atypical of those who supported the bishops of Rome and their hierarchy.

patrick peopleIt would appear from the evidence that Patrick of Ireland would not have been considered by his early Medieval contemporaries to be a “good” Catholic. Even the foremost Catholic church historian of the British Isles of the early Medieval era, Bede, knew nothing about a “St. Patrick.” In this case, the truth is indeed stranger than fiction or even green beer. Cheers!

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2016: Beginning Badly

cologne fireworksWow! We’re just completing the first full week in 2016 and God help us, if this is merely a harbinger of more of the same to follow.

Let’s see, worldwide financial markets have sold off enough during this past week, due to the extreme volatility taking place in the Chinese markets, that some observers are saying we are now, officially, in a bear—that is declining—market. The Casey Research newsletter says that since Monday the world’s stock markets have lost US$2.5 trillion of their investors’ money! The newsletter quoted George Soros comment about what this first week in 2016 means:cartoon chinese stock

“I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

Of course, it’s not just the stock markets that have been falling. Commodity prices have also been plunging for a while. According to Stephen Poloz, Canada’s central bank governor:

“Since mid-2014—when oil prices started to free-fall—Poloz said the country has lost more than $50 billion in national income or about $1,500 per Canadian.” Times-Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Jan. 8, 2016.

poloz diceSince Canada is a major commodity producer its currency, the Canadian dollar, has also been under strong downward pressure on currency exchange markets, dropping from parity with the U.S.dollar in 2013 to being worth less the 0.71 U.S. cents today. This is why I’m paying $3 per pound for California broccoli when its on sale. Otherwise, it costs $5 per pound! Of course, the rising price of all food is not just due to unfavourable exchange rates.

I went to my local health food store the other day to replenish my supply of organic soft white wheat, which is great for making pancakes, dumplings, biscuits, or pie crusts. A forty-pound sack cost me CDN$69.00. Back in the 1980s I remember paying maybe $25 per sack for the same wheat. Oh yes, we know there’s inflation. But when I asked the store manager, whom I’ve know for a long time, whether $69 was a good price, or should I wait until a new supply comes in, he said that it’s not just a question of how much, but whether it’s even available in the first place. He said his wholesalers have been shorting him on what they’ll actually deliver on his orders. The wholesale suppliers are informally rationing what they’ll actually deliver to their retail store customers giving them only half of what they’ve ordered or none at all for some items. I purchased the last sack at the store that day. In short, the weather has not be favourable as it was previously and there is not the supply. Climate change?

And what about what’s going on in the Middle East? The United States under the leadershipobama1 of one of its worst presidents ever is continuing to betray its allies and appease its enemies. The Pax Americana that kept the lid on much of this world’s proclivity to violence since the Second World War is obviously breaking down. America’s enemies don’t take much of what Barak Obama says seriously, because they now know he’s just a paper tiger.

And then there’s the massive wave of 1.1 million Islamic migrants last year into Europe, especially Germany, that has unnerved a whole continent. The New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and rapes of women by “Arabic and North African-looking” men in German public places before cologne held handshundreds or even thousands of witnesses have provided some facts to fuel European anti-immigrant sentiment. According to Jürgen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz.

“The fears and prejudices of people have thus been completely fulfilled, and much faster than expected. Those who have been skeptical feel themselves vindicated and those who have said ‘We can do it!’ [quoting Angela Merkel’s pro-immigrant sentiment] feel unnerved.”

And, of course, in France, Islamic terrorism keeps popping up as a North African immigrant shouting “Allah Akbar” tried to attack the guards in front of police station on the one-year anniversary of the jihadist massacres at Charlie Hebdo.

All these problems are out of the control and beyond the influence of the likes of you or me and they merely add more stress to whatever our personal circumstances have already thrown on our shoulders. What is the solution to our stress? How can you and I remain productive and positive in 2016? I’d like to quote from R.T. Brooks about the secret of how to not only cope but thrive in a time like ours.

“The New Testament is clear that a stress-free life is no part of the Christian promise. What is offered is a way of bearing stress—a way that makes the experience creative without its ceasing to be painful. Physical suffering, family tension, and social insecurity were all part of what the disciples were told to expect. But they were also told that in those experiences they would discover the power of God’s Spirit. The yoke is a natural image of stress and strain, and yet, Jesus offers his yoke [of loving God with all your heart and of loving neighbour as oneself] to the heavy laden, saying, ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’”

The solution to this world’s problems are spiritual. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Let’s all resolve to dig into the Bible to find not only a relief from stress, but also a plan of action for a dangerous time.

Anxiety & Fear: Good, Bad, Both

Be a Stress Survivor

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Santa Klaus, Islamic Jihadis, Western leaders and You? Make the Connection!

San-Bernardino-Terror-Victims“How much more needless blood must be spilled in the Western world before its leadership comes to its senses? When Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, walked into a Christmas party with Syed’s coworkers in San Bernardino, California, they didn’t bring along some egg nog and cookies. No, those joy sucking Grinches took automatic rifles, pistols, and pipe bombs. In cold blood they killed 14, and wounded another 17. They even took along a video camera to record their massacre for the Internet-viewing pleasure of their fellow jihadis.

Speaking to the media, Syed Farook’s father described his son as “very religious… He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.” Farook’s neighbor told a newspaper reporter that over the past two years, Farook exchanged his Western dress for Islamic robes bernardino-nightmare-20151203-001and grew a beard, while his wife pledged her loyalty  to the Islamic State on Facebook, under an assumed name.

But did Farook and his wife commit mass murder in the name of a so-called peaceful religion?

How about the coordinated series of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th, the deadliest in France since World War II in terms of the number of civilians slaughtered and wounded? Was this not also done in the name of that so-called peaceful religion? Wasn’t responsibility for this massacre claimed by the Islamic State (IS)… whose self-proclaimed Islamic caliph represents himself as the only true leader of all police scene isis flagMuslims in the world? And weren’t the February mass murder attacks at Charlie Hebdo in Paris  also done in the name of Islam? And what about the jihadi attacks at Fort Hood, Boston, and Chattanooga?

I’ve heard the Parisian attackers described in the media as native French speakers and Europeans by virtue of the fact that most of the identified, slain attackers were born there. But again, the attackers were all self-identifying Muslims whose ancestors came from Islamic world of the Middle East or North African and whose families had only immigrated into Western Europe during the recent past.

And yet our leaders stand practically shoulder-to-shoulder like a solid phalanx to vigorously obama wimpreassure us in the West that this mass murder of ordinary Americans, French, and others who were merely attending a party, or eating at a restaurant, or drawing cartoons, or buying groceries at a kosher supermarket, or attending a concert or sporting event, is not the result of any of the teachings of this so-called peaceful Islamic religion. Does anyone remember what George Orwell meant by “double-speak”? Shall we discuss what is meant by willful blindness?

trumpFox News’ O’Reilly asked U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, “Is there a Muslim problem in the World?” We all know Trump’s answer and the subsequent politically correct firestorm that is still rattling the media’s cage.

“But in America of December 2015, natural conclusions are considered irresponsible, at best….. Perhaps the shooters in San Bernardino were just mad at their boss. Maybe Farooq suffered from clinical depression or ADD, or PTSD, or something…. But if facts are to be taken seriously, then the fact is that in December 2015, the US is acting with pathological devotion to ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality. ” Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, “America’s Pathological Denial of Reality,” http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-One-Americas-pathological-denial-of-reality-436278

The apostle Paul when writing about the guilt of this world’s ruling political and cultural elites, said this:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18 Holman Christian Standard Bible 

Paul, of course, composed this statement originally in Greek. The Greek word he used for truth was alétheia (pronounced al-ay’-thi-a). It meant what was “true to reality, true to fact.” The biblical definition of truth is, that which is reality, as opposed to illusion or deceit. There is truth and there are lies. Your leaders are willing to risk your life for an illusion. How about you?

santa cokeDon’t you be caught up in pathological devotion to clever illusions and deceitful ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality. Around this time of year many people pay lip service to Jesus Christ. Yet the real Jesus of the Bible had no time for either supposedly “harmless illusions” told to children, nor the deliberate, willful lies told to subvert whole nations. Reality, according to Jesus requires a straightforward pursuit of the truth:

So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [for example, about loving your neighbour, which does not include either murdering him or telling him lies], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin which is both physical and spiritual death].”  John 8:31-32 Amplified Bible

As terrorist attacks increase, we need to understand that we are truly living in dangerous times when our leaders are quite willing to put our lives at risk due to their “pathological devotion to ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality,” as Caroline Glick says. funeralTherefore, I would encourage you to make sure to put your affairs in order and get your priorities straight. After all, the next moment of consciousness for the people recently killed in San Bernardino and Paris will be before the judgment seat of God. Be prepared, as Jesus would have you be, should evil touch your life or those whom you love.

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” Luke 13:1-5 New Living Translation

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Will the flood of migrants occupy and change us?

flood refugeesThe flood of some 800,000 migrants and refugees streaming into Europe in 2015 are stretching the Old World’s civic resources and in some places the public’s civility. And this flood of new arrivals is showing no signs of slowing down. Some officials are now speculating that about 3 million people will come to search for a better life in the West over the next few years. Will the status quo of the West be disrupted and undermined by the cultural/religious baggage that these millions of newcomers are bringing with them?

On Sept. 7th Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the “breathtaking” flow of migrants into Germany will “occupy and change” the country in the coming years. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34173720merkel selfie

Yes indeed! But will it be for the better or the worse? With a general EU unemployment rate hovering close to 11%, most European nations are struggling to create new jobs for their existing population much less millions of newcomers. And the current financial gurus of these same  European nations are struggling to balance their budgets and pay their sovereign debts. Austerity is the word for the financial situation for a significant number European nation states. Consequently, the disadvantaged and unemployed among the established population of Europe viscerally fears the additional competition for scarce jobs and the shrinking welfare benefits that the arrival of this tidal wave of new migrants will herald.  No one in the EU is talking about how much it will cost the various European governments to take care of this tidal wave of asylum seekers.

Here in Canada our new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is eagerly trying to make good on its election promise to let in 25,000 Syrian refugees this year. How they will do this, and how much is it going to cost us, has not been announced. With the price of oil dropping to U.S.$40 a barrel, Canada’s export earnings and tax revenues are tanking. Oil and gas companies in Alberta, the heartland of our oil patch, have already cut more than 36,000 direct jobs so far in 2015. I haven’t seen any figures giving the knock-on effects of these lay-offs and the dozens of cancelled oil sands development projects with the exception of the skyrocketing commercial office vacancy rate. The financial writer, Doug Casey, says Canada is in denial, as to how badly we are being hurt by the incredible collapse of the oil prices.

Yesterday, I was listening to a CBC radio interview with a variety of administrators of immigrant resettlement NGOs who were saying that, as it presently stands, they lack the personnel, housing, and financial resources to deal with such a large number of new immigrants. No money=no capacity for them to help these new people to resettle.

And what about security and domestic terrorism concerns? At present all the media wants to talk about here in Canada is: logistics. Only occasionally is there a comment that slips by the media gate-keepers from someone expressing a concern about “security” or the culture conflict from people who’ve lived all their lives in nations that have traditionally persecuted Christians and other religious or ethnic minorities, not to mention the LGBTQ crowd.  Security is really the elephant in the room everyone refuses to acknowledge. Is anyone really paying attention to what is going on throughout the Middle East and the top half of Africa? If Islam is really such a peaceful religion, why is it that all those Islamic dominated regions are in flames?

manal omarThe Foreign Policy magazine has recently featured in its argument section a debate entitled: Is Islam to Blame for Its Extremists? On one side is Manal Omar arguing that this religion isn’t the cause but rather socio-economic conditions, while on the other side is Aayan Hirsi Ali who argues that Islam is both explicitly and directly to blame for ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and all the other head-chopping, sex slaving jihadi Muslims who capture the media’s attention whenever they perpetrate some new nightmarish brutality. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/11/is-islam-to-blame-for-its-extremistaayaan ali

Recently, Frederica Mogherini, who is the European Union’s head of foreign affairs and security policy, dismissed the whole notion of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, when responding to some recent brutal Islamist terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France. Smarting under the criticism of those who have the temerity to suggest that this mass immigration of Muslims to Europe might not be a good thing, Mogherini countered:

“Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe’s history, in our culture, in our food and – what matters most – in Europe’s present and future. I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture. Religion plays a role in politics – not always for good, not always frederica mogfor bad. Religion can be part of the process. What makes the difference is whether the process is democratic or not.”

Nevertheless Journalist Paul Joseph Watson in his story about Mogherini observes, “Mogherini’s comments will do little to dispel concerns that world leaders are hesitant to fully acknowledge, the threat posed by ISIS, and the fact the group’s campaign of terror is very much Islamic, for fear of appearing politically incorrect. Indeed, the current debate about how to stop ISIS is not centered around combating the ideology (lifted straight from the Koran) that motivates ISIS’ thousands of fighters and its millions of supporters, but an obsession with not calling the group “Islamic”. http://www.infowars.com/eu-security-head-political-islam-is-the-future-of-europe/

This is why a true prophet, Isaiah, warns us in poetic language to beware, for only dystopia is going to result from our leaders lack of understanding and vigilance:

All you ·animals [beasts] of the field, all you animals of the forest, come to ·eat [devour]. ·The leaders who are to guard the people [L His watchmen] are blind; they ·don’t know what they are doing [lack knowledge; are ignorant].

All of them are like ·quiet [mute; or muzzled] dogs that ·don’t know how to [cannot] bark.

They lie down and dream and love to sleep.

They are like ·hungry [greedy; ravenous] dogs that are never satisfied.

They are like shepherds who ·don’t know what they are doing [lack understanding; are ignorant.

They all have gone their own way; ·all they want to do is satisfy themselves [each seeks their own gain/profit]. Isaiah 56:9-11 Expanded Bible

 

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The Fun Slippery Slide Down the Slope of Moral Relativism

death cartoonWow, it’s amazing what happens in just one weekly news cycle! Should we cry or laugh?

A full two-thirds of Canada’s doctors are opposed to participating the Supreme Court’s newly discovered “right to die” by doctor-assisted suicide. In fact only 29 percent of doctors surveyed said they  would even consider providing such a “new procedure.”

Nevertheless, the leaders of the Canadian Medical Association are all gung-ho about turning their physicians into “Dr. Deaths.” Never mind that most doctors have trouble squaring this with their Hippocratic oath to “either help or do no harm.” But for CMA leaders it’s to infinity and beyond in embracing this new right to death conferred by the Supremes. Whoopie, we’re all gonna die! However, the CMA worries that there may not be enough time to properly train the docs in new, approved liquidation procedures before the law comes into effect on February 6th. Ah yes, I can see the CMA’s continuing education promo right now: Learn to Kill the CMA-way. Lunch provided.

One wag suggests the CMA could lower their learning curve by contacting the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association. After all, they already know how to shoot horses and euthanized dogs and cats by the dozen. Perhaps, all that the CMA leaders really need to show the docs is how to securely tie a plastic bag over a checking-out patient’s head and in just a couple of minutes the deed is done except, of course, for billing the taxpayers for the “procedure.” No mess, no fuss. On to the next patient. What an easy way to pay for your Mercedes.
But perhaps there are some doctors still willing to consider what the Creator advises? This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live(Deuteronomy 30:19)

Ah yes, and then there are the news stories about the adultery-promotingashley hacked website AshleyMadison.com–“Life is short. Have an affair”– and its Canadian parent company, Avid Life Media. Who was it that said all publicity is good publicity? Anywise, after more than 30 million email addresses and some credit card data were released–manna for digital peeping toms–Avid Life Media, has offered $500,000 to anyone with information revealing the hackers’ identity.

To police investigators, the nature of Ashley Madison’s infidelity-facilitating website is “of no interest”–due to the moral relativism prevailing in government officialdom these days. They’re only interested in catching those nasty, immoral hackers as well as advising the clients of Ashley Madison–caught with their privacy pants down as it were–to ignore the come-ons from a number of opportunistic internet businesses. It seems these clever entrepreneurs are offering to scrub the out-eds’ names from off the infamous cheaters list–just a little fee-to-play sin-tax, of course! But, according to the police, nobody is going to be able to cleanse their name  from any internet-posted dirt from that Dark Net database. In fact the police warn the embarrassed adultery-site customers that they risk exposing their computers to possible moral hazard from the digital version of genital warts should they hook up with such dubious digital entrepreneurs.

hiding the privatesSo, although Ashley Madison, Inc. promised “airtight privacy” to the credulous, a more reliable reference source about the privacy prospects of conducting an adulterous affair would warn “…for nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, or kept secret that will not become known” (cf. Matthew 10:26). Why should Ashley Madison’s customers really be surprised that their sins would find them out? (cf. Numbers 32:23)

Finally, Trinity Western University (TWU) is asking British Columbia’s Supreme law societyCourt to overturn the Law Society of British Columbia’s decision to refuse to certify TWU students who would graduate from the university’s proposed new law school. This professional society for B.C. lawyers takes issue with TWU’s community standards covenant–an honour code which specifies that all faculty and students agree to only engage in sexual relations with a traditionally defined marital spouse. Honour codes are, of course, so passé for a post-modern society that is outraged at the very thought that anyone or any institution would have the brazen nerve to want to uphold and promote the biblical morality that sustained Western civilization for the last 3,500 years.

Consequently, the very self-righteous Law Society of B.C. sputters it’s indignation in their rebuttal to the TWU lawsuit that this privately funded institution in daring to set such outrageously high biblical standards of morality are being discriminatory, and run contrary to the equality rights of LGXYZ people, and are seriously undermining “the integrity and the foundation of the administration of justice.”

no christians allowedOh really? I wonder if the the Law Society of B.C. could have changed the LORD’s mind–”Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 16:20)–about Sodom and Gomorrah with such a politically correct, post-modern argument? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Religious freedom or post-modern nonsense? More to follow, I’m sure.

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Coming Soon: Dystopia!

dystopia filmsRecently there have been a variety of movies released by Hollywood that have been exploring the “post-apocalyptic” or “dystopian” themes about the future. Generally speaking, in such movies civil society is going or has already gone to hell (the reasons vary). As a result, everyone is left scrambling to survive or die amidst ruins, violence, and fear except for the hero of the story and his/her love interest who somehow manage to save the day and restore hope in some form. Or, if it’s a European movie, the hero gets killed off and the villains win.

Nevertheless, one assumes most of those screenwriters have merely fallen ill to a creative bug of pessimism  spawned by that infectious Hollywood disease of financial avarice. After all what better way to make a few hundred million than to exploit the public’s perverse desire to be scared spitless by some horror, for a few hours. But then, after the show we expect to go home to our comfy beds and then get up in the morning to pursue our  predictably pleasant and mostly enjoyable existence. Nobody really wants to wake up stuck in a feverish dystopian nightmare of hopeless hardship and gut-wrenching fear that won’t go away like a bad dream.

But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere. Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, you people of the earth. Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap,and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare. Destruction falls like rain from the heavens; the foundations of the earth shake. (Isaiah 24:16b-18 New Living Translation).

Unfortunately for us, too many of our current world’s leaders are deceitfully writing the scripts for a future distopia that I would have only thought to be product of some Hollywood scriptwriter’s over-active imagination.

Who would have thought that the leaders responsible for one of the world’s most important greek bank robberycentres of liberal Western civilization–the European Union–would have transformed itself into an austerity-obsessed, undemocratic “debtor’s prison”–to quote from Philippe Legrain in his article, “The Berlin Bulldozer and the Sack of Athens,” Foreign Policy magazine, July 13, 2015.

What the Eurozone’s leaders are doing to the Greek people is truly astonishing. Their current “bailout plan” will force the Greeks to add an additional Euro 85 billion to the current Greek debt level of Euro 325 billion–pushing the Greek debt to GDP ratio to over 200 percent! Yet the Eurozone leaders knew when they proposed this bailout plan that the International Monetary Fund had called the Greek debt greek suicide choicepredicament “highly unsustainable” (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2015/cr15186.pdf).

If an already bankrupt Greece does not presently have  a hope in hell of paying off its current  debt of Euro 325 billion, then how does adding an additional Euro 85 billion over the next three years make any financial sense? Even the International Monetary Fund knows it’s crazy-making irrationality!

As Philippe Legrain writes:greek debt uphill

“The Eurozone as a whole remains an economic basket case and a democratic disgrace. It is trapped in a nightmarish limbo where politics precludes the creation of common institutions that would cage German power and put the European Central Bank in its place, while fear prevents its victims from leaving. So much for the European dream.”

And what about the just signed-in-Vienna Iranian Nukes Deal? Will it facilitate the dream for peace in the Middle East?

neville kerryHow will financially strengthening Iran–the world’s foremost state-sponsor of terrorism–to the tune of about an extra $100 billion annually–make for peace in the world’s powderkeg? The deal allows the Iranian mullahs to earn at least one trillion extra dollars from their oil sales over ten years for merely promising to delay for a decade their development of nuclear bombs! This is a great deal for Iran and goes a long way towards helping it become the new Middle Eastern hegemon–the blood-soaked region’s new top dog.

The Vienna deal will allow Iran to continue its work on the development of its ballistic missilesobama mock iran while at the same time, secretly, to refine its nukes program (everyone knows they will cheat). Obama’s approved deal will relieve the Islamic Republic from the effects of the West’s regimen of punishing financial sanctions. So now  Iran will be able to strengthen its regional proxies: Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian Hamas, Yemeni Houtis, Syria’s Assad, and the various Iraqi Shi’ite militias. After ten years of this “good” deal, Israel–the West’s only reliable democracy in the region–will face an existential threat that it will be hard-pressed to effectively counter. Oh yes, arms dealers will also be big winners of this “good” Iranian nukes deal.

chinese stock marketAnd finally there’s the news of the Chinese stock market meltdown. With its opaque financial data and economic system who knows what to believe when the Chinese state tells big investors to buy and hold or be executed? Talk about voodoo economics! We know the world’s financial system almost melted down about 7 years ago. It may yet happen again due to the Chinese contagion and we’ll only learn about it the morning after.

Throughout the world, our leaders are now writing the scripts for a coming dystopia that will be so bad that Jesus of Nazareth prophesied:

For then there will be great tribulation (a dystopia of affliction, distress, and oppression) such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now—no, and never will be [again]. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would endure and survive, but for the sake of the elect (God’s chosen ones) those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22 Amplified Bible).

So where do we find security in times like these?

The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
And the strength of salvation;
The fear of the Lord is His treasure.

(Isaiah 33:5-6 NKJV)

Want to learn more? Watch these videos.
Finding Refuge

Be a Stress Survivor

 

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Is all “Love” Equal?

stop judicial tyrannyToday, in a 5 to 4 split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “equal protection” amendment should be interpreted to mean that marriage cannot be restricted to only heterosexual couples since homosexual couples must also have equal rights to access marriage licenses. This  same amendment, which was enacted during the U.S. Civil War period some 150 years ago,  also was used by the court in 1973 to create via judicial reasoning a right to abortion. An explicit reading of the 14th amendment says absolutely nothing about either abortion or homosexual marriage. In fact the original drafters of the 14th Amendment could never have imagined in their wildest dreams that their work would later be interpreted in such a curious fashion.

Writing a dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the court’s equalityruling majority of the justices are themselves “unrepresentative” of the American people. Further, Scalia asserts that what they are doing is a “threat to democracy”:

“Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination… Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine  [unrepresentative] lawyers on the Supreme Court.

“This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.” 

Cited from: http://www.mediaite.com/online/scalia-dissent-scotus-gay-marriage-ruling-represents-threat-to-democracy/

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, including Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, harshly criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling as a “tragic error” and noted how the court’s majority used the same flawed legal reasoning 42 years previously to create an abortion right–but that “neither decision is rooted in the truth”:

bishops“Jesus Christ with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth…. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”

Cited from: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/26/bishops-blast-supreme-courts-same-sex-marriage-rul/

But President Obama insists that “love is love.” And as such whatever someone wants to call “love” is good and equal to whatever someone else also wants to call love.

The Apostle John insisted that it was the duty of a Christian to love. He wrote the Church:

Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God because God is love (1 John 4:7-8, all Coulter trans.)

So would the Apostle approve of President Obama’s statement that “love is love,” that all love is equal? Again, it is written:

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20)

So, how can a Christian–who professes that he loves God–not agree with the secular policy that extends equal rights to homosexuals and thus, also allows homosexuals to marry in the Church? Does standing against homosexual marriage within the Church constitute  hating one’s brother?

Well, since a Christian should not rely on secular, human reasoning, as the U.S. Supreme Court does, to determine right from wrong, but rather the Word of God, which is the actual truth throughout the Universe for all time (cf. John 17:17), how would the Scriptures answer the above question?

Well, the Apostle John does not leave the clarification of the Christian duty to “love” both God and neighbour to human whim, reason, or passion. The Scriptures are far more explicit than the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

And by this standard we know that we know Him [Jesus Christ]: if we keep His commandments. The one who say, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked [discipleship]….

By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 2:3-6 & 5:2-3 Coulter trans.).

As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops correctly observed: “Jesus Christ with great love,God made them taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.”

It is obligatory for any Christian who would see the glory of God to stand with Jesus Christ on this issue about whether there can be homosexual marriage within the Church of God. But it is not our obligation to judge those who are outside the Church. They can rely on the short-sighted wisdom of the Supremes if they so choose. But there will be consequences in the World Tomorrow and a price that we all may have to pay due to today’s decision. Today, indeed, may well be a turning point in the history of the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flashing Signs of Danger!

warning signs generalAnyone traveling on the roads needs to be constantly alert to signs of danger. For the last few months the morning commute to work in Victoria, B.C. has been an increasing hassle due to the on-going construction on one of the main traffic arteries leading into the downtown core. A bicyclist who usually took this route to commute to work downtown observed on one particular morning a few weeks ago that all traffic was being squeezed into just one lane by a small group of flaggers who had placed numerous warning signs, barriers, and orange plastic cones to block off the inside fast lane. But, while most people feel obliged to take notice of the warning signs and make the appropriate inconvenient travel correction, a commuting cyclist, a 30s-something woman, decided to ignore the warning signs.

She deftly zig-zagged through the cones and barriers on her bike and proceeded down the warning allegatorvacated inside traffic lane that had been closed off. Not seeing any overt evidence of construction machines at work, the biker picked up speed, zooming past the bumper-to-bumper line of cars slowly inching along. The safety flaggers’ franticly waved their arms and shouted to the cyclist to get back in line. “Stupid control freaks,” she may have smugly thought. As the cyclist pedalled along, perhaps she was planning to crow a bit in the office today about how her commuting style was not only “greener-than-thou” but also faster—until, suddenly, like a speeding pool ball dropping into a pocket, both woman and bike disappeared in the blink of an eye into the yawning maw of a steep, deep, rectangular hole whose opening, however, was only about the size of a house’s front door. In this case ignoring all the warning signs meant instantaneous death.

warning challengesRight now there are serious warning signs flashing on the world scene.

  1. America’s President and his Secretary of State have agreed to a “framework” protocol that will allow Shi’ite Muslim Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, to retain its nuclear infrastructure allowing it to develop nuclear weapons—at a more convenient point down the road. Right now, Iran wants economic sanctions relief so it can more effectively support its allies in Syria and Iraq in their civil wars. In an unmistakable sign of his displeasure with the American President over this decision, Saudi Arabia’s new leader, King Salman, refused to personally attend the recent six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hosted by Obama at Camp David. This was a very public snub.
  2. In another big snub to America’s superpower status, Washington’s closest European allies, despite American pressure and unprecedented public complaints by Washington, have rushed to sign up as founding members in China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Development Bank (AIIB). The implications of China’s rising power and America’s declining power are clear. According to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summer,

     “I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the US to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out of it.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11519001/How-China-grew-desperate-to-conceal-its-power-from-the-world.html

  3. The IMF’s just released World Economic Outlook describes a prostrate planet drowning in debt. There has been a persistent reduction in the global growth rate since the Great Recession of 2008-09 with no relief in sight. This is unprecedented and very much a wild card in the game of high stakes poker, that is the global financial system.

    “Total public and private debt levels have reached a record 275 per cent of GDP in rich countries, and 175 per cent in emerging markets. Both are up 30 points since the Lehman crisis.” http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/welcome-to-the-new-mediocre-of-global-growth#__federated=1

  4. The developed world’s poster child for a country drowning in debt is Greece. For months warning bad thinkingnow, Greece has continued to stagger along like a zombie, even after some fresh flesh of debt relief from the IMF or the European Central Bank. Even Mario Draghi, the ECB’s president, is warning of unexpected, unanticipated consequences if Greece finally defaults on its debt.
  5. Meanwhile, barbaric Islamic State terrorists continue to behead Christians. Yet the Western world still doesn’t take all that seriously the IS spokesmen’s repeated declarations of a worldwide religious war against Christians, Jews, non-conforming Muslim sects and anyone else who isn’t their clone. http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/After-second-incident-of-ISIS-murdering-Christians-in-Libya-foreign-minister-appalled-398665.

    According to General Alexander, the former chief of the National Security Agency (NSA–Edward Snowden’s nemesis), the West is losing the worldwide fight against jihadist terrorism. He said that the U.S. and its allies had failed to check the advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or its expanding network of franchises across the Middle East. The West is increasingly at risk of a strategic defeat in the region. “It is getting worse. Twenty-five countries are now unstable, just look at Yemen,” he said. http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/hackers-could-cripple-the-west-with-a-hi-tech-blitz-on-energy-sector-infrastructure-u-s-general-says?__lsa=2d0c-cb5e#__federated=1 accessed 4/27/15

  1. As a direct consequence of the current widespread instability, there is a virtual flood of
    desperate people from Syria and throughout North and Sub-Sahara Africa, all desperately trying to get into Europe in search of a better life. In 2014 a total of 170,000 entered Italy alone. Recently, the number of unwanted immigrants has swelled to 11,000 in just one week.

    “We’re swamped,” Sandro Gozi, the Italian minister for European affairs, told French daily Le Monde. “There’s not even enough space in Sicily’s cemeteries to bury the dead.” Where are the Italians going to put them? Who wants them? There’s just not enough work. http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/20/africa/italy-migrant-boat-capsizes/index.html

  2. On the other end of Africa, in South Africa, one of the more prosperous African nations, there is an ongoing wave of what is called “xenophobic attacks” against the 10 percent of the population who are migrants from neighbouring African states, like Zimbabwe, and  Asia who seeking a better life for themselves. But poor South Africans see them as unwanted competition for the scarce jobs available in a country where the unemployment rate is 24 percent. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32377743
  3. And finally, the Pew Research Center confirmed that over the past seven years, from 2007 to 2014, the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christian has dramatically fallen nearly 8 percentage points from 78% to just 71% of the population. Fifty-six million Americans don’t observe or practice any religion. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32710444 accessed May 14, 2015.

What do all these signs mean? As a society, collectively we are like the eco-warrior bicyclist in Victoria, ignoring all the warning signs as we make good time pedalling rapidly toward our doom. There’s no doubt that these are serious, even dangerous times. So what should you and I do? Jesus said this to his disciples:

“Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming warning run like hellhorrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 (New Living Translation)

Pray to God? That’s the last thing this secular society wants to do. The Canadian Supreme Court recently decided to prohibit municipal officials from praying to the Bible’s God for help before starting on the public’s business.

Many people in the Western world have indeed turned their backs on the wisdom and knowledge that is offered to humanity by God. They have reinterpreted freedom of religion in the 21st Century to now mean freedom FROM religion. After all, they think that in a prosperous, secure society with good health care and abundant food and lots of entertainment, who needs to really seek the Bible’s God?

But, the warning signs are flashing out that there’s danger up ahead. Our future personal safety and security depends upon paying attention to those spiritual flaggers trying to get our attention and get back in line according to the Creator’s established House Rules for Humanity that are spelled out in the Scriptures. As a civilization we are ignoring the warnings to our peril.

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A Duty to Kill upon Demand? An End to the Freedom of Conscience?

Back in early February 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court decriminalized physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. The court insisted that to do otherwise would mean that citizens would have a duty to live. This current Supreme Court reversed its previous 1993 decision on this same subject, and instead launched a “right-to-die” revolution in Canada’s legal policy that involves: 1) abandoning the idea that every human life is always a good to be protected, 2) while substituting the concept suicide and euthanasia can be accepted as a social good and as a personal autonomy right, and 3) removing the law’s obligation to protect the weak and vulnerable.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/05/father-raymond-j-de-souza-our-euthanasia-point-of-no-return/

Immediately after this court ruling there was speculation that to enforce this new social policy the professional Canadian organizations regulating doctors and surgeons would hold that all health-care providers would henceforth have an obligatory “duty to care.” What a perverse euphemism! In plain-speak this means doctors would have a duty to kill upon demand (abortion, euthanasia, or professionally arrange for someone else to do it—called a referral).

The original Hippocratic oath, which was formerly taken by new doctors when they started suicide friendly caregivespracticing medicine during a more enlightened age, went something like this:

 “With regard to healing the sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.

Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child.

Further, I will comport myself and use my knowledge in a godly manner.”

Now, however, the Ontario and Saskatchewan colleges of doctor and surgeons are drafting policies to force physicians to kill on demand or to refer to be killed when so requested by a patient. Doctors who refuse to provide or refer abortion and euthanasia services are to be punished and perhaps barred from practicing medicine in those provinces.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-march-25-2015-1.3008505/doctors-fight-for-their-right-to-refuse-care-over-religious-beliefs-1.3008524

What happened to an individual’s freedom of conscience? Well, I guess it only applies to those who want to kill themselves or their babies not to the doctors whom they want to force to do their dirty work. And some like to think that this is a “progressive” social policy?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

But, if you want to find out who REALLY has the authority to determine what is right or wrong in such issues, then please listen to my posted video blog on this subject by clicking on this link:

http://cogwebcast.com/sermons/video-archives/life-death-assisted-suicide-decides/

 

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The Greatest Issue of our Time?

inequality2Is the world’s growing inequality  the new de facto slavery of our time?

Target, the American mega-chain retailer, failed in its expansion plans in Canada and recently announced that they are closing all of its 133 Canadian stores and laying off about 17,600 employees. But Target’s Canadian liquidation is not the news I want to write about, rather it’s something more shocking than a mere business flop.

It seems the fallen CEO of Target’s Canadian subsidiary will get a total severance and benefits exit package from the home office worth about the same as the total amount being offered to all 17,600 of the chain’s Canadians employees. Now that’s a golden parachute!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/target-s-package-for-ex-ceo-matches-package-for-all-17-600-canadian-workers-1.2927893?cmp=rss

But Target’s policy of massive compensation disparity between executive class and worker class isn’t just a Canadian phenomenon. Target’s former American CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, who stepped down after the massive credit card privacy breach of May 2014, received as his golden handshake a retirement plan valued at more than $47 million, or about 1,044 times what the average retiring Target employee usually receives.inequality4

This just illustrates with a few Developed World examples the global predicament that the British NGO Oxfam starkly described in a recently released paper detailing the world’s rapidly increasing state of inequality. The highlight of the Oxfam report was what could only be called a “statistical obscenity”: the world’s 80 wealthiest persons–many of whom are big shareholders in the finance, pharmaceutical, and health industries– now have more money and assets than the bottom half of the entire world’s population–some 3.5 billion people!

It should be obvious to all that this world’s economic system is not designed to benefit your average Joe and Jane. And it’s not just the working poor living in developing nations who are inequality1steadily losing their meager share of the world’s riches. It’s also happening to the middle and working classes in the developed world as well. The present global economic system is unfair and rigged  to benefit an extremely small elite of mega-oligarchs.

The problem is clear. Can the situation be remedied in a fair, equitable, and peaceful way? Or is the only solution a 21st Century repeat of the war cry of the violent French or Russian revolutions. “Off with their heads!”

Recently, I read various  proposals to increase taxes on the wealthy, such as income and inheritance taxes. There is talk about increasing the minimum wage to what’s called a “living” wage. Or, increasing subsidized educational opportunities such as was proposed by the U.S. president recently in his State of the Union address: two years free tuition at community colleges throughout the U.S.A.

But all of the above suggestions are just nibbling around the edges of the inequality issue. Even if all the above measures were passed by the politicians and enacted into law–which is doubtful considering the oversized effect concentrated wealth can have on donation-seeking politicos… inequality3when money talks you know who listens–the effect of such proposed “reforms” would only be temporary and mostly ineffective at resolving the growing inequality.

All such reform attempts would be mere “shows” put on by the politicians to try and convince the public that they are really trying to do something to address a system that at its core is rigged and unfair. And such “reforms” will eventually fail because the super rich know how to hide their wealth, how to influence the appropriate people, and how to manipulate the financial and economic systems in order to protect the status quo that benefits them.

Of course, the problem of the wealthy defrauding the poor by means of a corrupt world order is nothing new. The Bible specifically addresses the issue:

[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts,” James 5:4 Amplified Bible

An older commentary on this verse in the Bible observed that great inequality among men and women has most often been accomplished throughout history by some form of slavery.

“The very essence of slavery is, that the slave shall produce by his labor so much more than he receives for his own maintenance as to support the master and his family in indolence. The slave is to do the work which the master would otherwise be obliged to do; the advantage of the system is supposed to be that the master is not under a necessity of laboring at all. The amount which the slave receives is not presumed to be what is a fair equivalent for what he does,” Barnes Notes of the Bible for James 5:4.

Of course, not everyone who has become wealthy has practiced some form of slavery by not paying his workers fair wages. But if one does achieve financial success through some appropriate creativity and hard work or even just by chance, the Scriptures would still encourage such a person to be generous with others and to practice philanthropy. In other words, loving one’s neighbour as one’s own self. As the writer of Proverbs puts it:

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed,” Proverbs 11:24-25 New Living Translation.

A lot more can and will be said about how to remedy this world’s growing inequity and injustice. But for the moment a simple exhortation to practice brotherly love is a good first step and it would only do good and certainly no evil. The people in the boardrooms should take this Judeo-Christian principle very, very seriously while there still is time to change their fate.

 

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The Foolish Mistake of the West

charlie hebdoIn the aftermath of the recent Islamic jihadis attacks in France, many Western liberals still don’t get it. They don’t get the implication or meaning of what’s behind the on-going, widespread conflicts between Islamic jihadis and anyone who doesn’t buy into their fundamentalist version of Sunni Islam–which, by the way, is widely taught and vigorously sponsored  throughout the world, especially by Saudi Arabia.

Yet, I hear practically endless pontificating by liberal media about how Islam is a peaceful religion that is all about brotherly love, just like the other major religions. If that is true, how is it that broad swaths of the globe–Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, northern Nigeria, northern Mali, and now northern Cameroon–have become for all practical purposes no-go areas for non-Muslims, especially Westerners. All these areas just mentioned are descending or have already descended into an early medieval barbarism that Mohammad himself would recognize. Islam indisputably plays a major role in the rising level of violence throughout the world. Beheadings? Kidnapping women and girls for sex slave auctions? Massacring children at school? Murder?  Rape? Pillage? Dispossession and exile?

In the Western nations, WHO is responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks? charlie hebdo3WHO are the Western world’s security forces watching out for? Is it the the orthodox Jews, the Amish, the Catholic Sisters of Mercy or socially conservative Christians? WHO’s shooting cartoonists these days?

Yesterday, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke of the international Islamic jihadist movement,

“They have declared war and are already executing it on a massive scale on a whole range of countries with which they are in contact, and they have declared war on any country, like ourselves, that values freedom, openness, and tolerance. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it is not going to go away.”

Nevertheless,  many in the West’s media continue to whistle in their own mental darkness as they try to re-assure us all that Islam as it exists is not somehow incompatible with modernity. But it cannot be denied that Islam is indeed the essential malevolent womb that has birthed the international jihadist movement. Without Islam there would be no jihadis shooting up Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris.

Let’s do a reality check. If we could have a magic wand and could make Mohammad and his teachings instantly vanish from the minds and hearts of all who practice that religion, would the world also instantly become a better, more peaceful place? Yes or no? Well, the answer charlie hebdo2would be maybe or maybe not. It would depend on what would fill the void.  However, if the actual teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Scriptures were substituted for those of the medieval Arabian warlord, Mohammad, the answer would certainly be yes–the world would be a more peaceful place! The comparison between how Jesus actually lived and how Mohammad lived is truly dramatic.

The secular Western ruling elite is still willfully blind to the fact that they have created a “conflict of civilizations” problem, which they are completely ill-equipped to resolve. To beat a religious counterfeit that produces bad results one must deploy spiritual truth that produces good results. But when it comes to spiritual things, these secularists can’t distinguish black from white. They don’t understand why reading the Koran produces such different results in comparison to reading and following the Judeo-Christian Bible. They thought all religions were the same.  Consequently, they will never be able to live in peace even within their own borders. Why? Well they imported into the Western nations millions of people  whose belief system is proving to be completely incompatible with their own. They acted foolishly! The prophet Isaiah wrote of these willfully blind leaders:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

Make the heart of this people dull,
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;

 lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”

Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant….” (Isaiah 6:9-1, English Standard Version)

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Where have all the Good Leaders Gone?

nixoncrook“Of all the predictions to be made about 2015, none seems safer than the idea that across the great democracies people will feel deeply let down by those who lead them…. The levels of unpopularity and disengagement in the West have now risen to staggering levels… with the numbers of those fed-up [Americans]… climbing above 80%” [higher than during the notorious Watergate incident of the early 1970s in which the U.S. president was revealed for what he was: a crook, a liar, and an all-around small-minded vulgar bully], (Economist, “The World in 2015,” Nov. 21, 2014).

I was struck by the Economist magazine’s end-of-the-year lead editorial. In many ways it is prophetic. We ARE in serious trouble with major social, political, and economic problems going unresolved due to an appalling lack of good, decent leadership throughout much of the Western world.

For instance, I offer up this example from my home Canadian province, British Columbia. According to Statistics Canada, “Working families have taken a hammering. In the 35 years between 1976 and 2011, the median income of households in B.C. declined by 10 per cent. And the retreat becomes a rout if we only look at men’s wages. Over the same period, the median wage of men fell by a full third,” (Times Colonist, “Middle class takes a beating,” Dec.  21, 2014).inequality2

Inequality in our society has reached a crisis stage in which the 400 richest Americans now own more assets, have more wealth than the combined financial resources in the hands of over 150 million of their fellow citizens at the bottom of the food chain in the U.S. of A. (see Inequality for All, a 2013 documentary by Jacob Kornbluth).

What is the root cause behind this pervasive lack of good leaders and the growing impoverishment of the average person? An economist like Charles Piketty could argue that this inequality is due to a high growth rate return on capital, in comparison to the rate of economic growth, and that the solution to such inequality is a progressive global tax on wealth. I believe that just looking for material explanations and tax and spend solutions misses the real source of this widespread disenchantment with leadership and the growing economic inequality.

poor leadership2The root cause of our lack of good leaders in the Western democratic societies and most of our growing social/economic/political problems can be traced back to the fact that our nations have largely forsaken the teachings of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, especially those concerning sexual morality, and social justice. I assert that the natural consequence of what happens when any people turns its back on the Bible’s God is rising injustice, skyrocketing selfishness, and a general spiritual impoverishment of the soul. In such a dry, morally and ethically challenged environment, few leaders can be found who will put public service ahead of their own self-service. You’ll notice that these days most public “servants” are doing a pretty good job in taking care of #1 and have far better retirement plans, pay levels and benefits than John Q. Public.

The Prophet Micah put it this way:

Then I said, “Listen, leaders of ·the people…; listen, you rulers of the ·nation…·You should know ·how to decide cases fairly [social justice, equity], but you hate good and love evil.

You skin my people alive and tear the flesh off their bones [Tax them till they howl and tie them up with bureaucratic regulation]. You ·eat my people’s flesh and skin them and break their bones; you chop them up like meat for the pot, like meat in a cooking pan . Then they will cry to the Lord, but He won’t answer them. At that time He will hide his face from them, because what they have done is evil” [We’ve all, leaders and people alike, turned our backs on the Bible’s values] (see MIcah 3:1-4 Expanded Bible Version, edits mine).

Cause and effect. This is a critically important lesson. But I think many in the still prosperous West have no interest in connecting the dots between our collective abandonment of God and our current infestation of parasitical, self-serving leaders and the steady erosion of the our standard of living. But if we’re stubborn about collectively doing our own thing, well, the Bible’s God promises to call and raise the stakes that we have to put on the table to stay in the game.

“And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins,” (Leviticus 26:23-24 New Living Version).

But, of course, it doesn’t have to be that way for you personally. You can opt out of this negative feedback loop. As 2015 begins, the good news is that you can still choose to turn back toward God and so change your future. Speaking through a prophet the Lord God of the Scriptures still makes you this offer:

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you… Deuteronomy 30:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

 

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The West’s Legacy in Afghanistan: a Corrupt Narco State

The West’s Legacy in Afghanistan: a Corrupt Narco State As 2014 and the Afghanistan War ends, the longest overseas military intervention in U.S. history, winds down, we should reflect on what has been accomplished at what cost. Over $1 TRILLION has been spent fighting this war, including more than $100 BILLION spent on so-called Afghani “re-construction” projects— an amount, when adjusted for inflation, that is greater than all the money spent on the Marshall Plan that successfully re-built Western Europe’s economy following WWII—according to Joe Sopko, the U.S. government’s special inspector-general for Afghanistan. The cost in blood through 2014 to the Western military coalition has been 3,485 killed in action. So, after all this expenditure in blood and treasure what are the results? What kind of legacy will the U.S. and its western allies like Canada leave for the future? According to Matthieu Atkins, a Kabul-based Canadian journalist, the Western allies are leaving behind a corrupt, violent Narco state.*  Afghanistan now produces almost the entire world’s supply of opium, the raw material drug traffickers refine into the illegal, highly addictive heroin sold on our streets! In essence, an intervention that was designed to thwart the deadly impact of Islamic fundamentalism—which killed some 2,977 people in the USA during the 9/11 attacks of 2001—has left in its wake another tragedy. The U.S. and its allies have merely shifted the threat to another source. How so? Just consider that the annual body count from heroin overdoses in the USA alone is more than 4,000 people! Year in, year out more people are dying from the botched U.S. intervention in Afghanistan than died just once from the 9/11 al-Qaeda terrorists. How ironic! Instead of making the world a more peaceful, safe, and better place, our Western leaders have made it worse and even greatly compounded the problem by leaving Afghanistan as a corrupt Narco state, that is now complicit in the enslavement and destruction of the lives of millions through their drug trafficking. As the prophets wrote so long ago: For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7 KJV). Childish leaders oppress my people,
and creditors or usurers, rule over them.
 O my people, your leaders mislead you;
 they send you down the wrong road. (Isaiah 3:12 NLT). Links: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2014/12/22/narco-state-matthieu-aikins/ and http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/14be0e0c-8255-11e4-ace7-00144feabdc0.html *CBC Radio One interview and a feature story in Rolling Stone Magazine Links: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2014/12/22/narco-state-matthieu-aikins/ and http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/14be0e0c-8255-11e4-ace7-00144feabdc0.html

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Lid-ism—the West Struggles to Preserve the Status Quo

It is now one hundred years since the beginning of World War I. It is more than a little evident that the “war to end all wars,” as they used to call it during the 1920s and early 1930s, did nothing of the sort.

In fact, it would now appear that the rising levels of armed conflict and instability spreading over large parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and a whole tier of sub-Saharan African states isis  executeslike Nigeria, Mali, and the Central African Republic, has resulted in a higher level of violent conflict than at any other time during the last 25 years. This turmoil is evicence that the current episode of “The Great Game,” which strives for geopolitical power and domination, is truly alive and well in our time.

Yet, both the planned outcomes and unintended consequences of all this maneuvering to seriously re-arrange the world’s present status quo could make the experience of WWI look like a relatively tame political disagreement between reasonable gentlemen. After all, our state-of-the-art 21st Century weaponry with its lasting effects offers far greater potential for annihilating a much larger percentage of humanity than the technology of WWI.

An increasing number of closely interconnected issues—political, military, economic, financial, environmental, and religious—are all synergistically feeding into the present de-stabilization of the current geopolitical status quo, one in which Uncle Sam presently sits on the top world's policemanas “the world’s policeman (superpower)” daring anyone else to try and knock him off.

However, reliable polls show the American public no longer has the stomach for the sacrifice of treasure and blood that are needed by any powerful nation that wants to be in the top spot. Much of the public’s response is due to the failed American adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan that are proving to have been completely in vain or worse.

America is divided and weakened by a national leadership elite that is self-interested, shortsighted, hypocritical, covetous, and immoral as defined by the Holy Scriptures.

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [the teaching of God in the Scriptures]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. Proverbs 29:18 (AMP)

The U.S. public is now mostly isolationist, focused on its growing domestic problems and bitter political divisions. The lame-duck Obama administration now has to content itself with covert special ops carried out by its numerous intelligence agencies, while only overtly waging war with its enemies economically by using the “Almighty dollar,” the world’s reserve currency, and its present domination of the world’s financial system. But as I write this, the U.S.’s financial grip isBRICS being weakened by its competitors from the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China [the world’s second largest economy], and South Africa  who have just set up their own competing version of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, deliberately excluding the United States and the E.U. from any say in this new multinational fund’s policies and operations.

We are probably witnessing the twilight phase of an American Century as financially solvent, politically cunning actors carefully plot to upstage the U.S financial hegemony and de-throne the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. America’s federal government debt alone now surpasses 100 percent of the nation’s G.D.P. Day by day we’re edging closer to an American day of reckoning and a time of profound geopolitical re-alignment.

Yet most of the mainstream, corporate-run news outlets and their government handlers in the Western world keep repeating to the public a message that the authorities “have it all under control.” That our peace, safety, and prosperity are assured and that they will continue on despite a few occasional blips. This is blatant “lid-ism.” Huw Rogers, a journalist with the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper defined this interesting word this way:

Much of modern politics is concerned with what I call “lid-ism,” measures aimed not to address the underlying issues but to keep the lid on.” http://www.waywordradio.org/lidism_1/

Lid-ism has its positive benefits, however. It allows us to sleep at night. But lid-ism doesn’t change the new reality that is coming and will profoundly touch our private lives.

For instance, the mainstream North American and European media are practicing lid-ism when it comes to reporting on implications of the violent struggles for domination and control presently underway in what we still call Syria and Iraq. In fact, you could even say the media is completely ignoring what’s happening there at the moment in favour of the more easily reported slug-fest between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. Much of the media portrays it incorrectly as a conflict between a more powerful Western nation, Israel the bully, beating up on a weak Arab state! The media is failing to see this conflict as just one more piece of the isis black flagpuzzle, one violent event concurrent with even larger and more important events taking place in the region. This region is widely experiencing the convulsions accompaning the re-animation of the jihadi Frankenstein monster. The new revival is similar in form to the original version of Islam set up by the successful Arabian warlord, Mohammad, who unleashed conquering hordes that over-ran the Middle East and tried repeatedly to take over Europe, so-called “Christendom.”

Again, because of the media’s lid-ism, we don’t hear much about how the status quo set up in the Middle East by Great Britain and France at the close of WWI is now close to completely breaking down.

At the close of WWI, Great Britain and France carved up the defeated Ottoman Empire and created out of it’s carcass many of the states found on a current political map of the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire was replaced by nation states like Lebanon, Syrian, Iraq, Jordan, the Arabian peninsula states, and what we now call Israel, as well as, the secular Turkish Republic that was created by Mustafa Kamel Ataturk in the early 1920s.

Considering the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and its Islamic form of government as a clear sign of the obsolescence of the old way, Ataturk embraced instead the West’s model state set up on secular, democratic ideals. He also, of course, abolished the dynastic position of Sultan and its Islamic political title of Caliph—meaning a religious/political successor to Mohammad. A ruler with the title of Caliph in Sunni Islam can legitimately call for and demand the loyalty of the entire faithful Muslim community.

For over a thousand years various Caliphates dominated the Middle East, and North Africa.  They invaded Europe and conquered Spain, the Balkan area, Greece, and Hungary, advancing as far as Vienna before the Caliph and his army were stopped.

Now a new Islamic State ruled once again by a Caliph has been re-created by the jihadi movement caliph ibrahimformerly known as ISIS: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This Islamic State believes the secular, Western-oriented, nationalist model of government espoused by Ataturk with its separation of “Mosque and State,” democracy, and talk of human rights has failed the Muslim community, due to its moral corruption. So the Islamic State is actively suppressing anyone who holds Western political ideas, like democracy. Symbolically they are erasing the old Western-imposed political map of the Middle East and North Africa in order to resurrect the ideals of an Islamic Empire that embraces and unifies all Muslim believers under the black banner of jihad no matter their ethnicity, tribe, or place of birth.

This newly proclaimed Islamic State (I.S.) presently extends its control from the outskirts of Aleppo (in western Syria not too far from the Mediterranean Sea) to the outskirts of Baghdad christian refugees(south-central Iraq). Within its area of control it tolerates no other religious groups. Christians in the areas under the control of the new Islamic State are given a choice: convert to Islam, flee, or die. Most of the Christians who formerly lived in Mosul are now refugees in the autonomous Kurdish region of old Iraq. Recently France has offered asylum to these Iraqi Christian refugees.

It is highly unlikely that either the United States or the European Union will send their armed forces once more back into the Middle East to crush this reborn Islamic State and its Caliph. Why? Because at present the United States, specifically, and the Western nations in general have lost both their pride in their power, and their willingness to use it. Being secular nations that no longer self-identify themselves as Christian nations or as peoples living by Christian values, they do not fully appreciate the mortal danger posed to them by the re-born Islamic State (I.S.) with its Caliph. The U.S.A. and the E.U. are making a strategic error of historic proportions.

Shiraz Maher, an expert on the Syrian jihad at King’s College London, says there is little appetite for concerted international action to dislodge them:

Which leaves the prospect of a violent, extremist, well-armed, well-funded and religiously intolerant militia becoming a permanent part of the Middle East landscape, a sort of de facto “Jihadistan.”

Would it stop there?

IS jihad mapUnlikely. As far back as last year its adherents were proclaiming their ultimate aim of conquering territory as far away as Spain (once ruled by Muslims for centuries as al-Andalus), Austria, and China.

Even if [the I.S.] remained within the boundaries of the areas it has taken so far, it would likely be a springboard for attacks on neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon, as well as attracting hundreds of young jihadists from the UK and the wider West.

Shiraz Maher, an expert on the Syrian jihad at King’s College London,  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28222872

Rex Murphy in his National Post column, “The mighty combustion of small events, and other lessons from the First World War,” noted:

The West has had some peace since the last great war [WWII], almost 70 years of it now. And we have had with that peace an astounding march of technological and material progress. Both tend to make people forgetful of worse times. It renders them careless of the foundations upon which peace is first secured and then maintained, and nourishes the delusion they are exempt from the horrors and perils that have been a constant in human affairs.

So it seems now to some, as it seemed to some a century ago, that there is a menacing scattering of events and conflicts, where a disturbance, an accident or misadventure… in one arena could unwind into a chain of unforeseen events, a haphazard flow of unpredictable cause and effect. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/07/26/rex-murphy-the-mighty-combustion-of-small-events-and-other-lessons-from-the-first-world-war

Well, the chain of menacing events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa will eventuallyclash of civil blow the lid off the present geopolitical status quo in an all-out “War between Civilizations.” The root word “civilized” for “civilization” in this context seems like an oxymoron if I ever heard one. What’s coming will be anything but civilized. It will be a free-for-all struggle for survival and the coming of hard times and peril to most in this world. North America will not escape a painful re-adjustment to a new diminished status in the coming shift in the geopolitical status quo.

Lid-ism will not forestall the future, rather it may well hasten it. We should not be surprised that the American Century and the status quo is ending despite the best attempts of the Western governing elites to keep the lid on. Jesus himself predicted a scenario that seems not so different from what we see developing right before our eyes. Consider this prophecy by Jesus of Nazareth:

While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.“Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come. Matthew 24:3-14 (HCSB)

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