Tag Archives: Apostle Paul

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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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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Words Spoken in “fun” Result in a Suicide

It was just supposed to be good fun. Something to entertain their audience with a laugh. And, besides, they really doubted that it would work. Surely the receptionist at King Edward VII hospital in London, who answered their call at 5:30 a.m., would recognize their Australian accent. But the impersonation of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles by Aussie DJs Mel Greig and Michel Christian of 2Day FM fooled both the nurse/receptionist, Jacintha Saldanha, and the ward nurse who gave out a personal health update about the Duchess of Cambridge’s acute morning sickness.

I can imagine Greig and Christian high-fiving each other while on the air, for successfully pulling off their hoax. Of course, they aren’t the first to pull off such a “royal” hoax. In 1995 Canadian DJ, Pierre Brassard, fooled the Queen into thinking he was the then Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, for about 15 minutes.

However, Greig and Christian put out a public apology for impersonating the royals and invading their privacy, probably at the prodding of their radio station’s management. But, they hadn’t thought about the possible repercussions that their “fun” might have had on the two nurses they had tricked.

The royals know they are the objects of pursuit by clever paparazzi who chase them in order to feed the ever-hungry, personality-driven entertainment media. So being people in the public eye means they know they must roll with unexpected and perhaps laugh along with it. However, sometimes the dance between publicity hunters and the celebrity hunted ends tragically, as it did with Princess Diana.

Ordinary people trying to do their jobs the best they can, like you or I, aren’t schooled in the art of being held up to public ridicule or mocking.  Sometimes words spoken in “fun” can be taken badly by the objects of that “fun.”

Today, we learned that one of the two nurses taken in by Mel Greig and Michel Christian’s hoax, Jacintha Saldanha, apparently committed suicide. Jacintha was a married woman with two children. Tragic. Sad. Heart-breaking. Who could have known she would take it so hard?  Who could have known that words spoken in “fun” by another could hurt so much that it would cause such a reaction.

The royals William and Kate say they didn’t complain and have publicly said they are “deeply saddened” by this apparent suicide. The hospital management said they had been trying to help the two nurses through this difficult situation.

Unfortunately, words can and do kill even if the intention was all in jest. As the Apostle Paul once pointed out:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29 King James Version).

This was the error of the Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michel Christian of 2Day FM. They spoke a corrupt communication with a deceptive purpose. I’m sure they regret the whole thing. From their pictures these two are quite young, which means they’ll have a long time to think about what they did.

It is easy to say the wrong thing, or to say something the other person takes the wrong way. Or maybe what is said is right, but the timing is all-wrong. The end result is that someone is hurt even if our intention was just to have a bit of “fun.”

How hard it is to ensure that what comes out of our mouths “minsters grace unto the hearers.” But this is the goal we all should have. When we speak and when we listen to our friends speak, let’s keep in mind the vital importance of considering the consequences of what we say. Unfortunately Greig and Christian didn’t help each other out in this way.

The right word at the right time 
is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
and a wise friend’s timely reprimand 
is like a gold ring slipped on your finger (Proverbs 25:11-12 The Message).

 

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Julian Assange brazenly rips off the World Tomorrow name

The infamous Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has started up on Russia’s state-funded RT (formerly Russian Times) cable broadcaster a weekly talk show program, The World Tomorrow. To many it is apparent that Assange ripped off the name of the long-running  religious program called The World Tomorrow TV broadcast.  Wow, Assange has a real load of hutzpah, but then we already knew that!

(http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/17/wikileaks-julian-assange-interviews-hezbollah-chief-hassan-nasrallah-for-debut-of-his-russian-talk-show/)

According to Wikipedia’s write up about this name:

The World Tomorrow was a radio and television half-hour program which had been sponsored by the Radio Church of God (later renamed Worldwide Church of God (WCG) while under the direction of Herbert W. Armstrong). It originally ran from 1934 to 1994.  A 15-minute version of the radio program (but under varied translations of The World Tomorrow name), was broadcast by various speakers in the French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish languages. The World Tomorrow television program is in current production after having resumed in 2004, and airs in Atlanta, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee. The rights to the name were obtained by the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries of Sevierville, Tennessee, through the United States Patent and Copyright office. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Tomorrow_(1934)

The trademarked The World Tomorrow TV broadcast was revived in 2004 by the World Tomorrow Evangelistic Association and is in current production and airs weekly in Denver, Atlanta, Knoxville, and Orlando.

Back in the mid-1970s I worked as a writer for The World Tomorrow program, which was then presented by Garner Ted Armstrong. When I decided to write this blog a few years ago, my sons when searching for a name urged me to pay for and secure the Internet domain name www.theworldtomorrow.ca since it was vacant. It made sense to do this, rather than let someone else like Julian Assange  who is out of synch with the name’s historic message,  squat on it.

Of course, with TV broadcasts here in North America any network worth its salt will require that an entertainment attorney do a name search for any newly commissioned series.  Julian Assange could have even done a Wikipedia search and discovered that Church of God people and organizations had long used the World Tomorrow name.

Perhaps not surprisingly,  Mr. Assange, on the first program of his new talk show  interviewed one of the world’s leading terrorists or “freedom fighters” depending on your point of view, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

For his last question in his talk show, The World Tomorrow, Assange asked Nasrallah this very interesting question:

You have fought against a hegemony of the United States of America, isn’t Allah, the notion of a god the ultimate superpower. And shouldn’t you as a freedom fighter seek to liberate people from the totalitarian concept of a monotheistic god?” 

Actually, I’ll give Nasrallah some credit for responding with a relatively decent answer that acknowledged the Creator of the Heavens, the Earth, and humanity. Nasrallah credited  the Creator as the source of our unique moral conscience that helps us distinguish  good from evil, such as the evil murder/assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. Not bad, really. Though Nasrallah ought to pay a bit more attention to his own preaching. Julian Assange really didn’t have too much to say in response.

But the Apostle Paul has this to say about any who would presumptuously step on the good name, reputation, and  message so-long taught under the World Tomorrow banner:

 God’s anger is shown from heaven against all the evil and wrong things people do. By their own evil lives they hide the truth. God shows his anger because some knowledge of him has been made clear to them. Yes, God has shown himself to them. There are things about him that people cannot see—his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do. They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness. Romans 1:18-21 New Century Version

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Punishing the message and the messenger

The news media in Canada over the last few days has been covering the story of the five-day suspension from a Nova Scotia high school of a 19-year-old senior, William Swinimer. His offense was wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Life is wasted without Jesus.”

According to the superintendent of the South Shore Regional School Board, Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, Swinimer was kicked out of school because the message on his T-shirt offended the beliefs and/or feelings of some other students. The superintendent, however, refused to give any specifics about the complaints that the school authorities had received.

So what was so offensive about William Swinimer’s mild, profanity-free positive affirmation of the Christian faith?

What has happened to our Canadian right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion? Well, this effort by the school authorities to deprive William Swinimer of his freedom to quietly express his faith in a public arena is just one more indication that Canada is well on the way to transforming itself into an aggressive, secular state that insists on uniform compliance with political correctness. Militant secularists progressively attempt to sideline, minimize, label, ridicule, and then suppress the expression of Christian ideas, morality, and ethics in the media and all other arenas of public life.

Why do the secularists do this? Well, it’s obvious. The spiritual worldview taught by the Bible and faith and the secular worldview of materialism and unbelief are diametrically opposed to each other.

When Tory MP Stephen Woodworth introduced his Motion 312 in Ottawa—asking for a parliamentary committee to be formed to review scientific evidence about when human life actually begins so that our 400-year-old definition in the criminal code might be updated—all hell broke loose. The secularists called Woodworth’s motion “an insulting and offensive attack on women’s rights.” They’ve labeled him a “misogynist” and an “ultra-conservative.”

The secularists and pro-abortion people, of course, don’t want a public investigation, or—horrors—a debate on what the scientific evidence on the subject might reveal about when a human being actually becomes a human being. They want to suppress any such parliamentary investigation at all costs. They shudder at the idea that a review of the evidence and a discussion about the morals and ethics of when it’s okay to kill a human fetus might make them look hard-hearted and selfish. Of course, Christianity’s long-held position is that a “good” society promotes loving one’s neighbour—even the most powerless, weak, and vulnerable neighbour of them all.

So, when an audacious teen-ager wears to public school a T-shirt saying, “Life is wasted without Jesus,” uneasy consciences convict the secularists who are indeed upset at the profound implications of that slogan. So, they must suppress the message and punish the one standing in for the Messenger.

The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18-21 The Message paraphrase).

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Eco-terrorist or hero? Did Wiebo Ludwig make the right choice?


How should you save the Earth?

On Earth Day this past Sunday, I decided to do something good for the environment—-and for my family and myself. I took up a large big box retailer’s offer to trade in my rusting, ancient of days, gasoline-powered, emissions-spewing lawn mower for a discount off the price of an environmentally friendly classic 20” push reel mower. So it was “no” to creating weekly a small amount of greenhouse gases and “yes” to another anti-obesity habit, i.e. physical exercise.

Of course, in my neighbour’s eyes, this will just be another confirming proof of my eccentricity. They are certain I’m strange—but harmless. After all, I NEVER spray the lawn with toxic herbicides to get rid of those cheerful, well-established dandelions. And I actually go out and regularly commune with my dandelions in order to pick the leaves to steam up for dinner. I’m sure my neighbours have concluded that I’m fraternizing with the weed enemy. But besides doing a little to save the Earth by this small gesture, it also saves me from paying for a bunch of spinach at the supermarket.

My neighbours just don’t understand what they are missing out on. Being Earth friendly can even help you improve your teenagers work habits. Why my almost 15-year-old was so enthused by the novelty of my new push mower that he even volunteered to cut the grass all by himself. And after the job was finished, he began openly musing about starting up his own entreprenurial business selling a “green” lawn cutting service using my new mower. Ah, what unexpected dividends could arise as a green technology transforms a video game-playing, couch potato into a go-get-her Canadian eco-warrior with biceps.

Yet is such a non-violent, stand-up-for-the-Earth choice (apologies to the occasional slugs and bugs that get cut up) in how one exercises appropriate environmental stewardship a better one than that made by the confrontational, Canadian eco-warrior Wiebo Ludwig, who died this year on April 9? Some people call Ludwig an “eco-terrorist.”

Which is the better, more effective path in the long run: A peaceful approach? Or, a more confrontation, violent approach?

Ludwig honestly earned his “eco-terrorist” reputation by blowing up sour gas wells in northwest Alberta in the late 1990s. He was making a statement to the oil and gas industry and the regulatory governmental agencies that they couldn’t ignore. Of course, they didn’t. So Wiebo eventually ended up in jail. He paid a high personal price to open up the conversation about the steep price that is being paid by aquifers, rural families, and their livestock in order to make possible the wealth and power of Western Canada’s oil and gas companies. Oil and gas development is not a completely win-win proposition for all.

But was Wiebo Ludwig right in the way he confronted the dark side to the oil and gas development of northern B.C. and Alberta?

Wiebo sincerely believed that the sour gas wells were causing his daughter’s miscarriages, as well as, the ill-health and even death of some of the livestock on his farm located near Hythe, Alberta. But because industry and government seemingly turned a deaf ear to Wiebo Ludwigs’s environmental complaints and even denied that there really was a problem to be resolved or mitigated, the man chose to act violently in response to his frustration. The legacy of Wiebo Ludwig is full of controversy and, in some quarters, opprobrium. Did he make the right choice?

Wiebo Ludwig was a complicated man. He had good qualities and bad ones, such as his capacity for anger. The Scriptures warn us about the danger of being an angry person:

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27 New Living Translation).

Wiebo also had a degree in Christian theology and was ordained as a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church. Consequently, he knew the Apostle Paul’s list of obligatory character requirements for the ministry:

An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely [sound-minded] and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life [self-controlled]. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong (Titus 1:7-9 New Living Translation).

The “sound-mindedness” that the Apostle Paul was requiring meant having an spiritual inner outlook that correctly balanced outward behaviour. While “self-controlled” meant that a minister must master himself from within. But the concluding point in this passage by Paul is that the servant of the Creator must use his talents and the situations that arise in life in the most productive means possible so as to change or persuade those who oppose “wholesome teaching.” One can’t accomplish this change with threats or force.

Wilber Wilberforce struggled within the British parliament for over 30 years in order to extinguish human chattel slavery. By peaceful means he changed a great deal of the social policy of the 19th Century’s superpower, the British Empire. And Wilberforce did it with amazing grace, though for decades he faced seemingly insurmountable roadblocks and reversals.

The Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy, amplified the qualifications of a servant of God, including the importance of a good reputation with non-Church members:

Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap (1 Timothy 3:7 NLT).

Wiebo Ludwig failed in this regard—however accurate his environmental complaint.

In the 21st Century there will be an increasing amount of environmental pollution that will negatively impact areas as small as a single neighbourhood, or as large as an entire geographical region—remember the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico due to BP’s massive oil spill. Environmental disasters will continue to occur because far too many corporate CEOs in their pursuit of profits and bonuses do not practice the golden rule — loving one’s neighbour as oneself So there will always be plenty of work for environmental organizations who protest such abuse of the Earth.

However, for those who would make a profession of Christianity, we must live and act according to the Scriptures when dealing with those who are polluting the environment. Our methodology as individuals should set the right example. With peaceful, persistent persuasion, we must make the changes needed to preserve God’s Creation, this rare blue and green planet that sustains our existence in the midst of the blackness of inhospitable space.
The Christian profession precludes the possibility of any form of political or environmental confrontation that employs some form of violence that might injure others — that is not the Christian way. A good end can never justify a violent means. No matter how egregious the environmental sin, it remains the Creator’s sole personal prerogative—NOT ours—to punish or to exact retribution upon those who are unwittingly or knowingly destroying the Earth (see Revelation 11:18).

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Canada’s great new business opportunity: prostitution!

By a weird twist of irony, Canada’s 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms is now being interpreted by the Ontario Court of Appeal some 30 years after its immaculate conception by Pierre Trudeau as enshrining the inalienable human right of a certain sort of business people, who carry whips and dress in black leather, to run right proper bordellos that provide good security for their sex slaves—sorry, I mean “sex workers.”
As Raymond de Souza, a columnist at the National Post, wrote concerning this court decision:

In the euphemisms employed by the plaintiffs, prostitutes are “sex workers,” as if they were selling real estate or peddling cosmetics. A more accurate term is “sex slaves” — women forced to turn tricks by their drug dealers, the violent gang culture of the streets, or even abusive boyfriends.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/26/father-raymond-j-de-souza-if-prostitution-is-a-tragedy-why-make-it-easier/

Yes, of course, the court just knew how we, Canadians, have been chaffing at our previously appalling lack of legal rights to conveniently run our own little whorehouses on the prairie, as it were, in our neighbourhood strip malls! Why heck, don’t bother any more with those stuffy sex-ed classes at Billy and Meghan’s elementary school. It would be much easier to have the teachers plan a field trip to their local House of the Rising Sun for an educational show-and-tell that the kids will never forget.

I’m just so impressed with these judges’ seductive powers of legal reasoning. And, what a clever blow below the belt performed on all those moralistic Canadians who just can’t seem to get it through their heads that being a prostitute in a whorehouse is just as good a career choice as, well, being a judge in a court house. Anywise, it’s getting too hard these days to tell the judges and the whores apart anymore. After all, they both seem to be professionally working in a sort of well-paid position.

But prostitution is not like other professions. Most women cannot be said to “choose” a line of work they have been forced into, and find so disgusting, most of them need drugs to numb their misery (assuming they weren’t addicts beforehand). Those championing the rights of “sex workers” base their arguments on theory, and the word of a small minority of confident, articulate, happy or heart-of-gold hookers who know how to manipulate credulous elites. They would get a very different story from Tania Fiolleau, as I did in a recent telephone interview. Tania got into prostitution when an acrimonious custody battle over her two sons left her penniless and desperate. She eventually ran several brothels, serving as madam to 500 prostitutes. On the outside she seemed to have it all: good looks, money and power, but inside “I was the walking dead,” and “a shell of a woman.”

Tania pours scorn on the liberal image of the prostitute as a working gal like any other. Of the hundreds of girls that worked for her, she says, “not a single one ever said that she did not regret it.” She says many of her former workers are homeless or hopelessly drug addicted; some have been murdered or committed suicide.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/08/03/barbara-kay-prostitution-is-an-affliction-not-a-profession/

Of course, don’t blame the judges for upsetting the nation’s sexual apple cart. The judges could only work with what parliament handed them. Our politicians have refused, so far, to make the actual act of a human being prostituting herself or himself illegal. Why? Well, maybe some of our politicians would feel a little hypocritical about debating the legality of prostituting oneself.

So, our elected representatives have only passed the type of laws that regulate the business aspects of prostitution, such as running a bawdy house or living off the proceeds of prostitution, and word of mouth advertising (“communicating”). But the act of human prostitution itself has long been legal in Canada. We haven’t seemed to care if people prostitute themselves as long as they haven’t been able to run a regular business that easily and legally profits from sexual fiddle-faddle.

But now, with this judgment by the Ontario appeal court, all this changes. Now, the judges proclaim, Canada is open to fully exploit exciting business opportunities in prostitution. I wonder how long it will be before some big corporations get into the sex business, opening franchises throughout Canada. It’s probably an easy fit for the hospitality business. Talk about room service! Why Canadian prostitution pros could easily recruit a steady stream of new cheap whores from among the pool of secondary school girls, who are over the legal age to give consent for sexual intercourse (maybe 16 rather than 18 since prostitution is now a legal business), by offering to pay twice as much as competing employers like fast food joints and retail. What a great new Canadian business model. Perhaps, I need to pitch my idea to the Dragon’s Den producers!

Now, you might ask, how does this new profitable business model fit in with other Canadian cultural stakeholders like the Churches, Synagogues, or Mosques? The answer lies in the fact that Canada is officially multi-cultural. It’s been generations since we’ve thought of ourselves as a Christian nation. So if all religions are the same, why shouldn’t Canadians adopt the old Canaanite Fertility religion to go along with our new progressive take on prostitution? If we do this, then the whorehouses could do double duty and serve as house of worship as well as a business.

Prostitution was a big business in the ancient Grecian and Roman empires. But mostly the whores back then were enslaved women or boys. So the trick for the modern prostitution business model will be to get young women and men to voluntarily debase themselves for the least amount of money possible. Who knows? Maybe social media could be a useful tool?

Can you tell I’m angry!? I’m so disgusted with our making black white and white black. It is abhorrent to call prostitution a “career choice” or a “charter right.”

The Bible’s God has something to say to parents when advising their daughters about a career choice:


“Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity (Leviticus 19:29 English Standard Version).

To our nation’s parliamentarians and judges the ancient prophet calls out a warning:

Woe to those who call evil good 
and good evil,
who put darkness for light 
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet 
and sweet for bitter!…. for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
and the mountains quaked;
and their corpses were as refuse 
in the midst of the streets.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still. (Isaiah 5:20, 24-25 ESV)

And Isaiah adds:

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression… What will you do on the day of punishment,
in the ruin that will come from afar?
 To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners 
or fall among the slain.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 10:1, 3-4 ESV).

Has the Bible’s LORD God changed His mind about what nourishes the human spirit and what crushes it? Do you think God has changed his mind even a little bit about prostitution? Or the personal consequences incurred by those who promote and profit from what He hates? As the Apostle Paul once wrote:

Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9 The Message).

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The Arab Spring’s Blossoms of Hate

On Monday March 12th, the new Islamist-dominated Egyptian parliament unanimously voted to expel Israel’s ambassador in Cairo and to stop all natural gas exports. Secondarily, the Egyptian parliamentarians resolved that Egypt would never [no longer?] be a friend, partner or ally of the “Zionist entity.” [Note: Islamists can’t bring themselves to say the word “Israel” because it contradicts their worldview.] Thirdly, that unmentionable neighbouring nation with whom they currently have a legally binding peace treaty is to be labeled henceforth as Egypt’s “number one enemy.” Finally, the parliament requested the governing military administration review all agreements with the “Zionist entity” with the implied desire to repudiate them. This news report by the Associated Press was filed by Hamza Hendawi this week.

So, here we are! About a year after the “Arab Spring” in Egypt resulted in the overthrow of the authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak, the flowers of ethnic hate and future conflict are beginning to blossom once again in the land of the pharaohs.


For 33 years Egypt and Israel have been at peace following the treaty signed by the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. For this diplomatic good work both leaders were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, as the world breathed a sigh of relief. During Sadat’s acceptance speech for his Nobel recognition, Sadat emphasized the importance of rejecting the way of hate and violence in the Middle East:

Let us put an end to wars, let us reshape life on the solid basis of equity and truth. And it is this call, which reflected the will of the Egyptian people, of the great majority of the Arab and Israeli peoples, and indeed of millions of men, women, and children around the world that you are today honoring. And these hundreds of millions will judge to what extent every responsible leader in the Middle East has responded to the hopes of mankind.”

Though genuinely popular with many Egyptians at the time it was signed, the peace treaty, however, remained deeply unpopular among Egyptian Islamists who darkly nursed their grudges against Israel and the Jews during the last three decades that they were out of power. They were persecuted by the Sadat and Mubarak government and left idly sitting on their hands. Some even cooled their heels in prison. But you know what they say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.


About 2 ½ years after the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, Egyptian Islamists hatched a plot and assassinated Anwar Sadat. They murdered Egypt’s only Nobel peace prize-winner. This murder was encouraged by an Islamic religious legal interpretation written by a Muslim cleric who hated Sadat for violating Islamic precedent by making a real peace treaty with an enemy.

Obviously, the founder of Islam, Mohammad, neither said, nor taught, nor believed the spiritual concepts of “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” and “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:9, 44). The historical record and even the testimony of Islam’s own “sacred writings” reveal that Mohammad was a bloody man who waged war against and slaughtered many thousands who opposed him and his religious ideas. And he encouraged his followers to do exactly the same murderous things.

Mohammad and his followers are not the Arabic equivalent of Jesus and his disciples. One of Jesus’ most important followers was the Jew known to us as the Apostle Paul. When it came to the subject of using violence to deal with enemies, Paul wrote this:

If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord. Instead, as the scripture says: If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame. Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good (Romans 12:17-21 Good News Translation).

This subject is but one of the many that reveal how greatly the teachings of Jesus and his disciples differ from those of Mohammad and his followers.

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Miniaturized marvels of design

A team of German and American biologists working in Madagascar recently announced that they had discovered the world’s smallest chameleon, which they named Brookesia micra. The minature lizard grows to a maximum length of just 29 millimeters, or just over one inch.

While the phenomenon known as “island dwarfism” is well known, Brookesia micra takes this generalization to an extreme. According to the biologists announcing this discovery:

“The extreme miniaturization of these dwarf reptiles might be accompanied by numerous specializations of the body plan, and this constitutes a promising field for future research,” said herpetologist Frank Glaw, lead author of the study, in a press release. “But most urgent is to focus conservation efforts on these and other microendemic species in Madagascar which are heavily threatened by deforestation.” Cited from “Rivaling the World’s Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar.” Frank Glaw, Jorn Kohler, Ted M. Townsend, Miguel Vences, PLoS ONE, Vol 7, Issue 2, http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031314

Though extremely tiny, this creature speaks big things about its Bio-Engineer. Just think about the complex miniaturization that is involved to create a living, reproducing, self-healing, self-directed fruit fly eating machine that can camouflage itself for protection by changing its skin colour automatically to match its surroundings. An absolute marvel of design. I wonder how much the brain of Brookesia micra weighs? Would it be the size of a grain of sand? Yet hard-coded into the miniscule bit of a body is its own special DNA software code that directs everything that this tiny lizard has needed to survive for thousands and thousands of years if not time out of mind when it comes to humanity. Quite an achievement, eh?

After all, it’s not a bio-engineering feat that all the scientists in the world working together could duplicate much less surpass. We humans just don’t have the brain power to match the Creator of Brookesia micra.

Of course, the human brain of itself is a remarkable piece of work. Weighing only about 1. 36 kilos or 3 pounds, it is a marvel of miniaturization that packs a remarkable wallop of computing power for its size due to some 100 billion neurons (nerve cells) and the one million billion synaptic connections linking those neurons.

We can do a wide variety of remarkable stuff with this brain. But making living things, whether miniaturized chameleons or awesomely large blue whales, is not one of them.

Perhaps a little humility before the great Creator of Brookesia micra is in order in the scientific community. Would it really be that painful to acknowledge His creative genius on university campuses? Well, it would seem so. When it comes to acknowledging the Intelligent Design of the Universe and the living things in it, many academicians prefer willful blindness.

Now the holy anger of God is disclosed from Heaven against the godlessness and evil of those men who render truth dumb and inoperative by their wickedness. It is not that they do not know the truth about God; indeed he has made it quite plain to them. For since the beginning of the world the invisible attributes of God, his eternal power and divinity, have been plainly discernible through things which he has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse. They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such, or to thank him for what he is or does. Thus they became fatuous in their argumentations, and plunged their silly minds still further into the dark.
22-23 Behind a facade of “wisdom” they became just fools, fools who would exchange the glory of the eternal God for an imitation image of a mortal man, or of creatures that run or fly or crawl (Romans 1:18-22 J.B. Phillips New Testament).

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Who was the original Christmas grinch?

I challenge you to search the Bible from one end to the other to find a reference to the Christmas celebration or any mention of the early Apostolic church celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25. I’m not talking about the gospel accounts describing the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem during the Fall [late September early October]—as the gospel accounts themselves and known historical facts reveal. I’m talking about scriptural proof that would establish that the early Church of Peter and Paul taught the observance of Christmas in late December or at any other time of the year. In fact it was nearly 300 years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth and his apostles before the Roman Catholic Church invented Christmas. During the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Commonweath in both England and the New England colonies, about 1640-1660, the celebration of Christmas was forbidden:

During this brief period, the English Parliament banned the celebration of Christmas entirely, considering it ‘a popish festival with no biblical justification’, and a time of wasteful and immoral behavior.
See http://www.olivercromwell.org/faqs4.htm

The bottom line is that the celebration of Christmas is merely a human tradition having no divine sanction. Its origins rest with the Roman Catholic Church in the mid-300s A.D. Would Jesus himself condemn the Christmas celebration? Consider this comment that he made regarding man-made religious traditions developed, supposedly, for the purpose of honouring God:

These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God (Matthew 15:8-10 New Living Translation).

How ironic. What the Bible does teach about true spiritual holy days and practices in the Law of God, for example in Leviticus 23, people mostly ignore and fail to reflect upon. While what the Scriptures do not teach—or even teach against—that, people do. And, they do such things while justifying themselves by saying they’re honouring God and Jesus. We should rather consider carefully what the Scriptures are actually telling us:

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they [Mary and Joseph] brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel [and now throughout the entire world], and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:22-25 English Standard Version).

Of course, for many people any excuse such as Christmas is a good excuse to go shopping and to have a party. But the fact remains that Jesus and his apostles were the original Christmas grinches! They didn’t keep it. Rather they kept the Holydays found in Leviticus 23. Christmas is nothing but bait and switch humbuggery. The sooner this world learns to discern between true biblical reality and the popular alluring counterfeits such as Christmas masquerading as a Christian festival, the sooner we will experience a global blossoming of genuine peace on this earth. As Jesus taught:

Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished. Whoever then breaks or does away with or relaxes one of the least [important] of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven, but he who practices them and teaches others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-20 Amplified Bible).

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Halloween, Zombies, and Divided Loyalties


Some commentators compare the celebration of Halloween to a gateway drug. You know, people who become heroin addicts usually start out with milder drugs like marijuana, and then move up the chain of pharmacologically active substances in their pursuit of an increasingly powerful but a delusional sense of euphoria. Hard drug addicts end up becoming the living dead—real-life zombies enslaved to a dark lord that forces them to do his bidding.

Essentially, Halloween, just like the drugs that get you high, may start out by just having a little fun, but as a gateway to the spiritual world it, too, can lead to unanticipated, but entirely natural consequences that flow from a series of bad choices.

Americans are estimated to spend about $2.5 Billion on celebrating Halloween this year while Canadians will certainly spend, maybe a tenth of that, say $250 Million. But are we spending all this money on “good, clean fun”?

Halloween imagery mostly is comprised of themes connected with death, witches, evil spirits, and the power of darkness. Where does all this black and orange stuff come from? What is the origin of the holiday? And does it matter?

The Apostle Paul warned the people of God then living in a place that was at that time the heart of darkness:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18 English Standard Version).

Yes, our present society is working hard to suppress the truth in our time as well. Halloween does indeed lie at the heart of a centuries-old conspiracy to substitute deception for truth, darkness for light. If you would like to really understand this issue then check out my video called Divided Loyalties. I guarantee to you that this eye-opening message is no smoke and mirrors trick but a real sweet treat for your mind, having no possible threat of cavities for your soul. Continue reading

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A Lesson from Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse: dishonouring parents brings a curse

What remains to be said about the tragic death of the famed jazz-soul singer Amy Winehouse? Well, in the secular press you’ll find lots of comments that go something like this: A short sad life, such a waste of talent. Too bad. All true, but not very illuminating or helpful for others.

The Economist news magazine made a deeper analysis in its obituary of Winehouse with this observation:

“Perhaps above all, her life was a lesson in the dangers of early, overwhelming fame—and an admonition to a popular culture that, like a primitive religion, revels in the destruction of its gods” (“A losing game,” Aug. 4, 2011).

Not bad! But still there is a more profound lesson that may be drawn from Winehouse’s recent induction into Club 27’s list of notable dead young musicians that includes: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones among at least 43 others.

While I don’t believe in magic, I do believe that there is such a thing as a curse. The Bible warns:

“For people who hate discipline and only get more stubborn, there’ll come a day when life tumbles in and they break, but by then it’ll be too late to help them” (Proverbs 29:1 Message version).

Amy Winehouse’s parents, Janis and Mitch Winehouse, a few years ago publicly lamented how their daughter’s remarkable, explosive career as a singer/songwriter [her 2006 album Back to Black won a record 5 Grammys] pushed them to the fringes of her new, highly successful but also highly stressful life.

From Mitch and Janis Winehouse’s perspective, their beloved little girl was transformed seemingly overnight into a popular culture music “god,” who was now surrounded by an entourage of “cool” drug-abusing music scene types and tabloid media hacks who fed off her like sharks at feeding time. Their “little angel Amy” became bad girl Winehouse who could be counted on for a good time by music scene low lifes and a stream of outrageous headlines for the tabloid rags. For years Winehouse’s lifestyle of binge drinking, occasional violence, and poly-drug abuse amply fed these various parasites while simultaneously driving her parents to despair.

The Winehouse family tried repeatedly to intervene in their daughter’s life because they knew she needed rescuing from her own self-destructive behaviour. But their efforts availed little because Amy refused to fully cooperate with her parents and change her lifestyle. After all, overcoming addiction and other destructive behaviours requires a meaningful commitment on the part of the one with the problem. In spiritual language this is called repentance.

For those willing to hear—making the Fifth of the Ten Commandments part of your lifestyle offers protection from the personal unhappiness that comes from practicing the primitive, self-destructive religion lived by so many of today’s ”entertainment false gods.” In contrast to depression, unhappiness, violence, and addiction, the Fifth Commandment offers the blessing of strong families and peaceful, happy lives. Such a good blessing is explicitly promised by that commandment:

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16 (NKJV)

Of course, this vitally important principle of living was not just taught by the Old Covenant. The Apostle Paul made sure it was thoroughly ingrained in the ethos of the nascent Christian church:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives, His co-Creators in your existence], for this is just and right.
Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment [or “the preeminent commandment”] with a promise—
That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 Amplified version.

It should be noted that the Fifth Commandment was not just directed to young children who are still living at home with their parents. Jesus Christ made the specific point in the Gospel of Mark chapter 7 verses 10-11 that it continued to be the duty of adult children!

God’s law, His Moral Logic of the Universe always works—doesn’t matter whether you believe there is a God or not —it works for both believer and non-believer. This was a core teaching of the Apostle Paul:

When the Gentiles [non-Jews] sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews [Amy Winehouse was Jewish], who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life (Romans 2:12-16 NLT

Amy Winehouse very publicly failed to obey the Fifth Commandment. Consequently, she also failed to receive the commandment’s promise of long life, well-being, and a happy family of her own. Instead she got the curse of an early, untimely death. This is the totally un-PC lesson you’ll never read about in the secular press. But it is the truth.

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WHY CIRCUMCISION?


By Jean Jantzen and Jeff Patton

Circumcise a boy baby in San Francisco and you could face a year in jail under a proposed San Francisco bylaw that will be put to voters in November (“San Francisco Could Ban Circumcision,” Tristin Hopper, National Post, May 20, 2011). The article also stated that infant circumcision has been in rapid decline in the United States in recent years. In 2006, 56% of American newborns were circumcised. Just three years later in 2009 that number was only 32.5%. In Canada about 31% of newborns are circumcised each year according to a 2007 survey.

As a grandmother of twenty-seven grandchildren, sixteen of them boys, the question of whether to circumcise or not was hotly debated at our family gatherings. I heard both sides of the argument. If God created little boys with a foreskin why should we mess with nature? On the other hand, Jesus was circumcised so why shouldn’t we follow His example? Which perspective is right? Those family discussions challenged me to look into the circumcision question.

Circumcision is the surgical removal (cutting off) of the fold of skin that normally covers the glans (head) of the penis. This double layer of skin, sometimes called the prepuce, is more commonly known as the foreskin.

The first mention of circumcision is found in Genesis 17: 11-13 in which God told his friend Abraham: “Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you.”

Ever since then, periodically, a cutting edge contention has swept various communities, both religious and secular. In the first century A.D. there was a hot debate about circumcision among the religious leaders of the new Christian Church that threatened to split the Church. In Acts 15 the question about whether adult non-Jewish (uncircumcised) adult men needed their penis foreskins’ to be circumcised in order to be spiritually saved was discussed and finally resolved at a major church council.

This famous Jerusalem council decided that while certain parts of the Levitical law were indeed required to be kept by the non-Jewish converts—for instance, abstaining from food sacrificed to idols or eating animals that had been killed by strangulation, not eating any food products made with animal blood, and not practicing sexual immorality [see Leviticus chapters 17 & 18]—the circumcision of adult males was ruled as not being required of the new Gentile converts.

It should be pointed out, however, that this ruling did not change or even discuss the status quo concerning the infant circumcision being practiced by the believing Jewish Christian community, who comprised the majority of church members at that point in time. The Jewish community, both then and now, circumcise a boy baby on the eighth day after birth as the price of admission to the Old Covenant Hebrew community. Even today, any non-Jewish adult male who wants to ethnically become part of the Jewish community under the Old Covenant must still be circumcised. The Jerusalem council, however, decided Gentile converts did not have to become ethnic Jews first in order to become part of the new Messianic/Christian community. These new members could retain their Greek, Roman, or other Gentile ethnic identity and yet still become a Christian. In taking this position the new Christian community insured that it would be seen, eventually, as something more than being merely one among many of the different sects of Judaism. Christianity would become a universal belief system rather than an ethnic identity caught up in this world’s interminable ethnic/nationalistic struggles that have forever dogged humanity.

But this didn’t mean the question of circumcision disappeared from the Church’s concerns. In fact, the issue of circumcision for the new New Covenant Christian community became, if possible, even more important. Why? Because to become a true Christian rather than just a “Christian” in name only, a nominal Christian, there must take place a genuine spiritual circumcision of the heart (repentance and conversion) by an adult convert, whether male or female. Unless this true, spiritual form of circumcision occurred there would be no salvation under the terms of the New Covenant! The Apostle Paul summed this point up by saying the necessary rite of circumcision was no longer external but internal, being a matter of the heart (I Corinthians 7:17-18).

Even though I knew that physical circumcision was no longer a necessary ritual for adult Christians, I continued to believe there must be some health benefits if God commanded his chosen people, the Hebrews, to be circumcised. However, I never stopped long enough to find out if the Biblically specified method of circumcision was the same as the one performed in our hospitals today.

The technique of circumcision initially was only to remove the “preputial tissue” that extends beyond the tip of the glans penis (1700BC-140AD). The mohel (person designated to perform ritual) grasped the foreskin with the fingers, “which pulled the skin of the shaft upwards. The shield was then slid into place, and the tissue above the slit quickly sliced off. This preserved most of the sensitive inner mucous membrane lining of the prepuce.” For two thousand years in this fashion the Abrahamic covenant was fulfilled, males appeared intact and much of their sexual sensitivity was preserved. (George C. Denniston, MD M.P.H. “Modern” Circumcision: The Escalation of a Ritual http://weber.u.washington.edu/~gcd/CIRCUMCISION/v1n1.html).

The Biblical method was quicker than the Gomco Clamp or the Plastibell methods; it took less than one second and the pain only lasting for an instant. Whereas, the modern methods can last up to twenty minutes and the baby may suffer excruciating pain. The two modern methods, which were put into use some sixty years ago, remove much more foreskin than God intended and is a much more radical than the original Biblical circumcision. Why did modern techniques depart so radically from the much more conservative Biblical approach? Most Jewish males are unaware of the “tragic escalation” in technique that had nothing to do with the Covenant. The rabbis agreed to remove even more foreskin to prevent the Jews from trying to pass as Gentiles. (George C. Denniston, MD M.P.H).

According to the19th-century medical point of view, Jews were purported to be morally and physically superior to non-Jews. The reason given—circumcision (cf. Dr. Peter Remondino, History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present).

A Jewish physician, Dr. Henry Levien of New York wanted to medicalize circumcision, and to remove it from “religiously trained mohels and to put it in the hands of trained surgeons. During the 1890s, medical journals frequently reported the many infant deaths that occurred at the hands of mohels. This movement parallels the removal of midwifery into the hands of the medical profession. Protestant Christians wanted to have what they imagined to be—the moral and physical advantage—in order to “validate scientifically the wisdom of the Bible” (The Right to Our Own Bodies: The History of Male Circumcision in the U.S. by Frederick Hodges and Jerry W. Warner).

But for us in North America who do not believe in this practice, it is interesting to discover—why circumcision? At the turn of the century, circumcision had become a panacea. Amputation of the foreskin was “scientifically proven” to cure and prevent diseases ranging from insanity to epilepsy, malnutrition, hip-joint disease, paralysis, eczema, tuberculosis, headache, hysteria, alcoholism, criminality, and heart disease” (Hodges and Warner). The genitals were thought of as dirty. And, since cleanliness is close to godliness, “increasingly they [the Victorians] identified personal cleanliness with good morals, sound health, and upright character. From this premise it followed that circumcision should be considered preventive medicine and practiced universally as a matter of public health” (David L. Gollaher).

“Why are Jewish women comparatively free of cervical cancer? Medical researchers now agree that this spectacular freedom results from the practice of circumcision in Jewish men—which God ordered Abraham to institute four thousand years ago. A number of recent studies have borne out the fact that freedom from cancer of the womb is not due to factors such as race or food or environment, but wholly to circumcision.” (None of These Diseases S.I.McMillen MD.)

As parents, we only want to do what we feel is best for our child—right? But, unless we research each of these issues for ourselves, how can we make an informed decision? What you decide about circumcision will affect your child for the rest of his life, both physically and psychologically. So you want to be sure you are making the right decision.

First, let’s examine the part we want to have removed and what its function is?

The foreskin is one of the most erotically sensitive parts of the penis. It represents 50% to 80% of the skin system of the penis, depending on the length of the penile shaft. It is a unique and highly complex organ. The average foreskin has over three feet of veins, arteries, and capillaries, 240 feet of nerve fibers, and over 1,000 nerve endings. If unfolded, the adult foreskin would measure 20 to 30 square inches. The foreskin plays a large role in sexual function. The foreskin has glands that produce a natural moisturizer and lubricant called smegma. Smegma serves the same purpose as tears do in the eye: it keeps everything moist, clean, and lubricated (by Frederick Hodges and Jerry W. Warner).

At birth, the foreskin is tightly attached to the glans or head of the penis. It is like the skin attached to our hand. In order to circumcise or remove the foreskin it must be separated from the glans by force. There are many articles attesting to the fact that this is an excruciatingly painful procedure. According to George C. Denniston, MD, M.P.H. “At birth, the separation of the foreskin from the glans has just begun. The newborn’s penis is, of course, not yet fully developed. Not only does circumcision interfere with its development, but it requires that the surgeon tear the skin from the sensitive glans to permit removal. As a result, scarring occurs, the surface of the glans thickens, and the urinary opening often gets smaller” (Unnecessary Circumcision).

If left naturally, the infant’s intact foreskin will protect the penis from urine and feces and will gradually separate itself from the glans. It cannot be drawn back and trying to do so will injure and cause unnecessary scarring. By the age of four or five, and sometimes much later, the foreskin will be able to be retracted in order to expose and cleanse the head of the penis.

If you decide to circumcise your baby shortly after birth, or later on, you should know what methods are used and how much of the foreskin will be removed. Have you asked your doctor what he knows about circumcision? We know that on the eighth day, Vitamin K is at its highest level. Vitamin K helps the blood to clot. If baby boys are circumcised on this day it prevents excessive bleeding that may occur if they are circumcised right after birth, which the doctor’s usually do for their convenience. “Four thousand years ago, when God initiated circumcision with Abraham, He said, “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised. “Abraham did not pick the eighth day after many centuries of trial and error experiments….it was a day picked by the Creator of vitamin K.” (None of These Diseases S.I.McMillen MD.)

When the doctor does this procedure he will use either of the following two methods. “The Gomco clamp is a metal cone which fits over the glans and lies between it and the prepuce. The distal foreskin is then removed. The Plastibell consists of a plastic cone which fits over the glans. The foreskin is stretched over this and a ligature is applied at the base. The distal foreskin is excised. The base of the Plastibell is left in situ; the rest of the cone is removed. This base falls off in a few days” (The Problem of Infant Routine Circumcision). If our doctors are not trained properly, or have little knowledge of the function of the foreskin, how do they know how much foreskin is too much or too little? Ask questions. Be informed. Tell the physician how much skin to remove.

We need to be present during the procedure and tell him (in fact, demand) our preferences. Remember when the father was not allowed to be with the mother during the birthing process. In the twenty-first century it would be unthinkable to not give comfort and support to a woman in labor. How much more should we support and comfort our newly-born child during the circumcision process? If we cannot gather the courage to be with our son during this procedure, maybe it would be better to not have the circumcision done.

Dr Pollock, Canada’s most experienced circumcision provider, has safely completed over 30,000 infant circumcisions over the last two decades taking less than 30 seconds to perform while virtually bloodless and painless. He says circumcision reduces risk of urinary tract infection, penile cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and a 60% reduced risk for HIV. (pollockclinics.com) Another doctor responded this way in the National Post to the circumcision controversy : “I am a retired physician and father of two boys. I agree with Dr. Neil Pollock that the need for circumcision is not in question, and it is best done shortly after birth. Just as the mother produces endorphins during labour that helped her tolerate the pain of childbirth, her newborn son also has circulating endorphins ameliorating the pain produced by a not-so-gentle arrival process.”(Don’t Wait to Cut Dr. Warren Hindle, National Post, April 9,2011)

To conclude, the spiritual significance of circumcision is what is even more important for us as Christians today. God’s word thunders out over the millennia:

12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. Deuteronomy 10:12-16 NKJV

It is interesting to note that from the LORD’s point of view being “stiff-necked” is synonymous with uncircumcision (Acts 7:51). He said, “Circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live,” Deuteronomy 30:6 (ESV).

The bottomline with physical circumcision is this: our bodies are temporary and physical life is short. Physical circumcision is not essential for salvation for those living under the New Covenant. However, physical circumcision does provide some potent and scientifically demonstrable health benefits as does applying the spiritual understanding that comes from practicing the rest of the “principles for living” found in God’s commandments, statutes, and judgments, such as refraining from eating blood or sexual immorality.

Remember what the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” If you are parents expecting a child and you value your heritage as the physical or spiritual descendants of Abraham then you will want to follow Abraham’s example. God said of Abraham,

“I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” Deuteronomy 26:4-5

The decision is up to you!

http://www.blumenthalclinic.com.au/content_common/pg-circumcision-procedure-sydney.seo

Circumcision Information
• 
As a specialist Obstetrician, Dr Blumenthal gives you expert advice on this operation.
• Eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects 1 in 10 older boys and men. This condition refers to a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back fully, so making cleaning under it, and passing urine, difficult.
• Reduces by 3-fold the risk of inflammation and infection of the skin of the penis. One in 10 uncircumcised men gets inflammation of the head of the penis and foreskin.
• Over 10-fold decrease in risk of urinary tract infection. Whereas risk of this is only 1 in 500 for a circumcised boy, 1 in 50 uncircumcised male infants will get a urinary tract infection.
• Over 20-fold decrease in risk of invasive penile cancer.
• One in 600 uncircumcised men gets penile cancer, which usually requires penile amputation or disfiguring surgery.
• Uncircumcised men have 1½ – 2 times the risk of prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 6 men.
• Reduces by approximately 3 to 7 fold the risk of getting HIV (AIDS), during sex with an infected person.
• Circumcision also affords substantial protection against thrush as well as sexually transmitted infections such as papilloma (wart) virus and syphilis.
• Circumcision reduces by up to 5 times the risk of the man’s female partner being infected by Chlamydia or getting cervical cancer (which is caused by human papillomavirus). The load of infectious bacteria and viruses that accumulate under the foreskin is delivered into the female genital tract during sex.
• If not circumcised soon after birth, up to 10% will later require one anyway for medical reasons.
• Credible research shows that most women prefer the appearance of the circumcised penis. They also prefer it for sexual activity. Hygiene is one reason; increased contact of the penis with the vaginal wall, and stimulation, are others.Eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects 1 in 10 older boys and men. This condition refers to a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back fully, so making cleaning under it, and passing urine, difficult.
• In general, sexual function and sensation are the same or better in circumcised men. The problem of overly tender sensitivity of the head of the penis experienced by most uncircumcised men is virtually eliminated.In general, sexual function and sensation are the same or better in circumcised men.

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Suffering coming to millions—soon! Don’t you be one!


The “clap” is now resistant to all of this world’s most powerful antibiotics. Anyone who knows something about the microbial world knew it would happen someday. It was just a matter of time. Yesterday, Dr. Magnus Unemo announced at a Quebec City conference for specialists in sexually transmitted disease research that he had discovered a new strain of gonorrhea called H041 that has proven to be resistant to all types of antibiotics (cf. http://home.mytelus.com/telusen/portal/NewsChannel.aspx?CatID=National&ArticleID=news/capfeed/national/TG1110.xml).

This means that what was once an easily treatable sexually transmitted disease will become within a few years a global public health scourge not seen since the Middle Ages. For untold millions, rampaging incurable gonorrhea microbes will cause infertility, an increase of HIV transmission rates and, even fatalities. In a word: suffering. Suffering on a massive scale.

Gonorrhea is one of the world’s most common sexually transmitted diseases. This highly infectious bacterium can cause incredible personal “dis-ease” both emotional and physical. It is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease after chlamydia. Annually, at least 700,000 Americans become infected according to the U.S.’s Center for Disease Control (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonorrhea).

However, as bad as the above statistic may be, once the antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea strain becomes widespread in North America, the number of those infected will skyrocket!

The consequence of gonorrhea for women is disastrous. It causes pelvic inflammatory disease, PID. We’re talking infertility and ectopic pregnancy, which is the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in women among other nasty symptoms. Mothers can pass the disease to their babies at birth resulting in serious health complications and even blindness for the rest of that baby’s life.

For men, gonorrhea can result in inflammation of the epididymis, which is “a curved structure at the back of the testicle in which sperm matures and is stored. This condition comprises gradual onset of testicular pain that can vary from mild to severe, and the scrotum (sac containing the testicles) may become red, warm and swollen…, Epididymitis is the most frequent cause of acute onset scrotal pain in adults” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epididymitis). As if this weren’t enough, incurable gonorrhea may easily result in permanent male infertility.

All this misery will come on us because gonorrhea bacteria know how to adapt and overcome whatever medical counters human scientists throw at them. Human hubris thought we could have our cake and eat it, too. In our post-modern scientific age we thought we no longer needed to live by the sexual morals taught by the Judeo-Christian scriptures.

Since the end of World War II, our liberal, governing elite thought that the idea of sexual abstinence before marriage and faithfulness to one’s spouse during marriage—both biblical principles of long standing—were seen as terribly old-fashioned, unhip, un-cool, un-liberated, and not necessary according to most lefty journalists, entertainment media hipsters, as well as the teachers/professors in our schools and universities who all bear some responsibility for the current amoral behaviour practiced by our people. These “progessives” thought magic bullet antibiotics would cure all STDs like gonorrhea and so free us up “do your own thing.”

Wrong! I wonder how many millions will experience despair and heartbreak because of the liberal governing elite’s lies?

The bottom-line is that promiscuous sexual behaviour is still sin. And those who commit sin reap unpleasant consequences both in terms of physical well-being and spiritual things. Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote:

5 But you have a hard and stubborn heart, and so you are making your own punishment even greater on the Day when God’s anger and righteous judgments will be revealed.
6 For God will reward each of us according to what we have done.
7 Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honor, and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life.
8 Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour out his anger and fury.
9 There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles.
10 But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles.
11 For God judges everyone by the same standard (Romans 2:5-11 Good News Translation).

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Canuck Fans Run Riot for their Obsession!


Whenever Islamic fanatics’ religious sensitivities are sufficiently stirred up–say by an unflattering event like the publication of an editorial cartoon that mocks their star player from Mecca and so hurts their self-esteem –then those fans riot in the streets. They love to make the world hear their violent expressions of support for their hometown teams of radical ayatollahs and mullahs. So, in consideration of last night’s riot in downtown Vancouver following the Bruins-Canucks game, is there really much of a difference between those humourless jihadis and our wickedly narcissistic Canucks’ hockey “fan-atics”?

After all, both like to occasionally go out for an exciting evening of burning cars, looting, and mixing it up with the regime’s police in the name of their obsesssions!

You know, evidently, some Canuck fans can be very deceptive. On the surface they seem like such a calm, agreeable people. Probably they think of themselves as progressive, peaceful, good people. But when it comes to hockey, they’re incendiary fan-atics. They are sports pagans with more than a few loose screws. And last night they showed the world what their belief system was all about: it’s all about me being as despicable and violent as I want and I don’t mind if the whole world knows.

Why, those sports pagans were so proud of their riotous worship last evening that they took all sorts of photos and videos of themselves with their mobile phones in order to proselyte their friends on YouTube and Facebook about their new doctrine (“Thou shalt not be hesitant to act like a flaming jerk to thy neighbour or thy neighbour’s property”).

Indeed, for many of these 20s-something young people in downtown Vancouver last night, this was their first real opportunity to prove to us their level of zeal as new converts to sports paganism by hopping up and down on burning cars. After watching a number of videos posted on the Internet, I do wonder just how many bystanders were also caught up in this pagan worship by cheering on the fan-atics as they performed their violent rituals celebrating the power of spiritual darkness.

Seriously, Canada’s generalized hockey obsession does occasionally bring out the worst in some people. Consider the hockey riots of 2010, 2008, 2006, 1994, 1993, 1986, and even 1955. This is a recurring problem that has a lot to do with the fact that many of these fan-atics lack a solid ethical and moral foundation based on the Judeo-Christian scriptures. If they did, they would have known that it is written:

“You must not follow a crowd in wrongdoing” (Exodus 23:2 Holmen Christian Standard Version).

There will be much hand-wringing by various public officials about this Vancouver riot for some time. But I promise you that nothing will be done to really get at the heart of the problem—which is spiritual. You cannot turn your back on the God of the Bible and push His teachings out of the public square and expect anything but bad results. We are now beginning to reap the bad that we as a society have sown. Take warning because times are going to get worse. For your own safety, do not hang around with these sports fan-atics.

In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that (2 Timothy 3:1-3) New Living Translation)!

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Harold Camping and other Apocalyptic Imposters

As amazing as this lovely sunny Victoria Day weekend may seem, the American radio evangelist, Harold Camping and his followers, who are mostly evangelical Protestants, are adamantly expecting and vociferously announcing to the world that there will be a massive earthquake rolling around the planet through its various time zones on May 21st at about 6 p.m. The earthquake, according to these people, who strongly proclaim themselves to be Bible-believing Christians, will signal their Rapture to heaven as Christ’s true believers, and the beginning of Judgment Day upon the ungodly who are left behind. Or, so they think.

Camping, using a ton of money given to him by his “sheep,” has paid for more than 2,000 billboards, many full-page advertisements in major newspapers, and countless radio programs in order to broadcast and publicize this latest incarnation of an End of the World prediction addiction.

To the liberal media, people like Harold Camping are indeed made in heaven! Mostly secular and cynical, the press has long had a morbid fascination for people like Harold Camping They’re great for the “news” business! Besides, from their perspective, such weirdo prophecy bugs can serve as useful straw-men in the ideological political struggle between left and right over the role of Biblical morality in our society. After all, according to press’ logic, if someone like Harold Camping, who proclaims himself to be such a strong believer in the Bible, actually reveals himself to be a complete moron, then anyone else who believes what the Bible teaches must also be one. Thanks Harold for making their job so easy!

Harold Camping is ignorant of what the Bible teaches. He has loudly and widely misrepresented Scriptural teachings bringing disrepute onto the name of God, Jesus Christ, and the Church. Shame, shame, shame on him! Camping should have bothered to take the time to read Matthew 25:1-13:

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

These are trying times for all believers. People like Harold Camping—who are spouting pride, deception and doctrinal lies—are just making life difficult for both you and for me by bringing Christianity into disrepute. Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote to his coworker Timothy about these times:

1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) 8 These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres [unbelievers] opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres. 10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived (2 Timothy 3 New Living Translation).

Don’t allow yourself to be deceived by imposters like Harold Camping. Jesus actually warned His disciples about this!

As he [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray (Matthew 24:3-5 English Standard Version).

Most of today’s deceivers are not going about saying that they are the returning Messiah. Rather, they are saying they are Christians, and all that one needs to do is say, “I believe Jesus is the Christ.” This common verbal profession is camouflage or subterfuge. The real test to determine who is a faithful servant of Jesus Christ is not revealed by words but by actions.

The Apostle John explained this validity test in his first general circular letter to the Churches:

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked (1 John 2:3-6 ESV).

You will be able to eliminate 99.9% of the so-called “Christians” with apocalyptic prediction addiction syndrome if you ask yourself: do they remember to keep holy the 7th day of the week, the Sabbath. Secularly this day is called Saturday and the commandment to keep it holy is stated in the 4th of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:8 and Deuteronomy 5:12. As the New Covenant’s book of Hebrews points out:

There remains, therefore, Sabbath-keeping [Greek: sabbatismos] for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9 Coulter Translation).

When Christ returns as prophecy foretells, He will give “rest” and bring peace to a war torn world, but meanwhile, followers of Christ will be honouring Him weekly by keeping His Sabbath rest. God only grants spiritual discernment and knowledge of future events to those who are willing to obey HIm. So, I dare say, neither the cynical secular press, nor the religious false prophets like Harold Camping— all of whom refuse to obey God’s commandments—are going to be able to clearly understand Scriptural prophecy before the actual Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

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Picture this… the Second Coming of Osama Bin Laden

In a CBS News interview yesterday, U.S. President Barak Obama rejected releasing grisly death pictures of the al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, saying,

“We don’t trot this stuff out as trophies… The fact of the matter is, this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received, and I think Americans and people around the world are glad that he is gone. But we don’t need to spike the football” (referring to the iconic athletic enthusiasm exhibited by American footballers when they score touchdown points).

Yes, Bin Laden was indeed worthy of the death penalty as he led the terrorist organization responsible for the massacre of many thousands of innocent people. As the Judeo-Christian scriptures explicitly teach in the Law:

However, if someone deliberately kills another person, then the slayer must be dragged even from my altar and be put to death (Exodus 21:13 New Living Translation).

A few bullets to the head administered by a Navy SEAL, however, is just the beginning of the justice process for Osama Bin Laden.

In this, President Barak Obama, a self-professing Christian, seems to be ignorant. While acknowledging in the CBS interview that some people will indeed deny the certainty of Bin Laden’s execution without the release of convincing pictures, Obama asserted:

There is no doubt that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Certainly there is no doubt among al-Qaida members that he is dead…There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see Bin Laden walking on the Earth again (Sheldon Alberts, Postmedia News, May 5, 2011).

Well, the real fact of the matter is, and this will be news to President Obama and perhaps many readers, Osama Bin Laden will yet again walk on the Earth! Yes, you read that correctly. There will be a “Second Coming” of this killer. And I’m not just talking metaphorically as when some other murderous Muslim fanatic commits similar crimes under the inspiration of Osama Bin Laden’s example.

How can I make such an assertion? Well, the fact of the matter is, as explained in multiple places in the Holy Scriptures, such a “Second Coming” is precisely what is going to happen to Osama Bin Laden. Notice this biblical prophecy foretelling what shall take place in the End Time:

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people [He is one of God’s archangels]. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:1-2 English Standard Version).

Even the New Covenant’s Apostle Paul asserted that bad men like Bin Laden will come to life again and walk on the Earth:

…there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust (Acts 25:15 ESV).

Why would God bother to bring back the bad guys? Well, God has a plan for every mortal human being including you, and me:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27 King James Version).

Jesus Christ himself, the Son of God, taught there is indeed coming a time of reckoning for all who have ever lived, including wicked men like Osama Bin Laden and all his al-Qaida crew of cutthroats:

Do not be surprised and wonder at this, for the time is coming when all those who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and they shall come out–those who have practiced doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life, and those who have done evil will be raised for judgment [raised to meet their sentence] (John 5:28-29 Amplified Version).

The fact of the matter is, the real judgment day is still to come when Bin Laden will stand in the docket to fully answer for his behaviour. I’m looking forward to having a courtroom seat to witness such an event. But in the meantime I’m making it my business to be among those whom God will call righteous rather than unrighteous. How about you?

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Looking out for Wisconsin’s and Nanaimo’s best interest

On Friday, April 1, 2011, the Wisconsin state governor Scott Walker signed into law an immensely controversial bill passed by that state’s legislature the previous evening despite death threats, intimidation, and large demonstrations by organized labour supporters. The new law effectively puts this Midwestern state’s public-sector unions on a diet of low-fat cheese at a time when many American states and municipalities are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. The consequences of such defaults on state and municipal financial obligations would be profound.

The Wisconsin Republican governor, arguing that he was elected in order to make the tough decisions needed by the times, successfully pushed this change in the law. Walker consistently said that both the state and its local governments needed it in order for them to balance their budgets. Without it, large numbers of public employees would have to be laid off, and/or taxes would be increased.

The new Wisconsin law effectively reduces the power of some public-sector labour unions. It limits future public employee pay raises to the inflation rate, requires public-sector unions to hold annual certification votes, and no longer allows those unions to collect their union dues directly from their member’s pay cheques. The revised law also requires public employees to make greater contributions to their pension and medical plans.

For decades now, public-sector labour unions have been the fastest growing part of the organized labour movement in North America. These unions have secured for their members high wages and pension benefits that are often far more generous than those accessible to the average joe in the private sector.

When the North American economy was significantly growing in girth by leaps and bounds such generosity to its public employees seemed affordable. But since the economic shock of 2008 and the accompanying severe decline in tax receipts, it has become inevitable that an obese public sector would have to start dieting for the long-term good of their communities.

While the Wisconsin legislators were bravely running the gauntlet of protesting, high-fat demanding, cheese-heads in their quest to skim the state’s milk, I was sitting in a non-descript Nanaimo high school meeting room listening to our local school district’s parent advisory council discuss the cuts that will have to be made in the district’s budget.

In Nanaimo, we don’t even have low-fat dairy creamer for DPAC representatives’ tea or coffee—just that phony white plastic-fat powder. Should we recommend that the school district charge parents for the privilege of allowing their kids to take the school buses? Maybe we should advocate charging teachers for their parking spaces in the school lots? Cuts to programs? Close schools? Two weeks for spring vacation instead of one? Even if we suggested selecting all of the above that still wouldn’t find us the necessary 3 to 4 million dollars in cuts our school district will need to make in 2011-2012 to balance our schools’ budget.

The problem is that of our $120 million annual school budget 93% is wages—most of which is negotiated by the Province of British Columbia with its educational public-sector unions and is untouchable. That leaves roughly 7% or $8.4 million to fund the district’s educational programs and to buy stuff like texts books for all students.

I pointed out at our DPAC meeting that, if our priority goal was really to educate young people, then budget cuts should come from the 93% of the budget going to public-sector employees rather than from the 7% needed to provide students with quality programming. Yet, most likely, the $3-4 million in cuts will come from this remaining 7% of the budget used for our students because this cut will cause the least amount of controversy among the arguing interested groups. But this means a devastating potential reduction of 35 to 47% in our ability, in dollar terms, to create effective and relevant educational programs for our young people!

But I’m sure when the open public meetings start on this problem next week in Nanaimo that we will have as many hard feelings and heated arguments expressed as have the people in Wisconsin.

It would seem that in our contemporary wrangling over public budget shortfalls that we could all use a reminder from the Apostle Paul about how we should approach working out what’s really in the best interest for our communities as a whole:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5 New American Standard Bible).

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The tie that binds us: a question of leadership

Canada is one of the most successful nations in the world. Why is this so?

When it comes to landmass Russia is about 1.7 times larger than Canada and has a population that is more than 4.1 times larger than Canada’s. Only 4.57% of Canada’s land is arable or suited for growing food.  In comparison 7.17% of mother Russia is fertile land. So Russia has an enormous advantage over Canada in both food-productive arable land, population size, and a massive landmass that is rich in exploitable mineral and hydrocarbon resources. Also, about 50.4% of Russia is covered by forests in comparison to Canada’s 26.5%.  So it would seem that Russia has a tremendous advantage over Canada and should be significantly richer.

Yet when it comes to comparing per capita income, Canada comes in 11th in the world with $29,740 while Russia only weakly registers as 82nd in the world with a relatively meager $8,920. Russian per capita income is just 30% of a Canadian! Such an economic disparity also shows up, logically, in export and GDP stats. Canada exports about $431 billion worth of stuff per year while Russia ships abroad only $335 billion.  Canada’s Gross Domestic Product weighs in at $1.25 trillion yearly while Russia’s GDP amounts to only $986 billion. The Canadian GDP is about 26% greater than Russia’s (stats courtesy of http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia).

Why such a surprising discrepancy? Among all the nations of this world, in the human development index (life expectancy, literacy, and standard of living), Canada is ranked as 5th among 178 nations while Russia lags behind in 62nd place. In the economic freedom index (rule of law and property rights) Canada is 18th amongst 156 countries surveyed whilst Russia is a pathetic 137th.  Obviously, in such a comparison to Russia, Canada is punching far above its basic national statistical weight! Why?

Why are we doing so much better than the Russians? It comes down to a question of leadership. Consider the past to understand the present, and perhaps to even see into the future.

The Russians brutally murdered their Monarch and their royal family in the early part of the 20th Century and embraced atheism as a national doctrine and Marxist-Leninism as their guide in economics. The result was a long series of brutal, paranoid dictators who oppressed the Russian people in order to control them and spent an incredible amount of their resources on a massive military infrastructure.

Canada, on the other hand, cherished its Monarchy and royal family. Canada also embraced for its theology, for the most part, Judeo-Christian religions with values that flowed from the Bible’s abiding respect for the rule of law and private property rights and a whole list of personal freedoms.

The effect of these different paths followed by Canada and Russia were consequences with very different outcomes.

Canada’s success and its foundational political institutions and documents are deeply indebted to the royal family for the solid cornerstone upon which the Canadian national enterprise has been built. The British/Canadian/Australian/New Zealand, etc. royal family has been one of the most successful political franchises the world has ever seen! Again, it has been a question of leadership.

Queen Elizabeth II, the present Queen of Canada and Canadian forces commander-in-chief, has been home with her people this week celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy, and our national birthday–Canada Day—on July 1st. Over 100,000 people enthusiastically greeted the Queen in Ottawa for this celebration.

Most Canadians of English-speaking descent are content with our present system of constitutional monarchy. However, most of the French-speaking are not so enthusiastic nor are those English-speakers infected by republicanism. For them the grass is always greener on the other side. But then we, Canadians, know that whining about the monarchy is as Canadian as complaining about the weather, eating pancakes with maple syrup or griping about having to learn to speak in school that “other” official Canadian language be it French or English.

The plain fact of history is, whether we like it or not, that Canada is what it is today–highly successful–in great part due to the role played in our national life by our monarchy.

The Scriptures have something to say about the important role of leadership in a nation’s well-being:

2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people mourn (Proverbs 29:2, 21st Century King James Version).

And…

4 The king establishes the land by justice, but he who receives bribes overthrows it (Proverbs 29:4, NKJV).

Again…

14 A king who judges the poor with fairness—his throne will be established forever.

In Canada, our very human Monarchy has been the tie that has bound us to each other and to others scattered around the world, setting an example for good, mostly. It has been the tie that has sustained us through thick and thin and we should show respect to our Queen and those who govern in her name. As the Apostle Paul admonished Christians:

1LET EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment…. 7Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due. (Romans 13:1 and 7, Amplified Version).

So on the Canada day weekend, let us remember to show respect  and honor to those whose mostly good examples have allowed us to enjoy living in such a wonderful country.

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When stepping on someone’s toes results in murder

On a pleasant late July evening in Victoria, B.C. two years ago, 16-year-old Mark Arrieta pulled out a handgun at the strident urging of his 22-year-old “friend,” Somphanvanh Chanthabouala, and shot at point-blank range three other young people, seriously injuring two while killing 20-year-old University of Victoria student Philbert Truong.  The shooting was the result of Chanthabouala feeling “disrespected” earlier in the evening at the Red Jacket nightclub by one of Philbert Truong’s friends, Thuan Le. A witness later said that Le’s disrespect was inadvertent, but literal. He stepped on Chanthabouala’s toes that evening at the crowded nightclub.

Quickly arrested after the shootings, Arrieta and Chanthabouala passed their time in the police station’s interrogation room by composing, singing, and dancing (in handcuffs?) a rap song that glorified another recent shooting in the news—that of a Victoria policeman.   Later, the judge presiding at the trials of Arrieta and Chanthabouala watched the CCTV footage of the accused performing their rap song that night and was struck by Arrieta’s and Chanthabouala’s nonchalant attitude towards violence that exhibited a “disturbing callousness.”

Most criminals hide their inner thoughts and feelings from the authorities. But Arrieta exposed his inner state by writing a bit of doggerel that was discovered during a routine search of his cell. He composed it while awaiting trial:

I ain’t got a heart bitch, I got an ice box…Packing for that action bitch u better know I got mine, Any type of situation, I ain’t got no hesitation, Imma real g [I’m a real gangsta] don’t compare me to an imitation.

A callous disregard for another human being’s life doesn’t happen all at once. After all, we aren’t born with a full slate of anger and hate. It takes time to build up a nonchalant attitude towards violence. In grade 4 Mark Arrieta was suspended for starting a small fire. The grade 5 teacher described in her reports that the 10-year-old version of Mark Arrieta whom she taught was disruptive, angry, and disrespectful. Before moving to Victoria from Toronto the troubled youth was involved in an estimated 20 to 30 fights. In grade 8 Arrieta was suspended for hitting a teacher and for bringing a knife to school.

Going from bad to worse in grade 9, Mark Arrieta rarely came to school and reportedly smoked pot every day. Arrieta’s last suspension from school in April 2008 was due to the now well-established pattern of fighting with other students and threatening a teacher. This last suspension from school came only five months before Mark Arrieta murdered Philbert Truong.

Like a missile veering off course, destruction was the inevitable outcome of this angry trajectory. Sadly, both Arrieta’s parents and the school system proved unable to effect a course change.

While awaiting trial, Mark Arrieta told the detention centre’s chaplain that his principle motivation in life had been to escape what he described as the “poverty” of his youth. He resented the fact that his hardworking immigrant parents couldn’t afford to buy him the luxuries he wanted. When other elementary students had something he wanted he became jealous of the material possessions belonging to others. He wanted money to buy the objects he desired.  After his last suspension, Arrieta moved out of his parents’ home, and into the alluring embrace of a “dial-a-dope” drug ring led by Chanthabouala.  Dealing drugs provide Mark Arrieta with lots of money and a like-minded social circle that shared his twisted materialistic values and his nonchalant attitude toward violence.

A long time ago the Apostle Paul warned future readers about what happens when a society turns it’s back on the God of the Bible and His teachings.

For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good (2 Timothy 3:2-4 Amplified Bible).

Even on a purely materialistic level of understanding we know that you are, indeed, what you eat. A nation that readily promotes and eats fast-food becomes swollen, fat, obese—in a word, physically unhealthy. This is simple, observable, provable cause and effect. So, why is it that we can’t see that when it comes to feeding the mind “garbage in does indeed equal garbage out”?

Our society overflows with images promoting endless mountains of “stuff” to sell us. It “entertains” us with images of every sort of violent act on our illuminated screens. Why our society even entices us to waste countless hours of our very short lives in this violence-rich entertainment milieux via interactive computer/virtual reality games. Billions and billions of dollars are being made in this greedy exploitation of the gospel of selfishness, materialism, and violence.  The whole world (mostly) has embraced these destructive values. Why should we be surprised when a young convert to selfishness, materialism, and violence goes overboard in youthful exuberance and acts out the images in his head?

Chapter 23 of the book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the case of Mark Arrieta. If the people and institutions that had influence on this young man’s life had considered and acted to furnish this young man’s mind with the wisdom presented there, then Mark Arrieta’s life would have turned out differently. For, paraphrasing Proverbs 23:7, as a young man thinks in his heart so he will be.

What we think about and celebrate is of critical importance in determining who we are and what will be our future. Simply put, a good future will come to those who think about good things. But a bad future will come to those who think about bad things. The moral logic of the universe is clear. As the Apostle Paul concluded:

8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies (Philippians 4:8-9, Message translation).

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Catholic doctrinal error propagates child abuse scandals!

During the recently completed Easter/Passover season there were a great number of headlines in the various media sources I was following about the latest episode of the Roman Catholic Church and the illicit appetites of its clergy for pedophilia. This time around the scandal of Catholic priests sexually abusing children was stunning Europe.  The media has been talking about incidents in Ireland and Germany where, it seems, some are questioning whether the current pope was actually involved himself in covering up some abuse cases that happened there, during the time he was in charge .

A few years ago the scandal of Roman Catholic priests having sex with children (both boys and girls) in their care was outraging the United States. To settle some of those resulting law suits the American Catholic Church paid out hundreds of millions of dollars just in compensation not to mention their legal bills. Canada also has its own memory of the repeated, widespread abuse of Canadian Catholic children, including aboriginals, by Catholic clergy and other members of Catholic religious orders.

People are disgusted, of course, with the actual wolves in sheep’s clothing who committed those acts that have profoundly hurt and even destroyed so many thousands of innocent lives. Their odious predator names will burn in infamy just as long as their deeds continue to haunt the consciences of those they personally abused as well as their victim’s families!

But most thinking people are also angry with the Roman Catholic hierarchy who habitually protected their pedophile priests while turning a deaf ear to the victims for far too long. People are also angry with Pope Benedict for being unwilling to speak or even issue the appropriate profound apologies for an organization that has caused so much suffering. And actually, today, the Associated Press posted this news story written by Gillian Flaccus:

The future Pope Benedict XVI resisted pleas to defrock a California priest with a record of sexually molesting children, citing concerns including “the good of the universal church,” according to a 1985 letter bearing his signature. The correspondence, obtained by The Associated Press, is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican’s insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog office.

When you consider this problem, these angry people are right to insist on an apology. Why? Because the root of this systemic evil of sexual perverseness by Catholic priests does indeed lie with the pope!

How so? Well, the pope and his predecessors—who loudly pretend that they are the direct lineal successors of the Apostle Peter—are directly responsible for refusing to allow their male clergy to follow the Apostle Peter’s own personal example! After all, the Scriptures plainly say that the Apostle Peter was married:

14When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matthew 8:14-15 New International Version).

Also, consider this statement by the Apostle Paul in defense of his rights to financial support when traveling as a minister of the Gospel:

5Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and brothers of the Lord and Cephas [Peter]? (1 Corinthians 9:5 New Revised Standard Version).

Next, look at what the Apostle Paul writes about the qualifications for bishops [Gk: episkopos: also elder or minister]

2Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, and apt teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way—for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church (1 Timothy 3:2-5 NRSV).

The problem with the Roman Catholic Church is that they have trusted in their human traditions that engender twisted sexual perversions among their clergy instead of relying on the purifying effect that comes from following the Scriptures first and foremost when setting doctrine and moral standards.

The Creator made man with a strong sex drive as a motivation to cause him to marry a woman and engender children. Through these intimate familial relationships a godly man could learn priceless lessons that could enable him to effectively serve in the Church, the household of the Living God. To deprive the man of this Scripturally approved outlet for his God-given sex drive is like giving a free pass to Satan to pervert the man into a pedophile. The evil fruits of unscriptural doctrine should be evident to all.

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Counter-Intuitive: lifetime employment makes financial sense

If you believe mainstream economists, we are on the path leading out of “The Great Recession.” But even if this is true, there are a whole lot of jobs in North America, millions of jobs that need to be re-created just to get back to pre-2008 levels.

Supposedly, human resources—people, moms and dads—are one of the critical elements of any corporation’s success. Just listen to this 2009 testimony from two CEOs of America’s largest companies. “We value our dedicated employees,” declared General Electric’s Jeff Immelt. “Loyal and committed employees are critical,” stated the Pfizer’s CEO Jeffrey Kindler. But one has to wonder about the sincerity of these two very well-paid  guys.

Despite such affirmations of their workers value, GE’s Jeff Immelt laid off 15,000 of his “dedicated employees” in 2009, while Pfizer’s Jeff Kindler purged thousands of the “loyal and committed” from his firm’s payroll last year.

Of course, such CEOs are merely responding to their balance sheet—and the expectations of Wall Street! Wall Street loves aggressive corporate nut cutters—I mean cost cutters! It routinely boosts the stock price of any company as a reward for firing significant numbers of employees. Why? Duh! Because shedding workers leaves more money in the pot for stockholders and bondholders. Ah, the sweet odour of capitalism.

Consequently, we’ve seen many mass layoffs during this recent “Great Recession.” In Canada alone in 2008 486,000 full-time jobs were lost. As of mid-March 2010, over  810,000 Canadian workers are within weeks of running out of Employment Insurance benefits.  And more layoffs are coming to the public service sectors as governments hit with falling tax revenues seek to reduce their budgets.

Layoffs during economic downturns are considered good, sound business practice—a necessary evil.  It seems like the intuitive if not the only thing to do. But is it?  Surprisingly there is a large American/Canadian company that has created a profitable, enduring business model that is totally counter-intuitive to the use of mass employee layoffs to get through periods of financial recession.

Consider the Lincoln Election Company based in Cleveland, Ohio (about 3,000 employees) with a wholly owned subsidiary in the Toronto area (250 workers). Sales for the world’s largest manufacturer of arc welding machinery plummeted 38% last year.  Still, at the end of the year on Dec. 12, 2009, Lincoln Electric’s CEO John Stropki announced—not a large layoff notice—but a bonus cheque for each worker that represented 37% of base pay or about $16,660!

One of this corporation’s earliest managers, James F. Lincoln, believed that avoiding employee layoffs was a sign of a successful manager. Lincoln wrote: “Managers are responsible for efficiency. Efficiency depends on human co-operation. Co-operation demands that fear of losing income be eliminated. This can only be done by guaranteed continuous employment.”

Essentially this company promises lifetime employment to its loyal, committed, and dedicated employees. Such a “no layoff” policy seems impossible to keep today. Yet Lincoln Electric Company has kept its promise for over 60 years and has paid its employees handsome annual bonuses for the last 75 years. Because of such policies Lincoln Electric Company employees trust management. And management knows their employees are willing to work hard, to be flexible, and to risk innovation. Financial compensation fairness while avoiding senior management greed is a key part of Lincoln Electric Company’s prosperous corporate DNA. And it has demonstrably produced good results for company, employees and their families, and the communities they live in.

The Apostle Paul once paraphrased a saying of his teacher Rabbi Hillel. He wrote:

My brothers, God called you to be free. But do not use your freedom as an excuse to do the things that please your sinful self [selfishness]. Serve each other with love. The whole law [concerning human relationships] is made complete in this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ If  you go on hurting each other [in workplace unfairness and strife] and tearing each other apart, be careful! You will completely destroy each other [and your prosperity] (Galatians 5:13-15 ICB version).

If this simple principle of love for neighbour was incorporated in all of our businesses and homes, how much more prosperity and happiness would our entire society experience? The good news is that in the World Tomorrow caring enterprises like Lincoln Electric will be the norm not the anomaly. But what suffering must we endure as a nation to learn  this simple lesson!

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