Tag Archives: God

True confessions from a journalist as the plain people change history

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A confession

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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What disqualifies a person from leadership? And, can they be restored?

toronto signNow that they’ve taken their lumps—what is the best medicine that could be prescribed for Rob Ford, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau?

What disqualifies a person from leadership? Can a fallen leader be restored?

It would seem this is the hot topic in Canada these days. The front pages of our two national newspapers, the National Post and the Globe & Mail, were completely taken up by a massive photo of Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford and stories about the mayor’s acknowledgement that he smoked crack cocaine while in a drunken stupor.

Of course, Rob Ford’s confession makes it obvious by his own acknowledgement that he told the public, his own family, and his closest political allies a pack of lies for a long time.

And then there is the case of the three Canadian Senators, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick duffy cartoonBrazeau, who were all suspended from the Canadian Senate for submitting falsified expense claims. As a direct consequence they have been tossed into seeming political oblivion. Their security passes, government credit cards, Blackberry phones were all immediately cut off and their personal office staff fired. The dishonesty of the three motivated the Senate to act swiftly in order to salvage something of that institution’s tattered reputation.

What disgrace! They are examples of leadership that failed the test. Sure, they disappointed many Canadians, although it must be said that there are many more people who cynically believe all politicians are corrupt, anywise, so what can you expect! Many today do take it for granted that our political wallin cartoonleaders are all crooks and liars. And, consequently, in a perverse sort of way we’re not too offended when we get what we expect. In fact I’ve heard that the popularity approval rating of Mayor Ford in the polls has risen since his dramatic confessions this week.

We all know that our leaders are subject to human frailties. But, really, is it beneficial to the wellbeing of our communities and our nation as a whole to set the bar of what we expect from our leaders so low? Do we really want our leaders “living down” to cynical expectations and so become self-fulfilling prophecies? I don’t think so.

In former times Canadians widely believed and would acknowledge that the Judeo-Christian scriptures set their expectations concerning their own personal behaviour as well as for those in leadership positions. That’s why the city of Toronto was formerly known as “Toronto the good” in years now long past. The bar of the public’s expectations concerning personal conduct was then set much higher.

rob ford foreheadIt is true that according to the teachings of the Bible, God DOES expect A LOT from both the leaders AND the led—from all those who pay Him lip service. Didn’t Rob Ford invoke God’s blessing on the people he’s supposed to be serving during one of his tumultuous press conferences this week?

Nevertheless, despite the blatant hypocrisy common to our secular 21st Century, many still expect senators playing cardsour leaders to carry out their service both faithfully and with dignity. Having the leader of Canada’s largest city confess before millions that he smoked crack while in a drunken stupor, while in the company of a bunch of druggies, is just plain embarrassing. We want our leaders whether in politics, sports, or business to at least put on a public veneer of a good example for our children even if we mostly do think they are all corrupt.

So, what’s the bottom line for our leaders with proven feet of clay? After falling so low, could and should Rob Ford, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau still be forgiven and restored to positions of leadership? Could they once again regain our full confidence? It all depends.

King David of ancient Israel, who was himself no stranger to some stupendous moral lapses during the course of his leadership, came to understand this issue thoroughly. He learned what good leadership requires. His dying words are still relevant. David put his epitaph this way:

The Lord’s Spirit spoke through me,
and his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke;
the Rock of Israel said to me: “Whoever rules ·fairly [justly; righteously] over people,
who rules ·with respect for God, is like the morning light at ·dawn,
like a morning without clouds.
He is like sunshine after a rain
that makes the grass ·of the earth sparkle and gleam”….

But all ·evil [worthless; godless] people [both leaders and the led] will be thrown away like thorns that cannot be held in a hand. No one can touch them
 except with a tool of iron or wood.  They will be ·thrown in [consumed by] the fire and burned where they lie (2 Samuel 23:2-4, 6-7 Expanded Version).

Such consequences are indeed far worse than mere public embarrassment and humiliation. Remember, vengeance ONLY belongs to God—something the Toronto city council and the Conservative Party of Canada would do well to remember.

So can such fallen leaders be restored? While public apologies are a good start, more is needed. A real leader like King Dave, for example, is one who learns from his or her mistakes, genuinely repents from the heart of what is morally and ethically wrong and then initiates thorough change in their personal behaviour—and so turns from black to white, death to life, political oblivion to productive leadership, spiritually speaking.  That’s how King David responded to one of the most famous moral lapses of all time when he failed to fulfill his leadership duties before God, his family and the whole nation. You can read about his “news conference,” tears and confessions in Psalm 51.

Perhaps it would be encouraging—or maybe just plain shocking—to realize that even if Rob Ford, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau had committed both murder and adultery in the course of their duties, they could be forgiven by no less than God Himself and restored to their positions of leadership—if, and only if they would humbly, totally, and sincerely acknowledge their faults, repent of them all, and then completely change their corrupt behaviour. After all, we all have had feet of clay at one time or another during the course of our years. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is life.

Biblical repentance  means not just saying you’re sorry, but effecting a complete transformation of one’s attitudes and behaviour in those areas in which one committed a sin: i.e. smoking crack cocaine, abusing alcohol, lying, cheating on one’s expenses, threatening others, etc, etc.

Much has changed in the last 3,000 years since the days of King David. But it would appear that human nature is not one of them! Consequently, godly repentance is still the best medicine for the moral and ethical sicknesses that will periodically afflict our souls and the souls of our leaders.

 

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Are you missing the lessons taught by the Sandy Hook massacre?

“When there are no words in any dictionary to describe what happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut Friday, when things happen that surely not even the cruelest imagination could comprehend [oh yeah?], it is certainly time to go back to some kind of cultural Square One and reconsider everything to which we have somehow become inured.”

Those are the words of a regular columnist who writes for our local newspaper.  He’s right! But that certainly isn’t going to be what happens, obviously.  Rather it seems American society is going to have another round in the culture wars between Democrats and Republicans over gun control. It is only politically correct to focus on the tools used in the Sandy Hook slaughter and other massacres rather than looking more deeply into why North American society is spawning these young mass murderers. The guns are not creating the mentality and willingness to do such evil. They are just the means.

If the politicians really wanted to help our society become more peaceful they might instead peel off a few layers from our dysfunctional post-modern society in order to get a little closer to our cultural Square One—to discover the truth about why things are going wrong.

For instance why not consider the omnipresent use of violence in its many forms as our “entertainment.” Media producers are practically addicted to featuring conflict and fighting, blood and gore in our movies, TV, video games and in what passes as “sports.”

Or then again, maybe our public guardian angels might find the courage to turn over a few rocks to investigate the scurrying prescription drug bugs who are pushing their wares onto truly astounding numbers of youth and adults in order to “cure” them of mental disorders like depression, hyper-activity, schizophrenia, anxiety, and much more.

These days if our witch doctors can conjure up some term to describe an undesirable mental state, then some big pharma firm will soon have a potent psycho-active drug to sell to cheaply dope up the person with the new label. This makes private and public health care providers happy because it keeps their costs down. But have you ever read the extensive list of nasty, dangerous side-effects of these drugs?  The economic-political commentator Doug Casey makes this observation about the use of these psycho-active drugs among those who have committed mass murder:

I predict that they’ll find that the 20-year-old killer, Lanza, was on Ritalin, Zoloft, Prozac, or some similar psychiatric drug. Most mass murders are proven to have been on these drugs, and the medical records are sealed for many other killers, so we can’t find out (Casey Daily Dispatch, “Doug Casey on the Fiscal Cliff,” Dec. 19, 2012, http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/doug-casey-fiscal-cliff).

But whether we’re talking about the pervasive presence of violence in entertainment, Prozac nation, or the American fetish for guns galore—these are just the outer layers of the onion. They are merely consequences. Side shows. Perhaps contributing causes, but not the deep down rotten root that led to the massacre at Sandy Hook.

But really, for the Western world, where do we find our cultural Square One? The real cause for what’s going wrong in our society? To find out we need to go back to the Bible. In the past a preacher might have said, “Blow off the dust on your Bible.” But, I dare say, that now many people no longer even have a copy of the Bible in their homes and even if they do, they don’t know—or care—what it says.

The Bible is a revelation. Which is to say, it contains divinely revealed knowledge that would otherwise be impossible for us to discover on our own. And this Bible begins with a book of beginnings called Genesis. This is our cultural Square One:

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man [and eventually, his wife, too] whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life [symbolizing spiritually discerned revelation] was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [symbolizing materially discerned understanding]. The Lord God took the man [Adam, that is to say Mr. Dust who was Adam Lanza’s namesake] and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die….” Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17 English Standard Version

The serpent [the Devil] was the shrewdest of all the wild animals [an insult] the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” [Here the Devil uses a classic red herring ploy to deceive.]

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” [This tree meant humanity was taking to itself the prerogative to determine what was “right” and what was “wrong” in their own eyes apart from God and His revelation that was then directly given to them, but which is now preserved for us in the Holy Scriptures.]

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman [Big lies are the easiest ones to swallow. A snake first covers its victim with saliva before swallowing it whole. Neither our bodies nor our souls are immortal. See Ezekiel 18 verses 4, 20, and 27. We are merely physical beings subject to eventual death, cessation of all life unless God should intervene]. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5 New Living Translation

Humanity as whole ever since has built societies based on their own material understanding, determining for themselves what is right or wrong apart from God’s revelation. The only exception being that of a man called Abraham and those relatively few of Abraham’s descendants who were illuminated by the divine revelation given to them. These individuals would become known as the “children of God” who took their inspiration from their Heavenly Father to, firstly, love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and, secondarily, to love their fellow human being, their “neighbours,” as themselves.

A society that forgets to put a love for the God of the Bible in first place among all their priorities will most certainly soon forget to prioritize a genuine love for their human neighbours as well.

Those who take to themselves the right to determine right from wrong in opposition to the revelation of God—they have as their “father” the Devil—the being that first tricked their ancestors into eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good but also of Evil. The result is our present society, which is an inseparable, delusion having aspects that are both evil and good. The Sandy Hook massacre is a prime evil result that comes from one who rejects the divine revelation about loving with all his heart the God who created him. Adam Lanza also forgot if he ever knew that he was made in the Creator’s own image and likeness with a job here on Earth: to love his little and big neighbours as himself.

Those who have eaten the wrong “fruit” just don’t and won’t get it.  They can’t get at the root of what caused the massacre at Sandy Hook and all the other mass murders going on. Jesus of Nazareth put it this way when arguing with those who insisted on rejecting divine revelation:

Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! John 8:43-45 New Living Translation

God gives us all free moral agency. From which Tree in the garden will you eat?

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Amanda, Jesus, and the bullies

One week ago an almost 16-year-old Amanda Todd committed suicide in a Vancouver, B.C. suburb and Canada has been talking about it ever since. Amanda killed herself about one month after she had posted a YouTube video detailing the torment she had received online and in person for several years from her adolescent peers.

The B.C. premier, Christie Clark, has spoken out about this. The members of the federal parliament in Ottawa have debated what should be done about bullying on the house floor. The media is full of opinion pieces, reporting, and letters to the editor about the Amanda Todd trajedy.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about this whole incident is the behaviour of far too many people who in the immediate aftermath of her suicide posted vile comments and inappropriate images on the Amanda Todd memorial Facebook page and elsewhere on social media.

How can some contemporary human beings sink so low in pursuit of the perceived gains that come from bullying others? And why didn’t Amanda’s peers step in to help her rather than pile on to hurt her over that last few years?

Social psychologist and assistant professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University Brenda Morrison asserts that the Amanda Todd suicide is just another piece of evidence making the case that Canada has “raised a generation of passive bystanders,” (Misty Harris, “Bullying backlash,” Times Colonist, Oct. 14, 2012).

Professor Mossison’s point is that if Todd’s peers in school—who now mostly say on social media that they “cared about Amanda”—if they really did care, then why didn’t they actually stand up and do something in solidarity to help the poor girl deal with the bullying? The fact is that there is a real culture of fear to be found in far too many of Canada’s schools. It is a fear of peer-to-peer bullying that inflicts its pain in cyberspace and in the real world by both words and deeds.

Far too many students in our schools treat their classmates with nastiness and cruelty. They lack heart. They lack basic spiritual understanding on how to ethically treat other humans. They lack love. If one cares about another person that means standing shoulder to shoulder with the bullied and being willing to be unpopular, too. It means being willing to pay the price to do what’s right in spite of the consequences of being pushed out of a status-craving, extreme peer-oriented, “cool” crowd.

Most of today’s school population rarely attends any sort of Christian church. They won’t even darken the doors of one of those theologically liberal churches that are obsessed with political correctness in their own peculiar striving for worldly popularity. Consequently many of today’s school-aged generation have never heard of, much less internalized, the most important biblical teachings about how you should treat other people. Prior generations knew about what is called the “golden rule.” But there are serious gaps in the spiritual, Christian knowledge of the majority of the adolescents in school these days. So why should we be surprised at the amount of bullying going on? We can hardly expect young people to act like Christians when they aren’t even superficially committed to its values like previous generations of Canadians.

In the wake of the Amanda Todd suicide I read in the newspaper one evolutionary biologist’s opinion piece stating that bullying is in actuality a “normal” human behaviour. It’s “normal” because it increases the bully’s status/dominance within a group. According to this view, people bully because it gets desired results such as more opportunity to access desirable sexual partners in a group by eliminating competition.  Bullying is seen by evolutionary biologists as a means to the “survival of the fittest.”  In its gross form this secular worldview would conclude that Amanda Todd wasn’t adequately fit to bully back in order to secure her ranking within the group. So she was cast out and couldn’t survive on her own. It just makes good evolutionary sense.

The divine narrative revealed through the Judeo-Christian Bible would agree with the biological evolutionists that bullying is indeed “normal” behaviour—but only for carnal, fleshly, sinful human beings. Such people, however “normal” they might be in the opinion of evolutionary biologists, are cut off from the life of God.

Why? Because they are naturally hostile to keeping the Holy Scriptures’ two golden rules. And just what exactly are these golden rules? The most popularly remembered and cited golden rule is the one that Jesus of Nazareth gave during his famed Sermon on the Mount:

 Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12 New Living Translation).

 

When Jesus gave that golden rule teaching it was at the beginning of his ministry. He wanted to give the public an easy to remember sound bite that neatly summarized the essential message about how to get along with other people as taught in much greater detail and length by the 39 books of the Hebrew, Old Covenant Scriptures, which are the foundational teachings of the divine narrative revealed to humanity.

Later, close to the end of his ministry, just before he was murdered by his enemies, Jesus presented a fuller version of the Bible’s executive summary in response to critics who were trying to find something to pick on in what he was teaching. It’s like today’s students turning on a teacher. They simply wanted to put Jesus down and bully him in public in order to build themselves up. They thought they could increase their own status and power within the community by bullying Jesus. But Jesus’ response shut them down because of its elegant simplicity, completeness, and accuracy in what is really important in living life in this world. Here’s the account:

 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments,” (Matthew 22:34-42 New Living Translation).

 Obviously our society does not keep the first so why should our children bother to keep the second? This idea of loving God and loving others is amplified by teachings throughout the Scriptures. But the social elite and gatekeepers of our society don’t want to hear about it. And anyone in the media who wants to present its messages is generally ostracized and pushed out of the inner circles of power. I suppose you could call it bullying.

The writer Allan Bloom in his 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind made this relevant point that applies equally to Canada’s power elite and this present generation of school children and adolescents:

I do not believe that my generation, my cousins…all of whom are M.D.s or PH.D.s have any comparable learning [to that of his grand parents spiritually rich understand of the Bible]. When they [Allan Bloom’s peers] talk about heaven and earth, the relations between men and women, parents and children, the human condition, I hear nothing but clichés, superficialities, the material of satire. I am not saying anything so trite as that life is fuller when people have myths to live by. I mean rather that a life based on the Book is closer to the truth, that it provides the materials for deeper research in and access to the real nature of things. Without the great revelations, epics, and philosophies as part of our natural vision, there is nothing to see out there, and eventually little left inside. The Bible is not the only means to furnish a mind, but without a book of similar gravity, read with the gravity of the potential believer, it will remain unfurnished.

Bullying will stop when we all truly come to believe that God is love and that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

[Comment for those who are interested: the New Testament Greek word for “Law” is Nomos while the Old Testament Hebrew word for “Law” is Torah. Neither Nomos nor Torah refer only to explicit, codified laws, but to ALL of the normal rules and forms people take for granted in day to day activities. The Torah or Nomos is that complete way of life that one lives in covenant with God. The “Law” Jesus was talking about in Matthew 22 is merely the complete divine lifestyle that produces love, peace of mind, and liberty from the consequences of sinful human behaviour. And this “Law” is taught throughout the Bible by explicit statements, case examples, prophetic allegories, and even by poetry.]

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America’s Midwest cursed with drought; B.C. overly blessed with water

I recently returned from a visit to my dad who lives in the irrigated farming area of southern Idaho’s Snake River Valley.  After leaving a very green and lush British Columbia, once I drove south into Washington State and then over the pass through the coastal Cascade mountain range immediately east of Seattle, the dominant impression is one of a heat-blasted, parched-brown countryside. As we drove through northeastern Oregon the temperatures soared to 43 degrees Celsius, which translates into 110 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot! I got a good tan without even trying due to the blazing sun.

My son, Jeremiah, who accompanied me to Idaho, then caught a flight to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was volunteering as a youth camp counselor and photographer. While visiting  America’s Midwestern heartland of grain production (more than 75 per cent of the corn and soybeans grow there), my son experienced more roasting temperatures along with high humidity—up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit! Only a snake could like such hellish weather. It was so hot that the teenage campers participating in my son’s “adventure” races were only allowed to walk from hydration station to hydration station lest they suffer heatstroke.

Much of the American heartland is literally baking. The implications of devastating drought in the world’s breadbasket are serious.

“We’re moving from a crisis to a horror story,” said Purdue University agronomist Tony Vyn. “I see an increasing number of fields that will produce zero grain.”

The drought scorching the U.S. Midwest is the worst since 1956, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report posted on its website on Monday. Drought is affecting 55% of the land mass in the lower 48 states (http://business.financialpost.com/2012/07/17/americas-worst-drought-since-56-threatens-world-food-supply/)

Already, prices for corn and soybeans are up more than 50 percent over the last four weeks. The coming food price sticker shock is going to affect all of us. For nations that import large amounts of grain to feed their populations, these higher prices is going to mean a good deal of personal hardship and national political instability.

Is all this heat and blasting mere coincidence? Just part of the normal weather cycle?

Meanwhile, here in British Columbia, our water reservoirs are critically full due to big melting snowpacks in the mountains and torrential rains in June and July. For the first time in 50 years, all of B.C.’s major dams are having to spill water in increasing amounts just to keep the dams from breaking. Dam managers have never seen anything like what’s happening this year at B.C.’s water reservoirs.

How strange. Here in B.C. we have a super-abundance of water, while just south of us the American heartland is bone dry. It sounds like some sort of ironic biblical curse. We have way too much but the Yanks have way too little. All the water that should have gone to America’s grain-growing Midwest has been dumped on us Pacific Canadians. What gives?

Actually, the Bible’s God, whom the Old Covenant scriptures referred to as YHVH (see Exodus 3:14-15, that is to say I am the One who was, is, and will be) and the New Covenant scriptures identified as Jesus Christ (see John 8:58), did promise to mess up the normal weather if those who claim to be His people fail to live according to His revealed way of life and belief. Americans, after all, make their boast even on their money “In God We Trust.” But do they really? Is the Bible’s God sufficiently fed up with North American hypocrisy to take action to punish us? Consider this prophecy:

“But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

“The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.

 And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed (Deuteronomy 28:15-20, 23-24).

Americans have long proudly exclaimed, “God bless America.” And for the longest time it seemed so. But what happens when a nation’s leaders and its people no longer believe in living so as to receive a blessing but rather stubbornly and rebelliously live in such a way that earns a curse instead? If God can bless can’t He also curse? Is a drought and soaring food prices a blessing or a curse? What do you think?

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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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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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Censoring God out of our culture

Today many in the Western world are uncomfortable or even hostile when it comes to any mention of God’s name in any way but as an angry curse or as a mindless exclamatory expression (OMG). The latest example of this comes from Canada.

As part of the preparations for an end of year student concert at an elementary school near Sorel-Tracy, Que., a town near Montreal, the music teacher was planning on having his students sing the classic “Hymne à l’amour,” (Ode to Love), which was first performed by the late iconic French singer Edith Piaf in 1949. But the Saint-Gabriel-Lalemant School teacher decided to censor the last line of the song, “God reunites those who love” because he didn’t want to answer any questions the students might have about God. The local school board say the censorship was the personal decision of the teacher and was not ordered by the school or district policy.

What an offensive, politically incorrect idea that God will reunite those who love! How far has our culture degenerated that we can no longer bear to have the children sing about the author of love? As the apostle John taught:

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8 New King James Version).

Our society seems extraordinarily eager to promote media themes talking about sexual lust, selfishness, violence, and such like. But to recall God’s loving kindness has become controversial among elementary school teachers? We are heading for big, big trouble. What a people sows, they will also reap.

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Ignoring the Big Bad Wolf? Take warning from reliable sources!


This evening I listened to the 6 p.m. news on CBC’s Radio 1 to catch up on the latest. The lead story was about the Executive Director of Scouts Canada resigning after less than a year in her new job. Next, there was a story about women and mammograms, or perhaps more accurately, when women shouldn’t get mammograms, as they have been over prescribed.

And then, there was a report about how the U.S.’s congressional super committee composed of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats failed to agree on how to begin to cut the U.S.A.’s trillion-dollar budget deficit. Presently, for every dollar the U.S. federal government spends, it must borrow 36 cents. That means 36 percent of its budget must be financed by borrowing the money from the financial markets!

But, is it really news that the political situation in the U.S.A. is deadlocked and the nation divided. Most Americans know something about their unsustainable budget fiasco. They also know they are lacking the sound leadership to do something about their predicament, so their confidence in their elected representatives in Congress is at an all time low.

But it was the last part of this particular CBC news story that caught my attention. To conclude the reporting on the American impasse, the CBC cut away for a comment on the super committee’s failure by Christine Lagarde, who is the head of the International Monetary Fund. She remarked somewhat cryptically that this American bad news is especially ill-timed considering the extremely delicate situation in Europe.

Really, CBC ignored the biggest news story in the world at this moment that should have been last night’s lead. This story is about the unraveling of the European financial system, the Euro, and possibly the European Union itself, and how this is going to profoundly affect the lives of all of us living here in North America and everywhere else in the world.

Do you remember that it was the financial crisis of the 1930s that lead to the rise of the Nazis in Germany, the fascists in Spain and Italy, the militarists in Japan, and the isolationists and appeasers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France? The final outcome of all that economic volatility and bad or inadequate political leadership in the 1930s was the Second World War.

Craig Alexander, who is Senior Vice President & Chief Economist of the TD Bank Group (one of the major Canadian banks), sent out an unusually sober briefing on November 21, 2011, to the bank’s investing clientele, observing:

The European debt crisis is like the Energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going. Financial markets remain gripped by events in Europe; and, this is entirely appropriate. If Europe loses control of the situation the resulting government debt defaults could lead to European bank failures that could, in turn, create a global financial crisis akin – if not worse– to that in late-2008.

There have been several recent key developments. First, major European banks now face the very real possibility of failing in the near future. As Porter Stansberry wrote in the S&A Digest last Friday:

Most of Europe’s major banks are insolvent. But only in the last week have they lost most of their access to additional funding. Their key source of funding has been U.S. money-market funds. But these funds are bailing out of Europe as quickly as they can. The result is a run on Europe’s banks. This crisis is now past the point where the authorities can hope to control the situation. We are now days (not weeks or months) away from the first major bank failures.

The United State’s renowned investment “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffet, while traveling in Japan on November 21, commented about the Euro zone crisis stating:

The system as presently designed has revealed a major flaw. And that flaw won’t be corrected just by words. Europe will either have to come closer together or there will have to be some other rearrangement because this system is not working.

The bottom line for Mr. Buffet is that the survival of the European Union (EU) itself is “in doubt now.” Buffet is following the European situation closely because he has more the U.S.$2 billion invested in Munich Re, a German re-insurance company.

Even that old staid Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, —where I once had a bank account during my 1970s student days in Switzerland—believes that the Euro sovereign debt crisis is now so bad that it will require a dramatic, massive intervention by the European Central Bank to cover the losses:

We seem to have entered the last days of the Euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the Euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks.

Something dramatic is going to happen—soon—that is going to reshuffle the world’s geo-political-financial deck of cards in order to save Europe’s house of cards. Some astute financial commentators are expecting that we will see the most massive government intervention in history to the tune of trillions in order to adequately monetize the bad European debt. This is going to mean big time inflation.

As Mr. Alexander wrote in his investment news update:

The recent developments leave the end game for Europe still unclear. A default by Greece is inevitable, but that is old news now. The worry last month was about contagion, and the risks on this front have clearly intensified. European leadership still appears to be lacking. Despite announcements of new plans to address the crisis in mid-July and late-October, implementation of those policies has not occurred. Progress needs to be made urgently…. It seems the final outcome in Europe will be some form of a fiscal union and the launch of Eurobonds—but this will not happen soon. If the political system cannot deliver this end game and conditions start to spiral out of control, the ECB will step in and act as lender of last resort. This would arrest the financial crisis but also create a new set of economic and financial problems. We’ve gone from a world of banks too big to fail, to a world of countries too big to fail. The implication is that three of the top financial themes will be volatility, volatility, and more volatility.

A series of soon-coming events are going to affect your life and my life—and not for the good! Just think. Over the last few weeks the German Chancellor and the French President forced the democratically elected prime ministers of Greece and Italy to step down and to be replaced with unelected European Union bureaucrats, whose self-interest and obligations for their position rest with the EU rather than the people they are now governing.

There’s a lot I could say about how what is presently going on in this world is leading to a dramatic fulfillment of biblical prophecy. How Germany is using and will continue to use its pre-eminent financial position to achieve what it could not gain in Europe by force of arms both 72 and 97 years ago. Wealth is power in 2011. Watch out!

The spiritual bottom line to our current financial crisis, really, is that neither the 99.9% of this world’s elite nor the average person in the street really believes in using the teachings and instructions written in Bible as a basis for organizing our financial and social systems. Why? Because they don’t really believe that the God of the Judeo-Christian scriptures actually exists or that He has the authority to instruct us on what should be done. So, we ignore the cornerstones of the biblical economic system with its periodic secured and unsecured debt forgiveness and mortgage write-downs, real property asset re-allocations (see Deuteronomy 15:1-11 and Leviticus 25:9-18), as well as the responsibility to establish sound money based on a combined gold/silver standard (Ezekiel 45:10-12).

These elements of the divine economy would have prevented the perfect financial storm fueled by debt, fiat paper money, greed, and fraud that is soon to hit this world. We have ignored God at our peril and will pay the consequences. Nevertheless, our merciful God is not out of the picture and He does have a plan to pick up the pieces after humanity will have proven itself incapable of organizing a financial and political system that is just, equitable, fair, and just plain works without regularly throwing the entire world into a state of economic volatility with its recessions/depressions and sometimes war. As the prophet said so long ago:

Remember this, you sinners; consider what I have done. Remember what happened long ago; acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me. From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. I said that my plans would never fail, that I would do everything I intended to do (Isaiah 46:8-10 Good News Translation).

This is better news than anything you will hear, see, or read about over the next few years.

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An inconvenient truth about the origin of AIDS

Presently making the media rounds, Dr. Jacques Pepin’s newly published book entitled, The Origin of AIDS, tackles the question of how one of the modern world’s deadliest disease plagues took root and spread.

Having already killed approximately 32 million mostly young people with about another 30 million or so currently infected with the eventually fatal HIV virus that causes AIDS—no one seriously questions the importance of understanding how this disease originated. After all, if humanity could avoid spawning similar epidemics in the future, it certainly would spare us untold suffering and sadness. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/health/18aids.html?pagewanted=all

But the problem in identifying the origins of the AIDS epidemic has been that, apparently, whether directly or merely indirectly implicated, it is the medical establishment’s professionals and related healthcare agencies/businesses that are guilty of playing a key role in creating this plague of death!

So you can understand why the medical establishment is more than a little touchy about publicly acknowledging its role in facilitating, presumably unknowingly, such a horrendous disease. Nevertheless, the truth has a way of becoming known despite the usual cover-ups, obfuscations, and denials issued by those who have something to hide.

Dr. Pepin’s book seems to be getting a relatively warm though cautious acceptance by the mainstream media and medical establishment because it only indirectly points the bloody finger of guilt and responsibility at the doctors and their medical bedfellows.

An earlier exposé on the origins of AIDS by a 1999 book called The River: A journey back to the source of HIV and AIDS, which was written by investigative journalist Edward Hooper, was vigorously maligned by the medical establishment because Hooper argued that the HIV virus was inadvertently spread to about one million Africans living in the Congo by an experimental polio vaccine. This vaccine, experimentally developed in the United States in the 1950s by Dr. Hilary Koprowski was said to have been manufactured in what was then the Belgian Congo using as substrates (growing medium) virus-contaminated chimpanzee kidney cells.  See http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/origins-aids/

Well, whether one believes Dr. Jacques Pepin and/or Edward Hooper, it seems highly probable that both an imperfect understanding of medical science and the practice of medicine itself did indeed play key roles in facilitating the AIDS death of millions. To his credit, Dr. Pepin personally admits that he unknowingly helped spread the HIV virus during his time serving in central African field hospitals by administering injections with inadequately sterilized needles.

As the Judeo-Christian Scriptures state: “When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom,” Proverbs 11:2 Holmen Christian Standard Bible.

If you didn’t already realize it, the doctors are not God! They are merely fallible mortals whose pride can lead them to make serious mistakes. You should take responsibility for your own health and seriously question and research any and all procedures, drugs, and vaccines with which the medical establishment might want to treat you.  Seriously consider the risks of that flu shot or whatever other therapy is recommended. Who knows? Maybe by taking a small dose of healthy skepticism you’ll avoid becoming a guinea pig for the medical establishment’s next plague! An ounce of prevention may well be worth much more than the latest medical “cure.”

 

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Remembering Evil’s Threat—a lesson for 9/11’s 10th anniversary

In the days leading up to the anniversary of the terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers the news media are full of stories about how our lives have changed as result of that deadly event. Make no mistake about it. Much has changed, and not for the good!

Even in Canada, which was not directly in 9/11’s crosshairs, the costs have been high. Economist David MacDonald estimates in a report published by the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute that we’ve spent an additional $92 billion on the various Canadian national security organizations. For instance, the Canadian military’s budget has practically doubled since the Al-Qaeda attack in 2001.

Now, however, Osama Bin Laden is dead. And we’ve stopped our combat role in Afghanistan. So, the Rideau Institutes wonders aloud why Canada should continue to spend this estimated extra $10 billion a year on our national security?

I guess the simple answer is… because Al-Qaeda and its ilk have never said they’re sorry for targeting and killing some of our own people who were in the Twin Towers that day as well as thousands of our neighbours who also happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Al-Qaeda and its various franchise Islamic terrorist organizations have expressed no remorse, admitted no guilt, and sought out no forgiveness from those families whose loved ones were blown to bits or burnt alive. So how can we as a people afford to just “forgive and forget” what continues to be a clear and present danger?

I suspect David MacDonald, the Rideau Institute, and other liberal “progressive” types are morally confused about when it is appropriate to forgive and forget past sins.

Alexander Pope wrote that “to err is human; to forgive, divine.” So if forgiveness is a divine character trait—and indeed it is—then we would do well to consider how and when God applies it.

There was once an ancient Middle Eastern people who deliberately sowed terror amongst their neighbours. They were sort of like Al-Qaeda today, but militarily that ancient people were far more dangerous in comparison to the modern terrorists. They were the Assyrians—renowned in antiquity for their cruel, blood-soaked terror tactics. You can still see some of what the Assyrians did in nauseating graphic detail preserved such as skinning their captives alive in a series of startling wall-carvings that formerly decorated the Assyrian king’s palace walls in Nineveh and are presently at the British Museum in London .

According to the Scriptures, the God of the Bible eventually had enough of the violent Assyrians, and sent His prophet Jonah to give them 40 days to clean up their act or face a divine “shock and awe” campaign (cf. Jonah chapter 3). Surprisingly, the Assyrian leadership listened to this denunciation of their violence and felt guilt for their actions, and took the warning by the prophet seriously. As the Scriptures noted, the Assyrians “turned from their evil way” (Jonah 3:10).

The Assyrians repented. This means they actually changed their behaviour and made an attempt to do what was right rather than what was wrong. In response to that change in attitude and behaviour, God decided to abort His plan to destroy them during that generation.

As this example demonstrates, there is a price for divine forgiveness. That price is a change in attitude and action by the guilty party. With repentance and a real effort to change one’s actions, there can be divine forgiveness for any sin including that of terrorism or any other form of murder-inducing hate.

On the other hand, the whole story of Noah, the Ark, and the Flood illustrates that God’s mercy doesn’t extend to the morally corrupt and violent who refuse to acknowledge their transgressions and who refuse to change their bad behaviour (cf. Genesis chapters 6 & 7).

Yet we have the spectacle occasionally played out in our media by some who would forgive a murderer who has expressed no remorse and made no effort to atone for his or her sin. There are far too many who fail to understand that the moral act of forgiveness is not the automatic entitlement or right of those who committed an immoral act—unless such forgiveness is earnestly asked for and sought by the offending party who committed the wrong.

Forgiving people who don’t personally atone for their sins makes the statement that, “Repentance isn’t really necessary.” Can anything be more immoral than encouraging evil by refraining from any condemnation of those who commit it?

The day after the Columbine High School massacre, a group of students announced that they forgave the killers. A short while after the Oklahoma bombing, some people put out a call to forgive Timothy McVeigh. And on September 12th, on several American campuses, college groups pleaded for forgiveness for the terrorists responsible for the horrific events of the previous day.

These weren’t just misguided gestures of compassion. They were serious sins with potentially tragic consequences. Evil unchallenged is evil condoned. To forgive and forget, as Arthur Schopenhauer so well put it, “means to throw valuable experience out the window.” And without the benefit of experience’s lessons, we are almost certain to be doomed to repeat them. http://www.aish.com/ci/s/911_Forgive_and_Forget.html

Clearly it must be understood that forgiveness is not indifference to wrongdoing or evil of all sorts whether major or minor. Forgiveness is not wishful thinking. Rather, under the correct conditions, forgiveness can be a catalyst to effect real, positive, spiritual change for the good. Forgiveness can be a means of reconciliation between the one who did wrong and the one who was wronged.

Read carefully this instruction by Jesus of Nazareth concerning when it is appropriate to extend forgiveness:

Jesus said to his followers, ‘Things that cause people to sin will happen, but how terrible for the person who causes them to happen! It would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large stone around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin. So be careful!
‘If another follower sins, warn him, and if he is sorry and stops sinning, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day and says that he is sorry each time, forgive him” (Luke 17:1-4 New Century Version).

It is sad to note that a significant percentage of the Islamic terrorist prisoners (approximately 20%) who initially supported the September 11, 2001 attack, and were later released from U.S.’s Guantanamo detention facility returned to Al-Qaeda’s ranks to fight once more. Some of these have subsequently been killed in firefights with Western soldiers in Afghanistan. They saw no need to repent and ask for forgiveness for starting the cycle of pain and suffering that began at the Twin Towers ten years ago. So the fight against evil must go on.

We must remember that the sort of forgiveness that Jesus envisioned required a desire to change and grow, a desire to live in the light rather than darkness, to embrace good and not evil. Forgiveness should only be granted upon genuine repentance. Otherwise you’re only aiding and abetting an evil-doer.

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America Declines, Fear Rises, Time to Fast!

Are you wondering what’s going on in the world as the price of gold closes in on $1800 an ounce?

Some say the stock market has not just crashed, but that it’s snapped like a rubber band. An editorial cartoonist drew a nesting vulture on the iconic Wall Street sign to depict the current feeling of gloom prevailing at America’s financial hub.

In truth, the United States and the European Union are slowly drowning in seas of sovereign debt that may be impossible to pay off except through the type of hyperinflation that will make a roll of toilet paper worth more than a wheelbarrow full of currency. Investors are scared. The dollar has already lost 25% of its purchasing power since the year 2000. What can be done?

Well, our leaders are making comforting noises to try and reassure us. The U.S. Federal Reserve just announced a pledge to keep its interest rates at practically zero until mid-2013 to help keep the world’s largest economy from sliding back into recession.

Recession? U.S. unemployment remains stubbornly above 9% while underemployment is around 16.1%. An incredible number of Americans are dependent upon food stamps and government cheques to survive. Again, what can be done? What’s happened to the leadership of the Western world?

When the Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S.’s credit rating last week, the real issue was not the gross amount of debt, though that is a serious problem. The real concern was the American government’s inability to properly take care of the nation’s business. The U.S. Senate hasn’t even been able to pass a federal budget for the last two years probably because they’re fearful of the public reaction if the facts got out. Both Democrats and Republicans alike seem to take a perverse delight in “out stooge-ing” the three stooges before the eyes of the entire world.

In their comments about why they downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating, S&P drily observed:

“More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policy making and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges. The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policy making becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed” (Times-Colonist, “We’ll be hurt by U.S. decline,”Aug. 9, 2011).

In a word, America’s democracy is broken. I doubt it can be fixed. Why? Because the nation as a whole has turned it’s back on the only One who can help them. They say on their money “In God We Trust.” But for too long their actual “god” has been their dollar! The almighty dollar they used to call it. But like any sort of idolatry, the real God of the Universe will eventually destroy all false gods. America is a nation that makes a great show of being good, but in their heart far too many are like hypocritical fallen televangelists, who have turned their backs on the Bible’s God to satisfy greed and lust.

If you want some spiritual insight into what God is actually thinking about the good, ol’ U.S.A., read the first chapter of the Prophet Isaiah and substitute Washington for Jerusalem, and America for Israel.

So what can be done? What can YOU do? You need to prepare now to be, materially speaking, as self-sufficient as you possibly can be. Spiritually speaking you really should fast and humble yourself before God and pray for your family, your people, and your nation, America. The fact that this will sound so bizarre to so many is merely a sign that it is all the more needed.

Of course, this suggestion is not my original idea. Texas governor Rick Perry issued a call for prayer and fasting to seek God’s help for the United States’ practically unsolvable problems. The governors of Kansas and Louisiana said they would join him.

As America declines and fears rise, there will be only one effective, real Helper in the coming time of trouble. But to access this Helper, there is a tool you must pick up and employ in your life. This is the spiritual tool called fasting . Why fast? Why deprive yourself of physical sustenance for a 24-hour period? Because you are going to need God’s help in the near future like you’ve never needed it before. For any human being to approach God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son requires humility, recognizing that you are but dust. Consider this scripture as to why fasting and appropriate behaviour change is a key to building a positive relationship with your Creator:

6 The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free.

7 Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.
8 Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side.

9 When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond. If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word;

10 if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon.

11 And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.

12 Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses (Isaiah 58:6-12 Good News Translation).

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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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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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Cheators only cheat themselves


Cheating made the news this week. The fact that it still shocks us (at least somewhat) is an encouraging sign for our society because it indicates that we, the people, still understand that there is something called “right” and “wrong.”

Here in British Columbia two young men recently made the top of the news with a complex, high-tech scheme to cheat a MCAT medical school entrance exam held at the University of Victoria. The cheators used a pinhole camera and a miniaturized radio transmitter/receiver to send the test questions to a remote location at which a couple of unsuspecting University of British Columbia med school students, who thought they were being recruited for a job as a med school tutor, would give the answers. The correct answers were then relayed back to the cheating MCAT test-taker.

Of course, the fact that many students cheat in university or high school is not news. These days most English instructors, habitually, conduct Google key word searches on student-submitted essays to weed out the laziest cheats.

While a cheat who is discovered in high school usually earns only a lecture and a zero grade on the cheated assignment, a university-level cheat can actually have his or her academic career terminated. However, cheating in an educational setting almost never results in criminal charges leading to jail time and/or a fine.

So it made the news when the Province of British Columbia filed criminal charges for committing a fraud over $5,000 against MCAT cheats Housman Rezazadeh-Azarfor and J. Miguel Ruben. After all, a compromised MCAT med school entrance exam can no longer be used. Creating a replacement test costs about $200,000 to $400,000. Obviously cheating is not a crime without a cost. Besides, the very idea of allowing unqualified MCAT cheats to eventually become licensed medical doctors to whom we might in the future turn to for help with some sort of disease or medical emergency still gives most of us the willies, including our police and crown prosecutors.

Yes, the fact that incidents of cheating still have the capacity to arouse public indignation means that there’s still hope for us. And that’s why I continue to write!

At the WorldTomorrow.Ca we seek to shine the light of bibilically-based ethics and morality on what goes on in our society. We seek to persuade or to reaffirm to our readers that in the long run, a happy, productive, and successful life can only be found by actively pursuing and living the truth with integrity.

So, just what is the truth? And what role should the truth play in our lives? Jesus of Nazareth said:

17Your word is the truth. So let this truth make them completely yours (John 17:17 Contemporary English Version).

Older Bible translations say that this truth “sanctifies” us or makes us “holy.” These are words most 21st Century people don’t understand. A person who is sanctified or made holy to God is one who is set apart or devoted to God’s service. Believing and living God’s truth are the essential requirements for anyone who desires a never-ending life that will be overflowing with happiness, joy, and peace of mind.

Isn’t this what true success in life is all about? Stuff and status in the present world are meaningless in the big picture of the universe’s reality. There is a great deal of irony in the fact that cheators think cheating and fraudulent behaviour will open to them the doors to life’s real success. Consider this story told by Jesus about a cheat:

1-2Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a powerful CEO who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So he called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.’
3-4″The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager. I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . . then when I’m turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.’
5″Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his CEO’s agricultural commodities company. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my boss?’
6″He replied, ‘A hundred truckloads of olive oil.’
“The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now— write fifty.’
7″To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’
“He answered, ‘A hundred train cars of wheat.’
“He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’
8-9″Now here’s a surprise: The CEO praised the cheat! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials [on God’s priorities], so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on clever cheats.”

10-13Jesus went on to make these comments:

If you’re honest in small things,
you’ll be honest in big things;
If you cheat in small things,
you’ll be a cheat in big things.
If you’re not honest in small jobs,
who will put you in charge of the store?
No worker can serve two bosses:
He’ll either hate the first and love the second
Or adore the first and despise the second.
You can’t serve both God and Selfish Materialism (Luke 16:1-13, mostly The Message translation, italicized portions by me).

Cheating, fraud, deception—sad to say—have become all too commonplace in our “progressive” society of the 21st Century. While our standards of ethical behaviour are truly and progressively degenerating, don’t you get caught up in this slide to self-destruction. Remember, cheats only cheat themselves out of what is the enduring best in life.

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Replacing brute force with the rule of law


Was the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the Navy SEALs, who were acting under the orders of President Barak Obama, justifiable? Or, as decorated WWII war veteran and sole surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg genocide trials, Benjamin B. Ferencz, asks, was it a pre-meditated illegal assassination?

Ferencz, now 92, would like our world to be more humane and secure. His hope for a better future has led him to be a strong supporter of the work being carried out by today’s International Criminal Court. Ferencz wants to see the world’s present political ethos favouring the “rule of force” replaced by “the rule of law.” Consequently, the former Nuremburg prosecutor would have greatly preferred seeing Osama Bin Laden put on trial for mass murder rather than summarily dispatched with a couple of bullets to the head. He notes:

Nuremberg taught me that creating a world of tolerance and compassion would be a long and arduous task. And I also learned that if we did not devote ourselves to developing effective world law, the same cruel mentality that made the Holocaust possible might one day destroy the entire human race. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/es/article.php?ModuleId=10007155

However, Michael Newton, a Vanderbilt University professor, argued in a CBC interview broadcast on May 12, 2011, that the killing of Bin Laden was both appropriate and justified under the International law and the customs of armed conflict, i.e. the Geneva Convention, etc. These laws of warfare hold that a party to an armed conflict can’t summarily execute prisoners of war in custody, but may kill opposing participants to the conflict in battle.

Despite their differing opinions on the best way to have dealt with the al-Qaida terrorist mastermind, neither Ferencz nor Newton have any doubt about Bin Laden having the blood of innocents on his hands.

Osama Bin Laden kept a personal journal in which he contemplated how to kill as many Americans as possible, including possible terrorist attacks against Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., according to U.S. officials…. The official described the private journal as full of planning ideas and outlines of potential operations, aspirational guidance on how to kill the maximum number of people, rather than specific proposals or plots. Ken Dilanian and Brian Bennett, Times Colonist, May 12, 2011.

Frankly, I don’t know what safeguards and legal procedures the United States security/intelligence/special ops services have to follow before they can authorize a “hit” of a major target. But from what I understand, Israel’s Mossad actually holds a clandestine trial to weigh the evidence before members of its legal department to determine guilt and sentence of specific high profile enemies. Only then, will a kill order be authorized. If I’m wrong about this, I’m willing to be corrected by someone who knows. But when it comes to hauling a 21st Century Terrorist Shadow War combatant into court to face a standard criminal trial like some garden variety of murderer, well, this war isn’t being fought on conventional battlefields by soldiers in uniform. And even in the Second World War there were plenty of spies and traitors who were quietly but fatally put to rest in dark places.

Nevertheless, the biggest problem with the Ferencz’s idea of replacing the “rule of force with the rule of law” is that there is no consensus, for instance, between the Muslim world and the Western world as to whose law should be supreme and authoritative.

For Osama Bin Laden and millions upon millions of similar-minded people only Islam’s Sharia law can be authoritative and morally righteous. For such people Western secular law is a joke with only immoral brute force to back it up. The fact is, the Islamic world looks at some of our “politically correct” social policies enshrined by our more recently enacted legislation and both the radical jihadis and the average religiously conservative Muslim can only feel disgust for such laws and the societies that pass them.

The liberal Western secular democracies and decent people like Benjamin Ferencz are going to have an ever more costly fight on their hands if they try to force the Islamic world to embrace what are seen as decadent Western legal codes as the authoritative worldwide standard of behaviour.

So who does have the right to authoritatively define what is right or wrong? Surprisingly, the ancient prophet Isaiah addressed the liberal Western secular democracies and the Islamic world about this very issue.

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil,
 that dark is light and light is dark, 
that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. 
What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes 
and think themselves so clever.
 What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine
 and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.
They take bribes to let the wicked go free,
 and they punish the innocent. Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble 
and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot 
and their flowers wither.
 For they have rejected the law of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 5:20-24 NLT).

If we want to have a more peaceful and secure world, then we are going to have to return to the source of the true gold standard of justice as defined by the Judeo-Christian scriptures. Justice, one true justice for all humans and nations will eventually come to administered throughout the whole earth in the World Tomorrow. It will come neither through the International Criminal Court at the Hague, nor by Islam’s Sharia, nor by the brute force of the liberal Western secular democracies! But come it will by divine providence!

In the future, the mountain with the LORD’s temple
will be the highest of all. It will reach above the hills;
every nation will rush to it. Many people will come and say,
“Let’s go to the mountain of the LORD God of Jacob and worship in his temple.”
The LORD will teach us his Law from Jerusalem, and we will obey him.
He will settle arguments between nations. They will pound their swords and their spears into rakes and shovels; they will never make war
or attack one another (Isaiah 2:2-4 Contemporary English Version).

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What’s your life worth?

This morning on the one-year anniversary of the world’s worst oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I was listing to a CBC Radio 1 interview with Kenneth Fineberg, who is also known as the “pay czar” for British Petroleum’s US$20 billion compensation fund for those hurt by that environmental disaster. Fineberg, a legal specialist in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, was previously the Special Master of the U.S. government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund a decade ago and wrote a book about his experience called “What is Life Worth?: The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11.”

So, how does Mr. Fineberg place a value on a human life? Well, it’s all fairly cut and dried being mostly numbers and statistics: A) Determine how much the person was making at the time of his or her death B) Estimate how many more years could that person reasonably have been expected to continue earning such money. C) Multiply A x B + something for “pain and suffering,” and voilà, you get a sum printed off on a compensation cheque.

Of course, the party or parties who suffered the loss of their loved one can always sue and try to make the case for a higher figure. But you’re going to have to convince the judge and the jury, dollar-wise. For most people, the high legal costs for such a run through the “justice” system makes accepting the pay czar’s formula fixing the life-value of their loved one the only rational choice—even if the final figure seems low and cold.

So, have you ever stopped to figure out what YOUR life is worth? Or, maybe even, what is all human life on this entire planet worth? To most people the logical answer would have to be: “utterly priceless” or “more than the total sum of all the money and things of value in the world.” I mean, how else could you figure such enormous present and potential value?

Actually, someone once working in a capacity like a “pay czar” did put a value on all humanity’s redemptive value in monetary terms. The amount was equal to what it would cost to hire the average, full-time workingman for 120 days. In 2007 U.S. dollars this would be $22,560 in Canada or about $31,680 in the United States or $26,688 in Germany or only $16,992 in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. That was the value of 30 pieces of silver in A.D. 30.

When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2 And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”
5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me” (Matthew 27:1-10 New King James Version).

The value of Jesus’ life to his Father was priceless. But for the lawyers and compensation specialists of 2,000 years ago, 30 pieces of silver was enough. So, what is YOUR life worth?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

So don’t place a low value on your life. You are worth more than any lawyer or accountant could imagine. As the Apostle Peter said,

You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19-19 NKJV).

If you would like to hear more about your worth to God and the value of human life check out my messages “Preparing for the Passover” and “Spirit of Service” posted on http://cogwebcast.com/

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Evil deserves Justice


How do we, as a society, effectively respond to evil? This week the B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Johnston sentenced Kruse Hendrik Wellwood, 17, and Cameron Alexander Moffat, 18, to life in prison with no possibility for parole for 10 years. They were convicted by a large amount of grisly evidence and by the testimony of their own mouths.

What was the crime Wellwood and Moffat committed? Judge Johnston said,
“It goes without saying first-degree murder with intent to kill is the most serious of offences. The circumstances of this murder as admitted by the young persons are so horrific that no words can adequately convey the inhumane cruelty these young men show Miss [Kimberly] Proctor. They planned in advance to sexually assault and kill Miss Proctor. They chose her because they thought she would be an easy target, not necessarily because either of them had any ill will towards her.”

After sentencing, outside the courtroom, Fred Proctor, the father of Kimberly Proctor, said of Wellwood and Moffat, “To me they’re just monsters and monsters are not rehabilitatable.” Mr. Proctor disputed the appropriateness of the judge’s sentence arguing that the murderers deserved the death penalty for their actions.

Wellwood and Moffat lured Kimberly Proctor to Wellwood’s home in a Victoria, B.C., suburb where they bound and gagged her, raped her, beat her to the point of breaking bones, strangled her, mutilated her body with a knife, performed necrophilia, put her body in the freezer and then dumped her body in a lonely public park, setting fire to the remains in an effort to destroy any evidence. Victoria’s Times-Colonist, April 5, 2011, reported:

“Psychiatric and psychological reports on the teens—who were 16 and 17 at the time of the murder—show they are at a high risk to re-offend violently and sexually. The reports also show there is little chance they can be rehabilitated.”

These two young men admitted deriving an overwhelming adrenalin rush from inflicting pain, suffering, and death on another human being. They exhibited a complete lack of conscience, empathy, and heart. Doing evil gave them pleasure. In fact, their blood lust was driving them to repeat their monstrous offense. When police finally caught up with them, the sadistic teen murderers had already identified their next victim.

So, ten years from now, should Wellwood and Moffat get their parole and be released at ages 27 and 28, respectively, would you like them living next to you? Talking to your daughter or granddaughter? That’s what our present legal system is planning. Is this justice? Or is this a perversion, a mockery of genuine justice?

What is the just thing to do with our “Wormwood and Malediction?” Well, if our society had not turned its back on the God of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures we would know exactly what to do with these monsters. We would know which laws should to be enacted and enforced to effectively produce a society of increasing peacefulness rather than the one Kimberly Proctor found herself living in.

But, of course, these days our mainstream media, as a general rule, mocks the Creator God and ignores His teachings. Our media’s gatekeepers shutout and marginalize as eccentrics and troglodites those social conservatives who would point us back to humanity’s original instruction book as the source for understanding the nature of justice and its administration.

But instead we see a secular society that is increasingly clueless about how to effectively “weed and feed” the ordinary garden variety type of human dandelions much less how to actually cut off by the roots the noxious giant hogweed sort of evil among us. Consequently what we see is a society where the value of human life is on sale and getting cheaper by the day as we degenerate.

You and I are stuck with a practically unaffordable big government legal system that spawns systemic injustices of all sorts leading inevitably to crowded, revolving door Club Feds from which people like Wormwood and Malediction walk out scot free after a few years of being fed, housed, and supervised at great public expense.

How long will this go on? I would guess until we learn our lessons.

The first lesson is that any society that cuts itself off from its Creator eventually becomes corrupt, filled with violence, brutal, and cruel, engendering many  individuals who lack natural human affection (cf. Genesis 6:11 & 2 Timothy 3:1-4).

The second lesson is that the “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7 New Living Translation).

Now when it comes to properly rewarding murderers, the Creator has something to say to those charged with administering justice:

And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image (Genesis 9:5-6 NLT).

As a society, we have a God-given responsibility to administer justice to cold-blooded murderers by executing them. This is the instruction of the Creator God who made man and woman in His image and breathed into them the breath of life. The consequences to our society for its failure to atone for the shedding of innocent blood by executing convicted murderers is to bring some measure of blood guilt upon our entire community (cf. Deuteronomy 19:13 and 21:8-9). As a direct result of our lack of motivation to see justice done as prescribed by the God of Justice, it will not go well with our communities. As it was written so long ago,

Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 16:20 English Standard Version).

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When the Land of the Rising Sun coveted the Sun’s power

They’re called the Fukushima Fifty. This is a relatively small group of lower to mid-level managers, technicians, firemen, and electrical workers who are struggling to stop a nuclear disaster at the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant. The Fukushima Fifty were left holding the bag for the political and economic elites who made the decision in the first place to use nuclear power to generate electricity.

However, the designation “Fukushima Fifty” is actually something of a misnomer. In reality there are about 200 men divided into four shifts of 50 who are actually engaged in the round-the-clock struggle to restore human control over four of the six damaged nuclear reactors as well as to re-establish safe storage for a vast quantity of spent reactor cores that are stored at the power plant.

Reliable information is sketchy. But already some of the original Fukushima Fifty, maybe five, have died. Another dozen or so have sustained injuries and have been replaced. Those still desperately trying to fix the Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant realize, however, that they are merely dead men walking due to the enormous quantities of radiation that their bodies are receiving. But in their quiet Japanese stoicism, the Fukushima Fifty carry on. Their duty is clear. Spare their nation and the rest of the world from the worst of the possible consequences of our collective human misjudgement, or die trying.

The self-sacrificing courage of the Fukushima Fifty is worthy of praise. These are brave men. They are heroes. Yet, the ability of some humans to muster great courage in the face of terrible danger is not the issue.

What lead us to believe in the first place: “We can control the Sun’s power of nuclear reaction. We can become rich from the energy that comes by splitting the building blocks of the universe! Indeed, aren’t we Homo sapiens, wise men? If we can think it, we can most certainly do it!” The real issue of our time is our human pride. Far too many of us think we can take to ourselves the prerogatives of God without reaping the awful, horrendous consequences that come from such arrogance.

Still, for some time now people in a variety of nations have argued against the wisdom of employing nuclear energy to fuel our economic growth and comfortable lifestyles. But these voices of caution have been largely ignored and a massive new construction program for greatly enlarging nuclear power generation is being planned in many nations.

Yet for the Land of the Rising Sun in particular, their embrace of nuclear energy to generate massive quantities of electricity was always a bargain with the Devil. They should have known better. After all, they had first experienced the pointy edge of the Sun’s nuclear power at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. And haven’t the Japanese always known that their homeland composed of islands on the Pacific Rim is a veritable supermarket of natural disasters?

Nevertheless, the Japanese like the Americans, Canadians, Brits, Russians, French, Germans, Indians, Chinese, Iranians, and all the rest have thought they could safely control this power of the Sun.

Humanity has long been disposed to thinking that we can be our own gods and decide for ourselves what is good or evil rather than accept divine revelation as our guide to morality as well as to economics.

“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life also was in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…. And the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it [guard it, i.e. protect it from despoliation or contamination so that it would continue to be life-supporting]. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree in the garden. But you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:7-9, 15-17).

From the time of our earliest ancestors we have resisted the instructions given to us by the Creator God of the Universe. The land surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant probably cannot be safely inhabited for 10,000 years after the nuclear meltdown of 1986. While the human death count from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster varies widely according to different analyses (4,000 to 200,000 cancer deaths), the question remains how can the use of nuclear power be reconciled with the divine command to “dress and keep ” our life-sustaining earthly garden of Eden?

And what will be the toll in Japan? How much of Japan will become uninhabitable due to the contamination of nuclear radiation? How many people will die of cancers? The price for presumptuously taking to ourselves the prerogatives of God will be increasingly costly not only in Japan, but throughout the world.

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Losing our way

Are we in the Western democracies, especially in Canada and the United States in danger of completely losing our way? Have we wandered onto a slippery downhill slope endangering everyone and everything we cherish? We are talking about our basic moral consensus that has underpinned our nation since its founding.

In British Columbia, our Supreme Court has started hearing a landmark case to determine whether the federal law barring multiple partner marriages is in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Crown wants upheld the present law against allowing plural marriages, and contends that polygamy is inherently harmful to women and children. But it is far from certain that the court will retain the existing law because of Pierre Trudeau’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Will Canada become a new Mecca for polygamous Muslims and Mormans?

After all, when it comes to sex and coupling just about anything seems to go as far as the courts and some of our politicians are concerned. We’ve mostly adopted as our baseline ethical and legal standard the old 1960s hippy motto of “Do Your Own Thing.”

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/12/03/chris-selley-ignatieff’s-silent-on-polygamy-prostitution-but-not-human-smuggling/

A little earlier this fall in Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court struck down three federal prostitution laws that prohibited individuals from running a bawdy house, communicating for the purpose of prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution. The court said those laws “force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and the security of the person as protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”  But Diane Watts, a spokes-woman for REAL Women of Canada, argued, “Prostitution, usually of young women and men, is not a Canadian value. To remove the provisions which protect young people from being exploited is not in the best interest of Canadian families.” She also noted that Western countries that canned prostitution laws experience increased sex trafficking of vulnerable individuals. Since many of the people who get into prostitution do so because of drug addiction, wouldn’t it be better dealing with the psychological/social issues that led the person to drugs and into prostitution to pay for the drugs rather than just making it easy and legal to start up a brothel?

While the Canadian federal government is appealing this decision by a judge of the Ontario Superior Court, it is probably just a question of time before prostitution is fully legalized. It would appear that we have now definitely entered a time of fluid uncertainty with rising threats to everything we used to take for granted.

http://www.nationalpost.com/Prostitution+ruling+stayed+Ontario/3920698/story.html

One letter writer commenting to the National Post newspaper about this evolving legal/ethical situation noted:

“Who should define morality–devout Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc? All have a different view. And, logic states that the chosen ones should also determine what is acceptable in all other aspects of our lives –otherwise they would have no right to define morality for the rest of us. “

The Book of Judges is an ancient account (1422-1092 B.C.) bearing more than a few moral similarities to our era. It is unfortunate that most of our judges and politicians are unfamiliar with it:

25In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25 AMP).

What does this mean to us in the 21st Century; we who are stumbling about in the public square in confusion like the actors [better yet, screenwriters] of the popular TV series Lost? Judges 21:25 was repeated 3 times in Scripture. When something is repeated in the Bible we should pay attention. Consider this explication:

“What is the meaning of this? There was no king [or counselor] in Israel because in Israel there was no God. The Lord is King. You cannot have a [true] king [or sound political and legal leadership] if you have not a God. There was no nominal renunciation of God, no public and blatant atheism, no boastful impiety [don’t we still acknowledge the Bible’s God in our national anthem?]; there was a deadlier heresy–namely, keeping God as a sign but paying no tribute to Him as a King [that means ignoring all His teachings, statutes, and commandments], worshiping Him possibly in outward form but knowing nothing of the subduing and directing power of godliness. That is more to be dreaded than any intellectual difficulty of a theological kind… Dead consciences, prayerless prayers, mechanical formalities–these are the impediments which overturn… the chariots of progress.”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2021:24-25&version=AMP

28 People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do.29 They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred… (Romans 1:28-29 New Century Version).

Our whole nation is losing its way in the darkness and fog of moral confusion. And, what we think we have built by ourselves in our pride, we are going to lose.

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Appreciation and gratitude for Larry McNabb & Mom

Last night I attended an appreciation event attended by over 1,000 of the city of Nanaimo’s movers and shakers for long-serving city councilman, Larry McNabb. After a successful career in professional hockey–McNabb was renowned as an aggressive player–the sport hero turned to politics. For 25 years he helped build up his adopted community, Nanaimo, so that it can boast today about having some of the finest community sports facilities in Canada among other numerous civic achievements. McNabb is leaving at age 71 (he has pancreatic cancer) an infrastructure legacy that those of us living in Mid-Vancouver Island will be able to appreciate for many years.

This got me thinking about my mother. Mom is also not currently enjoying the best of health at age 87. But, I doubt that you could get 1,000 people into her local convention centre and pay $25 each to attend an evening praising her accomplishments like Larry McNabb’s. Nevertheless, I think mom’s very real accomplishments are no less significant than Larry McNabb’s—perhaps even more significant in the long run. So I thought I would share with you a letter I’m sending today to my mom.

Dear Mom,

Just wanted to drop you a line to express how much I appreciate and love you.  Why? Because you are so special in my life! Right from the start you wanted me, and you were willing to risk your life for me. Remember those straps you had to wear to hold your womb together with me inside after your appendicitis operation?

And then there is your bravery and resourcefulness to talk about. One of my earliest memories goes back to when you saved me and my brother from that burning house, the 200-year-old converted blacksmith’s shop in Amherst, New Hampshire, by bundling us up and taking us across the village green over to the retired Admiral’s house.  Then in order to save the house you managed in time to interrupt the volunteer firefighters from playing cards so they’d come over and put out the fire.

As I grew up you imparted to me a sense of appreciation for family, and a curiosity about the world around me.  Also you showed me how to bear up under adversities, the thorns on life’s rose, whether a terrible happenstance car accident, or a profoundly difficult divorce, and then a disappointing annulment.

You dared to discipline rambunctious boys. You helped me hone my sense of self-discipline and ethical consciousness. Sometimes it was by making me cut my own switch for you to use for some misbehaviour or by merely saying softly, “I’m disappointed in you.”

You appreciated my walk with God long before my father could. And it was you who modeled for me a generous and giving spirit.

With you I’ve always sensed your unconditional love for me.

In such things you taught me the most important lessons about what constitutes success in life. This world considers success as what you gain for self—fame, career, and money. But like God you showed by word and deed that true success comes from what you give and how faithfully you love.

With love, your son, Jeff.

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