Tag Archives: God

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).

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/

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).

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.

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.