Tag Archives: Jesus of Nazareth

How You, too, Can Avoid All Taxes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming Soon: Dystopia!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Philippe Legrain writes:greek debt uphill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So where do we find security in times like these?

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

(Isaiah 33:5-6 NKJV)

Want to learn more? Watch these videos.
Finding Refuge

Be a Stress Survivor

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would it stop there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Carney: financial trolls must reform—or capitalism won’t survive!

Last week Mark Carney, present governor of the Bank of England and chairman of the International Financial Stability Board (as well as a well-respected past governor of the Bank of Canada), strongly warned a conference on “Inclusive Capitalism” at the City of London—which was attended by the elite money managers in charge of one-third of the world’s investable money (about $30 trillion—yes that’s trillion not billion!) that they cannot take the continuation of the capitalist system for granted because the basic social contract has been breaking down!eroding social capital

Carney argued that capitalism in the 21st Century will only survive if it delivers on a social contract between money and the people. It’s what Carney calls an “inclusive capitalism” that provides: 1) “relative equality of outcomes,” 2) “Absolute equality of opportunity,” and 3) “Fairness across generations.”

While in his position as governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney is moving forcefully to reform the financial system by clarifying some of its technical problems, but he acknowledges the reality that no amount of government regulation could possibly save the world’s financial system from its worst problem—its own unbridled greed and self-interest. Carey noted:

“Integrity can’t be bought and it can’t be regulated!”

Carney is concerned that not enough has changed in the trading pits of the money trolls since the world financial system’s near-death experience in 2008. At that time the trolls of finance like a carney pursedbunch of alcoholics woke up after a long binge of rising markets only to suddenly discover that their sophisticated “funny money” financial instruments (derivatives & securitized debt) weren’t worth what they thought they were and couldn’t cover their losses when other risky, opaque investment bets soured. So who did cover the financial system’s losses in 2008? Well, it was you and me, the taxpayers of the Western world—NOT the financial trolls! Carney acknowledged this:

“Major banks were too big to fail operating in a privileged ‘heads-I-win-tails-you-lose’ bubble. Bankers made big sums in the [2008 investment market] run-up, they were well compensated after the hit [after the bailouts] and taxpayers picked up the tab for the failure.”

social inequalityNone of the executives of the financial institutions that suddenly lost hundreds of billions and so created the 2008 crisis were ever charged with a crime. Instead they got to keep the megabucks in salaries, commissions and bonuses that they parasitically sucked from the system. This has severely shaken the public trust in the financial sector.

Carney wants to rebuild the public’s trust in the markets integrity by eliminating the implicit privilege of those who think they are “to big to fail,” as well as eliminating the rigging of commodity, fixed income, and derivative markets and their benchmarks rates by creating an open transparency to ensure “fair and effective markets.” Carney also notes that while many banks have codes of ethics, he doubts many of the employees know what is in them; and he wants stronger consequences for violating ethical codes of conduct including “professional ostracism.”

Also to be reformed are the executive compensation schemes that delivered huge bonuses for short-term gains but that obligated a financial institution to a dangerous long-term risk.  Instead performance pay would be evaluated over a longer term and subject to being reduced. Last of the reforms that Carney is proposing is the building of a stronger sense of vocation and responsibility in finance, one with high ethical standards. Impossible?

Carney acknowledged publicly that the money trolls excesses as revealed by the 2008 downturnhand on money had a “corrosive” impact on what he called the “social fabric”—i.e the growing inequality in the Western, developed world.

Carney admonished the trolls that “finance has to be trusted”; and that they must consider toning down their overweening sense of greed and selfishness. He suggested gently to them that they ought to consider the greater good of all for a change: “There needs to be a sense of society.”

Perhaps in this regard, if Mark Carney wanted to stimulate his audience to re-consider their trollish ways, he should have reminded his audience of Jesus’ sarcastic parable of the dishonest manager.

Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’

“The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’

“So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’

“‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’

“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.

But here’s the lesson: Money gained through dishonest dealing has many friends in this age. But, when your earthly possessions are all gone and your temporary physical life fades away, will all those good-time buddies of yours be able to give you a truly eternal home? [An allusion to God’s promised gift to the righteous faithful of eternal life.]

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. [My corrected paraphrase of Luke 16:1-10]

Harrison’s Deliverance from Death

harrison okene“Entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat for three days, Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle… As the temperature dropped to freezing, Okene, dressed only in boxer shorts, recited the last psalm his wife had sent by text message, sometimes call the Prayer for Deliverance [Psalm 54]: ‘O God, by your name, save me…. The LORD sustains my life’”

How this man survived is remarkable. Everyone agrees on that. Some say that Harrison, the ship’s cook, was just incredibly lucky. But Harrison Okene himself attributes his survival not to his own quick thinking when the tugboat flipped upside down and sank, but rather to answered prayer.tugboat upside down

“I started calling on the name of God. … I started reminiscing on the verses I read before I slept. I read the Bible from Psalm 54 to 92. My wife had sent me the verses to read that night when she called me before I went to bed.”

Even in the 21st Century, the Bible’s God still answers the prayers of those who cry out to Him in faith.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble.… Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;  they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep… their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress…. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord (Psalm 107 1-2, 23-24, 26-28, 43, English Standard Version).

harrison2For Harrison Okene prayer is not just wishful thinking. It is real. Its effects can be powerful and effective. Jesus of Nazareth pointed out that the key to answered prayer is one’s trust and reliance on God. As He said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith!” (Matthew 9:29 HCSB).

You can see the YouTube video of Harrison’s rescue at and read the rest of the story about his rescue at: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/world/man-survives-3-days-at-bottom-of-atlantic-rescued-after-finding-air-pocket-in-tugboat-1.718718 [All story quotes attributable to this posting.]

Is the Pot calling the Kettle BLACK?

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment. Matthew 5:21 (ESV)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claims that there is “evidence beyond any reasonable doubt” kerry fingersthat the armed forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a nerve gas/chemical attack on certain suburbs of Damascus on August 21, killing some 1,429 people—of whom Mr. Kerry stressed there were 429 children.

Other governments and organizations, however, reduce this grim figure to about 500 or so persons, or about one-third of what the Americans estimate. But who’s arguing about miscounting the bodies? Already more than 100,000 have been killed in the Syrian Civil War and many of those who died suffered horribly. When people murder other people it is always ugly. War is all about “legally” killing the other, the “enemy.” But civil war is especially ugly because that is when neighbours murder each other.

In a civil war sacrificing one’s neighbour becomes routine. If that’s what’s needed to win a battle or gain an advantage, so be it. This is what is presently going on in Syria. There is plenty of blood on the hands of both sides.

assad deniesIt should be noted the Assad’s government vociferously denies responsibility for carrying out this chemical attack on several Damascus suburbs, and argues that it would have been totally “illogical” to have locally targeted and timed such a chemical attack to coincide with a visit to Damascus by a team of UN chemical weapons experts! If Assad’s forces actually carried out this chemical attack that would mean that they are either extraordinarily inept, clueless, or just plain crazy for looking to pick a fight with militarily superior Western powers like the United States while they already have their hands full with their own rebels who are only armed with light weapons.

This whole proposition of Assad’s culpability sounds dubious, sketchy. But I’m not trying to paint the Assad government as being virtuous. After all, they assembled these chemical/biological weapons to use on their hated neighbours to the south—Israel. If they end up using them on their own people that is dark irony.

Subsequent to this chemical attack in Damascus that visiting UN team of experts did go to the pertinent locations and collected evidence. However, they have yet to release their findings or present any convincing evidence as to what actually happened.syrian children

However the American government has already rushed to judgment relying on its own intelligence sources. Consequently President Obama is seeking the approval of the U.S. Congress—not to declare war on Syria—but merely to “degrade” and punish Syria’s military with 60 days of cruise missile and aerial bombing attacks.

Disingenuous semantics! If one nation bombs another nation for 60 days is that not an act of war? The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor for just one day, December 7, 1941, and wasn’t that enough to launch a state of war between them?

Nevertheless President Obama says that he just wants to punish Assad’s Syria for violating the pink shirtworld’s norm against using chemical weapons in war. But does the U.S. government have the moral right and a legal responsibility—without having the approval of the U.N. Security Council and without being directly threatened by the Syrian government attacks—to severely punish the Assad government side of the Syrian Civil War?

President Obama rightly cites the world’s overwhelming abhorrence of the use of chemical weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction in the conduct of a war. But is it the moral prerogative of the U.S. government to be the world’s judge, jury, and executioner for what is right or not right?

Perhaps the answer to the Obama administration’s rush to judgment is to be found more in its realpolitik than its morality. Isn’t what they really desire to accomplish is to even the playing field if not to actually tip the balance of power in the Syrian Civil War away from Assad and his supporters to that of the rebels and their supporters?

Nevertheless, the Obama’s administration is pushing for congressional support for their “degrading” Syria operation. Secretary of State Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 3:

kerry more fingerThis is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter.

Obviously the Obama administration wants to become an active participant in the slaughter going on inside Syria. According to Jesus of Nazareth, words are important. He once remarked:

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:35-37

According to Kerry, “This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter.” Yet for the last 50 years, since the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973, the American political class including the Obama administration has indeed been spectators to slaughter—willfully.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, as of 2009, there havehands dime been 48,932,474 abortions in America, primarily for the sake of personal convenience. As of this writing that figure has most certainly risen to beyond 50 million innocents! Their shed blood and cut up bodies discarded as biohazard destined for the incinerators or sold for use as the raw material source for a variety of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. America has been waging for 50 years its own bloody civil war. As a result, the most powerful nation in the world has the blood of 50 million innocents on its hands!

There is a certain amount of talk about the Syrian government being guilty of crimes against humanity for gassing about 500 children and adults. What about the American government turning a blind eye to the murder of over 50 million of its own children? What right does the pot have to call the kettle black?

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:1-3

Obama and Kerry self-righteously proclaim to see a murderous speck in Assad’s eye and want to punish him for it, as they hypocritically continue to lend their support to, or at least tolerate like passive spectators, one of the worst continuing massacre of innocents ever to take place in the history of mankind. They don’t realize that as they pursue Assad they are pronouncing judgment upon themselves.

 

A new definition for “anxiety”: re-drawing the map in the Middle East!

night protestsTurmoil in Egypt. President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim Brotherhood who was fairly elected by a majority of the electorate, is deposed from office in a coup d’état that no one wants to call a coup d’état. This unexpected over throw of the government was engineered by the Egyptian army, and about 20 million disgruntled morsiordinary Egyptians, secularists, and Coptic Christians. For the immediate future the most populous Sunni Arab nation in the Middle East will be pre-occupied by its domestic turmoil.

And then there is the on-going bloodbath in Syria that is fast devolving into a vicious, wide-ranging regional, sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.  Are you feeling a little anxious yet about what this 21st Century religious war in the Middle East could mean for us who live in the secular West?

syria father dead sonThere is a very real possibility that what started as a call for peaceful change in the tightly controlled political status quo of Syria, and then morphed into a vicious civil war conflict between Assad’s minority Alawite/Shi’ite ethnic group and the majority Sunni population of Syria, will now entangle Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey in a broader regional struggle between Shi’ites and Sunnis that could force a bloody re-drawing of the political map of the Middle East. The last time such a profound collapse in the Middle East’s equilibrium occurred was following the destruction of the Ottoman Empire at the close of World War I. At that time the British and the French drew up much of the political map of the region as we now recognize it.

Perhaps you might say, so what. Let the Arabs kill each other. Who cares? Why should I feel syria boy cryinganxious about this?

But what if the grand Shi’ite coalition involving Assad’s Alawite/Shi’ites supplied with Russian military hardware, Hezbollah Shi’ite fighters from Lebanon, Shi’ite dominated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ special forces, and Iraq’s Shi’ite militia volunteers should manage to defeat the Sunni rebels in Syria, what then? The consequences for us in the West might be completely life-altering. The potential is just that significant.

For starters, a Shi’ite victory in Syria would put enormous pressure on Saudi Arabia’s ruling Sunni monarchy. The northeastern part of Saudi Arabia near Kuwait is that country’s major oil producing region, and by coincidence it also just happens to have a majority Shi’ite population. Unrest if not outright revolt in this region could translate overnight into a doubling of the spot price of a barrel of oil in the world markets to more than $200.00! A collapse of the fat-cat Saudi monarchy would also mean the collapse of the petro-dollar arrangement between the Saudi monarchy and usdollarthe United States government and lead to the inevitable demise of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency

You see, since the Second World War, Saudi Arabia has agreed to only sell its oil for U.S. dollars. And because of Saudi Arabia’s dominant position in the world’s trade in oil, this has helped shore up the U.S. dollar’s global pre-eminent status for the last 70 years.

Without the petro-dollar staked in the heart of the world’s petroleum addicted economy, the U.S. dollar becomes just one more fiat currency issued by a bankrupt government that has a debt to G.D.P. level greater than 100% and that has to continually borrow more and more every year because it can’t balance its budget. If the Saudi monarchy and the petro-dollar collapse, you can expect that the standard of living in North America will take an enormous hit—perhaps worse than what happened in Greece. Now that’s anxiety!

What to do? Jesus of Nazareth made this recommendation that will soon be even more relevant than when he spoke it:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles [the nations] seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34 English Standard Version

For a long time now, the god we’ve been trusting has been the U.S. dollar. But this false god won’t help you much in the soon-coming future. Don’t you think it’s about time you became acquainted with the real God? Discover how to have a real relationship with the Bible’s God at www.cogwebcast.com.

“As close to Satan as can be”

So, for your entertainment pleasure the American TV network NBC is offering you a new series called Hannibal. The new program is about the duplicitous Dr. Hannibal Lecter—psychologist, connoisseur, and gourmet cannibal. I suppose one of the “charms” of this new series will be the constant stream of new guest stars who make short on-camera appearances before being transformed into gourmet entrées for the “good” doctor’s dinner parties.

hannibal posterDanish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been cast as the TV version of Hannibal Lecter. Mikkelsen confessed to some initial reluctance to take on the role when first offered it because he thought Anthony Hopkins had turned in such a consummate portrayal of the Hannibal character in the movie The Silence of the Lambs. But it would seem that the Danish actor found some thespian, if not spiritualist, inspiration to bring the TV Hannibal Lecter “as close to Satan as can be,” according to journalist Frazier Moore of the Associated Press. For Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal the cannibal isn’t your classic psychopath or serial murderer. No, no, no! This is your charming, sophisticated fallen angel who sees beauty in murder and dining pleasure through cannibalism.

But what the heck, in Canada we don’t have to watch NBC to satisfy our inner cannibal. All we have to do is pick up the newspaper and read about the trial of Luka Magnotta, the Montreal gay pornographic actor, who murdered and chopped up a the Chinese student Lin Jun in May 2012, and then mailed the victim’s body parts to the several Canadian political parties and schools.

When police figured out through surveillance footage that the “perp” was Magnotta, they searched his apartment and found plenty of gruesome evidence. Written in red ink in his closet was the chilling statement: “If you don’t like the reflection. Don’t look in the mirror. I don’t care.”

jun and magnottaDiscovered, Magnotta had fled the country to Europe, but eventually German police apprehended him at an Internet café in Berlin while he was killing some time reading online news stories about himself. Like Mads Mikkelsen, Magnotta, was also trying to get “as close to Satan as can be.”

It beats the life out of me trying to figure out why the NBC executives gave a green light to the TV series Hannibal. But obviously they are convinced that a mass audience will find it entertaining to watch someone act “as close to Satan as can be.”  Why are these TV big shots doing this? Don’t they understand the simple concept “monkey see, monkey do”? Can’t they understand what will result from promoting this spiritual darkness to their audience of millions of viewers? But that’s the point. Perhaps, they do understand.

Think about the moral darkness possessing the gatekeepers of America’s major entertainment corporations. Think about how these gatekeepers have used and are continuing to use the media as a tool for the changes they want to see. What do you think? Will you watch Hannibal on NBC? Or will you take your cues from another source. Jesus of Nazareth said this:

Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness. Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness.  Luke 11:34-35 Holman Christian Standard Bible

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?