Tag Archives: sin

Have we lost our “Dear Abby” minds?

I opened the newspaper today and read about the death of Pauline Phillips a.k.a. Abigail Van Buren of “Dear Abby” fame. While I was growing up the “Dear Abby” syndicated column was as much of interest to me as the thoughts expressed on the editorial page, and sometimes it was even more interesting than the front page for that matter.

But I doubt that today the views of “Dear Abby” or of her sister in advice-giving “Ann Landers” would be picked up as content suitable for publication by today’s mass media empires. You see, the Abby and Ann type of advice with its emphasis on moral absolutism—stuff like adultery, promiscuous sex, and lying always being wrong—is no longer fashionable among the “politically correct,” the elite gatekeepers of society who exercise considerable control over what is perceived as acceptable or not today.

You see for the power elite setting society’s agenda these days the advice of poor Abby and Ann are just too 1950ish. They are seen as being too judgmental. Why, they had the brazen nerve to write that pleasure and “doing your own thing” ARE NOT the final arbiters in determining what is right or wrong. Abby and Ann thought personal integrity and sexual responsibility actually counted for something. How foolish and naïve of them!

The passé commonsense preached by those Jewish ladies is perceived as being stuck in a time when actual biblical values were still taught in the churches and synagogues; and the Holy Scriptures were actually read even in the public schools— and  portrayed in the movies and on television. Horrors! How antediluvian! How backwards!

But now in 2013 society has “progressed” or at least, moved on. Consider this sample of the post-modern enlightened social values being fostered at one of Canada’s most influential universities:

The University of Toronto, you will be edified to know, is “kicking off its annual Sexual Awareness Week” next Monday at a downtown Toronto club, the Oasis Aqua Lounge, where swingers are welcome. Facilitating the adventure is the university’s Sexual Education Centre (SEC), which arranged for students to pay only $5 a person instead of the $40 per person Oasis usually charges.

An exuberant Reddit user posted the information in a University of Waterloo forum thus: “U of T is holding an orgy, and you’re invited! You just need your student ID….”

As I said of Yale’s sex week, this tarted-up promotion of voyeurism “strikes me as nothing more than a forum conceived to proselytize the student body on the cultural virtue of dumbing deviancy down, and to shame students who adhere to traditional moral standards of reasonable restraints on sexual gratification.” http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/16/barbara-kay-university-of-torontos-pimps-r-us-program-offers-discounts-to-sex-party/

The Sexual Education Centre at the University of Toronto “is an affiliated levy group of the University of Toronto Students Union. Undergraduate students pay 25 cents a term for the services, and can opt out if they choose.

The group’s mission is to foster a sex-positive attitude in the greater U of T area, by offering information, programming, safer-sex supplies, and peer counselling in a welcoming environment. Their sexual awareness week includes a discussion on sex positivity, an interactive sex toy demonstration and an afternoon of pornography. The first event is the party at Oasis [Aqua Lounge]: the organization rented the club and lowered the price to $5 a person. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1315033–university-of-toronto-student-group-hosts-epic-sex-club-adventure

It would seem that a great many of us have lost, indeed, our “Dear Abby” minds.  Our society hasn’t progressed. It’s merely degenerated down to the level of pagan Rome and its infamous orgies under the modern deceitful word-disguise of practicing a “sex-positive attitude” and having a healthy “sexual awareness.”

“I’ve got something to say. Is anybody listening?
I’ve a warning to post. Will anyone notice?
It’s hopeless! Their ears are stuffed with wax—deaf as a post, blind as a bat.
It’s hopeless! They’ve tuned out God. They don’t want to hear from me.
But I’m bursting with the wrath of God.
I can’t hold it in much longer. “So dump it on the children in the streets. Let it loose on the gangs of youth.
For no one’s exempt: Husbands and wives will be taken,
the old and those ready to die;
their homes will be given away—all they own, even their loved ones—
When I give the signal
against all who live in this country.”
God’s Decree. “Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar, little people and big people alike.
Prophets and priests and everyone in between twist words and doctor truth.
My people are broken—shattered!—and they put on Band-Aids,
saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’
  But things are not ‘just fine’!
Do you suppose they are embarrassed
over this outrage?
No, they have no shame.
They don’t even know how to blush.
There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom
and there’s no getting up.
As far as I’m concerned,
they’re finished.”
God has spoken. God’s Message yet again: “Go stand at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for directions to the old road, the tried-and-true road. Then take it.
Discover the right route for your souls.
But they said, “Nothing doing.” Jeremiah 6:10-16 The Message.

Isn’t it funny that a message written almost 2,600 years ago is just as relevant today as it was to the people to whom it was first delivered?  Human nature hasn’t changed much.

The people who scoff at the moral, ethical values taught by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures are creating their own future black hole of despair into which they are being sucked. Sex can be extremely pleasurable, which is why the earth’s human population has tended to grow rather than shrink over the millenia. But such pleasure without morality is just plain old-fashioned lust—not love!

Lust is a sinful behaviour, spiritually speaking according to the Judeo-Christian perspective. And in the end, those who become slaves to sin—yes, sin is addictive—lose all chance at finding the intimate happiness that flows from being with one’s true love, one’s soul mate. And, as it is written, anyone who becomes such a slave to lust also loses out on any chance of God’s gift of living eternally in His Kingdom of truth and light, because the wages of sin is death. Death is not living in an ever-burning hell (God is not a bondage freak), but rather death is the complete termination of consciousness and being, the end of all life (Romans 6:23).

Your average person is reluctant to consider his or her convictions, prejudices, and even superstitions. It is the rare person who has the curiosity and courage to look through the so-called “progressive” attitudes popular in this present society and turn away from them. In the Scriptures this is called repentance. Anyone who has been caught up in the sin of lust must repent of it to become part of God’s family and to take up what He offers to those who obey Him (Luke 8:21).

While the example of the University of Toronto student association that I cited here is an extreme—variations on, or echoes of that theme can be found reverberating throughout our society and its forms of entertainment. What starts on university campuses today becomes social mainstream behaviour tomorrow. This degeneration of sexual morals is the future of this society, a future that will be dark and violent due nation-wide moral bankruptcy.

As a whole, human beings are reluctant to admit error and so most embrace willful blindness to avoid doing so. But like the prophet Jeremiah, I would encourage you to take to the tried-and-true road of personal integrity and sexual responsibility as taught by the Scriptures. If you do this, you will keep both your “Dear Abby” mind and your happiness while others will lose whatever they think they have.

Amanda, Jesus, and the bullies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How should you save the Earth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twisted Honour

The lead story in Canada for the last couple of days has been about the guilty verdicts for four first-degree murders that the jury brought down on Mohammad Shafia, his polygamous second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and his oldest son, 21-year-old Hamed Mohammad Shafia.

They murdered Mohammad’s barren number one wife Rona, and Mohammad and Tooba’s three daughters. From the perspective of the heartless Shafia family killers, the four family members they slew, (Zainab 19, Sahar 17, and Geeti 13 and step-mom Rona 50) deserved what they got because they had “betrayed Islam”, and sullied the family’s honour. Mohammad Shafia, who was in his own eyes a devout Muslim man devoid of those weak infidel Christian virtues like mercy, kindness, patience, and forgiveness was dishonoured by the “perverse” behaviour of those he killed.

Self-righteous man that he was, Mohammad Shafia was even caught on a police wiretap after the four murders wishing out loud that the devil would crap on his reviled daughters’ graves.

But more specifically, how had Shafia’s daughters offended him? It seems Zainab offended by marrying in the family’s mosque (but the Imam Ali Falih Altaie never registered the marriage) a young Muslim man from a family who did not meet with the Shafia’s approval. Sahar deserved death because she had a Christian boyfriend and had some pictures taken of her wearing short skirts. Geeti, apparently, was murdered because she was rebellious, skipped some classes at school, and was breaking the family’s code of silence by asking school authorities to be taken into the foster child care system.

As for the spurned wife, Rona, maybe Mohammad Shafia just got tired of using her for a punching bag? Maybe he thought she was too old or too expensive or taking up too much room in the family’s Montreal house? It’s hard to tell because I haven’t read anything in the various news stories that satisfactorily explains to me just what was Mohammad’s evil motive in her case.

Maybe it was just like a farmer knocking off the heads of a few annoying chickens in the coop. If you’re going to kill three birds what’s the big deal about doing a fourth? After all, a lot of Muslim men just think of their women as chattel. Do with them what you will, as Islam plainly teaches that women are inferior to men. However, thank God, we don’t have Islamic Sharia law in Canada. So at this new year’s opening session in parliament, Canada’s justice minister, Rob Nicholson, during question period, called the Shafia murders “barbaric” and “unacceptable,” and pledged to protect women and other vulnerable people from such violence.

The Shafia family Imam, Ali Falih Altaie, in an effort to deflect any impression that he, his congregation, or Islam in general would support the practice of honour killing as carried out by the bloody Shafias said:

It’s unforgivable, actually, and unacceptable by any religion.
Only people who have lost their brain do that… It’s unbelievable.

I don’t want to put down the Imam, Altaie, as his on-the-record comments about the murders are to his credit, but I must contradict him. Why? Because in reality, honour killing though perhaps unacceptable in Western Islam, is indeed widely practiced in the rest of the Muslim world.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that perhaps as many as 5,000 women and girls a year are killed by members of their own families. But according to the journalist Robert Fisk, numerous women’s groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect the number of victims is about 20,000 women and girls annually. See Robert Fisk: The crime wave that shames the world,” London: The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2010.

Fisk notes the gruesome nature of these murders in Muslim-dominated areas:

It is difficult to remain unemotional at the vast and detailed catalogue of these crimes. How should one react to a man – this has happened in both Jordan and Egypt – who rapes his own daughter and then, when she becomes pregnant, kills her to save the “honour” of his family? Or the Turkish father and grandfather of a 16-year-old girl, Medine Mehmi, in the province of Adiyaman, who was buried alive beneath a chicken coop in February for “befriending boys”? Her body was found 40 days later, in a sitting position and with her hands tied…

Or the young woman found in a drainage ditch near Daharki in Pakistan, “honour” killed by her family as she gave birth to her second child, her nose, ears and lips chopped off before being axed to death, her first infant lying dead among her clothes, her newborn’s torso still in her womb, its head already emerging from her body? She was badly decomposed; the local police were asked to bury her. Women carried the three to a grave, but a Muslim cleric refused to say prayers for her because it was “irreligious” to participate in the namaz-e-janaza prayers for “a cursed woman and her illegitimate children.”

This horrific practice of “honour killing,” according to some sources is increasing in those parts of the world heavily influenced by Islamic-Arabic-South Asian cultures.

The founder of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth made a point of strongly teaching against “honour killings.” By deed as well as by words he made the point in John 8:1-12 (New Living Translation):

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

For any Muslims reading this, here is the truth about “honour killings” in Arabic:

8:1-12 John
Arabic Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-AR)
ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ 8
المَرْأةُ الَّتِي أُمْسِكَتْ فِي الزِّنا
1 أمّا يَسُوعُ فَذَهَبَ إلَى جَبَلِ الزَّيْتُونِ. 2 وَفِي الصَّباحِ الباكِرِ ذَهَبَ إلَى ساحَةِ الهَيْكَلِ ثانِيَةً حَيْثُ جاءَ إلَيْهِ الجَمِيعُ، فَجَلَسَ وَبَدَأ يُعَلِّمُهُمْ. 3 وَأحضَرَ مُعَلِّمُو الشَّرِيْعَةِ وَالفِرِّيْسِيُّونَ امْرأةً أُمْسِكَتْ وَهِيَ تَزْنِي. وَجَعَلُوها تَقِفُ وَسَطَ النّاسِ. 4 ثُمَّ قالُوا لِيَسُوعَ: «يا مُعَلِّمُ، أُمْسِكَتْ هَذِهِ المَرْأةُ مُتَلَبِّسَةً بِجَرِيْمَةِ الزِّنا.» 5 وَقَدْ أوْصانا مُوسَى فِي الشَّرِيْعَةِ بِأنْ نَرْجُمَ مِثلَ هَذِهِ المَرْأةِ، فَماذا تَقُولُ أنتَ؟» 6 قالُوا هَذا لِيَمْتَحِنُوهُ، فَيَكُونَ لَهُمْ ما يَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِهِ.
لَكِنَّ يَسُوعَ انْحَنَى وَبَدَأ يَكْتُبُ عَلَى الأرْضِ بِإصْبِعِهِ. 7 وَلَمّا ألَحُّوا فِي السُّؤالِ، وَقَفَ وَقالَ لَهُمْ: «حَسَناً! مَنْ كانَ مِنْكُمْ بِلا خَطِيَّةٍ، فَلْيَكُنِ البادِئَ بِرَمْيِها بِحَجَرٍ.» 8 وَانحَنَى مَرَّةً أُخْرَى وَأخَذَ يَكْتُبُ عَلَى الأرْضِ.
9 فَلَمّا سَمِعُوا هَذا، بَدَأُوا يُغادِرُونَ المَكانَ واحِداً بَعْدَ الآخَرِ بَدْءاً بِالأكْبَرِ سِنّاً. وَبَقِيَ يَسُوعُ وَحْدَهُ مَعَ المَرْأةِ الواقِفَةِ أمامَهُ. 10 فَوَقَفَ يَسُوعُ وَقالَ لَها: «أيْنَ هُمْ؟ ألَمْ يَحكُمْ عَلَيْكِ أحَدٌ؟» 11 قالَتْ: «لا أحَدَ يا سَيِّدُ.» فَقالَ لَها يَسُوعُ: «وَلا أنا أحكُمُ عَلَيْكِ. فَاذْهَبِي وَلا تَعُودِي إلَى الخَطِيَّةِ فِيما بَعْدُ.»
يَسُوعُ هُوَ النُّور
12 ثُمَّ وَاصَلَ يَسُوعُ كَلامَهُ لِلنّاسِ فَقالَ: «أنا هُوَ النُّورُ لِلعالَمِ. مَنْ يَتْبَعُنِي لا يَمْشِي أبَداً فِي الظُّلْمَةِ، بَلْ يَكُونُ مَعَهُ النُّورُ الَّذِي يَقُودُ إلَى الحَياةِ.»

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).

When compromise becomes the language of the Devil

When my youngest son wants to do something I’m not too excited about, we’ll talk together and come up with a compromise solution in which each of us gives a little so that the household can continue on in harmony.

Compromise is a normal part of the give and take of any family or human relationship. We adapt our personal preferences and opinions for the greater good of getting along with another. That’s normal.

But when it comes to the moral logic of the Universe and the demonstrable truth of the Judeo-Christian scriptures about what is right and what is wrong, it has always been required of Christians in every epoch of history to draw a line in the sand over something with which they cannot compromise.  To accept the sinful cultural practices of their time or civilization would have been anathema.

For first century A.D. Christians it was not offering a pinch of incense on the Roman altar of state in order to acknowledge that Caesar was supreme: a small act of Roman paganism that clearly violated the Bible’s first commandment:

Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:1-3 NLT).

Many thousands of Christians were hideously murdered by the barbaric Roman state for refusing to compromise with the “most noble Caesar, the civilized world’s benefactor” and just offer that little act of worship.

For post-modern Christians living in the 21st Century, there is now a tremendous pressure to conform to what may be labelled “politically correct paganism,” which like all the pagan ideologies of the past, essentially worships and exalts human ideas of right and wrong above the divine ones taught by the Hebrew and Greek scriptures.

In the latest edition of a sorry series of similar events, a biblical-values sensitive, conservative Anglican congregation was forced out of its long-held church property—St. Albans Anglican Church on King George Street—at which they had been meeting since before Canadian Confederation in 1867 by the “politically correct” Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. The issue was same sex marriage.

The pastor of this forced-to-leave congregation, George Sinclair, said:

The move was “an issue of conscience, and for us, conscience trumps building …
A church that just has the building, but does not have the dreams and visions that come from God, is on its way to dying … If you end up thinking you’re smarter and nicer and wiser than the master [Jesus Christ], in what way are you still his disciple? … The Bible is very clear on certain things, as to what is right or wrong.”
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Anglican+Church+followers+find+home/5008958/story.html#ixzz1QcGf00LT

These conservative Anglicans came to understand that when it comes to sin—compromise is indeed the language of the devil.

Sin? What is sin? Why can’t one compromise with sin?

The Apostle John gave a succinct defintion of just what sin is:

“Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4 NRSV).

The law that the apostle was referring to is God’s law as contained in the Hebrew and Greek bibles—not Canada’s federal and provincial law, not even the rules and policies of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.

God’s law divides behaviour and thought patterns into those that are permitted, generally called “righteousness” and those that are forbidden, which is “sin.”

Spiritually speaking, there are serious consequences for those who deliberately chose to live sin-full lifestyles. As the Apostle Paul wrote:


For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NLT).

The reason no one can compromise with sin and get away with it in the long run is because…well, without God we’re just dead meat. The Bible does NOT say you have an immortal soul! The scriptures clearly teach that eternal life is only for those who belong to Christ and who are resurrected from among the dead (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23).

The whole purpose of Jesus first coming and His sacrifice was to rescue His people from the consequences of sin. We cannot cuddle up to or give ourselves permission to do what the Scriptures say is wrong and not pay the price! Again, listen to this warning from the Apostle John:

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:7-8 NLT).

Since the Bible has no standing in our courts…

Eastern Canadian radio host and National Post columnist John Moore is glad that a California court recently overturned the results of a 2008 referendum (passed by a majority of California voters) that made gay marriage illegal. In his published commentary in the National Post entitled “The Bible loses again,” Moore can’t help himself from gloating about this latest victory of the unbelievers over the believers. Moore writes:

Six years ago when same sex marriage was a roiling debate in Canada I hosted a segment on my radio show where I challenged listeners to offer a single non-biblical argument against gay marriage. They failed utterly. True, there are plenty of admonishments against gays, pigskin and the mixing of textiles in the Old Testament (notably none in the Gospels) but since the Bible has no standing in modern courts these arguments are moot.

And that remains the raw point for some people of faith: they can’t find a legal means of forcing Bible-based morality on the general population. Sorry. That’s the price of living in a free and secular society. And if you can’t persuade gay people that they are going to Hell then that’s your loss not theirs.” http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/08/05/john-moore-the-bible-loses-again/

Of course, Margaret Somerville, who is called one of Canada’s top ethicists, does present a good secular argument that legalizing homosexual marriage dramatically alters the understanding of what has been and nevertheless remains the cornerstone of human society: the committed, reproductively fruitful relationship between a man and a woman that engenders, nurtures, and educates a succeeding generation who will in turn repeat the pattern thus ensuring that society’s continuation. Marriage has never just been about the desires of two people.  It has been about children and the future and faithfulness to the past.

But TheWorldTomorrow.ca is not about presenting secular reasoning or arguments concerning today’s issues to its readers. Rather, it is about using the spiritual lens provided by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to examine the attitudes, decisions, and behaviours of our present world in order to see the implications and consequences that will logically flow from such attitudes, decisions, and behaviours.

Also, for the record, the WorldTomorrow.ca will on occasion correct error from people like John Moore, who misrepresent the Bible, its teachings, and its morality. While Moore recognizes that the Old Covenant or Hebrew Bible is totally clear in its condemnation of the practice of homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13), he doesn’t seem to think the New Covenant or Greek Bible does the same. Of course, it does. But notice, any sin—including any sexual practice not approved by Scripture whether heterosexual or homosexual—gets the same consequence.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:8-10 New International Version).

Jesus taught that an individual wouldn’t have a good future if he or she chose to live merely by the fruits of ingratitude to God and secular materialism—(Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3-20). And when it comes to marriage, John Moore should note that Jesus quoted from the book of humanity’s beginnings (Genesis) to show that marriage was designed from the very start to be an exclusive, committed sexual relationship between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6). A homosexual relationship doesn’t meet the Designer’s specifications. And anyone who refuses to follow the Designer’s Instruction Manual on how to use his or her sexuality will have very undesirable consequences (Romans 1:18-27).

But what will be the consequences for the nations of the United States and Canada as our governments embrace homosexual marriage and many more practices directly in contravention to God’s plain teaching?  This is the 13 trillion dollar question! Talk about a national debt. The answer to this question is simple and sure, resting on the fact that Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Covenant (1 Corinthians 10:4), is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  What He inspired the Prophet Isaiah to write so long ago equally applies to us today in 21st Century Canada and the United States. Read what is coming soon to our nations as the price for living in a reprobate society that has turned its back on God:

For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us. Yes, we know what sinners we are. We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord. We have turned our backs on our God. We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies. Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.

The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him. He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion. He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds. His fury will fall on his foes. He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth. In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord; in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord (Isaiah 59:12-19 NLT).

Should the Pope repent for his priests’ pedophilia?

Responding to a swelling tide of outrage at the rapes and other sexual abuses perpetrated by many thousands of his pedophile priests, Pope Benedict XVI said at a Vatican mass on April 15, 2010:

Now, under attack from the world which talks to us of our sins, we can see that being able to do penance is a grace and we see how necessary it is to do penance and thus recognize what is wrong in our lives.

Evidently the pope found it too distasteful to explicitly detail the nature of those sins or to admit his own personal decades-long role in enforcing his church’s official Crimen Sollicitationis policy. The Crimen Sollicitationis policy instructed the Catholic hierarchy about how to deal with pedophile priests in Canada, the United States, Ireland, Germany, Italy—where ever in the world the Catholic Church operates. The policy’s main thrust was an effort to protect the Catholic Church’s reputation by covering up and protecting pedophile priests by moving them to new areas whenever a sexual abuse scandal erupted.  Keeping victims quiet was also part of that policy.  This was accomplished by using a variety of means including excommunication threats and hush money.  You can get more information about this by watching a remarkably well-produced BBC documentary called Sex Crimes and the Vatican. Please note, however, that this documentary will both enlighten and disgust you at the same time: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/passionateeyeshowcase/

Proverbs 28:13 says:

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (NKJV).

It is interesting to note that the Pope called Catholics to do penance rather than calling on them to repentance. “Penance” means according to dictionary.com: 1) punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin; 2) penitential discipline imposed by church authority; 3) a sacrament, as in the Roman Catholic Church, consisting in a confession of sin, made with sorrow and with the intention of amendment, followed by the forgiveness of the sin.

But, according to Harper’s Bible Dictionary “repentance” is a word “covering several biblical ideas that range from regret to changing one’s mind or behavior so as to bring about a moral or ethical conversion.” I think the pope and the rest of the Catholic hierarchy could use a dose of real, heart-felt repentance and ethical conversion rather than merely saying a few dozen extra “Hail Marys” or wearing an itchy hair-shirt or doing without red meat for a month.

Is the Catholic Church’s insistence on making its priests take vows of celibacy at the root of their pedophila plague? More than a few people think so. The Catholic Encyclopedia’s online article on “Celebacy of the Clergy” (at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03481a.htm ) seeks to defend their doctrine. Yet even there they have to admit:

We do not find in the New Testament any indication of celibacy being made compulsory either upon the Apostles or those whom they ordained…

What I find amazing in reading their article is that while they know the original Church of God NEVER required celibacy of ANY or ALL of their bishops/elders and deacons, they—the Roman Catholic Church—think they can use human reason to create allegories or inferences that give them the authority to do the opposite of unambiguously clear Scripture! The Pope feels free to add doctrines and teachings that are, in many respects, burdens—big burdens—to those who follow him.

Matthew 23:4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. 5 “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.

Of course, when Jesus gave the above description, he was referring to the scribes and Pharisees who were the principal leaders interpreting the Old Covenant Scriptures for the Jewish community in Judea. Jesus regularly took them to task for adding all sorts of do’s and don’ts to the written Word of God. Some of them grew to hate Jesus because he was calling them to repentance and to return to the simplicity of the divine intent expressed by the Holy Scriptures.

We know, historically, that the scribes and Pharisees developed and codified their “Oral Law,” which was a complex set of scriptural interpretations, rules, and regulations, that were eventually called the Talmud. This Oral Law or Talmud was intended to be a fence around the written Word of God in order to lead the people of God to more perfectly obey God from the Pharisaical point of view. The Roman Catholic Church has done a similar thing with their Canon Law by adding, for example, a vow of chastity that was never presented as obligatory by the Bible. Isn’t this vow like most of the Catholic Canon Law an unbearable religious “burden” loaded onto the straining backs of both people and priests? Why even the Catholic Encyclopedia’s article admits that the obligatory vow of chastity required for ordination is a “burden”—“You ought anxiously to consider again and again what sort of a burden this is which you are taking upon you.”

It is also interesting to note in context of Matthew 23:5 that the Catholic hierarchy like the ancient Pharisees love their showy religious garb and grand religious processions. Hasn’t the hide-bound, starch-skirted Catholic hierarchy just morphed into the modern gentile equivalent of Jesus’ former unrepentant, myopic, pharisaical opponents?

1 Timothy 4:2-5 NLT 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. 3 They will say it is wrong to be married… 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.

When God created the first man, He said it was not good for the man to be alone (cf. Genesis 2:18). So, God created the woman and the marriage covenant also in the Beginning.  And the LORD God also said that this was very good. Indeed, He blessed their sexuality and reproduction (cf. Genesis 1:28)!

Any person who wants to approach the throne of the living God must be repentant instead of proud, covering up his sins. And, such a person must be prepared to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God instead of substituting human reason for Holy Scripture. This is an essential point for any person or organization that truly wants to be Christian in fact and not just in name.