Showing posts from 2016

Worldviews - Part 2

This is a six part series on worldviews by guest blogger Frank Allan. WorldviewsThe windows through which we interpret the meaning of our lives Part 2. The Two Main Competing Worldviews in Western Democracies The main difference between Christian Theism and Atheism is that the theist believes that there is a personal God that interacts with the world He created. God desires a relationship with His creation. He has followed an incredible plan to make it happen. The atheist, on the other hand, does not believe in God. He believes that all religion is myth. Matter and energy is all there is. Other worldviews may incorporated gods in their worldviews but they are all gods within the cosmos, not external to it. Many years ago, I sat in the audience as a person explained to a student group, at Carleton University, his search for truth. He had traveled around the world looking at and considering all the world religions and their truth claims. He had come back to Christianity because, in his w…

He is not a Tame Lion

I recently gave a talk to a youth group at a Narnia themed event. Here is a summary of the talk.
He is not a Tame Lion
Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.
The reason so many people do not follow Jesus is because their vision of Him is too small. We have made God in our own image and we wonder why we are not interested. God cannot be tamed and He is not safe! But He is good. He’s the King.

He is Great
The estimated diameter of the universe is 93 billion light years.  The speed of light is roughly 300 000 km/s. Travelling at this speed it would take 1.3 seconds to travel to the moon.In 1 light year you could travel 10 trillion kilometres.A million seconds is 12 days.A billion seconds is 31 years.A trillion seconds is 31,688 years. God is so great we can't even understand how great He is. In the same way these numbers stagger our mind, so should God's greatness. His greatness is beyond comprehension.
There are approximately 37.2 trillion cells …

Worldviews - Part 1

This is a six part series on worldviews by guest blogger Frank Allan.

Worldviews The windows through which we interpret the meaning of our lives Part 1. What is a Worldview? All of us have a view point from which we interpret our experiences of life. We have a view of the world by which we derive meaning and significance. A worldview is a set of assumptions that we consciously or unconsciously believe about the makeup of our world. We all believe that something exists, but the question is, what is that something? What is the ultimate reality? What is our worldview?

This is a fundamental question of life, yet it is often avoided. Silence often ensues in a group when the topic is raised. Why? Are we threatened by what think might be the answer or, is it because we have never thought deeply about it and are embarrassed that we cannot enter into the discussion? Many people do not bring their worldviews into critical focus.

Whether you believe in God, are an agnostic or an atheist there …

12 Reasons Millennials are like every other Generation

In an article entitled 12 Reasons Millennials Are OVER Church, blogger Sam Eaton attempts to explain why Millennials are likely to be missing in the church. I myself could be a Millennial by some definitions, but having grown up conservative I most likely fit somewhere in the middle. As someone who is very concerned about all generations following Jesus I found this article very interesting but not necessarily insightful. The reason is that there is nothing new here. Sam is essentially calling for the seeker sensitive movement all over again, but with a different emphasis. One of the reasons I see things differently than Sam is that he seems to be believe in big church. He expects the church as an institution to correct all of these issues and to be involved in every facet of our lives. Just like big government cannot solve our political issues, big church cannot solve our spiritual issues.

In any case, I think this article brought up some good areas of discussion and I would like to …

Generation Post-Truth

Oxford Dictionaries has named post-truth as the word of the year. They define it as an adjective ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ Although, this word is presumably meant as an insult to the conservative right, it is actually a good description of our culture and where it is headed. In fact, I think we should name those born after the year 2000 as the post-truth generation. They will be the first generation that grew up without any concept of truth.

Donald Trump and Psychological Projection

Donald Trump is now the president elect of the United States of America. This unexpected victory has revealed a great divide within the American people. This divide is nothing new but it has been hidden by the media and political elite who have been driving the sexual revolution bus at break neck speeds for the last 8 years. Contrary to people who want to blame the results on hatred, it is not that simple. Regardless of the root cause of the results it is very interesting to see people's reactions on all sides of the spectrum.

It is without question that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are corrupt people. They are corrupt morally, ethically, and politically. This election was about picking the lesser of two evils. Somebody put it well when they said, "Donald Trump represents all that is culturally wrong with our society, and Hillary Clinton represents all that is politically wrong with our society." Those who disagree with this simply do not read the news in a critical …

KIngdom of God: Judge Yourself

We are often more aware of other people's faults then our own, since it is hard to self-evaluate. However, in Luke 6:37-49 we get a short course on judging.
Remember that we reap what we sow (6:37 - 6:38): Christianity in the Western World focuses mainly on grace, which makes it easy to forget that it doesn't apply to everything. We are saved by grace, but that does not mean everything we do that is wrong can be made right by simply acknowledging our sin. Sin has consequences of its own and so does judging. We should strive to treat people with the same understanding and forgiveness that God treats us with.
The blind can't lead the blind (6:39-40):  Can someone teach someone not to sin, when they have not mastered it themselves. We can't help anybody unless we ourselves are in a position to help. We need to be very careful not to lead people in the wrong direction because a student is not above the teacher. 
Remove the sin in your life first so that you can help another p…

Liberal Totalitarian Religion

Millennials will be the first generation that will actually have consequences for their faith in Jesus Christ. In the not so distant future, nobody in their right mind will loosely associate with Christianity since it will affect their bank account and their status in society. Those who truly believe will risk being called bigoted, ignorant, hateful, and many other things. Our society is changing before our eyes and it is not for the better. This week there were two events in the news that show what is happening.

The Appeal Court of B.C. ruled in favour of Trinity Western, a Christian school seeking accreditation for its law school. In its decision the court outlined clearly what is really at stake:
A society that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society — one in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisalThis case demonstrates that a well-intentioned majority actin…

Church Discipline Dilemma

Church discipline is very important. There are way too many people who profess to be "Christian" and yet their lives do not have any resemblance to Christ. They may think they are walking in His footsteps, but they don't seem to understand they are going the opposite way. The Church needs to correct these people so that the testimony of Christ is not blasphemed in the world. However, church discipline is not as easy as it seems.
My first experience with church discipline was when my Dad was designated as an evil person and purged from a church group. This resulted in not being invited to weddings, people not shaking hands, and a complete severance of contact in some cases. Although this occurred almost 25 years ago now, there are some who still persist in this kind of behaviour. Although a life lived for the Lord has vindicated my Dad against all of his accusers, there has yet to be any attempt at reconciliation or acknowledgement of error. I don't bring this up to b…

Christian Feminism

The definition of feminism according to google is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men." There can be no doubt that the feminism that we see in the world has also infiltrated the church. If we tweaked this definition slightly for Christian feminism it would be the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of submission, leadership, and teaching equality to men.

A women's submission to her husband is ultimately submission to God. Conversely, a women who does not submit to her husband is not submitting to God. The caveat is that a women cannot submit to something that is sinful, since she is in the end submitting to God. A wife cannot say she submits to God if she does not submit to her husband in the Lord. This principle can be found in 1 John 4:20.
If anyone says, "I love God" and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has…

Jordan Peterson and the Liberal Gestapo

Jordan Peterson caused a firestorm last week by making statements against political correctness. The Liberal Gestapo is especially irate since he refuses to use genderless pronouns and the normal protests have ensued. Here is a typical complaint: People don’t seem to understand what a big effect refusing to use someone’s pronouns has on them, it can really mess them up,” Chow said, adding that, in high school, they felt unsafe and ultimately left the school because teachers and other students did not address them by their preferred gender. What these radical left wingers don't understand is that when the government forces people to do things against their will their safety will really be in jeopardy. Dr. Peterson captures this well in an answer about society's role.
No. It's not the role of society to make people feel included. That's not the role of society. The role of society is to maintain a modicum of peace between people. It's not the role of society to make …

Fasting from Pleasure for His Pleasure

Fasting is one of those topics that seems relatively unspoken about in Evangelical Christian circles, which is peculiar since Jesus assumes that we will fast (Matt 6:16, Mark 2:20). It also does not seem like many people fast or are even aware that this is something that they should practice. Let's take a look at people who fasted in the Bible and their reasons.

1. David fasted for his child who was going to die because of his sin.
David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. (2 Sam. 12:16) "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me.'" (2 Sam. 2:22)  2. Ezra and the people fasted for a safe journey.
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. (Ezra 8:21) So we fasted and implored our God for …

Growing Uncomfortable

It has been 15 years now since the Lord called me out of darkness into His marvelous light. It was a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that fear gripped my soul and I knew that I could no longer sit on the fence living for myself and what made me happy. Last night I gave my testimony to a group of youth in high school urging them to not waste their life like I did mine for so much of my early life, but as I have had time to reflect I started to wonder if I am wasting mine again. Living for yourself can take on many different forms.
I have to admit that there is a part of me that just wants to be comfortable, it seems to me that life would be so easy if my only goals were to live in the nicest house possible and be financially secure. Basically, money would become your only decision maker. However, whenever these thoughts come to mind I am reminded of my friend I grew up with. One day while driving back from university my friend and I were talking about life goals. …

Holiness vs. Legalism

You shall be holy, for I am holy. ( 1 Peter 1:16) There can be little doubt that God's desire for us on this earth is to become holy. This is especially obvious when we consider that it is the Holy Spirit that indwells us and that the discipline that we endure on this earth from God our Father is to enable us to share in His holiness (Heb. 12:10). Holiness is not only something that God desire for us, but we should also desire it for ourselves so that we can see Him and that others can see Him through us (Heb. 12:14).

It is no secret that the greatest insult in evangelical circles today is the charge of legalism. The problem is that legalism is often confused with holiness, since the difference between the two comes down to hypocrisy. Unfortunately, many Christians are so afraid of being labeled legalistic that they don't strive or expect holiness from themselves or each other.

Legalism, embodied by the Pharisees at Jesus time, were hypocrites because their desire was not to p…

What's happened to the Church?

I apologize that my writing always slows down significantly in the summer. Unfortunately, I am often away from my computer on the weekend which is the time I usually write a post. I wish I could say it will change, but that is unlikely. You can always sign up for e-mail updates on the right hand sidebar if you don't want to monitor continuously for updates.

The local church in Western Christianity is gradually losing its influence in our lives and is on the brink of extinction for all practical purposes. Let's look at some of the factors that are contributing to its decline.

The church is no longer the centre of most communities. Our ability to travel and communicate has made it so most people have their own community. It is not defined by where they go to church, but by their own likes and dislikes. Many people commute significant distances to church which makes it time consuming and undesirable to take multiple trips per week, which in turn makes it more difficult to form st…

Is Mental Illness a Sin?

Recently, I read a comment that said that mental illness should not be looked at as a sin. In other words, if somebody sins due to mental illness this should not be considered sin. This idea is gaining momentum in many Christian circles and must be discussed before it is accepted as fact. Being someone who does not struggle with any diagnosable mental illness it is hard to relate. However, I do have friends and family which struggle with mental illness and have seen its effects first hand.

What is mental illness? The Mayo Clinic defines mental illness in the following way:
Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours. This definition is very broad and any range of normal health conditions could also be included, such as, being tired or hungry depending on the resulting behaviour. In fa…

Moral Dysphoria: A Pathogenic Meme

Our society is an example of a contradiction. The same society that denigrates anybody who does not agree with evolution is the same society that claims that people who do not support the gender dysphoria are hateful. Logically, it would seem that a society who claims to believe in science would be quick to sort out that XY and XX chromosomes indicate male and female respectively regardless of a persons delusions. Not only that, but our society should be able to see the danger in having people pretend to be something that they are clearly not. Christians are called crazy because they say we believe in a myth, yet the rest of the culture is playing a dangerous game of fantasy.
Thankfully, there are still some voices of reason even if they are being shouted down by the mob of hysterical haters. Paul McHugh, MD, is University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He recently wrote an a…

Intentional Communication

Relationships give us happiness but also cause us great heartache. One of the keys to a great relationship is great communication, whether it is with your spouse, child, sibling, or friend. Unfortunately, communication is not always easy. This isn't because people are speaking a different language or their thoughts are not clear, it is because they have different underlying assumptions. These underlying assumptions come from one basic assumption which is that everybody thinks that everybody is like themselves. We see this in how people interact and understand other people.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," does not mean that we should do to other people exactly what we would do for ourselves. When it comes to communication we should try to communicate in the way that best suits the person we are trying to communicate with. The book, "The Five Love Languages," did a great job of showing that people learn and appreciate different communication …

Should Sunday be a day of rest?

And the LORD said to Moses, "You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, 'Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.'" Exodus 31:12 - 13 During a recent study through the book of Exodus these verses caught my attention. The question that came to mind was, "above what?" The answer is obvious, above everything else mentioned in the law. Keeping the Sabbaths was the most important commandment for Israel to keep. In the New Testament we are told that to "love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deut. 6:5)" is the greatest commandment, but this is because all of the commandments are predicated on this commandment. In any case it seems strange that among the ten commandments the fourth commandment is highlighted as the most important for Israel. Why is that?

The basis for the fourth com…

Science cannot Examine the Heart.

A new study has come out recently stating that "Ritual human sacrifice promoted and sustained the evolution of stratified societies." The purpose of this study was to examine the social control hypotheses that "human sacrifice legitimizes political authority and social class systems, functioning to stabilize such social stratification." Human sacrifice as defined by this study is the "deliberate and ritualized killing of an individual in order to please or placate supernatural beings."
The findings of this study illuminates the darkness that we live in. Although the study would like to lay the blame for human sacrifice on religion, they do not provide any evidence for it since all the cultures they studied were religious. They assume that the reason for human sacrifice is to please a supernatural being instead of simply pleasing ourselves. Science cannot examine the heart. However, let's compare the findings of the study with our current secular West…

Euthanasia - Carter v. Canada

Euthanasia is set to be legalized in Canada by June 6, 2016. This is yet another milestone in an evil and hedonistic society which will stop at nothing for its own convenience. No longer fearful of God we have made ourselves God.
In the Supreme Court case Carter v. Canada the court ruled the following: Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition (Italics mine). This ruling is vague and open to interpretation. Andrew Coyne writing for the National Post sees the inevitable path of this ruling clearly.
Some day, someone is going to bring a case before the Cou…

Antonin Scalia Predicts the End of Democracy

Antonin Scalia, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, died on February 13, 2016. From all accounts he was a giant of an intellect committed to textualism in interpreting the constitution. He wrote clear and visionary dissents on many of the constitutional cases that he adjudicated.

Back in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas the Supreme Court struck down all laws against homosexuality. At the time Scalia saw the implications and said, "Today's opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned."

In United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defence of Marriage Act Scalia wrote, "As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe." He was referring to the inevitable legalization of same-sex marriage in all fifty states that would un…