“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

BE A WITNESS FOR CHRIST IN COMING DAYS EVEN IF IT HURTS


 The future threatens to be difficult for Christians. Governments are apt to pass laws and implement policies that directly offend Christian consciences, not only in America but internationally, as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Civil disobedience may be required. Christians can expect to be pressed to the wall to accept immorality or told not to evangelize. At some point we will have to choose whether we will obey man or God. Do not be surprised when this happens. Remember that the Apostles faced similar predicaments. 


“The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name [Jesus],” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!””[1]

 

You may have noticed anti-Christian bigotry and hostility are increasing and becoming bolder, more overt. Our once great western Christian civilization is being attacked and brought down at every turn. I fear direct legal and technological persecution of the church, its people, its ministries, hospitals and education. Prepare yourselves. We will need the wisdom of Solomon to discern what we must do. For example, will we be intimidated into silence about the wanton slaughter of the youngest members of the human family by abortion?  Will we lose our tongues over medical killing by lethal injections of suicidal disabled and terminally ill people.

 

We must remember that medicine used be Hippocratic: Doctors pledged to obey the ancient Hippocratic Oath which prohibited both abortion and euthanasia.  But Hippocratic medicine has been overthrown by an aberrant and distorted form of medicine governed by bioethical utilitarianism. Clever wordsmiths euphemistically promote killing of unwanted pre-born children as "choice" or "reproductive rights." They couch euthanasia for those with serious disabilities and have despaired of life, as "self-determination" and "autonomy." The disabled and terminally ill who are suicidal get medical help killing themselves by lethal injections euphemistically “medical assistance in dying” when in fact it is medical killing. Homicide. Do not be swayed by clever wordsmiths who will make evil sound good and good sound evil, or what is right appear wrong and what’s wrong appear right. There will come a time—not so far in the future—when obeying Christ’s great commission will be prohibited, under the guise of tolerance, or some other pretence. Will we obey man or Christ:

 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[2]

 

Do not be surprised if the Bible is declared hate literature. In some jurisdictions, it already has been. It may even banned from libraries, hotels and schools. Beware, we are entering into a treacherous time of shadows. 

 

Perhaps the barbaric Brave New World we are entering will provide opportunities for your greatest witness as you stand with the light of Christ shining in you against the darkness of a twisted generation of unbridled depravity. We do not yet know the full darkness of the abyss into which we are descending, but Christ will be with us. The psalmists wrote:

 

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.[3]

 

There is nowhere on earth that God’s presence is not found. Remember what He said to Jeremiah:

 

“Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord,

“And not a God far off?

“Can a man hide himself in hiding places

So I do not see him?” declares the Lord.

“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.[4]

 

Regardless of what depravity, brutality, persecution and fear we may face in the coming years, God is all-seeing, all-knowing, and He will be with his people. Do not lose your moral courage. He is with you and me.  I know this first-hand: He has been near to me throughout 35 years of neurological terrors of MS, and cancer. Like Saint Paul, I am convinced nothing can separate us from the love of God.

 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[5]


Stand strong, fellow Christians. Witness for the hope of Christ that abides in you.

MDP



[1] Acts 5.27-29. Cf. Acts 4.18-20.

[2] Matthew 28.19-20.

[3] Psalm 139.7-10.

[4] Jeremiah 23.24.

[5] Romans 8.38-39.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

COMMUNITY AND THE INDIVIDUAL

 


So many people ignored public health guidelines at Christmas, despite pleadings from medical officials. I fear we are going to see a spike in COVID cases from people getting together. The public good came second to their desires. Autonomy versus community. (I used to refer to this in my speeches across North America.) Community lost.

 

As I’ve said previously, we were unwittingly asked that most ancient of questions: “Am I my bother’s keeper?” So many people answered ‘No’ and ignored public health guidelines. Their answer was the same as Cane’s—the first murderer— after killing his brother Abel. People reading this article may indignantly exclaim: “How can you equate people ignoring public health rules to be with family with murder?” I didn’t. I said their answer as to whether they have a responsibility to other people’s welfare was the same as Cane’s answer. By their actions they said No. Someone else could say, “It’s so easy for you. You were with your wife, the romantic love of your life, but we were not and wanted to be those we love.”  I understand that desire; my wife and I also wanted to be with our children and grandchildren. We were separated from them.

 

Sometimes in life we are called to do something, as citizens, we do not want to do. This was one such occasion. But for the greater good, we must do what is being asked of us. Quite simply, it was irresponsible and disrespectful to thousands of families who have lost loved-ones to the pandemic. Now, I fear we are going to pay a heavy price in the days to come.  Love for family does not negate our responsibilities to the community.

 

Here’s something else that I fear. I’m hearing rumblings about something called the “Great Reset” that is about to descend upon us. I’m hearing it will a global secular (Godless) fraternity of humanity, loosely based on a communist model. I hope I’m wrong.

 

Communist rhetoric is contrary to communist behavior. Can you think of any communist country that has raised humanity— individually and collectively—to new heights of liberty and freedom? Russia? China? North Korea? The former east Germany? If communism is so ideal why are so many people so keen to escape? Are people from the West flocking to get into those countries? Why would we think any “great reset” in a communist model would be more successful?

 

Communism is anti-Christian. But as someone else so elegantly said, “the brotherhood of man needs the Fatherhood of God.” This is why communism will always fail. Without God as our guide, eventually the lives of the most defenceless and vulnerable will become hell on earth.  Except for an elite cadre at the top, everyone becomes part of the ‘great unwashed’ masses.

 

Now, I am going to switch gears and defend the individual rather than the community in what seems like a contradiction of all I’ve advocated over the years. As I see it, it’s not an ‘either or’ but ‘both and.’  But ‘both and’ what? Both  and God. God must be at the foundations of both. This is the only path to true freedom and liberty.

 

It is freedom of individuals who understand their responsible to the whole that makes a civilized whole. It comes with the understanding that every human being was endowed with the image of God the night they were conceived; everyone possesses a natural human dignity we must honour and dare not offend or rob from them.  The individual behaves in keeping with God’s love and commands. The state formulates and enacts laws according to God’s law, in what we have come to refer to as ‘Judeo-Christian’ more ethic and cultural ethos. 

 

I suspect that the great reset will be based on images of people at their best when they are in benevolent moods and joining arms for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya—not images of burning buildings and violence in the streets with masked Antifa thugs. It will supress images an abortion’s bloody hands or the victims of “choice,” or euthanizing the sick and disabled. Human benevolence is arbitrary and uncertain. It is based on feelings that can shift in an instant when emotions turn to anger. 

 

The basis of the West civilization’s laws, moral codes, institutions, and mores is Common Law. The foundation of Common Law is Christianity.  Although the current crop of moderns tries to deny the Christian roots of Western civilization, and rewrite, override or expunge Christianity and its influence from the culture, this is new. People of previous generations knew it western civilization is based on Christianity.  In fact, in 1829, Dane Professor of Harvard University, Joseph Story, said: “There never has been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.”[1]  This is what a great reset will try to overthrow. Will it be successful?

 

For Christians the principles of a great reset will sound lofty and compatible with Christian faith, but its error is putting humanity on top instead of God. That is idolatry. Jesus said: 

 

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”[2] Christ’s exhortation. It is only by being loved and loving God, that man is capable of truly loving. Christ’s command and Jewish law remains to override unstable human emotions. Earlier in Matthew Christ said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.[3] The basis of this is not reciprocity, rather a love for God, and love as Christ loves us. We treat others as we would want them to treat us—even if they do not treat us as we wish they would. The golden rule.

  

It is God, not us, who lifts us to our best potential. Happy 2021.


MDP


[1] Quoted in Perry Miller, editor, The Legal Mind in America (New York: Doubleday, 1962), p.178.

[2] Matthew 22.37-40. Cf. Deuteronomy 6.5 & Leviticus 19.18.

[3] Matthew 7.12. Also see Mark 12.31, Luke 6.31 &Luke 10.27,

Saturday, December 5, 2020

COVID19 AND THE HIERARCHY OF RIGHTS


 Anti-maskers are howling that their rights are being violated. I presume they are referring to their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Which constitutional rights do they have in mind? The right to peaceful assembly and association (S2: c & d)? Their mobility rights (S-6)? 

 How could any Charter right possibly supersede Section 7 of the Charter?: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Let me assert that the legal rights of Section 7 must always supersede the right to association, assembly and mobility. There must be a hierarchy of rights.  Why? Without the right to life guaranteed, liberty and security of the person cannot be guaranteed. If public health measures are required to minimize serious threat of COVID 19 then the right to peaceful assembly, association and mobility must respect primary rights. In times of crisis primary rights must take precedent. A minority of Canadians who refuse to follow basic public health principles of physical distancing, wearing masks and staying home must not be allowed to threaten the majority of citizens! The majority of the population’s right to security of their person (and quite possibly their right to life) is more important than the right to gather at the local bar or have a party or not wear a mask—until the pandemic is over. I came across an appropriate comment: “Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.” 

Canada is in a health emergency that has infected 396,270 Canadians and killed 12,407 (as I write these words). Granted, the minority’s rights must be respected, but not at the cost or threat to the majority. Like another old saying goes: ‘Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.’ There have been other desperate times when citizens’ rights have been temporarily suspended or curtailed. 


Conscription during the 1st and 2nd World War is an example. In 1970, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s imposed of the War Measures Act[1] after the radical French separatist group Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped Quebec Deputy Premier Pierre Laporte and British diplomat James Cross. They murdered M. Laporte. The War Measures Act suspended Canadians civil liberties until the crisis was over. 

 

What’s my point? There are times when the citizens of a country are called upon to obey urgent policies on matters that threaten their fellow citizens. They may not like it, but they follow government direction—in this case, public health measures for the general good. We are being asked to temporarily give up a few of our guaranteed rights to overcome a grave and dire pandemic. 

 

Throughout the ages, an ancient question is continually posed. Each generation must answer it with a Yes or No: Am I my brother’s keeper?[2] The answer determines what kind of people we chose/choose to be. Are we an interdependent nation that looks out for each other or a jungle of self-centered individuals demanding what’s theirs no matter who it hurts or kills?

 

Related post http://www.humanlifematters.org/2020/11/covid19-desperate-times-call-for.html

[1] The War Measures Act was repealed in 1988 in favour of the Emergencies Act.

[2] Genesis 4.9.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

COVID CAN NOT KILL OUR MEMORIES

This is a Christmas like no other. COVID is keeping us apart from loved-ones. Let us keep in mind those families that lost someone in 2020. There will be an the empty chair at their tables is Christmas. 

COVID may kill the body but not the soul. Sweet memories live on. So many people are grieving. Memories are all they have. 

If you know of someone who has lost a loved-one, please reach out to them by Skype, FaceTime, or other means, and include them in your Christmas Season. (Click the image below.)



Tuesday, November 17, 2020

COVID19: DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES!


 COVID19 infections are growing more severe each day. What were hundreds of new infections have become thousands, what were thousands of people infected are becoming tens of thousands. Voluntary measures to curb the virus from spreading are not being heeded. Draconian mandatory measures have become necessary. Government leaders have been trying to avoid this, and I get it, but too many people are ignoring necessary public health practices put in place. Some people are construing important public health measures as violations of their rights. Bizarre I know, but it’s  happening. Restrictions on the right of assembly and mobility are prompting some people to fear we are becoming a police state—conjuring up images of the gestapo or the stasi. Those prone to imagining conspiracies think it’s all a globalist plot. Wingnuts!

 

We’ve moved in to a second wave of COVID19 and the daily infection rate is worse than the first wave.  Desperate times call for desperate measures! It's time to institute severe fines for those people who refuse or neglect required health measures that are intended to stop the spread of COVID. If mandatory lockdown is required, declare it and enforce it. Mandatory compliance of public health care policy to combat coronavirus are only temporary. They will be lifted when an effective vaccine is available. (Then we’ll have a problem with the anti-vaxxers!) But if tough enforcement of public health measures is required I call on government to do it. Let the opponents, conspiracy theorists and anti vaxxers howl. Protection of the population takes priority.

 

This is not the first time in history the world has faced a pandemic. For example, the bubonic plague of 1663-1665. The city of London faced many of the same things we have experienced since March 2020: normal bustling city streets were empty. Businesses shut their doors, people defied municipal directive of quarantine.  


By June of 1665, the mayor and council issued orders under the title: ORDERS CONCEIVED AND PUBLISHED BY THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF LONDON CONCERNING THE INFECTION OF THE PLAGUE, 1665.[1]

 

They were not playing around. The orders were compulsory. People who did not obey them were jailed or faced heavy fines, or both! The ordinance gave sweeping powers to justices of the peace, bailiffs, examiners, searchers and others to enforce the order. In its preamble the order stated, “It is now, upon special consideration, thought very expedient for preventing and avoiding infection of sickness (if it shall so please Almighty God) that these officers following be appointed and these orders hereafter duly observed.” Examiners and other appointed authorities for local areas were appointed by aldermen.  Those who refused were jailed. Examiners and “searchers” were required to find and identify infected houses which were then padlocked and guards placed at the doors twenty-four hours a day. People who refused to serve as guards faced severe punishments. And to make matters worse for the folks appointed to positions where they might inadvertently come into contact with the plague could not enter or keep public places of business or take any other employment. Violators were imprisoned. Anyone who entered an infected house, such as a nurse, had to isolate themselves for twenty-eight days. Occupants of an infected house had to sequester themselves for a month after the last infection, under threat of imprisonment. The City of London had to take tough measures, but desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.

 

Canada finds itself in a desperate time with rapidly rising COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Enough people are defying or neglecting voluntary public health measures that mandatory public health requirements need to be instituted. Violators must face severe  consequences—be it heavy fines or jail. Further, I think provincial premiers must use emergency measures within their power to enforce consistent public health measures across the country so there’s no confusion. Too many vulnerable people are a risk and too many have died. Lockdown fatigue be hanged! We need to get infection rates under control. Things may get much worse before they get better. That is the bad news. The good news is that a vaccine is within sight; we are being told that one will be available in early 2021, if not earlier.

 

Let the tiny cadrés of anti-vaxxers and conspiracy wingnuts howl foul. The human rights they believe are being taken from them will be returned as soon as this pandemic is over.  The good of the majority must be protected.


MDP

[1] Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague, (Bolton, Ontario: Amazon Books), p. 31.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

ON NOVEMBER 3RD, YOU MUST STAND FOR AMERICA!


 “Tonight, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom—a cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world.”—Ronald Reagan  1986, on the occasion of relighting the Statue of Liberty. 

 _____________


Dear American friends of this blog: When you go to the polls on November 3rd, remember what made America great. It was your nation’s birth-right of optimism, patriotic values for family and community, one nation under God, that made America great. And those same values can make America great again. Historically, your nation believed in the American Dream where every citizen could rise to their aspirations with determination and hard work.  


Remember when communities were built not destroyed? Dare to believe that America build can again and be a beacon of freedom and liberty, just as Ronald Reagan believed. He saw the United States as a special place, “a shining city of a hill”—set by God between two oceans heralding a sacred call of human freedom and liberty for all the world to see and follow. It can be that way again.

 

America is at a pivotal crossroad.  Will it descend into a socialist/communist state under Biden and Harris? Don’t let that happen! Give Donald Trump a second term to usher America into new sunlit uplands of opportunity and potential. He’s setting the stage for America’s innate optimism and prosperity to blossom and flourish anew. Remember when that was a part of America’s culture and tradition of encouraging people to rise to their fullest potential? It can be again!  Just like Ronald Reagan before him, Donald Trump wants to rekindle a simple ideal: Free America from the shackles of big government. Restore American values and virtues of patriotism, family and community.

 

Donald Trump’s vision for America stands in stark contrast to how the leftists’ are replacing order and stability with disorder. They are spreading physical violence and bloodshed, destruction of property and communities. We have seen their vision for months playing out in street of cities across America. It is tolerated and even supported by the Democrats. But you must not! For the sake of all that is decent and good about America, return Donald J. Trump to the presidency to complete his task of truly making America Great Again.


I began this blog post with words of Ronald Regan 34 years ago, at the relighting if the Statue of Liberty. I believe that God has called President Trump to rekindle liberty itself across the nation. On November 3rd, vote Donald Trump and let him complete his task.

 

May God bless America and President Trump. —Mark Davis Pickup



Friday, October 16, 2020

FROM PHYSICAL BROKENNESS CAN COME SPIRITUAL HEALING

God can use us in any circumstance in which we may find ourselves, even dire circumstances. Dire circumstances and pain are teachers, if we listen for God's voice. I have been chronically ill and physically disabled with severe multiple sclerosis for over 36 years—more than half of my life. Strangely, I have been more use to God disabled than I ever was able-bodied. It was at a certain point of disability and sorrow that I asked God what He wanted me to do? He led me to speak out across North America about disability inclusion and against an emerging cultural acceptance of euthanasia.

And so from 1994-2018 I spoke to anyone who would listen to what I had to say. I spoke to community groups, colleges and universities, politicians at provincial, state and federal levels, evangelical and Catholic groups, churches, medical professionals, disability organizations, legal organizations—literally anyone and any place that invited me. Unless speaking about public policy in government settings, I used every opportunity to witness for Christ. Today, I was sent a link to a 2016 presentation I gave in Ottawa, Canada, to the annual conference of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF). They asked me to speak on the subject of "I AM MORE THAN MY DISABILITY." Click on image below. 

[NB: Notice the first inklings of my useless right hand awakening from MS paralysis.) I did not know then that a prayer not yet prayed was being answered ever so slowly. By 2019 I was walking after decades of paralysis in my legs, and regained full function of my right arm and hand.)