“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

Saturday, June 25, 2016

CHRISTIAN EUTHANASIA FREE ZONES



Photo taken in 2006 while I
addressed Mother Teresa
House for the terminally,
Lansing, Michigan
Ten years ago I gave a keynote address to a fundraising banquet for Mother Teresa House for the terminally ill located in Lansing Michigan. (I have long feared North America would embrace euthanasia and assisted suicide of the sick and disabled.) My fears were well founded.

We need 'Mother Teresa Houses' across Canada -- euthanasia free zones. 

I am referring to a network of places that relieve suffering without eliminating the sufferer. Places faithful to Catholic teaching over morally corrupt laws and policies for assisted suicide/euthanasia. 

I am referring to Catholic hospices where medical killing (or referral to doctors willing to kill) does not ever happen even if threatened by government or professional medical organizations that pressure them to kill suicidal sick and disabled people.  

I am referring to courageous and resolute non-compliance with Canada's new euthanasia regime. 

We have come to the point where civil disobedience is the only legitimate response of faithful Christian doctors, nurses and pharmacists: Human laws regarding abortion and euthanasia in Canada are in direct violation of God's law not to kill, dating back into antiquity.

Perhaps this is the hour for our greatest Christian witness for the sanctity of human life, the care and protection of every person, and for proper end of life care, under the lordship of Jesus Christ. -- Mark


Thursday, June 23, 2016

EVANGELICAL LEADER ENDORSES HILLARY CLINTON?

Deborah Fikes
The Washington congressional newspaper The Hill carried a story  "Evangelical leader says Trump is 'un-Christian', supports Clinton."  See http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/284315-evangelical-leader-says-trump-is-un-christian-endorses  LifeNews.com carried a similar story reporting that Deborah Fikes of the World Evangelical Alliance has thrown support behind pro-abortion Hillary Clinton. (See "Evangelical leader endorses pro-abortion Hillary Clinton: "We're praying for sister-Hillary"" at http://www.lifenews.com/2016/06/22/evangelical-leader-endorses-pro-abortion-hillary-clinton-were-praying-for-sister-hillary/)

Really?! When I read this account of a prominent evangelical leader supporting abortion extremist Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, I was stunned. "We're praying for sister Hillary"? Who is "we're"? The World Evangelical Alliance or just Deborah Fikes? If they are praying for sister-Hillary's salvation then I will joint in their prayers. If, however, they (whoever they is?) are praying that sister-Hillary to win the election, ... they won't have my prayers. American Christians must not support a candidate they know will open the bloodied flood gates wider for abortion. They may not support Donald Trump but they must not support Hillary Clinton -- if the sanctity of human life still has meaning to them. 

Deborah Fikes is showing accommodation with the age and culture of death. Christians must not follow her example. If they will not stand resolutely for the value of all human life, pray tell, what will they stand for? Anything less is accommodation.


Francis Schaeffer
I am reminded of words of the profound 20th Century evangelical theologian Dr. Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984). In his last book The Great Evangelical Disaster, he wrote:

"Here is the great evangelical disaster -- the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this -- namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated the spirit of the age. ... this accommodation has been costly, first in destroying the power of the Scriptures to confront the spirit of the age; second, in allowing the further slide of our culture. ... It is my firm belief that when we stand before Jesus Christ, we will find that it has been the weakness and accommodation of the evangelical group on the issues of the day that has been largely responsible for the loss of the Christian ethos which has taken place in the area of culture in our own country over the last forty to sixty years." (pp. 37-38)

The great man wrote those words 32 years ago. He would be horrified to see where North America has gone.  No where has this accommodation with the spirit of the age been more profound than in biblical Christianity and Life issues.


Brian Stiller
And so this morning I wrote an urgent email to Brian Stiller, World Ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, asking for clarification about Fikes' comments. I am concerned about my evangelical brothers and sisters. This is the text of my email:


"Hi Brian – LifeNews .com is reporting that Deborah Fikes of World Evangelical Alliance is endorsing Hillary Clinton. See http://www.lifenews.com/2016/06/22/evangelical-leader-endorses-pro-abortion-hillary-clinton-were-praying-for-sister-hillary/ Is this true? I’m confused. I hope it’s a misunderstanding and that the World Evangelical Alliance is not supporting a pro-abortion extremist such as Hillary Clinton. If this is simply Deborah Fikes speaking as an individual, please have her to clarify that her opinion does not represent WEA. If her views do represent the World Evangelical Alliance then the evangelical world needs to know this dramatic departure from defending the sanctity of human life! You know what Clinton will do in this regard if elected. Millions more children will die before they ever see the light of day!

It is better to endorse no candidate than a bad one. Please clarify.
In Christ’s service, 
Mark Pickup
North American Christian advocate for Life
and disability issues"

I will post Brian Stiller's reply. If Deborah Fikes was speaking only for herself in her endorsement of Hillary Clinton, and the 'we' she refers to does not include the World Evangelical Alliance, that needs to be clarified. Without a retraction, her continued association with WEA needs to be reassessed -- for the sake of the Alliance's credibility. 

Mark



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FAMILY A SOURCE OF PROTECTION, IDENTITY AND SECURITY

Family is the greatest support and protection for humanity -- particularly in a world where a tide of migration has involved an estimated 65 million displaced people. Governments are often the problem not the solution. 


It is the cohesion of  inter-generational families that can provide the only sense of stability in a dangerous world that seems ever so unstable and tenuous for the most vulnerable: Elders, children and particularly family members with disabilities. Governments will come and go. The family unit remains.

I mentioned families with elders, children and disabilities. I know
The embrace of a grandson
first-hand the critically important role family plays in the lives of children and those who live with disabilities. I have been seriously disabled with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) for more than half my lifetime. My greatest support has been my family spanning four generations. This family dynamic has been the single most important feature to me. While welcome and needed, government support in the form of health and home care, have played a secondary role. It is with the family unit that I have been protected, loved, encouraged and found my identity and sense of self-worth. This must not be discounted or overlooked. My family understands this: My daughter and her husband are in the throes of adopting a child from Haiti. 


The proper role of government is to support families -- not replace them. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

BENEVOLENT GLOBAL VILLAGE IS A MYTH

The architects of a new world order often speak of a global village. Hillary Clinton tells us that it takes a village to raise a child. Are they speaking of the same village?

If there is a benevolent global village then where is it and why is so much of humanity exiled from it? If the world is so "connected" — as we are continually being told by high-tech gurus and new-age visionaries — then why do so many people feel cut off from meaningful relationships?
                     
In Africa we find countless orphans whose parents died from AIDS, other diseases or war. They wander the parched landscape, yet never find this village that is apparently so global.

If it takes a village to raise a child, where is it when the world's unloved children so desperately need it? They cry out for love yet receive none. They cry out from hunger yet go to bed unfed. They shiver throughout the nights for want of a blanket but remain uncovered and in a huddle waiting for death from starvation and neglect resulting mostly from lack of love.

They need the love of a real family, not the empty promises of a mythical village.

The cruel reality is that the secular vision of a global village does not exist — except in the minds of comfortable, well-fed people, when they happen to feel benevolent or sentimental.

GLOBAL VILLAGE MYTH                         

The global village is a myth. It is a myth because the brotherhood of man is impossible without the Fatherhood of God. Human benevolence that depends on feelings is a cheap, unreliable benevolence.

Feelings are unstable: They change based upon our mood or who
we've been talking to, the amount of sleep we've had or even something as minor as indigestion. People can become uncharitable (or vicious) over another driver who cuts them off in traffic or is driving too slow.

Our Lord told us that evil comes out of the human heart (Matthew 15.19; Mark 7.21). The same mouth that is capable of blessing others is also capable of cursing them. St. Paul said, "the sinful mind is hostile to God, It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do it" (Romans 8.7).

In the previous chapter of Romans, he said, "For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want." Even in a spiritual giant like St. Paul, his carnal nature reigned without the presence of Christ to set him free from his sinful nature. It's true for all humanity.

We readily accept a small measure of goodness in our dispositions but loathe to admit the badness. If you say to me, "You are such a kind, gracious and loving man," I will be inclined to feign humility and thank you in agreement. If, however, you accuse me of being harsh, callous or peevish, I'm apt to respond by blaming my bad behaviour on my disability, pain or a host of other excuses.

I probably will not take responsibility by saying, "You're right. I'm a nasty man. It's my deplorable nature." But if I were to be honest, that's exactly what I should say.

The Lord told Jeremiah that the human heart is desperately wicked. (I don't know about your heart, but mine certainly is.) Only through Christ am I capable of any lasting good.

Everyone needs a touch of God's love to cool and tame wicked thoughts of evil tendencies in their hearts - and subsequent actions (or inactions). Only through God's grace can human hearts change. Once this happens and we begin to live for Christ rather than ourselves, great things can happen.

COMPASSION BLOSSOMS

As our love for Christ deepens and matures, we will naturally begin to ache with compassion for other people, because Christ dwells in us and his heart aches with compassion for a lost and hurting world. This realization intensifies our desire to reflect Christ's love to those around us.

No longer must we rely on our own unstable and unreliable
benevolences based on feelings to serve other people. The Holy Spirit will convict us and keep a flame of compassion and commitment burning to continually serve our Lord.


The global village may not exist but I know the human family does and God is its Father. Let us go into the world to serve both.

Mark

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES: SOPHIA TALK ON ASSISTED SUICIDE

The Sophia Talks
Catholic Social Services (CSS) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has embarked upon a series they call The Sophia Talks. Sophia Talks deal with various issues from a Catholic perspective. Below is the first such Sophia Talk (22 minutes) delivered by Rick Berube, Assistant Chaplain for CSS, April 2016.



CATHOLIC DISABILITY ADVOCATE INTERVIEW

This past spring, I was interviewed by Salt and Light TV, Canada’s Catholic television network. 
You can see the interview here http://saltandlighttv.org/catholicfocus/?f=end-of-life-human-life-matters

I am available speak in your diocese. Send an email to HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca  

Mark 

(P.S. You can also read my recent keynote address to Catholic Social Services (Edmonton, Canada) here http://www.humanlifematters.org/2016/06/address-to-catholic-social-services.html )

Friday, June 10, 2016

WE MUST DECIDE WHAT WE WILL DO WITH THE TIME WE ARE GIVEN

I was recently speaking at a disability conference. Someone commented that I'm holding up extremely well after 32 years with MS that has been aggressive. I know, most people would be institutionalized or gone by now. There was a time when multiple sclerosis took me to the edge of quadriplegia; my situation was getting that serious! In fact, my neurologist put me on drastic, potentially life threatening therapy still in clinical study phase to try and prevent quadriplegia. Things were that dire. The therapy proved so toxic to me he stopped it early. Happily, the attack later subsided.

I am fortunate. The MS has not yet silenced me from speaking out on Life issues or confused moral clarity for me.


In whatever time I have left, I will continue to promote the equality, dignity and sanctity all human life from conception to natural death. North American society has abandoned its previous Christian moral consensus in favour of nihilism and narcissism. The foundations of the family have crumbled and marriage redefined. 


I wish I had not born into a time where unwanted or inconvenient children are killed before birth or suicidal sick and disabled people were not helped to kill themselves. (God help us in the dark and murderous future!) But there it is: I must respond to the situation I find myself in. Tolkein said it