“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
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
We must be witnesses for sunlit uplands of Christ’s love on a confused, barren, darkened and increasingly loveless landscape. Only someone who has not experience the light of Christ would refer to our death culture as "sunny ways". It is only sunny ways for the powerful, healthy, rich and loved. Christians must take the light of the Son to the powerless, the sick, the poor and unloved. It has always been that way.
[Click on image below for Third Day "Jesus, Light of the World"]
Friday, November 25, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Since I published that post, I have been told by a number of sources that Hillary Clinton and the Foundation are despised by people in Haiti. I do not know if that assertion is true (I hope not). The Clinton Foundation is in Haiti and command massive resources. If their efforts will be compromised or hampered by people's distrust -- assuming they are willing to put a stop to the cholera epidemic -- then I suggest an alternate strategy for followers of the HumanLifeMatters blog.
Send another urgent and immediate tweet to the United Nations Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres (@AntGuterres or @AGuterres_UNSG) and outgoing Secretary General Ban Kin-Moon @secgen. Insist the United Nations immediately commit significantly more resources to stop the cholera crisis in Haiti. It is a crisis they apparently started inadvertently after the 2010 earthquake.
The Guardian newspapered interviewed to Beatrice Lindstrom, staff attorney at the Institute for Justice and Democracy (IJDH). They reported that the IJDH "has led a campaign to hold the UN accountable for its role in the cholera outbreak that hit nine months after the January 2010 earthquake. The disease was previously unknown in Haiti, and overwhelming evidence suggests that it was introduced to the country by UN peacekeepers from Nepal."
In a New York Times article, reporter Azam Ahmed wrote:
"... The torment has only started. Cholera, the disease at the heart of Haiti’s last disaster, is being spread again by this one. About 10,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have been sickened since cholera first appeared in late 2010. Scientists say it was brought to Haiti by United Nations peacekeepers stationed at a base that leaked waste into a river. After years of deflecting blame, the United Nations this summer acknowledged “its own involvement” in the suffering Haiti has experienced from the disease."
We are not talking about scientific sophistication such as we saw with the Ebola outbreak in Africa. The battle with cholera involves providing clean water, basic sanitation and antibiotics where required. Pretty basic. Yesterday, I spoke to a physician who confirmed that it is quite simple. The first thing is to clear away contaminated water and replace with clean. What then?
Well, the World Health Organization (WHO) website says this:
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
I have to settle with re-reading Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol. First published in 1843, A Christmas Carol has remained a standard at Christmas for 168 years. My latest reading of A Christmas Carol was not so much for the story (as enjoyable as it is); this time I am trying to get a sense of Christmas in the early 19th century.
Dickens had such a talent with description of the particulars of daily life. It's almost like travelling back in time to Victorian London of the 1840s. In my imagination I can hear the sounds of horses' hooves on the streets, children playing, frosty shop windows and gritty smells of the old city. A spirit of Christmas excitement and goodwill is portrayed in A Christmas Carol that humanity still experiences in 2016. It illustrates for me that Christmas has given a bond to humanity throughout the generations. That bond is conveyed through the vast treasury of Christmas music and carols, art, literature and traditions.
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS
The most meaningful Christmas traditions should point to Christ's birth, rather than merely generating warm fuzzy feelings associated with gift giving, elves, decorated trees and a fat little man with high cholesterol, wearing a red suit.
Christ's birth carries the same timeless hope across the centuries. Millions of Christians have experienced that hope as they contemplated the incarnation and placed their faith in Jesus Christ. God became man. Immanuel - God with us, as mentioned in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel and alluded to at the end of Matthew when the risen Christ assured his followers, "I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Christmas reminds me of that promise. (That's the real reason it's my favourite time of year.) The reality of that promise is alive within all who have met the risen Christ and place their faith and hope in him. Christ is with us.
The road from Bethlehem to Calvary can lead humanity to the sublime love of Christ's sacrificial act on the cross and provides the means for reconciliation of sinful humanity back to God.
A traditional English Christmas carol mentioned in Dickens' novel is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen which dates to the 15th century. It carries the beloved lyrics:
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.
Again Collins explained: "Thus when taken in context, the new meaning of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen becomes "God keep you mighty, gentlemen.'"
MEDIEVAL WISDOMPerhaps the person who penned this traditional English carol 700
years ago had a clearer grasp of the purpose of Christmas observance than many 21st century Christians. Yes, we should do acts of generosity to our fellow man, celebrate the birth of Jesus, but as the lyrics remind us "Christ, our Saviour was born on Christmas Day, to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray."
Throughout Christmas Season, and throughout the year, let us commit ourselves to goodwill between ourselves and others, meditate upon our Lord's birth and expectation of Christ's return. Let's use Advent to recommit ourselves to the good news of Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection, and to be mighty in our faith and loving evangelism. Remember the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!" -- Mark
[Click on image below for Libera boys choir singing Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen]
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I thought I would post the contents of that old overhead. Now, over 30 years later, spiritual confusion in rampant, precisely because North America (and Canada in particular) overthrew Christianity and the Judeo-Christian moral consensus that accompanied it. See below:
THE LAW OF NATURE
"Nowadays, when we talk of the ‘laws of nature’ we usually mean things like gravitation, or heredity, or the laws of chemistry. But when the older thinkers called the Law of Right and Wrong ‘the Law of Nature,’ they really meant the Law of Human Nature. The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the law of gravitation, and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had his law–with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either to obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it."
(London, England, Geoffry Bless, 1961), pp.4-5.
- Divine law is revealed in nature (Psalm 19.2-3, Psalm 97.6, Romans 1.20)
- Divine Law is written in the conscience (Romans 2.15, 13.5)
- Divine Law is written on tablets of stone (Exodus 24.12, written by the hand of God - 31.18, cp. 32.15 & 16, 34.1, see ten commandments Exodus 34.28).
- Divine Law in the entire Scriptures (Romans 15.4, 1Corinthians 10.11, 2 Timothy 3.16,)
- Divine Law illustrated in Christ (John 1.14, 8.32, 18.37, Galations 4.4, cf. Isaiah 40.5)
- Divine Law written on the human heart (Hebrews 8.10, 10.16, Jeremiah 31.33, 2Corinthians 3.3,
- Divine Law to be shown to all people by Christians and their lives. (Matthew 22.35-40, John 13.34-35, 15.9-12, 1John 2.5, 3.11 & 23, cf. Matthew 25.34-40, 1 Thessalonians 3.12)