“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, October 31, 2018
I care deeply about the environment and the economy and I don't believe we have to choose between them: We can have a sensible balance. I care deeply about health, justice, trade, agriculture, and policies that support inclusion, family life and children. I want good roads, good infrastructures, good hospitals, good schools. I want to know parents are able to choose the kind of education their children receive. I want impartial, non-activist judges and fair courts. I want proper, reasonable immigration policy that is orderly—not simply throwing open the borders of the nation. I believe in a strong national defense and military.
And yet, it's worth nothing if national, provincial or state politicians do not place the protection and care of all human life at the very apex of priorities and policies. All laws and policies must be motivated by those priorities or enhance them.
A political candidate who supports the freedom to kill unborn children or agrees with assisted suicide and euthanasia of the sick and disabled is unfit for the high calling of public office.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Incurable illness, severe disability, and grief can stunt love's growth. Bitterness can grip love in a stranglehold. We must not allow that to happen. Suffering is a high stakes business. It can either draw us closer to Christ or drive us away from him.
It's easier to succumb to bitterness and resentment than to search for purpose and meaning in our suffering—but search we must if anguish is to be a vehicle for good rather than evil in our lives. We can progress or regress in our pain. It's up to the sufferer. God gives us free will to search or reject Him.
I heard an agnostic refer to Christians as people who have a contract with goodness. Although his choice of phrasing is foreign to the typical parlance of Christians, it does have validity and a kernel of truth. I would alter the 'g' in goodness to a capital 'G'. Christians have a contract (the act of conversion) with Goodness (the source of all goodness, which is God). We are called to live that contract with Goodness regardless of the circumstances or evil in which we may find ourselves. Goodness exists regardless of what people do.
Authentic and genuine human purpose and meaning must align with Goodness—or it is counterfeit. We do not define goodness, it simply exists independent of how humans respond to it. Goodness and love are closely aligned. In their purest context, they are born in the same place and come from the Author of both.
Goodness does not need to align with human definitions of goodness. Humans must align themselves to the definition of goodness as defined by Goodness. Goodness is never idle, and failure to seek Goodness and live out goodness is a very bad sign.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
I received an email from a man who identified himself as Mirabai. He wrote, "... [It] seemed like the concept of divine love is so universal." He then referred me to an eastern religion website that no longer exists. I found the following quote:
"Gitsaji teaches us our true religion and the way to
Hmmm. I had an opportunity to respond as a Christian layman to a Mirabai, a religious non-Christian. I tried to be kind but direct and explained why Jesus was not just another saint in a long line of saints—He was/is not a saint at all! He is the only Messiah for all humanity. That's what Jesus said:
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me."(1) [Emphasis added.]
That's what Jesus said. Saints do not try to mislead people, prophets do not lie. Jesus was neither saint or prophet. Who was He? He called himself God and his miracles and resurrection proved it. He was the great I AM just as He said. Thomas Schultz stated in his 1962 doctoral dissertation at Dallas Theological Seminary:
"Not one recognized religious leader, not Moses, Paul, Buddha, Confucius, etc. have ever claimed to be God; this is, with the exception of Jesus Christ. Christ is the only religious leader who has ever claimed to be deity and the only and the only individual ever who has ever convinced a great portion of the world that he is God."(2)
Exclusivity of Christ
In claiming to be 'the truth' and one with God, and saying he was the only way to God, Jesus ruled out being put together in a long line of deities. Since its beginning, Christianity has understood and accepted Christ's exclusive claim. Christ's unique status as God's only begotten son (John 3.16) is stated by Jesus and the Creeds of Christianity dating back into antiquity. The Apostle's Creed states, "I believe in
Nicene Creed manuscript
dating back to the
To claim that Jesus is just one of many incarnations of deity is to misunderstand his own claims, as well of his followers beginning with Saint Peter, then throughout the ages—spanning 2,000 years. If there are many incarnations of divinity, Jesus can not be included, for that would make him a lair by his own words, or insane.
If one takes the time to examine Christ's claims, there
are really only three responses: He must be discounted as a liar, a lunatic or accepted for what he claimed to be.(3) If Jesus is, in fact, God made man, the great I AM, and if he is the only way to God, then every individual is called to respond to this revelation.
(2) Thomas Schultz, The Doctrine of Christ with an Emphasis Upon Hystostatic Union. Unpublished dissertation. Dallas Theological Seminary, May 1962. p. 209, as cited by Josh McDowell in his book Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Campus Crusade For Christ, 1972, p.92.
(3) This idea was put forth in C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1952) and given considerable attention in Evidence That Demands A Verdict mentioned above.
Friday, October 12, 2018
Albertans, throw the New Democrats out of office
|Alberta NDP premier|
Rachel Notley with her
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Solzhenitsyn described a spiritual illumination that came to him while languishing in a dank, dark stinking prison cell. What is particularly noteworthy is that despite his miserable circumstances, Solzhenitsyn began to comprehend the transforming liberty of the children of God. In the midst of his appalling situation, he experienced salvation and joy!
I, too, have experienced God's illumination and joy even in the midst of degenerative and disabling multiple sclerosis spanning more than thirty years, then cancer.
Suffering has the concealed power to draw the sufferer toward Christ (if the sufferer allows it). Christ grants a special grace that transcends suffering (if the sufferer allows it). Tears of sorrow and tears of joy can flow together. With Christ, the sufferer can transcend their anguish to discover a glorious transforming liberty of the children of God, regardless of their circumstances or wretched prospects for their future on earth.
I came across an address of early Church Father Cyril of Alexandria (378-444). In it, he commented on Scripture passage above:
"Does this not show that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their lives? With the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who have been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely other-worldly in outlook ... ."
Saint Cyril went on to speak about how the Spirit gives cowards courage. He stated that this was obviously what happened to the disciples. The Spirit transformed cowardly men — who earlier scattered and hid when Jesus was arrested — into men of courage and resolve for Christ. They faced trials, persecutions and torture. All but John were martyred.
From then until now, millions of Christians fortified
|Christians martyred by ISIS|
All who turn to the Lord in faith will be transformed.
We will gaze with unveiled faces at the glory of God and will be transformed to the same glory. My puny mind fails to understand the reality that awaits us—the features and magnitude of that transformation. His truth is still partly veiled, I still see as though in a mirror dimly. Now I see only in part, but I will see Him face to face. I will know just as I am known. (See 1Corinthians 13.12 & 1 John 3.2.)
It will be the same for all who turn to the Lord.
Monday, October 1, 2018
|Massachusetts State House|
I told the senators that the first and highest obligation of any legislature is to protect and care for its citizens. Laws and policies that support life with dignity and lift up their sick and disabled must be supported. Laws and policies that do not must never be supported. I reminded the senators that centuries of Anglo-American common law prohibited or punished assisted suicide. The bill they were considering contradicted that long legal and moral history.
And when my testimony was done I flew back to
my little house on the hinterland of western Canada's prairies, in Beaumont, Alberta, to tend the yard God provided for LaRee and me. I hoped the Massachusetts senators would tend the yard God put before them. I simply told the senators what they already knew deep within their own hearts to be true.
Truly civilized societies protect and care for those who cannot protect themselves, beginning the
weakest and most defenceless. Abortion has no place in a truly civilized society. It protects unborn children and provides life-affirming options for their mothers. A truly civilized society reaches out to its mentally and physically ill suicidal people to lift up their natural human dignity. It clears away barriers from its disabled citizens so they can reach their full potential. A truly civilized society is a community of communities that includes all its members. Killing has no place in a truly civilized society.
Mark Davis Pickup