“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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

FLORIDA KILLINGS BEG THE QUESTION (AGAIN)

Parkland school shooting victim
On Valentines Day 2018, a young man with mental issues, Nikolas Cruz (19), murdered 17 people at his former high school in Parkland Florida. Apparently Cruz was armed to the teeth with assault weapons. Evil. I grieve today with my American brothers and sisters.

I have an abiding love for America. In fact, the day my own country of Canada legalized medically assisting the suicides of sick and disabled people (at tax payer expense) was the day I starting wanting to move to the U.S.. I love everything about America except its obsession with guns. Does the 2nd Constitutional Amendment mean a right to bear assault weapons designed for one reason: Killing people? Don't get me wrong I believe in civil liberty as much as the guy. But for the life of me, I don't understand why ordinary citizens need AK47s, or other automatic weapons. It's simply beyond me.

I've heard the defence that people need a weapon to defend their property and families. That's what police are for. The response may be that some neighborhoods are so violent that people need to keep a pistol in their night-drawer to ward of intruders until the police arrive. Okay, but a pistol is vastly different than an automatic weapon. 

The Parkland high school slaughter begs the question that needs to
be answered: Should ordinary citizens have assault weapons designed for military applications? Is it reasonable for someone with a history of mental illness to have any gun?  My answer is no. 

But then what do I know, I'm a naive Canadian.  For the longest time I thought the right to bear arms had something to do with short-sleeved shirts.

Mark

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

MERCY

MERCY

My son is a successful graphic artist in the book publishing industry, but his real love is working with pencil and charcoal.  I't a dichotomy about him that I love. He makes his living at two extremes of visual arts: Computer and the original art form. I asked about this. He held up a piece of charcoal and said "It all began here." He is going so far as to make his own charcoal with fire and incomplete combustion of wood.

Dean usually draws the human face and you can see much of his work on Facebook at Dean Pickup art

He completely surprised me with his most recent piece (above). He called it MERCY. I asked him why he chose that title.  He said, "Only the powerful can give mercy. The powerless receive it." Good point. This charcoal drawing will mean different things to different people.

To Christians viewing MERCY, they may think of Aslan from C.S. Lewis' Narnia book series. A Muslim may think the lion represents Allah. The secularist will image a lion choosing not to devour it's prey.

Prints of MERCY can be ordered from Dean Pickup art.

MDP

Monday, February 5, 2018

RESCUE THE CHILDREN!


"At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”


Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,  and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! ... “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10: 1-6, 10)

Christ's love for children was immense and unquestionable. That is how our love for all children should be too, regardless of where they might be, their citizenship, homeland (or lack thereof), -- or their state or stage in life. All children need security, love, care, and nurture physically, emotionally and spiritually to help them to reach their full potential. To deny any child of these needs is sin. Jesus said their angels see the face of God. Do not be repelled by sentimental embroidered images of children's guardian angels. The Jewish belief in guardian angels was confirmed by Christ. It's hard to dismiss it.

We read in this passage 'Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. " Some translations say 'causes one of these little ones to stumble ...". About this passage, The Zondervan Bible Commentary states that the Greek is more accurately translated 'hurts the consciences of." It continued to clarify this point: "Modern psychology has demonstrated that failure to meet a child's standards can cause lasting psychic and spiritual damage." The words "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that
man by whom the offense comes!" are more accurately translated "Woe to the world for the hurt done to consciences."[1] It would be better for the offenders to have a mill stone tied around their necks and thrown into the sea.[2]

People need consciences that are unscarred by past life experiences, cruelties or neglect in order to discern and decide as clear as possible to follow Christ. Believing in Christ is the whole point of life.[1]  [Mark John 3.16, 17 and other Scriptures)

Someone may reply that everyone will experience such offences against their consciences. Jesus acknowledged this unfortunate reality. Woe to the world because of the offenses. For the offenses must come. Why must they come? They must come as a result of a fallen world and a fallen humanity.  Knowing that the very act of living will cause hurts, those who are called to nurture and care for children must comfort and put the hurts inflicted in a spiritual context, and assure the hurting child of God's love for them, as well as our own. It provides solid spiritual undergirding of needed support to face travails. 

Christ words of woe to the world and woe to those who cause offenses to children assures us of ultimate justice.

Only a corrupt and evil generation would destroy children before they are born, before they see the light of day, breath fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun on their shoulders. Throughout generations children have been denied carefree childhoods, play, learning, -- and forced into servitude, child labour, or become child-soldiers. No child should be made to kill!

Only a wicked world would force children to become child-
soldiers. What despicable corruption of innocence! What kind of scarred psyches and tormented and warped futures does this relegate them to? If their angels are always before the face of God -- as Jesus said -- I cannot imagine the eternal fate that awaits those who do such things to children.

How do we rescue child-soldiers? It easier to rescue them
physically than mentally and spiritually. [1] Can their psyches' be restored, their consciences healed, their souls redeemed from the grip of darkness?[2] Yes, I believe it is possible. I must believe it is possible. The alternative is unthinkable.

With God all things are possible.[3] I must believe that or there is nothing worth believing. I am a Christian. I have seen God's healing work in seemingly hopeless circumstances. There is no living soul beyond his redemptive power. I have seen His redemptive power turn stone-hearted reprobates into tender-hearted souls.  We must do our best to rescue innocents being toward slaughter. We must spare no effort to rescue children who have their childhoods' ripped from them by war and heal their sorrows.
  


_____________
Notes:
[1] Zondervan Bible Commentary, ed. F F. Bruce (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2008) pp.1084-1085.
[2] Chris Meehan, "Former Child Soldier Tells of Horror and Redemption", News & Views, Christian Reform Church, 12 January 2008. ( https://www.crcna.org/news-and-views/former-child-soldier-tells-horror-and-redemption)
[3] Matthew 19.26. Cf. Luke 3.8. to see triumph over the impossible. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ADDRESS TO THE 2018 NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE MARCH

Below is a transcript of President Donald Trump's address to the 2018 March for Life in Washington, DC. 
God bless the President
_________________



President Trump addresses massive
crowd at the 2018 March for Life,
Washington, DC
We have tens of thousands of people watching this right down the road, tens of thousands. So, I congratulate you, and at least we picked a beautiful day, you can’t get a more beautiful day. I want to thank our Vice President Mike Pence for that wonderful introduction. I also want to thank you and Karen for being true champions for life. Thank you, and thank Karen.
Today I’m honored and really proud to be the first president to stand with you here at the White House to address the 45th March for Life, that’s very very special, 45th March for Life, and this is a truly remarkable group. Today tens of thousands of families, students, and patriots, and really just great citizens gather here in our nations Capitol. You come from many backgrounds, and many places, but you all come for one beautiful cause, to build a society where life is celebrated and protected and cherished.
The March for Life is a movement born out of love: you love your families; you love your neighbors; you love our nation; and you love every child born and unborn, because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.
We know that life is the greatest miracle of all. We see it in the eyes of every new mother who cradles that wonderful, innocent, and glorious-newborn child in her loving arms. I want to thank every person here today and all across our country who works with such big hearts and tireless devotion to make sure that parents have the caring support they need to choose life.
Because of you, tens of thousands of Americans have been born and reached their full God-given potential, because of you. You’re living witnesses of this year’s March for life theme, and that theme is, ‘Love Saves Lives.’
As you all know Roe versus Wade has resulted in some of the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world. For example, in the United States, it’s one of only seven countries to allow elective late-term abortions along with China North Korea and others. Right now, in a number of States, the laws allow a baby to be born [sic, aborted] from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month.
It is wrong. It has to change.
Americans are more and more pro-life. You see that all the time. In fact, only 12% of Americans support abortion on demand at any time.
Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independent, and that is the ‘right to life.’
Tomorrow will mark exactly one year since I took the oath of office. And I will say our country is doing really well. Our economy is perhaps the best it’s ever been. You look at the job numbers, the companies pouring back into our country,  look at the stock market at an all-time high, unemployment at a 17-year low, unemployment for African workers at the lowest mark in the history of our country, unemployment for Hispanic at a record-low in history, unemployment for women, think of this, at an 18-year low.
We’re really proud of what we’re doing.
And during my first week in office, I reinstated a policy first put in place by Pres. Ronald Reagan, the Mexico City Policy.
I strongly supported the House of Representatives’ pain-capable bill, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide. And I call upon the Senate to pass this important law and send it to my desk for signing.
On the National Day of Prayer, I signed an executive order to protect religious liberty. [I’m] very proud of that. Today, I’m announcing that we’ve just issued a new proposal to protect conscience rights and religious freedoms of doctors, nurses, and other medical professions. So important.
I have also just reversed the previous administration’s policy that restricted state efforts to direct Medicaid funding away from abortion facilities that violate the law.
We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society. But this movement can only succeed with the heart and the soul and the prayer of the people.
Here with us today is Marianne Donadio from Greensboro North Carolina. Where is Marianne? Hello, come on up here Marianne. Come. Nice to see you, by the way.
Marianne was 17 when she found out that she was pregnant. At first, she felt like she had no place to turn. But when she told her parents they responded with total love, total affection, total support. Great parents? Great? [Trump asked Marianne. She responded in the affirmative] I thought you were going to say that. I had to be careful.
Marianne bravely chose life and soon gave birth to her son. She named him Benedict which means blessing. Marianne was so grateful for her parents love and support that she felt called to serve those who were not as fortunate as her. She joined with others in her community to start a maternity home to care for homeless women who were pregnant. That’s great. They named it ‘Room at the Inn.’ Today, Marianne and her husband Don are the parents of six beautiful children. And her eldest son Benedict and her daughter Maria join us here today. Where are they? Come on over. That’s great.
Over the last 15 years, Room at the Inn has provided housing, childcare, counseling, education, and job-training to more than 400 women. Even more importantly, it has given them hope. It has shown each woman she is not forgotten, that she is not alone, and that she really now has a whole family of people who will help her succeed.
That hope is the true gift of this incredible movement that brings us together today.
It is the gift of friendship, the gift of mentorship, and the gift of encouragement, love, and support. Those are beautiful words and those are beautiful gifts.
And most importantly of all, it is the gift of life itself – that is why we March, that is why we pray, and that is why we declare that America’s future will be filled with goodness, peace, joy, dignity, and life for every child of God.
Thank you to the March for life, special, special people. And we are with you all the way. May God bless you and may God bless America. Thank you. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

THE PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH, 2018

President Donald Trump's State of the Union Speech last night was cause for Americans to be hopeful for the future of the nation. It was as though someone opened a window to let fresh air in to the Capitol building after eight stifling years of Barack Obama and the Democrats.


The President spoke of hope and change to set free the engines of enterprise from the hobbles of government regulations and disincentives. He spoke of low unemployment and the rising stock market. The President spoke of national security to protect America -- and, by extension, the world. He spoke of faith and family and reminded Congress of the words found on America's currency: "In God We Trust." 


The Democratic Party mood
The Democrats sat sour-faced, glued to their seats, refusing to applaud the plan to Make America Great Again. They sat and  scowled as the President celebrated human greatness of ordinary people, and the capacity of motivated Americans to succeed. He called the nation to believe in itself and rise to its full potential. The Democrats stewed. It revealed something of their darkness. 

I do believe America is seeing the bright and hopeful rays of a new sunrise, after eight disastrous years of the Democrats. It is so important that the American people strengthen the Republican majorities on both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the upcoming mid-term elections. Without decisive majorities, the Democrats will continue to obstruct and stymy legislation of the duly elected Republican government and President. You see, to Democrats it's all about winning and losing not right and wrong. 

I was reminded of a blog post I wrote a number of years ago under the title "IS THE SUN RISING OR SETTING FOR AMERICA" SEE
http://www.humanlifematters.org/2014/02/is-sun-rising-or-setting-for-america.html 

-- MDP

Friday, January 26, 2018

#METOO AND FOLLOW THROUGH

The #MeToo movement was long overdo. It was (and remains) needed to rip a scab off a putrid cultural sore of sexual abuse and harassment.  There is evil in sexual predation. This evil is intensified by power imbalance between predator and victim. It can appear as inappropriate advances, intimidation, threats, and in extreme cases, violence. The evil is fuelled by silence. The #MeToo movement removed the fuel. But it must not stop there.

Avenues must be established for healing for victims (and
perpetrators). Our collective human community must work toward a proper balance between justice and mercy. It must ensure bridges of communication are open for repentance and forgiveness, restoration and reorientation of relationship dynamics based on mutual respect. This may involve therapies and treatments for victims and predators. The accused must be allowed to defend themselves, victims supported, false accusers punished.

But the goal must be restoration of everyone involved to view the other as valued, equal and contributing members of our collective human family. 

I understand that is not always possible. It takes the wisdom of Job to understand who can be retrieved and regretfully accept who is irretrievable and must remain pariahs. Our human community must remain sensitive and discerning about who is which. There is a time for incarceration for serious or criminal offences or repeat sexual offenders.  Always protect the common good even though it can carry a high human cost. 

It must be acknowledged that we live in a pornographic culture and that must be changed. Modesty is a virtue. Sexualization of people as objects, outside the bounds of commitment relationships, must cease to be glorified or viewed as healthy. Nobody is an object for the gratuitous gratification of someone else. The arts and media must move toward messaging that embraces the unalienable worth of every human being in their own rite. Entertainment and education have an important role to play in casting our individual and cultural understanding of human nature as possessing a spark of the divine. 

If you do not believe that every human life is inalienably endowed with the image and likeness of God, at least behave as though you do. -- MDP 

Monday, January 22, 2018

HUMAN LIFE MATTERS BLOG SURPASSES 700,000 PAGE VIEWS

I started the HumanLifeMatters blog eleven years ago as a way for me to vent my grief seeing our once great western Christian civilization – dating back to the Middle Ages -- being dismantled.  All I hold dear is being attacked and broken. It became most evident with the rejection of the sanctity of all human life that served as a foundation of Common Law. It was on the basis of that foundation that our subsequent moral traditions, laws and mores were built. Western Christian civilization gave the highest individual and societal freedoms and liberties ever to exist!  But freedom and liberty need form. That is being taken apart and replaced with ever increasing hardline secularism. Consequently, the lives of the weakest, most vulnerable and unwanted are being turned into hell on earth.  

And yet I remain an optimist. I hope (perhaps foolishly) that what was can be again, to an even greater degree.  I still hope and pray for a Christian revival. I believe that only then can we reclaim what has been lost and restore the culture to valuing every life and where killing each other is unthinkable. This blog is a tool to expose cultural error and cruelty and recommend a better way found in Christ and a Christian moral consensus.

In the early years after this blog was started, very few people read my posts.  The numbers began to grow.  The blog has now surpassed 700,000 page views from across North America. It seems to be striking a full chord with people. 

I will continue to write until, either my health gives out, or Google Blogger censors the HumanLifeMatters blog. What I write is offensive to aggressive and hardline secularist views, and because of this I do not allow many comments. I suspect a progressive or two will complain to Google at some point to have me silenced. 

Mark