“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
Friday, January 31, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
conscience? It is a willful act that happens in stages: Bit by bit, incident by incident, rationalization by rationalization, the voice of a man’s conscience can be stifled—that still small voice within him eventually becomes fainter, until his heart turns to stone and covers the voice within.
|Nazi euthanasia victims wait|
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in 3 evangelicals who worship weekly think that "a person has a "moral right" to suicide if, they are "in great pain with no hope of improvement. Fewer approve in other circumstances (incurable illness: 27%; ready to die: 19%; burden on the family: 19%."
Deeply, deeply disturbing... .
I presume the reference to "evangelicals" means people who claim to be biblical Christians. The NELSON'S NEW CHRISTIAN DICTIONARY: An Authoritative Resource on the Christian World. (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001) defines evangelical this way: "Member of a Bible-based Protestant church emphasizing personal salvation solely through being born again and through uncompromising commitment to the person of Jesus Christ."
How can one third of evangelical Christians give a biblical justification to support suicide? What Scriptures would they use? How can nearly 30% of evangelicals support suicide for incurable illness?
If a born-again evangelical Christian has an uncompromising commitment to the person of Jesus Christ, and believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God, I defy him to find any place in the Holy Bible or in the life of Christ that would support his position. Actually quite the opposite is true.
The great 20th century Christian apologist Malcolm Muggeridge once said, "Jesus healed the sick, raised Lazarus from the dead, gave back sanity to the deranged, but never did He practice, or include, killing as part of the mercy that occupied His heart. His true followers cannot but adopt the same attitude."
I have been incurably ill with multiple sclerosis for 30 years. At about the 2-3 year point of my degeneration, my sorrow was so deep, my heartache was so sharp that I might have chosen suicide had I not been surrounded by people who loved me and a Christian community of concern that lifted up my inherent value --even when I doubted my own value. They would have intervened with psychiatric care had I been in danger of hurting myself or found someone to help my suicide. Today I am so happy I did not kill myself when I was at my lowest point.
Granted, I now use an electric wheelchair (at one time it was so repugnant to consider) and I have been unable to work for many years, but I am still surrounded family who chose to still love me. I am head-over-heels in love with them, including five wonderful grandchildren who bring me such joy. Look what I would have missed had I opted for suicide 20 or 25 years ago!
Followers of Christ must stand for the sanctity of every life. There are effective pain medications and medical techniques that can eliminate all physical pain. Emotional and spiritual pain are more difficult to reach and treat, but good Christ-centered palliative counselling can manage this pain. The love of Jesus Christ can reach and heal emotional and spiritual anguish. (I know, I have personally experienced it.)
I hope the Pew Research Center was wrong in their claim that so many evangelical Christians support suicide for the sick.
Fellow Christian, do not let the culture of death that is all around us change you. Challenge and change the culture to embrace every life, regardless of how hopeless circumstances may seem for the incurably ill. With Christ there is always hope. I know it.
 Dr. John Scott, palliative care expert at the University of Ottawa, wrote these words in 1995: "The World Health Organization has demonstrated the access to pain-relieving drugs, along with a simple educational program, can achieve relief in a vast majority of patients. Specialists in various parts of the world estimate these basic approaches can control 85 to 98 percent of cases. The remaining cases require more careful attention and the use of multiple drugs and therapies to achieve complete relief." How much more have therapies have improved in the intervening 19 years!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
But new social media is getting the word out where the news media refuses. This blog is part of that new approach to gathering out information. Thousands of people visit the HumanLifeMatters blog each month.
See video below.
|Greg Abbott, Republican candidate|
for Governor of Texas
This incident caught my attention for obvious reasons. Anti-disability prejudice must not be tolerated from whatever side of the political spectrum from which it may come. The offensive video is below. Beneath it is an interview of Greg Abbott by television journalist Megyn Kelly.
Christians in Texas have an opportunity to publicly denounce this revelation of Wendy Davis' supporters and to identify with Texans with disabilities. Promote full inclusion of people with disabilities and the removal of barriers -- whether physical or prejudice -- that may prevent them from meeting their full potential and place in society.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
|Joni Eareckson Tada|
In a 2013, Joni stated:
|Joni and me at Biola University, CA|
"As a stalwart Christian, Mark believes that in this darkening juncture in history, followers of Christ have a vital role to play in restoring a cultural mindset that holds fast to the sanctity and dignity of all human life. ..."
"I pray you will support Mark Pickup -- my friend is spearheading a valiant effort to push back the tide of darkness in Canada and shine a light of biblical truth across every province."
That darkening juncture in history to which Joni refers is a New Dark Age where incurably ill and disabled people will eventually be routinely euthanized -- with or without their consent! The ominous shadows of that New Dark Age threaten Canada, America and much of western Europe. Christians must unite now to resist the cultural acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide added to sea of blood that is polluting the land by abortion. Let me again use Joni's words that we must "push back the tide of darkness in Canada and shine the light of biblical truth across every province."
I am available to address denominational leaders, churches, Christian hospitals and medical groups, universities, colleges and schools, politicians and legislative committees, pro-Life and community groups about the perils of euthanasia/assisted suicide acceptance and how Christians can stand against them and for human dignity. To obtain my biography or bookings please write to me at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca
If you would like to join me to "shine a light of biblical truth across every province" contact me at the same email as above. I'm interested to discuss collective Christian strategies not only for life-affirming public policy but life-affirming alternatives to counter euthanasia and assisted suicide that threatens vulnerable people.
If you would prefer to help financially, you can contribute through the donation button on the right side this blog. (It is not tax deductible and because of the political aspect would probably be ineligible for a tax number.) You can also send donations to HumanLifeMatters c/o 4417-51 Street, Beaumont, AB. Canada, T4X 1C8. This will help pay for integrated IT services and increase a life-affirming internet presence of HumanLifeMatters, production of educational materials, audio-visual display costs, commercials and support services as needed.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
We have all experienced a sense of dread. We may not be able to identify why we have fear and our dread is unfocused. Sometimes there are circumstances developing that makes our sense of unease well founded. Elgar's dread was well founded.
World War I was called the war to end all wars with the loss of an estimated 37-million people, but it did not end all wars. Only God knows the true numbers of lives lost to war since then and the incalculable grief of loved-ones.
I am a Christian. I believe there will come a time when God will put an end to war and wipe away every tear of the brokenhearted (See Revelation 21.3-4).
"They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Isaiah 2.4.
[Link below to Edward Elgar's Sospiri, Op. 70, Cellist, Sol Gabetta or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=886dO7OA6eY ]
His greatest wish was that I would love Jesus Christ with all my heart. It was not so important to him that I worship in an evangelical tradition or within a more orthodox liturgical way. One of his dearest friends was a Catholic Priest. This was interesting to me because I was brought up during the 1950s and the 1960s when Protestants believed Catholics were lost and Catholics believed Protestants were lost, yet my father did not. One day I asked him why one of his best friends was a Catholic priest. He simply answered: "I see Christ in him."
They had their doctrinal differences but on the central points of Christian faith they were in agreement as is articulated in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. They both believed that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. They both had a personal and daily relationship with Jesus Christ and desired to serve Him. Both my dad and Father Edward Lynch were gracious men who knew there were things where they would not agree but they also knew they were still brothers in Christ. They were one in Christ Jesus.
My father died when I was 16 years old and Father Lynch stepped in to love me through my grief and give me fatherly guidance. He had been a presence in my life for some years even before my father died. I was surrounded by their manly good natures and devout Christian faith from the time I was of about twelve. My father was a scholar and the priest was an athlete. Both men had a profound influence on my life. Many years later I wrote about this in a Catholic newspaper:
"Two towering, authentic Christians overshadowed my boyhood. One was my father, a devout evangelical Christian. The other was a Roman Catholic priest. A love of Christ was clearly evidence in both men.They created in me two immense chambers. On the door of one chamber was stamped Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), on the other was stamped Scripture and Sacred Traditions. From beneath both doors radiated narrow beams of white light from divine love."
This morning across the country, Catholic Christians prayed "For dialogue, reconciliation and unity of Christians throughout the world, we pray to the Lord." I prayed it too. If there is to be reconciliation between Christians I submit that it is between Catholics and Evangelical Protestants and not liberals Protestants who have compromised the historic Faith of the Fathers. (Many liberal Protestants have denied the Virgin birth, the miracles, the inerrancy of the Scriptures, the physical Resurrection of Christ and other truths of authentic Christianity.)
I am an old man now and consider myself an evangelical Catholic. I don't want to fight about doctrinal differences that divide Christians. I want to talk about what unites us: Jesus Christ.
[See link below without political or sectarian interpretations rather simply glory to God.]
Friday, January 17, 2014
|LaRee and me then and now|
Granted, there have been sad and hard times as loved-ones died
And if I close my eyes, I can imagine that my wheelchair is not here and we are dancing once again cheek to cheek in the old fashioned way. If you are reading this LaRee, isn't it lovely to imagine?
Marriage as God planned it: A man and a woman united in matrimony for life with God at the center of their lives.
[NB: LaRee responded to this blog by saying: "Ahhh... you still have that romantic spark in you. That's part of why I fell in love with you. I remember so clearly the last time we danced. Your MS was moving at a rapid pace. We knew our time for dancing was limited, so we specifically set out one evening to dance even if it was the old fashioned way. Yes, I closed my eyes, swayed and imagined while this song played. It was lovely. Thank you Mark for sending me down memory lane. I loved it. -- LaRee.]
(Click image or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x5hNzoBc6E, Charles Aznavour, "Old Fashioned Way")
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Click below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0NCnsaPhXg for Samuel Barber, Agnus Dei, Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge)
Monday, January 13, 2014
"Christian love gives the dying souls peace", re-published by American Life League, January 8th 2014.
It was a difficult time. Ten days after my wife's mother died, during a brutal Canadian January cold-snap, the weather moderated slightly to allow us to bury her body. A pall hung over the family waiting for the burial.
LaRee stood brokenhearted at the grave site. It was not that her mother's death was unexpected, her health had been gradually failing for years, but the dreaded moment arrived and this was the conclusion.
LaRee can take comfort knowing she lovingly and faithfully journeyed with her mother to the end of her earthly life. I wrote about this a few months ago for Canada's Western Catholic Reporter. The American Life League re-published it two days before the burial of LaRee's mother, with a note acknowledging the death. (See attachment at the top of this blog entry.)
I sat in my wheelchair, a respectful ten feet back from the grave-site, to give LaRee some time to say goodbye before the casket was lowered into the frozen earth. Despite cold Canadian air, the sun shone and slightly warmed the side of our faces like a reminder that winter will eventually give way to Spring -- and to punctuate the point, I heard a chickadee in the trees above the grave.
Nature itself proclaims the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19.1-2). Nature is a teacher. The shadows of the valley disappears in the ascent up the mountain to reveal the magnificent peak. A grain of wheat falls into the ground and comes forth later to bring its harvest. Our Lord spoke of this.
LaRee's mother was a simple woman who loved shiny things and
butterflies. Even the butterfly is a metaphor for our resurrection. The lowly caterpillar goes into a cocoon only to emerge a beautiful butterfly. Yes, nature is a witness to its Creator.
Spiritual things are not mere metaphors for physical reality. The physical world is a metaphor for spiritual reality. -- MDP
(Link below is to John Rutter's Look At the World, Cambridge Singers, on image or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb0g-npfVcI )
Monday, January 6, 2014
|Dr. Heidi Janz|
Friday, 17 January 2014
THE CURIOUS CASE OF AHS* HOMECARE VERSUS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: A (RE)QUEST FOR ETHICS
Heidi Janz, PhD
Assistant Adjunct Professor,
John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre
FRIDAY, 17 January 2014
12:00 - 1:00pm
Dvorkin Centre (2G2.07 WMC)
University of Alberta Hospital
Link to view map:http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/facilities.asp?pid=facility&rid=6600
To register for Telehealth please visit:
http://www.bioethics.ualberta.ca/Health%20Ethics%20Seminars.aspx or contact your local Telehealth provider or firstname.lastname@example.org
*AHS stands for the provincial Alberta Healthcare Services.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
There are two questions most people avoid. The questions are: “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?” They are such penetrating questions that vast numbers of people spend their lives going to great lengths to avoid them.
Questions call for answers and these two questions pierce to the core of who and what a person is (or is not). They will expose a person’s spiritual state and their humanity (or lack of it). The questions can be unpleasant, threatening and make a person feel uncomfortable. They can spark internal crisis.
Click below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNgd-kue_Fc