“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

Monday, February 5, 2018


"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.

[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. 

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