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Saturday Selections – July 2, 2022

A fish that shoots its prey (2 min)

God's craftsmanship is on display in the Archer Fish and Velvet Worm (and it might get you curious about such effective predators designs came about).

How thick is your Bible?

How do we tell the right from the almost right? The world speaks of justice, love, tolerance, and equality, and it all sounds so good. But to know if it is actually good, we need to be able to test their definitions against God's. And to do that, we'll need to have "thick Bibles" - we'll need to know, not just a verse or two, but really understand what He has said through and through. This article is intended for Christian counselors but is highly relevant for us all.

Will we work on the New Earth?

Christians sometimes think work is the result of the Fall and the curse that followed. But God had work for Adam to do right from the start...

Christian school caught teaching biblical truth

This reads like satire - a parent surprised that the Christian school assigned their child the task of writing a loving and compassionate explanation of the Christian truth about homosexuality to an imagined friend struggling with same-sex feelings. But it's real, and as Albert Mohler notes:

"That moment of truth is coming for every school, and every Christian institution had better be ready for it. But I just can’t stop thinking about the parents who are upset because they are getting what they paid for: a Christian education for their children. It appears the greatest enemies of Christian education are not the secular powers outside the schools but the spineless agents of surrender within.

"The fact that all this started with a parent upset about an assignment upholding Biblical truth leads me to offer this word of advice to the teacher: Evidently, some of your students need to write that letter to their parents."

Sidenote: do many Christian schools assign this kind of task to middle school students? Impressive!

An FAQ on the overturn of Roe vs. Wade

The US Supreme Court has overruled Roe vs. Wade, but why, and how exactly did it happen? If you've got questions, this FAQ article has the answers.

Another weak link in evolutionary theory

This is a short read that'll reward the close attention it requires – this is an important one!

The gist? One of the arguments for evolution has been common features in different species: both human hands and bat wings have five "fingers" and, so the argument goes, that might indicate a shared five-fingered ancestor deep in the two species' past. But imagine now, if similar traits were discovered to be programmed for in very different parts of the genome. That's what has been recently discovered: "...the functions necessary to sustain life are carried out by different molecules coded by different genes in different species."

What is the basis for equal rights? (4 min)

Even atheists have acknowledged that the only basis for equal human rights is found in Christianity. After all, in what sense are any of us equal, from a secular perspective? I might be bigger than you, you may be faster than me, and that person over there might be smarter than us both. So in what sense are we equal? As Nancey Pearcey and Greg Koukl explain, the only sense in which we are equal is that we are all made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). And when secular folk talk of equal rights they are "freeloading" from the Christian worldview.

News

Saturday Selections – June 4, 2022

The Left rediscovers biology (3 min) At the risk of ruining the joke, this video is deeper than its creator knows. When we reject God's standard - not only for gender but anything else – we're left not simply with another standard, but ultimately with no standard at all. That's because whatever else is proposed won't have a foundation, and pushed to its logical end, it will topple. And, as in this video, when a real reliable standard is sought, the seekers will then find themselves nearing the standard God has put in place all along. A peculiar disapproval of gay pride (10-minute read) There is a specific way that Christians are called to disapprove of homosexuality, based not simply on distaste, but on the truth of God's Word. As John Piper writes: "Christians do not base what we ought to do on what we feel like doing — or not doing. Desires can be deceitful. Rather, we are to “understand what the will of the Lord is.” God’s truth, not our desire, points the way to freedom: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Some non-Christians may argue that the desire for sodomy is enough to make it good. But by that same principle, the feeling of revulsion toward sodomy is also good. If it feels good, it’s okay. Therefore, sodomy is okay, and revulsion at sodomy is okay. A Christian does not think this way." So many beetles, so little time? How do we account for 350,000 species of beetles if Noah's flood was only 4,500 years ago? 44 ways to keep your kids off of screens Some of these are fantastic. Others...less so. In our house, we play "hallway hockey" with a lightweight ball. Absentee fathers, not guns, are the problem  "School shootings in America have dramatically increased over the last few decades. Gun ownership, however, hasn’t." The Church's role in "fixing" Capitalism The economic system most compatible with Christianity is easily corrupted without Christianity. 50 ways to score a half-court shot Some inspiration for your kids, for working on their shot! ...

News

Nancy Pelosi steals communion

A man, given a handsome offer by his king for a piece of property he owned, refused to sell. It was not that the man meant to offend the king or that he intended to display disloyalty; nor could it be said of him that he was holding out for a better offer. No, the man felt that because this piece of land had been a gift from someone very special and because this gift had certain conditions attached to it, he should never part company with it…no matter what generous price was offered. The man, of course, was Naboth and the coveting king's name was Ahab. There are a great many truths we can imbibe from this story. One of these truths is that we, even in this day and age, should also hold onto godly, age-old commands and regulations given to us throughout the centuries in the Word of God. That is not always easy to do. And decisions to live according to God's Law are not always accepted by those who want us to part with our “property.” Mother of 5, death dealer for millions The Speaker of the US House, Nancy Pelosi, wants a “property” very badly. That is to say, she desires very much to partake of the Eucharist Mass in the Roman Catholic church of her home diocese of San Francisco.* She considers herself “a devout Roman Catholic,” and very much covets partaking in the mass. An American citizen, she was born Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro in 1940 in Maryland, and is of Italian descent. The last of six children, she was the first girl. Her father being the popular and very first Italian-American mayor of Baltimore, she suffered no hardships growing up. Her Dad and Mom were Democrats as well as dedicated Roman Catholics. Nancy's mother entertained vague hopes that her daughter might become a nun. Nancy later commented: "I didn't think I wanted to be a nun, but I thought I might want to be a priest because there seemed to be a little more power there." Graduating from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in 1962, she married Paul Pelosi, a banker, a year later. The couple had five children in quick succession - four girls and one boy. Often volunteering for the Democratic Party, Nancy blossomed into a highly effective fundraiser. Rising through the ranks, she eventually ran for public office in l987. Succeeding in this effort, she became a member of the House of Representatives. From 2007-2011 she served as Speaker of the House of Representatives, the first woman in U.S. history to do so, and in 2019 regained that same position. Her worldly goods status is estimated to be over $16 million. Reading through the lens of the world, it seems that Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi has had a rather successful life. And yet presently she is forbidden to partake of something she covets. And that something is the Eucharist Mass in her hometown of San Francisco. The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, which is a summary of Roman Catholic beliefs, is very clear about the sanctity of human life. It says: "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life." This same Roman Catholic Catechism goes on to say: "Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law."  Nancy Pelosi is presently eighty-two years old. Born in 1940, she is an octogenarian and relatively speaking has one blue-veined foot in the grave. Her view of human life and of abortion diverge sharply from that of the catechism of her espoused Roman Catholic Church. Instead of touting the sacredness of life from conception on, she is a radical pro-abortionist - a person who calls for unrestricted abortion up to the time of birth. For many years she has encouraged and aided the Democratic Party to develop this radical pro-abortion agenda, calling for the American taxpayer to fund this heinous crime. Blocking the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” an act which would make the difference between life and death for countless children, she is heaping up iniquity after iniquity for herself and for her Party. Under her leadership, the U.S. House passed a radical pro-abortion bill in the fall of 2021 that would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth nationwide even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Coming from a strict Roman Catholic family, and having been brought up in that faith which traditionally has opposed abortion, plus having had five children herself, it is difficult to say what has so twisted the heart and mind of Nancy to come out so aggressively for the termination of a little soul in the womb. Finally, action In late May, Nancy's hometown priest, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone publicly announced that the congresswoman was not to receive communion because of her decades-long advocacy of abortion. The archbishop is sixty-five years old, seventeen years Nancy Pelosi's junior. Like Pelosi, he went to college, the Pontifical North American College at Rome, no less, and he is no dummy. He was also assistant for seven years at the Roman Catholic Church's supreme court on matters of canon law. He is firmly convinced that this discipline is for Nancy's own good to help save her soul. He is quoted as saying: “After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion." Archbishop Cordileone went on to say that Nancy Pelosi may not receive communion "... until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion.” A number of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church applauded the action of Archbishop Cordileone with comments such as those of Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois:  “I fully support and earnestly commend Archbishop Cordileone’s action in regard to Speaker Pelosi. All politicians who promote abortion should not receive holy Communion until they have repented, repaired scandal, and been reconciled to Christ and the Church.” In response to Archbishop Cordileone's excluding her from communion, Pelosi retaliated on MSNBC's Morning Joe on May 24: “I come from a largely pro-life, Italian-American Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that, but I don’t respect foisting it onto others." Like Jezebel's husband, Ahab, did Nancy go home sullen and angry, because Archbishop Cordileone had told her: "I will not give you the Eucharist of my ancestors"? Did the Speaker of the US House lay on her bed pouting and did she refuse to eat? The proverb “There is honor among thieves” does not ring quite true in this scenario. In spite of Archbishop Cordileone's well-meant condemnation and censure for a member of his flock, Nancy Pelosi was not persuaded. Using her fame and power, she did eventually receive Eucharist from a priest at a liberal Catholic Church in Washington. Endnote  * The Roman Catholic church, by the way, has the wrong idea about Mass. The Heidelberg Catechism, in Lord's Day 30, states this clearly: "... the mass teaches that the living and the dead have not the forgiveness of sins through the sufferings of Christ unless Christ is still daily offered for them by the priests; and that Christ is bodily present under the form of bread and wine and is, therefore, to be worshipped in them. And thus the mass, at bottom, is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and passion of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry." Picture of Pelosi is cropped from the original by Gage Skidmore and used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license....

News

News that inspires action!

“Can we watch World Watch now?” That’s what one of my six blond-haired children is bound to ask on most weekdays after the dinner dishes have been washed and their backpacks are cleaned out and put away. World Watch is a ten-minute video news production, produced 250 times each year, by World News Group, the good folks behind the better-known WORLD Magazine. “We can't keep your kids from growing up too quickly, but we can help them grow into humans equipped with news literacy and Biblical discernment. And make it fun, too...” explains the team at WorldWatch.news. And I can testify that they have succeeded. Screen time to embrace I’m among many parents who has erred on the side of little screen time and almost no news coverage for my children, given how secular and troubling most coverage is. If I were to let the CBC, CTV, or Global educate my children about current events, I shouldn’t be surprised if they start to believe that we live in a perpetual climate “emergency” and that they should look to the government for their help and salvation. But I also don’t want them to bury their heads in the sand either. I’m thankful to have found an alternative that not only educates my family about topics like the war in Ukraine and inflation, but that does so by concluding every episode with a reminder that we all need - "Whatever the news, the purpose of the Lord will stand." Almost none of my friends have heard of the program. One thing that limits its reach is that it requires a paid subscription ($7 US/month). Although that isn’t much, most people aren’t willing to pay for information in a world saturated with free content, not realizing that there is a great cost on their spiritual, emotional, and mental health. Seeing the positive impact of World Watch on my family is one of the influences that led me to take on this role with Reformed Perspective, with a view to developing the organization to reach far more people with information that nourishes and edifies, grounded on the unchanging foundation of our sovereign God. Christians are generally blessed with solid preaching on Sundays. But much of the rest of the week they are saturated with content that is produced by people who have little use for God’s Word. And most of the Christian options that can be found, like World Watch, are American and don’t speak to the unique developments that we are experiencing outside of the USA. A Canadian venture I started with RP on March 1st and have been so encouraged by the progress this organization has been making in recent years and months, by God’s grace. Some of the readers of this magazine will have received the donor update that we sent to RP’s donors recently, explaining the challenges we are facing as well as our vision for the future. I also recently made two fundraising trips, to southern BC and southern Ontario. We have been overwhelmed by God’s provision in response to these efforts, particularly through a small number of very generous individuals and foundations who appreciate our vision and want to see many more people blessed with a Reformed Perspective. As a result of this provision, our hope is to be able to expand the reach of our print magazine to reach close to 10,000 families each issue beginning in September. This would mean that almost every church in Canada that is affiliated with NAPARC (URCNA, PCA, CanRC, FRC, RPC, HRC, OPC, ARP) can receive complementary copies of RP, with most of these churches receiving enough to be able to give a copy to each family! It is very encouraging to us to see the magazine grow from reaching about 1,500 homes about five years ago, when it was only given to paid subscribers, to about 6,000 homes today, and the possibility of 10,000 homes later this year. Plus, the electronic reach has gone from almost zero to close to a million visits per year! We recognize that we still have a long way to go, and much room to improve. Examples like World Watch and WORLD Magazine inspire us by what they can offer. Our hope is that RP can increasingly be a tool, among many others, that God uses to inspire His people to live lives of faith, hope, and love in this world. And if our resources can expand to the point where our kids are eager to finish their chores so that they can read, listen, or watch them, that wouldn’t hurt either 😊. You can find out more about World Watch below (and at their website WorldWatch.News) and watch a free daily 2-min "Top Story" at their YouTube channel. And if you are in a position to support Reformed Perspective's efforts, you can make a one-time or ongoing donation by clicking the "Give" button at the top of this website, or by clicking here. ...

News

Saturday Selections – May 28, 2022

Great moments in unintended consequences "But I didn't mean to!" is a child's frequently invoked defense become parents will generally buy it, at least so long as it is true. It doesn't work if that errant elbow or accidental eye poke was delivered while a kid was busy doing something he totally shouldn't have been doing. Then dad won't much care whether it was intentional. or not. So what about when the government throws an accidental haymaker? Sure, some government programs go horribly wrong, but most are started with the best of intentions, right? So don't we just have to take the bad with the good, and hope they'll do better next time? Well, the problem is not simply that some programs go wrong – we know perfection is unattainable – but that the government gets some things wrong that they should never have been doing in the first place. Then claiming "good intentions" is no excuse at all. What lowering the voting age would do There's a push on in some countries to lower the voting age to 16, or even younger, and that only natural in a culture that worships youth. But would a younger voting age actually help those it's supposed to? No, as J. Budziszewski writes: "It would only mean increasing the political clout of those who have influence through the young. Pop stars. Sports coaches. Schoolteachers. Writers and editors of media aimed at teens. Especially people in such groups who have no children of their own to take up their time and attention." Science writers: journalists, or just PR agents? A former science editor for the New York Times, writing about science writers asked, “Journalists, or PR Agents?” He asked this in the context of reporting on the origins of COVID-19 virus "but what he says applies even more so to reporting on evolution." The year of the graves: how the world’s media got it wrong on residential school graves (10-min read) "One particularly unhelpful feature of the residential schools coverage involves the careless conflation of horrific, verifiable crimes with second- and third-hand accounts of childhood horror stories. Reconciliation is not what you get when you render Canadians incapable of believing what they’ve been told about the schools." Gratitude rewires your brain "...gratitude is not a magic cure for all that ails us. It is, however, for mental health what vegetables are for physical health: vital, underrated, and sometimes difficult to swallow. " Teachable moments from your epic parenting fails (10 min read) "...after raging at my son that morning, I didn’t offer a heart-level apology.... Hence, I picked up my cell to call him at my mom’s and attempt something more Christlike. What I’ll always remember? His response. 'Mommy, I forgive you. And I want to let you know that even when you do bad things, I still love you. And even when you do bad things, God still loves you.' Now I felt really bad for yelling. The power of this teachable moment lay in my 4-year-old repeating the encapsulated gospel back to me. He not only got it; he applied it. (Granted, that night after he spit on the bathroom mirror, his response felt less glorious: 'I want to let you know that even when I do bad things, I still love you.')" The bombardier beetle doesn't blow up God's genius is evident in the stunning craftsmanship of these bombmaking beetles... ...

News

Saturday Selections – April 30, 2022

Meet one of Canada's anti-abortion influencers (6 min) Though this profile is by a decidedly left-wing outlet, it still can't help highlight how impactful pro-life warrior Laura Klassen, and her friends, have been on behalf of the unborn. Klassen's own videos, with her satiric takes on pro-choice "logic," can be seen here, here, here, here, and here, and you can also check out her BC-based pro-life group Choice42. It's wrong to play the pronoun game It's not harmless to offer up your "preferred pronouns" and Christians mustn't have any part of it. Why Disney has gone woke (10-min read) Why would a company that's built around family viewing decide to double down on an LGBT agenda so many families oppose? It's because Disney's new "customer base isn't kids. It's messed up adults." Walt's original "business model depended on a healthy national family" but today's "shareholders are not going to bet on a growth segment in the American nuclear family that doesn’t exist. Betting on dysfunctional adults with sizable disposable incomes makes a whole lot more sense." That's why "60% of Disneyland visitors were adults with no children." No-fault divorce ignores data... and children The UK is bringing in no-fault divorce with the argument that it will "remove unnecessary conflict from the process by ending the blame game — helping spare children from the harmful effects this can have.” But, as John Stonestreet explains: "This, 'the kids will be fine' line, is not just nonsense: it’s dangerous nonsense. It flies in the face of everything we know about the impact of divorce on the most vulnerable among us." The unlikely rise of Vladimir Putin (10-minute read) How did Putin rise to power? Thinkr offers book summaries – 10-minute reads with key insights from various bestsellers – and this time they've summed up Masha Gessen's The Man Without A Face, her biography about this infamous world leader. Does the free market help the poor than any other economic system? "As Christians understand, material wealth is not the be-all and end-all of human existence, however: Only market societies have generated wealth sufficient to meet the basic human needs of entire populations. Only market societies have generated sufficient wealth to generate widespread and organized assistance for those unable to care for themselves. Only market societies have generated sufficient wealth to promote other important human objectives, including nutrition and health, environmental protection, and even human happiness." Your cell has a DNA detangler! (5 min) Ever tried to detangle your daughter's hair? God has packed a tiny machine in each of your cells that does the same job for your DNA. This is so unbelievably cool! ...

News

Saturday Selections – April 23, 2022

22 minutes on the 2022 budget CBC comedians offer the humorous take, but for a more substantive look at the problem with debt see: Psalm 37:21, Prov. 22:7, and Prov. 13:22. It'll take Christians to argue against pedophilia If sexual orientation is untreatable (and thus conversion therapy is something to be banned)  then what argument does the world have to marshal against pedophilia? A Christian perspective on the ethical treatment of animals Biblical principles give us clear guidance here. "Can I marry my Mormon girlfriend?" If you're asked a question that can only be answered with painful honesty, what sort of answer should you give? A painful one. Unbeliever tries to find comfort in the Psalms Michael Ignatieff attended an event in which all 150 Psalms were sung and was greatly impacted... but couldn't figure out why. Woman in carpool lane claims personal pronouns are "they/them" (3 min) Reality: God defined it; the world denies it. So how can we expose their foolishness? Good questions that push them to define their imitation. Can feelings dictate reality? If two people are offended, which one is right? If feelings make a man a woman, what other realities can feelings determine? How about our race? Or gravity, can I identify as weightless? ...

News

Saturday Selections – April 16, 2022

Jamie Soles' new rendition of Psalm 94 (6 min) Jamies Soles might be best known for his children's albums, but his new rendition of Psalm 94 is for older voices. As he notes, "Psalm 94 is particularly suited for times when lands regard the murder of the unborn as a sacrament. Sing this, church." When your kids say sorry badly How many times has one of your kids said "Sorry" and totally not been sorry? And how many times have you done it? As this great article outlines, the reason it's not genuine is that repentance is a bit of a bigger thing than saying the right words. This will be a big help for parents who are trying to teach their children what it means to repent (and forgive). It's a two-part article, with the first available by clicking the title above, and the second available here. Why are Christian musicians "deconstructing" their faith? (10-min read) Recently, we've seen a number of Christian celebrity musicians "deconstructing" their former faith – why is it happening? Brett McCracken wonders if it might be the shaky foundation their faith was built on: "Is your Christianity contingent on anything other than Christ? Being liked? Being comfortable? Being in power? Being happy? Being right? If so, consider that all of those foundations are like shifting sand, and you are the foolish builder of Matthew 7:26–27." Bible supports abortion? (10-min read) A text in Exodus is used by abortion supporters to justify the killing of the unborn – they claim it is a modern mistranslation of this text by pro-lifers that obscures their argument. But as this article explains, digging deeper only undermines their case for abortion. Can you have human dignity without Christianity?  Short answer, no. This article offers a longer answer. The battle for 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming is lost... so what's next? Even if we presume that the 1.5-Celsius target was a good goal, the very people pushing it are providing the data that shows it to be impossible to achieve. So what next? Might a focus on adaptation be the wiser approach? "...human adaptation to the climate has been the norm over the past century, with climate-related deaths declining globally by more than 90 percent despite a quadrupling of the world’s population." What do CRT, Cultural Marxism, Marxism, and LGBTQIA2S+ have in common? (10 min) These four ideologies all operate on the notion that society is divided between oppressor and oppressed, and that oppressors are identified, not by their behavior – not by actual oppressing – but simply if they are part of a group deemed oppressor...like white "cisgender" Christians. With this new understanding of sin comes a new means of "salvation": oppressors can't repent profusely enough to ever be forgiven (you can't wash away your whiteness), but your guilt can be washed away if you become a part of the oppressed by "identifying" as something in the LGBTQIA2S+ grouping. ...

Culture Clashes, News

Samuel Sey on Critical Race Theory

This is an edited excerpt from Lucas Holvlüwer and Tyler Vanderwoudes’ Real Talk podcast Episode 43 where they discussed Critical Race Theory with special guest Samuel Sey of SlowToWrite.com. They've had a lot of other great conversations with all sorts of intriguing guests like Tim Challies, Arnold Viersen, André Schutten, and Jonathon Van Maren, so be sure to check them out on YouTube, their website, or any of the places you find your podcasts! ***** Lucas Holtvlüwer: Define Critical Race Theory (CRT) for our listeners, and maybe give a couple of examples of where it's infiltrated our society. Samuel Sey: Critical Race Theory is very complex, intentionally. Many people call it Marxist, and some Critical Race theorists would deny that but it really is a version of Marxism, a newer version of Marxism. So, I'll explain Marxism first in a very brief way. Marxism, basically, is the idea that there is an essential conflict between groups in society, and these groups are the bourgeoisie, or you would say the privileged class of rich people, versus the proletariat, being the poor lower class. That's the idea. There's a book called From Class to Race, by one of the founders of Critical Race Theory, Charles W. Mills. What he says is, Karl Marx was right that there is a conflict in society, a conflict that has been plaguing society from the very beginning and is still ongoing today, until there is a revolution. But what this author says is, Marx was right about there being a conflict; what he was wrong about is what the conflict was really about. Marx said it was an economic or class struggle. Critical Race Theory says, it's a racial struggle – it's really between white people and black, white people versus non-white people. That is really what Critical Race Theory is about. And it also says, in very post-modern thinking, is that Western society, especially Canada, is built by white people for white people. So even the values that we think are impartial – things like freedom, rights, impartiality, our legal system, our schools, our government, our churches, all the things we think are impartial – they're designed by white people for white people, as a way to marginalize and oppress non-white people. That's what Critical Race Theory is, in a very general, brief way. The implication is that white people – unless they are fighting against the systems and the culture – are racist. If you want to abolish the system, then you are anti-racist; if you're not for revolution, then you are a racist by nature. In terms of examples, I don't know if you guys know about this, but last year around Black History Month, I was invited to a school in Alberta to speak about racism. But, I guess they didn’t Google me. They did not read any of my articles, so they thought, I guess, that I was going to be teaching Critical Race Theory. They didn't know that I was going to be actually speaking against Critical Race views. Tyler Vanderwoude: Oops! Samuel Sey: That’s a big oops indeed. I was actually fairly tame. I didn't want to shock them. The title of the speech was “What is racism?” and I was defining racism biblically as partiality (Acts 10:34-35, Gal. 3:28, Lev. 19:15). Racism is simply partiality against someone because of their skin color. Or to use a more broad definition, racism is bias against anyone because of their skin color, therefore you can be racist against black people, white people, Asian people, brown people, indigenous people, it doesn't matter. Then I said – and this is a key part that became controversial – if racism means partiality, then systemic racism means systemic partiality. What that means is if someone claims Canada is systemically racist then they need to identify a policy or a law from the government that shows partiality or a bias against black people. Systematic racism is shown, not by outcomes, not by disparities but by clear favoritism against black people. I asked if they could find a single such law or policy in Canada. They could not find a single one. So that was it. I leave. Then a few weeks later the school wrote a public letter denouncing me for denigrating students, for denying racism, for sharing racist views, essentially calling me a racist. Now the one thing they didn't do was mention my name. Everyone knew who they were talking about – people from the talk at the school knew they were referring to me. But I guess if they mentioned my name, someone would Google me and they would realize that, wait a minute, this guy's black! Which probably doesn't jive with what they're saying. That's one example where, by simply defining racism through biblical theology, they deem that I'm racist because I am protecting the white supremacist definition, in their mind, of racism. Another example: I think it was in the Durham region here in Ontario you had the school board giving non-white teachers more weight in their votes, because they believe that non-white people are oppressed and are marginalized in society. They, therefore, need to compensate for that by making their votes count more than the white person, which is, of course, racism. But that's an example of critical Race Theory. There’s many more. The federal government has given – I'm forgetting what they call this project – but there's a project from the federal government that gives black businesses more funding because they're black, because, again, they live in a racist society, they have more barriers, therefore they need more help from the government. Lucas Holtvlüwer: The tricky part about Critical Race Theory is that, perhaps there are grains of truth to some of the claims. There has been, obviously, discrimination in the past, there are disparities today, and people find themselves in different situations. And often you can categorize that, generally speaking, certain demographic groups based on race are in better or worse positions, financially speaking. So, I guess what I would ask is, is Critical Race Theory just a tool that people can use to look at the world, and sort through disparities, and figure out why disparities exist, or is there more of a theological, more of a worldview at play behind it? Samuel Sey: Critical Race theorists claim it is “just a tool,” or what they call an analytic tool. But I think they're not being honest. I also don't mind them calling it that. It clearly is a worldview – they see Western society, or Canada, or white people, as being a certain way. They have a definition for what is injustice or what is just. They're not simply analyzing things. They are claiming good and evil, righteous and evil. They have a theological view as to what is right or wrong, what should be punished and what shouldn't be. Through that worldview, they analyze the world. That is true for every worldview – every worldview is analytical by nature. So yes, they analyze things, but fundamentally CRT is a theology. They have, what I like to call, their own past and future. We say that through Adam all humanity became sinners. We know that there's no distinction between Jew or Greek, or black or white; we are all fallen people. The problem is Critical Race theorists would essentially say white people, since they have more power, are more evil or more “sinful“ than non-white people. That’s why they oftentimes say only white people can be racist, because white people have power and other people don't. So they have a different theological understanding of sin. And they also have their own future, in the sense that they have their own heaven which is really a socialist or communist utopia. The key word in Critical Race Theory is “equity.” They really believe that we can have equity, which basically means “equality of outcome” – that you can have all non-white people and all white people having an equal outcome. According to the most prominent political race theory scholar today, Ibram X. Kendi, the only way – and he's kind of right about this – to produce equity is to discriminate. He actually says this very openly. He says that the remedy for past discrimination is present or future discrimination. That's also because in his book How To Be An Anti-racist – which I call How To Be A Racist because the book is all about racism – he says that racial discrimination is only wrong if it leads to inequity, but it's good if it leads to equity. That means it's okay to be racist against white people, it's okay to discriminate against a white person if it will lead to equality of outcome between all people. So it's okay to bring white people down so that you can make them equal with all groups. It never works out that way, of course. There are always going to be people who have more power than others. But just like communists, now and in the past, Critical Race theorists will be the ones on top and everybody else, including black people will be at the bottom. Lucas Holtvluwer: I think the one topic that trips up a lot of folks, especially white folks is this idea of “white privilege” because I feel like there is some truth to it. There are differences in outcomes more so certainly in America, but still as you pointed out in previous interviews, also in Canada there's is quite the disparity. Can you talk to folks about what this idea of white privilege is, how they can understand it, if there's some truth there, how to navigate the truth, and separate out the truth from the Critical Race Theory Samuel Sey: ….White Canadians generally are more wealthy than black Canadians. As to the reason why, I wrote an article, maybe three years ago now, addressing this topic. I compared the numbers in America, the UK, and Canada when it comes to the disparities between white people and black people in these three nations. My point is this: these three nations have very different histories concerning slavery, segregation, and racism. All three nations have experienced racism against black people, for sure, throughout their history, but all three nations have very varying degrees of this racism. And yet the numbers comparing white people and black people in these nations are very similar when it comes to wealth, crime, education, and basically everything else. My point is, if we would claim the reason for this is because of the legacy of slavery or racism, how can you make that claim when, again, you have identical outcomes but with very different histories. It makes no sense. My explanation – which is proven because this is the common denominator between all three nations – is fatherlessness. I grew up without a dad in the home so I know this personally. Long story short, my father left my mom before I was born. It meant that since my father wasn't home my mom was never home either because she had to work two jobs. When she was then working two jobs I had no one teaching me discipline, therefore I became a very violent kid. I was in 25 fights before I became a Christian at 19. When I said 25 fights I mean 25 fistfights. …..My mom is an incredible mother but it's very hard to take care of a child when you are the only parent in the home. I mention that because single parenthood is the norm for a lot of black people. Here is the issue: in America 75% of black children are raised in a household with no father. 75%. The number for white people it’s 25%. That's a 50% gap. That is the real issue there when it comes to disparities. It is a known fact that children raised without their fathers in the home leads to more crime, more sexual activity, poorer education, poor discipline, which creates, of course, a lot of the disparities that we already know. In Canada, the numbers are pretty similar as well. That is the issue that no one talks about when it comes to white privilege. So if someone says to me there's white privilege, I don't like that term because it's based on Critical Race Theory and I will reject it. But what I will say is this: if a white person is more privileged than a black person, generally it's because they have more access to their father which leads to more privilege and prosperity in the home and in culture. Listen to the whole episode below. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 12, 2022

Even on the smallest scale, you are amazingly complex (6 min) You don't have to understand all of this to be in awe of what God has wrought in our teeny tiny cells. It's an irony that this secular presentation's conclusion doesn't fully appreciate the very complexity the rest of the video illustrates. What is our goal in helping the poor? This article gets a lot right: we want to, whenever we can, help people in such a way as to equip and encourage them to be responsible for their own lives... because they are. Each one of us stands before God, and whether our talents and gifts are many or few, we are called to do with them what we can. That's why we don't want to encourage any sort of abdication of personal responsibility: because then we would be tempting people to shirk the work God has set before them. We can consider, too, how we face this abdication of responsibility temptation too, in an age when the government offers to do so much for us. Whether it's educating our children, or even providing our healthcare, we have to resist the siren call to just "let the government do it." Why not women preachers? A prominent female former OPC member took to the pulpit on a recent Sunday, prompting URC Pastor Chris Gordon to offer a refresher on "the basic, biblical and confessional truth of the matter." How a lowly monk stopped Rome's bloody gladiatorial duels God used a man who dared much, to accomplish more than the man could ever have dreamed. The real Lord of the Flies (15-minute read) For English teachers out there, here's a real-life Lord of the Flies account, but when these 6 boys were stranded on an island for more than a year, they didn't descend into the savagery described in William Golding's classic. Was Golding simply wrong about human nature? That might be the impression the article leaves. But as John Stonestreet notes, it downplays the religious convictions of the boys. Their Judeo-Christian (in this case Catholic) upbringing gave them insights into our fallen nature, and the need to turn to God. Biblically-based help for eating disorders (20-min read) Kimberly Clark is delivering this address to fellow biblical counselors, but there's something here for all of us to benefit from. This is an article, but you can also listen to it as a 1-hour talk at the link. The Log Driver's Waltz (3 min) Remember this Canadian classic? ...

News

Saturday Selections - March 5, 2022

Bach on a flaming organ (2 min) If you're wondering why someone would make an organ that shoots fire, then this isn't for you. For the rest of us, enjoy the awesomeness! You are a marvel! Do you know just how amazing it is that you can walk and carry a cup of coffee at the same time...and without even thinking about it? A magic fix for family life: dinner together A secular take, that Christians can appreciate: "It's more than just a nice idea. University research shows that the family that eats together stays together." Ukraine, Surrogacy, Environmentalism, and being made in the Image of God A pair of articles on Ukraine, the first about a problem that may have exacerbated the invasion – an environmental anti-nuclear push that has left European countries dependent on natural gas from, and consequently reluctant to act against, Russia. And the second highlights the horrors of Ukraine's surrogacy marketplace, worsened yet by this war. The common thread? Both are about what happens when we don't value people as Image-bearers of God. How Canada's mainstream media is beholden to the government As Christian Heritage Party leader Rod Taylor recently noted, if we want to know what's going on in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we're not going to turn to the Russian media. So why would we rely on the mainstream Canadian media – beholden to the federal government by the millions – to objectively report on happenings like the Trucker's Convey, or the government's Covid response? Subsidizing industries is not an unusual act in Canada, but subsidizing our media is to put a leash on what is supposed to be the citizenry's watchdog. Russian pastors asked to protest (10 min read) In Russia, to protest the war – to even call it a war – is to risk imprisonment for years. But that's what Christians in Ukraine are asking Russian Christians to do. Should we panic about overpopulation? (6 min) The facts have always been against this overpopulation panics, but only Christians were equipped to see through this from the start. How so? We knew that children were a blessing (Prov. 17:6, Ps. 127:3-5, etc) and shouldn't be viewed as a curse – they come with not just mouths to feed, but hands to work, and brains to create. So, studying God's Word, we could know that overpopulation was a panic that, no matter what the news was saying then or now, would eventually be shown to be nothing by hype and hysteria. ...

News

Saturday Selections - February 26, 2022

When the Premier of Alberta was also a radio evangelist (2 min) Today, Christians seem to have agreed with the world that God has no place in politics. We treat Him like the villain of the Harry Potter books – His is the name that shall not be named. But as Dr. Michael Wagner shares here, there was a time when everyone thought very differently, such that Alberta's premier would spend his weekends proclaiming God's gospel on the radio, doing so for more than 30 years. Richer than the richest person of 100 years ago Every billionaire of 100 years ago would be jealous to have things we take for granted. This is a secular article, so it doesn't really have a moral to its story, so let's add one: why then do people covet just as much as ever? Because covetousness isn't motivated by need, but by ingratitude for what we have already been given. Renewal movement in the CRC stands against LGBT theology This ten-minute read gives a history of the Christian Reformed Churches' witness when it comes to sexuality. The one side, pushing for change (under the premise that God's Word is unclear here, and the current practices unloving), is being met by a revival movement that recognizes the Church can't help homosexuals and others by encouraging them to continue in their sin. This is an encouraging read! The failure of Canada's Parliament "The basic issue here is not political; it is theological.... Our governing elites no longer believe in God. They recognize no limits to their power because they believe they are the source of political authority. They are unfit to govern. A society that no longer believes in God cannot remain a liberal democracy for long." The mass grave that may or may not be? This is shared in the spirit of Prov. 18:17, highlighting that the mass grave of residential school Native students found last summer in Kamloops may or may not be a mass grave after all. The emphasis here should be on might - it is uncertain either way – and should it not be, that doesn't clear residential schools of wrong. But it does serve as a caution, once again, that media reports presenting the "facts" are very often too certain by half. News worth celebrating While recent headlines might have all of us concerned, Jonathon Van Maren is sharing news worth celebrating: abortions are down by 60% in Texas, and Malta is resisting efforts to make it legalize abortion. Pandemic silver lining - less kids in gov't schools (3 min) Homeschooling in the US may have increased 4-fold since the beginning of the pandemic. While that's a number to take with a grain of salt (other attempts at measuring the homeschooling increase have given other numbers), with government schools focusing ever more on opposing God's truth on equality, sex, gender, and just generally God's sovereignty over every square inch of creation, that's a welcome trend.  ...

Culture Clashes, News

Bakery skirmish won, but bigger battle still needs to be fought

In 2014, British LGBT activist Gareth Lee ordered a cake from a Belfast bakery, requesting a picture of Sesame Street characters Ernie and Bert, and the slogan “Support Gay Marriage.” His order was taken and the cake paid for, but a few days later Ashers Bakery called him to explain they couldn’t make the cake because of the slogan, and that his money would be refunded. He took them to court for discrimination, and won initially before losing in UK’s Supreme Court, which said it was the message and not the man, that was at issue, and Ashers Bakery had the right not to create messages they disagreed with. Lee then took the case to the European Court of Human Rights, but in January the bakers won again, though on a technicality that leaves the door open for Lee to file further appeals. So it’s good news, for now. Also good was the support the bakery got from an unexpected source. Another LGBT activist, Peter Tatchell, pointed out that: "If the judgement had gone the other way, a gay baker could have been forced by law to accede to requests to decorate cakes with messages opposing LGBT+ equality.” Though he might not know it, what Tatchell is riffing off here is Jesus speaking in Matthew 7:1-2 where He warns against judging others by standards we wouldn’t want applied to ourselves. That might even be the message a Christian should get cake-printed from the nearest gay bakery: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” But there’s more than just irony here. A prominent UK conservative Christian group, the Evangelical Alliance celebrated that the bakery owners, Amy and Daniel McArthur, have had their “human rights… affirmed.” Their director said “this case was about freedom of conscience, speech and belief, and whether someone could be forced to create a message they profoundly disagreed with.” It is all that – this was about the right to not be compelled to lie. But we can’t forget, there is still more. What wasn’t highlighted, and really needed to be, was how this affirmed the McArthurs’ right not to harm others. In emphasizing the free speech aspect, what was been lost is the offensive gospel part: that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle that separates someone from their Savior, which is devastating because apart from Him we will be damned to hell. That’s why Christians don’t want to promote gay marriage: because we don’t want to harm Gareth Lee or any other homosexuals! Closer to home, that same message was largely lost in Canada’s Bill C-4 conversion therapy ban debate, which was also fought as a general free speech battle, rather than Christians defending the freedom homosexuals should have to get the help they need which is found in God’s Word. Free speech is the far easier front to defend – even a gay activist may well, in his own self-interest, defend Christians’ right to free speech. But what only we can defend, what only we will speak, is God’s Truth that gay marriage is harmful, and that homosexuals need to repent and turn to their Creator. That’s a message that needs to be heard more often, and more clearly. But that’s also a message that’ll require more courage....

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