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Saturday Selections – Nov 26, 2022

Gender is fluid until you bring up this... (2 min)

It's becoming the norm to pretend that men can become women and vice versa. And some are up for pretending white can become black and vice versa. So who can we expose this for the silliness that it is? Well... keep going further, as Mark Spence does below. You can watch the 20 minute version of this video on YouTube by clicking the title above.

A struggling society is one ripe for the Gospel

This. We mustn't despair at the state of the world; we must seize the opportunity God's placed in front of us.

Evolution invokes a "god of the gaps"

When ancient Vikings didn't know the natural laws and forces at work that produced lighting they offered Thor, a god of thunder, as an explanation. Evolutionists say Christians are doing the same for how the universe and life came to be – we only credit it to God because we are ignorant. But someday, the evolutionists say, we'll figure out a way to explain the universe's origins and life's beginning without reference to any god. Evolutionists equate "God as an explanation" as simply a way to fill in gaps in our knowledge – this is the "god of the gaps" accusation. And, they say, the gaps we need a god to explain away are always shrinking as our knowledge grows.

But it's not ignorance that has us pointing to God, but wonder. And as this article explains, it's actually evolutionists who most invoke their deity – in this case almighty "evolution" – when they have no explanation.

Why we can't be uncontroversial

John Stonestreet writes: "Pastors need to prepare their congregations to join believers throughout the centuries who were labeled 'controversial.' ....I’m not suggesting we should go looking for trouble. I am suggesting that, in this case, the trouble has come to us."

The 7 most destructive Western philosophers 

Despite the seemingly weighty topic matter, this is a quick read. I don't know if I'd list Plato as high on my list, but I appreciated the author's reasoning. I also appreciated being introduced to a couple of big bad philosophers (the last two) that I wasn't familiar with.

Growing up Christian in Egypt (7 min)

As the World Cup begins, here's the story of a Christian boy who in Egypt who would love to play for his national team... but who has to be brave just to try out for his local club. This 7 minute video highlights the persecution Christians have faced in Egypt, but does so in a way that is age-appropriate for even elementary students.

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Saturday Selections – October 29, 2022

The miracle of the human heart (4 min) God's fingerprints are all over your heart not simply in its abilities – it may beat more than 2 billion times in your lifetime – but in the suitable environment it needs to operate (photosynthesis for oxygen, water for circulation, etc). Teacher challenges students to ask, "How is this video game shaping me?" Few of Andrew Barber's students have ever examined their video game play critically. The primary questions they have used to navigate life are the consumer-based ones: is it permissible? and is it pleasurable? In this realm, only a psychologist, medical doctor, or scientist has any real authority. If it doesn’t affect your mental or physical health too much, then eat and drink for tomorrow we die. But using the question “What can I get away with?” as your guiding star in modern America only ends in some level of addiction. Taking the virtue-ethicist tack – how is this activity forming me? – is a new one many of my students have never considered. To boo or not to boo? Parents trying to think through how to approach Halloween will appreciate John Stonestreet's column. He urges Christians not to throw in with celebrating what God condemns – murder, witches, immodesty, etc. – but also notes that "Halloween as we know it has more to do with department stores than druids." Complementarianism should be the toughest against spousal abuse “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22). As the author writes, "these holy words have been misused to justify horrible abuse. But using complementarian theology to justify abuse is like defacing a 'Do Not Enter' sign until it says, 'Enter.'" The answer to such biblical manipulation is not to turn from God's Word, but to dive down deeper to discover the way God – Who loves us and knows what is best for us – has created different roles for husbands and wives in marriage. We can see some of that love in the "five reasons why complementarians, of all people, should have the least tolerance for spousal abuse." Help! I'm 13 and addicted to porn! The folks at Covenant Eyes have written this article that might be intended for teens, but is important for parents to read. Canada's poor and desperate are opting to be euthanized Once death is seen as a treatment to be offered and not a foe to be fought, what reason will there be to withhold it from anyone? It's the solve-all with just one dose and no need for follow-up care! The only counter to this murderous ideology is the truth – God's Truth – about our value and worth, and about whose life it is (His and not ours). We need to spell out where His Truth takes us, and standing that in sharp contrast to the slippery slope we're on where murdering disabled children is proposed in the name of caring. The "Missing Tile Syndrome" (5 min) Dennis Prager gives a practical explanation of how our human nature will so often focus on what we don't have, rather than all that we do, and that'll always leave us unhappy. God says it another way, commanding us to turn from envy (Ex. 20:17) and encouraging us to thank Him for our blessings (1 Thess. 5:18, Ps. 103:2, Ps. 118:1, etc). ...

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RP's "What needs reforming today?" contest!

505 years ago, Martin Luther courageously nailed 95 revolutionary opinions onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. As children of the Reformation, we recognize our natural inclination to drift away from the LORD, requiring continual reformation in our hearts, families, schools, churches, and society. Our challenge to you is to make the case for something that needs reforming in 2022. It could be how we manage creation, farm, observe the Sunday, invest our money, use smartphones, take part in Young People’s Bible studies, or something entirely different. Here is your opportunity to nail your own thesis! Teachers, this could be a great project for your students. And we aren’t just looking for essays (though they are welcome too). We welcome contributions of art, cartoons, satire, and any medium that you desire to make your point. Categories: Youth (under 18) Adults (18+) Rules: Maximum two entries per person Work must be faithful to God’s Word, also as preserved in the great Reformation Must be an original work No minimum length. Maximum 1,500 words or two pages Submitting your work requires giving permission to RP to publish it online and/or in print if selected by the editor Prizes: $100 gift card to Christianbooks.com and $50 for the runner-up for both categories Winners may be published in Reformed Perspective Details: Send your submissions to [email protected] before December 10, 2022; For youth submissions please include age, and permission from parents for the article to be used by RP.   * While Luther did write his 95 theses, it turns out it is less certain whether he "nailed it" or mailed it. ...

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A group of 50 BC doctors are challenging Dr. Henry’s vaccine mandates in court

During the past two years, Canadians in the medical field who were skeptical about COVID vaccines have faced difficult decisions and challenging work environments. If they were unwilling to be among the first to get the jab, they’d no longer be allowed to work in hospitals and extended care homes. And even as restrictions have eased in most of the world, in British Columbia unvaccinated healthcare workers are still barred from working in public healthcare facilities. Now a group of British Columbia physicians – the Canadian Society for Science and Ethics in Medicine (CSSEM) – along with some like-minded nurses, are trying to get that reversed. They’ve submitted a petition for a judicial review of the COVID restrictions. They are asking that a judge rule on whether or not it is reasonable that these employment bans on the unvaccinated continue in light of the current state of the pandemic. Dr. Matt Dykstra of Smithers, BC helped form the CSSEM. He has deep roots in the Smithers area and in the local Reformed community. While he moved away for post-secondary study, he returned to northern BC in 2019 with his wife Fio and their growing family to take over a family practice. During the first couple of years Dykstra spent time with patients at his practice, made house calls, and made rounds at the local extended care home and hospital, where he regularly worked in the emergency department. Then COVID turned things upside down. Dr. Henry decides for everyone In October of 2021, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, made vaccines mandatory for all healthcare workers: get vaccinated or be prepared not to enter public healthcare facilities. Dykstra was hesitant about taking the vaccine himself, and struggled to find any strong evidence that his unvaccinated status posed a risk to his patients: he believed that more time was needed to study the effects of these new inoculations on different age groups, and that a one-size-fits-all mandate was not a helpful medical directive. Although he maintained a low profile on the issue, it was not long before he found himself in the center of a controversy. Dykstra was the only one, of more than a dozen local area doctors, who did not sign a statement of unconditional support for the vaccine and the vaccine mandates. When the healthcare workers’ mandate went into effect, he was no longer able to provide services in the local hospital’s emergency department or maternity ward, nor to see patients there or at the extended care facility. Since over a third of his practice’s revenue had come from Dykstra’s work in these public facilities, his decision to abstain from the vaccine had a very real effect on his income and workload. Dykstra is thankful that he has been able to continue to see patients at his practice. While a handful of Dykstra’s patients chose to find other doctors, nearly all remain under his care, and many have been supportive whether or not they received the vaccine themselves. However, over a year after the mandate went into effect, Dykstra and many other doctors and nurses remain shut out of public healthcare facilities. Asking for answers Now, the CSSEM is applying legal pressure on Dr. Henry’s office. The judicial review they requested is scheduled for ten days, beginning November 28. Dykstra explains: “Essentially, we are forcing Dr. Henry to show her evidence – which I believe doesn’t exist, or the medical society would have received it by now – or have the mandate rescinded. Alberta Health has already rescinded their mandate and has been hiring back their health care workers… I believe these mandates are not reasonable, and must end… the mandates are defeated, unvaccinated lab techs, receptionists, unit clerks, and others will also get their jobs back along with us doctors and nurses.” He expressed concern over the manner in which the vaccines were pushed on both doctors and on the general public – that pressure, he said, is not in alignment with physicians’ classical training surrounding important ethical principles. “What bands us in the CSSEM together is our adherence to the pillars of medical ethics: bodily autonomy – the patient decides what happens to his/her own body, and it’s wrong to force care/medications/vaccines/treatments on someone; and informed consent – ensuring the patient has all the information related to the benefits and risks of accepting a proposed treatment and the benefits and risks of rejecting a proposed treatment.” It isn’t as much about the vaccine as it’s about the pressure Dykstra believes that neither doctors nor government workers should put undue pressure on the public to accept a “one size fits all” course of treatment. “The vaccine mandates forced doctors to give medical advice without using their own professional judgment, and without allowing patients to see both the positives and negatives of the vaccines.” Dykstra also wishes to clarify that in opposing the vaccine mandate, he isn’t trying to say others were wrong to get vaccinated. “My hope is that your readers who chose to get the vaccine did so because they thought it was the best choice for them and their families – that’s great. But for those who got vaccinated under threat or coercion – I’m sorry the medical system did that to you, and that most doctors didn’t oppose.” As for fighting this coercion, Dykstra feels quite strongly that doctors should lead the charge. “I don’t think it’s the mechanic’s or teacher’s duty to fight against the crumbling of medical ethics as much as it is mine.” The fifty physicians who make up the CSSEM have spent about $150,000 of their own funds on this legal challenge. They have asked for public support for the remaining $300,000 they expect to spend to see this review all the way to its end. While Dykstra himself was initially reluctant to ask for donations, his wife Fio reminded him that this is a cause that many people feel strongly about, and that donating may be a way for them to show support to healthcare workers in this predicament. Dykstra ended up sending a letter to members of the local Canadian Reformed and United Reformed churches in the Bulkley Valley (Smithers, Telkwa and Houston), and to other friends and supporters, explaining the upcoming judicial review, and inviting them to support this work by donation or letter. “The response has been very positive; it’s been a great encouragement,” said Dykstra. “Many people have reached out, even if they’re unable to contribute, to thank me… for standing up in what I believe in, and that’s regardless of the people’s vaccination status.” You can find out more about the Canadian Society for Science and Ethics in Medicine and their court case at CSSEM.org....

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Saturday Selections – October 22, 2022

Newton on science and the supernatural (7 min) Science and faith don't mix? One of the world's most famous scientists, Sir Isaac Newton, would beg to differ. But even as Newton believed in a god, he didn't seem to believe in our one true God – Newton denied the Trinity. Joe Rogan: do we want the government regulating truth on the Internet? Podcaster Joe Rogan recently asked a guest whether we should want the government to regulate speech on the Internet. For those who'd say yes, there's this to consider: a UK mom arrested earlier this month for social media posts critical of transgender ideology. God – not gov't – offers direction to the gender-confused Chloe Cole was gender-confused at 12, approved for puberty blockers and a double mastectomy at 15, and full of regret at 16. Why didn't anyone help Chloe before she made the biggest mistake of her young life? Because: "In California, any attempt to dissuade a minor from their preferred gender is considered 'conversion therapy.'”  God – not government – offers hope to the suicidal Last month, an Ontario mom discovered her depressed 23-year-old son had scheduled to kill himself. This Catholic lady may have taken inspiration from the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8) – she made such a stink that the doctor backed off. However, for every suicide prevented, there are many more encouraged and enabled by the government, and no wonder: euthanasia is a cost-saving measure for the State because killing a citizen is cheaper than caring for them. Euthanasia is Canada's "new social safety net." In offering no remedy for this callousness, this secular article illustrates how hope for the depressed and suicidal needs to be sought elsewhere. It doesn't share that hope, but God does, in three ways: Purpose: death becomes preferable when living is seen as pointless, so Christians need to share how God gives us purpose, to glorify Him, which is possible for everyone in every situation and stage of life. Value: in contrast to some lives being not worth living, God tells us our worth isn't found in what we can or can't do, but in whose Image we are made (Gen. 9:6, 1:27). Refuge: the Church can start hospitals again, where people can go to be cared for, and not killed. How Christianity created the hospital "The first major epidemic faced by the Church was the Antonine Plague (A.D. 166-189). In fear of their lives, the Romans threw the sick out of their homes to die in the streets. Galen, the most prominent physician of the age, knew he could neither heal its victims nor protect himself. So, he fled Rome to stay at his country estate. ....Many Christians ran the other direction." The truth about plastics pollution (6 min) Government bans on single-use plastics here in North America won't help turtles. What such bans can do, is get some consumers to use paper rather than plastic, or, use heavier plastic garbage bags and heavier grocery bags that are theoretically recyclable but only use more resources when consumers don't. ...

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ENJOYING GOD! RP's photo contest, the adult entries

Whether it was on a road trip, or closer to home, RP’s readers showed they know how to experience joy in the Lord. This summer we asked you to send in photos showing you enjoying your Creator, and we got a fantastic response back. We got dozens of entries, and so many that we just couldn't fit them all in the magazine. But what we couldn't do in print, we can now share online. What follows are all the entries – beginning with the winner and the runner-up – for the adult category. Take a look and enjoy their enjoyment of who our God is, and what He has done! And then be sure to check under the under 18 entries too. ***** WINNER "Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds" (Ps 36:5) Rachel V.   RUNNER-UP  This is a Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) sipping nectar with its proboscis from some purple phlox. In Psalm 104 we are reminded that God lovingly cares for the creatures He has made. "These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. When You give it to them, they gather it up; when You open Your hand, they are filled with good things." If He so cares for the butterflies of the field, He will also surely keep us in His Fatherly hand. Burke V.   We enjoy God when we look and see the unexpected when we’re out and about. I love how grass and dandelions have cropped up between the planks of this dock. Mrs. Lee B.   We enjoy God when we go down the road less travelled and are treated to a gorgeous, peaceful scene on which to feast our eyes! Mrs. Lee B.   It was the day of my sister-in-law's wedding and we were on our way home from the reception, reflecting on the day and the union we had witnessed. Had to capture this - God's latest painting. Arianne D.   This photo was taken on a rare summer date night. Pulled out our bikes for the first time this year and rode along the river just to enjoy being outside in God's creation, and get some fresh air and exercise :) Arianne D.   After a summer thunderstorm, God painted this masterpiece in the sky. Arianne D.   This photo was taken yesterday in one of the fields of the farm my husband has managed for 34 years. We started leaving patches of milkweed till the end of September so the butterflies could use them. A simple thing to do for a beautiful species. Carrie J.   The tree stump, although rotten on the inside is made beautiful on the inside and spilling outward by the flowers. A walk along a gravel lane made this a striking image with newly cut wheat in the background. Dianne D.   Being active and enjoying God's creation. Cathy K.   Think Summer. Hans S.   The beauty of a quiet lake, surrounded by mountains and blue skies, is a wonderful way to enjoy God’s majestic creation - dog included 😊 psalm 8. May God keep our land glorious and free! Rose W.   Our son is enjoying the strength of the human body; every muscle tight, mind focused on the activity before him. Yet there is vulnerability in the midst of the vastness of the blue sky above, the depth of the water under him, the intensity of the hot sun, the expanse of the lake surrounding him. Who are we compared to God's power, splendor, and majesty? We are the crown of His creation and we are called to trust in his strength and Enjoy Him forever. Jean D.   Here the visual picture created by God speaks His written truth - the Lord is my Light (Ps 27). It is a picture that shares His glory and reminds me of His glorious promise to enter into my darkness, because even darkness is light to Him (Ps 139). Kristen A.   "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Ps 19:1) Rachel V.   Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! I have always been fascinated by God’s power in a storm. The ever-changing dark clouds are a majestic scene. They unleash its fury of wind and torrents of rain driven to the ground. John V.   A beautiful rainbow adorns the sky reminding us of God’s promise of long ago that still speaks to us today. John V.   “Enjoying God” in Letchworth State Park. Renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East” we could see evidence of the Genesis Flood through the same sedimentary layers as we had previously found in canyons in Arizona and quarries in Ontario. Not only did we find evidence of this great judgement, but also how God brings life out of death through the beautiful scenery and the 3 waterfalls. Our God is a God of Life! Andre T.   The heavens declare the glory of God!💕 Cathy K.   The sun is going down as I fly over the Fraser Valley in a small Cessna Airplane. How amazing is God’s handiwork. Jason K.   The Straight and Crooked. A lot of the time we take our Lord God for granted. There are many uses for rail lines. When I first came across this landscape, I was immediately reminded about the straight and narrow paths mentioned in Matthew 7:13&14. After a bit of contemplating, train tracks have a lot of use, such as transporting natural gas and raw materials across the whole country and sometimes continent. And yet, train tracks are not thought of on a daily basis. We rely on things to come to our doorstep and don't even bother to think how it got there. Tara D.   Water is a common symbol in the Bible. It signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Ps 105: 41 came to mind when I took this shot. How God allowed Moses to "tear open a rock and out gushed out, flowing like a river." He calms the raging waters. Knowing this, the sound of water gives one a sense of peace. I still find a river that I can listen to when I am tired, just to hear the babbling of brooks so that His peace can wash over me. Tara D.   Three happy girls, enjoying each other in the Dominican Republic. Jason K.   Two of our daughters are enjoying nature's breath-taking beauty as they silently paddle their boards on Babine Lake, All is calm, colourful, and pristine; God's artistry is being revealed, reflected and enjoyed in all its splendour. Jean D.   Our son's wakeboard skillfully cuts through the still waters of Babine Lake; our boat loudly breaks the peaceful silence of mid-day, God is giving us enjoyment in the midst of His artistry with the toys he allows man to make. How small and insignificant are the playthings of this world compared to the vastness and beauty surrounding them, but how privileged we are to enjoy Him by receiving pleasure in both at the same time. Jean D.   Michelle H.   Michelle H.   Michelle H.   “God’s abundant grace” it depicts a storm over an area and bright blue sky all around it. James V.   Foxglove bloom in my garden. Carrie J.   Cedar Waxwing is eating serviceberry this past June. Carrie J.   This large balancing rock on the coast of Long Island, NS is a striking testament of God's creative power. Rachel V.   While on vacation, early every morning, our granddaughter asked me to walk with her to the beach. Walking hand in hand we would go to the beach, and I would sit and watch her. While she played in the sand, I was reminded of my own prayers that the Lord would lead me and watch over me throughout the day. Many times, I had this picture in my mind of walking with him hand in hand. John V.   “Enjoying God” on the ocean floor. During low tide we hiked the Tidal Pools in Bar Harbour, Maine. We found and inspected fucus, crab, shrimp, starfish and clams. We were amazed by the creativity of our Creator and the might of our Almighty God! Andre T.   Enjoying God's blessings through the generations! Cathy K.   When I saw His picturesque creation, in the form of a delicate apple blossom, I was reminded yet again that the Lord has a plan for us each in our own time. He made the minute insects that survive from the falling flower. In this photo we see how intricate God's hands are when He is carefully guiding this bee to be sheltered under the pedals. When we stop to gaze upon the beauty that Yahweh has created we can easily see the meticulous detail He has given us to enjoy. Tara D.   Jason K. A beautiful ending to a beautiful day in The Netherlands....

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Saturday Selections – September 24, 2022

Cephalopods are super cool Cephalopods include both octopus and the "Flamboyant Cuttlefish" highlighted below, which can change its color in waves. As the author notes in the post linked above, "look at this video and tell me you can’t tell that the Great Designer is at work here." China has created a 24/7 surveillance state (10 min read) China is taking advantage of technology to monitor, rate, and reward/punish its citizens. With such technology available what's preventing such a "social credit" system from being implemented on our side of the globe? Only electoral resistance and government restraint. However, when Justin Trudeau's Liberal government shut down the bank accounts of some Freedom Convoy protesters earlier this year, they didn't show restraint. It's on the electorate then, to oppose ever-increasing government data gathering. God's sovereignty extends to more than just the Church In the wake of the Roe vs. Wade reversal in the US, some professing Christians are telling God's people to stop opposing abortion. But Shane Morris, of Breakpoint Ministries, in a series of tweets, clearly explained the problem with excluding Jesus from the political sphere. "Christians should stop seeking political control and do gospel evangelism stuff because Jesus said 'my kingdom is not of this world' and early Christians didn't take over Rome, they built Christ's invisible kingdom in hearts.'" -Seeing variations on this over and over. — Shane Morris (@GShaneMorris) July 8, 2022 How a renowned architect (accidentally) exposed the problems of central planning (10-min read) "Government can’t create utopias, and every time it tries, people’s rights – and many times their homes – get destroyed." Evolutionists admitting to their theory's failures " article in The Guardian by science journalist Stephen Buryani represents something remarkable in the way the public processes the failures of evolutionary theory. In the past, those failures have been admitted by some biologists…but always in settings (technical journals, conferences) where they thought nobody outside their professional circles was listening..." The secret language of babies? (1 min) Parents, what do you think? Are they on to something here? ...

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Canadians retiring in record numbers

Statistics Canada recently reported that Canadians have retired in huge numbers over the past twelve months: 306,000 citizens retired from full-time work from September to August of 2022. That’s 70,000 more than the corresponding period ending August 2021. The increase is particularly marked among those ages 55 to 64: 155,000 in the past twelve months, versus just over 100,000 the year earlier, and that’s 10,000 more than those aged 65 or older. Among all the G7 countries, Canada has the largest percentage of its citizens actively working, but with one in five workers over the age of 55, and many of these retiring, the nation’s workforce may be shrinking. As Reuters’ Julie Gordon put it, “More than a year after the Great Resignation took hold in the United States, Canada is grappling with its own greyer version: The Great Retirement.” As has been discussed in the days since her death, Queen Elizabeth II set quite a different example: for over 70 years, well past what we would call “retirement age,” she performed her duties as monarch without public complaint. In fact, just two days before her passing, she was able to officially appoint Liz Truss as her Prime Minister for the nation of England Christians must have this different perspective on work and retirement. While what we do on a daily basis may change as we age, the Lord requires that, as members of His church, each of us “use (our) gifts readily and cheerfully for the benefit and well-being of the other members” (Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 55). What a joy it is when the “silver-haired” among us share their wisdom and experience with those who are younger, and continue to be actively involved “doing good to all men, especially those of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10)....

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Peppa Pig propagandizes preschoolers

During the COVID lockdowns, some North American children began developing a British accent, and started using words like “mummy” and “water closet.” This development was tied to watching Peppa Pig, a popular British animated children’s show about a 4-year-old piglet. Too much TV isn't a good thing, but if ever your children were going to overdose on a TV show, this was one of the better options. Peppa is occasionally bratty, but more often kind, her dad is a bit too bumbling, but he is also very loving, and overall the show is gentle but not inane. For 18 years now, Peppa has been a peaceful pig, but not a bore. In fact, the most controversy the show has previously garnered was for having a stay-at-home mummy – that was seen as misogynist. However, on the September 6 episode, the show decided to begin promoting homosexuality to their young viewers. The scene involves Peppa’s classmate, a polar bear named Penny, explaining, “I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor, and one mummy cooks spaghetti.” Peppa is only the latest of many children’s shows to bow the knee to the LGBT lobby. Arthur has featured a teacher having a same-sex “marriage,” and a few years back Muppet Babies had baby Gonzo put on a dress and heels to become princess “Gonzorella.” And last year Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues and You featured an animated drag queen leading an animated gay pride parade to celebrate "Pride Month." Some conservative commentators have criticized this “woke” turn, but with one arm tied behind their back. For example, Matt Walsh described princess Gonzo as “silly,” “ridiculous,” and “creepy.” But because the Catholic Walsh studiously avoids basing any of his objections on what God says in His Word, he can’t go much beyond name calling. What could Walsh offer, if he was asked why a children’s show featuring a boy in a dress is silly? What Walsh doesn’t address is the real reason it is creepy: that it is rebellion against God, and against His plan for men and women and for marriage. That rebellion has consequences, which can include separation from God, emotional turmoil, radical disfiguring surgeries, the inherent instability of same-sex coupling, and the impact on a child of not having a father in their life. That's something a lot more substantial than mere creepiness. So what can we do about it? Should we start a petition? Maybe we can develop our own children's programming? Not bad ideas. But the easiest and quickest response is simply to tell our kids to turn off the TV, shut the laptop, and go outside and play. The picture is a screenshot from the 7th season, Episode 41 show titled "families."...

News

Queen Elizabeth II, dead at 96

Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96, after reigning as Queen of Great Britain and the Commonwealth for over 71 years. Hers was the longest reign of any British monarch. The queen also served as head of the Church of England for that same span, with the official titles of “Defender of the Faith,” and “Supreme Governor of the Church of England.” In recent years, the Queen spoke more openly of her faith in Jesus Christ, particularly in the annual Christmas messages of the past decade. In December 2020 she said, “The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the sense of purpose we find in coming together to worship.” Addressing the 2021 General Synod of the Church of England, Elizabeth reflected that it had been fifty years ago that she and her husband Prince Philip attended a General Synod together: “None of us can slow the passage of time, and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.” Elizabeth’s oldest son now becomes King Charles III, at the age of 73. The new king is better known for his passion for the environment than for his Christian faith, which does not appear to be as orthodox and traditional as his mother’s. At one time, Charles reportedly proposed that his future title in the Church of England be “Defender of Faith,” rather than “Defender of the Faith,” although he has since walked back that idea. We pray that Charles may serve wisely as king, that his faith in the God of the Bible may be sincere, and that he may follow his mother in being led by the teachings of Jesus Christ. Picture credit: Shaun Jeffers / Shutterstock.com...

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Saturday Selections – September 3, 2022

Birds are crafted (2 min) In this clip from the documentary Flight: the Genius of Birds, we get to explore how the depth of design needed, even merely in a bird's muscles, shouts out that it has a brilliant Designer! Counseling our teens from Proverbs (30-min read) " said that the average father spends seven to eleven minutes a week in meaningful conversations with his children beyond short phrases like 'pass the butter,' 'pass the salt,' or 'thank you for the meal.' When I thought about that, it was tragic.." - Ron Allchin, author of Growing in Wisdom: A Bible Study in Proverbs for Fathers and Sons More on projectors in worship A pastor and a church organist share some thoughts... How the American recycling programs failed Much of the material being collected via separate garbage trucks, and sometimes brought to separate processing centers to be recycled is, after all this added expense, then dumped into a landfill. That's a problem, clearly. But is the problem to be found only at the end, when the recycling is dumped, or is the bigger problem right at the start, with the waste of resources spent in separating it in the first place? Two tales from the Euthanasia Dystopia Spain doesn't have the death penalty for criminals... but will euthanize them. And in Canada, a veteran suffering from PTSD couldn't get the care he needed but was offered euthanasia instead. And as Breakpoint Ministries notes, next year it looks like they'll be offering it to children, or as they put it, "mature minors." 5 tech questions to ask every school principal The folks at Covenant Eyes have created a short list of questions parents should ask their school’s administration to get a good idea of what sort of digital risks their kids will be exposed to at school. Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022) Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, died this week. He oversaw the dismantling of an empire that was, literally, set on world domination. Many today are too young to know just how bad the Soviet Union was, so to honor Gorbachev's passing, here's Ronald Reagan reminding us by telling jokes at the Soviet Union's expense. ...

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Good news: CRC Synod reaffirms homosexual sex is sin

At their annual synod this earlier year, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) took a stand for biblical sexuality. They officially accepted – by a majority vote of about 70% – a 2020 report from the Committee to Articulate a Foundation-laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality. The Human Sexuality Report affirmed the traditional Biblical teaching that homosexual sex is sinful and clearly forbidden by Scripture. The report also recommended that Synod 2022 declare that this traditional stance already has confessional status within the CRC. In other words, the committee’s report stated that the Three Forms of Unity currently declare homosexual sex (along with all other forms of unchastity such as premarital sex, extramarital sex, adultery, pornography, and polyamory) to be sinful and against God’s Word. In a separate vote the next day, Synod 2022 accepted this recommendation with just slightly less support: about 69% of delegates voted in favor. This decision by a relatively small (in North American terms) denomination received much attention within and outside the CRC. More liberal-leaning CRC members – including a large group of Calvin University professors who had signed a petition urging non-acceptance of the report – expressed dismay at the decision. Some publicly stated that this may be the impetus for them to leave the federation or their current role at Calvin. Outside the CRC, orthodox Christians rejoiced that sound Biblical teaching was upheld, and that the Bible was used as the main authority by which to arrive at thoughtful conclusions. Writing for “World Opinions,” Steven Wedgeworth, an Anglican rector from Indiana, called the decision “a valiant stand… The CRC has defended moral orthodoxy.” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also lauded the decision: “All those who have a Biblical understanding of sexuality (should be) celebrating what the CRC has done!  It has taken the bold and convictional step of confessionalizing what it knows the Bible to teach on homosexuality.” Many readers are familiar with past CRC Synod’s decisions that went against traditional interpretations of Scripture. My own family left a CRC in the 1980s when Synod allowed women to serve as ministers, elders, and deacons. We pray that this may be a sign of an increasingly faithful view of Scripture and the Confessions in the CRC....

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Saturday Selections – August 27, 2022

Joe Rogan vs. Babylon Bee on abortion! (10 min) Last week Seth Dillon of Babylon Bee made an appearance on the world's most popular podcast, where he did a solid job of defending the unborn. Calling it "convergence" doesn't explain away the evidence of a Designer  When two species exhibit similar traits or organs but are otherwise so different from one another that even evolutionists doubt they had a common ancestor then what they share – ie. both man and octopus have a "camera-type eye" – will be said to have happened via "convergent" evolution. This is just saying that the same feature must have evolved two entirely separate times... or maybe even thrice, or many more times than that. But if a scientist isn't already committed to evolution, these similar traits in divergent species would instead be understood as evidence of a common Designer. Don't miss the Abbot and Costello "Who's on First?" comic at the bottom of the linked article. Can we get kids to 15 without a phone glued to their palm? A group in Australia is making the case for parents to push off giving their kids a smartphone until at least 15. Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance? Evidence is lacking Evidence of experts' fallibility came out earlier this summer when an umbrella study found that the idea depression is caused by a chemical imbalance – a theory presumed true for decades now – lacks empirical evidence. This seems another instance of what the experts know, not necessarily being so. That people get things wrong shouldn't be shocking to Christians, but as some in the world urge us to let the so-called experts handle the running of larger and larger aspects of our lives, it's worth remembering that experts can get it really wrong. (One caution: the article author has a passing reference to David Murray that is a bit of a shot, and doesn't line up with my own recollection of Murray's position.) Girl identifies as cat, and school runs with it Who defines reality? That's what this comes down to, with the Bible offering one answer, and the world another. So each instance like this is an evangelistic opportunity to contrast God's Truth with the world's foolishness. The temptation that Christians often succumb to, is to simply point out the foolishness and leave God's Truth implicit. But we ain't doing anyone any good if we point out foolishness and then presume that a world so blinded as to fall for believing people can be cats is somehow smart enough to figure out for themselves a Truth we aren't brave enough to share. What's the deal with BeReal? Chris Martin gives parents a heads-up on the newest social media app, BeReal: "The app creates this more “authentic” (theoretically, anyway) environment by notifying users via a smartphone notification that it is “⚠️ Time to BeReal. ⚠️” at a random time each day—users in the same timezone will have the same posting time each day—during which the users have two minutes to post." Jordan Peterson's message to the Church Jordan Peterson gives here, what one pastor has called "straight talk from a crooked foundation" and another describes as "painfully... mostly spot on." This is an outsider's perspective – Peterson is not (yet) a Christian – which makes it all the more remarkable that he has here accurately diagnosed, and has the courage to share, one of the Devil's key strategic efforts in undermining the Church: Satan is going after young men. Where Peterson falls short is in his response to Satan's attack. Yes, the Church needs to go after young men, and needs to disciple them, but not to save our families and our culture. That is not the purpose young men (or young women, or any old or young) are being called to. That is, instead, the fruit that comes with returning to the purpose for which we have been created: the worship and glorification of God. One word of warning: in the concluding seconds Peterson interjects God's name in a manner that on the one hand is actually factually so – "You are churches for God's sake" – but which here is being misused by Peterson as an expletive for emphasis. ...

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