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News

Saturday Selections – Oct. 14, 2023

Click on the article titles below to go to the linked articles...

Evidence for design: the push-pull principle

Evolution is supposed to happen in small, random steps. What it can't account for is the push-pull principle, when two independent systems are needed to start and stop a body function. This would require that these two systems evolved not in small random steps but in a tight simultaneous choreography.

On Hamas: so this is what they mean by decolonization

RP contributor Jonathon Van Maren encourages us to listen to what they are telling us. John Stonestreet and Timothy Padgett also weigh in, on the reality of evil:

"Hamas didn’t simply attack Israeli military units or take out strategic targets. They mutilated the bodies of Jewish soldiers, killed entire families, kidnapped children and the elderly, and sexually assaulted women and girls before either killing them or carting them back to Gaza as trophies. One of the kidnapped is a survivor of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews."

The crisis of trust in science

In recent years "Science" has been celebrated as our only reliable guide, and not really to be questioned. But how is this God-substitute doing? Well, in 2016, Nature reported that more than 70% of researchers had "tried but failed to reproduce another scientist's experiment, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments."

Homosexuality is getting pushed in evangelical churches under the guise of neutrality

We've seen it happening in the CRC, and now mega-church pastor Andy Stanley is leading the way for sexual compromise in his influential mega-church. As Stand to Reason's Alan Shlemon notes:

"Andy Stanley is either naïve or crafty. Either way, he’s dangerous. He’s naïve if he thinks he can host the Unconditional Conference and it will not corrupt the church’s teaching on sexual ethics. Or he’s crafty and is using this conference to change the theology of his church and possibly other churches. Either way, he’s dangerous."

Why Johnny can't read.... but can spell G-A-Y

God gave us His Word, and thus, Christians love and promote literacy. While the Enemy can misdirect literacy, he can also use ignorance, which might be the best explanation for why many of his schools aren't that interested in the ABCs. This article is a shocker.

"With large majorities of their students incompetent in English and math, Los Angeles schools are ramping up efforts—for more gay pride and gender indoctrination."

When artificial intelligence makes art, what becomes of the artist?

A machine can make a picture, but can it discover meaning?

Stop the slinging in politics (2 min)

Potty humor aside, this makes an important point – insults don't advance an argument and don't win hearts or minds.

 

News

Saturday Selections – Oct. 7, 2023

The challenges and reality of climate modeling (5 min) Steven Koonin is a scientist whose experiences include time as undersecretary of science at the Department of Energy in the Obama administration. He's also written Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters and the point he's arguing here is that scientists need to speak with a lot more humility in acknowledging the uncertainty about the conclusions their climate models come to, since they are built on assumptions upon assumptions. For his 1-hour-long interview on the same topic, click here. What makes a man manly? (10-min read) Evolution and God have two very different answers to that question, as Nancy Pearcey explains. Evolution leads to bad science example #6819: human tails Once every few hundred million times or so, a child will be born with what looks somewhat like a tail. Charles Darwin pointed to these instances as examples of our evolutionary origins - throwbacks to tailed ancestors we once had. Then: "In the 1980s, scientists took this theory and ran with it. They argued that a genetic mutation, evolved by humans to erase our tails, could sometimes revert back to its ancestral state." It took a long time, but the facts finally overwhelmed the evolutionary assumptions - these are not evidence of our origins, and not tails at all, but major mishaps, typically associated with an improper fusing of the spinal column. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) Though I myself am a fan of Ranked Choice Voting – where you rank all the candidates from your first preference down to your last – it does have its downsides, which are explored in the article above. While there is no perfect electoral system, some are better and others worse. For example, electronic voting machines are touted for their convenience, but their coding is most often a proprietary secret, which is just one reason they don't allow for the accountability and transparency that pen on paper ballots can offer. And of course, the problem with all democratic systems is that voters can be very wicked and they may just get what they voted for. COVID-19, hygiene theatre, masks, and lockdowns: “solid science” or science veneer? (15 min read) "In an ideal world, there would be some process by which our public health agencies, at least, could come to recognize and admit how badly they managed to 'follow the science' on COVID-19, and how vast was the gulf between their expressions of absolute certainty and what the scientific literature showed at the time was, in fact, a sea of uncertainty. Until such a 'truth and reconciliation' process takes place, it is hard to see how public trust in public health institutions might be restored." Unintended consequences: a reason for restrained government Chesterton is said to have quipped "If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments," his point being that if men won't be restrained by God, then the government will have to step in, and they'll do a hodge podge of it. As opposed to God's divine law, governmental rules and regulations are a clumsy tool, devised as they are by fallible men and often at a great distance from the problems they are trying to address. So it is then, that governmental "solutions" often cause bigger problems – unintended consequences. Understanding this reality, lawmakers should, in humility, use the tool of lawmaking only when they absolutely must. ...

News

Population up; birthrate way down

Canada’s population passed 40 million in June, and has grown by more than 1.1 million in the past year, according to a Sept 27 Statistics Canada report. The 2.9% increase in our country’s population is the highest rate of growth since 1957, which was the peak of the baby boom and also a year when Canada opened its doors to refugees from Hungary. Over the last 5 years, the population has increased by 5 million, and over the last year we were “likely among the top 20 fastest-growing countries in the world.” So Canada is growing. But a closer look at that data shows that this growth masks a problem. Our current growth is dramatically different than it was in the ‘50s. An astounding 98 percent of the growth today is from international migration, whereas just 2 percent is from births – almost all our growth is coming from the outside. As the same report shares, in the course of just the last year, the fertility rate in Canada has plunged from 1.44 to 1.33 children per woman, far below the 2.1 required to keep a population stable. Canadians and Americans are used to growing populations, and rely on immigration to keep our economies functioning. From a pragmatic perspective this works, but only as long as others are able and willing to come here. However, what few people seem to notice is that the fertility rate has been dropping fast in every continent, and it won’t be long before the world’s population begins to decline. The secular organization www.Pronatalist.org is concerned: “If we fail to address plummeting birth rates, humanity has a very real chance of experiencing an extinction event.” Christians can understand this coming demographic crisis as both a judgment and an opportunity. As the world has embraced abortion, and rejected the blessing of children, we can see here a fulfillment of Paul’s warning to the Galatians: “…God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). That’s the judgment. The opportunity comes if the Church, in obedience, remembers God’s first words to us: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). What an antithesis it will be – what a bright and shining light it will be – when a world that has rejected babies sees laughing, crying, beautiful children, found in abundance still, among God’s people....

News, RPTV

RPTV: the 1 Million March 4 Children

TRANSCRIPT: Welcome to Reformed Perspective, I’m Alexandra Ellison. In the midst of a swiftly shifting cultural landscape, a significant event has emerged that gathers people from diverse backgrounds under a common cause. The 1 Million March 4 Children, a Canada-wide demonstration, has drawn attention across Canada, uniting them in a shared mission: To protect our children from indoctrination and sexualization. In today's video, we delve into the heart of the 1 Million March 4 Children, seeking to understand the motivations and voices that fuel this mobilization across different backgrounds and beliefs. On September 20, thousands of people gathered outside Parliament Hill to protest against Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policies within the education system. Wellington St. was shut down for hours as parents, educators and children gathered to have their voices heard. Christians, Muslims, and people of various faith backgrounds attended the event. The demonstration, titled “1 Million March 4 Children,” expanded across Canada with protests happening in most provinces. This protest comes just months after Premier of New Brunswick, Blaine Higgs amended policy 713, making it so that LGBTQ-identifying students under 16 would have to inform parents before changing their name or pronouns within the classroom. Since this policy amendment took place in June, the conversation about parental rights has only expanded across Canada. Police were on the scene and LGBTQ activists also protested in opposition. The 1 Million March 4 Children was started by a Muslim man, who started speaking out on social media after discovering what was being taught in the education system. Kamel El-Cheikh: “But Canada's parents are the engineers, the restorators, they're the average blue-collar workers that care about their kids.” During the event, a father spoke out about how he got involved in the gender-critical movement after his daughter announced she would begin testosterone for gender transition after her 18th birthday. Shannon Boschy: "Unsafe means somebody might question them. A rational loving parent might say, ' Are you sure, sweetie? It's okay to be confused. We're going to get you some help that you need.' But no, this affirmation leads to the medicalization. These kids are ending up in the gender clinic." The leader of the Christian Heritage Party came all the way from Smithers, BC for the march. Rod Taylor: “We all have the responsibility as parents to raise our children. I think these parents, and Kamel El-Cheikh, who was the Muslim organizer of this event, he reached out to people of other faiths and said, 'Let's come together for something that we all agree on, something we all believe in, for the freedom to raise our children according to our own beliefs.' And that's something we all can agree with.” Taylor hopes that people can find their identity in Christ, rather than their gender. Taylor: "Parents are the first educators of their children. They have the responsibility from God to be the educators and trainers, and to raise their children not only physically, but in a moral perspective so that their kids know who they are. And this whole thing about identity, yes, children need to know who they are in God. He's the one who made us, He made us male and female, created us in His image, and puts us here for a purpose. And so we want to see that purpose fulfilled.” As we conclude our journey through the 1 Million March 4 Children, one resounding truth becomes abundantly clear: As Christians, we are entrusted with the sacred duty to share God's truth and be vocal in the public sphere. Our faith calls us to stand firm in believing that every child is a precious creation, molded in His image. May this march serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to God's intended design and our collective responsibility to ensure that truth prevails in the lives of future generations....

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 30, 2023

Click on the titles below to go to the linked articles. Everything has to be working just right, right from the start (2 min) For a baby to grow, all sorts of systems have to be working just right, and have to have been developed all at the same time. So how could evolution ever get over such a "hurdle"? Overcome your enemies by dying Peter Krol has a rather unexpected strategy for effective Christian engagement – he wants us to "overcome enemies by dying." "God does not ask his people to live as idiotic simpletons or punching bags. God wants his people to overcome strife and evil (Rom. 12:21). But the way you overcome it matters. To win the fight in the wrong way is to lose." Just as you can win badly, there is also a way to lose gloriously. Krol's point is that the outcomes are up to God, and the methods are up to us, so, win or lose, do so with His glory in mind. Krol also lays out five strategies on how best to do so. How to lose your pastor in 365 days There always seems to be a pastor shortage. Might it be worth asking ourselves, how do we in the pews make their job attractive or unattractive? Here are 11 ways to show some appreciation. Why we can't trust the science journals - a climate scientist explains "...a climate scientist has written that he pulled his punches in a climate-change article in order to be published by the prestigious journal Nature." Samuel Sey: Why I am not a "Christian Nationalist" If you support a Christian think tank or lobby like ARPA Canada or the Colson Center that advocates for laws that abide with God's commandments, then by the way some define the term, you are a "Christian Nationalist." But as Samuel Sey notes here, there are a lot of folks fighting for this term, bringing different definitions to it, and the way some others define it, you most certainly aren't a "Christian Nationalist." Unmasking "Christian nationalism" (90 minutes) John Stonestreet, Rusty Reno, and Hunter Baker debate the usefulness of the term "Christian nationalism" and debate also whether Christians should even be trying to bring in Christian laws. Isn't that top-down "Christianization"? That's a good point, and a reason why, in our efforts to bring in laws that align with God's commandments, we should do so as Christians, seeing the public square as just one more opportunity to glorify God. Then, when a Christian law is adopted, it won't be forced from the top down but will have been adopted because we've convinced the country that God's ways are best. This is a long listen – an hour and a half – but worth the time for the sort of discourse happening here: some disagreement but done in the spirit of digging down to the truth together. More on Christian nationalism: legislating morality (2 min) While there's reason to question the usefulness of the term "Christian nationalism," all Christians should want and pray for their nations to be governed by God's Word. While apologist Frank Turek is Arminian, in the video above he makes a good, concise point that all legislation is moral in nature. If it isn't justified as being about right and wrong, then it is simply capricious, based on the whims of whoever happens to be in charge. Is that what anyone is after? No, we want our laws based on the only real standard: God's. Where Turek gets it wrong is that he thinks this law is self-evident. There is a sense in which that is true: God tells us His law is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). But we also know that with work and effort, we are quite capable of blinding ourselves to what is true. Shucks, we have people who believe it is all right to murder a baby so long as one foot is still inside its mother's body, or that the government should fund the mutilation of children who are confused about their gender. So, the law isn't always self-evident; it is often very much in need of proclamation. Thankfully, God has given the world His Church to do that!...

Christian education, News

How’s this for a graduate profile?

Marcus Schroeder had 4 minutes to call his city to repentance. The 19-year-old was ready. **** As parents, teachers, and students, we put a lot of energy, prayer, money, and time into our Christian schools. So, after it’s all done – after the 12 years are completed – what are we hoping our graduates will be equipped to do? What’s our measure of success? Some schools have a “graduate profile” that highlights certain skills or attitudes it expects every student to leave with. It's great to have that written down, but it’s even better when those expectations are being modeled. And this past summer a 19-year-old down south offered up this different sort of graduate profile. Over the course of just a few days, Marcus Schroeder modeled what a young Christian can do when he’s both well-educated and eager to take on whatever challenges come at him.  As Christian activist Jason Storms recounted the story on the Apologia Radio podcast, this teen was one of a couple hundred Christians who demonstrated against the Watertown, Wisconsin’s second annual “Pride in the Park” festival. The July 29 event was billed as: “loads of family entertainment, including a Children’s Dance Party, Drag Story Hour, 2 Drag shows.” A typical drag show will have a guy in a campy dress and perhaps lingerie, gyrating on stage, pretending to be some bimbo-esque sort of woman. This one promised to be family-friendly, so perhaps the gyrating was kept to a minimum. Now we’ve gotten so used to our upside-down world, we might not even be shocked that the gyraters got protected and the protesters got arrested. We should be shocked. As God tells us, our rulers are supposed to pursue righteousness and punish evil (Prov. 16:10-12, Ps. 72). Instead, police moved in on Schroeder as he was standing on the sidewalk outside the event. They arrested him after he used a microphone and speaker to start reading Galatians 5 out loud. As Storms recounts it, the teen was charged with “unlawful use of amplification and resisting arrest.” I don’t know what the city’s noise bylaws allow or ban, but as a viral video of the arrest shows, Schroeder’s resistance amounted to tensing his arms for the first 10-20 seconds of the confrontation as the first officer tried to grab the mike from him. In arresting him, the authorities made a big deal out of what was at worst a minor infraction. Their heavy hand didn’t intimidate the young man. Just days later, Schroeder took the opportunity to address his city council. He didn’t take a long time. What he said was remarkable: “I just wanted to ask a simple question. A Nazi group showed up at the event Saturday, and people were talking about that, and I just wanted for all of us to really think about this: what's wrong with Nazism? Seriously, what's wrong with Nazism? “Because imagine for a moment, that there is no God above us, no hell below us, no heaven to live for, as John Lennon wanted to imagine. If we are truly the result of evolved stardust, and our ancestors were fish, and we're the descendants of monkeys, then where do we find our value as human beings?  “What's wrong with Nazism, unless you understand that the God of Scripture says that we are made in His Image, and so to murder innocent people is a violation to God's commands? As a Christian I can say that what the Nazis did in Nazi Germany was completely horrific and that they should have been resisted. In fact, the number one people group that resisted the Nazis were Christians. And the reason why was because they had a worldview that says that people are made in God's Image and that they have worth and value. That's why Nazism is wrong. “But if we're going to reject the Christian worldview then we can't hold on to the fruit that comes from the Christian worldview, while denying the actual foundation. “Intolerance is an interesting word – tolerance/intolerance, hatred/love, bigotry, things like that – because really every culture has something that it's intolerant towards and something that it's tolerant of. I mean there are things like murder and rape and stealing that we are intolerant towards as a society. And so, every society has something that it’s intolerant towards. The question is just what is our object of intolerance, and what is our object of tolerance? “When I showed up Saturday all I did was read from Scripture on the sidewalk. I read from the Bible, Galatians. And, by the way, I wasn't reading Romans 1. I wasn't reading any passage that spoke against homosexuality or anything like that. I was reading a passage from the Bible about love and I was arrested. No reason. Not given any warning. Not told anything about my amplification needing to be turning down. I was arrested and taken into custody simply for reading the Bible on the sidewalk. “You see, as we become more and more tolerant of sexual immorality in our culture, we've become more and more intolerant towards Christian morality. And the more we become intolerant towards Christian morality the more we're going to see lawlessness in our streets. The more we become intolerant of Christian morality, the more we're going to see Nazis, the more we're going to see people who don't hold to a Christian worldview, who think that everybody is a result of animals, and therefore if we are animals then why can't we just act like animals? “We were called a hate group. We were told that we don't want to understand the other side. I just want to set the record straight. I am more than happy to have that conversation with the other side. I did speech and debate throughout high school and one of the things that we were taught in debate is that you can't make an argument for your side until you're able to make the argument for the other side. I've sat down and had hours of discussions with LGBTQ activists. I completely understand the other side; I want to understand the other side.  “But drag queens twerking on kids in lingerie is unacceptable and that's something that we have to notice as a culture. We can have our disagreements but there comes a time when we have to understand that we are all going to stand before God one day and we're going to have to give an account for what we have done with the children in our society, the innocent minds and the children who deserve to be protected. Thank you.” Isn’t this… glorious? Marcus Schroeder has been gifted by God with some exceptional talents. It’s just as clear that he’s been gifted with an exceptional education. That’s, then, the goal for our own graduate profile. We can pray that God will so equip us, that we can gift our own children with an education that’ll allow them to take on the world with confidence. Picture above is a screenshot from the Apologia Radio podcast with Marcus Schroeder. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 2, 2023

Cessationist trailer Click below for the trailer of a great new documentary that takes on "cessationism," the belief that the miraculous gifts of the New Testament have ceased happening. But have they? Pentecostals say no; most Reformed denominations says yes.... though we also acknowledge that God still performs miracles today (and, in fact, we regularly ask Him to miraculously intercede). This will be available for streaming on Sept 22. Does therapy even work? Talking to someone else about our problems is powerful. But secular psychology can only aim to answer, "What's going on inside of me?" and can't point us outward, to the God who made us. Free parents' guide to TikTok Axis is a Christian organization that specializes in resources meant to take a parent from knowing nothing about a new technology, app, or cultural trend to knowing enough that they can talk knowledgeably about it with their teenagers. And they manage this in a guide that takes just 10 to 15 minutes to read. Check out their TikTok guide in article form by clicking above or read it as a pdf booklet here. 1,600+ scientists, plus a couple Nobel laureates say climate "emergency" is a myth This says less than it might first seem to: 1,600 is a large number, but not compared with all the scientists who haven't backed this petition (or, at least, not backed it yet). Also, how many of them even have expertise in this field? But what the 1,600+ do offer, and the two Nobel Laureates as well, is a good counter to the notion that the "debate is over" and that only the uneducated could think different. John Piper: "life-changing moments come in sentences and paragraphs" (10-min read) "What I have learned from about twenty years of serious reading is this: sentences change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99 percent of what I read, but if the 1 percent of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99 percent." Yo-Yo magic This is the winning performance from last month's yo-yo world championships. This below is Division 1A where they use a long string. For 4 more division champions – including one where the yo-yo isn't even attached to the string! – check out the article linked in the title above. ...

News

John Calvin: Florida state attorney?

John Calvin showed up at a press conference in Florida earlier this month, as Governor Ron DeSantis introduced the state’s newest state attorney, Andrew Bain. As Bain took his turn at the podium he began by thanking the governor and his legal mentors, before then transitioning to an explanation of why he was happy with his new role. “For me, this is a place where John Calvin's second purpose of the law came to life. The second purpose for law is a restraint on evil. The law in and of itself cannot change the human heart. It can however, serve to protect the righteous from the unjust…. We are here to prosecute crimes, and to hold people accountable.” What he was referencing here was what’s known as Calvin’s threefold purposes of the law. Calvin said that God’s Law acts on us in three different ways: It acts as a mirror, showing us our sins, and our desperate need for a Savior. As Bain noted, it restrains evil. In forbidding murder, theft, and more, and promising to punish those acts, it will, as Calvin put it, “curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for…justice.” Finally, it shows us how to live a life of thankfulness to God by telling us what pleases Him. Now, Calvin was talking about God’s Law and not Florida’s, and the latter has some major departures from the former. Most notably, while Florida offers more protections for the unborn than Canada, banning abortion six weeks after conception, the state still allows the unborn to be murdered without sanction before that point. Still the second purpose is relevant in civil law, and Bain’s reminder is timely as that purpose is being forgotten. That forgetfulness is perhaps more evident south of the border, where in recent years we've seen major US cities decide not to enforce laws already on the books involving both smaller matters like shoplifting, and more major ones like rioting. From this distance, it’s impossible to know what sort of state attorney Bain will be, but what’s worth noting is his example here: a judicial official shamelessly talking from an explicitly Christian worldview, teaching the public about the benefit of the law in protecting the righteous from the unjust. That’s worthy of celebration and imitation. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 26, 2023

Click on the titles below for the linked articles and videos. Canadians pay more to government than for housing, food, and clothing combined Over the last 60 years the cost of clothing is 7 times higher, food 9 times, and housing is 19 times higher.  But the biggest increase of all has been taxes, 28 times higher than they were in 1961. Samuel warned the Israelites that a king would demand 10% of their goods – what the Lord Himself required! Canadians are paying more than 4 times that to their government. PM's cross-country vacation is hypocritical... but, more importantly, instructive News media will often hype political hypocrisy to get outraged readers to click thru. But instead of blowing a gasket, Christians should recognize hypocrisy for the insight it offers. God tells us that our actions can give lie to our words - someone might "profess to know God, but they deny him by their works" (Titus 1:16a). Our actions speak louder than our words. So when someone is hypocritical, it's actually instructive, with their actions telling us what they really believe. Canada's prime minister has called climate change an "existential threat" – a threat to our very existence. Yet this past month Justin Trudeau flew his family across the country for a vacation in BC. All that carbon... simply for pleasure. Then he'll head 5,500 kilometers the other way for a 3-day retreat with all of his cabinet in Prince Edward Island where they will discuss, among other things, climate change. That's a lot more carbon for meetings that could have been held right there in Ottawa... if carbon emissions needed to be a consideration. The PM is big on climate politics, and it certainly plays well at the polls, but his actions tell us that he really doesn't think climate change is that big of a deal. It certainly isn't important enough to get him to change his lifestyle. The tawdry and creepy origins of Barbie Barbie was modeled after a German doll known for her double entendres. But this article's most significant paragraph highlights a different sort of influence Barbie may have had: "Where young girls used to care for baby dolls, presumably projecting themselves as a wife and mother, far more girls today envision themselves one day being fiercely independent, fashionable, and seemingly successful like Barbie..." Manitoba residential school excavation turns up no bodies Claims two years ago of a mass grave at a residential school in Kamloops started a period of national mourning. No digging has been done there, but in a Manitoba residential school where digging just finished, no bodies were found. Does that mean nothing happened at these schools? No. But claims do need to be substantiated - as Mark Penninga wrote, the truth matters. As a Christian I went down the AI rabbit hole... ...and here are 12 things he discovered. Story of a deaf tennis championship comeback Haven't seen this yet, but the trailer caught my kid's attention. Subpar production values, but the educational aspect – getting some understanding of what it is like to be deaf – might still make this a good one for the family. It comes to theaters in September. ...

News

Canada's highest court declines churches' appeal over Covid restrictions

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal of how the BC government dealt with churches during Covid. Although each provincial government dealt with religious gatherings differently, BC’s response was particularly difficult, as the province ordered churches closed while it allowed bars, restaurants, gyms, businesses, art galleries, and schools to carry on. The indefinite order caused great stress as it clashed with God’s calling to His people to gather for worship and to care for each other. And as the lower court judge admitted, it also violated the constitution’s protection for freedom of religion and assembly. After the numerous efforts by churches to communicate with the provincial government fell on deaf ears, a respectful court challenge was initiated by three churches, two of them Reformed: Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley, the Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church of Abbotsford, and the Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack. ARPA Canada was also granted written and oral arguments by the court. These three churches invested a great deal of time, effort, and heartache into their court challenge, and into conducting it as far as was possible, even in the face of some criticism from other churches. Some brothers and sisters seemed to think that challenging the government in court was contrary to the call for submission to the governing authorities that we find in Romans 13. But it is not. The courts are one of the three branches of government, and they offer a critical accountability to both the legislative branch (which makes the laws), and the executive (which enforces the laws). Bringing a case to the court doesn’t show disrespect for the government. It shows utmost respect – using the process that God has given us and the system of government we have. That's why Paul could appeal to the court system of his day (Acts 25:10-11). One lesson learned by those involved in these cases is that many of our secular leaders, including our judges, have little concept of what church and corporate worship means. As ARPA Canada detailed in their analysis of the original ruling which the churches were appealing, it was evident that the judge didn't understand how important worship is: "we should also be gravely concerned that he does not seem to have an appreciation for how central gathered worship is to Christians. In the judgement, Chief Justice Hinkson suggests that because both secular and religious schools can gather, that the current restrictions do not disadvantage those with religious beliefs. But this fails to appreciate the centrality of gathered worship to Christian communities. It is small comfort for a child to be able to gather with other Christians for the purpose of learning at school, but not to gather for the purpose of worship at church." It is important that churches, as legitimate authorities under God, now use times of peace and freedom to build relationships with our civic leaders so that they understand who we are and what God has called both us and them to. That the Supreme Court declined to weigh in isn't unusual – most appeal requests are denied, and the highest court also doesn’t give reasons for its decisions for not taking an appeal. Yet we can be thankful that the highest court of all, led by the Chief Justice of the universe, is seated on the throne and will judge all things and also make all things right....

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 5, 2023

Unintended consequences In socialist states like the USSR, the government's central planning failed because people are complicated and to correctly predict their wants, needs, and actions, government leaders would have to have God-like omniscience. In socialist states like our own, the government central-plans things less, but it still has quite a lot on its plate: everything from school sex ed curriculum to their citizens' soda consumption, and so much in between. Despite the best of intentions, their plans fail too, and for the same reason: even the wisdom of Solomon wouldn't be up to this task... though he'd be smart enough not to try.  Wrong more often than right: the problem of psychological diagnosis Psychology Today recently published an article titled: "The Myth of Mental Health Diagnosis: Disagreement between clinicians is the norm, not the exception." This is quite the admission – Christians need to understand that when they turn to these secular experts for help, that "much of the modern method of caring for the souls of people is built on sand." Global warming saves lives? Did you know more people die from cold than from heat? Get your own seed! A challenge for evolutionists: make a flower grow out of a bucket of dirt. The catch is, you have to do it without a seed. What's the point? "If a well-equipped research facility, staffed by the world’s best scientists, couldn’t produce a seed or even a single living cell from raw materials, what basis is there for assuming unguided natural processes could do it?" More people are being euthanised in Canada than anywhere else in the world Reasons why include: the promotion of euthanasia as if it is a standard treatment suicide contagion raising it as an option to patients you didn't ask lack of oversight not caring enough to even get proper data collection But those are all symptoms of the main reason: when you stop seeing Man as made in the image of God (Gen. 9:6), you start treating him like just another animal. Eco-Colonialism: the First World is using green policy against the Third World (20 min) This is a longer video – 20 minutes – but it highlights an important topic: that today's environmentalism is much like the colonialism of old, "right down to the conviction that know better than the people they’re colonizing so it’s justified to make decisions for them 'for their own good.'” ...

News

Saturday Selections – July 29, 2023

The scaremongers are wrong (7 min) While no one in this video is professedly Christian, the battle is over whether we're going to understand Man as the Bible describes us, with children as a blessing from God, made in His Image, and tasked with stewarding the Earth (Ps. 127:3-5, Gen. 1:26-28), or whether we are going to understand children as mere mouths to feed – a drain on our planet which would be better off without them. John A Macdonald saved more Indigenous lives than any other PM? (10 min read) My evaluation of Canada's first PM has dropped some since I was first introduced to a heroic version of him in school. I shouldn't have been surprised - our leaders have always had feet of clay. But as Solomon alerts us, there is always another side of the story to hear (Prov. 18:17), and in this article Greg Piasetzki makes the case that: "Canada’s treatment of its indigenous people — and Macdonald’s role in it — is best understood in comparison with that of the native population in the United States. The results very much favour Macdonald’s Canada." Residential school narratives unravelled In keeping with that "other side" REAL Women of Canada has issued a call for a new inquiry into Canada's residential schools, one that would look into the many spots proposed to be burial grounds, but from which no bodies have yet been recovered. A different sort of Sound of Freedom review Sound of Freedom, in theaters now, is about human trafficking – it's about the modern-day sex slave trade. Here's what pro-life activist Miranda King shared after she saw it this week. Why should Canadians care about two recent US Supreme Court decisions?  God's people in the West don't always understand how much of our culture is still supported by Christian underpinnings. Yes, our countries are increasingly godless, but that things are still as good as they are is because even now many of the godless still hold to a generally Christian understanding of justice, gender, faithfulness, and more. What two recent US Supreme Court decisions show is what happens when those underpinnings are abandoned entirely – then a country's top justice can be left unsure as to what justice even is. Psychology board levels ironic charge against Jordan Peterson The College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) ordered Jordan Peterson to undergo some remedial media training – re-education" as he put it – after he expressed political opinions on Twitter. The CPO said Peterson's comments risked ""undermining public trust in the profession of psychology, and trust in the college's ability to regulate the profession in the public interest." The irony here is that the CPO is doing just that in going after Peterson for political opinions that many share. Evolution "facts": You can't trust everything you hear (14 min) This is a charming exposé of how evolutionists will often tell stories that are: 1) technically true but misleading 2) only theories but presented as facts 3) flat-out gross exaggerations This is an Intelligent Design critique of evolution, so that means they buy into millions of years. But for how it shows the evolutionary emperor is wearing no clothes, this is a must-see. ...

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Saturday Selections – July 22, 2023

What would you say to the claim porn improves relationships? Porn has become so pervasive that some will now, without shame, discuss their viewing of it, and even defend it as a good thing. For Christians, though, there is no debate: Jesus said watching pornography is adultery (Matt 5:28), and, going back further still to the 10th Commandment, God prohibits coveting your neighbor's wife. And there are also practical objections, as detailed in the video below. Homeschooling boys One reason boys might be falling behind girls at school: "How long can you sit still, be quiet, and pay attention? We find no difference on that parameter comparing a 40-year-old woman with a 40-year-old man. But when we compare a 6-year-old girl with a 6-year-old boy, we find that the average 6-year-old boy can sit still, be quiet, and pay attention for only about half as long as the average 6-year-old girl. He may be sitting still and being quiet, but he is not paying attention." Does the Church need to lead on smartphones? As more research shows that smartphones are a trigger for all sorts of serious problems for teens, parents face the problem of how to act. No smartphones until 16 might sound nice, but if one family implements this policy on their own, it only means that their kids will be frozen out of the conversations their classmates are having online. That's not that helpful. So, should the government step in? That has downsides too, as Bonnie Kristian shares. So who can help? Might the local congregation be able to rally families to work together? 10 roadtrip conversation starters Your kidlets are in the back dozing and you have miles to go before you arrive at your vacation destination - it's a chance for some meaningful conversation with your better half. Here's 10 questions to kick things off. Correcting the actual misinformation about gender ideology It seemed that in times past, when the media mislead us it was because they were giving only half the story. It was a lie of omission, certainly, but the facts they did share were actually facts. Today, they seem willing to just lie. No, humans aren't 99% chimp By one measure, humans share 60% of our DNA with bananas. But no one thinks that makes us 60% fruity. So why the fixation the stat that we share 99% of the DNA of chimps... especially since it isn't even true? A boomwhacker brawl Just some Dutch guys making music... and channeling the Three Stooges. ...

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