Did the “fountains of the deep” make Joe Rogan lose sleep?
Joe Rogan is one of the world’s most popular podcasters, well known for his curiosity (though also for his vulgarity). It was that curiosity that, on March 29, had him doing some mind-blowing late-night reading. As he posted to Instagram:
Me: man, it’s after 2am, I should probably get some sleep.
Article: “Did you know there’s an absolutely massive supply of water hidden underneath the Earth’s crust that’s three times bigger than the oceans that sit on the surface?”
Me: No, I did not know that. And now that’s all I’m interested in…
3 times all the oceans underneath us?
While the article Rogan read was recent, this superocean was discovered more than a decade ago. This water is said to be buried 400 miles down, captured in a type of rock called “ringwoodite.” The amount of water in these rocks has been variously estimated as being as much as all the water in all our oceans, or even three times that amount.
Rogan's post went out to his 16 million Instagram followers and caught the attention of Not the Bee’s John Knox and others. Knox connected some dots and suggested that this vast quantity of water might be the “fountains of the great deep” that “burst forth” in Genesis 7:11 when God brought the Flood to punish the world.
It was an interesting idea. The biblical Flood account is mocked as being impossible on account of all the water that'd be needed to cover Mount Everest. But what if Mount Everest wasn't so tall, and the oceans weren't so deep? As professor Brad Alles has noted: “if the planet were as smooth as a billiard cue ball, there’s enough water to cover the earth 1.7 miles deep all over.” So maybe the world pre-Flood was a flatter place. And as Genesis 7:11 shares – and this 2014 discovery also highlights – the water we see is far from the only water on Earth. There’s also water under the ground!
Now, the Institute for Creation Research’s Brian Thomas does differ with John Knox. He argued back in 2014 that this ringwoodite, because it is 400 miles down, is probably too far underground to have contributed to the Flood. He doesn't think these stones were a part of the "fountains of the great deep."
However, he does highlight how “this discovery shows that the mantle materials can store vast amounts of water.”
And if the amount of water on and under the Earth's surface is enough to blow Joe Rogan's mind, here's something that should get Christians' jaws to drop. In Luke 19:40, Jesus explains that if his disciples were silenced, then even the stones would cry out. In this incident we can see God using a foul-mouthed agnostic comedian to get the word out that an unbelievably vast quantity of water is trapped deep in the Earth's mantle. How's that for stones – of one type and another – crying out?
Saturday Selections – Mar 25, 2023
How do evolutionists explain how the first cells replicated? (14 min) To evolve, cells would need to be able to replicate, so how do evolutionists ex...
Saturday Selections – Mar 18, 2023
St. Patrick's bad analogies In honor of St. Patrick's Day just past, and our God who has made Himself known, and yet remains incomprehensible. C...
Saturday Selections – Mar 11, 2023
"Cascading problems" showcase your body's design (2 min) Your cells need oxygen, and that creates a problem because, how are they going to get it? You need a respiratory system to distribute that O2. But oxygen doesn't dissolve all that well in the bloodstream – to carry it you need hemoglobin. To get the right amount of hemoglobin you need your kidney cells to regulate their production. And hemoglobin needs iron, but too much iron is toxic to you, so you'll need a mechanism to regulate the amount of iron your intestines absorb. And you'll need some means of transporting that iron to where it needs to go. And on and on it goes. One problem requires you to solve another and another... and all at the same time. Should we treat Big Tech like Big Tobacco? "A mounting body of evidence suggests that social media contributes to the skyrocketing rates of anxiety and depression among teens." This article suggests the government as the solution, but if parents understand the need, they are already in a position to act. Marie Kondo has kind of given up on cleaning after her third child Did you know that the queen of tidying up wrote her bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as a single woman of 27? Now, as a mom of three at 38, she has discovered that if the choice is between a perfectly tidy house or feeding the kids, the kids win every time. Tim Challies on Asbury: a cold take The Asbury Revival is over, but for two weeks in February, something was happening on the campus of Asbury University – students and a growing crowd of thousands of others prayed and worshipped non-stop. For those of us at a distance, there was no pressing need to evaluate what was happening, and as Tim Challies suggests here, we could simply offer guarded optimism. Woke ideology now dominates Ontario public schools This is a secular account, but even the irreligious are saying enough is enough. How the Canadian government funds the Left Here's a practical argument for small government: for decades now Canada's federal government has been using taxpayer dollars to fund a leftwing agenda via the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The Amish go green (4 min) When this video came out 10 years ago, it was meant to be humorous, more than satiric. It could only be more on the nose now if the speaker had flown in on a private jet to impress on the Amish how they must do their part. ...
Saturday Selections – Mar 4, 2023
Trick shot basketball (5 min) Everyone talks basketball in March, so here are some highlights from the "That's Amazing" crew and the Harlem Globetrotters. 60 questions for pro-choice Christians For anyone you know who professes to be both Christian and pro-choice, here are questions to clarify a different sort of "choice" they need to make: between supporting abortion or following Christ. Our badly designed pharynx? Christians will sometimes wonder if they should give evolution a hearing since there's supposed to be so much evidence for it. But how much of that evidence is simply ideology? Here's one example: some evolutionists will point to humans' pharynx – the shared opening we have in our throat for both food and air – as an example of the bad design you'd expect chance and time to produce. They point to it as evidence of evolution's trial and error. But if we don't presume that our pharynx was Designer-free, then you'd see it for that example it is of stupendous design – it took genius to make this work just so. COVID might have been created in a lab... and now you're allowed to say it The findings are still not definitive. What is definitive is that the social media censorship and mainstream media dismissal of this possibility two years ago tells us a lot about how little we should trust these information gatekeepers. Girls are getting sick from Tik Tok "One of the strangest stories of the last couple of years is how teenage girls have been stricken with facial tics after browsing the video-sharing app TikTok." But is it only facial tics that are contagious over social media? Or is social media also responsible for “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” and the increase in teens identifying as LGBT? "Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues, in a sweeping new analysis, that this catastrophic rise in teen mental illness is largely caused by social media use." What's the greatest of all Protestant "heresies"? Roman Catholic Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) thought assurance was the worst of all Protestant doctrines...which is high praise indeed. A dueling banjo To set the scene: in this clip from The Song, Rose has just met Jed King, the singing act for her vineyard's annual wine-tasting festival. When Jed asked her why she seems distracted, Rose finds herself oversharing – to a complete stranger! – that she'd just bumped into her ex-boyfriend Eddie who'd dumped her for... well, for being a good Christian lass. And to top it off, the jerk brought his new girlfriend along. So... Jed decides to sing Rose a song. ...
Saturday Selections – Feb. 25, 2023
Cell membranes are amazing! (11 min) Each one of your cells has its own protective shell that has to be able to let food in, allow garbage out, and repel invaders. And there was no time for these abilities to evolve separately because a cell needs all these abilities from the get-go... otherwise it will die. Why do Christians make such a big deal about sex? When the world throws slurs at the church - "Why are you guys so obsessed with sex!" – we might be tempted to deny the attack. But as Rebecca McLaughlin notes "Whenever people ask me why Christians are so weird about sex, I first point out that we’re weirder than they think. The fundamental reason why Christians believe that sex belongs only in the permanent bond of male-female marriage is because of the metaphor of Jesus’s love for his church." The most dangerous type of Christian parenting Parents worried about how their kids are going to embarrass them are focused more on their "spiritual reputation" than their children's actual spiritual sanctification. Is this the dawn of a sexual counter-revolution? Another secular critic is rejecting the world's approach to sex and love and marriage, because of all the damage done. But while secular folks like this are starting to see through the lie, they still need someone to point them to the Truth. The Second Commandment, the Westminster Larger Catechism, and images of Jesus The focus of this article is on pictures of Jesus in story bibles, but the point being made is relevant too, to the popular The Chosen TV drama about Jesus's disciples, but which also features Jesus Himself. Some Christians argue it is different to portray the incarnate Jesus – rather than the invisible Father or Holy Spirit – because He did have a physical body. This article offers up what the "Westminster Divines" thought. There are also practical considerations: when Jesus is portrayed, there's the matter of accuracy. Historically, European artists have portrayed Him as European, making it easy to forget His Jewishness... and might that have contributed to anti-Semitism? In making a visual representation of Christ it seems unavoidable to, at least in part, recast Him in a contemporary hue. In keeping with our time, The Chosen's producers have given women a more prominent placement than they have in the Scriptures, with perhaps the most notable being the healing of the paralyzed man of Luke 5:17-25. It was men that arranged for their friend to be lowered through the ceiling; in the series two women, Tamar and Mary Magdalene, are credited with the idea. Don't just vote (2 min) Every election cycle there's a push to get everyone to vote. But why are we trying to make it easier (with mail-in ballots) for uninterested people to vote? ...
BC teacher fired for not backing down on causes of residential school deaths
After four decades as a teacher, Jim McMurtry was fired February 21st by the Abbotsford School District. McMurtry shared in a tweet that he was “charged with ‘extremely serious misconduct’ for teaching residential school deaths mostly from disease, fires, accidents.” According to an article in the National Post, the incident that led to his firing happened two years ago, shortly after the news broke of the 215 “unmarked graves” at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in 2021. When one of McMurtry’s students said that priests had murdered and tortured the children, McMurtry responded by explaining that most children at residential schools died from disease, especially tuberculosis. Within an hour, McMurtry was being disciplined for his comment in the classroom. But was he right? The Truth and Reconciliation Commission devoted years to studying the deaths at residential schools and its report concluded that where the cause of death was known, the most common cause was tuberculosis. Unfortunately, this didn’t align with the narrative that the Abbotsford School Board wants to advance. “Mr. McMurtry’s personal opinions regarding residential schools were seen in contradiction to the truth and reconciliation work that is currently underway in the District,” the board report said. McMurtry has a master’s degree in the history of education and a doctorate in philosophy of education, specializing in Indigenous history. That may explain why he didn’t back down. “There’s people who believe that Canada is systemically racist and that all our ancestors were monsters. And I’m the person who is saying, ‘Well, let’s debate it. Let’s look at it.’" He added “Teachers are walking on eggshells on all sorts of issues. Teachers need to stop now and say, ‘Enough is enough.’” It isn’t just the Abbotsford School District that's on the offensive. In response to growing questions about the news reports of unmarked graves, NDP MP Leah Gazan told the CBC that she plans to draft legislation to “outlaw attempts to deny that genocide and make false assertions about residential schools.” In a sense, it might seem a small thing to note that the deaths at the schools were in large part due to tuberculosis and not torture and murder. After all, the blame for the deaths of children who caught tuberculosis at schools that they were forced to attend could also be laid at the government’s feet. So McMurtry wasn’t defending the government here or the priests. What he was defending was the truth of the matter. And the truth is critical if we care about justice and reconciliation....
Saturday Selections – Feb. 18, 2023
Recycling plastic is bad stewardship (7 min) Recycling paper and cans can make sense. Despite what we've been told, recycling plastic most often does...
News, Pro-life - Abortion
Abortion was the leading cause of death in 2022
According to the organization Our World in Data, 67 million people died in 2022. Among the leading causes of death were heart disease (approximately ...
The problematic push for electric vehicles (EVs)
Electric vehicles (EVs) are the way of the future. Maybe you aren’t convinced, but our “higher-ups” are – political leaders in Canada, and in US states like California and Washington, are so confident about EVs that they have announced plans to cut out the internal combustion engine in a matter of years. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom wants all new cars to be electric by 2035, just a dozen years from now. LifeSiteNews.com contributor Jeremy Williamson, in his article “Trudeau wants 60% of new cars to be electric by 2030. That’s both stupid and dangerous” spends some time pointing out some small details that may throw a wrench in Trudeau’s plans. EV sales are way down in Canada, making increased EV production risky for any manufacturer who wants to make money. EVs are expensive and are outside of the average family’s budget. With the recent surge of inflation, they are not getting cheaper any time soon. There is little infrastructure for charging EVs. The Canadian government plans on installing 85,000 charging stations across the country within four years. For reference, there are currently 12,000 gas stations across the country. Researchers have shown that lithium-ion batteries, stored in below-freezing temperatures, can damage their housing and reduce their storage capacity. If this damage allows the chemicals to mix, fires may occur. That’s quite a problem for a cold country like Canada. Then there is the ethical dimension: there are reports of thousands of children being “employed” in cobalt and lithium mines, with human rights abuses widespread. Although promising, EV technology has a long way to go before it can be considered a viable alternative to the internal combustion engine. Any sort of hardline date, therefore, is more about pandering to the green energy crowd, than a realistic goal. Picture credit: Marc Bruxelle (iStockPhoto.com)....
Saturday Selections - Feb. 4, 2023
How different athletes act at home (4 min) Some fun goofiness to share with the kids... though only if you don't mind some imitation. Jack Phillips battles on,... and his reward will be great! Jack Phillips is rather ordinary-looking for a hero. He isn't muscle-bound, doesn't have martial art moves, and he isn't braving bullets to save a damsel in distress. What he has been risking is his business, and for more than a decade now. Amazingly, among the people he is risking his business for are the very people trying to shut him down. A decade back this baker was taken to court for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual "marriage." All the world was eager to celebrate this coupling, but Jack was not, because he knew such a marriage was a lie, and harmful to the people involved because they were committing themselves to a lifelong rebellion against their Maker. The good news is he won a Supreme Court decision back in 2021. The bad news is he was targeted again, but this time by a trans activist who wanted a cake to celebrate "transitioning." And once again, Jack wouldn't participate in a harmful lie. Most of us understandably wouldn't want to be in Jack's shoes. But is that because we've gotten things backwards? We were created to glorify God, and just consider the opportunity Jack has been given because of this to glorify God in a louder way than he otherwise ever could. We also shouldn't doubt what Jesus promised in his Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matt. 5:10-12). Start with one We're called to make disciples. Yet so many of us don't. So, the author advises, start with one, just one. 6 ways socialism isn't social If it's voluntary, it isn't socialism. It's that simple: socialism is compulsion. Abortion arguments are failing badly One of my university profs tried to justify abortion through all nine months by arguing that there was no point in the pregnancy where a child was all that different from the moment before. He reasoned that if it was okay at one month after conception to abort (which he thought was a given) then it must be okay at one month plus one day. And if it is okay at one month and a day, how is the child all that different at one month and two days? And so on. But his argument proved too much, as it would also justify "aborting" the already born, even adults, as there is no point in which we are all that different from the moment before. In the article above, Gary DeMar turns that logic on its head: if it is a given the born are valuable, then why not the born, minus a day? And so on. DeMar's flipped argument aligns with Scripture, where we find our value isn't found in how different we are from one stage to the next, nor in what we can do, but in Whose Image we are made (Gen. 1:27, Gen. 9:6). This is not a banana This is not an ad about how boys can never be girls even when some people might say otherwise. This is not about how boys remain boys, even if someone screams "girl, girl, girl" over and over again. And even if you start to believe that boy is a girl, he's not; he's a boy... and this ad is still not about that. This is a CNN ad. From 5 years ago. It was directed against President Donald Trump's accusations that CNN peddled "fake news." It argues that there are no alternative facts. There is only one truth. Bravo. Do you think they'd still make this ad today? ...
Saturday Selections – Jan 28, 2023
British comic on climate change (7 min) Comedian Konstantin Kisin went viral in mid-January for his common sense counter to climate change hysteria. What we can learn about sacrifice from John Calvin’s "School of Death" "If any of our seminaries today were nicknamed 'The School of Death,' they would be empty!" Denmark secretly inserted IUDs in Greenland's women for decades In a 15-year span, from 1963 to 1978, Greenland's fertility rate dropped from 6.74 births per woman to just 2.21, and it was due in part to Danish doctors secretly and systematically chemically sterilizing Greenland women. While the world doesn't know how such a widespread evil like this is even possible, John Stonestreet offers an explanation above. Lord Acton offers another: "all power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." A Christian response to an arrogant government's abuse is to urge citizens to minimize its powers. Instead of expecting our governments to run not only justice and defense, but healthcare, education, the overall economy, and even whether we should have children, we should demand our elected leaders control much less. When a government is forced to acknowledge it doesn't know better than its own citizens how best to run their lives, that humility can counter the temptation to abuse its powers. And should it still succumb, a smaller government won't have the power to do harm on this scale. 8 ways we normalize the abnormal The world is normalizing certain sins, but as Paul Tripp notes even Christians – orthodox Bible-believing Christians – are busy normalizing our own sins. 8 times C.S. Lewis displayed brilliant political commentary in the Chronicles of Narnia Peter Jacobsen shares "what Narnia can teach us about politics in our own world." A key difference between social justice and biblical justice (4 min) Voddie Baucham says that one big difference between the two is how they each define "injustice." ...
Population of the world’s largest country begins to decline
For the first time since the early 1960s, deaths have outnumbered births in the world’s largest country – over the course of 2022 China’s population shrunk by 850,000. This development was a long time coming, as the country has seen a steady decrease in births since the 1970’s. That is thanks in part to China’s One-Child Policy, which stayed in force till 2015, and which penalized parents for having more than one child. The Communist government has been trying to reverse the downward trend since then, but with no success. China’s fertility rate is a dismal 1.28 children per woman, and still decreasing each year. To simply stay stable, a country’s fertility rate needs to average out to 2.1 children per woman, the two children to take the place of their two parents in the next generation, and the .1 to account for the fact that not all children reach adulthood. According to the Globe & Mail’s coverage: “no country has successfully reversed birth-rate decline, which tends to track with development, as wealthier, urbanized populations choose to have less children.” “China’s demographic and economic outlook is much bleaker than expected,” demographer Yi Fuxian commented in response to these findings. China is realizing quickly what Psalm 127:3 proclaims: “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him.” However, even as China is being confronted by this truth, Canada and much of the Western world continues to discourage children and is relying on immigration to keep the population and economy stable or growing. But where are these immigrants coming from, and what happens when these countries too need people? And if no country has been successful with reversing a decline, what happens when the world’s population begins to decline, as is expected later this century? Through birth, fostering, and adoption, Christian families have an opportunity to show to the world the gift that life is....
Saturday Selections – Jan 21, 2023
Should we force all men to get vasectomies? (3 min) Since the overturning of the US Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision – the ruling that originall...
Saturday Selections – Jan 14, 2023
Blue hair as a death sentence? A few years ago headlines declared that Iceland had nearly eradicated Down syndrome. But they hadn't eradicated the syndrome - they were killing those with it. Paul Ehrlich: wrong on 60 Minutes and wrong for 60 years In Deut. 18 God provides a test for a prophet that's pretty simple: if what he says doesn't come true, then we don't need to worry about him. That's a principle that has ready application in the global warming debate as well, and specifically when it comes to Paul Ehrlich. He's a scientist who has been off the mark for almost 60 years now, always predicting imminent doom, but who was recently given a platform on the American news program 60 Minutes to make his same old predictions once again. As Peter Jacobsen explains, he gets it so wrong because he sees only the cost of having children, and overlooks how they are a blessing. What is music for in corporate worship? "Music is a gift of God, a unique way of connecting His revelation with our hearts and minds. St. Augustine is thought to have said, 'he who sings, prays twice.' The Church must recover a more robust understanding and practice of music." More concerns with projectors in church "Using screens for worship devalues Scripture and the Book of Praise as merely books we read and sing from. Not physically using a Bible may result in not knowing which books are OT and NT, where the Minor Prophets are, the five books of Moses, or the Four Gospels...." How competition got my third grader reading Boys don't read. Boys are competitive. So what if we pitted the boys against the girls in a reading contest? This would need to be carefully done, with, most likely, a lesson included about winning and losing graciously - ie. competition sans trash talk. But could it work? Jordan Peterson says no to Ontario's thought police Jordan Peterson is in trouble again, and this Australian article is a great outsider's perspective. Why so many movies have a "Christ-like figure" in them (10 min) Pastor Jake Mentzel explains why Christ-like figures pop up in so many blockbusters. And it's not, he notes, because these movies are so insightful. This could be a great one to share with the kids, to show them that when a story – film or book – features a self-sacrificing figure, that doesn't mean it is deep... or good. ...
Saturday Selections – Jan. 7, 2023
Tariffs help producers only by hurting consumers (3 min) Tariffs at best protect the domestic producer at the expense of domestic consumers by requiring them to pay more. Christians can ask, why should the government be showing partiality (Lev. 19:15, Matt. 7:12), picking the one over the other? And tariffs will hurt producers too, when they have to pay more for the goods they use to produce their own product. How to get married "If you are considering marriage at some point in the future, let me urge you to consider making your marriage about something bigger than just a great party with friends. " The inequity that anti-racist activists won't talk about In the US the black abortion rate is about 4 times that of the white abortion rate. How come we never hear antiracist activists talk about that? As John Stonestreet writes: "One problem is that such a conversation requires frank talk about counterproductive attitudes toward marriage and solo parenting in low-income black communities. It requires discussing antisocial behavior and personal responsibility." According to statistics he shared, a single woman is twice as likely to abort as a married woman, and black women are much less likely to be married. So acknowledging the abortion disparity would highlight a topic the Left doesn't want to discuss: the importance of husbands, fathers, and marriage. Dining out on the Lord's Day If you're against Sunday brunch after Church, your Christian friends might peg you as being rather legalistic, trying to earn God's grace by being so overly righteous. But there's another sort of legalism that seeks loopholes to get around the spirit of the law, even as it seems a person is still obeying the letter of it. As this article argues, it's actually dining out on Sunday that's legalistic, but of this second sort. Ethics of "would you kill baby Hitler?" are more important than you probably think This isn't an explicitly Christian article, but the point sure is: that the end can never justify the means. Why? Because the ends aren't in our control, but God's (Prov. 16:9, 19:21; James 4:13-17). Whereas the means are the way we can show our love for Him. It's when we understand this and submit to it that exciting possibilities open up: in our hypothetical example, instead of murdering baby Hitler, we might hug, coach, mentor, and/or discipline him. So many lawful, rather than awful possibilities! For a real-world application consider how those who think they can murder in the name of mercy aren't motivated to seek out better palliative or long-term care possibilities. It is when we rule out the option of choosing evil that we'll start discovering these other better ways of alleviating suffering. Closer to home, in our cultural battles, God's people will often stay silent about Him to, in our minds, be more effective at seeking ends that are in accord with His will. Think of the abortion debate and how rarely God is ever mentioned. We'll forgo the reason God created us – to glorify Him – to pursue these ends. But what if we ruled out means that rob Him of His rightful glory? What other options might open up to us then? Could it be that we'd discover the most God-glorifying argument against abortion – that we get our worth, not from what we can do, but from the One in Whose Image we are made – might also be the most effective one? Aaron Rench: Start a Fire (3 min) A little something to get the blood pumping... Hitler picture credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H1216-0500-002 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons...
Saturday Selections – Dec. 31, 2022
Dutch woman draws 6 pictures at the same time! This is just fun and crazy... Benefits of working a job for a long time Russell Gehrlein offers a couple of benefits that can come with working the same job for decades. But he's also previously offered a couple of problems that can come with doing the same thing for too long. Blaise Pascal, with four rules for mocking God's enemies These are insightful rules, but worth testing against how God's enemies are mocked in the Bible. Pascal says we shouldn't make things personal - we should mock ideas, not people – but that someone might think it personal doesn't mean it is. A man conducting a "drag queen story hour" might take personal any ridicule of him as a groomer, but would that really be a reason not to do it? Bone growth demonstrates brilliant design When it comes to the human body, and seeing God's fingerprints, we might most often think about the eye, which is truly astonishing. Our bones, however, might get overlooked, because we imagine them to be simple, just supports, hardly more than sticks, right? But no indeed - even your bones, and how they know to grow just so, are unbelievably marvelous! The best-kept secret in preparing kids against pornography "The best kept secret in the fight for your kids’ minds is role-playing. A simple and not very time-consuming activity that costs nothing. Role-playing is practicing difficult situations with your child that might come up as they navigate through a world filled with pornography." Why does Socialism fail? (3 min) Christian economist, Dr. Anne Bradley, offers 4 reasons (for the article version, click above): Socialism doesn't account for self-interest... ...or the importance of incentives Without a marketplace, producers (and socialism's central planners) can't know what products people really want Socialism requires that its all-powerful central planner remain benevolent, which never happens ...
One Reformed Christian seeks his day in court
Should Christians test their arguments against the gov’t, or let sleeping dogs lie? ***** Harold Jonker has become a familiar face to many Canadians. In his folksy, good-humored, sensible way, Jonker acted as a spokesman for the “Truckers' Convoy” that went to Ottawa early last year. In that role he was asked and able to explain why the truckers went to Ottawa, and what would get them to leave. In a word: freedom! In a few more words, it was a protest against the government’s mandate that truckers crossing the US/Canadian border had to be vaccinated. Media outlets all across Canada and the U.S. kept him in their rotation of interviewees, partly for his common sense, and partly for his quotable quotes. On Fox News, when asked what he would do if his bank accounts were frozen, the West Lincoln (Ontario) resident responded: “Go ahead, Mr. Trudeau. If you freeze my accounts, you’re not going to hurt me. You’re going to hurt my wife, my 13 children, my two dogs, and my 15 chickens!” (One has to wonder what Janice and the kids thought about this!) The “Jonker Trucking” company was well represented in the truckers’ convoy: partners Harold and Tim, along with brother-in-law Jeff Tenhage, visited Ottawa often and helped organize the event, which brought in truckers, with their rigs, from all across Canada, to park in and around the capital. Ironically, about half of their company’s truckers were vaccinated, and had been able to continue their runs into the U.S. that were not possible for unvaccinated operators, but they still wished to do their part to send the convoy’s message. Jonker at the time was also a town councilor for West Lincoln Township in the Niagara region, although he tried to make clear that he was in Ottawa with the convoy as a private citizen and business owner, not as a government representative of West Lincoln. However, fellow town councilors were not happy with Jonker’s outspokenness against both the vaccine mandates and the enforced lockdowns. This led to a complaint being filed, and an Integrity Commissioner investigation recommended that he be suspended from the town council, without pay, for thirty days due to violation of the council’s code of conduct. On what basis? For what was called the “unlawful nature” of the protests. The Commissioner also advised that Jonker should repay about $300 of gifts received, and the town council accepted both recommendations. At first, Jonker was inclined to just accept the punishment and move on. Thirty days' pay and $300 worth of gifts “is really chicken feed,” said Jonker – that wasn’t reason enough to fight. But with time, he became convinced that justice had not been served. “Basically, we in the convoy were exercising our right of free speech as guaranteed in the Charter of Rights. And two Ontario supreme court justices ruled that the protests were legal” . Then when the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) offered to represent him in a case against the township’s ruling, Jonker accepted. A date has not yet been set for the hearing. Many who spoke out against what they’ve judged to be government overreach in the vaccine mandates and the lockdowns are eager for this type of review. Now that the world has moved on from this pandemic, it is good to reflect on where any level of government may have overstepped its areas of stewardship, and where unjust judgments were given. Was it really necessary to prevent all churches from gathering for public worship for such a long period of time? Was it lawful to force police officers, members of the military, teachers, doctors and nurses to get what was a relatively new vaccine in order to keep their jobs? While many of us may be tired of the debate, we do well to allow these types of hearings to make judgments that may guide future decisions for different levels of government and publicly correct past wrongs. Lawyer Jorge Pineda, who represents Jonker in this case, summarized the situation in a Sept. 26 press release from the JCCF: “The sad truth is that Mr. Jonker has been punished for his political position, in the context of an ongoing dispute with other councillors. In Canada, we must tolerate strong differences in political opinion. Elected politicians should not be permitted to weaponize codes of conduct to silence and intimidate their political opponents. The Charter is intended to guarantee free expression. Canadian democratic institutions cannot survive if such guarantees can be easily ignored through these kinds of tactics.” WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE, ME OR YOUR LYING EYES? A couple of years ago the American news outlet CNN famously declared a riot as being a “fiery but mostly peaceful” protest. A different sort of mischaracterization happened earlier this year in Canada when the Prime Minister linked the Truckers' Convoy with Nazism and racism. He couldn’t make his charges stick, largely because protesters used their social media feeds to bypass the mainstream press and directly share pictures and videos that showed the site was full of folks and families strolling, laughing, and even coming together in song. Jonker himself bears no animosity towards those who were against him in this particular fight. “I’m not holding anything against people. We all need time to get over things.” When asked if he had any regrets about the events of the past summer, Jonker said: “It would have been nice if the convoy leadership could have taken more time to organize everything,” although in general the truckers were praised for being fairly disciplined and well behaved. “I wish we would have shut down the horns a bit sooner, they were loud! I’m not a horn guy… but people kept asking us to honk the horns!” Harold is not sure what impact his high profile in the trucker convoy had on him not being re-elected as councilor in October. “I’m not a social media guy, but I know that some candidates painted a pretty radical picture of me.” Jonker is not done with politics yet: he is an active and enthusiastic member of the Christian Heritage Party; he has run as a candidate more than once, and hopes that the Lord can use this party for the good of Canada. During their time in Ottawa, Harold, Tim, and Jeff were all thankful to be able to witness to many people about the joy that they have to be children of the Lord. Many people told Harold that the convoy had given them hope, when they were in such a dark, gloomy, isolated place. “To have people say to truckers, you are our only hope, that’s pretty sad. I would tell them, God is your hope!” There were a lot of Christians amongst the trucker convoy leadership team, which met every morning and evening to be able to give direction to the group. “On the first day,” recalled Harold, “one of the older men asked if anyone objected to us starting each meeting with prayer! I was ashamed that it wasn’t my idea. But I was glad to help out, and that’s how we opened every meeting that whole time!” Boldly written on the wall of the meeting room was a text from Ecclesiastes 10, verse 4 (that’s right, 10-4 good buddy!): “If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.” On one particular weekend, a young man that Harold and Tim had befriended asked if he could come to church with them! They of course were glad to take 16-year-old Logan along, and it worked out really well that most of Janice and the kids were coming up for the weekend. Some time later, the brothers got a text from Logan’s mom, showing herself and Logan all dressed up and ready for church back home in Newfoundland: apparently he insisted to his mom that church should be a regular part of their lives. Praise the Lord that even in unusual circumstances, He can use His people to tell others of the real and eternal hope we have as His redeemed children – not perfect, but forgiven. For Harold Jonker (kneeling, middle) the Trucker’s Convoy was a family affair. ...