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Saturday Selections – Dec. 9, 2023

If you can choose your gender, can you choose your race?

In this secular video, the presenter compares blackface – whites using black make-up to caricature blacks – with “womanface,” where guys say they identify as women. The argument: it would be hypocritical to object to someone identifying as another race if you think it’s okay for men to identify as women. A good point, and a fantastic video. But it has the same fundamental problem that all secular “apologetics” have – he’s attacking a lie without presenting the Truth, which in this case is that God made us male and female (Gen. 1:27).  So when he confronts students with their hypocrisy, they are left knowing they have to make a choice, but not knowing which way to head.

It’s like the old joke about a man who insisted he was dead. His doctor asked him, “Do dead men bleed?” to which the man replied, “No, dead men don’t bleed.” The doctor then pricked the man’s finger and, after the man saw the drop of blood forming, the patient shook his head, amazed: “I’m sorry doctor, I was totally wrong. It turns out…dead men do bleed.” Similarly, these students might resolve their hypocrisy the wrong way and decide, “I guess blackface is okay.”

We don’t want hypocrites to resolve their hypocrisy by being more consistently wrong – we don’t want them to flip from one lie to another. If we’re going to help them, Christians have to take this discussion one step further. Like this video, we can creatively highlight the world’s silliness and tear down its lies, but we need to do so while standing unashamedly on God’s Truth.

Left using math to preach their worldview (10-min read)

Even Christians will buy into the notion that some areas of life are basically neutral, and the subject of mathematics might well head that list. After all, it doesn’t really matter whether you are Christian or non-Christian, 2+2 is still going to equal 4… right? True, sort of. As Christians, we know our Father is a God of order, and so because 2+2 equaled 4 yesterday, we have reason to trust that it will again tomorrow. But why would someone who thinks this is all random, pointless, and without design presume that order from one day should exist in the next? That they do just shows they aren’t really living out their own worldview, but rather borrowing from the Christian worldview.

Now, as this article details, we’re seeing the world act more consistently with their own worldview, using even math to push their own agenda.

“In 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned 54 out of 132 school maths textbooks submitted for use in the State’s schools either because they did not meet various required standards or because, in his officials’ opinion, they were simply being used as vehicles for leftist propaganda – if you wish to transform this into a politicised maths problem of your own, that’s 41%.”

Free 24-page creationist activity booklet for kids

Are your kids into word searches, spot-the-differences, coloring pages, code-breaking puzzles, and learning about all sorts of different animals? Then be sure to download and print off the latest Acts and Facts Kids edition!

Not the way to help depressed teens

Programs that schools are using to help kids with anxiety and depression may be making things worse instead. The fact that the State has co-opted the educational role God gave parents (Deut. 6:6-7, Prov. 22:6) means they are doing something God never intended for them, and we shouldn’t be surprised if they do it badly. And we shouldn’t grant them any grace, no matter how good their intentions might have been, when they hurt children doing a job that wasn’t theirs in the first place. The State needs to learn humility, and step away from education altogether. (Not the Bee headline today: Teenagers more likely to be mentally healthy if their parents are conservative).

A climate demonstration we’d like to see

“To all the people gathering at COP28 wanting to get the public onside we have a piece of advice: plan a big demonstration. No, not of the Extinction Rebellion/Just Stop Oil kind. Rather….if you’re so sure this energy transition can work, and be fun exciting cheap easy and great, stop with the grand pontificating and finger-pointing, and show us a demonstration project. Show us just one large or even medium-sized jurisdiction that can run its economy on ‘green’ energy.”

Can Geert Wilders be an ally for Dutch Christians? 

The November 22 Dutch elections resulted in Geert Wilders’s “Party for Freedom” (PPV) gaining more seats than any other. Their Parliament seats 150, and the PPV’s 37 seats leaves them with 12 more than the next nearest party, putting them in a position to form a coalition government. The media has labelled Wilders as far right for his stance against Islam, but as Jonathon Van Maren explains, it’d be more accurate to call him a liberal, for his stances on abortion and homosexuality. So how might Wilders’ win impact the country’s Christians?

Red Green: Automated Fence Painter

Red Green, with his own brand of dating advice: if the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.

WHO IS THIS FOR?

Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 2, 2023

Minimum wage laws increase homelessness, new study finds Despite the best of intentions, minimum wage laws don't create wealth because they don't create jobs - they only outlaw low-paying ones. As economist Thomas Sowell noted, “Among the effects of a minimum wage law, when it is effective, is that many unskilled and inexperienced workers are priced out of a job, when employers do not find them worth what the law specifies.” The government's best of intentions pushes people into homelessness. The moral of the story? The need for humility. It is an arrogant government that thinks it knows best what everyone's labor is worth. This isn't a minor mistake either – when the government so mangles things that they hurt the people they are trying to help, that's not an "oopsy" but a travesty. They took on the role of omniscient hero, and because they couldn't possibly measure up, they've instead become the bumbling bully. The energy transition that isn't From 2004 to 2022, the world has spent $4.1 trillion on solar and wind energy efforts. But in that same time period, while wind and solar energy output grew by 32 exajoules (EJ), hydrocarbon (oil, gas, coal, etc.) consumption grew by 110 EJ – we're relying on hydrocarbons for energy even more than we used to. Climate conference hypocrisy is instructive The latest climate conference started this week, and it may set a new record for participation: tens of thousands will be jetting in and spewing CO2 on their way to and fro. Regardless of whether it is 70,000 or only the same 35,000 as last time, the hypocrisy is still enormous... and revealing. These are the same folks who make big of fossil fuels when it comes to your and my usage. Then they talk of climate change as an "existential crisis." And if it were a threat to our very existence, then we might all agree that governments would be justified in implementing painful, costly, and even draconian measures to counter it. Whatever it takes, because there is no Planet B! But 70,000 plane tickets? What's the CO2 count for that? Why doesn't that matter? If we're really at a crisis point, then wouldn't drastic measures be warranted at the highest levels too? Our leaders could show the way by implementing their own painful measures, holding their conference via teleconference. But no, we're not at that level of crisis yet. We're only at the level where ordinary citizens should tighten their belts to pay more for food and heating. But we're nowhere near where our elected leaders should have to sacrifice face time. Hypocrisy is aggravating, but more importantly it is instructive. Our leaders say there is a crisis, but their actions tell1 us otherwise, and actions do indeed speak louder than words (1 John 3:18, James 1:22, Titus 1:16, Luke 6:46). That's an important point to share, as Cardus notes, climate worry is one reason why women are having less children. Instagram addicted your teen because she's worth $270 to them "Meta designed its Facebook and Instagram products to keep young users on them for longer and repeatedly coming back, the attorneys general allege." So reports CNBC's Laura Feiner. It's worth noting, that the same could be said of any website, included ReformedPerspective.ca. Meta is, of course, way better at it, but that still wouldn't be a problem except that the content that Meta steers people to can exacerbate their problems. If, for example, you are spending too much time looking at the "beautiful people" – folks who have whole teams involved in their make-up and photography – then Meta will feed you more of it. And that can't help but shape self-perceptions, because we do become what we eat (John 6:51). So, this is another warning to parents to be actively involved in your children's smartphone and social media usage... and that might start with reassessing our own usage. We will be blamed for transgender crimes As more and more gender-confused youth start regretting the genital mutilation and chemical castration they have done to their bodies, the pro-mutilation side is going to have to find a way to dismiss and undermine their regrets – the transmutilation lobby will figure out how to gaslight the people they've damaged. And in this column, Jonathon Van Maren highlights the lie that is coming: that folks who regret the removal of their healthy body parts don't actually regret it; they just regret living in a trans-hating society that won't celebrate their new self. In other words, people, Christians among them, who won't pretend that you can transition, are to blame. Skaters glide across rate Alaska "ice window" This is just glorious - rare conditions up in Alaska set the scene for this unique opportunity to skate across a crystal clear lake. ...