Category Archives: Current Issues

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Opportunity in a Confused World

I wrote this poem a few months ago, and it came alive on its’ own (somewhat literally). I love when that happens. Being back in the world of secular University, I was hearing again old jargon I had almost forgotten about; Sentiments such as “There is not really such thing as truth,” or “Everyone has their own truth that is right for them.”

It seems a crazy thing has happened since I wrote this poem- and I might be wrong, but it seems that fashionable way of thinking is on its way out. There are not many people singing kumbaya on my Facebook feed these days anyway.

 Alright, I’ll let you read the poem- maybe read it twice, and then I’ll say some more.

 Free Thoughts Rise Up

“Thoughts are sand,” she said
And it was true;
Water them- they’ll clump
Together and glue.

“Beliefs are sand,” she said,
But culture dumps
Presuppositions,
Making builders chumps.

“Truth is sand,” she said,
“Pure volition
Follows what is felt
And casts a vision.”

“Call us all to shore.
Let the pot melt
Our portrait of man
In shades yet undealt.”

“In the great contest
All truth should stand,”
She said, bias unfelt
Pen poised in hand,
Ready to judge
Without scrutiny,
She approached the sand

And I sensed danger.
I sensed danger
For the sand life forms smiled,
Starting with a thought
And an idyllic plot.

But I sensed danger
Since crooked does exist,
Since evil comes wrapped up with bows,
Portraying what we want to know.

So I sensed danger
When she left the happy scene,
Each structure with a ribbon
Between its teeth.
All winners,
But the life forms
Lived to compete.

I saw them snarl,
Taking up their swords,
The tide turned like a flood,
And they all bathed in blood. Continue reading

pic from steph

The Woman on the Internet

My heart has been grieved by recent events involving the Ashley Madison account, and especially when I hear of fellow Christian families whose lives have been impacted by this. I am burdened as a fellow sinner in this fallen, tainted world. Who isn’t impacted in some shape or form by the seduction of this present world, and the ever readily available and in-your-face pornographic content flooding it? Who is there without need of grieving? Of fearing? Of praying and battling? This is an issue the church and individual families need to face with the seriousness of Proverbs 5-7. Father’s need to be warning and instructing their sons. Go down this path- and die, says Solomon to his son. What comes to those who follow the adulteress is this: The hunting down and destruction of precious life, burning, scorching, punishment, violence, wounds, dishonor, and disgrace.

“All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life (Proverbs 7:23).”

Blind lust makes dumb, and it makes men forget. Would you forsake your wife? Would you forsake the “water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well (Proverbs 5:15)”? Would you harden your heart to the Lord and pretend He does not see? So many do, and they do it not only to their own hurt, but to the hurt of their God and their families. It doesn’t get more serious than that.

There is much that needs to be said on this topic, but I wrote this poem only to address men, and to point to the hope found in Christ. I hope it might be used in somebody’s life to the glory of God.

The Woman on the Internet

The woman on the internet
Doesn’t make you wise,
The woman on the internet
Doesn’t give you life,
The woman on the internet
Leads you into lies,
The woman on the internet
She is not your wife.

The woman on the internet
Calls you with allure
The woman on the internet
Says you’ll dwell secure
The woman on the internet
Hunts down life that’s dear
The woman on the internet
Perverts what is pure.

Now to the men who look at her-
Do not cast your blame,
Now to the men who look at her
You did seek your shame.
Now to the men who look at her
Quick pleasure your aim,
Now to the men who look at her
Like fire is a game.

That woman – does she know your touch?
That woman – does she love you much?
That woman – do her arms surround?
That woman – does her kiss resound?

Your secrets have a thin veneer
Your secrets God has seen quite clear
Your secrets to the surface near
Your secrets which enslave with fear.

The woman on the internet
Seemed to you so free,
The woman on the internet
Came so easily,
The woman on the internet
Had you as if drunk,
The woman on the internet
Where many men have sunk.

The Lord would from such trouble save,
The Lord would lift you from this grave,
The Lord would tell you to repent,
The Lord would straighten what’s been bent.

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Revisiting “Name it and Claim it”- For an Evening.

A year into my salvation I started to recognize the falsehood of the prosperity gospel, or more specifically the Word of Faith Movement. Since rejecting it, I have held it in contempt, regarding it as dangerously deceptive. For several years I’ve cast it away, not really feeling its lure.

Since that time (over 6 years ago), I have battled with many forms of chronic pain, one form brought on by pregnancy and still part of my daily experience even as I chase my now two year old daughter. I’ve tried many therapies, spent plenty of money, and had little success. The treatment I am trying now is the most expensive and the most painful.

After so much pain, limitation, and failed efforts, I found myself desperately wishing for a guarantee. Searching the scripture for hope I came across Psalm 27:13: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” This verse convicted me and challenged my thinking. I had, after all, become somewhat of a pessimist. I went into treatment expecting it to fail, simply because there are few feelings in life worse than disappointment after high hopes. Then again, I’d tried giving up, and that felt even worse. I thought “I can only bear to hope again if there’s a guaranteed outcome.” For the first time, a thought came to me: What if I’m missing something? What if there is some promise of health and success that I’ve passed over? What if God could guarantee my healing based on the certainty of my own faith?

So I entertained the possibility- for an evening. Continue reading

Abortion Experience

A Deceptive Abortion Experience

Emily Letts’ video of her “positive abortion experience” has gone viral. You can read about it here. What she may perceive as being positive, is in fact a potent example of the deceived putting forth darkness as light and deceiving others.

I have written half of a novel with the goal of shining a light on exactly this type of thinking. For various reasons I have set it aside for awhile, but this event has renewed my zeal to get back at it again. Emily Letts’ words reminded me so much of the following portion of my book, and so I have decided to share it, with hopes that this blatant deception might open eyes to the demonic and idolatrous beliefs that help fuel abortion mills.

A Deceptive Abortion Experience

The office greeted her with a warm blast of air and as she shed her winter coat a young, pretty receptionist offered a kind smile. Anna looked around the waiting area. A young girl with her mother and a solo middle aged woman with frizzy bleached hair sat silently. Neither looked visibly pregnant and for some reason that relieved her slightly. No one made eye contact. She fought a sense of shame at being there- not so much because she believed her plan was wrong, but because she felt like it was beneath her. This wasn’t something that should happen to an upstanding, moral person, of good family upbringing like herself. Something about being there made her feel cheapened.

After registering and taking a clipboard full of papers to fill out from the smiling receptionist, Anna took a seat. She filled in everything but the waiver, which she’d been instructed to wait and sign with the counsellor prior to the procedure. As she waited, her eyes wandered to a painting which took up an entire wall of the office. On a bright backdrop of purple, was the figure of a woman who appeared to be coming up out of a winding maze. Paused in the midst of dancing, her hair spun around her and her arms flew freely over her head.

Anna noticed a stack of pamphlets on the magazine table with that painting on the front and discreetly picked one up. Anna had always looked back on that moment with gratitude, considering it a defining moment in her life as she read the words:

“Every woman is a beautiful and unique child of the Universe, intertwined mysteriously with the divine. You have been endowed with grace, blessed with kindness, and granted the power to live, to love, and to choose your own path. “For Women’s Health” has had this picture painted on our wall in hopes that you can see yourself in this woman. No matter how winding or how many dead ends your path has been filled with, you alone have the power to free yourself. No one and no circumstance can stop you if you choose to embrace the powerful woman that you are. You have come here because you alone know what is best for you. As women, we reach out to those around us with tenderness and grace. Have you considered treating yourself with the same mind and the same acceptance? Today is yet another day to find empowerment within. Perhaps the choice to come here today was a hard one. We applaud your courage. Be kind to yourself and set your dreams before you. You alone are the author of your life. Live freely, move forward, and find that place where you can dance without reserve.” Continue reading

Praise that Kills the Gospel

I’ve noticed a trend in some of today’s popular Christian music that disturbs me. There’s a song that’s been playing on our local “praise” station, where the artist sings his prayer to God: “Yeah, I want to believe, Jesus help me believe, that I am someone worth dying for.” In the end the artist turns to the listener and exhorts them “You gotta believe, ya you gotta believe, that you are someone worth dying for.” Continue reading

Why Children?

The question “why children?” never really occurred to me until I was pregnant. In our culture we often have a romanticized idea of what it means to have a family. We want a baby who is born in perfect health, rarely cries, and is cute. We want them to grow up to be quick learning, strong, and well mannered. Of course, a nice house with a beautiful nursery and a big back yard helps too.

We all desire these things for our life and our children. I think the desire to have a healthy, happy baby is natural. But this is where I have really started examining myself: Why do I want this child? Continue reading

Women: Come to Christ

Let me first say, this is written out of my grief, love and hope for women. You may see it differently and say it is hateful, harsh, and judgemental. Let me say this: “Whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:20).”

I have often thought how I wished a Christian would have been honest with me when I was living in sin. How I might have been spared from sinning and heartache. Maybe I would have hated the person who warned me. Or, I may have repented sooner. I pray the later will be the case for you. Continue reading

God’s Deep Love For His Enemies

This may sound absurd to you, but I believe that if you do not understand and accept the wrath of God as truth, then you will not even begin to understand the depths of His love.  It is essential to understand the just anger of God, in order to begin to understand God’s heart for lost people.  I feel very small and very weak to try to explain such profound and complex truths.  Please test everything I say through scripture, and if I falter than toss it aside.

God’s Word reveals that His anger is intensified because of His loving kindness.

 I have noticed that God’s most intensely emotional, personal and angry responses to sin are fuelled in part by His love and strong desire for His chosen people Israel when they sinned.  Look at God’s words to Israel found in Hosea 7:13-16.

“Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!  Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!  I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me!  They do not cry to me from their heart, but they wail upon their beds, for grain and wine they gash themselves; they rebel against me.  Although I trained and strengthened their arms, yet they devise evil against me.  They return, but not upward; they are like a treacherous bow; their princes shall fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongue.  This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.”

Do you hear how deeply personal this is?  God is grieved, and cut to the heart because of His chosen people’s sin.  God could have been a distant God, having no love or concern for a sinful people.  He could have remained far off, not bearing with man, not pursuing man, not revealing Himself and calling out to man.  He could have left us to ourselves, and let each of us perish.  But rather there He is in the pages of scripture saying:

“I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.  I said, “Here am I, here am I,” to a nation that was not called by my name.  I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually (Isaiah 65:1-3).”

Just think about it.  If you had no love or care for a person, how deeply would they be able to offend you?  Would you not be much more affected, angered, and hurt if your own Mother or spouse railed against you, calling you names, and dishonouring your wishes, than if a complete stranger sinned against you?  To the extent that you care about a person, to the extent that you have invested in them and value them, you will be grieved by their trespasses against you.

With that in mind, do you think that God’s anger is a sign that He cares nothing for us?  Don’t get me wrong, He would still be angry because of our sins against Him even if He didn’t love for us.  In that case, there would be nothing for us but anger.  But my conclusion is that, based on an abundance of scripture that portrays God as a loving (and yet angry) husband pleading with an adulterous wife to return to Him, God has revealed His anger to us in a way that should help us see that He cares about this world.  He cares even though, on account of our rebellion, He is not obligated to.

Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

What an appropriate response to our Great God of Glory.

If we won’t understand what great enemies of God we have been, we will never appreciate or understand God’s love and mercy as we ought to.

 Some people may think I have been harsh to write the way I have, to speak so openly about the wrath and even hatred of God.  People today think it loving to spare others from unpleasant thoughts about Hell, sin, and “that angry God of the Old Testament.”  On account of this, many of today’s Christians have a shallow love, a shallow joy, and a faith that is not sustainable through life’s trials.  We’ve been robbed of understanding the “depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God (Romans 11:33).”

Do you realize that the love of God is so great, so beyond our comprehension that Paul prayed this for believers:  “That he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses understanding.”

Is that how we view the love of God today?  Is it not more often, made a thing that is common, mandatory of God to offer, unsurprising, general, and therefore far from special?  If love is something He owes us, if it is something that we should just expect from Him, then why do we need to be strengthened by God to understand it?

The love of God today is expected, and trivialized because men think they deserve it.  But what does the Word of God say about man’s relationship to God, apart from salvation in Jesus Christ?

We are all originally “alienated (from God) and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds (Colossians 1:21).  We are friends of the world and therefore enemies of God (James 4:4).  We are “dead in trespasses and sins” and follow the “prince of the power of the air” who is Satan, living in the “passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind” and are by nature “children of wrath like the rest of mankind (Ephesians 2:1-3).”

How do we feel about the true God in Heaven?  We are “gossips, slanderers, haters of God… Romans 1:29-30).”  In our unrighteousness, we “suppress the truth (Romans 1:18)” that we do know about Him.  When told about God’s kindness and patience, in and of ourselves we don’t repent, but rather take it as an excuse and motivator to continue in rebellion.  We “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead (us) to repentance (Romans 2:4).”

Between us and God is a “dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14)” which only He can abolish.  If a person cannot identify these truths within himself, if he is blind to his own depravity and does not view himself as an enemy of God, than the cross can accomplish nothing for him and has no purpose for his life.   You will have to change your gospel to reach this man, and the gospel you give him cannot save him.  If you impersonalize and abolish the wrath of God and the reign of sin in man’s heart, than you will successfully remove the offense of the cross, and the necessity of Christ’s atoning work, and will create false converts for yourself.

If a person can recognize himself as an enemy of God, deserving nothing short of immediate Hell, than the preaching of the cross will be to Him a beacon of light and a floodgate of mercy.  Jesus Christ will be to him, the most beautiful person he has ever seen.  He will need supernatural strength to comprehend such an undeserved and extreme love.

Ephesians 2:4-8 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him the in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing: it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

That He would love us should astound us.

The Wrath of God Impersonalized

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A great disservice we have done for the hearts of men is to impersonalize the attributes of God.  God is no longer angry at people, just angry at sin.  His fury is aimed at Satan for deceiving you and placing “strongholds” on your life, more than His fury is headed for you.  It is almost as if sin (if talked about at all) has become an entity of itself, divided from the human heart.  It is talked about more as something unfortunate that happens to us, rather than something that we nurture and cherish and willingly act upon.  Uncomfortable as it may be, we need to stop impersonalizing sin and the wrath of God.

Romans 2:5 “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed.”

God will not pour out wrath on some abstract embodiment of “sin” but on sinners.  If we don’t recognize this, we will not “foul… to the fountain fly” saying “wash me Saviour or I die.”  If we don’t personalize sin as the overflow of our own hearts, and the wrath of God as headed directly at us, we will also impersonalize the cross.  We need to understand wrath, to understand the purpose of Jesus’ death, which leads us to the next point to follow in this article: We need to understand God’s wrath in order to understand His love.

Is God’s Anger Warranted?

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Is the creation of Hell a cosmic overreaction?  Is God simply temperamental?  Or as some portray Him, does God have multiple personality disorder, deciding one day to deal retribution and the next day changing His mind and giving forgiveness instead? 

Everywhere today people are saying:

“Didn’t God make us this way?  If so, what gives Him the right to Judge us?” 

 “I thought that God loved everyone no matter what they’ve done, and that He would forgive every person.” 

 “How can a good God send people to Hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus?”

 “God loves the sinner, He just hates the sin.”

This is the result of today’s “Christians” grossly misrepresenting the God of the Bible, and frightfully often creating a God in our own image.  In addition to this the sinfulness of man has been so downplayed in modern preaching that God’s judgement on mankind seems to be completely unwarranted.  Charles Spurgeon had it right in his day and preached a message that we need to hear more of, that: 

“…Sin intrinsically and in itself demands and deserves the just anger of God, and that that anger should be displayed in the form of a punishment… It is impossible, absolutely, that sin can be forgiven without a sacrifice. God must be just, if heaven falls. If earth should pass away and every creature should be lost, the justice of God must stand, it cannot by any possibility be suffered to be impugned. Let this, then, be fully established in our minds.”

So we must ask: Does the sin of man deserve the anger of God?  So much of this question is tied up in other questions: What rights can man claim from God?  And what right does God have over man?

Had God not chosen to create man, man would never have come into existence.  We owe our life, our bodies, our breath, and every human function that we have to God.  Without Him, we could not see, feel, think, move, smell or hear.  Without Him, we would never know what it meant to enjoy a created thing, such as the sun setting over the mountain, an eagle soaring, a fish jumping on a serene lake, or the embrace of a loved one.

Mankind alone was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26).  He has bestowed upon man unique abilities to think- for example the gifts of reasoning, growing in knowledge, and using our imagination.  He has given us a conscience, a moral compass that reflects back to us the character of God.  We were created with eternity in our hearts (Eccl 3:11), and with a soul that endures after the death of our mortal bodies. 

God was not obligated to create us, or to make us eternal beings.  He graciously chose to include us in His great story, and to teach us truths about His glorious nature through creation, His Word, and ultimately through the life of Jesus Christ, God coming in the flesh.  He did not have to reveal Himself to us, and He did not have to come here to be mocked, scorned, and crucified.  He chose to.

When we really understand who He is, and what He has freely done for us, the question should not be “How can God be so heartless, and unfair, so as to send people to Hell?” but rather “How could, and why would God let any of us fallen creatures enter in to His heaven?”

We are God’s creation.  That means that He is in control, He is our Lord and Sovereign, and He has the right to do with this earth as He pleases.  Thank God, that He has been active in this world as a patient, righteous, loving, merciful Father, as we will discuss further in later sections.  But I want you to see that man has no right to complain and strive against the very God who gave him life, provides for his every need, and gives an abundance of pleasures we take for granted.  “If He should set His heart to it and gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to the dust (Job 34:14-15).”  Shall man complain against the God who keeps him breathing?

Isaiah 45:9-12 “Woe to him who strives with Him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots!  Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?  Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labour?’”  Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: ‘Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?  I made the earth and created man on it, it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.”

What does God think about man’s complaints that He should not have “made us this way” or that He deals with us “unfairly”?  He thinks it is absurdity.  God owes nothing to sinful man, other than retribution for our sins, while man owes to God what he cannot and will not give: His life.

Now that we’ve established this, we can address the question of whether or not man has given God just reason to be angry. 

How should we respond to a God who would not only create us, but surround us with beauty, give us companions, reveal Himself to us, and ultimately die for us?  We should love Him with all of our whole hearts, minds, soul and strength.  We should consider that nothing on earth is as valuable or desirous as pleasing such an awesome God.  Our entire lives should be consumed by seeking to know Him more, and anticipating the day we could meet Him more than any other day on earth.   

But what does the average person’s life look like?  He goes “astray from birth, speaking lies (Psalm 58:3).”  Man is filled with longings for self, and spends all of his energy finding ways to promote self, indulge self, and honour self.  As he gets older he gives credit to self for his accomplishments and deals blame to others for his failures.  God is far from his mind.  “None is righteous, no, not one, no one understands; no one seeks for God (Romans 3:11).”  His delights are in the things of the world and the lusts of the flesh, and his mind is so set on attaining this that God has been shoved out of it. 

Should I be more frank?  Look around.  Turn on your television.  Open a magazine.  Walk down the hallway of a high school.  Is the common person rich in good works, kind to others, and living in heartfelt devotion to the God who made him?  Or are you more likely to see shameless sensuality, adultery, drugs, homosexuality, cursing, abortion, and the more subtle sins of gratuitous living?  Walk into the science class.  Are they giving glory to God for His majestic works, or rather puffing themselves up in vain imaginations about a collision of nothing that conveniently created everything?

Man has not responded to God with loving commitment to Him, but rather has compartmentalized God into a little box that you only need if life gets really bad.  We would rather have God dead, buried, or silent, than have to conform to His standards or give our lives to Him. 

That’s not fair!” you say.  “There are lots of unreligious people who do plenty of good things.”  Well, that might be true, but why are they doing it?  If they have not submitted their lives to Jesus Christ that means they are rejecting Him as their Lord, and all their good works are in vain.  Everything that is not done in faith, or done for His honour and glory is sin (Romans 14:23), because it fails to acknowledge God as the one worthy of our works and as the only one that could contribute any goodness in to hearts or to this world.

Some may look nice on the outside, but what lies within?  The Bible says that the unbelieving heart is “evil (Hebrews 3:12).”  It says that “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (John 3:18).”

You think it is an overreaction and unfair for God to send good people to Hell just for not believing in Jesus.  What you haven’t understood is that there is no such thing as good people.  In Mark 10:18 Jesus said “No one is good except God alone.”  How can any person who refuses to live for His creator, and the one who died for Him, be called “good”?  How can you say “just for not believing in Jesus?”  Rejecting God’s Son, and ignoring His life, His death, His word, and His call for you, is the greatest offence a man can give to God.

Hebrews 12:25 “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking.  For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.”

Hebrews 10:29 “How much worse punishment, do you think will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God?”

God has every right to be angry at all who refuse Him.  A spurned husband or wife will be outraged, as well as broken hearted and deeply grieved by the spouse who left them for another lover.  Would you say “Who does that man think he is?  His wife is her own person, free to make the choices she wants.  He has no right to be angry with her.” 

Well God has created us, loved us, and provided for us, and yet we pay Him no heed and say: “He has no right to be angry with us.”

I hope dear friends that I have helped you to see that God has every right.  Not only does He have the right, but by the necessity of His nature He must punish all sinners for their rejection of Him and their crimes against Him.  What He is under no obligation to do is show mercy.  I need to end with some scriptures that give a glimpse into the heart of God, and the hope that is His loving kindness.

Jesus: “Go and learn what this mean, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.  For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:13).”

Ezekiel 33:11 “As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked would turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die…?