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A LESSON ON LIFE

A friend recently reminded me of a statement her mother repeated: “Old age does not come alone.”  Thankfully, much of the baggage of aging is not heavy or debilitating; but some of it is.  The sister next in age to me just had a stroke that may lay her aside for months.    With her husband dependent upon her, the family is scrambling to make the adjustments necessary to care for them.  Such is life, even for those who hold strongly to faith and hope in Christ Jesus.

I am reminded of a personal experience that brought sudden change and troubling limitations to my wife and me.    Having just celebrated her birthday, pains in my chest sent me to a hospital in the middle of the night.  Less than a year into new responsibilities, I was in an ambulance repeating to myself a verse from the Proverbs: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”  At 58 years of age, with major obligations ahead of me, life took a dramatic turn.

Rarely ill till that point, I faced months of uncertainty.  A new set of circumstances were forcing me to learn lessons of faith and disciplines of mind regarding emotions, joy, peace, independence, humility, and fear.  A lot of things came screeching to a halt, including much of my ministry, energy, some abilities and plans.  Limitations touched all kinds of things I loved to do with tireless energy and commitment.  Life for me had always been full of fun, work and challenge.

God was giving to me new choices to make.  I chose to reject the path of pity, depression and  bitterness.  Instead I acknowledged the sovereignty of God and the sufficiency of Christ.  I needed to apply the lessons of life He had taught to me and through me.   A divine promise, long a favourite, inspired me anew: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”  What purpose and meaning that has given to me!

Over many years the Psalms have nurtured my soul.  I have tried to learn and to own the longings of the psalmist’s heart for God, His works and ways.  Each morning I read a Psalm based on the day of the month.  It anchors my soul and inspires my mind to trust God.  It teaches me to cast my cares on Him, to see problems through the lenses of His purpose and plan, to manage feelings by His grace and enabling, and to praise Him with a genuine heart.  It encourages, strengthens and directs me.  I am learning  to let the meditation of my heart be acceptable in His sight.  He is my Rock, my Redeemer, my Song, my Shield and buckler, my High Tower, my Refuge, my Strength and my River of delights.

I shall soon be 85 years old, a living example of a great Psalm, wonderfully revealing the great heart of God: “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honour him.  With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.”  “The righteous man (one redeemed by the blood of Jesus) . . . . will still yield fruit in old age;  they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright;  He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

I probably do not know what it means to be “full of sap and very green”, but there are those who think it describes me!  It does indicate I am alive and growing.

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer

 

 

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CONCERN

The alert and discerning person has good reason, on many levels, to be concerned about the future of Canada and North America.  Many of us have lived long enough to remember the reports and experiences of the war-years, or the nuclear threats, the devastating economic depression, and the ongoing fears of another with its multiple side-effects of unemployment, financial loss and psychological despair.   Still lurking in the shadows, are unresolvable health issues like cancer, AIDs, Ebola, superbugs, etc.  Soon to be added to the list will be the psychological, physical, social and spiritual damage of legalized marijuana.   It is governmental greed at its worst!

The follower of Jesus, who holds God’s truth to be absolute, has more serious concerns.  The collapse of moral standards and the broad rejection, indifference or ignorance of the Ten Commandments by a majority of the public, is more than worrisome; it is frightening.  Thank God for those thoughtful, moral people who still nurture a sense of right and wrong, in spite of the trends.  But, think of the changes in public opinion in less than fifty years about such things as abortion, homosexuality, marriage, divorce, church attendance, gender, education (at all levels), drug and alcohol misuse, euthanasia, political and corporate corruption, violence, careless legal decisions, etc., etc.  Surely there is something sinister and evil about such an about face as has occurred.

Happily, the student of the Scriptures has a spiritual framework within which to understand and assess what is happening.   We know and believe that sin invaded the heart and mind of our first parents in Eden, infecting their prodigy and ours.  From that day to this, sin has snowballed with the ups and downs of human history.  While there have always been periods of light in the midst of general darkness, as time draws to its predicted end, darkness is prevailing.  We are living in a time of increasing wickedness with many doing what is right in their own eyes without reference to God, His purposes or ways.

God’s stark assessment of mankind’s behaviour during the days of Noah is increasingly descriptive of our day, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  His response to the sins of our age will not be less devastating than the massive destruction of Noah’s day.  All of us should be very concerned about what is happening.  But more than that, we have reason for anticipation.  As the darkness deepens, we hope in the return of Jesus to judge sin and the devil, to set up a new heaven and a new earth; to restore righteousness, holiness, purity and truth.  He will have the last word.  His promises will be fulfilled.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is clear evidence of the paganization of Canada, with serious indication of government support and much public approval.  Whatever happens between now and Jesus’ coming will be devastating.    Let it drive us to the Scriptures, to Jesus, to our knees, to His promises and to His provisions.  Learn what it means to put on the whole armour of God to stand in the evil day.  Receive the fullness and enabling of the Holy Spirit to guide us.  Proclaim the joyous message of saving grace of Christ our Saviour to all who will believe!

Yes, the concerns we hold are legitimate, but so is our blessed hope for Jesus’ return to set up His kingdom.  He will eliminate all evil and establish the rule of righteousness.  We have read the last chapter, and He wins.

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer

THE MAJESTY ON HIGH

Aiden Wilson Tozer, often called a twentieth century prophet, had an insightful, exalted view of God Almighty.  It marked his ministry.  He wrote a book entitled, “The Knowledge of the Holy”, a profound and instructive exposition of the Majesty on high.  It is my privilege to own a first edition, which I purchased in the early 1960’s.  I am reading it – again, stirred deeply by his words, insights, understanding and wholesome awe of the Lord our God.

Tozer’s theme has never been more needed than in this spiritually careless day in which we live.   The Twenty-First Century efforts of churches to be relevant has spawned an atmosphere of irreverence that should concern us.   It has been said, “The modern church tries so hard to be relevant, it has become irrelevant.”  No more damning evidence is needed than the cavalier manner in which politicians, the press and the public treat the Scriptures, the church, the sincere Christian and moral absolutes.

From pulpit, pen or presence the church rarely speaks with authority or clarity on the leading moral issues that have society spiraling into chaos.  We cherish acceptance, friendship and feelings more than truth, righteousness or purity.  Whatever light or salt we apply to our culture have been so diminished by our unwillingness to offend or our fear of rejection. that even the faithful hardly know where we stand, or why, let alone the bewildered public.  Few fear God or judgment, and certainly not the watered down, “Thus says the Lord!” of the few who might declare it.

Much of this is due to the Christian failure to teach clearly and convincingly a biblical view of God as the sovereign Lord, Creator and Sustainer of the universe.   The uniqueness of His attributes, and their uncompromising relationship and connection to each other, are essential tools for our understanding of God.  Too often His love, goodness and grace are allowed to trump His holiness, immutability and justice.   Our allegiance to science, psychology and technology fogs our view of His transcendence, omnipotence, creativity and omniscience.   Too many believe mercy and love must manage His truth, wisdom and judgment.  The attributes of God stand alone and complete in themselves.

In the infinity and perfectness of God each of His attributes can exist and function without limitation or compromise to the other.   He is God, and “beside Him there is no other.”   His attributes are absolute, independent of one another yet perfectly coordinated with each other.  No one of them contradicts the other, nor is inferior or superior in any way.   That is why the Apostle Paul realized he must teach “the whole counsel of God.”  It is a form of blasphemy to do less, for to do so is to “take the name of the Lord our God in vain.”  We dare not limit Him to fit our puny minds.

Unfortunately, the modern church, in its efforts to attract others, to be like everyone else, has rejected much that once helped us to visualize and sense sacredness.  Everything from architecture, to dress, to music, to ritual, to lighting, to movement, to vocabulary, to order has been downgraded to the point of banality.  Was some change needed for the sake of accommodation and renewal?   I think so, but it has gone too far and with it we have lost a sense of the otherness of God, appreciation for the sacred and perhaps the meaning of worship “in spirit and in truth”.

Perhaps a meditative read of Tozer’s book, and a fresh overview of Old Testament rituals balanced by New Testament revelation, would help us to balance and correct some things we have thoughtlessly laid aside or added.  Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer

 

GOODNESS

The goodness of people in the face of tragedy is impressive.  For many weeks up to one hundred people have scoured the Grand Valley River banks in Ontario, searching for the body of a little boy swept from his mother’s arms when a flooded road washed their car into the river.  The surrounding community, its people, businesses, first responders and complete strangers, have reached out with compassion, provisions and money to do their best to help.  All of that is ongoing still.

This week a community in Saskatchewan has been emotionally bruised by the crushing tragedy of death and mayhem as their beloved hockey team, traveling by bus to a playoff game, was struck by another vehicle.  Sixteen young, enthusiastic sportsmen, along with their leaders, were killed and the others hospitalized.  Sunday night thousands of people gathered in the town’s arena to share their collective grief.  Tears flowed.  Shoulders sagged.  Love and kindness were expressed in lengthy hugs, hands tightly clasped, and faces etched by shock, disbelief and brokenness.  In a small prairie town everyone knows everyone.  No one could be untouched or indifferent to what happened..

Into the sudden darkness of calamity, the goodness of people shone like a light, a beacon of hope in the midst of despair.   Millions of dollars were given by caring people.   They needed a way to help with the very practical needs that would come, and responded with amazing generosity.  National and provincial leaders showed up.  Community leaders reached out with words of understanding; voice and countenance were strained by shock and sympathy.   Commitment to duty and the fearful responsibility of leadership were tearfully and sincerely expressed.  One rightly acknowledged, “There is no playbook for this.”   In spite of all the public concern, a prairie town will have to find its own way through this maze of darkness, danger and damage.

Watching the news reports, following the cameras as they panned the gathered community of grieving parents, relatives, friends and neighbours, one could only be impressed by the spontaneous outpouring of love and goodness so evident in the packed arena.  People held their neighbour, or just reached out to touched each other,  a Kleenex was given.  In an increasingly crass and self-centered society, it helped restore one’s sense of basic goodness that rises up when sorely needed.  Psalm 23 was read and emphasized.  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. . . .  Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

God grant that such goodness continue in the difficult days ahead.  There are traffic charges to be laid.  There is money to be distributed.  There are long term health issues to be faced.  There are issues that will arise as things are reviewed, re-visited and re-hashed.  Wisdom will be needed.  Some rights will need to be laid down.  Innuendo will need to be corrected and put aside for the greater wellbeing of individuals and the town.

Someone will need to speak truth and many will have to listen.  Life is not always fair. Though love covers a multitude of sins, healing and forgiveness do not always come easily.  Words are not always said well.  In it all, “God is a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, do not fear.”

Goodness is a wonderful gift of God, but it is also vulnerable in human hands.

A fellow pilgrim,    Arnold Reimer

 

 

GOOD CHARACTER

The careful observation of people, their words, dress, deeds and attitudes, reveals what we call “character”.   It can be good or bad.   Character is a person’s pattern of behaviour, personality or moral constitution.  Sadly, good character seems to be a diminishing attribute, making it increasingly difficult to find such persons.  This is particularly true of public officials.  Thankfully, there are still persons of good character in the business community, though they, too, are shrinking.  Tragically, the behaviour of some priests and pastors has undermined the stellar reputation essential to the authority and wellbeing of the church.  Religious leaders no longer appear on “the most trusted” list of people.

Perhaps the most damaging problem is the breakdown of security and stability in the home.   The failure of fathers to be both teachers and examples of noble character is truly worrisome.   The same could be said for the collapse of moral judgment and exemplary role models in our educational system, to say nothing of the decline of respect for the guardians of law and order, perceived or real.

The damage these things have done to the development of good character in our society is so great that one despairs of the possibility of correction.  As a follower of Christ Jesus I know a day is coming when He will make things new.  It may well be that will only happen when end-time judgment befalls us.  The wise, thoughtful, and concerned person will call upon the name of Jesus, repent of personal failings, and receive cleansing while it is day, knowing that the night is coming.   Only then will the enabling Spirit of God taking possession of heart, mind and body with all the strength and wisdom necessary for the development of good character.    Essential to a godly testimony and a thriving democracy, is this lynch pin for a healthy, functioning society.

Ah, but what is good character?  Let me list some of its qualities so we know how to pray, for what to believe, and how to cooperate with the Lord Jesus and His enabling Holy Spirit.  One source of information lists twenty qualities of a good character which is a bit much for my purpose.  I believe the following to be essential:

  1. The fear of God – There can be no absolutes without this and thus no basis to clearly define good character.  That is what the curse of evolution and relativism has done for us.  They undermine definition, boundaries and direction.   God is the Designer, the Creator, the Definer of truth and righteousness.   His commandments provide the essential guidelines.
  2. Truth – There is right and wrong, good and evil, better and best, honest and dishonest, righteousness and decadence, holiness and unholiness, judgment and reward, heaven and hell.  Good character is based on these beliefs.
  3. Humility – The humble person understands his/her own limitations, denies selfish inclinations, seeks to serve others, accepts them as they are, and does what he/she can to minister love and grace to them.
  4. Integrity – The person of integrity has solid principles whereby he/she lives, speaks, works and plays.  Consistency, honesty, patience, understanding, discipline mark his/her words, works and ways.

The Scriptures describe it like this:  “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

Another biblical author puts it well:  “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Of all people Christians must be the models of good character.  To fail is to hasten the collapse of democracy and the demise of freedoms that bless and protect us and our nation.  Believe it and work on it!

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer

 

DIVERSITY?

It is both sad and disturbing to see our Prime Minister and his family dressed in garb and in a stance of worship and submission before an idol in India.  In my long years of political observance, I do not recall such an event ever happening before.  Obviously, within their own country political leaders have an obligation to visit people of all religious persuasions with respect for their traditions.  That does not mean, nor necessitate, that they should approve or participate in worship of their gods.  Respect for our Founding Fathers and our Judeo-Christian heritage prohibits that.

In recent decades Canada has become increasingly secularized.   Sadly, our Christian foundations have been mostly abandoned or disregarded.   Personal practice of Judeo-Christian principles, though often superficially held, once formed the consensus opinion of Canadians.  That has dramatically changed, and with it has come the collapse of moral values and social order.   The spiral downward is increasing at an alarming rate.

We are a nation of religious freedom and gracious respect of others.  Blatant incidents of racism or religious abuse are relatively unusual, and dealt with legally.   The recent killing in Montreal was tragic and abnormal.  Rarely found anywhere else on earth is the kindness, acceptance and respect Canadians give to diversity.  Anyone who disputes that has not travelled widely, nor understood history and the force of some religions.

The Judeo-Christian values of Canada must be held sacrosanct if we are to continue to enjoy our blessings and freedoms.  This does not imply hostility toward other religions, though certain limits to their freedoms in the public arena might apply.  Diversity, like most things, has its downside.  Wisdom requires a careful look at the dominant religion of any society, its core values, practises and social consequences to understand what that means.  It is foolish, unfair and ultimately destructive to invite others to live among us without informing them of our history and those values that undergird our laws, culture and freedoms.  None of us wants to be like most other places on earth, so we sing our National Anthem with sincerity:  “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;” and pray fervently, “God keep our land.”                                                                             ‘

An upside to the diverse people entering Canada is the privilege and responsibility it gives the church of Jesus Christ to evangelize.   Our future blessing and freedoms depend upon it.  The good news of the Gospel lived and spoken with love and helpfulness is critical to the temporal and eternal wellbeing of all concerned.  Jesus made a fascinating and instructive statement to His followers while describing times much like the one in which we are living:  “And this gospel of the kingdom (of God) shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”   “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”  What a mandate to pursue while the world literally comes to our doorstep.

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer

DIVISIVENESS

A spirit of divisiveness is increasingly manifesting itself in North America.  Politically, morally, philosophically, spiritually, and in gender issues we are becoming more and more divided.  To some degree this has always been, but today there is an angry vindictiveness permeating positions, attitudes, words and solutions.  Lines are being drawn to such a degree that there is reason to fear Democracy will crumble, civil unrest arise and, tragically, even the devastation of an armed revolution.   If that sounds alarmist, it should!

Like all forms of government Democracy can be messy, but when debate and controversy have been allowed, and a decision of agreement or compromise reached, Democracy demands acceptance, unity (cooperation) and singleness of purpose.  Without that, it cannot survive.   Today, North American and European Democracies are dangerously threatened by unscrupulous politicians, bigoted journalists, extreme self-centeredness, and spiritual ignorance and apathy.  Our political systems are being ravaged by godless, immoral persons with little respect for Divinity, truth or righteousness.  Self-centered showmanship and demands dominate.  Secularism, fed by philosophical atheism, has captured the reigns and is setting a course to destruction.

There has always been strong differences of opinion on many issues, but more often than not agreements were reached and the majority decision was accepted and/or tolerated.  Today things are different.  Right and Left opinions have each become almost impenetrable fortresses with an extensive no man’s land between.  Freedom of speech jumps from intolerance to blatant vindictiveness.  Balanced journalism has morphed into bigoted, partisan rhetoric.  Diversity, relativism and licentiousness have hammered religious principles into libertarian mush.  Increasingly churches, once bastions of truth, now pander to social nominalism or whatever won’t offend the masses.

The newest, and as dangerous as any of it, is the war of the sexes, women against men , homosexual against heterosexual, even birth-gender against its basic self.  The God of creation and purpose is pushed off the scene, dethroned by the foolish god of self-determination.  Nothing could be more dangerous or crippling to the future wellbeing of mankind or nationhood.

Divisiveness is confusing and crushing communication, commonsense, conscience, communion with God and each other – all the things that build oneness, community, understanding, common purpose and motivation.   Noble achievement, its celebration and benefits, is lost in controversy.  We are truly losing our way and spiraling into chaos.  An ancient prophet questions: “Can two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?  (An agreement.)

And what can we do about these damaging things?  Humble acts of repentance will lead us into the arms of a loving, forgiving God.  Obedience to His Word and the pursuit of His will and ways will dramatically change things.   Selfless efforts to build bridges, hear reason and find healing will help.  Those who understand and know the immense value of prayer must remember what God said to ancient Israel when they had lost their way:  “If My people who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.   Now My eyes shall be opened and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place (of worship).”   In that context an alternative is given also: crippling judgment!

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer

AN EXPERIMENT

Once again America reels in sorrow and disgust as evil shows its ugly head in another mass shooting.  The same old solutions are offered attacking freedoms, increasing regulations or whatever.  Like every time before it becomes divisive, political, negative and empty.  Everyone holds their breath waiting for the next incident, and hoping some solution will be found.  Fortunately, Canada has not suffered to the same extent, but day by day the news bombard us with shootings, knifing or beatings.  The indications are that things are escalating here.  Is there a solution?

May I suggest an experiment for all of North America?  We have a continent of very similar people, laws, language, educational and communication systems that lend itself perfectly to what I am about to suggest.  Furthermore, the costs of implementation would be negligible, relatively simple and apolitical.  Because of the universality of its nature even our diverse religious institutions can approve.  Non-religious types should be able to stomach it for the common good.

What am I suggesting?  For just five years lets put a copy of the Ten Commandments (in bold print) in every home, educational institution, court, police station, law office, hospital, government building, and a big one in every elected official’s office with a copy of the Beatitudes alongside.  Encourage every home to teach it to their children.  Require every school to repeat it vocally at the beginning of every week of classes.  Why not add it to the advertising spaces of public transportation?

To those who react or oppose let the universal response be, kindly but firmly, “It is a small price to pay for living in this great country.”

Prior to implementing this let the statisticians amass as much data as possible in a central place listing incidents of crime and social and moral problems.  Measure those statistics with the previous year(s).  If after five years nothing has improved, then scrap the experiment.

What have we to lose by such an effort?   If it saves lives, benefits society, enhances life, builds moral values, creates a safer, more peaceful, pleasant environment, would it not be worth it – many times over?   Thus far, nothing else has worked.  The politicians are stumped, while countless families weep.

And, yes, there is a hidden agenda.  Perhaps God will reveal Himself in tangible ways to the whole wide world, by proving to one and all, “That blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”   When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, sin becomes harder to do.

A fellow pilgrim,   Arnold Reimer

(P.S.  Why not forward this to your politician, mayor, school principle, pastor, family, YouTube or Facebook, or whoever?)

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

*You shall have no other gods before Me.

*You shall not make for yourself an idol . . .

*You shall not worship them or serve them . . .

*You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain . . .

*Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

*Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged  . . .

*You shall not murder.

*You shall not commit adultery.

*You shall not steal.

*You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

*You shall not covet . . .

 

 

 

 

 

HONESTY

Few character qualities are more important than honesty.  Unfortunately, it seems hard to find these days.  The most blatant examples of dishonesty seem to be politicians – and not just the more obvious ones in high places or other countries.  It is endemic, and tragic!  Whether it is right or fair to call all media reporting “fake news”, we must leave to the experts.  But the truth be known, it is increasingly difficult to discern between true and false in most things one hears these days.  Sadly, only the naive accept things at their face value anymore.

Where, oh where are the faithful watchdogs of truth in government, law, relationships, news, advertising, politics, business, sales, education, medicine and even religion?  The relatively recent expansion to twenty four hours of the news media has exacerbated the problem.  To fill the time we hear endless and instanteous news flashes covering the world before the facts can be known or understood.  Without thought or reason statements of opinion are broadcast, filled with speculation, imagination and judgments.

Talking heads, mostly youthful and inexperienced, become instant experts on every subject imaginable.  Political leaders are foolishly required to seize the moment, to somehow make statements without the benefit of enough facts, thought, counsel, discernment or wisdom.  To not speak is to be critized for being out of touch or uncaring.  To speak too hastily exposes ignorance and tends to mistakes for which apologies are demanded, judgments are leveled and a new poll announces public opinion.

The Word of God has good advice for all of us: “Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and show to anger.”  “Let not many of you become teachers . .  knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.  For we all stumble in many ways.  If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. . . . The tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.  Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”  (All this, and more, from the Bible’s book of James.  Add to your reading, The Proverbs)

Honesty, and wisdom, begins with the heart, “for out of the heart the mouth speaks.”  Keep it with all dilegence by asking God to put a watch over your mouth, a bridle on your tongue and a mind controlled by the Holy Spirit.  None of these come easily, but they start when we acknowledge our tendency to sin, our need of a Saviour, repentance that changes our direction, and the cleansing Jesus alone brings in forgiveness and newness of heart.  Those who learn the best have bowed often before the humbling altar of confession for having missed the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Welcome to the journey!

A fellow pilgrim,   Arnold Reimer

 

 

CAUTION

Canada’s government is pursuing a very strange pathway destined to squelch the legacy of Christian values and freedoms.  Our Prime Minister’s father repatriated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms during his administration.  At the time it was considered something good for the wellbeing of our nation.  It has proved to be something very different.

It was not long before we discovered in numbing disbelief that it became the primary means to support and legalize crass and gross immoral behaviour.  The issue of rights trumped responsibility and decency.   Minority groups seeking public acceptance, despite their moral deviancy, were allowed to thumb their nose at the majority.   Such thinking soon provided the weird support needed to legalize abortion, to facilitate the public acceptance of homosexuality (to the point of desecrating the sacred institution of marriage), the propagation and practice of euthanasia, and now the damning commercialization of marijuana.

The Charter, designed to protect rights and freedoms for the sake of public decency, human dignity and common opportunity, has been hijacked by evil.  The more depravity is allowed to rule and the majority keep silent, the more the fundamentals of democracy are undermined!  Once the will of a nation has been captivated by rights and freedoms without boundaries there is little hope for righteousness or truth which exalts a nation.

The courts, parliament, education, and most frightening of all, much of the church, have all capitulated to the rule of the depraved.   Personal and minority rights rule while public decency is shunted to the back of the line.  Such behaviour took centuries to destroy the Roman Empire.  It is happening to us in mere decades.  The present government is proudly leading the march to chaos, while the opposition parties stumble along with hardly a whimper of concern.  The general population, self-satisfied, reasonably prosperous and spiritually blind, goes about life as if all is normal and good, safe and sound.  Caution!  We are living a modern version of Nero playing while Rome burned!

Now our government has thrown down a gauntlet before those who hold to Judeo-Christian values.  They want to require all who wish to benefit from their Summer Jobs Program to attest that the job and its core mandate respect individual rights, including the new values.  What they mean is: the government’s position on abortion, homosexuality, transgender, etc. must be accepted or honored before funding will be available.   No Christian institution dares agree with such a demand.  The critical issue is not the money, but the principle.  Any compromise on this matter will come back to haunt and bite us for long years to come.  To accept it is a rejection of our allegiance to Christ and His Word, besides a denial of our civil rights.

Understand the Apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesians, “This I say therefore and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles (unbelievers) also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity and greediness.”

His solution: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Followers of Christ Jesus are being forced to choose the master we will serve, God or Mammon.  On the other hand our government must be asked to declare itself as a defender of religious freedom, or its opponent.   The former is part of what makes this country great – and good!  It is time to take a stand for righteousness and freedom!

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer