All posts filed under: Main

Has God’s temple been desecrated in China?

As I read a story out of China, I wondered if I was watching end times prophecy come to pass. Now I don’t think it is the actual fulfillment, but I don’t like how close it got. In 2 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul describes how the Antichrist will set himself up like a god, in the temple of God: 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASV There were two temples in Israel’s history. King Solomon built the first temple that was destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC. The second, built by Ezra and later renovated by King Herod, was the one that Jesus visited. It was obliterated by the Romans in 70 AD and was never rebuilt. But there are …

God will find a way

Despite secularists and left-wing activists trying to banish the church into a dark corner of irrelevancy, God will find a way to get the message of Jesus out to the world. Over the past three weeks, two rocks stars, though one is probably more a pop star and another a hip hop artist, put God and faith front and center. But I call them rock stars for a reason. It’s a play on what Jesus said as He entered Jerusalem riding a colt on what would be His final trip. As the Lord entered the city, people were crying out “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord”, and the pharisees in the crowds were trying to quieten everyone and finally yelled out for Jesus to order his disciples to quit shouting out (Luke 19:28-47). Jesus responded that if they didn’t cry out, then the rocks would. The lesson of this story is very simple. If society tries to marginalize the church, then God will find unusual and unexpected ways to …

Pass the Past

Ever find an old box that hasn’t been opened in years? You open it up and it has your old uniform or your old outfits in it. So, you try it on and if you manage to get it to stay on without using tape and staples, your glory day memories can pop up faster than the shirt buttons! Why can’t I be young again? I was called ‘The Cat’ because I was so quick when I played sports. The last time I played hockey my own teammates called me the ‘Old Jalopy’!  Old Jalopies are still useful as witnessed by all the joy (okay it was sneering laughter) from the bench. Now I am not complaining about my life now. In most ways it is better than I could have imagined. It’s just that my chiseled body of the past is now made out of clay that looks like it flopped down around my ankles. Being made of clay is not a bad thing though since God made Adam out of clay. Then he …

Does Anyone Care About Jesus Anymore?

I am a Christian, but lately, I have noticed that no one wants to talk about that. I can talk with other Christians about our beliefs, but people who don’t believe don’t seem to care. When I just mention that I believe in Jesus, I get an awkward silence, and then the other person changes the subject, or leaves. So, does anyone out there care about Jesus anymore? Probably not many, but the question is wrong. Does anyone do anything for more than a week? You might know the name Alvin Toffler, the author who wrote a famous book “Future Shock.” The book was published about fifty years ago, which makes him a futurist from the past. He predicted that the pace of change would accelerate; change would come on us so fast we wouldn’t be able to cope with it. RELATED: Future Shock: Wikipedia  In the Bible, the mark of a successful prophet, or religious futurist, was if the predictions came true: “You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message …

The Choices We Make

I miss my dog Sugar. She was 14 years old and passed a week ago.  My greatest comfort has been envisioning a creamy white pup running through fields chasing rabbits. It was her happy place and on most of our walks over the years a rabbit usually showed up just around a corner or ran across the street in front of her to entice her. I hope there is a doggy heaven, that dogs and pets alike may be guaranteed a heavenly home because of their innocence and inability to make human choices.  They make choices but it’s limited to chasing a rabbit or not, begging for food or escaping the back yard into the neighborhood and beyond. Unlike humans, animals do not have the same understanding that we have.  Our Creator gave us a free will to make our own choices — good, bad and ugly — and as a reward we get to own our mistakes, failures and successes. We get to take responsibility for the good and bad. We may want to …

Model of Herod's Temple at the Israel Museum. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikipedia

Has the third Jewish temple already been constructed?

In early September, Dr. Ghassan Weshah, an archaeological professor from the Islamic University of Gaza in Palestine told the media that the Biblical references to the Jewish Temple existing on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem are all a complete lie. He made these claims despite the fact the Muslim Koran refers to the temple at least twice, and even refers to King Solomon building the temple (34:13). Another Koranic verse describes the Muslims praying towards Mecca and the Jews towards their temple (Sura 2:145). However, a handful of Islamic scholars try to get around this problem by insisting that Solomon actually built a mosque, even though Islam did not appear on the scene until 1,600 years later. According to the Biblical record, Solomon built the first temple around 1000 BC and it was destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians who them promptly hauled thousands of Jews into captivity. Ezra constructed what is called the second Temple around 520 BC when the Persians who had defeated the Babylonians allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. …

Do two bizarre stories out of Canada define the country’s spiritual climate?

I recently read of two events that took place in Canada that in some ways define the cultural climate of hostility against Christianity and its roots. The first involved an Orthodox Priest who was allegedly fired for praying for Israel and the second involved a leader of a political party who quickly apologized after stating in a media interview that her favorite person was Jesus Christ. Father Vladimir Tobin, 77, served as a priest for St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), he got into trouble with his overlords in the Orthodox church when he publicly prayed for Israel. BIN reports that on August 12, Tobin received a letter from America Archbishop Irénée who serves as the archbishop of Canada telling Tobin it was time for him to retire because his ministry had a “Jewish twist.” Apparently the assistant pastor at the church had contacted the archbishop complaining that during one service Tobin had asked his congregation to pray for Israel. Initially, the archbishop had asked for Tobin’s …

The discovery of the oldest mention of the ‘Hebrews’ outside the Bible hints of spiritual warfare

Archaeologists working at Atarot, located in Jordan, recently uncovered a large cylinder shaped altar dated to the 9/8 the century BC. It was created by an ancient king of Moab, one of the dreaded enemies of Israel mentioned several times in the Old Testament. Archaeologists believe the altar, found inside an ancient shrine, was used for burning incense. But as they deciphered the seven lines of script written on the altar, they discovered the oldest reference to the “Hebrews” outside the Bible. The inscription is linked to a Biblical battle mentioned in 2 Kings 3. According to the Biblical record, Israel had conquered Moab and were forcing the country to pay an annual tribute to Israel. However, when the Israeli King died (Ahab), the Moabite King decided to take advantage of the political instability to break free from Israel’s control by refusing to make the annual payment. When that happened, the new Israeli King, Jehoram, contacted Judah’s King Jehoshaphat and an unnamed King of Edom to bring Moab to heel. If the King of Moab …

A Man For All Seasons

The saddest day of the year is fast approaching. It is a day in which I am sullen and silent. Yeah, if you knew me, you’d be saying what? You’re always yakking about something and at least you’re happy. Not on this day though. For this is the day I have to switch from shorts to long pants. The summer fades and soon so will my tan. The leaves fall and the rain and dampness of fall turns to snow and bitter cold of winter. And somewhere along the way I’ll be forced into the switch. And don’t even get me going about socks and shoes! I live in sandals and shorts all summer. From spring really. I walk, shop, preach, and write in them. Well, never mind what I wear when I write, if you knew you’d never be the same! But why the sadness? Seasons are inevitable and so what if I have to wear grown up pants. Good points but there is an allegory happening here. Each season has a different impact …

Should We Ban Harry Potter?

There is a news story from Tennessee, in the U.S., about a Roman Catholic priest who removed all Harry Potter books from the school library. The priest, Rev. Dan Reehil, made a statement that Harry Potter books contain actual “actual spells and curses” that might summon demons. The parents, who complained and asked for the priest to be fired are quoted; “Reehil is a toxic narcissist who hates Pope Francis and views himself as ‘a soldier of God.’ … Our school, however, consists of children, not soldiers” The parent’s statement contained 50 bullet points. RELATED: Parents complained of priest who banned Harry Potter books: CTV So, the battle lines are obvious, in that confrontation, and I’m glad I don’t have to be a referee. The answer, from the priest’s employers, the Diocese, was that the priest’s views and some other opinions “have homes in the church.” The Diocese backed the priest by saying that his ideas were acceptable in the Roman Catholic Church. The parents talked about their children’s education, and the Diocese talked about …

Is it time to step into your dream?

I am a fairly optimistic person and at times ideas flood my mind and I have said to myself and others “anything is possible.” I feel a dream rising in me like a bubble and I can’t stop it! It’s just there! When these thoughts overtake me, I find myself incredibly happy!  The ideas and the possibilities are endless. This is what energizes me and propels me forward.  Over the years dreams and desires have stirred within me only to be overtaken by work, family, health etc. But, the Bible tells us: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19 Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness. Although my desires and dreams have been dampened and squashed at times, over the years they continually resurfaced and reminded me that they haven’t gone away. I believe these desires and dreams, that refuse to leave, are often put there by God. It’s …

24 | The mysterious disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant

Follow our podcasts on: Itunes Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio PODCAST NOTES: I made an unusual purchase the other day. I bought the Ark of the Covenant. Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast I want to talk about the mysterious disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant and the ancient conspiracy theories that swirled around at the time because of its disappearance. The Ark was a gold-plated box with two winged cherubim that sat inside the Tabernacle of Moses, the Tabernacle of David and lastly the Temple in Jerusalem. Between the two Cherubim rested the very presence of God and because of this, the Ark is referred to as God’s throne on earth. Of course, what I bought was a miniature replica about 4” x 2.5” in size proportional to the original which was 4’ by 2.5’. But the similarity stops there, because I am pretty sure for $21.77 Canadian, my replica is not gold-plated like the original, but other than that it looks kind of neat. The top even comes …

Study says for an emotionally healthier you reduce your Facebook time

I have a confession to make. I am rarely on Facebook. We have a Facebook page for OpenTheWord, with articles automatically posted to the page. You can like the page here if you want to follow the website in that way. But in a counter-intuitive move, I am probably recommending you don’t. Because if researchers from Yale and UC San Diego are right, you may be emotionally healthier if you cut back the amount of time you spend on Facebook. In their study, the two researchers, UC’s Holly Shakya and Yale’s Nicholas Christakis, followed 5,208 people for two years who were regular Facebook users. There was one slight difference in their methodology. In the past, people studying the impact of social media have done it through self reporting. In other words, the people being studied reported how much they were on social media. However, in this study Shakya and Christakis received permission to monitor their study groups’ Facebook activity through Facebook, so they had an accurate reading of how many times the individuals were actually …

All Israel will be saved?

I recently read an article on Charisma News by Ron Cantor, a Messianic Jew living and ministering in Israel of how Jews are starting to accept Christ as their Messiah. Israel has a population of just over nine million people with nearly 75% Jewish, 17% Muslim and the remainder a mixture of Christian 2%, Druze 1.7% (Arab non-Muslims) and others. According to Cantor, there are about 200 Messianic congregations in Israel with over 20,000 people attending. These are Jews who believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and are in addition to non-Jewish Christians living in Israel. But the purpose of Cantor’s article was to report on a shift he believes is taking place in Israel. Cantor points out that Paul writes in Romans 11:25 that there was a “partial hardening” of the Jew’s heart, that led to a powerful move of God among the gentiles. During Paul’s ministry, there came a moment when he purposefully shifted his ministry to the gentiles. That took place at Corinth. When Paul arrived, as was his tradition, he went …

Me Forgive? No Way!

Betrayal is a nasty word. But that is how we feel when people we love and trust suddenly turn on us. It is tough to forgive someone we want to kick in the shins. Yet the Bible says we are to forgive even them. The Bible sure doesn’t understand, does it? Surely God would be on my side! I’m the victim here. Didn’t David ask God to dash his enemies and their children to pieces on rocks? Can’t I pray for God to destroy my once friends now enemies? Well, of course you can. You can ask God for anything you want. Doesn’t mean you will get it. And when you are talking with God, I have to warn you, he talks back! And if you start quoting the Bible to Him, He might just point out that He wrote it, that the Word is Him, and throw some quotes your way. Rather than get into a bunch of quotes about forgiveness, let’s talk about why you ought to forgive. First, let me confess that …

Climate Change and the Second Coming of Jesus

Do you believe the ‘End is Nigh’? Do you think the world is about to change in a big way, and we can’t reverse the change? Do you believe that Jesus is coming back soon? These days, almost everyone who is anyone believes one of those ideas, or something similar. There is a sense everywhere that this time in history will end soon. Our little day is approaching sunset. So, who believes in climate change? Who thinks we are altering our environment, and we will have intense global warming, with severe food shortages; and the ice caps will melt and the oceans will rise and flood coastal cities? Our leaders in this are politicians and celebrities. It’s a New Age religion, Jesus is not mentioned, but the Bible has been telling us for thousands of years that the end will come, and now everyone is starting to believe. Christians have called this the ‘Second Coming’ and the New Age leaders might talk about Global Warming. Strangely, whether we are believers or deniers in Jesus, we …

Is eternity in your heart?

Recently my niece, who has been dealing with cancer for the past two years, sent me this text: “In my dark times, I cry and ask for help but overall I am just trying to put one step in front of the other, trust in God and be grateful for each day. That is all I can do and need to do.” Afterwards, I thought that is really all any of us can do, whether we are dealing with a life threatening illness like my niece or day to day stuff such as kids and money we need to put our confidence in God. When we worry about tomorrow, our future remains unsettled in our hearts.  The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God “has set eternity in their heart.”  One meaning for ‘eternity’ is future. There is a God-given awareness inside each of us that there is more to life than what we are currently experiencing in this unstable world. This verse says humans operate differently because we have a sense of this eternity …

Study suggests divorce increases the risk of dementia

I find it difficult to write on divorce, because there can be legitimate reasons for a marriage breakdown and sometimes a person has no choice because one partner wants out of the marriage. But we are living in a society where marriage is increasingly devalued and looked upon as being as disposable as a paper cup. But the Bible states that God hates divorce and warns of it being a violent act as it involves separating two people who in Biblical terms were one flesh (Mark 10:8). “For the Lord God of Israel saysThat He hates divorce,For it covers one’s garment with violence,”Says the Lord of hosts.“Therefore take heed to your spirit,That you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NKJV And this cutting apart has the potential to harm all involved including children (here, here and here) and the couple divorcing. Aside from the negative emotional and economic consequences of divorce, studies also reveal divorce can physically impact the health of the people involved. And this was the conclusion of yet another study that provided …

Anointed worship song leads man to confess to murder?

An interesting story emerged during the recent trial of Danny Dashay Holmes about the power and anointing on Christian music. Danny was on trial in Indiana, for the December 16, 2016, murder of Cesar Lopez-Flores. According to the Daily News Journal (DNJ), after kidnapping a woman by the name of Brittany Johnson, Danny forced Brittany to drive to Lopez-Flores home where Danny and others murdered Lopez-Flores. Johnson was then released unharmed. During his trial in August 2019, Danny dramatically announced to the court he would plead guilty to the murder. Danny stated that a year earlier he had become a Christian, but what prompted him to confess was Big Daddy Weave’s song called “Redeemed.” Now I must confess I had never heard of Big Daddy Weave, but the Christian band features a former worship leader of a church in Pensacola Florida, Mike Weaver. And though I had never heard of Big Daddy Weave, I am apparently one of the few who hasn’t because the video of the band’s song “Redeemed” has been viewed over 39 …

Study says optimists more likely to live longer

According to the Daily Mail, researchers from Boston University stated that optimists tend to live longer than those with a more pessimistic view of life. The researchers came to this conclusion after monitoring the attitudes and lives of 69,744 women and 1,500 men. The women (aged 58 to 86) were surveyed for ten years and the men (aged 41 to 90) tracked for 30 years. During this period, the researchers asked them a series of questions to determine if their outlook on life was negative or positive. They concluded that on average men with the most optimistic view extended their lives an additional 11% and women 15% when compared to their negative counterparts. They also found that optimists were more likely to hit 85 years of age with 70% more men and 50% more women reaching that age. Their findings were published in the journal entitled “Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.” According to the researchers, optimistic people were defined as those who believed “the future will be pleasant because one can control …

Who Are You?

One of my favorite crime shows, CSI, has a theme song that goes: “Who are you? Who, who, who, who?” Oddly enough it a song by a band called The Who. So who are you? Are you the same in public as in private? Are you really what you do? Basically we hide our true self while presenting what we think is a more acceptable self to others. This protects us from getting hurt and hurting others. At least that is the rationale. But doesn’t this just exaggerate fear? I mean the longer I hide myself the more I fear someone will see the real me and never ever stop slapping me. I even want to slap myself sometimes. Fear prevents us from being who we really are, so we often hide behind performance, jobs, looks, and other things the world tells us equals success. Don’t believe me? Remember how anxious you were the last time you had a bad hair day? This is all about your identity. Who you are is a fundamental question …

Dating Advice From Jesus

Have you noticed all the protests in the news lately? People are angry, and they are in the streets, in many parts of the world. And now, the protesters are protesting other protesters. Where I live, Chinese protesters are protesting against other people from China, who are in the streets protesting, and in the whole world, demonstrations come with counter-demonstrations. We have an epidemic of intolerant demands for tolerance: Imagine if a young man joined his friends at a demonstration rally, for some important cause, and in the middle of the action, he noticed a young woman among the counter demonstrators; and imagine if they were attracted to each other. If their convictions were sincere, there is no possibility that they could make a personal connection because they belong to different tribes. Modern culture works against connections and relationships between people. I’m not really talking about dating; I’m talking about our modern tribalism. It is fashionable today to disconnect from others, and to hate and never forgive. The other side is wrong because it is …

What it means to go the extra mile

For years my life revolved around how people hurt and wronged me but the light has recently been turned on exposing areas where I may have offended or hurt others in the past.  As God revealed this to me, I have done my best to make amends and it has been hard work. It’s never easy admitting that I was the one who erred, and I was the one doing the offending. It is all about going that “extra mile” in our Christian walk. Though the phrase going the extra mile is in our modern vernacular, in fact it has a Biblical root and comes from a statement Jesus said to His disciples: “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. “ (Matthew 5:41) In this verse, Jesus was describing the practice of “impressment” that was common at that time. According to Roman law, any Roman soldier could order a Jewish civilian to carry the soldier’s baggage, often his heavy armor, for one Roman mile  (1.45 km). Obviously, the Jews …

Why we missed the communion service on the moon

The British newspaper, The Guardian, recently told the story of how astronaut Buzz Aldrin had communion on the moon. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first people to actually stand on the moon, during their visit as part of the Apollo 11 mission. Of course many will remember Armstrong’s memorable words as the first man to step on the moon when he said: ”That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While most people remember “one small step for man” in an article on Space, Neil said he had actually said “a man” but the “a” wasn’t heard in the broadcast that travelled 238,000 miles (ca. 383,024 km). And though his words are remembered as the most iconic moment on the Apollo 11 lunar landing, there was a less known, and in fact, if The Guardian article is right, a suppressed religious event. Buzz Aldrin was also an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church in Webster, Texas about 30 miles (ca. 48 km) outside Houston. He had …

Evidence of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem reopens an ancient mystery

Archaeologists working on the site of the Temple Mount in Old Jerusalem discovered evidence of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 587/586 BC when both the city and the Temple were basically destroyed. The siege recorded in several books of Bible tells how King Nebuchadnezzar also took tens of thousands of Jews into captivity. According to the team, made up of archaeologists from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC) and Israel’s Haifa University, they discovered several evidences of the attack including a layer of ash indicating a massive burning and more importantly Scythian arrowheads that were used by Babylonian soldiers. Since the Babylonian arrowheads were mixed in with the ash it is strong evidence the burning was associated with Babylon’s attack on Jerusalem. They also found evidence of houses being left in shambles which again would be expected after the city was taken. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, UNC professor Shimon Gibson stated: “They (Scythian arrowheads) were fairly commonplace in this period and are known to be used by the Babylonian …

The futility of worry

A recent study by researchers from Penn State exposed the futility of worry in a very “odd” way, that seems to confirm an equally “odd” statement that Jesus made about worry. Worry is a very destructive force and if we don’t control it, worry can actually cause physical damage to our bodies, in addition to the emotional stress that can lead to such things as depression. According to an article on WebMD, unchecked worry can cause the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones are released during times of extreme stress. The release of these hormones fill the body with the extra energy required during times of acute danger. However, if there is no physical release (fight or flight), these hormones sit unused and over time can potentially damage our bodies resulting in heart and digestive problems and even affect our memory and immune system. So what did those Penn State researchers uncover? Well they studied 29 people who have a serious anxiety disorder. These were top-level worriers. For one month these people …

Don’t Blink

Do you ever think about someone you love or admire? Maybe they are the same person. What kinds of things do they believe or do? If you look at me you’d notice that I like to talk. A lot. I like to write. I like Jesus, my wife, and hockey.  You’d see that I was short for a man in my culture, a  bit grey, and after a moment or two you’d notice my sense of humor and my impish grin. Hopefully you’d see that what I believe and what I do match. How long would it take you to form an opinion of me? A few minutes? Perhaps one minute? Thirty seconds? One tenth of a second! That’s it! That is all the time it takes for the person you just met to form an impression of you. This is according to a study by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov. I haven’t met them even for that long so I have no opinion about them either way. But I read the same …

Isis, Al-Qaeda and that Bird

A funny thing happened in the Middle East, recently. A team from ISIS, probably in the country of Yemen, made a video for the Internet. One member of the group had a statement to make about his loyalty to the cause. It was a propaganda announcement for the group. When the man tried to speak into the microphone, in front of the camera, he was interrupted. Every time he spoke, a loud bird squawked nearby, and the man had to keep restarting his speech. He started to get confused, in front of the camera, and he consulted his notes, and someone behind the camera tried to coach him, telling him to be cool. I guess that means stay calm and focus on the job. RELATED: When a bird turned an ISIS propaganda video into a blooper: Times of Indian The video is funny, and it was published in many news sources, around the world. I chose a link to the “Times of India.” The video went viral, and the people who made it probably wish …

Ferdelance Pit Viper

Venom or victory

It has become clear to me that forgiveness is a practice.  It is something you just do when you recognize resentment, anger or even hatred building in your life towards another person. Each of us must come to that place where we recognize that these symptoms debilitate and dis-empower us from becoming the best version of ourselves for the glory of God.  Forgiveness is not about the other person, it is always about what is best for you. When we are bitten by the venomous snake of unforgiveness, it sucks out our potential and purpose. Left unchecked, its poison will travel through the veins to our heart and once there we lose sight of everything that is important to us. The people we love end up getting contaminated by this venomous reptile, as we slither around with a forked tongue spewing and releasing venom onto our loved ones. Forgiveness needs to become a practice in our lives. We need to determine in advance, when offended we will forgive.  Sometimes it won’t be easy and will …

Sometimes there is more than one right way of doing things

Many, many years ago, I think it was sometime during the Pleistocene age, I was working with a political party, and my boss gave me some advice that has stuck with me for years. He said: “Dean, there is more than one right way of doing things.” As Christians, we tend to fall in the trap of thinking there is only one way of doing something, God’s way, often cleverly disguised as our way. Now there are certainly things that we need to be dogmatic on including the Deity of Christ, the supremacy of Scripture and morality. But there are a few elements of the Christian faith where there is clearly more than one right way of doing them. One of those is whether to honor Sunday as the Lord’s Day. I was reading an interesting article on CBN, about Chick-fil-A and the company’s decision to close on Sunday. The company is owned by the Cathy family, devout Christians, who have publicly supported traditional values. Despite being closed one day a week, it is now …

One Christian’s view of the death penalty

Several years back, I was talking to a friend who asked me why the Bible supports the death penalty in the Old Testament (Numbers 35:16-17), while Jesus states in the New Testament that we need to forgive and even love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45; Matthew 6:14-15). To him it appeared like a contradiction. How could Jesus exhortation to forgive in any way support the death penalty? It was a valid observation. Two recent media stories may help explain what appears to be a Bible contradiction. According to Religion News Service, the Rabbi of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue is calling for mercy for a mass shooter who killed 11 members of the congregation in a murderous antisemitic attack on October 27, 2018. The media are reporting that the social media accounts of the alleged killer, Robert Bowers, had several anti Jewish statements in some instances referring to Jews as “filthy evil.” Bowers pleaded not guilty to the mass murder. In a letter sent to the state’s attorney general, Rabbi Johnathan Perlman and his wife Beth …

View from the pulpit. Credit: Tyrone Warner/Flickr/Creative Commons

Keep Your Shorts On!

The other night I was preaching. I was just giving it! I mean I was on fire! God had given me the words to say and it was incredible! Then it happened! My pants started falling off. Actually they were shorts. Yup, I am the kind of preacher that wears shorts and sandals. And a shirt. I always wear a shirt. I don’t stay behind a pulpit or a podium when I talk. I walk around while I talk. Whenever possible I connect with people when I speak. This evening was a great setup for this. Unfortunately the word setup is more appropriate than I realized. So there I am in front of the church with rows of chairs in a semi circle around me and rows of pews behind them. I am right in the middle of the main aisle about standing right where everyone could get a good look at me. At first, it was a slight loosening. No problem I thought. I’ll make my way behind the podium and give them a …

Just What is the Temple of Satan?

There are reports this year, of an emerging new religion “The Temple of Satan.” This group may have existed for years, but recently it has been getting attention, and apparently attracting many new members. One prominent community is in the city if Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Ottawa is usually a quiet city with tourists and politicians, and government workers. The new ‘Temple’ religion is new and different. RELATED: The Rise of the Satanic Temple in Canada: Global News One of the practices of the group is to ‘unbaptize’ people from Christianity, to undo their conversion and remove them from that religion. Christians should know that this is very different from traditional atheism and agnosticism. Those ideas have been at the center of western culture for several generations, and are usually called “liberal” and “modernist.” This modern thinking usually refers to ideas like Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Notice that Darwinian Evolution has a universe with no God, no creator. Darwin was trained to be a Christian minister, and he speculated about a universe like a …