All posts filed under: Opinion

Should Christians be Vegan Vegetarians?

Do you believe in Something? You have probably noticed that we are surrounded by sincere believers, and some of them are angry. We have religions, and vegetarians, and their polar opposites, carnivores. We also have climate change activists, and for a while we had activists for and against COVID restrictions. We believe. When I buy groceries, there is always a section for vegetarian food, in the grocery store. Also, fast food places like to advertise their not-meat that tastes and looks just like meat, but it isn’t. Most of us are not interested; we can order a baked potato anytime, and we get the truth in the packaging. It can be complicated. Vegan Vegetarianism is not just a choice, it’s a sincere belief. The most devout believers think the whole world should be like them. Some are working to change the whole world, and they believe they will succeed. We will all be vegetarians, someday; they believe. Vegan beliefs probably started in India, three or four thousand years ago, and that means the first Vegans …

From Time’s “Is God Dead?” in 1966 to the New York Times’ Call to “Give Up God” Today

On April 8, 1966, the pictureless front cover of Time Magazine asked a bold and direct question: “Is God Dead?” This was just two days before Easter Sunday, and in the decades that followed, it became increasingly common for anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-Bible essays to be featured in various secular publications at this time of year.

Religion is changing in Brazil: Where are we now?

Education is history. Most of the things that we learn are things that happened, and now we can look back and analyze them. That usually works, but some experts claim that the world population today is equal to all the people who lived before, all the way back to the Stone Age. We can’t prove that, but we are living in history, and it’s good to know how the world is changing around us. Whatever we think about religion, the old stories are being replaced by new ones. Religion, in the world, is nothing like what we saw in history. Modern people want something new now, and religion cannot be controlled. One example is China, governed by a Communist Party. In modern times, religion in China is supposed to be mostly for old people. The younger generation is supposed to be modern and secular, and mostly Atheist. It’s not easy to track religion in an officially Atheist country, but experts estimate that about eighty percent of the population practices some religion, and about seventy-five percent …

Should We Love Our Enemies Even During a Time of War?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown

Recently, some Christians in Ukraine came under fire for putting up billboards in their city with verses from the Bible, one of which quoted the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount where He called us to love our enemies (see Matthew 5:43-48). As a result, these Christians have been branded separatists and traitors, with some calling for their church to be investigated.

Prove to me that God Exists … or not

Can you prove that God exists? Did you ever have that argument, on either side? I am writing as a Christian, but I think some of the arguments miss the point. Most people in the world believe in God, or gods. Most of us are religious. Imagine an Atheist challenging anyone, in any religion with this demand “Prove to me that God exists!” Is there an answer? Anywhere? This is critically important. It’s the foundation of who we are, and we should not base our lives on something with no foundation. Some people argue that God does not exist, and they also argue that God could not possibly exist. Here is an example. Other people argue that God does exist, such as we see here: READ: Does God Exist? So, when we are challenged, what do we say? For me, “we” is mostly Christians, but anyone who believes in any god, or gods, should think about this. Why do we bother? How do we answer the challenge? Some people need to build a better foundation. …

Have you ever won a religious argument? Brace yourself.

So, have you won a religious argument lately? I have not. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I have an aversion to strife. There are probably times when I should speak up, but I just don’t want the consequences. We live in contentious times, with issues like Climate Change, COVID, war in places like Ukraine, and what did I leave out? … maybe religion and evolution, or sexual orientation. If you are religious, you believe something. I am a Christian, and what I am, includes many things that I am not. What I believe includes things that I don’t believe. If I am everything, I am nothing. The old joke for young church women in a church to say “We don’t smoke, and we don’t chew, and we don’t date the boys who do!” That is a very old joke. If you want to see a political argument mixed with religion, here is a good example: I don’t know the political topic, but the speaker is very articulate. It is easy to disagree …

We Are Called to Be Disciples, Not Consumers: Learning a Lesson from the Persecuted Church

By Dr. Michael L. Brown

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand were Jewish Christians from Romania who were imprisoned, mistreated, and (especially Richard) brutally tortured for their unwavering faith. They would not bow the knee to the spirit of the age. They would not submit to the godless Communist agenda (or any other godless agenda). They would only bow the knee to Jesus.

Critical Race Theory: What should we think?

Are you oppressed? Do you feel like a victim, or does your family have some sad stories in its history? Or, do you see yourself as privileged? Are you and others like you better off than other groups of people? For most of us, the answer to the first question is ‘yes.’ We can find some story of how our family went through hard times, and struggled. The answer to the second question is probably ‘no’ for most of us. We don’t feel privileged in our modern, stressed-out times. You have probably heard of “CRT” or “Critical Race Theory.” This is an extension of Critical Theory, which is, in my opinion, the best description of Leftist or Progressive thinking. Critical Theory forms the basis for Marxism, also known as Communism. Communists often had violent revolutions because of their core belief that the problems of the world need to be fixed with radical change. “Change” might be a violent revolution, or an election victory, but it brings a revolution, things change. If we believe that there …

Follow the science: Does religion interfere with progress?

Does religion get in the way? Is progress mostly from people with no religion? Should we just follow the science? Here is a quiz. See how many of these expressions you can understand without looking in a dictionary: Devotions Mark of the beast Spirit filled Back slider Born again Pentecost Charismatic Sanctified Resurrection New testament How did you do? Your score out of ten can show how religious you are, in traditional religion. If you scored eight or more, you are probably a regular and long-time church-goer. A low score probably means you are modern; people don’t know much about old-time religion these days. So, are we losing our religion? Is God disappearing from this world? Are we following science more, and superstition less? Yes, maybe, and no. Researchers looked at Americans and their religion, and they found a division. We are not all travelling together anymore. What we all think is not a question now. Religious people have hardly changed, and they would probably score high on the quiz. People who are not religious …

What? There is no unity in Unity … (Saskatchewan)?

What is the world coming to? There is a town in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, named Unity. I was there once. I remember a nice hotel, and we stayed overnight. There is a local salt mine, and I also learned, in a previous career, that the mine is used to store small amounts of radioactive waste. When we visited, it seemed like a nice place, and the name “Unity” does not usually get mentioned in the news. Now there is a news story about Unity. According to some people, Unity is divided. There is no unity in Unity. The problem seems to be stress about COVID restrictions and vaccines. One angry statement was posted online about the unvaccinated in Unity; they should “go out there and get sick and die.” So, a group of residents has asked the town council to pass a bylaw against discrimination, including prejudice because of personal medical decisions. That usually means a person is not vaccinated against COVID. Some people in Unity want the discrimination and harassment to stop: …

Seeing bravery gives us courage

The truckers who are in Ottawa calling for an end to the Omicron mandates are giving Canadians and people around the world the courage to stand up to the elitist politicians and mainstream media and say enough is enough. People have been scared to oppose the mandates publicly. A recent CTV article in Canada, started off with these mocking words, “The so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest.” A subtle warning that anyone opposing the government’s mandates will be targeted. Anyone publicly opposing Trudeau’s Omicron mandates should also expect to be labeled as a Nazi or racist by the country’s Prime Minister. The protest started shortly after the Trudeau government announced on Jan 15, 2022, that all truckers coming into Canada and returning had to be fully vaccinated. This included Canadian truckers returning from US deliveries. There was outrage, because truckers simply drive into Canada pulling a trailer, unhitch, hitch up another trailer and return home. The world was shocked, as tens of thousands of truckers traveled across Canada to the country’s capital city, Ottawa, calling for an …

Do you believe, really? How does God fit into our modern world?

How does religion make any sense? With no scientific proof, how do we know that any of that God-talk is true? How can we believe? I am writing as a Christian. I heard a preacher on the radio, recently, and he talked about the power of God. He made a good point; God is more than an argument. If we have some intellectual belief that we can discuss, we have nothing, and we will probably lose most of the arguments. God must have power in our lives. The Bible uses strong language. If the power does not save us from death “our preaching is useless and so is your faith … [and] we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15: 13 and 18) Without the power of God, we are world-class fools. If you want to see an intellectual argument against believing: Christopher Hitchens was a Marxist who argued against all religions. We can see his skills in the video. Believers cannot win enough of those arguments. If we only have …

The Antichrist, 666, and … the Truck-Apocalypse

Are we at the end of the world? Did COVID and vaccine mandates start the beginning of the end? Are those Canadian truckers part of the new wave? Maybe. You have probably heard about the truck drivers in Canada who are protesting against government restrictions. The government claims that they are a small fringe group, and most of the population does not agree with them; they are a fringe minority expressing unacceptable views do not represent the majority. That is the common position for most of the media, and politicians. A recent opinion survey asked people in Canada what they thought about the protest convoy, and almost eighty percent claimed to support it. We have some trucks with flags and loud horns, where I live, and I saw some people on an overpass bridge with flags and signs, waiting for a local convoy to pass. There are reports, in some places, that the convoys stretched for miles. This is too big to ignore. READ: Trucker convoy: Blaring horns, cheers as hundreds descend on Parliament I …

Famed Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson describes the Bible as ‘more true than just true’

In a recent four-hour interview with influential podcaster, Joe Rogan, famed Canadian psychologist, Jordan Peterson, had some interesting comments on the Bible. The Daily Wire reports that the topic came up because of Dr. Peterson’s recent visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, which he called “very cool.” In the interview, Peterson described the Bible as a category or structure that fundamentally defines our western civilization. But added this warning. “If categories just dissolve,” Peterson said, “especially fundamental ones, the culture is dissolving because the culture is a structure of category. That’s what it is.” And this is what we are witnessing today as those on the extreme left try to dismantle society by focusing their attack on the west’s Christian foundation. But Peterson didn’t stop with that, he seemed to suggest that the Bible is the ultimate truth. “And so it isn’t that the Bible is true,” Peterson said, “it’s that the Bible is the precondition for the manifestation of truth, which makes it way more true than just true. It’s …

So much COVID: Do you still believe in God?

How was your life in early January? We had severe cold weather and something like a blizzard. Cars didn’t like to start, and I spend part of my working days outside. Yes, it was cold. My required COVID mask made my breath vent up to my forehead, and the moisture froze to my hair. I had the strange problem of combing ice out of my hair, all day. And yes, I had to wear a mask to protect from COVID, outside, at minus thirty, with only one other person in the area. That other person also had to wear a mask. It gets ridiculous, and we have been warned by the medical authorities that we will all be infected with the Omicron variant of COVID; we just don’t know when that will happen. Where I live, we are no longer told that vaccines will prevent COVID. The new motivator is that vaccines may reduce the severity of symptoms when we do get sick, and we will get sick. The goalposts are shifting. I could rant …

Lies and Deception: Are you a fact-checker?

You probably have a phone like mine. I get news that I didn’t ask for, and it comes to me all day, every day. Some are information, some are manipulation, and some are advertising for things I could buy. I also can learn about the lives of movie stars. We also have polarized truth. The vegans believe they have found the truth and the truth is meat-free, but the carnivores think they have the truth, and it is vegan-free. We also have political arguments, and polarized news about our health, and what did I miss? We are divided. I used to try to read it all, but I have learned, there are news sites that I can go to any time. I can just pick a favourite, and it will give me a summary of just about everything I should know. If a site seems biased and slanted, I can change to a new one with just a click. Since I learned that, I start my day by scrolling to the bottom of the “news” …

2021: The Year of Mistrust and Suspicion

Although there are many things that characterize the year 2021, perhaps nothing is more conspicuous than the deep lack of trust that Americans currently have in their national leadership. From the president to the CDC, from Dr. Fauci to the media, almost everyone is viewed with suspicion and mistrust. Of course, it would be all too easy for those on the left to blame this on former president Trump. After all, wasn’t he the one driving the “stop the steal” movement? And didn’t he make clear that, not even the Supreme Court could be trusted? But to blame the current situation on Trump would be both shallow and naive. Plenty of clearheaded, fair-minded, thinking Americans have good reason to question what they are hearing and seeing and reading. Can anyone really be trusted? Both leftwing and rightwing media have become so politicized that much of the reporting is often more sensationalistic than sound. Endless internet headlines (which people often run with, at face value) are mere clickbait, with the article linked having nothing to do …

New Paganism: Are you ready for the new-old way?

Do you believe in Science? That is a popular new idea, especially in the fight against COVID. Do you believe in Shamanism? Or are you interested in Wiccan beliefs? Have you heard of the rise of New Paganism? The calls to believe are growing. Science: Some people talk about Science as a religion, something to believe in. In arguments about COVID and vaccinations, for example, someone might say “I believe in Science.” If they are talking to you, that probably means you are wrong. The problem with believing in science is that the Scientific Method, that directs scientific research, is a method of working and not a system to believe in. It was never meant to be the source of answers. A real scientist is a doubting skeptic who questions everything, including the commonly accepted answers to problems. Constant, restless searching leads to new ideas. In High School, I was one of the nerdy members of the science club, and this method was taught to us by our science teachers. We were supposed to always …

Is Christianity declining? Pick a god, any god.

I remember a story from a time before I was born. The church that my family went to when I was a boy had something called a “revival.” I’m suspicious about the name, but something happened, something spiritual. For reasons that are lost to us now, people got concerned and focused on God. The church had extra services and people came, in large numbers. I think this was in the 1920s, and the city had a strange problem, for that time; traffic jams. Apparently, streetcars were filled, and traffic management became an issue on Sunday evenings, in a small city. Where else did a church cause traffic jams? That might have happened somewhere else, but it is kind of weird. God is just not that popular. If we accept that spiritual revivals can happen, I remember something about that church in my childhood. There was a confidence and sense of purpose that I have not seen in many other groups. When I was a boy, I thought those older people were bossy, and they had …

The Deadly Ditch of Gnosticism

Many years ago, when learning about Gnosticism while at Bible college, I wondered what the big deal was with it in our day – how is it relevant? Much of the New Testament after Acts deals with keeping the church out of two ditches – legalism (the Law) and Gnosticism (special knowledge) Legalism was trying to add the Law on top of grace. Acts 15 reveals one of the pivotal challenges that the early church went through to deal with this problem. We are saved by what Christ did (justified by faith), not by our works. Gnosticism on the other side of the road was the adding of “special knowledge” on top of grace. It is defined as “an early heresy based on knowledge instead of faith” (NKJV dictionary) And “knowledge” is not necessarily truth! When I was at Bible college, it was the late 70s and 80s. Cults and secret societies were very fringe, so it wasn’t really an issue? Yet so much of the New Testament deals with warning the church about both …

Find someone who thinks differently than you, and demand an explanation!

We can’t blame a virus for our behaviour, but my impression is that our global health crisis has generated a lot of arrogance. COVID taught us some things that are not good. We are getting skilled at dividing and rejecting. Have you noticed that some people are correct and approved, and others rejected because they don’t think like the official majority? I have read news articles about ‘those people’ who are usually on the wrong side of an argument, like vaccination or some political division. The official position seems to be, if we find someone who thinks differently, we demand an explanation. We want to know how they could be so wrong when we told them how to think. Division and rejection seem to be our new path to the truth. If you don’t agree with me, don’t lose your temper. That would just prove my point. We should all know, that a disagreement about an idea can easily become a rejection of people. READ: Mass protests and mayhem continue into a sixth night; thousands …

How to Lose it all: Have you seen the movie ‘Come Sunday’?

Did you ever lose your faith? Yes, you did, if you are older than six. When I was a boy, I remember some other children who were told that Santa Claus was not real. I stayed out of that violent argument, but I saw their confusion and outrage. As we get older, people disappoint us, and if we are honest, we can disappoint ourselves. I formed a career goal when I was about twelve, and I saw myself as one of those people, just working on an education and waiting for an opportunity. I knew who I was, and my conviction was unshakable. Near the age of forty, I had to tell myself that it would never happen, and I had to keep the job I already had. I lost my faith. You are probably wondering; I saw myself as an archaeologist, like the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and I thought of it first, before they made that movie. After reading all those books, and studying in so many university courses, it never happened. …

Get Used to the Heat and Get in the Kitchen

By Dr. Michael L. Brown You’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t like the heat, then get out of the kitchen.” Well, that only works if you’re not called to be in the kitchen. For those of us who are called to be there, it would be better to say, “Get used to the heat and get in the kitchen.” When it comes to the conflicts and controversies of our day, if we love God and we love our neighbor, do we really have a choice? On a daily basis, often from many different sides, I get blasted for positions I take in writing or on the air. Should I have a pity party? Feel sorry for myself? Throw in the towel? How utterly ridiculous. If I’m going to address controversial issues or take controversial stands, the disagreements and counterattacks are sure to come. That’s the nature of the game, and that’s part of the process of public discourse, however messy it may be. I’m just glad that people take the time to read and …

Finding new gods through Cluster C: How anxious are you?

How anxious are you these days? The world has been a mixed-up place lately, and I know people who are stressed about health, including all the COVID issues; and jobs, careers, and finances; and relationships, including marriages and families; and politics sure are interesting. Right now, scientists are getting stressed about a new variation of COVID known as “Omicron.” I have friends who have stopped reading the news. I know a family that lost their old mother, one year ago. She lived a long life, and she was weak and frail when she died, and I don’t think COVID was a factor. It was sad for them to lose their mother, but they were not surprised when she passed. The problem is the “estate.” Their Mom had her own way of coping with stress; she was a long-time hoarder. She worked for many years in a large retail store, and she had easy access to bargains. Now, one year later, the children are struggling to sort and dispose of all the merchandise, unopened in packages, …

Kyle Rittenhouse and those pastors in Jail: What side are we on?

We all know the name “Kyle Rittenhouse” by now. Only a few teenagers have become as famous as him, in modern times. He is probably as well known as Greta Thunberg, who made a speech at the United Nations, and she was invited at the age of fifteen. Kyle Rittenhouse walked alone, into a dangerous riot, with a loaded gun, and he was seventeen. If he was my son, and I saw him walking out with a gun, I would call him back and tell him to stay home. I am not choosing sides in the arguments about his trial, I just think some things are too dangerous for a boy acting alone, with a gun. Apparently he shot three people, and two of them died. We know there was a trial by jury, and Kyle was acquitted on all charges. This has produced and explosion of arguments, and much celebrating on one side and intense anger on the other side. So, what should we, think? I am speaking as a Christian. My best advice, …

Migration or Immigration: Why are so many people crossing borders?

You have probably heard about caravans of people, forming in Central America and travelling to the US border, and then crossing into the US and claiming to be refugees. You might have also heard that many refugee claimants decide that the US does not have what they need, and then cross into Canada. That might have stopped, with the COVID crisis. Governments can say that they are keeping people out for health reasons. If the COVID crisis declines enough, that route for migration will start again. There are other migrant routes. People travel across the English channel to Britain in small boats, usually from France. They also want to live in a new country, and thousands are trying. Some find a boat with room for them, and cross over to England, or drown. I have crossed the channel on large ferries, and once on a large hovercraft. That was interesting for me, but I would never want to sail in those rough waters in a small boat. There are also people who travel from Africa, …